In the run-up to the referendum on 7 February on a constitutional amendment to protect the family, the opponents of the proposed amendment are doing all they can to prevent the pro-family campaign from reaching the public. As it seems, those opponents have a lot of power and are willing to use it. And their primary goal is not to convince anyone of their own positions (which, given the nature of those positions, would be hopelessly difficult); instead they want to prevent the public from noticing that the referendum is going to take place. The reason is that if the participation in the referendum is below 50%, the referendum will be invalid – no matter what the outcome is.
The Council of Europe’s Parliamentary Assembly has adopted, with 67 against 2 votes, an important Resolution entitled “Tackling intolerance and discrimination in Europe with a special focus on Christians”.
The rapporteur and drafter of this Resolution was Valeriu Ghiletchi, a Christian Democrat politician and Baptist pastor from Moldova. Continue reading
According to the country’s National Health and Family Commission, 13 million abortions occur in China each year.
Who is to blame? To believe China Daily, a media outlet run by the country’s Communist government, the answer is simple: women do not (yet) know enough about contraception.
The cynicism of this statement is astounding even for Chinese standards. No mention of the fact that many Chinese couples would love to have more children than they are allowed to have. No mention of the country’s cruel “one-child policy” that prevents them from doing so, obliging women to obtain a “birth license” from the local government before giving birth. No mention of the forced abortions through which the “one-child policy” is enforced. Continue reading
While the European Court of Human Rights has adopted an irresponsible decision that, if unchallenged, will greatly facilitate practices such as sperm and egg-cell donation, surrogacy and – ultimately – child trafficking, elsewhere there is increasing awareness how those practices violate fundamental rights.
In Germany, the Supreme Court (“Bundesgerichtshof”, BGH) has issued a decision according which “donor conceived” children have the right to know the identity of their biological fathers. This right is independent of the child’s age, and overrides any contractual agreement according which sperm donors were allowed to remain anonymous. Continue reading
The ECtHR has released its judgment in the case of Paradiso and Campanelli v. Italy (Appl. nr. 25358/12), a case concerning surrogacy.
The facts of the case are as follows: a childless married couple from Italy travels to Russia to identify a surrogate who would give birth to a baby born of a donated egg. The child was born on 10 March 2010 and his Russian-issued birth certificate indicated – without making any mention of the surrogacy – that he was the son of the couple.
On returning to Italy, the applicants requested the transcription of the birth into the Italian register. The Italian authorities immediately refused this on the grounds that the Russian birth certificate contained false information about the name of the child’s real parents.
After establishing through a DNA test that there was no genetic link between Mr Campanelli (who says that until then he believed in good faith that his sperm had been used) and the child, an Italian Court found the child to have been abandoned and determined that custody should pass to social services. The Court considered that the applicants had brought a child to Italy in violation of international standards on adoption and in violation of Italian law.
The applicants complain, on their own as well as on the child’s behalf, about a violation of Article 8 of the European Human Rights Convention, which guarantees the right to respect for one’s private and family life.
In its decision, the Court finds that there has been a violation of this article – not through the Italian authorities’ refusal to grant transcription of the birth certificate, but through their decision to take the child away from the wannabe “parents” and place it in custody. According to the Court, that decision was “not proportionate” as it did not “sufficiently take into account the best interest of the child”. Continue reading
The pro-abortion event hosted by 6 ultra-radical MEPs (Iraxte Garcia Perez, Ulrike Lunacek, Maria Arena, Ernest Urtasun, Malin Björk, Sophie in’t Veld) at the European Parliament’s premises on 5 February is, more than anything else, an exhibition of the organisers’ callousness and bad taste.
While the abortion lobby usually argues that abortion should be the solution of last resort for women in distress, the poster used to publicize the event gives the impression that killing unborn babies must be something nice and colourful.
5 Conservative MEPs have expressed their disgust and astonishment in an open letter: Continue reading
Question for written answer to the Commission (Rule 130) by Jadwiga Wiśniewska (ECR) on 7 November 2014:
Subject: Dubious scientific value of the Fundamental Rights Agency’s EU LGBT Survey
The European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) published a report on its EU LGBT Survey, which then served as the basis for the ‘Tackling sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination’ conference held at the Commission headquarters on 28 October 2014. Many concerns have been raised regarding the methodology used in the FRA’s survey, as it is alleged that the sample group was improperly selected and that it may have been possible for respondents to fill out the survey more than once. Objections were raised by European Dignity Watch and the Federation of Catholic Family Associations in Europe, among others. These organisations claim that the survey is unrepresentative, as it does not constitute a true reflection of the society being studied, but is rather a collection of anonymous opinions. Continue reading