For the year 2012
Background information on many aspects of abortion is found in individual essays, e.g.
abortion methods, and
post abortion syndrome. Information about the use of
stem cells is elsewhere.
- 2012-AUG-13: USA: A group of social and religious conservatives has organized a new group called "Life and Marriage Coalition." Their goals are to restrict women's access to abortion and to prevent loving, committed same-sex couples from being able to marry. They issued a press release stating that the coalition is:
"... coordinating efforts in Ohio, Iowa and North Carolina to talk about the importance of preserving marriage as the union of one man and one woman, and supporting the sanctity of human life. Together, the groups hope to influence voters in key swing states that Barack Obama carried in 2008.
The Life and Marriage Coalition includes FRC Action, Susan B. Anthony List, the National Organization for Marriage, American Principles in Action, Concerned Women for America Legislative Action Committee, and Common Sense Issues. Combined efforts will include independent expenditures for radio advertisements, billboards, phone and bus tour events designed to educate and mobilize socially conservative voters in the three targeted states.
"For millions of Americans, this election is about more than the economy, it's about the direction our nation takes on foundational principles, like what constitutes marriage, and whether unborn children have a right to life," said Brian Brown, President of the National Organization for Marriage...."
The coalition also said its efforts this year are just the beginning. 'Our coalition members are determined to defend American values on marriage and life for the long haul,' said [Patrick ] Davis of Common Sense Issues. 'The 2012 election is critical, but it is also important to lengthen the horizon to make sure that we have marriage and life champions running in critical races over the next several election cycles. We’re beginning to talk to prospective candidates now'." 1
- 2012-AUG-29: CO: The only current-year "Personhood" ballot in the U.S. has failed: This was the third unsuccessful "Personhood" attempt in Colorado. Initiative 46 will not appear on the ballot. Its sponsor submitted 106,119 signatures. However, about 22% were invalid. The Secretary of State found that only 82,246 signatures were valid -- about 3,860 signatures short of the required 86,105 signatures.
Two personhood amendment did appear on the ballot in previous years; each was later overwhelmingly rejected by the voters. Initiative 46 would have amended the state constitution to extend protections to "all human beings at any stage of development." It would have banned most or all abortions, embryonic stem-cell research, some common fertility treatments, etc. Vicki Cowart, chief executive officer of Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains, said: "Today is a victory for women's health. Health decisions should be left to a woman, her doctor, her family and her faith — not politicians. Coloradans know this." [Actually, the amendment would have been left up to the voters, not politicians.] Jeremy Shaver of the Interfaith Alliance of Colorado -- which is part of the state "NO personhood Campaign"
-- said: "Twice voters have stopped this intrusive measure on Election Day. This year
we stopped the amendment before it even reached the ballot." 2,3
- 2012-SEP-30: Uruguay: House & Senate legalizes first trimester abortions: Currently, the only locations in Latin America where abortions have been at least partly decriminalized are Colombia, Cuba, Guyana, Mexico City and Puerto Rico (a U.S. Territory). Meanwhile five of the six countries in the world with absolute bans on abortion are in Latin America -- a heavily Roman Catholic area. They are: Chile, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua.
The Uruguay House passed an abortion access bill by a vote of 50 to 49. The Senate passed the same bill 17 to 14. The President has promised to sign it into law.
The law permits abortions during the first 12 weeks gestation. However, a woman must first get a referral from her physician to go before a panel consisting of
a gynecologist, psychologist and social worker. She must tell the team how the pregnancy happened, and reveal "... any difficulties she faces in terms of finances, social and family situations, age or other issues that prevent her from wanting to continue the pregnancy." 4,5
- 2012-OCT-19: Northern Ireland: Ireland's first private abortion clinic opens: In Northern Ireland, abortion access is only available during the first nine weeks gestation. Tracey McNeill, vice-president of the new abortion clinic, "Marie Stopes International," said:
"We understand the culture here in Northern Ireland; we don't want to change the culture ... and have abortion on demand. What this is about is offering choice."
The clinic issued a statement saying:
"For the first time, the people of Northern Ireland can visit a single health center for information, advice and help with contraception, HIV and sexually transmitted infections and -- when the legal requirements are met -- early medical abortion. Anyone coming to us can be assured that we fully respect their privacy and our dedicated healthcare team will provide them with confidential, sensitive and non-judgmental care."
Hundreds of conservative Christians -- both Catholic and Protestant -- gathered to protest the clinic and to demand that the country be kept "abortion free." That is quite impossible, because if no safe abortions are available in the clinic then women will seek abortion from back alley butchers or will travel to England where abortions are freely available. About 1,000 Northern Irish women per year take the latter route.
Bernadette Smyth, founder of Precious Life, a pro-life agency -- said:
We don't want the lives of unborn children to be taken because of a crisis. Let's provide better healthcare, let's provide better resources for those women in crisis pregnancies. ... An organization which is making profits from the death of unborn children is not welcome in Northern Ireland. There will be an outcry from the people, from government and from the churches. There is no demand for Marie Stopes in Northern Ireland. The figures for women seeking an abortion have been coming down."
Mara Clarke, leader of the Abortion Support Network, said:
"For women in Northern Ireland, abortion is a fact of life and they are going to do whatever they can to get them if they want them." 6
The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above
essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.
- "Coalition Members Committed to
Electing Marriage and Life Candidates in 2012 and Beyond," Life & Marriage Coalition, 2012-AUG, at: http://www.lifeandmarriagecoalition.com/
- Kristen Wyatt, "Abortion ban backers fail to make Colorado ballot," Associated Press, 2012-AUG-29, at: http://abcnews.go.com/
- Electa Draper and Lynn Bartels, "Anti-abortion personhood amendment won't make Colorado ballot," Denver Post, 2012-AUG-30, at: http://www.denverpost.com/
- "Uruguay approves abortion law," Global Post, 2012-OCT-18, at: http://www.globalpost.com/
- "Abortion in Uruguay: still leading the way," The Economist, 2012-OCT-19, at: http://www.economist.com/
- Stoyan Zaimov, "Christians Unite in Protest Against Northern Ireland's First-Ever Abortion Clinic," Christian Post - Europe, 2012-OCT-19, at: http://www.christianpost.com/
Copyright © 2012 by the Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Latest update: 2012-OCT-20
Author: B.A. Robinson