April 9, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) – For the last month and half LifeSiteNews (LSN) has been collecting evidence that the official development arm of the Canadian bishops, Development and Peace (D&P), is funding numerous radical leftist organizations that promote a pro-abortion and pro-contraception ideology. Thus far LSN has collected evidence about pro-abortion and pro-contraception D&P partners in East Timor, Nigeria, Togo, Benin, Brazil, Mexico, Haiti, Peru and Guinea.
LSN reporters are currently working on reports about D&P partners in other parts of the world as well. We have additionally followed up on leads from John Pacheco who operates the blog SoCon Or Bust (http://www.catholic-legate.com/) and a report on Bolivia from The National Catholic Register. An experienced Latin American researcher from Costa Rica has also been assisting LifeSiteNews with analysis of all the Latin American groups funded by D&P that we have not yet investigated or reported on.
However, for the first time LSN here presents, in a single, easy-to-read document, all of the evidence gathered so far about the troubling activities of many of D&P’s partners. The disturbing picture that emerges is that of a Catholic development organization that is using funds collected from ordinary Catholics to fund leftist pro-abortion and pro-contraception organizations on a wide scale.
Association des femmes jurists du Bénin (AFJB)
– Co-authored with the radically pro-abortion Center for Reproductive Rights a 1999 report on the state of “reproductive rights” in Benin.
– The report laments that “fertility in Benin is characterized by a low rate of contraceptive prevalence (16.8%)” and “induced illegal and clandestine abortions.” The report then speaks approvingly of various initiatives that the Benin government has undertaken to improve access to contraception. However, the report continues, “In spite of these initiatives, adolescent girls do not have adequate access to the family planning services offered.”
– The report also addresses Benin’s abortion laws, which forbid abortion except to save the life of the mother. While the report stops short of explicitly advocating the legalization of abortion, it laments that, because abortion is illegal, “In the majority of cases, abortions are practiced clandestinely, under deplorable conditions that disregard women’s health.”
Rural Women’s Movement (Movimento de Mulheres Camponesas)
– Openly opposes efforts to enforce Brazil’s laws against abortion, and suggests that abortion is a “right.”
– Issued an open letter to protest the creation of a Parliamentary Commission of Inquiry (CPI) in the Brazilian Congress to investigate clandestine abortions in Brazil. “The creation of a CPI to investigate abortion practices, by those who should guarantee rights and justice in Brazil (a majority of whom are men), deserves our repudiation and our indignation,” the organization proclaimed.
Federation of Organs for Social and Educational Assistance (Federação de Órgãos para Assistência Social e Educacional, or FASE)
– FASE endorsed a joint statement demanding the legalization of abortion in Brazil, which claims that “the Brazilian government has the obligation and responsibility to guarantee to women who need to have recourse to abortion that they can do so in conditions that are necessary for the preservation of their health and their life.”
– Promotes the pro-abortion National Feminist Network for Health, Sexual Rights, and Reproductive Rights, which provides women with information on where they can obtain abortions without prosecution, and advocates the increased availability of abortion in Brazil.
– Displays on its website the National Feminist Network’s pro-abortion “Report on the Participation of the Feminist Network for Health in the Social World Forum — 2009” in which the Network discusses its contribution to the theme, “The Illegality of Abortion Threatens the Lives of Women”
– Fokupers is currently lobbying the East Timorese government to legalize abortion in the strongly Catholic country.
– Maria Barreto, program manager for advocacy at Fokupers, told the UN’s news agency, IRIN News, last month that, “Abortion is one of the options that is appropriate when the mothers are victims of sexual violence. We are working to protect women. We should understand that we should give options to mothers based on their circumstances.”
– A representative of Catholic Relief Services (CRS) confirmed in early April with CRS’s contact on the ground in East Timor that Fokupers is helping spearhead the lobbying effort to legalize abortion in East Timor, and that the East Timor bishops have strongly denounced the pro-abortion effort.
Coalition Nationale des Femmes – Droits et Citoyenneté (CONAG – DCF)
– Last year signed on to a petition denouncing the decision of Uruguayan President Tabaré Vazquez to veto a pro-abortion bill that had been passed. The bill would have legalized abortion during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy.
– The petition said that “it is offensive that a single person can revoke the decision and vote of the majority, and alone determine the alternatives to unwanted pregnancy, a decision each woman ought to be able to take autonomously.” It concluded: “We hope the democratic system returns the rights your veto has violated to all Uruguayans.”
– Proclaims its support for abortion on its webpage entitled, “The State of Things: Women and Health in Haiti.”
– Kay Fanm complains that there is a “lack of access to information and training relative to reproductive rights” including “a very limited recognition of reproductive rights regarding the voluntary interruption of pregnancy (IVG). Given that abortion is illegal in Haiti, women and young girls facing undesired pregnancies sometimes have recourse to clandestine abortions practiced in dubious conditions.”
– Kay Fanm also laments “a weak rate of contraceptive utilization,” and goes on to complain that the government isn’t distributing the “female condom.”
– On another Kay Fanm page, the organization clearly proclaims its support for the “depenalizaton of abortion” in conjunction with Fanm Deside, another D&P grant recipient
Fanm Deside (http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2009/mar/09033008.html)
– Fanm Deside offers a PowerPoint presentation on its website explaining the activities of the group, which include “organizing days of reflection and sensitization on the advancement of the state of women,” including one scheduled for September 17 on the “depenalization of abortion.”
– On the website of D&P partner Kay Famn, Fanm Deside proclaims its support for the “depenalization of abortion,” along with Kay Fanm.
All Rights for Everyone Network (http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2009/mar/09032313.html)
– In an interview with LifeSiteNews, the Network’s Executive Secretary Edgar Cortes admitted that the Network favors the availability of abortion with “appropriate” health conditions.
– Maintains a document on its website detailing the “agenda” of the organization, which includes “putting into effect the right on women who are impregnated as a consequence of rape to interrupt their pregnancy.”
– In a statement released April 24, 2008 in the name of its 58 members, the network said that, “The law that permits the legal interruption of pregnancy in the Federal District [Mexico City] represents an advance for the human rights of women.”
Centro de Apoyo para el Moviemento Popular de Occidente – CAMPO
– Recently signed a document denouncing a constitutional amendment passed in the state of Jalisco protecting the right to life “from the moment of conception to natural death.” The document claims that prohibiting abortion is a form of “torture” and is “cruel and unusual punishment.”
– A CAMPO official acknowledged in an interview with LifeSiteNews that the organization signed the document and confirmed that her organization agrees with the protest, explaining that their position on the issue is “a general posture of human rights and the right to decide.”
Miguel Augustin Pro Juarez Human Rights Center
– Signed a public declaration denouncing a proposed amendment to the constitution of the state of Jalisco, which would protect the right to life from conception to natural death. The amendment, said the group, “would eliminate the right of the women of Jalisco to interrupt a pregnancy.” – Signatory to the “Report of Organizations of Civil Society on Economic, Social, Cultural, and Environmental Rights in Mexico,” which openly advocates, in part, legalization of abortion on demand throughout the country, with 67 mostly positive references to the practice or its legalization
– Signatory to the “Report on the Situation of Human Rights in Mexico Elaborated by Organizations of Civil Society for Periodical Universal Examination,” which also advocates abortion on demand throughout Mexico
Mexican Network for Action Regarding Free Trade
– Signatory to the previously mentioned pro-abortion “Report of Organizations of Civil Society on Economic, Social, Cultural, and Environmental Rights in Mexico.”
Center for Economic and Political Research for Community Action
– Signatory to the pro-abortion “Report of Organizations of Civil Society on Economic, Social, Cultural, and Environmental Rights in Mexico”
National Center for Social Communication
– Signatory to the pro-abortion “Report on the Situation of Human Rights in Mexico Elaborated by Organizations of Civil Society for Periodical Universal Examination.”
– Acts as a mouthpiece for pro-abortion groups such as “Catholics for the Right to Decide,” distributing its press releases.
Women Advocates Research and Documentation Centre” (WARDC)
– Last year WARDC teamed up with the Center for Reproductive Rights (CRR), one of the world’s most prominent and radical pro-abortion organizations, to co-author a heavily pro-abortion and pro-contraception report on the state of “reproductive rights” in Nigeria.
– In the recommendations at the conclusion of the report WARDC urges the government “to guarantee access to safe abortion services within the existing law,” and to “take measures to make certain that medical professionals who provide or advocate for safe abortion are not harassed or unjustly targeted for criminal prosecutions.”
– In the report WARDC also explicitly and repeatedly calls upon the government of Nigeria to improve “access to family planning services, including a full range of contraceptive methods.”
Coordinadora Latinoamericana de Organizaciones del Campo – CLOC
– Displays a “Manifesto of Women’s Organizations for the Eighth of March,” which was signed by CLOC itself, on its website.
– The statement “demands” that governments carry out “the urgent depenalization of abortion in the penal code, at least in the exceptional circumstances put forth in the proposal of the women’s movement: abortion in cases of rape, incest, and risk to the life of the woman.”
– The statement also denounces the “permanent intervention of the hierarchy of the Catholic Church in government affairs,” which it says “influences and pressures in a pernicious manner the acts of formulation of public policies and laws that affect the life of women in the country, the equality, and empowerment of the same.” It then “demands” the “separation of public management from the influence of church power.”
– In another statement displayed by CLOC and attributed to the “Via Campesina” (a group associated with CLOC in the previously quoted statement), the organization claims that “patriarchal capitalism” causes “violence resulting from the fact that women cannot make decisions about their own bodies. Men, the government, religion, the family, and many social attitudes impose guidelines of obedience and behavior in women, preventing them from making their own decisions. For example, the right to an abortion is not guaranteed in many countries…”
“Forces en action pour le mieux-être de la mère et de l’enfant” (FAMME)
– FAMME runs a program in which it obtains and distributes large quantities of condoms, primarily to prostitutes.
– In a 2007 news article by Agence de Presse Africaine (APA), FAMME executive director Dometo Sodji explained that thanks to FAMME and other NGOs, 1.4 million male condoms and 300,000 female condoms were distributed in Togo in 2006.
– In a 2003 report by Human Rights Watch, FAMME was described as “an outreach organization that specializes in women’s health and condom distribution.”