Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Fwd: Vatican-led Global Anti-Abortion Campaign Finds Unusual Supporters

Vatican-led Global Anti-Abortion Campaign Finds Unusual Supporters

By Matthew Cullinan Hoffman

VATICAN, January 28, 2008 (LifeSiteNews.com) - A campaign for a
moratorium on abortion that began in Italy and is now being expanded
to a worldwide effort by the Vatican, is being joined by people from
across the ideological and religious spectrum, including individuals
often identified with extreme leftism and atheism.

The idea for a worldwide moratorium on abortion originated with
Giuliano Ferrara, a non-Christian journalist and former head of the
Italian Communist Party in Turin.  Although he was once associated
with a movement that in most of the world has come to identify itself
with abortion, euthanasia, and other elements of the "culture of
death", Ferrara is now strongly pro-life.

Responding to a recent decision by the United Nations to call for a
moratorium on the death penalty, Ferrara urged that the moratorium be
extended to a moratorium on the unjust killing of unborn children.
After introducing the idea in a television interview on December 18th,
Ferrara published it in his opinion journal il Foglio.  From there it
spread to the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano and the Italian
Bishops' Conference journal, Avvenire. The idea began to be echoed by
Catholic cardinals.

Ferrara is joined by Lenin Raghavarshi, an Indian atheist and winner
of the Gwangju Prize for Human Rights.  Raghavarshi told Asia News,
"It is ridiculous and absurd to suggest that abortion is a solution to
hunger, in order to control population growth.  What's more the
concept  - typical of UN organisations - that overpopulation
represents the greatest danger to the health of a nation has no basis
at all in reality….. In reality the world should urgently look at
socio-economic and political issues to eliminate hunger, poverty,
misery among people".

Raghavarshi identifies the global push for abortion with an agenda
that serves the interests of multinational corporations at the expense
of the poor and vulnerable.

"Malthus promoted the theory that the main problems of the world like
poverty and other such inhuman situations of the marginalized are due
to population, but this is completely unscientific idea and false
theory," he told Asia News. He continued, "The multinational companies
- who thrive on the industry of population control, push the agenda of
population control through false propaganda - want to market and
promote their products, because their sole aim is profit."

Perhaps the most prominent intellectual to have added his voice to
Ferrara's call for an international moratorium on abortions is the
British philosopher Roger Scruton, whom the New Yorker magazine once
called "the most influential philosopher in the world".  According to
the Italian Catholic news agency Chiesa, he immediately endorsed the
campaign after its announcement.

Ferrara has reportedly stated that he wishes to bring together such
prominent intellectuals, as well as others such as Mary Ann Glendon,
the former Harvard professor who is now US ambassador to the Vatican,
and American bioethicist Leon Kass, to sign the petition.  He would
also like to see "five million pilgrims of life and love, all in Rome
next summer" to request that the United Nation's "Universal
Declaration of Human Rights" be amended to include "the right to be
born," reports Chiesa.

Dr. Lenin (Ashoka Fellow)
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