Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Pope joins Europe wide campaign to stop EU financing of abortion

http://www2.oneofus.eu/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/one_of_us_logo.pngPope Benedict XVI has thrown his support behind a Europe wide initiative to stop the EU financing abortion or practises which destroy human embryos. 

The ‘One of Us” campaign is using an instrument of democracy, the   European citizens’ initiative (ECI), to invite the European Commission to propose legislation to end the financing of activities which involve the destruction of human embryos in the areas of research, development aid and public health.

To succeed it has to have the support (signatures) of at least one million EU citizens, coming from at least 7 out of the 27 member states by 1st November 2013. ‘One of Us’ is one of the first registered ECIs in the European Union.

Irish citizens can back the initiative by logging on to www.oneofus.eu and signing the petition. To be eligible, the citizen must be entitled to vote in EU elections.  A  person may only sign once, and must provide their name, address and date of birth.

A recent judgement of the European Court of Justice (Brüstle vs. Greenpeace), defined the human embryo as the beginning of the development of the human being.  

The ‘One of Us’ campaign, backed by over 30 Europe wide Pro Life groups, is said to have a “greater political potential than any other initative that has been undertaken so far to protect the dignity of the person and life from conception at a European scale,” according to its website.

“If a consensus will be achieved among 1 Million citizens or more, a concrete ethical standard could be established across Europe with regards to the respect of the dignity of each member of the human family, no matter how young it is.”

As well as banning the financing of projects which destroy embryos, backers of the campaign say it will bring a strong awareness “of the need to respect the wish of so many European citizens”.

“Furthermore, jurisdiction at the European Court of Human Rights, where many bioethical cases are pending, could be positively influenced,” says its website.

Last Sunday Pope Benedict XVI said he prayed for the success of the ‘One of Us’ project “so that Europe will always be a place where the dignity of every human being is protected”. 

The initiative, begun by Italian MEP and President of the Italian Pro life movement  Carlo Casini, was registered with the European Commission on 11th May 2012. It has until  1st November 2013 to collect one million signatures. 

The Initiative proposes  an end to the financing of activities that involve the destruction of human embryos, in particular in the area of research, and a ban on all public European financing of abortion, in particular via the aid policy for the development of public health.

In principle, abortion is the exclusive remit of Member States and not the European Union, but between 2007 and 2013 the EU granted 86 million euro to programmes intended to improve “the genetic and sexual health of the population”, in developing countries.  

In this way both Planned Parenthood and Marie Stopes International have both received millions of euro in public European Commission grants.

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