By Stefano Gennarini, J.D.

NEW YORK, June 30 (C-Fam) The Trump administration delighted and frustrated social conservatives last week when it staunchly opposed abortion while calling for international recognition of homosexual relations at the Human Rights Council in Geneva.

“The United States fully supports the principle of voluntary choice regarding maternal and child health and family planning. We do not recognize abortion as a method of family planning, nor do we support abortion in our reproductive health assistance,” said U.S. delegate Mr. Jason Ross Mack in a poignant reservation delivered when a resolution on violence against women included “safe abortion” in a list of “sexual and reproductive health-care services.”

Mack pointed out that whatever non-binding UN documents might say on the topic of reproductive health it was “made clear over many years, there was international consensus that these documents do not create new international rights, including any ‘right’ to abortion.” He reminded council members that the United States is the “largest bilateral donor of reproductive health and family planning assistance” in the world.

The statement fulfilled the expectations of social conservatives that the Trump administration would oppose abortion in UN policy. It went farther by beating back attempts by UN staff and European nations to declare abortion a human right.

At the same meeting, however, the Trump administration signaled that U.S. diplomats would not support efforts to protect the family as defined in binding international law.

Instead, the United States said it did not support a resolution on protection of the family and said it voted against it on the grounds that it did not grant international recognition to homosexual relations on par with the family.

Stefano Gennarini, J.D. wrote this article which first appeared in the Friday Fax, an internet report published weekly by C-Fam (Center for Family & Human Rights), a New York and Washington DC-based research institute ( This article appears with permission.”

By Rebecca Oas, Ph.D.

NEW YORK, June 30 (C-Fam) The World Health Organization has launched a new interactive database on global abortion laws and policies, aimed to pressuring countries to conform their abortion laws to the recommendations of UN agencies and bureaucrats.

WHO’s description of the project makes clear it is meant as a political advocacy tool intended to “eliminate the barriers that women encounter in accessing safe abortion services” —chief among them, legal restrictions intended to protect children in the womb.

The WHO database is explicitly political, using a controversial technical and policy guidance on “safe abortion” it published in 2012 that calls on countries to decriminalize abortion as if this were an internationally agreed target or a human rights obligation, which it is not.

For decades, the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) has maintained a repository of national abortion laws, and recently partnered with WHO to create this new resource. The database is accessible from both the DESA and WHO websites. Despite some bias, the DESA version has always been framed as an impartial repository of facts.

In addition to cataloguing countries’ abortion laws, the WHO database incorporates recommendations from UN treaty monitoring bodies about abortion. The non-binding recommendations about abortion from expert committees that monitor national compliance with UN human rights treaties are highly controversial because none of these treaties include any implicit or explicit mention of abortion as a right under any circumstance. Nevertheless, pressure for countries to remove restrictions on abortion has proliferated within treaty bodies in the last two decades.

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Rebecca Oas, Ph.D. writes for C-Fam. This article first appeared in the Friday Fax, an internet report published weekly by C-Fam (Center for Family & Human Rights), a New York and Washington DC-based research institute ( This article appears with permission.”

Parable of the Sower and theSeed – Sowing & Growing

Dr. Marcellino D'Ambrosio

Dr. Marcellino D'Ambrosio

The Parable of the Sower and the Seed needs to be viewed from two different perspectives in order to unlock its meaning – from that of the sower and that of the seed. Whether sowing or growing – the point is a plentiful harvest and much fruit.

I’ve always loved gardening. Seeds I’ve planted include carrot, cucumber, and of course, zucchini. In each case, I’ve planted seeds in neat rows, expecting nearly all of them to sprout and yield fruit.

But the farmer in Jesus’ parable (Mat 13:1-23) uses the broadcast method. Lots of seed cast everywhere. And predictably, many of these seeds do not produce. Some get eaten by birds. Some sprout but then wither. Some seedlings get choked out by weeds. Finally a few yield varying amounts of grain.

At the end of the story, Jesus says “they who have ears, let them hear.” In other words, he wants us to learn something and take some action steps.

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