Being Pro-Life: Pro-Life Internationally Part 2
Last month I shared information about obstacles respect life leaders face across the globe. You can watch the videos or listen to the podcasts to hear their stories click here
Most glaring to me was how much more religious freedom there is in the U.S. than in other countries I interviewed.
In Australia, for example, no one can protest within 150 meters of an abortion clinic, with similar laws in Canada. What we know as pregnancy care centers – places where women in crisis pregnancies can go to receive free counseling and material assistance – either don’t exist, or are extremely rare in many other countries. In the U.S. pregnancy care centers outnumber abortion clinics.
In Nordic countries, working as a midwife to deliver babies means you must also assist with abortions. The annual March for Life in Washington D.C. has no equivalent anywhere in the world.
In most other countries, Catholic schools are not exempt from teaching whatever the state mandates as appropriate sex education for children. According to the people I spoke with, this appears to be particularly problematic in Australia, Europe and Latin America.
In Africa, there has, for a long time, been a push from Western countries for contraception and abortion as solutions to problems of poverty. When the International Planned Parenthood Federation comes with their fancy cars and promises of greater wealth into a largely poor country whose people are working to establish economic growth, formerly pro-life attitudes easily start to crumble.
Religious freedom is all but nonexistent in China. There has been a recent agreement between the Vatican and China, giving the Catholic Church official government recognition. At the risk of oversimplifying, this agreement gives the Catholic Church in China more freedom to exist and appoint bishops. But the cost is that while the Chinese can more openly attend Catholic worship services, priests and lay faithful cannot say certain things, including speak out against abortion.
There is a famous recent case of a Protestant pastor, Wang Yi, who was fined and sentenced to nine years in prison for “subversion of state power.” According to the person I interviewed, his primary crime was publicly encouraging people to not have abortions on Children’s Day.
All of this shows the continued great need for renewed efforts on evangelization across the world, to share the beauty of life in all its stages, and even the sacredness of the marital act, especially to young people.
If you are interested in learning more, check out Human Life International’s website at www.hli.org, and consider donating to their cause to help build a culture of life in more than 100 countries across the world.
To hear the full interviews of everyone I spoke with, click here
BEING PRO-LIFE PODCASTS
TUNE IN AT: catholiccincinnati.org/being-pro-life
March 31: Monica Doumit, Australia
April 7: Joe Woodard, Asia
April 14:Benedicta Lindberg, Sweden and Nordic countrie
April 21: Taylor Hyatt, Canada
Bob Wurzelbacher is the director of the Office for Respect Life Ministries. He and his wife, Cindy, live in Sharonville with their two young daughters. [email protected]