Armenia: Government Moves to Curb Sex-Selection Abortion
Armenian officials are moving to ban prenatal sex determination to curb the sex selective abortion of girls. Armenia currently ranks behind China and Azerbaijan for the most disparate ratio of boys to girls with 114,5 Armenian boys born for every 100 girls. A 2011 study by the United National Population Fund (UNFPA) said the gender imbalance poses „a major blow to the deteriorating demographic situation in the country.” The government is proposing legislation to ban gender detection before the 22nd week of pregnancy. Gayane Avagian, head of the Ministry of Health’s Maternity and Reproductive Health Protection department, says the bill will include punitive measures for doctors and hospitals that no not comply.
USA: Planned Parenthood Facing Congressional Investigation
Members of the US Congress have expressed support for an official investigation by the Government Accountability Office (GAO), a Congressional agency, into Planned Parenthood following revelations that it committed acts of fraud of at least $12.5 million in multiple states.
The announcement comes shortly after the pro-abortion cooperation agreed to a settlement with the state of Texas in which it will repay the state $1.4 million for „fraudulently overbilling” the state’s Medicaid program.
Representatives Diane Black (R-TN), Pete Olson (R-TX), Chris Smith (R-NJ) and Senator David Vitter (R-LA) issued statements of support for the GAO investigation. Rep. Black applauded the investigation stating, „The federal government providing funding to abortion providers is a serious problem in our nation.”
Senator David Vitter stated: „Planned Parenthood performed a record 333,964 abortions last year – almost 1 million in the past three years. At the same time, they also received more federal taxpayer dollars than ever before – a record $542 million, an 11 percent increase over the past two years. Planned Parenthood and other organizations that provide abortions clearly benefit from Uncle Sam, but there’s no accounting to prove how they actually use that money. This GAO report would shine a light on how our tax dollars are being spent.”
Rep. Chris Smith, co-chair of the Congressional Pro-Life Caucus, expressed his support, „It’s time for Americans and especially Congress to take a second look and defund Planned Parenthood. I’m pleased that the GAO will be investigating how much taxpayer money the abortion industry is receiving. Hopefully this will help us finally put an end U.S. taxpayer support, funding and complicity with this violence against children.”
UK: Parliamentary Report Calls for Reform of Abortion Act
A new UK Parliamentary report calls for reform of the country’s abortion law to end the discrimination of unborn children with disabilities. Prepared by a cross-party Commission, the report recommends changes to the UK Abortion Act, which currently permits abortions up to birth for babies with disabilities under „Ground E.” Abortions carried out under this statute include treatable conditions like cleft palate and club foot, and a quarter of the abortions done are for Down Syndrome. „It is time to review the moral, ethical, legal and practical framework within which this provision of the Abortion Act operates and how the law applies to a fetus beyond the age of viability,” said Commission chair, Conservative backbench MP Fiona Bruce. She said she hoped the report would „kick start and inform a much needed debate on this issue.”
UK: Court Upholds Ban on Euthanasia
A British Court of Appeal has ruled against euthanasia, saying changes to the law must be made by Parliament. The case was brought forth by two severely disabled men who sought the ability to have doctors kill them and argued it was their right to choose how and when they would die. The Court’s decision said the ban on euthanasia is justified and that the issue „raises profoundly sensitive questions about the nature of our society.” The court also deferred the issue to the legislature, saying „Parliament represents the conscience of the nation”.
Philippines: Supreme Court Blocks RH Law
The Philippines Supreme Court has blocked implementation of the controversial Reproductive Health (RH) Law. The Court has extended indefinitely the status quo ante order (SQAO) it had issued in March to delay implementation for 120 days by a vote of 8-7. Several groups and individuals have filed petitions challenging the constitutionality of the RH bill and the Court has begun hearing arguments against it. Family groups and the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) welcomed the Supreme Court’s decision.
UN Complaint Highlights Violence Against Women in China
Women’s Rights Without Frontiers (WRWF) has lodged a complaint with the UN Commission on the Status of Women (UNCSW) against China for its use of forced abortion and gendercide. The „Complaint Concerning Coercive Population Control” calls for a response from China on these issues and urges the UNCSW to follow-up on their „agreed conclusions”. Under the UNCSW topic for this year, „Elimination and Prevention of All Forms of Violence Against Women and Girls”- the CSW’s Agreed Conclusions urged governments to take actions against forced medical procedures, including forced abortion and sterilization.
WRWF highlights the blatant offenses against Chinese women by their government and calls on the UNCSW to „put teeth into its Agreed Conclusions by presenting this Complaint to the Chinese government and requiring a response.” The complaint focuses on the violence of gendercide and urges the Commission to take action saying, „If the UNCSW stands for women’s rights, it must take a stand against the selective abortion of up to 200 million baby girls.”
First Open-Womb Surgery Successfully Treats Baby with Hydrocephalus
An unborn baby diagnosed with hydrocephalus was born healthy after successful open-womb brain surgery at 24 weeks. To treat hydrocephalus, a build-up of fluid in the brain that leads to severe disability or death, doctors placed a small shunt into baby Neal Borkowski’s brain to drain fluid in the first open-womb surgery. He was returned to the womb and born two months later. In the fast growing field of fetal surgery, Dr. Joe Bruner, part of the fetal surgery team of Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee, said that „more and more conditions are being treated before birth, and hopefully more doctors will be trained in the field.” Bruner and team are developing training guidelines to help other centers establish fetal surgery programs. Baby Neal’s parents are thrilled he has a chance to live.