Lilianne Ploumen, the Dutch politician who received a medal as “commander” of the Pontifical Order of St. Gregory the Great in 2017 despite her pro-abortion activism, has continued her fight for so-called “women’s rights” over the last four years and in her latest statement a few days ago touted abortion to left-wing daily Het Parool.
Asked whether it is still necessary to work for “women’s rights” in the Netherlands, Ploumen answered, “Yes. We’ve really made progress in the Netherlands. But women are still earning less than men for the same work. And I also see the consequences that four years of Trump in America have for the Netherlands: women going to abortion clinics are being intimidated more often. I’m worried about that.”
Henk Rijkers, former editor-in-chief of the Dutch Catholic daily Katholiek Nieuwsblad who now collaborates with Civitas Christiana, tweeted, “Dutch politician Lilianne Ploumen, decorated by @pontifex Francis with the Pontifical Equestrian Order St. Gregory the Great, is campaigning for abortion again. She now blames President Trump for the harassment of women at abortion clinics. (Which does not happen, by the way.)”
Since the award was presented by Ploumen in 2017 by the Vatican, the Holy See has had ample time to rescind the „prize.” At the time, she had added insult to injury by boasting that the award given by Pope Francis was not only that of a “dame commander” of the Order but a “confirmation” of her advocacy “for girls and women, for abortion.”
At the time of the gift, she was the co-founder of #SheDecides, a government-level European pressure group aiming to raise funds to compensate Donald Trump’s defunding of U.S. aid to abortion via the Global Gag Rule – and has helped raise hundreds of millions of dollars since then to do just that.
Ploumen said the medal came with the explanation that it was for “services rendered to society.”
Once the scandal became public, a Vatican spokeswoman stated that giving the medal to Ploumen was merely a gift linked to normal protocol related to diplomatic visits. The Dutch politician happened to be a member of the 10-person delegation accompanying King Willem Alexander on his first unofficial visit to the Vatican in June 2017 at a time when she was the Dutch minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation, and as such would naturally receive the same honorific memento – or title – as the other members.
The scandal actually broke because of a video in which Ploumen held up the medal before the camera, saying it was a “high distinction,” “commander in the order of St. Gregory,” which normally recompenses services rendered to the Church and the papacy. Austin Ruse of C-Fam warned that the Dutch abortion advocate “was not invested in Papal Order:” “to be a Dame in the Order, she would have gone through an investiture ceremony with a Bishop. This did not happen.”
What did happen is that the Vatican refused to vet the Dutch delegation – or didn’t care about what it found concerning the pro-abortion, non-believing cradle Catholic Ploumen. It did not react to her public statements interpreting the gift as approval for her stance on abortion beyond the verbal clarification described above. It never took the trouble to remove her from the list of Dame Commanders as circulated on Wikipedia.
Indeed, it took the Holy See press office some six months to come out with a statement clarifying that the decoration “cannot be by any way considered an endorsement to the pro-abortion and birth control politics advocated by Mrs. Ploumen” – and then only when asked to explain why she was given the medal in the first place.
If Pope Francis was not aware of the situation then, it cannot be said his staff is ignorant of it now. And still no retraction of the gift has taken place, although, if the Press Office’s statement in January 2018 was correct, Ploumen brashly and publicly lied in order to let the public believe the Vatican supported her high-priority commitment to legal abortion and other aspects of the culture of death such as support for access to contraception.
In 2010, for instance, she publicly protested against a priest who had refused communion to a man presenting himself as an active homosexual in the Cathedral of Saint John in Den Bosch, Netherlands.
Since receiving the Vatican medal, Ploumen has not only continued to lobby actively for abortion but very recently was chosen to lead the Dutch “Partij van de Arbeid” (PvdA, Labour Party) into the upcoming general elections on March 17.
Her latest anti-Trump tweet is just more of the usual as far as she is concerned.
Two years ago, Ploumen joined forces with the “Groenlinks” (Green Left) leader Corinne Ellemeet asking for family physicians to be allowed to prescribe abortion pills. She repeatedly presented motions with a view to put an end to “intimidation” by pro-life groups.
In 2019, she lobbied for the funding of the contraceptive pill in basic packages of all health insurance schemes, telling an interviewer that she herself only stopped using it during her two pregnancies, before replacing it with an IUD for 10 years.
In the summer of 2019, Ploumen toured American states such as Alabama and Georgia with restrictive abortion legislation in order to lobby American politicians and to give U.S. women a “shot in the arm.”
That same year, she joined some 130 European politicians in writing an open letter to the first woman president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, asking her to put “safe and legal abortion” for all women in the European Union at the top of her agenda.
At the start of the COVID-19 crisis, Ploumen, now a member of the Dutch Second Chamber, pleaded for safe access to abortion all over the world as an “essential service” that would be especially needed because of lockdowns making women more vulnerable to rape and unwanted pregnancies.
Three months ago, she launched a petition asking to “end the Global Gag Rule Once and For All” that she called “atrocious legislation.”
In January 2021, days before she was officially named as head of the PvdA list in view of the March elections, she talked about her Catholic upbringing in Maastricht, where she was born 58 years ago. She talked of her sympathy for the Catholic viewpoint that makes you “want to be there for other people,” saying every well-meaning person should find a spot in heaven, but adding that at the same time she does not believe that God exists.
On February 9, she supported Ellemeet’s initiative aiming to scrap the five-day mandatory cooling-off period for women asking for abortion in the Netherlands.