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Catholic lay groups slam pro-abortion confab

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Pro-lifers on Tuesday hold vigil outside the premises of the PICC denouncing the International Conference on Reproductive Health as nothing but a pro-abortion conference aimed to mislead the Filipino people. (Photo: Raymond Sebastian)

PASAY City, Jan. 21, 2014—Rosaries in hand, members of several Catholic lay organizations and church groups marched to the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) Tuesday morning to condemn what turns out to be a pro-abortion conference on-going here. 

These lay groups are Soldiers of Christ, Couples for Christ and Singles for Christ (CFC-SFC), Quiapo Family Life, CFC Las Piñas, Ang Kapatiran, Kilusang Kabataan ni Kristo, Center for Life, Alliance for Family, and Commission on Family and Life. 

Lorna Melegrito, executive director of Pro-Life Philippines, said that they were alarmed when an email from the organizers of the 7th Asia Pacific Conference on Reproductive and Sexual Health and Rights (APCRSHR) ”accidentally” reached them. 

The email contains, among other things, the program of the conference which Melegrito explained is “euphemistically worded to make it seem what it is not when it is really about abortion.” 

“But we saw through their deception. They [conference organizers] are misleading the Filipino public. Their meeting is nothing but a pro-abortion conference masquerading as a scientific symposium,” she said. 

Melegrito added, “It’s appalling that these people have the nerves to be talking about such a sensitive issue as abortion so lightly… They’ll even be finding newer and safer methods to kill the unborn… Just imagine the hundreds of thousands of lives lost every year because of this evil… It amounts to genocide.” 

For three days from January 21 to January 24, delegates from the Philippines and other Asia-Pacific countries will be discussing “ostensibly” sexual and reproductive health issues such as “youth endangerment”. 

But day 2 of the APCRSHR focuses on “post-abortion care”, and day 3 zooms in on “women seeking safe abortion services”. 

The conference also includes a trip to “sexual and health rights” centers which allegedly perform safe abortion practices or are known pro-choice advocates. 

Melegrito confirmed the attendance of the following pro-abortion groups:  International Planned Parenthood, which Pro-Life Philippines identifies as “the number one abortion provider in the world”; Women’s Global Network for Reproductive Rights; United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), tagged as “the architect of China’s one-child policy”; Catholics for Choice, a pro-abortion, pro-same sex marriage group based in the United States; Marie Stopes International, also a pro-abortion group which has offices in the Philippines; Asia Safe Abortion Partnership, among other pro-reproductive health (RH) and pro-sexual rights groups which Pro-Life Philippines believes also favor abortion. 

The lay groups also denounced the “arrogance with which the conference organizers violated existing Philippine laws on the sanctity of life”. 

Melegrito also questioned the legality of the event citing the temporary restraining order (TRO) issued in 2013 by the Supreme Court (SC) which is still in effect. 

One-time senatorial candidate Lito David of Paco-based Soldiers of Christ said that they will never stop fighting for the rights of the unborn. (Raymond A. Sebastián)


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