Bits & Pieces

Canada

The National Post’s Christie Blatchford reported that an unidentified 44-year-old teacher was fired from the Fraser Academy private school in the Vancouver area after a student complained that he was pro-life. Explaining that there can be a “difference between people’s private morality and law” the teacher offered as an example that he is personally opposed to abortion although it is allowed by law. A student told the administration that the teacher’s comments “triggered” her, that she felt “unsafe,” and that the teacher should not be allowed to have an opinion on abortion because he is a man. Blatchford wrote, “it may be the first time a Canadian teacher has been fired not amid allegations of impropriety, but for having the wrong opinion” … The House of Commons unanimously passed Conservative MP Arnold Viersen’s (Peace River-Westlock) private member’s motion, M-47, directing the Standing Committee on Health to investigate the “public health effects” of “violent and degrading sexually explicit material on adults and children” which can be easily viewed on the Internet … Reproductive Justice New Brunswick has launched a campaign calling on the Liberal government of Brian Gallant to increase abortion access in the province. Health Minister Victor Boudreau told the Canadian Press that three hospitals are meeting current demand and that there will be less need for abortion facilities with the abortion pill becomes available later this year.

United States

Donald Trump has named numerous pro-lifers to his cabinet: Senator Jeff Sessions (Alabama) was named Attorney General, Rep. Tom Price (Georgia) Health and Human Service Secretary, Rep. Mike Pompeo (Kansas) Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, physician Ben Carson Housing and Urban Development Secretary, philanthropist Betsy DeVos Education Secretary, and Governor Nikki Haley (South Carolina) U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. Price opposes federal funding of abortion, wants to remove the requirement that Obamacare’s health insurance exchanges be required to cover contraception, and twice sponsored bills that would have recognized the personhood of the preborn from the time of conception/fertilization … The 25,000-member American Psychiatric Association general assembly passed a resolution saying “a psychiatrist should not prescribe or administer any intervention to a non-terminally ill person for the purpose of causing death,” effectively rejecting the idea that mental illness or depression are justifiable reasons for euthanasia or assisted-suicide. The resolution, which came from the floor of the convention, acknowledged that jurisdictions like Belgium, Canada, and the Netherlands, permit assisted-suicide for individuals who are suffering “untreatable” or “insufferable” but non-terminally ill conditions, including depression. The resolution said that “insufferable” mental anguish “may be due to treatable, undiagnosed psychiatric conditions” including suicidal thoughts  … On Dec. 13, Ohio Governor John Kasich (R) signed one pro-life bill into law while vetoing another. Both were passed by the Ohio legislature a week earlier. Kasich signed a 20-week abortion ban that has no exceptions, but vetoed the Heartbeat Bill which banned abortions after a fetal heartbeat becomes detectable, usually at six weeks. Kasich said the 20-week ban was more likely to stand up to a constitutional challenge, saying the 20-week ban was the “best, most legally sound and sustainable approach to protecting the sanctity of human life.” Ohio Right to Life said they supported Kasich’s strategy while the Life Issues Institute condemned Kasich saying he should have fought for the law that would have protected more unborn babies. Just two per cent of abortions in the state are committed after 20 weeks. Both NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio and the American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio said they would challenge the law.

International

France’s Conseil d’État (State Council) banned from French television the “Dear Future Mom” video featuring happy children with Down syndrome explaining that their depiction was “inappropriate” because they were “likely to disturb the conscience of women who had lawfully made different personal life choices” – meaning those who had abortions because genetic tests indicated their preborn children had the genetic abnormality. The Jerome Lejeune Foundation – named after the discoverer of the genetic mutation that causes Down syndrome – appealed to the Council to reverse its decision but was rejected … The French National Assembly approved a law that could make anti-abortion websites illegal. Francois Hollande’s Socialist government expanded the law that prevents individuals or groups from pressuring or intimidating women from having an abortion. The “online obstruction of abortion” law would make it a crime to mislead, intimidate or exercise “psychological or moral pressure” on women seeking information about ending their pregnancy. Pro-life groups worry that objective information about the harm abortion causes mother and child will be prohibited. Those violating the law could face two years in prison and a €30,000 fine. The measure still has to be passed in the Senate to become law.

 

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