13 May
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Life Report Around the World

(a) Germany: Debate in Germany on banning bestiality, which was removed from the criminal code in 1969, has brought interesting arguments for and against. The pressure to reinstate the ban came from animal rights activists concerned about animals being used “for personal sexual activities or made available to third parties for sexual activities … thereby forcing them to behave in ways that are inappropriate to their species.” Michael Kiok of the Zoophile Engagement for Tolerance and Information, who lives with an 8 ½-year-old Alsatian dog and claims that zoophiles are badly misunderstood, said they don’t have anything to do with people who abuse animals but only want what is best for the animal. So the rationale for banning bestiality is because it forces animals into “actions alien to the species.” Not because humans having sex with animals is alien to the moral nature of the human person! BioEdge asks “Does this signal a revival of “natural law” theory in bioethics? Is animal rights a Trojan Horse for the idea that the purpose of sex cannot be redefined arbitrarily? BioEdge, 7 December, 2012.

(b) Belgium: Belgium could allow euthanasia for people under 18 if new proposals by the Socialist Party are approved. It would also allow euthanasia of patients with Alzheimer’s disease. Party leader Thierry Giet explained that the bill would be extended to minors “if they are capable of discernment or affected by an incurable illness or suffering that we cannot alleviate.” BioEdge, 22 December, 2012. So if a minor is “capable of discernment” then he/she can request euthanasia. If not someone else can request it for a minor affected by an incurable illness or suffering that cannot be alleviated. This is involuntary euthanasia. Euthanasia advocates usually claim they are only for voluntary euthanasia.

(c) India: Tough new surrogacy laws in India may drastically reduce the number of children being born for foreigners via surrogacy. Only heterosexual couples who have been married for two years will be able to hire surrogate mothers. The number of such children born for Australian parents could be down from about 200 a year to 5 or 10 as most Australians who engage surrogate mothers in India were de facto or gay couples or singles. Same-sex couples whether married or not are not eligible as same-sex marriage is not recognised in India. BioEdge, 18 January, 2012.

(d) USA: North Dakota boots Planned parenthood sex ed program. “Planned parenthood was invited into publically funded schools and, according to its annual report, spent at least $41.5 million on indoctrinating children with its “comprehensive sex education” programs in the US in 2012. It is imperative that parents and school officials awake and understand that eliminating Planned Parenthood sex education is essential to the welfare of our children. …. Our success depends on the unwavering involvement of local parents, educators, legislators, and community members.” See www.lifesitenews.com/home/print_article/news/37914, 25 January, 2013. Australian sex education programs, which will be consolidated with the sex ed component of the new National Curriculum, needs as thorough an investigation by parents, educators, legislators and community members as has been held into the Planned Parenthood programs in the US.

(e) France/World: The following is an extract from a letter posted on an English language blog about the French gay marriage protests by a bilingual (French/English) correspondent who was raised by a lesbian couple: “It isn’t fatal to be the child of gay parents, but it’s not a convenient life, as evidenced by how hard it is for children of gay parents to speak openly about what’s going on. … You love your parents and don’t want to disparage them. Nonetheless, at some point they placed you in a situation that they knew was going to be painful, about which you were going have to be doggedly defensive if not secretive, because they cared about their own happiness more than they cared about yours. … I am struck how nakedly honest both sides of the debate express themselves in French. … I am able to hear the pro-traditional-family side articulate their natural-law arguments for the inherent right of a child to a mother and a father. I can understand my personal struggles in the language of human rights, and that’s beneficial.” English-Language News about French Gay Rights Debates, 13 January, 2013. To read the whole letter go to http://englishmanif.blogspot.com.au/2013/01/global-francophone-rallyletter-from.html.

(f) Japan: Early contender for BioEdge’s annual “Foot in Mouth” award would have to be Japan’s Finance Minister Taro Aso who said of the country’s swelling elderly that they should “hurry up and die” to relieve pressure on the government to pay their medical bills. In 2008 while Prime Minister he described “doddering” pensioners as tax burdens. BioEdge, 27 January, 2013. A warning of the impact of demographic decline (ie an aging population) on a nation’s social security system