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LIFE DIGEST: Dutch official proposes forced
abortions; pre-implanted embryos ‘sacred,’ pope says

WASHINGTON (BP)–If you are not going to be loved, you might as well be killed.

That seems to be the essence of a proposal by a Dutch politician. Rotterdam Alderman Marianne van den Anker has called for a debate on mandated abortion, as well as coercive birth control, for mothers who rear unloved children who become victims of abuse, according to a Feb. 18 report by the newspaper NRC Handelsblad on the Expatica website.

Van den Anker, a mother of two, even has some targets for her abortion solution: Teenaged girls from the Antilles Islands of the Caribbean, drug addicts and mentally impaired people. Children with these parents have an “unacceptable risk” of being unloved and living with “violence, neglect, mistreatment and sexual abuse,” she said.

The exceptions to this rule, van den Anker said, “can be counted on a pair of hands.”

The decision on which mothers would be forced to have abortions would be made by judges, who rule based on the recommendations of social workers and other experts, she said of her proposal. Such specialists “can see in 95 percent or even 100 percent of cases whether the child has a chance of growing up with love.”

Van den Anker, who is responsible for Rotterdam’s health and security programs, said she has failed repeatedly to prevent child abuse.

Antillean gangs in Rotterdam consist of many young people from unloving families who become rapists, pimps and street terrorists, she said. “Antillean youths who commit serious crimes have been through everything themselves,” van den Anker said. “History repeats itself, and they visit the tragedy of their life history on others.”

Rotterdam, Netherlands’ second largest city with nearly 600,000 in population, has more than 20,000 residents from the Antilles and Aruba, a Caribbean island.

POPE SPEAKS FOR EMBRYOS: Pope Benedict XVI said Feb. 27 the human embryo is “sacred and inviolable” before it is implanted in his mother’s womb.

Speaking to the Pontifical Academy for Life in Vatican City, the pope reiterated Roman Catholic teaching, saying human embryos have a “sacred and inviolable character” from conception, according to Reuters News Service. “This moral judgment is valid from the start of the life of an embryo, even before it is implanted in the maternal womb,” he said.

The pope did not distinguish between naturally conceived embryos and those produced in a lab through in vitro fertilization. Many researchers want to be able to experiment using stem cells from days-old embryos created through IVF. Extracting stem cells from embryos results in the destruction of the tiny human beings.

Meanwhile, an Oregon bishop has warned Catholic politicians and voters who support abortion rights they are guilty of heresy, according to a Feb. 25 LifeNews.com report.

Bishop Robert Vasa of the Catholic Diocese of Baker, Ore., recently wrote in the Catholic Sentinel newspaper, “There is a point at which passive ‘tolerance’ allows misleading teachings to be spread and propagated, thus confusing or even misleading the faithful about the truths of the Church…. There is a very strong word, which still exists in our Church, which most of us are too ‘gentle’ to use. The word is ‘heresy.’”

PAPER PULLS REVERSE -– A suburban Chicago newspaper will run a pro-life ad featuring an ultrasound image of an unborn child after all.

The Herald News of Joliet, Ill., had declined to accept three different ads submitted by Will County (Ill.) Right to Life, with a newspaper representative saying they were “too graphic,” according to Cybercast News Service. The paper’s advertising manager, Steve Vanisko, changed the policy, however, and said the ads would run if resubmitted, CNS reported Feb. 21.

An advertising salesperson used the phrase “too graphic” in explaining to a Right to Life representative why the ads were rejected, but Vanisko said that was not the reason he gave for rejecting the ads and was not the policy of the newspaper, CNS reported.

“This is a victory for the pro-life movement, demonstrating increasing influence with the mainstream media,” said Jill Stanek, a spokeswoman for the Right to Life chapter and a nationally known pro-life advocate. “Whereas Right to Life of Will County would have paid hundreds of dollars for our ad to be seen by only thousands of people, we ended up paying zero dollars, and the ad was seen by millions of people.”