THE INTERIM

back September 1997

Filipino rescue befits pro-life nation

MANILA (CWN) - The Philippines saw an enormously successful pro-life rescue operation in Manila August 29 as hundreds of Filipinos converged on the offices of suspected abortionists, preventing all abortions that day.

Abortion is technically illegal in the strongly Catholic nation, but some doctors get around the restrictions by prescribing oral contraceptives in dosages that would cause a spontaneous abortion in pregnant women.

About 200 pro-life advocates descended on the offices of Dr. Gloria Sosa Itchon and Dr. Danilo Lopez. Itchon initially denied providing abortions or abortion counseling when confronted by rescuers, but relented after being confronted with evidence that she had given pricing and advice to an undercover rescuer just a few days before. Sister Mary Pilar Verzosa, RGS of Pro-Life Philippines said Itchon was misty-eyed at the group's final appeal to stop killing babies.

However, the rescuers reported that Lopez was more resistant to their appeals, locking them out of his office. The pro-life group stood outside his office carrying banners and praying, and when passers-by learned of the nature of the picket, they affirmed their own stand against abortion. The rescue also saw women who suffered post-abortion trauma come forward and place candles outside Lopez' office, each one representing their baby who had been killed.

The pro-life group issued a statement saying, "We are here today to rescue babies who would otherwise be killed by abortion, whether or not it is illegal. We're here also to rescue mothers from the serious spiritual,

emotional, mental and physical consequences of abortion. We're here to rescue society from the moral disorder and depreciation of life that naturally follows abortion."

The Phillipines is slowly becoming a key nation in the struggle to promote the right to life cause against the steady inroads of the abortion-contraception mentality.

It was in the Philippines that a tainted vaccine scandal, uncovered by church and pro-life forces, revealed the lengths population control groups would go to in pursuing their agenda. The tainted vaccines, administered to women of child-bearing age only, rendered thousands of women sterile. The tained vaccine also produced a number of harmful side-effects.

The Philippine experience, coupled with the nation's strong stand against abortion and euthanasia, has led some to describe the nation as a "pro-life ambassador people" of Asia. They believe the Philippines can provide lessons for Europe and North America in re-establishing a healthy respect for human life and positive family living.

Despite the good news of the Philippine action, there was sobering news for pro-life supporters in the mid-western United States.

In St. Louis, the scientist who unlocked the genetic code

says a woman should be able to abort an unborn child with genetic defects

without facing condemnation.

Nobel-winning DNA scientist James Watson said during a question-and- answer session after delivering a lecture at Washington University in

St. Louis September 3 that if he had known his unborn son, now a young adult, would be autistic, he would have chosen to terminate the pregnancy.

The 69-year-old Nobel-winning Watson, president of the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory on Long Island, N.Y., says women should not be considered ``immoral because she would choose not to have a child who

would be disadvantaged.''

He added, ``I have a son who is disadvantaged in another way, so I

speak with personal knowledge.''

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Views of columnists and bylined feature writers as expressed are not necessarily those of the Interim."

Managing editor: Mike Mastromatteo

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