Monday, April 19, 2010

Speakers at conference hosted by San Francisco archdiocese raise red flags among pro-lifers

Justified fears

By Gibbons J. Cooney 
Special to California Catholic Daily 

Beginning tomorrow and running through Wednesday, the Archdiocese of San Francisco will host the "Point 7 Now: One Voice of Faith" conference. The event will be held at St. Mary's Cathedral. The conference describes itself as "…a catalytic convening of religious and interfaith leaders and activists for networking, education and advocacy towards the fulfillment of the UN's Millennium Development Goals." 

Since it was first proposed, Goal #5 of the Millennium Development Goals (to improve maternal health) has created unease among those opposed to abortion. The fear of pro-lifers is that, under the interpretation of pro-abortion NGOs, 'maternal health' becomes 'reproductive health,' widely considered a code phrase for abortion. Two speakers at this year's "Point 7 Now: One Voice of Faith" conference suggest those fears may be justified. 

The event includes an "Interfaith Prayer Service," which is to be keynoted by Katherine Marshall of Georgetown University. According to Marshall's Curriculum Vitae, published on the Georgetown website, she is Trustee Emeritus of Pathfinder International. The banner on the homepage of Pathfinder International reads: "a global leader in reproductive health." The "What we do" link at the top of Pathfinder's homepage gives an option for "Abortion and Post-Abortion Care." The heading on Pathfinder's "Abortion and Post-Abortion" care page reads: "Reducing maternal mortality by improving women's access to safe abortion and post-abortion care." 

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