FamilyPolicy.Ru Managing Director Pavel Parfentiev Participated in International Pro-Life Symposium in France
The International Pro-Life Symposium organized by the Catholic diocese of Bayonne, Lescar and Oloron took place in Biarritz on November 31st - December 1st. This was the first international Pro-life conference in the modern history of France.
Managing Director of FamilyPolicy.Ru Pavel Parfentiev was invited to speak at the Symposium alongside with other prominent speakers from USA, France, Spain, Canada and Vatican. Mr. Parfentiev shared with the audience some historical facts on the abortion legislation in Russia and on the successes and problems of the Russian pro-life movement. More than 600 participants from all parts of France and from other countries were present.
According to the international human rights treaties all human beings have a right to life. The pro-life civil society leaders insist that this right should be duly protected during all the stages of human life from the moment of conception until the natural death. This conviction, while obviously rooted in recognition of the inalienable dignity of every human being meets strong opposition in the world of today. The human rights rhetoric is often misused to promote the violations of right to life such as abortions or euthanasia, although no binding human rights instrument provides the real foundation for it.
“I hope this event could be a real inspiration for the pro-life civil society forces of France and other countries in Europe,” Mr. Parfentiev commented. “It’s a real problem and a real danger for peace and sustainability when the human rights language is wrongly used to promote the death instead of life. As I stressed in my presentation during the Symposium there are genuine foundations of the universal human rights. They are including right to life, protection of marriage between a man and a woman, right of children to be with their natural parents, natural rights of the parents, and the freedom of religion – all those are closely interrelated roots of the genuine human rights framework. It is necessary to rediscover and to reaffirm them if we wish to preserve peace and real freedom for all people”.
Although the Symposium was a civilized sharing of opinion of the pro-life leaders, being a genuine example of the freedom of expression appropriate for any democratic society, it was labeled by some journalist as “the violent protest against abortions”. At the same time a group of 80-100 people expressing their protest against Symposium gathered outside of the facility during the event (the press later inaccurately reported of 800 or even 900+ protesters). Some of those people were holding banners with insulting or very rude inscriptions.
“This is a grievous example of the double standards of some media,” Mr. Parfentiev commented. “It’s completely inappropriate to label the calm and polite public exchange of views as ‘violent’ while at the same time presenting the insulting yells and inscriptions as the legitimate protest. It’s very sorrowful that some journalists are forgetting of their moral obligation to be honest because of ideological bias against life”.