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Tuesday, September 2, 2008



Some good men and women
From Left: African lobbyists James and Susan Fox
with Guimette, Andre and the UN delegate from Rwanda

by Susan Fox

NEW YORK, March 2000 --- Evil is cast into confusion when good men and women take a firm stand.

That's what happened when a valiant group of pro-life Catholics, Mormons, Evangelicals and Muslims, fighting alongside the Holy See, stopped the United Nations from declaring abortion an international human right in March, 2000.

My son, James, age 12, and I were privileged to be asked by the Catholic Family & Human Rights Institute to lobby with 330 other people from all over the world March 6-17, 2000, during the preparatory meetings for the special session of the General Assembly entitled "Women 2000: gender equality, development and peace for the twenty-first century," which were held later in 2000.

Little of what we saw at the UN had anything to do with development and peace. A lot of it had to do with a small group of well-financed Western radical feminists trying to force their agenda for population control down the throats of the developing nations. These were - pure and simple - white people trying to get black people to kill their children. One woman from Holland who now lives in Zimbabwe told me how -- after a war, which decimated the population of an African nation -- the Western nations came in with free "family planning" services: condoms, birth control devices, abortion, all neatly packaged in local storefronts, sporting big blue and white signs, which read, "Population Control."

Using English hard to understand even for native speakers and the intimidation of big money, the governments of the United States, Canada, the European Union, Australia and New Zealand (JUSCANZ) were working to get abortion declared a human right and gay marriages recognized. If they cannot get a consensus to declare abortion a human right, then they want "forced pregnancy" declared an international crime. This does not mean rape. It means any country failing to legalize abortion could be found guilty of human rights abuses against women.

My task was to lobby the French-speaking African nations. These people had a very unpleasant experience of our American culture in the past because they have largely met these aging feminists, and their deadly ideas. One African woman told me she had been taught to respect older people, and so when she met an elderly American woman she had expected great wisdom, but instead she was insulted and told her country was backward because it wouldn't legalize abortion. She was shocked.

The African countries - by and large - are very pro-life and pro-family in stark contrast to the Western governments. We often think of Africa as a place where uncivilized people live. But upon reflection I found that the barbarians are from the West. They dress nicely. They drive fuel-efficient cars, and they live in clean houses. But their wholesale willingness to murder their own children, to spread AIDS through sexual promiscuity and to execute their parents when they are ill or no longer of use to society makes them barbarians. In contrast, the Africans came from large and loving families, and would never dream of taking the life of their mother just because she was sick, or the life of their child because he might be born retarded. They were civilized.

I had extensive conversations with women during my two weeks at the UN about these issues. At a caucus on women's health, I enthusiastically endorsed language to include "chastity education" as a means of stopping the spread of AIDS. But I was told hysterically by the other non-governmental observers (NGOs) that women didn't voluntarily have sex, and they needed to protect themselves with condoms. I -- still believing that women had some autonomy in the world -- asked if the largely pro-abortion crowd assembled at that caucus would have sex if they knew they had AIDS. I naively believed that no one would want to spread the disease to someone they loved, and we all agreed that condoms did not work 100 percent. But I found out instead that this group wanted to have the right to have sex when they had AIDs. One woman stood up, burst into tears and said she had AIDS. She said chastity hadn't worked for her because she had been married 22 years to the same man and still got AIDS (presumably from her husband). And now she needed the "comfort" of a human relationship. Then she proceeded to explain with great care how to use the condom, spermicide, etc. to reduce the risk of spreading AIDS. After that outburst, no one would listen to the words, "chastity education." These women were -- sadly -- completely irrational.

My position during the two weeks was pretty simple. My mother had almost been euthanized by an overzealous and over-compassionate doctor, who prescribed so much pain medication that she almost died from it. He also prescribed drugs that would make her "happy," but were not necessary to cure her illness or her pain. By the time she had her leg amputated last year, narcotics no longer worked as their effectiveness wears off the more the drug is taken. My mother did not have and still does not have a terminal disease.

The worst part of this story is that my closest family sided with the doctor, and felt I was hurting my mother by advocating less pain medication. As it turned out, instead of treating the underlying cause of my mother's pain and high blood pressure, the doctor used pain meds to cover up his lack of medical care. His focus on so-called compassionate care ("You can have all the pain medicine you want!" he said) made him forget to heal the underlying illness. Other doctors later eliminated the pain in the second foot and reduced the blood pressure by proper treatment without pain medication.

In addition, I had a cousin who had almost been aborted because tests during pregnancy showed he might be retarded. (Luckily another test showed he wasn't, and so he is alive today). The Nazis during World War II bundled up retarded children like a sack of potatoes and marched them off to the gas chambers.

Another cousin, who is a nurse in a retirement home, is angry because the doctors won't starve or dehydrate the old people under her care as a means of easing their pain. I have another cousin, whose wife doesn't want any more children with him, but is willing to carry her sister's baby to term as a surrogate mother. I love my family, but I blamed all of their crazy thinking on 30 years of legal abortion in the United States, which has made our people insensitive to the value of life.

One African Catholic, who wanted abortion legalized in her country because she feared the suffering of women seeking back alley abortions, was told what happened to my mother. She said if someone tried to kill her mother with drugs, her whole large family -- cousins, brothers, sisters and uncles -- would rise up and fight. I told her that after 30 years of legal abortion they would be just like my family -- they'd be the first to say give her more pain medication, saying, "Better she die than suffer." She was shocked. At her request, I am sending her a copy of Pope John Paul II's encyclical, "The Gospel of Life."

Another Catholic from a Latin American country proclaimed that she was against abortion, but feared to take a public stand both because of the position of her government and because the Catholic Church in her country did not clearly state that abortion was evil, nor did it stand up against marrying homosexuals. I gave her a copy of the "The Gospel of Life," and promised to send her other encyclicals so she could know what the Catholic Church truly teaches. From this, I learned that we must be very clear in telling people the truth of what the Catholic Church teaches. We cannot hide the light of this Truth under a basket, fearing to offend people.

Our witness as mother and son was quite powerful in this environment because I was a newspaperwoman who gave up my career to care for my son in 1991. We were the only homeschooling pair there lobbying the United Nations. Homeschooling made this trip possible for the both of us because most children cannot take two weeks off of school in March, and most of their mothers must be at home to care for them. Even some of the pro-abortion NGOs were very impressed by this fact. It was the first time they had heard of homeschooling.

Our power lay in the fact that we were not paid (we were volunteers) and our trip was financed by ordinary people like ourselves from America! The pro-abortion NGOs were paid and they stayed at the best hotels at the expense of some very well-financed abortion organizations. One delegate, whom I befriended from the Sudan, kept asking me who I worked for. When I explained that I didn't work, but taught my son in the home (the feminists called motherhood "unremunerated work"), she threw back her head and laughed with joy. "Why you are nobody! You have great power." She was a devout Muslim.

My 12-year-old son chose to wear a suit and tie everyday to the UN, and he looked like a million dollars. I was speaking to the Ambassador from Burundi telling him about the homeschooling, our family life, and the damage that 30 years of legal abortion had done to my family. He had six children. At the end of the conversation, James walked up, and the Ambassador -- visibly impressed by his appearance -- said with pride, "Why is this -- your son?"

Another time we were lobbying against homosexual marriages, and I told an African woman this story of my job with the San Francisco Examiner. I said there were many gay men who worked there who were dying of AIDS. Many were my friends. But one day, one of them was in the elevator with a vial of ashes showing it to another woman. I exclaimed, "Why, is that a human being?" And the boy responded proudly, "Yes, this is my lover, and I carry him with me everywhere."

I explained to the African woman that the fruit of the boy's relationship with that man was ashes, but James was the fruit of my relationship with my husband. And James obligingly grinned and asked her if she wouldn't rather have him than ashes. She was rolling on the floor with laughter.

The feminists harassed James a little by questioning him. This gave him no end of joy. He told me later, that being at the United Nations and witnessing for the unborn was probably the "best thing I've ever done in my life." He was the youngest NGO there -- only 12 years old.

I often had to apologize for my government to the African delegates and others I chanced to meet. While I was there, the Clinton Administration sponsored a press conference for Catholics for a Free Choice (a non-Catholic pro-abortion group). They argued that the Holy Father, who has held a seat on the United Nations since 1964 as a permanent observer, should no longer hold this status. As a permanent observer, the Holy Father is sometimes the only voice against abortion language in the documents simply because the Third World delegates do not recognize subtle pro-abortion language in English, or they are being intimidated by the Western Nations. I myself witnessed the Holy Father's delegation oppose language that would have guaranteed international abortion, and it was the only delegation in opposition. The UN cannot do anything without a complete consensus, so one objection puts the offending language in brackets, and that means it is not part of the approved document. Subsequently, the National Conference of Catholic Bishops reminded the world that Catholics For a Free Choice is not a Catholic group. Hurray for the American bishops!

Our goal during those two weeks in March: stop the feminists from putting pro-abortion language in the document. We succeeded. However, the governments of the developed nations also succeeded in preventing the Third World nations and the Holy Father from putting pro-family language in the document as well. It was a stand-off.

However, our presence in great force also had another side benefit: it rattled the other side. During the second week, 30 brothers and priests from Fr. Benedict Groeschel's Grey Friars showed up in full grey habit and beards. Meeting and seeing these holy men was very encouraging for our side. We all had been disturbed during the previous week when we had the duty of interacting at the caucuses with the pro-abortion women.

But the brothers’ presence did not console the other side. It disturbed the pro-abortion NGOs, who said that allowing men in Catholic habits into the United Nations should not be allowed because it was an "excessive show of religion." The brothers' presence actually made them feel they were being stalked, followed home, and their phones tapped.

Perhaps their feelings could best be understood from the point of view of St. Ignatius of Loyola. He stated that as a soul is growing closer to God, the action of the evil spirit disturbs it, but the good spirit consoles it. On the other hand, as a person draws away from God, the action of the evil spirit consoles it, and the good spirit disturbs it. This action is manifested through ordinary circumstances like our pro-life presence at the UN.

These pro-abortion lobbyists were God's children too! And He was lovingly calling them back to Himself through the witness of the holy brothers obediently wearing their habits. And that meant they would be disturbed in the process. It was God saying, "Wake up! You are almost dead, but not yet. Come back to Me." Not only the brothers, but all 330 people there, including James and myself, managed to disturb these ladies because God was using us, too.

One of my fellow French lobbyists, a lovely young girl, was simply handing a lobbying document to a delegate and one of the pro-abortion NGOs walked up to her ripped the document out of her hand and tore it up in front of her. This NGO was very disturbed by my friend. Or was it really my friend that disturbed her? Perhaps it was only God, Our Father, who wanted the NGO back with Himself and was calling to her. That's why the Gospel of Matthew tells us that the persecuted are blessed! "Rejoice!" is to be our response to this kind of hatred. And if we love our fellow man, we do have to rejoice in their disturbance at good things.

The examples of this kind of movement of God were numerous. I concluded that goodness simply needs to take a firm stand. It does not have to scream or shout or have a temper tantrum. Simply stand firm, humbly in the Truth, and watch the other side scramble.

The outcome of this, however, is that the pro-abortion forces have moved to prevent us from returning in force again. There are a lot of pro-abortion groups accredited to the United Nations as NGOs, but there are very few pro-life groups accredited. So when we went in we were accredited by this handful of organizations. (The funny side of this story is that the Grey friars were accredited by a pro-life group called Real Women of Canada, a fact which outraged the other side when they found out. They said these men had no right to represent women! But the pro-abortion side, including men, was running around with buttons that read "F.A.K.E. WOMEN.")

Now they have closed the barn door behind us by limiting the number of people who can be accredited from each group to three. The Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute, which organized our training and our witness there, has concluded that they can do nothing to stop this as they are outgunned financially. People like Ted Turner are donating billions of dollars to population programs, abortion, etc.

Never doubt we are locked in a battle involving principalities and spirits. When we were first there the pro-abortion NGOs had their youth do a "Right to Chose" dance which was very pagan, using some of the gestures and sounds of witchcraft rituals. But later in the week, the Holy Father sent in a priest, who quietly performed an exorcism for us in the gallery when no one was around. We gathered around the priest: Catholics, Mormons, Evangelicals and Muslims. It was one of the little helps that God sent us to console us when we were being disturbed by the thinking of the other side.

Our youth caucus proved to be very successful. Accredited through the World Youth Alliance, they were about 30 young people, age 15 to 30, from all over the world. They forced the pro-abortion youth to develop a consensus in the youth caucus -- it yielded a document that would only represent things concerning women that both sides could agree on.

After dealing with the World Youth Alliance, one of the pro-abortion youth said all of her hope had been taken away because these (pro-life) youth represented the future leaders of the world, and "they don't agree with us." We all said, "Aww, too bad."

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