Who is behind One of Us?
Close scrutiny of the initiators and supporters of the “One of Us” campaign reveals them to be nearly exclusively anti-choice organisations acting on the basis of personal religious ideology to influence public policies regardless of whether those affected by the policies share the same religious beliefs.
They have done this by leveraging the organizing force of religious hierarchies, thus highjacking well-intentioned religious sentiment, as well as turning to extremist, foreign-backed organisations for assistance.
Anti-choice organisations & the Pope
These are predominately anti-choice Catholic organisations but the movement has also spread beyond the Catholic world to reach other religious communities, such as the Orthodox Church in Romania.The initiative is funded by the Italian anti-choice organization Fondazione Vita Nova. It has officially been supported by Pope Francis and is represented by Patrick Gregor Puppinck, Director of the European Centre for Law and Justice (ECLJ), an Evangelical anti-choice NGO based in Strasbourg (France). The ECLJ is the European part of the American Centre for Law and Justice and has specialized in litigation at the European Court of Human Rights where it attempts to limit recognition of LGBT’s and reproductive rights.
The initiators of “One of Us” used the well-developed religious organisational structures to gather signatures advocating the faithful to support the initiative. Many national “One of Us” partners are local anti-abortion movements and this initiative has received clear support from bishops’ representatives at the European level (COMECE).
In politics, while individual politicians from several political backgrounds have expressed their support to “One of Us”,” the only European level political family to do so is the youth network of the small and minoritarian political party called European Christian Political Movement (ECPM). ECPM is composed of small political parties with a mainly traditionalist protestant leaning, as opposed to mainstream Protestant creeds. This includes a Dutch political party, the SGP (Staatskundige Gereformeerde Partij), which believes women should not vote.
Misleading and manipulative information
The information provided by these anti-choice groups has been both manipulative and misleading: the initiative was portrayed as a move to ban human cloning, forced or coercive abortions and gendercide. Considering this modus operandi, and considering that about 250 million Europeans are Catholics, the collection of 1.8 million signatures is rather unimpressive – especially for an initiative explicitly endorsed by the Pope.
There is a major cross-over between the groups supporting “One of Us” and those who have spearheaded attacks on women’s and gay rights at European Parliament level. These groups are also behind national attacks on equality and SRHR – same-sex marriage in France, Spanish abortion law, referendum on marriage equality in Croatia.
(Part of the text was retrieved from EPF Intelligence brief)