Bits & Pieces

Canada

In November, pro-life Progressive Conservative candidate Sam Oosterhoff, 19, became the youngest MPP ever elected in Ontario when he won the Niagara-West Glanbrook by-election after beating three other Tories for the nomination including Ontario PC president Rick Dykstra. Oosterhoff won the right to contest the general election in 2018 after winning the nomination against Tony Quirk, who finished fourth for the nomination last year and is a provincial vice president in the party. Campaign Life Coalition, who supported both candidates in the October nomination in 2017, supported Oosterhoff in the latest nomination contest, saying he is “100 per cent pro-life” and supports parental rights in education … The Christian Heritage Party of British Columbia is running at least six candidates in the May 9 provincial election: Dan Cameron (Abbotsford-Mission), Ron Gray (Abbotsford South), Lynn Simcox (Abbotsford West), Shane Boivin (New Westminster), Kevin Pielak (Surrey-Guildford) and Rod Taylor (Stikine) … Hamilton city council voted unanimously to pass a new transgender protocol allowing transgender and “gender non-conforming” individuals to use public restrooms and change rooms based on their self-selected gender identity rather than their biological gender. Two city councilors were absent. Lawyer Nicole Nussbaum said the protocol will “really echo in terms of leadership around the world.”

United States

A Gallup poll found that 29 per cent of Americans support legal abortion under any circumstances, 50 per cent under only certain circumstances, and 19 per cent want it illegal in all circumstances. About an equal number of people call themselves pro-life (46 per cent) and pro-choice (47 per cent) … A Polling Company Inc. survey conducted for the Susan B. Anthony List found that 56 per cent of Americans oppose “giving your tax dollars to Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion provider,” while 40 per cent support; 47 per cent strongly oppose compared to 29 per cent who strongly support … Texas state Rep. Jessica Farrar (D), introduced the “Man’s Right to Know Act,” a satirical response to state laws requiring informed consent and waiting periods for women seeking abortions. The bill would require men to wait 24 hours after an “initial health care consultation” before receiving a vasectomy or Viagra prescription and provide men with a booklet of informational material regarding their procedures. It would also ban “unregulated masturbatory emissions” outside of “women’s vaginas,” punishable with a fine of up to $100. Farrar says she knows her bill will not pass but wants to raise awareness about limits on women’s access to abortion that has passed the Texas legislature in recent years … The Alliance Defending Freedom filed a petition with the U.S. Supreme Court seeking to declare California’s Reproductive Freedom, Accountability, Comprehensive Care, and Transparency Act (FACT) unconstitutional because it requires pro-life pregnancy centers, many of which are run by churches, to display signs referring women to state-funded abortion facilities. David Cortman, senior counsel for the Alliance, “it is unthinkable for the government to force anyone to provide free advertising for the abortion industry.” Last year, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit, upheld the law … Missouri state Rep. Bill Kidd (R) introduced Simon’s Law which would prohibit health care facilities from withholding life-sustaining procedures from minors without the written consent of a parent or legal guardian. The law is named after Simon Crosier, who was born in 2010 with Trisonomy 18. He lived for just three months after a physician decided not to treat the child because of his genetic disorder. Sheryl Crosier, the child’s mother, said “we would have never stayed” at the facility if they had “known (it) had a futility policy.”

International

Noel Conway, who suffers from a motor neurone disease, is challenging the United Kingdom’s prohibition on doctor-assisted suicide in High Court. Sarah Wootton, CEO of Dying with Dignity, says “denying dying people the right to hasten their death” is incompatible with “truly person-centered care.” The UK Parliament rejected legalizing euthanasia or assisted suicide in 2015 … The Human Fertilization and Embryology Authority, the UK’s fertility regulator, granted a Newcastle doctor the country’s first license to create babies using three parents. The license allows a mitochondrial pronuclear transfer from a third parent to reduce the risk of passing along particular genetic diseases, but critics worry it will lead to the creation of designer babies and further denormalize the natural two-parent family. Furthermore, as Anthony McCarthy, a bioethicist with the Society for the Protection of Children, observes, the technique “destroys two human embryos by removing the nuclear material from an embryo with faulty mitochondria, whose life is ended, and creating a new embryo, by placing this nuclear material into the shell of (yet another) embryo, who is also destroyed.”

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