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Browsing News Entries

Sole private abortion clinic in New Brunswick to close

Fredericton, Canada, Oct 11, 2019 / 02:16 pm (CNA).- Clinic 554, the only private abortion clinic in the Canadian province of New Brunswick, is closing because of financial instability, its director announced Thursday.

The Fredericton clinic is a family practice that, according to its website, believes “patients have a right to self-affirming services. We are committed to sex-positive, gender-celebratory care, anti-racist and feminist practices, and full-scope reproductive care, including abortions.”

The clinic notes that “the breadth of services offered by our family practice includes all scopes of medicine, from pediatrics to geriatrics with a focus on reproductive, trans*, LGBT/Queer, and HIV care.”

Clinic 554’s medical director is Dr. Adrian Edgar.

In an Oct. 10 statement Edgar said the clinic is closing because “the province of New Brunswick unilaterally refuses to allow Medicare to cover the cost of a patient who sees me for an abortion procedure.”

“The province either offloads that fee onto the patient or myself and our loving team of nurses and allied providers … As a direct result, it is financially unsustainable for us to keep our doors open, and the clinic has been placed for sale.”

Bruce Macfarlane, spokesperson for the province’s health department, said that “abortions are available in publicly-funded hospitals” in the province. “The Department of Health, in accordance with the Canada Health Act, does not fund private healthcare services.”

Abortions are covered by the provincial government at two hospitals in Moncton, and one in Bathurst.

New Brunswick is governed by the center-right Progressive-Conservative Party.

74th Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner PRESS CREDENTIAL DEADLINE EXTENDED

Please be advised that the deadline for press credential submissions for the 74th annual Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner has been extended to Tuesday, October 15 at 12PM.

Texas Knights of Columbus work with Mexican Knights to aid migrants

Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, Oct 10, 2019 / 09:01 pm (CNA).- Following an August announcement from the Knights of Columbus that the group would commit at least $250,000 to aid migrants at the US-Mexico border, the fraternal organization’s Texas leaders are announcing a joint effort with a Mexican council to aid migrants south of the border.

A caravan of Knights of Columbus from both Texas and Mexico arrived Oct. 5 at Casa del Migrante, an aid facility in Ciudad Juarez, delivering a truckload of supplies valued at $61,000, according to Terry Simonton, the Knights’ Supreme Director for Texas.

The supplies for the Juarez diocese-run facility included medicine, food, water, diapers, and shoes, he said. The over 40 Knight-volunteers were joined by Bishop José Guadalupe Torres-Campos of Ciudad Juarez and Bishop Mark Seitz of El Paso.

The Knights in El Paso were already providing supplies, cooking meals, and paying for a rented shower for migrants in the city. In May, the Knights' Diocesan Deputy for El Paso sent a request for additional funds which made its way to Simonton, who talked it over and realized that the Supreme Council in Connecticut would have to help.

"[The El Paso Knights] were renting the showers and they were getting donations to cover that expense— and renting those showers was $1,500 a day," Simonton, a former state deputy in Texas, explained to CNA.

"It was the kind of shower that sits on a trailer, and it was $1,500 a day. So the more we looked into it, it said they were asking for $9,000 to purchase their own portable heated showers. And that would accommodate probably 60 showers per day...it just made sense to purchase the showers."

Simonton asked the Supreme Council to cover half the cost.

"They liked the idea, but when it got to the table, and the Supreme Knight, Carl Anderson, said 'Yes we need to help, but we must do more.' And that's when Carl Anderson started the initiative to help out Southern border. Without his vision, this would have never happened."

He said a number of parishes and virtually all the Knight of Columbus councils in El Paso have been busy, especially since January, raising funds for border relief. Council 11926 and Council 2592 in El Paso had raised about $10,000 on their own to help migrants in the city, he said.

"Between the councils and the parishes, they'd already spent $54,000," Simonton said.

"All the councils were involved in this in El Paso. But their funds were being depleted, so that's why they came to us for help. And just out of that simple, $9,000 request, has come this tremendous initiative."

There were about 75 migrants present at the Casa del Migrante Oct. 5— out of an estimated 20,000 migrants currently waiting in Ciudad Juarez.

"To be able to see the little kids, they were so happy to be there at that center. Because we don't know what they faced two or three days before then, before they got to the center. So it's sad, but at the same time they;'re happy, they're all smiles, because soon hopefully they'll be able to continue their journey with their families."

To watch the Knights of Columbus from both the Mexico and the United States work together was a "tremendous blessing," he said.

Possibly as soon as late October, Simonton said the Knights plan to go and provide similar aid at the border city of Laredo, which is across the fence from Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, as well as Eagle Pass, Texas and Piedras Negras, Mexico.

The Knights also recently made gifts for humanitarian aid of $100,000 to the Diocese of El Paso and $50,000 to the Diocese of Laredo.

“Let me be clear: this is not a political statement,” Supreme Knight Carl Anderson said in August. “This is a statement of principle. This is about helping people who need our help right now. And it is a natural and necessary extension of our support for refugees across the world.”

Bishop Seitz, along with Catholic leaders of the Dioceses of Las Cruces, San Jose, Victoria, and Ciudad Juarez toured the Casa del Migrante in late September as well as a Ciudad Juarez parish that has been providing aid to migrants. 

The Department of Homeland Security announced new Migrant Protection Protocols in January, providing that migrants arriving illegally or without proper documentation “may be returned to Mexico and wait outside of the U.S. for the duration of their immigration proceedings, where Mexico will provide them with all appropriate humanitarian protections for the duration of their stay.”

These policies have meant the flow of migrants into El Paso has largely dried up, as thousands of migrants remain in Mexico while their asylum claims are processed.

The migrants in Mexico are mostly from Central America, but also from other places including Africa, Haiti, Cuba, and some from South America and Europe, the Knights said.

Bishop Seitz told CNA in September that the diocese  opened a shelter in Oct. 2018 at the pastoral center, a "purely volunteer response," to deal with the large number of people passing through the city. The temporary shelter has since closed due to a drop in the number of migrants passing through.

"Right now, we've seen a huge drop off in the number of people coming because of enforcement actions in Mexico," Seitz noted.

"So what's happening is there's kind of a bottleneck in Ciudad Juarez, and we estimate that there are up to 20,000 people that are pretty much stuck there. They're afraid to go home, because that's where they're fleeing from...they're afraid to stay in Mexico, because most of them have faced violence there."

Robberies and kidnappings among the migrants waiting in Mexico are common, he said.

The HOPE Border Institute, along with the Diocese of El Paso, in July initiated a Border Refugee Assistance Fund to send money to organizations working with migrants and refugees in Juarez.

Bishops offer to mediate amid Ecuador protests

Quito, Ecuador, Oct 10, 2019 / 02:39 pm (CNA).- The Ecuadorian bishops proposed Monday that they mediate in the country’s crisis amid protests against the government’s austerity measures and its end of fuel subsidies.

“Seeking the common good … we reaffirm our strong commitment to collaborate in the resolution of the tensions and conflicts currently facing our Ecuadorian society. In virtue of that, we remain open to any proposal the parties see as suitable and opportune and on the most appropriate terms,” the bishops said in an Oct. 7 letter.

“We sincerely hope that serene and respectful dialogue will allow us to continue working for the justice and solidarity that our people expect from the governmental authorities and from all the social and political actors,” they added.

The government has indicated it is open to mediation by the Church or the United Nations.

Ecuadorian president Lenín Moreno announced an economic readjustment Oct. 1 that includes, besides the elimination of the subsidy on fuels, measures such as a special tax on businesses with yearly revenues in excess of $10 million, to allocate the proceeds for security, education and healthcare.

He also established a 20% cut in the salaries of government temporary workers and the reduction of vacation time from 30 to 15 days for public employees. However, the measure that has caused the most controversy is the fuel subsidy cut.

Economic and Finance Minister, Richard Martínez, said that these measures respond to the February agreement with the International Monetary Fund which gave Ecuador access to loans of $4.2 billion over three years, of which $900 million have already been given.

The fuel subsidies, introduced in the 1970s, cost the government $1.3 billion annually.

According to the IMF, the economic measures by Moreno ”have as their goal to improve the resiliency and sustainability of the Ecuadorian economy.”

However, the economic readjustment was answered with violent protests, especially in Quito and Guayaquil, to which the government responded Oct. 3 with a state of emergency which, among other things, mobilizes the Armed Forces and the National Police to maintain order and prevent more violence. In addition, freedom of association and assembly has been suspended throughout the country. The protests are being led by indigenous groups.

Two people have died in the protests.

Protesters stormed the parliament building in Quito Oct. 8, and Moreno has moved the government to Guayaquil.

Pope Francis Appoints Two New Auxiliary Bishops for the Archdiocese of New York

Pope Francis has appointed Monsignor Gerardo Colacicco and Monsignor Edmund Whalen to serve as Auxiliary Bishops of the Archdiocese of New York. The appointments were announced by Archbishop Christophe Pierre, the Apostolic Nuncio to the United States.

Development Associate

Aquinas High School - Bronx, NY 10457

Two Dates Worth Citing

Two dates last week are deserving of attention. Last Saturday, October 5, was the 140th anniversary of the dedication of St. Patrick’s Cathedral. Fourteen decades as “America’s Home Parish!”

Pro-life coalition discourages reelection of OAS secretary general

Washington D.C., Oct 8, 2019 / 06:15 pm (CNA).- More than two dozen pro-life leaders are calling on the Trump administration to oppose the reelection of Luis Almagro, secretary general of the Organization of American States (OAS), due to his history of abortion advocacy.

The leaders called Almagro’s activism “gravely inappropriate” in his capacity as OAS secretary general, noting that he has not been authorized by member states to advocate for abortion in the role.

“His irresponsible behavior puts at risk the legitimacy and authority of the OAS at a time when we need it to be strong and credible to effectively denounce the egregious violations of human rights in Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela,” read a letter to U.S. Secretary of State Michael Pompeo.

The letter, dated Oct. 3, was signed by a coalition of pro-life leaders, including Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of Susan B. Anthony List; Catherine Glenn Foster, president of Americans United for Life; and Alfonso Aguilar, president of the Latino Partnership for Conservative Principles.

The group applauded Pompeo’s pro-life efforts, which include announcing a $210,000 reduction in U.S. funding of the OAS earlier this year, due to the organization’s advocacy for abortion.

“The institutions of the OAS should be focused on addressing crises in Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela, not advancing the pro-abortion cause,” Pompeo said at the time, according to the Washington Post.

Almagro, who has held the post of OAS secretary general since 2015, is currently up for reelection. The pro-life leaders called on the U.S. to revoke support for him.

“[A]lthough Mr. Almagro has shown a willingness to confront the tyrannical regime of Nicolas Maduro, he is delegitimizing the institution of the OAS by insisting on promulgating abortion throughout Latin America and the Caribbean,” they said in the letter.

Almagro is not required by the governing documents of the OAS to support abortion, the signatories said.

They noted that Almagro called for the OAS to take up the issue of abortion when he was still a candidate for the position of secretary general.

“Upon assuming the leadership of the OAS, Mr. Almagro made good on his promise to promote abortion as a human right,” they said.

The pro-life leaders called for the United States to push for OAS leaders who will focus on human rights crises in the region, rather than putting resourcing into the effort to legalize abortion.

“As Luis Almagro is now under consideration for a second term as Secretary General, we believe is time for a change in leadership at the OAS, and respectfully request that the U.S. government withdraw its support for his reelection,” they said.


Puebla legislators move to reject abortion, same-sex marriage

Puebla, Mexico, Oct 8, 2019 / 04:28 pm (CNA).- Last week legislators in the Mexican state of Puebla rejected any attempt to legalize abortion and same-sex marriage.

Members of the Joint Committees for the Procuration and Administration of Justice and Gender Equality of the Puebla Congress voted Oct. 4 in favor of two initiatives of the state governor, Miguel Barbosa Huerta, which seek to keep abortion as a crime and reject same-sex marriage, reiterating that marriage is solely the union between a man and a woman.

If the reforms are passed in the full session of the unicameral legislature in the coming days, the State Civil Code will read: “marriage is a civil contract by which only one man and only one woman join together in society.”

The Puebla Criminal Code will read: “a sentence of six months to one year in prison shall be imposed on the mother who voluntarily obtains an abortion or consents to another performing the abortion.”

This last reform means a significant reduction in the sentence for abortion, which currently carries up to five years in jail.

Barbosa, as well as most of the legislators who voted in favor of the initiatives, belong to the National Regeneration Movement, or Morena. The party is generally supportive of abortion rights.

Marcial Padilla, director of  ConParticipación, told ACI Prensa that the decision by the lawmakers  was at once “positive and surprising.”

“What's surprising is that the governor, who is of the Morena party, and the legislators  introduced and passed some initiatives to maintain the protection of the life of the child, that is, they rejected the legalization of abortion.”

“They did soften the penalties, but they maintained the protection of the life of the child,” he said, and pointed out that “they also reinforced that marriage is the union of one man and one woman.”

Padilla then emphasized that this legislative decision “is encouraging for us, because we see that the politicians can listen to the citizens.”

“The causes for the right to life and the family don't have to fall along party lines,  they don't have to be the whim of a few politicians bent on an ideology.”

“We citizens should not be afraid, we must be constant, firm, assertive, until all political parties assume, without hesitation, an agenda in favor of the right to life and the rights of the family.”

Front Desk Associate

The Development Office