29 Dec The Top 10 of 2009
As 2009 comes to a close, we at United Families International have much for which to be grateful. Although those who would see the family dismantled, the culture of death cultivated, parental rights diminished, and religion abolished from society continue their destructive work, this year has been marked by encouraging advances for the pro-family cause.
In honor of these encouraging events, we present the Top Ten Advances for Family, Life, and Religious Liberty in 2009.
Abby Johnson worked and volunteered for Planned Parenthood for almost eight years, until this October when she witnessed the ultrasound of an abortion. She realized that abortion is murder, subsequently quit her job, and began speaking out against abortion and Planned Parenthood. Johnson is now an outspoken proponent of life, working to expose the pro-abortion agenda of Planned Parenthood. You can watch her moving Fox News interview here.
2. Maine Overturns Same-Sex Marriage Law
During the November elections in the United States, the citizens of Maine rallied together to overturn legislation that would have undermined traditional marriage. The Maine legislature attempted to overrule the will of the people earlier in the year by passing LD 1020, which would have legalized same-sex marriage in the state. Maine citizens voiced their opposition to this legislation and pushed the issue onto the November ballot for public vote, and once again, Americans voted to reaffirm marriage between one man and one woman.
3. Public support for Abortion is Declining
Polls show that public support for abortion in the U.S. is dropping. A Pew Research Center poll released in October showed support for legal abortion declining by 11 percent from 2007 to 2008. A Gallup poll released in August found 47% of Americans identified as pro-life, whereas only 46% supported abortion. These changes parallel a larger global movement, particularly among youth, towards valuing life and opposing abortion. It is encouraging news for every unborn child.
4. Spain Marches for Life
After the socialist government proposed a radical liberalization of Spain’s abortion laws earlier this year, over 1 million Europeans gathered in the streets of Madrid to denounce the legislation and voice their support for life. They carried signs such as “Every life Matters,” “For Life, Women and Motherhood,” and “Madrid 2009, Capital of Life.” The enormity of the march confirmed that, regardless of any government’s anti-family agenda, people across the globe still value life.
5. UN Passes Resolution in Favor of Traditional Values
More often than not, when we talk about the United Nations we report on anti-family activists using the UN to push their radical agenda. This year, however, the UN passed a resolution in support of traditional values and the family. The resolution, entitled “Promoting human rights and fundamental freedoms through a better understanding of traditional values of humankind,” requests that the UN convene a workshop in 2010 to study traditional values as the very foundation of international human rights. Such a workshop will help our work by reinserting traditional values into the UN dialogue.
Patrick Fagan of the Family Research Council released an exhaustive review of the scientific literature on pornography earlier this year. The study, “The Effects of Pornography on Individuals, Marriage, Family and Community,” outlines the manifold negative consequences of pornography at every level of society and indicates the scientific evidence that proves these conclusions. The study is an indispensable tool in countering those who would argue that pornography is benign and it should be mandatory reading for every parent with a teenage child.
7. Countries Begin to Address Declining Fertility Rates
For decades, the fictitious consequences of the “population bomb” have helped radical activists push anti-life and anti-family policies around the globe. Fortunately, the tide is now beginning to turn. Government’s are now recognizing the catastrophic consequences of demographic decline and are working to put in place policies to encourage families and fertility. Japan’s new government, for example, is working on a stimulus package to increase fertility rates. The plan would provide parents with 26,000 Yen (about US $270) a month per child, plus free high school tuition. Similarly, the Korean government is working on a new program entitled “Increase Koreans,” which would encourage families to have at least three children.
8. UFI Success at Commission on the Status of Women
After two weeks of concentrated negotiating, writing, and lobbying, United Families International was able to return home from the 53rd Commission on the Status of Women announcing their success. Thanks to UFI efforts, pro-family forces were able to remove six references to “reproductive health” (a.k.a. abortion) and insert six references to “family” in the documents coming out of the conference. Although this word count may seem small, this language sets the standard for international policies that affect every family. Each time we increase references to the family and remove language that promotes abortion we advance our cause.
9. 12-Year-Old Girl’s Pro-Life Speech Goes Viral
A young 12-year-old girl from Toronto became a star this year thanks to an impassioned and eloquent speech against abortion published on YouTube. The five minute pro-life speech won the young girl first place in a school-wide speech competition, despite opposition from teachers and staff. The speech was then posted on YouTube and spread virally. It now has nearly 1 million views. The speech is a well-crafted and moving proclamation in defense of unborn life that has reached thousands.
10. Mexico Advances Constitutional Abortion Restriction
This year Veracruz, Mexico, became the 17th state in Mexico to write into the state constitution that life begins at conception. Now over half of the country’s thirty-two states have similar restrictions on abortion, and lawmakers in Veracruz have adopted a measure to require congress to consider a similar amendment to the nation’s constitution.
There many other battles fought and won to promote and defend the family in communities and nations around the world. Here at UFI we are constantly engaged, working to ensure that someone is standing to defend the family at every level of society. Thank you for your support which has made these efforts possible. The family has a bright future as long as people like you are still working to defend it.
Best wishes and a happy New Year!