A roundup of important news from around the interwebs.
As I’ve said many times since the start of this race, Kamala Harris is the most extremist candidate on abortion we’ve ever seen on a presidential ticket. Here’s another bit of evidence, from the New York Post:
Two years ago, the Supreme Court issued its landmark ruling in favor of the free-speech rights of pro-life pregnancy centers in NIFLA v. Becerra. Yet many watching Wednesday’s vice presidential debate may not realize that NIFLA v. Becerra was originally NIFLA v. Kamala Harris.
Harris is a hard-liner on abortion rights. That’s par for the course for today’s Democratic Party, of course, but she takes things a step further by seeking to silence pro-lifers in America’s democratic public square, putting her squarely on the wrong side of the high court’s First Amendment jurisprudence.
As California’s attorney general, she championed Assembly Bill 775, the Reproductive FACT Act, which would have forced life-affirming pregnancy centers to provide information about obtaining abortions, over against their conscience rights.
Read the whole thing.
It is fantastic when leaders actually stand up publicly for the right to life. From Live Action:
The president of Poland joined pro-lifers at the March for Life and Family on September 20, 2020. He is the first president of the Polish Republic to ever take part in the event, according to LifeSiteNews. His former political opponent for the presidency also attended.
President Andrzej Duda, 48, was recently re-elected and was invited to the March by the organizers. “We are honored that President Andrzej Duda accepted our invitation and took part in the March for Life and Family,” said Pawel Ozdoba, the president of Centrum Życia i Rodziny [Life and Family Center]. “We are happy that Polish families have the most important person in the country as an ally.”
Five thousand pro-lifers took part in Poland’s 15th March for Life and Family. Among them were Barbara Nowak, the Superintendent of Schools for Poland’s Malopolska region, and Duda’s former political challenger Krzystof Bosak of the Confereracja party.
I hope this becomes a trend for pro-life leaders.
Bad news from Spain, via the BBC:
The Spanish government has said it wants to change the law to allow 16 and 17-year-olds to seek an abortion without parental permission. Equality Minister Irene Montero said women should have the right to “decide about their bodies”. In 2015, the ruling Popular Party (PP) changed Spain’s abortion laws and mandated parental consent for those aged between 16 and 18.
Abortion is legal in Spain in the first 14 weeks of a woman’s pregnancy. On Wednesday, Ms Montero said the reform was “more than necessary”. She added that other measures would be introduced, including a greater focus on sex education which she described as a “vaccine” in the fight against gender violence. The law change would also include the right to the “newest forms” of contraception, the minister told a parliamentary commission. The government is aiming to repeal the reform – introduced by the PP in 2015 – which established the obligation of parental consent in the case of girls between 16 and 18-years-old who wanted to end their pregnancy.
But to be able to change that rule they would need the backing of an absolute majority in parliament, which is 176 votes. Abortion was first legalised in Spain in 1985 in cases of rape or physical damage to the mother or child. The scope of the law was broadened in 2010 by the last socialist government, which allowed abortion up to 22 weeks in cases of foetal deformities. In 2014, then Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy dropped plans to limit abortion to cases of rape or where the mother’s health was at serious risk. The proposals drew widespread opposition and prompted dissent in Mr Rajoy’s Popular Party, despite being part of its election programme in 2011. The government instead changed the law to stop 16 and 17-year-olds having an abortion without parental consent.
Left-wing governments sticking up for the little guy again. Unless you’re a child in the womb.
The French are also debating a bill that would extend the legal limit for abortion from 12 weeks to 14 weeks:
Coming 45 years after Simone Veil’s landmark law legalised abortion, the move would make France “one of the world’s most progressive countries”, argued MP Albane Gaillot, the bill’s architect.
“Some women encounter difficulties in their access to abortion; this has been exacerbated by the health crisis,” Gaillot, a former member of President Emmanuel Macron’s Le République en Marche party (LReM), told FranceInfo. “It is clear that lockdowns make it difficult for women to leave their homes … There are also great disparities between different territories … Whether you live in the Nièvre [central eastern France] or in Villejuif [a suburb of Paris], you don’t have quite the same sort of access.”
The text, Gaillot added, aims to “perpetuate, improve and deepen the spirit” of the 1975 law, brought by French champion of women’s rights and Holocaust survivor Simone Veil. While the proposal has the support of the vast majority of LReM MPs, it is opposed by the government – which has referred the matter to the National Consultative Ethics Committee.
Political commentators say the government, while waiting for the text to reach the Senate, is hoping an unfavourable pronouncement from the committee will allow it to bury the bill. Prime Minister Jean Castex, until recently a member of the conservative Les Republicans party, has said he would have preferred for France to hold an inclusive debate on the sensitive question of abortion.
…This bill follows a parliamentary information report on access to abortion by the assembly’s Delegation for Women’s Rights, which said abortion was often “tolerated” in France, but not always guaranteed. The report found that every year between 3,000 and 5,000 women in France are forced to go abroad to receive an abortion because they have exceeded the legal deadline.
No one is “forced” to go and get an abortion, of course—as abortion activists themselves are so fond of saying, it is a choice. But perhaps this bill will fail.
According to a new study from the Ottawa-based think tank Cardus, people of faith have an outsized effect in Canada. From the National Post:
Even as the proportion of the faithful in Canada declines, the activities of religious people and organizations account for nearly $67.5 billion of economic activity in Canada each year, according to estimates in a new paper from Cardus, a faith-based Canadian think tank.
“There is a broad, wide and overall totally beneficial effect of religion on the lives of everyday Canadians, on our country, on our social safety, and that applies to people not just who are religious,” said Brian Dijkema, vice-president of external affairs at Cardus. “It shows the broader public benefit of religion to Canadian society as a whole.”
The report, the first of its kind in Canada to tally up the economic impact of faith, suggests there are hard-dollar contributions to the economy, worth about $31 billion, which considers the revenues of faith-based charities, organizations and congregations. Then there is a further $37 billion in “halo effects,” which tallies up the economic impact of things such as substance-abuse support, or kosher and halal food sales.
It reminded me of Mary Eberstadt’s observation in It’s Dangerous to Believe that the LGBT war on Christian charities inevitably hurt the vulnerable.