I emerged from a self-imposed moratorium on secular news (for Advent) to discover the untimely death of Benazir Bhutto, who was courageous, focused, and a defender of unborn life. She was not martyred for this specifically, but a victim of the brutish politics that holds most of the world, still, in a crucible of violence and injustice.
Islamabad, Pakistan (LifeNews.com) -- The world mourned the loss of assassinated Pakistani leader Benazir Bhutto on Thursday, but her death was more than a setback for those hoping for democracy in this war-torn nation. Bhutto was a member of an international pro-life women's movement that understood abortion causes medical, mental health and other problems for women.
When Bhutto was the prime minister of Pakistan, she helped lead a delegation to the 1994 Cairo population conference that confronted abortion advocates looking to make abortion an international right. "I dream ...of a world where we can commit our social resources to the development of human life and not to its destruction," she told the United Nations panel at the time.
Bhutto was one of only two women to address the conference. Instead of telling women in nations where population growth is an issue that they should kill their offspring, Bhutto told world leaders that the best solutions is "tackling infant mortality, by providing villages with electrification, by raising an army of women."
Unfortunately, collaboration with the United Nations is always going to undermine any aspirations to defend the unborn, since the Cairo conference linked development dollars (electrification and education) inextricably to contraceptive quotas. There was a magnificent religious front forged at that conference between Christians and Muslims, neither of whom wanted the poverty addressed through the eradication of the poor. Of course, it came down to language, and the UN was terribly clever in the way that it refused to define the terms of the document, even in the final stages, so that in the end many well-meaning delegations had to sign off on nebulous wording that was twisted after their planes were in the air.
Prayers for the soul of this valiant woman, who never lost touch with the essence of motherhood and its value for the community.