10 febbraio 2007

High Legal Authorities in Colombia Adopt Radical Abortion Interpretations of UN Documents

High Legal Authorities in Colombia Adopt Radical Abortion Interpretations of UN Documents

By Bradford Short, JD

( NEW YORK — C-FAM) The Friday Fax has recently learned that last year’s controversial judgment of the Constitutional Court of Colombia, legalizing abortion in cases of forced pregnancy, fetal malformation and endangerment of the life of the mother, repeatedly cites pro-abortion-rights misinterpretations of international law.

The Court’s decision, issued on May 10, 2006, was widely celebrated by radical non-governmental organizations (NGOs) throughout the world. Monica Roa, the abortion-rights lawyer who brought the case before the Court, worked at the radical NGO Women's Link Worldwide at the time of the judgment, and she had been employed at the Center for Reproductive Rights (CRR) from 2000 to 2002. CRR is the most prominent America-based NGO to advocate for abortion as a right protected by international law which overrides all national laws all around the world. Because of these circumstances, many observers believed that the Court’s judgment had probably endorsed this pro-abortion-rights view of international law.

Analysis of the Court’s 650+ page judgment, recently obtained by the Friday Fax, supports this belief. The Court’s judgment repeatedly cites international treaties, United Nations conference outcome documents and other international documents that are routinely misread by the radical NGOs as protecting abortion rights. Perhaps the most disturbing portion of the Court’s opinion is the section that quotes the entirety of a legal opinion of the Attorney General of Colombia, who is tasked with writing authoritative opinions for the Court in cases where laws might be struck down.

The Attorney General’s opinion states that Colombia is bound by the recommendations of UN compliance committees. He wrote specifically that Colombia is bound by “the recommendations made by the international authorities in charge of overseeing compliance by” Colombia with the “Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW).”

The CEDAW committee, which the Attorney General is referring to, has repeatedly ordered nations that have ratified CEDAW to either eliminate or weaken their laws against abortion even though the CEDAW treaty is silent on abortion and silent even on “reproductive health,” the phrase that is stealthily used to promote abortion.

The Attorney General also cites opinions of the UN Human Rights Committee, the Committee on the Rights of the Child and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, all of which advise nations to move towards legalized abortion even though these treaties are also silent on abortion. The Attorney General goes on to say that making new Colombian human rights from the opinions of UN compliance committees is part of “the highest interpreting authority of the” Court.

UN Committee Presses Colombia for More Abortions

From 2/1/2007

UN Committee Presses Colombia for More Abortions

By Samantha Singson

( NEW YORK — C-FAM) At the CEDAW Committee meetings last week, committee members pressed the delegation from Colombia on liberalizing its abortion laws, and on creating contraceptive, sexual and reproductive health awareness campaigns.

While commending Colombia for the recent court decision that decriminalized abortion in cases of rape, fetal malformation or the endangerment of the health of the mother, CEDAW committee members were quick to ask the delegation what the Colombian government’s plans were to ensure compliance with the new constitutional decision and asked about the further loosening of abortion restrictions. The head of the Colombian delegation, Martha Lucia Vasquez Zawadzky, told the committee that further decriminalization would entail cooperation from all three branches of the government but that “now is a time to rejoice” since the Constitutional Court had allowed abortion in three specific cases.

Committee member Magalys Arocha from Cuba expressed concern that women’s access to legally permissible abortions would be impeded because of conscientious objection legislation that would allow medical professionals to refuse to perform the procedure. Arocha asked whether the government had launched a campaign within the medical community to ensure compliance with the new laws. The Colombian representative told the committee that implementation mechanisms were in place to ensure that women would be seen within five days of being found to have met the court-outlined requirements to receive an abortion. The representative explained that while individual medical practitioners could use the conscientious objection legislation to justify a personal decision, medical institutions were required by law to provide abortions.

Observers in the room were puzzled when the CEDAW committee members questioned Colombia on the number of clandestine abortions. Some committee members cited 350,000 per year while others cited 450,000. It is likely committee members were using unsubstantiated numbers provided by radical NGOs in what are called “shadow reports.” It is questionable whether a country of 43 million would have an abortion rate significantly higher than the United States where abortion is legal through all nine months. This highlights one of the ongoing problems with such UN committees: they rely on highly politicized reports from abortion advocates.

Over the years, Colombia has repeatedly come under fire from UN treaty compliance committees regarding their abortion laws. In 2004 for example, the Human Rights Committee (HRC) recommended that “The State party [ Colombia ] should ensure that the legislation applicable to abortion is revised so that no criminal offences are involved in the cases described above.” In 1999, the CEDAW committee chastised Colombia for its strict abortion laws and said that “legal provisions on abortion constitute a violation of the rights of women to health and life and of article 12 of the Convention. The Committee calls upon the Government to consider taking immediate action to provide for derogations from this legislation.”

01 febbraio 2007

Pope Benedict exhorts the youth to follow the example of St. John Bosco

Don Bosco is my favorite saint. I went to a Salesian high school and will always consider myself a Salesian. There is a great spirit there that can really inspire people - it inspires me. Read the story of Don Bosco's life some day, it is really beautiful! He is known as "the friend of the young and the poor," he was a true friend to all!

Benedicto XVI alienta a los jóvenes a seguir el ejemplo de san Juan Bosco
En el día de su memoria litúrgica

CIUDAD DEL VATICANO, miércoles, 31 enero 2007 (ZENIT.org).- Benedicto XVI alentó este miércoles a los jóvenes a seguir el ejemplo de san Juan Bosco para vivir plenamente su vocación.

En el día de la memoria litúrgica del fundador de los salesianos (1815-1888), concluyó la audiencia general, concedida a más de seis mil peregrinos, presentándole como motivo de inspiración a jóvenes, enfermos y recién casados.

«Hoy la liturgia recuerda a san Juan Bosco, padre y maestro de los jóvenes, a los que anunció el Evangelio con incansable ardor», dijo el Papa.

«Que su ejemplo os aliente, queridos jóvenes, a vivir de manera auténtica la vocación cristiana», afirmó.

Dirigiéndose después a los enfermos presentes en el Aula Pablo VI del Vaticano, algunos en silla de ruedas, les alentó a contemplar el testimonio de vida cristiana del santo italiano para «ofrecer vuestros sufrimientos en unión con los de Cristo para la salvación de la humanidad».

Por último, deseó que el ejemplo de san Juan Bosco sostenga a los recién casados presentes, algunos de ellos con su traje de bodas, «en el recíproco compromiso por construir vuestra familia fiel al amor de Dios y de los hermanos».