Archive for the ‘*United Nations’ Category

My personal preface:
It is honor for me to have been denigrated before a gathering of the priests of the Archdiocese of San Francisco by Bishop McElroy for my effort to expose the truth about the Millennium Development Goals in an article published in the archdiocese’s newspaper, Catholic San Francisco. I guess he saw my article as an attempt to disrupt his and the UN’s agenda. Sadly, now that the MDGs have been replaced with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), we have Pope Francis in full support of the UN’s agenda.

The following column first appeared on the website The Catholic Thing (www.thecatholicthing.org). Copyright 2016. All rights reserved. Reprinted with permission. (Source)

The Disruptive Church Now Has a Spokesman

By

March 7, 2017

In 1970, I took part in an early anti-abortion protest in Washington D.C. at George Washington University Hospital. It was intended to be a sit-in at the offices where hospital employees interviewed women seeking abortions. The hospital was violating the laws of the District of Columbia, which back then still prohibited abortion. But abortions were being performed at the hospital nonetheless.

Our purpose was simply to demand that the hospital comply with the laws of the District of Columbia. Protesters never got beyond the entrance to the office building and were hit with pepper spray to force them from the entrance. Several of us were arrested (I was not) for trying to prevent ourselves from being sprayed, another example of the victims being arrested while the perpetrators went free. The case against the protesters was extremely weak and eventually was dropped.

What was notable about this incident was the way the Catholic bishops responded at the time. Most took no notice at all, but the bishops who did respond were obviously embarrassed that Catholics would be involved in such disruptive behavior. It was one thing to resist abortion by words, but quite another to actually engage in actions that disrupted public order.

Since this was a peaceful protest, they were not criticizing violent attacks, but nonviolent actions that would shut down a public institution, even if that institution was engaging in taking the lives of the unborn. Not only did we get no financial help with fines and legal fees resulting from the arrests, but we were clearly designated the black sheep of the Catholic Church.

How things have changed. Now we have San Diego Bishop Robert McElroy advocating “disruptive” actions to accomplish his favored political goals. So far as I know, he has never suggested we should take disruptive action to end the slaughter of the unborn in places like Planned Parenthood, nor to check a government that supports this mass murder. But in his address to the U.S. regional gathering for the World Meeting of Popular Movements in California, this activist bishop said that with the election of President Trump, “Well now, we must all become disruptors.”

He then went on to give a series of misleading accusations against the new administration, which included the following, “We must disrupt those who would seek to send troops into our streets to deport the undocumented, to rip mothers and fathers from their families. . . .who portray refugees as enemies rather than our brothers and sisters in terrible need. . . .who train us to see Muslim men, women and children as forces of fear rather than as children of God. . . .who seek to rob our medical care, especially from the poor, who would take even food stamps and nutrition assistance from the mouths of children.”

These are the kinds of “fake” accusations that we have seen from leftist activists and their media supporters who quite literally want to overthrow a validly elected government.

Words often take their meanings from context, and the word “disrupt” in today’s political context means “bring down’ and “overthrow.” It’s a buzzword widely used by people like Michael Moore and other left-wing revolutionaries, Saul Alinsky types who want to see the present government overthrown. Bishop McElroy may argue that this is not his intention. But when he adopts the language of revolution, he cannot avoid the implication that he approves of such aims.

If we had used such language back in 1970, it would have been clear that we were implicit revolutionaries. And it would’ve been quite appropriate for the bishops to call us out and warn Catholics that overthrowing the government was not the position of the Church. I’m waiting for some such rebuff to Bishop McElroy, but I won’t hold my breath.

The Modesto meeting was co-sponsored by the Vatican’s Dicastery for Integral Human Development and the U.S. Bishops’ Conference. Indeed, the annual World Meeting of Popular Movements is the result of an initiative of Pope Francis himself according to their web site. But such movements, though well-intentioned and professing noble goals, have sometimes been turned into a movement that co-opts the Church.

For instance, Don Luigi Giussani, who had worked closely with the Italian movement Gioventù Studentesca for years, was faced with a problem in 1968. The majority of this student organization had taken what the Italians call a “volta alla sinistra” (“turn to the left”), and joined the Italian Student Movement, a Marxist group in Italian universities and schools. His solution was to lead the minority in a new undertaking, Communion and Liberation, which would be faithful to the Christian ideals and practices that he had set forth in his writings over his years.

The problem we face today is that we cannot replace the Church with a new movement. If Church leaders embrace this kind of politically driven radicalism, distorting the truth while calling for disrupting a legitimate government, we are in deep trouble.

Truth makes strict demands, and distorting the truth by distorting the facts is equivalent to lying. Politicians and the press do it all the time, but it cannot be tolerated in the Church, especially not among Church leaders. Trump may not be your ideal president, but it’s simply calumny to suggest that he is in favor of, or has a plan to “send troops into our streets to deport the undocumented, to rip mothers and fathers from their families. . . .portray refugees as enemies. . . .train us to see Muslim men, women and children as forces of fear rather than as children of God. . . .rob our medical care, especially from the poor. . . .take even food stamps and nutrition assistance from the mouths of children.”

This is raw, dishonest, political rhetoric – the most dangerous disruption of all, the suppression of truth for political ends, which can easily lead to violence, regardless of the intentions of those who use such language.

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Read about the Sustainable Development Goals and the Church’s errors here. Then you can lament with me and other concerned and informed Catholics.

All I can do is repeat what I had written in ‘The Millennium Development Goals and the Critical Next Step for the Catholic Church‘.

More on this topic on this site here.

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From Population Research Institute (PRI)

I’m a Global Warming Skeptic—So Arrest Me!

By Steven W.  Mosher

I have followed the twists and turns of the climate change debate since I was a graduate student at Stanford University forty years ago. The academic rage in those days, it will surprise you to learn, was “global winter.”  That was the idea that we humans were putting so much particulate matter and pollutants in the atmosphere that the earth’s average temperature would plummet, triggering a new ice age.

How things have changed.

Now we are instructed by our betters that, because we are releasing CO2 into the atmosphere, we must worry about global warming–or whatever the climate alarmists are calling it these days.  (I must say that any movement that has to keep changing its name every few years to reboot its credibility makes me suspicious. What are they going to call their imagined calamity next?  Tornados ”R” Us?)

The global warmers have gotten more strident of late, perhaps because they realize they are losing the argument.  Recently they have started labeling and stigmatizing those of us who disagree with them as “climate deniers.”  But now they have gone even further: They are pressuring the federal government to arrest and prosecute those of us who question their science and their conclusions.

President Obama’s Attorney General, Loretta Lynch, has publicly confirmed that she has asked the FBI to look into going after “climate deniers” under the Racketing and Corrupt Practices Act (RICO). This is the same overly broad statute that was misused in the past to unfairly—and unsuccessfully–prosecute peaceful pro-lifers.

I don’t want to get overly political here, but how is it that Hillary Clinton can be so confident that she will not be indicted for sending classified material out over her own email server—a clear violation of federal law–while we “climate deniers” are supposed to be living in fear of prosecution because we demonstrate that data from the real world does not support alarmist claims about global warming?

I don’t know how other climate skeptics will react to being threatened for dissenting from the preferred climate orthodoxy of the Obama administration and its supporters, but, as for me, it … made … me … mad.  This kind of heavy-handed effort to stifle free speech and scientific inquiry belongs in one-party dictatorships, not in the United States of America.

Anyway, if the Department of Justice is drawing up an enemies list of those who question the global warming narrative, I insist on being in the Top Ten, since I question everything.

I question the scientific credentials of anyone who refers to carbon dioxide as “pollution,” as the EPA now does.  As anyone who took biology in high school knows quite well, CO2 is a trace gas on which all life depends. It is colorless, odorless, and absolutely vital to the process of photosynthesis.

Levels of this key plant nutrient in the atmosphere are rising, of course, which means the plant growth and food production on Planet Earth will also increase.  One of my sons ably demonstrated this point a couple of years ago by growing corn plants in different concentrations of CO2.  As you might expect, the higher the level of CO2, the faster and more luxuriant the plants grew. His science experiment won first prize in the Arlington diocesan science fair a couple of years ago. (As far as we know, no one has yet reported him to the Department of Justice.)

I also question whether “global warming” is in fact occurring.  While carbon dioxide levels are increasing, the earth has consistently failed to warm as much as climate models have projected.  Indeed, the past 19 years have shown a pause, or “hiatus” in rising temperatures.

“There is this mismatch between what the climate models are producing and what the observations are showing,” Canadian climate change researcher John Fyfe recently admitted. “We can’t ignore it.”

What this means is that the science is not settled, despite the premature claims of those who say it is, and apparently will stop at nothing to silence their critics.

Another question I have has to do with whether the changes in climate that have been observed are caused by human activity, that is, are anthropogenic.

We know from the geological record that our planet has experienced dramatic changes in climate over the course of its long history. The climate of the Jurassic was so warm and humid that even the polar regions had a temperate climate. The ice ages of the Pleistocene, the last of which ended a mere 11,700 years ago, covered much of North America with ice. Average temperatures were 5 to 10 degrees Centigrade colder than they are today.

Scientists aren’t sure what caused these wild swings in temperature from age to age. Explanations range from changes in the earth’s orbit to variations in solar radiation, from changes in the earth’s atmosphere to shifting ocean currents.  One thing is certain, however: none of these fluctuations in temperature were caused by humans.

If the planet is indeed warming, I question whether there is much that we can reasonably do about it.  Most of the proposals being bantered about involve reducing CO2 emissions.  But if we ban the combustion of fossil fuels, what do we replace them with?

There is a lot of talk about resorting to “renewables” such as wind, solar, geothermal, and biofuels. But such energy is not only harder to “collect” and therefore more expensive, it is also less portable, less reliable, less controllable, less scalable, less portable, and less versatile than fossil fuels.

If the government continues to insist that we switch to renewables, we will have to restructure our entire economy.  The rising cost of energy will necessarily drive our remaining industries either out of business or into foreign exile.  China, which is opening a new coal-fired power plant every two weeks or so, will be happy to welcome them.

The end result of banning fossil fuels would be a sharp decline in our standard of living.  America would survive such a drastic restructuring, although we would no longer have the world’s largest economy.

Those who live in less developed countries will not be so fortunate.  Hundreds of millions of people would find that they have virtually no access to energy.  They will have to turn off their lights, turn off their stoves, and power down the pump that supplies their drinking water.  Their tractors will sit idle in their sheds, and their motorcycles will lack the fuel they need to get their goods to market.  For some subsistence farmers, the shift to renewables would literally be a death sentence.  They would be unable to produce the food that their family needed to survive.

Pope Francis, who frequently reminds us of his “preferential option for the poor,” would be horrified by this result.

Finally, I question whether some of the leading global warming activists are really as upset by the prospect of a degree or two of warming over the next century as they pretend to be.

I, for one, would welcome a warmer planet, and believe that it would be beneficial to humanity.  Vast tracts of land in Canada and Siberia could be brought under cultivation.  Longer growing seasons further south would allow additional crops to be planted each year.  The specter of famine would be banished forever.  Ice free ports in the Arctic Ocean would shorten shipping times and reduce transportation costs.

I suspect that “threat” of climate change has been hyped by organizations like the Sierra Club, not to mention by the United Nations itself, in large part as a fundraising ploy.  At that, at least, it has been stunningly successful.  Indeed, the Obama administration, acting without congressional approval, just transferred $500 million into a U.N. green slush fund.

Of course, if those who spin stories about the terrible consequences of climate change really believed what they were saying, they would be emigrating en masse to Canada.  Instead, just like the rest of us, they move in the opposite direction when they retire.  South.  To warmer climes.

Go figure.

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If you read this post on Msgr. Pope’s blog, you will find many of his other outstanding reflections. For your convenience it is copied below with his kind permission.

Eradicating Poverty Is Not a Gospel Value – A Reflection on a Teaching by Cardinal Sarah

By: Msgr. Charles Pope (posted with permission – source)

The eradication of poverty is an oft-stated goal of the modern, liberal West. President Lyndon Baines Johnson’s pronouncement of a “war on poverty” so imprinted this notion in the Western mind that it has become almost axiomatic. It is now a fundamental pillar in the thinking of almost every person (and organization) in the Western world, from the religious pew-sitter concerned for the poor to the most secular humanist bent on a utopian vision. Poverty is a great enemy that must be stamped out!

The only problem is that this is contrary to the Gospel! It is no surprise, therefore, that even after decades of Western “do-goodism,” barely a dent has been made in the percentage of people living in poverty. In fact, some statistics show that the percentage in poverty has increased. But why should we expect great fruitfulness in something that opposes God?

I can see the look of shock on your face right now; you may even be embarrassed that I have written this. I’d like to share a quote with you from Robert Cardinal Sarah, which makes an important distinction that we need to recover. While what he says may also shock you, I encourage you to read it carefully and thoughtfully; the distinction he makes is critical. Not only does the Gospel depend on it, but cultures and individual lives do as well. For indeed, in the name of eradicating poverty some of the worst of Western arrogance has been displayed. It is an arrogance that does not even recognize that it can become willing to the destroy the poor themselves as well as what and whom they love all in the name of this “noble” goal.

Cardinal Robert Sarah is no neophyte in this discussion. He grew up in an impoverished region of Africa and later headed the Roman dicastery, Cor unum, a charitable arm of the Holy See. The extensive passage below is an abbreviated version of the Cardinal’s response to the following questions posed by his interviewer, Nicholas Diat:

How would you describe the nature of Cor unum, the dicastery to which you devoted several years of your life, in its fight against all sorts of poverty? Furthermore, why do you speak so often about the close relation between God and the poor?

In his reply, the Cardinal is reacting somewhat to Mr. Diat’s description of Cor unum’s work as “fight[ing] against all sorts of poverty.” The Cardinal’s response is nothing short of stunning. Please read it carefully and consider obtaining the book so as to able to read the unabridged remarks as well.

The Gospel is not a slogan. The same goes for our activity to relieve people’s suffering … [it is a matter] of working humbly and having a deep respect for the poor. For example, I remember being disgusted when I heard the advertising slogan of a Catholic charitable organization, which was almost insulting to the poor: “Let us fight for zero poverty” … Not one saint … ever dared to speak that way about poverty and poor people.

Jesus himself had no pretention of this sort. This slogan respects neither the Gospel nor Christ. Ever since the Old Testament, God has been with the poor; and Sacred Scripture unceasingly acclaims “the poor of Yahweh.” …

Poverty is a biblical value confirmed by Christ, who emphatically exclaims, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven” (Mt 5:3). … The poor person is someone who knows that, by himself, he cannot live. He needs God and other people in order to be, flourish and grow. On the contrary, rich people expect nothing of anyone. They can provide for their needs without calling either on their neighbors or on God. In this sense wealth can lead to great sadness and true human loneliness or to terrible spiritual poverty. If in order to eat and care for himself, a man must turn to someone else, this necessarily results in a great enlargement of his heart. This is why the poor are closest to God and live in great solidarity with one another; they draw from this divine source the ability to be attentive to others.

The Church must not fight against poverty but, rather, wage a battle against destitution, especially material and spiritual destitution. … [so that all] might have the minimum they require in order to live. …

But we do not have the right to confuse destitution and poverty, because in so doing we would seriously be going against the Gospel. Recall what Christ told us: “The poor you will have always with you …” (Jn 12:8). Those who want to eradicate poverty make the Son of God a liar. …

[In his yearly Lenten message in 2014, Pope Francis] espoused what St. Francis [of Assisi] called “Lady Poverty.” … St. Francis of Assisi wanted to be poor because Christ chose poverty. If he calls poverty a royal virtue, it is because it shone brilliantly in the life of Jesus … and in the life of his mother, Mary of Nazareth. …

Similarly, I often think about the vow of poverty taken by religious … [they] do so in order to be as close as possible to Christ. The Son [of God] wanted us to be poor in order to show us the best path by which we can return to God. …

The Son of God loves the poor; others intend to eradicate them. What a lying, unrealistic, almost tyrannical utopia! I always marvel when Gaudium et Spes declares, “The spirit of poverty and charity is the glory and witness of the Church of Christ” (GS 88).

We must be precise in our choice of words. The language of the UN and its agencies, who want to suppress poverty, which they confuse with destitution, is not that of the Church of Christ. The Son of God did not come to speak to the poor in ideological slogans! The Church must banish these slogans from her language. For they have stupefied and destroyed peoples who were trying to remain free in conscience (Cardinal Sarah, God or Nothing: A Conversation in Faith with Nicholas Diat, pp. 140-142).

Perhaps stunned himself, Mr. Diat follows up with the following question: “Are you not afraid of being misunderstood in employing this sort of distinction?”

The Cardinal replies,

It is a lack of charity to shut one’s eyes. It is a lack of charity to remain silent in the face of confusing words and slogans! … If you read the Latin text of Gaudium et Spes carefully you will immediately notice this distinction (Ibid, p. 143).

This is a powerful insight and it reveals the deep flaw in Western “anti-poverty” programs. Christ asks us to love the poor and imitate the best of what they are, not eliminate them and disregard the simplicity and trust that they can often exemplify. But we in the West, imbued with our materialistic notions and mesmerized by the comfort and control that wealth can temporarily buy, denigrate what the Gospels praises and seek to eradicate it.

So unreflective are we in this matter that some will even justify the most awful things in the name of eradicating poverty. Many programs (U.S.-sponsored and U.N.-sponsored) with this goal advocate for contraception, abortion, and/or euthanasia. Some have even sought to compel these sorts of things as a precondition for receiving aid. Some seek to impose certain aspects of Western thinking, something that has been labeled an attempt at “ideological colonization.” Many of us in the “First World” often speak of the “Third World” in a way that at best is patronizing and at worst exhibits a thinly veiled contempt.

While it is true that certain economic and political systems best support Western lifestyles, there is more to life than material abundance. With our own culture, families, and common sense collapsing around us, it seems odd that we so easily consider our way of life superior; that we see our relationship to the poor and to poorer countries as one in which we have all the answers and they should just listen to us.

The word “arrogance” comes to mind. We too easily assume, without even asking, that we know what is best; we presume that poor people in every part of the world want what we have (materially) and that they don’t perceive the awful price we have paid in order to get it.

We must recover a respect for the world’s poor, who have much to teach us. Even if they are not materially without troubles, they often possess many things we have lost: simplicity, family and tribal (communal) life, reciprocity, proper interdependence (as opposed to radical individualism), trust, a slower life, and a less-stressful life.

Further, we must not forget that the Lord counseled poverty (Lk 18:22), declared the poor blessed (Lk 6:20), lived simply Himself having “nowhere to lay his head” (Mt 8:20), lived among the working poor, and warned of the pernicious quality of wealth (Lk 16:13). God hears the cry of the poor and Mother Mary taught us of a great reversal that is coming, when the mighty and powerful will be cast down and poor and lowly raised up (Lk 1:52). Jesus taught us that many who are now last will be first in the kingdom of Heaven (Mat 19:30). In this life, the poor will sometimes need us. In the next life, on Judgment Day, we are going to need them to welcome us into eternal dwellings (Luke 16:9).

I really cannot say it better than did the good Cardinal, so I will not attempt to do so. We must surely work to alleviate the destitution that often comes in times of famine, war, or natural disaster. But destitution and poverty are not the same thing. Overlooking this distinction can be deadly for the poor we claim to serve and for their cultures, and can result in the worst forms of ideological colonization and secular utopianism.

*God or Nothing by Cardinal Robert Sarah

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Global Abortion Tax is Coming.  You Can Help Act Now.

From Austin Ruse, President/C-Fam

March 21, 2016

Sign at https://c-fam.org/stop-un-global-tax.

A high-level panel of the UN just issued its report that will inform the World Humanitarian Summit this May in Istanbul.

A global tax for the benefit of the UN was a part of their agenda.

A global tax is also on the agenda of the Sustainable Development Goals, the most important and perhaps most dangerous global document in years.

This is not new.

A global tax has long been on the agenda of UN radicals. The UN Development Program, the most powerful UN agency, proposed a global tax in its annual Human Development Report 2011.

Why do they want a global tax? So, the UN won’t be beholden to democratic bodies like the Member States of the UN.

The UN exists now on independent and voluntary contributions from governments. Such contributions come with strings and oversight and can be withheld. UN bureaucrats hate that.

What would be taxed?

International financial transactions. Don’t think this won’t touch you. Such taxes and fees are always passed along to the consumer.

They also want to tax all currency exchanges. That’s right. If you or your children travel to Canada, Mexico, Europe, or anywhere in the world, you will be taxed when you change money.

They also want to tax all airline tickets. And they are pressuring major corporations to increase costs to goods and services and the UN would get the proceeds.

A global tax on financial transactions would bring trillions of dollars into the UN and we the people would have nothing to say about how it is spent.

This is one of the greatest threats to democracy and to the unborn that we have ever seen.

UN bureaucrats say the money would go for humanitarian purposes. The problem is that UN radicals define killing unborn children as humanitarian.

It is vital that you sign this petition and send it to all of your friends and family. Sometime later this year, we will present these petitions to the UN, to allied groups around the world, to the US Congress and Parliaments around the world.

We can stop the Global UN Tax if we act together and we act now.

Sign at https://c-fam.org/stop-un-global-tax.

 

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Abortion is Never the Answer for Pregnant Women with Zika

New Study Finds that Less than 1 percent of Zika Infections During Pregnancy Lead to Microcephaly

Jonathan Abbamonte and Steven W. Mosher

2016 Mar 17

Abortion advocates have attempted to lobby and shame pro-life Latin American countries into legalizing abortion for women who may contract the Zika virus. Although it has not been proven that Zika causes microcephaly and other congenital disabilities, pro-abortion groups have nonetheless assumed that it does. Apparently abortion activists think they know more about ZIKV than the medical community.

Pro-abortion groups like the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) and abortion device manufacturer Ipas have used the recent outbreak for promoting an anti-life agenda and have called on governments hard-hit by the Zika outbreak to “ensure that women have access to…abortion.”

Yet a new study[1] has found that pregnant mothers who contract a Zika virus infection have a less than 1% chance of their babies developing microcephaly.

The findings were recently published in a study in The Lancet medical journal. The study used a statistical model that drew upon data from multiple samples from the Zika outbreak in French Polynesia between 2013 and 2014. The French Polynesia outbreak infected an estimated 66% of the total population.

The results? Fewer than one-half of one percent (0.42%) of all Zika infections in French Polynesia in the first, second and third trimesters resulted in infants with microcephaly.

Before an estimate for risk had been quantified, abortion advocates would have had us believe the risk of microcephaly was much higher than what the data shows.

Recently, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, publically stated that countries dealing with the Zika outbreak should make comprehensive sexual and reproductive health services, including abortion on demand, universally available. According to the UN High Commissioner, abortion is an “essential” “human [right]” that every nation should provide “without discrimination.”

If Latin American governments had heeded the calls from the UN High Commissioner to make abortion available for all mothers who contract a Zika infection during pregnancy, as many as 99% of infants aborted could have been perfectly healthy.

According to the statistical model used by Cauchemez et al. (2016), risk of microcephaly appeared to be evident primarily during the first trimester. Women who contract Zika during the second and third trimesters thus appear to have little to no risk for their babies developing microcephaly. But more research is needed to ascertain which gestational periods have the most risk for fetal development with a Zika infection.

Despite the very small risk posed by Zika, pregnant mothers may wish to follow the advice of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in preventing mosquito bites, practicing abstinence[2] and taking precautions when living in or visiting areas where the Zika virus is spread by mosquitoes. The CDC provides a number of resources and tips on common sense ways to prevent mosquito bites, such as wearing long sleeves and using mosquito nets.

Microcephaly is a congenital condition where infants are born with abnormally small heads and brains. Tracking microcephaly in the ongoing outbreak in Brazil has been difficult as diagnostic measures for microcephaly are imprecise. Generally microcephaly has been defined as a cranial circumference under 32 centimeters (≥ 2 SD below normal development) but many infants under the threshold are perfectly normal and do not exhibit any signs of cognitive impairment later in life. In order for a diagnosis for microcephaly to be accurate, small brain size (not just small head circumference) must be verified and below average brain growth or even shrinkage over time must be observed.

The new findings from the Lancet study seem to indicate that previous estimates for the prevalence of Zika related microcephaly may have been too high.

According to the Brazilian Ministry of Health, nearly 6,500 cases of microcephaly have been reported. But over-reporting seems to be the rule rather than the exception. Of the 2,212 cases that have been investigated so far, for example, 1,349 cases have turned out to be infants with normal cranial development, not microcephaly. The number of confirmed cases in Brazil so far appear to be similar to what would be expected from the incidence rates found in French Polynesia.

A recent report summary from the Latin American Collaborative Study of Congenital Malformations (ECLAMC), and translated into English for Nature science journal, claims that due to heightened media attention, more instances of microcephaly in Brazil will continue to be reported than would be the case otherwise. ECLAMC’s Jorge Lopez-Camelo and Ieda Maria Orioli believe that microcephaly cases have been significantly over-reported. They point out that no other risk factor for congenital abnormalities has come close to producing numbers as high as those which have been reported in the current Zika outbreak.

It is possible that the apparent link between Zika and microcephaly was not made earlier during the Polynesia outbreak due to significantly smaller populations in the South Pacific and thus, fewer number of microcephaly cases to alert health professionals.

But virologist in Brazil has indicated that the health community may not have recognized the possible Zika-microcephaly link for another reason. The legal code in French Polynesia does not protect human life in cases of congenital disabilities. The majority of microcephaly cases in French Polynesia that are now suspected to have been caused by Zika were terminated through abortion. It is possible that eliminating cases of microcephaly through abortion could have hindered health professionals from recognizing the Zika-microcephaly link earlier. An earlier recognition could have allowed researchers to develop an effective vaccine by now.

How many perfectly normal babies have been aborted as a result of the panic over the Zika outbreak are encouraged, indeed orchestrated, by the pro-abortion movement? And still the advocates of abortion persist in driving the body count ever higher.

[1]Simon Cauchemez, Marianne Besnard, Priscillia Bompard, Timothée Dub, Prisca Guillemette-Artur, Dominique Eyrolle-Guignot, Henrik Salje, Maria D. Van Kerhove, Véronique Abadie, Catherine Garel, Arnaud Fontanet, Henri-Pierre Mallet, “Association between Zika virus and microcephaly in French Polynesia, 2013-15: a retrospective study,” The Lancet, published online 15 March 2016. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(16)00651-6.
[2] The Population Research Institute only endorses abstinence-based prevention methods for sexually transmitted diseases.

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Dear Readers,

Since 2006, with my first post on this matter (The Millennium Development Goals and the Critical Next Step for the Catholic Church), I have endeavored to keep you informed about the goals and actions of the United Nations regarding the life issues. Below is another contribution toward that end.

The Sustainable Development Goals and the Right to Life (source)

by Steven W. Mosher – President of Population Research Institute (PRI)

2016 JAN 14

Photo credit Istock/greta6 editorial use only

We are not alone in being suspicious of the United Nations when it comes to the life issues. Beginning with the International Conference on Population and Development in Cairo in 1994, abortion advocates have been attempting to use the language of U.N. documents, as well as the statements of certain U.N. committees themselves–think the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW)–to advance their agenda.

There have been constant battles over the meaning of such phrases as “sexual and reproductive rights” and “sexual and reproductive health care services” that are often embedded in U.N. documents. The abortion movement argues, predictably, that such rights include the right to an abortion. The pro-life movement, aided by the Vatican and a handful of Catholic countries, have been equally insistent that abortion and abortion rights have nothing to do with either sexual or reproductive rights or health care.

With the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) by the United Nations on September 25th[1] this battle is now raging again. Target 3.7 of the SDGs is aimed at “ensur[ing] universal access to sexual and reproductive healthcare services,” while target 5.6 seeks to “ensure universal access to sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights.”

Developing nations who adopt the SDGs will be pressured to legalize abortion, even though the word abortion never appears in the document. They will be told, falsely, that there is an “international consensus” that reproductive rights includes a right to abortion. They will be instructed that laws protecting the unborn violate this consensus and must be replaced with new laws permitting abortion on demand. And they will be threatened with the withholding of international aid unless they comply.

The Catholic bishops of Africa, whose nations have been on the receiving end of just this kind of pressure for decades, have said it best:

It can no longer be denied that under the euphemism of “sexual and reproductive health and rights,” such programs are plainly imposed as a condition for development assistance. . . . The agents of the civilization of death are using ambivalent language, seducing decision-makers and entire populations, in order to make them partners in the pursuit of their ideological objectives. . . . We, African pastors, note today with profound sadness that the post-2015 agenda for global development, in its present state of elaboration, continues in the direction set at the Cairo and Beijing conferences and that, twenty years after these conferences, the partnerships that have been established have become a powerful political and financial force.[2]

As William Sanders has noted in a recent article in the National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly, “The next stage in this struggle will come in the Spring when the United Nations considers what “indicators” nations must satisfy (such as “universal access to reproductive services”) to meet the targets. Pro-life nations will be fighting for unambiguous language that makes it clear that no nation is legally obligated to liberalize abortion laws.”[3]

The United States, unfortunately, will be on the wrong side of this issue, joining with other Western nations in pressuring for the inclusion of abortion as mandatory “reproductive services” in the Sustainable Development Goals.

The stakes are high since, like the expiring Millennium Development Goals that they replace, the Sustainable Development Goals apply to every nation on Earth. They are intended to serve as a set of guidelines for economic development and the eradication of poverty. They will be in effect for the next fifteen years.

Millions of lives are at stake.

[1] UN General Assembly, Seventieth Session, Transforming Our World: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (A/70/L.1), September 18, 2015,https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/content/documents/21252030%20Agenda%20for%20Sustainable%20Development%20web.pdf.

[2] See paragraphs 5, 6, and 13 of the Common Declaration of the Bishops of Africa and Madagascar (Accra, Ghana), June 11, 2015, available at http://aleteia.org/common-declaration-of-the-bishops-of-africa-and-madagascar/ . Also see Steven Mosher, “Out of Africa Comes a Cry for Help Against the Culture of Death,” Population Research Institute, September 30, 2015,https://www.pop.org/content/out-africa-comes-cry-help-against-culture-death .

[3] William L. Saunders, “The Washington Insider,” The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly Winter 2015, http://www.ncbcenter.org/document.doc?id=904.

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