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World Congress of Families Hails Victories for Life and Family in Croatia, Russia, and Ecuador

World Congress of Families Managing Director Larry Jacobs hailed the outcome of the December 1st referendum in Croatia, as well as developments in Russia and Ecuador, as "victories for the natural family and human rights."

Contact: Don Feder, Communications Director, 508-405-1337, dfeder@rcn.comWorld Congress of Families, 815-964-5819, media@worldcongress.orgmedia@profam.org

CROATIA, Dec. 10, 2013 /Christian Newswire/ -- In the nation's first-ever, citizen-initiated referendum, Croatians asked their government to preserve marriage as the union of a man and a woman, by a vote of 65.8%.  Jacobs observed: "This is all the more impressive in light of the opposition from Croatia's left-wing government and biased media."

He noted that supporters of the referendum collected over 750,000 signatures, double the number required to put such a measure on the ballot.  "While opponents claim the outcome is due to 'extraordinary pressure' by the Catholic Church in this majority-Catholic country, the German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zietung observed that the question enjoyed broad support among all faith communities -- including Orthodox, Jewish and Protestant.  Support for natural marriage isn't a sectarian issue."

RUSSIA
A week earlier, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a law banning abortion advertising. Some legislators are talking about going further and banning the procedure itself.  In October, an official representative of the Russian Orthodox Church called abortion a "mutiny against God."

Jacobs disclosed: "Russia is ground-zero for demographic winter and new policies to protect the sanctity of human life.  Due to low fertility, abetted by abortion, Russia's population could decline from 140 million to as low as 104 million by the year 2015."  According to the Russian Health Ministry, there are 1.7 abortions for every live birth in the country.

"World Congress of Families working with the Russian pro-life movement organized the world's first Demographic Summit at the Russian State Social University in Moscow in 2011," Jacobs said.  "Shortly thereafter, a law was passed banning abortion for unborn babies older than 12 weeks, mandating a waiting period for 2-7 days for those wanting an abortion, and requiring a health warning in advertising to indicate that abortion is hazardous to a woman's health.  These were the first restrictions on abortion since the Bolshevik Revolution when Russia became the first country on earth to legalize abortion during all weeks of pregnancy without restriction. 

"In fact during the 1920's, the communists in Russia were such promoters of abortion that they developed many of the abortion techniques that are used today by abortionists to kill unborn babies.  After abortion became so widespread that the average women in Russia was having seven abortions during her lifetime, even the New York Times was forced to admit that abortions were hazardous to a woman's health and fertility.  In 2003, the New York Times Editorial Board said, 'Now the Russian government is attempting to slow the abortion rate.  It is an admirable goal, given the toll that multiple abortions have taken on the health and fertility of Russia's women.'"

ECUADOR
And in October of this year, there was another victory for human rights and the sanctity of human life.  Opposition by Ecuador's President Rafael Correa (who governs from the left) caused his party to withdraw a bill legalizing abortion from consideration by the National Assembly.  Correa threatened to resign if the legislation passed. "They can do whatever they want. I will never approve the decriminalization of abortion," Correa declared.

Jacobs said all three developments offered cause for hope.  "When the people are able to overcome elites, the natural family always wins.  People understand that humanity's future and 'real' human rights lie with the family and not in deconstructing marriage or killing unborn children."

World Congress of Families VIII with the theme "Every Child A Gift: Large Families, the Future of Humanity" will be held in Moscow, September 10-12, 2014.  The opening session of WCF VIII will be in the Congress Hall of the Kremlin Palace.  A special WCF parliamentary session will also be held in the Russian Duma and a WCF scientific forum at Lomonosov Moscow State University.  The closing ceremony will be held at Moscow's Christ the Savior Cathedral -- the tallest Orthodox Cathedral in the world.  For more information visit the Russian websites at www.worldcongress.ru and www.familypolicy.ru.

For more information on World Congress of Families, visit www.worldcongress.org. To schedule an interview with Larry Jacobs, contact Don Feder at 508-405-1337 or dfeder@rcn.com.