Saturday, October 31, 2009

50% of Irish babies with Down's aborted

I was deeply saddened to read the news on Youth Defence that 50% of Irish babies diagnosed with Down's Syndrome are aborted. This figure was quoted in response to the recent report that 90% of UK babies with Down's are aborted. I was searching Youtube for a slideshow about Down's Syndrome I remember coming across years ago and instead found this song, written by a man whose young relative has Down's Syndrome.

Perhaps if society could only stop thinking of disabled children in terms of statistics and health care costs, the terrible eugenic mentality we have fallen into could be broken once and for all. In the end, the real abnormality here is the attitude that children with disabilities are better off dead.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Nurse's perspective on Obamacare

Published in the latest issue of women's magazine Voices

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Notre Dame protestor may be forced to plead guilty

A woman who was arrested with 87 others during a peaceful pro-life protest at Notre Dame University, may have to plead guilty because of the burden the case is placing on her young family. Laura Rohling, who wore a t-shirt at the protest stating: "I regret my abortion" is struggling to cope with the cost of the repeated journeys from Denver to Notre Dame to appear in court. If she pleads guilty she faces a $250 fine, $160 court costs, 20 hours of community service, one year of unsupervised probation and a 10-day jail sentence suspended. “All this,” she says, “for a Rosary, a protest for Orthodox Catholicism, and my free speech rights.”

When asked to drop these pointless charges, Fr Jenkins managed to summon up enough concern for his fellow Catholics to send out a letter saying that the matter was out of his hands. I wonder how the man sleeps at night?

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Rally in support of President Klaus

People from all over Ireland – from Kerry to Donegal, and from Offaly to Dublin – travelled from early morning on Sunday, 25 October, to take part in a rally in Dublin in support of Mr. Vaclav Klaus, President of the Czech Republic. President Klaus is the last remaining obstacle to the final ratification of the Lisbon Treaty, and he is being strongly pressured by the European powers in Brussels to sign the ratification documents for his country.

Outside Dáil Éireann (the houses of the Government) the rally participants displayed Irish and Czech flags, and banners (in English and in Czech) calling for the rejection of the Treaty. Speaking at the rally, Senior Lecturer Emeritus Anthony Coughlan explained once again the true impact that the Lisbon Treaty would have on Europe. He also said that the so-called promises being offered to President Klaus in relation to the Charter of Fundamental Rights, which would be discussed at an EU meeting this week, could be as worthless as the ‘guarantees’ offered to Ireland.

Dr. Seán Ó Domhnaill, speaking on behalf of Cóir, referred – amongst other things – to the utter lack of democracy on the part of the European Union in insisting that Ireland’s rejection of the Lisbon Treaty in 2008 was overruled and that the Irish people were obliged to vote for a second time in order to satisfy the EU leaders.

Mr. Roger Cole, of the Peace and Neutrality Alliance (PANA) also spoke, concentrating on the increasing militarisation of Europe under the Lisbon Treaty.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

National Day of Prayer for Life

Just a reminder that the next Good Counsel Network National Day of Prayer and Fasting for Life takes place tomorrow. Wednesday is the Feast of St. Jude, and you are asked to pray and fast on that day for the end of abortion and euthanasia.

Further information may be obtained from the Good Counsel Network on (UK) 202 7723 1740, and email at

Monday, October 26, 2009

The New Sexual Revolution

I came across this powerful film on Love Undefiled. The statistics cited are terrifying.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Don't manipulate Pope's words to justify the Lisbon treaty

The Irish Catholic newspaper has just published a story by Michael Kelly, its deputy editor, entitled "Don't manipulate Church to oppose EU - Pope". The story claims to be a report of the Holy Father's address to the new European Union ambassador to the Holy See. The newspaper claims that "In his first remarks on EU integration since Ireland voted 'yes' to the Lisbon Treaty", Pope Benedict "warned against groups that seek to manipulate Christian values to oppose the European Union (EU)."

Michael Kelly's “report” fails to quote key sections of the Pope's address, namely the Holy Father's reference to
"above all, the indispensable and necessary support for human life from conception to natural death, and for the family founded on marriage between a man and a woman".

After referring to the Christian values as the basis of European civilisation, the Holy Father said:
"[D]o these values not run the risk of being instrumentalized by individuals and pressure groups desirous of furthering particular interests in detriment of an ambitious collective project -- which Europeans expect -- which is concerned with the common good of the inhabitants of the Continent and of the whole world? This risk was perceived and criticized by numerous observers that belong to very different horizons. It is important that Europe not allow its model of civilization to be eroded, bit-by-bit. Its original impulse must not be suffocated by individualism and utilitarianism."

There is absolutely nothing in the Holy Father's words which constitute even a reference to, let alone a criticism of, individuals and groups which campaigned against the Lisbon treaty. If anything, he was referring to the anti-life and anti-family forces "suffocat[ing] by individualism and utilitarianism" European civilisation.

It is precisely the protection of human life and family that motivated, above all, many of those individuals and groups which campaigned against the Lisbon treaty and they did so based on their observation of the cumulative effect of EU legislation in critical areas over a long period, and in the knowledge that Irish Sovereignty would be subject to the new EU superstate to be brought into being by ratification of the Lisbon Treaty. Yes, some - but by no means all - pro-life/pro-family opponents of the Lisbon treaty are also opponents of the EU. But in no way was the campaign warning about the anti-life/anti-family impact of EU policies on Ireland and the rest of Europe, motivated by opposition to membership the EU per se despite attempts by the yes forces to present this picture. Nor did it manipulate the Church or Christian values.

This “report” leaves a lot to be desired . The least that should be expected from a Catholic newspaper is that it should quote a papal statement accurately. The Irish Catholic newspaper should not attempt to manipulate the Holy Father's words.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Civil Unions Bill

We reported last week on the accelerated push by the Irish Government to enact a civil unions bill and we promised to report further on it.

The first thing that needs to be said is that all of the binding international treaties Ireland has signed proclaim the need to protect the family based on marriage between a man and a woman they declare the family to be the natural and fundamental unit group of society. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights affirms this in article 16.3 "The family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the State.", and similar Articles appear in two covenants that make up the bill of rights.

The new Bill is a blatant attack on marriage and the family as we know it and will give almost all marriage rights to same-sex couples who register their unions (e.g. shared home protection rights, succession rights, inheritance rights, pension rights, and maintenance rights).

The Bill also includes provisions that could lead to prosecution of, for example, a photographer who may refuse for conscientious reasons to work at civil partnership ceremony or a parish committee which decided for religious reasons not to allow a parish hall to be used for a reception after such a ceremony, or indeed a hotelier who for reasons of personal conviction did not wish his premises to be used for such a purpose. The Bill would allow for the prosecution of a civil registrar who declined for reasons of conscience to process same-sex partnerships. Court cases like these have already been taken in Canada and the US. A case was also taken in Sweden against a pastor who gave a sermon on the biblical understanding of homosexuality.

We commented last week on the position of Catholic politicians and include an article published by the Rev Dr.Vincent Twomey in the WORD Magazine in 2006 on the issue

Can a Catholic vote for ‘Civil Unions’?

The Church has, from the beginning, based her teaching on marriage on the fact that it is neither an accident of history nor something invented by man. Marriage is rooted in human nature, in our bodily, emotional, personal and spiritual make-up.

Marriage, in other words, is God-given. The life-long, complementary union between one man and one woman is by its very nature intrinsically orientated to the conception and education of children. It is part of our God-given human nature as men and women to form such a union in one flesh. It provides the optimum conditions for rearing children. In Christ (that is for the baptized), marriage is a sacrament. The fact that man and wife now share in God's divine life transforms their union into an effective, grace-filled sign of the union of Christ with the Church (cf. Eph 5: 21-33).

But ever since the 19th century, free thinkers have been trying to convince the public that marriage is simply a cultural artifact, something man-made and so to be changed according to felt needs. Their secular view was offered in order to redefine marriage. To a huge extent, it has succeeded.

Its success produced a number of radical transformations in society, most obviously the introduction of divorce as well as the widespread acceptance of contraception and IVF. Divorce denied that marriage was an indissoluble, lifelong union between one man and one woman. Contraception severed sex from the begetting of children. IVF separated children from the conjugal act. With a certain strange inner logic, now a ‘union’ of people of the same sex is recognized by secular states as the equivalent of marriage. Everything is now artificial in the most radical sense possible. Everything is cut off from God's creative plan.

When states attempt to redefine what is part of God's nature, the state is in fact implicitly claiming to be greater than God. The state is claiming to be divine. It is one of the marks of a totalitarian state to consider itself to be unlimited.

Only God is unlimited.

Man cannot play God – or play with nature, His creation – without future generations paying a huge penalty for it. This is the lesson to be learnt from the damage to the physical environment caused by ignoring the demands implicit in physical nature. When, however, man tries to redefine human nature, he does untold damage to the moral and spiritual environment. The first casualty is marriage itself, which will no longer be seen as nature's chosen context for the rearing of children. The well-being of future generations is thus put at risk. Once the primary cell of society, marriage, is undermined, society will in time simply implode. The end result is the law of the jungle, when might becomes right because man does not recognize his God-given limits, the moral law.

Civil unions between people of the same sex have not been described officially as ‘marriages’, but already such bastions of public opinion as the London Times is referring to them as such, albeit in inverted commas. This is understandable, since the difference appears to be just a matter of words. The secular philosopher, Roger Scruton, once defined marriage as the public recognition of private intimacies. It is an inadequate definition, but it does highlight something central. The nature of private intimacies within marriage is such that of their very nature they make it possible for children to be conceived; marriage thus gives society a future. For this reason alone marriage must be given civil recognition.

When the state recognizes civil unions between people of the same sex, it gives public recognition to private intimacies that by their very nature cannot produce children. To ask a Catholic politician or citizen to vote for civil unions is to ask them to give public recognition to acts which the Church has always taught are, objectively speaking, gravely sinful, since they constitute a misuse of our God-given sexuality.

One of the main reasons for giving civil recognition to such couples, on a par with marriage, is to grant them legal entitlements, such as inheritance rights. There is some justification to giving lasting friendships (whatever their nature) some legal entitlements similar to those of the next of kin. But these are rights that can be otherwise regulated by legal contracts. Redefining marriage is too high a price to pay.

Supporters also argue that to deny ‘civil unions’ is to offend against the principle of equality. But equality is based on our God-given human nature, rooted in the fact of being created in the image and likeness of God, not on sexual orientation. Each one has a right to marriage, but not all can marry. Some cannot find a suitable partner; the circumstances of life prevent others from marrying. However, some have an impediment that makes marriage impossible. One such impediment is the incapacity to relate in an appropriate way to a person of the opposite sex.

Any argument in defence of marriage on the part of the Church must first of all address the fundamental assumption behind this tide of public opinion. That is the denial of God's existence and the rejection of the claims He makes on us through His creation, our human nature. Only by recognizing God and his claims on us can we understand the nature of marriage. The negative developments of the past few decades will in time spur Catholics on to a recovery of the human depth and the spiritual richness of the Church's teaching on the Sacrament of Marriage.

In sum, a Catholic citizen or politician cannot vote for so-called ‘civil unions’ between people of the same sex.

There have been suggestions that this bill could be amended to limit the damage it will cause however this means that the basic principle of legal recognition of same sex relationships would remain. We believe that complete rejection of this bill in its entirety is essential. It is necessary to appeal to the consciences of each Dail deputy and to demand that the Government do not apply the whip but accept a free vote in this case

Once again we recommend that all TD’s in Dail Eireann (The Irish Parliament) be contacted and you can find out who your local TD's are via this link:

The contact details for the Minister for Justice Dermot Ahern are as
follows: Constituency Office: Dermot Ahern TD, 28 Francis Street, Dundalk, Co. Louth (042-9329023) Dáil Office: Dermot Ahern TD, Dáil Éireann, Leinster House,Kildare Street,Dublin 2 (01 618 3000)

Friday, October 23, 2009

Notre Shame goes from bad to worse

Father John Jenkins, the President of Notre Dame University, which chose to honour the most pro-abortion U.S. President in history and had pro-life protesters arrested (including an elderly priest), has been elected to serve another five-year term as president. There should be no doubt whatsoever in the minds of faithful Catholics that Notre Dame has entirely lost its way as a Catholic institution and that its problems go far beyond the issue of Fr Jenkins.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Malta must hold firm to its pro-life ethic

This letter by Patrick McCrystal was published in The Times of Malta on 20th October

I visited your beautiful country on holiday from Ireland this last week and I have been aware of the controversy about the so-called "morning-after" pill (October 16). As a pharmacist, I can confirm that the "morning-after" pill (MAP) is abortive. The abortive effect is its predominant mechanism in stopping pregnancy.

This is because the MAP prevents ovulation (human ovum release) in only 15 per cent of cases, even if taken at the moment of peak effectiveness in the woman's menstrual cycle, just before ovulation. The MAP's often-cited thickening effect on cervical mucus is virtually inconsequential because it takes 24 hours for this thickening mechanism to be fully operative after pill ingestion, while sperm can be found in the fallopian tubes two to three hours after intercourse. This mechanism is effectively useless in most cases.

Thus in the vast majority of cases, the MAP prevents the newly conceived human life from implanting in its mother's womb and the baby dies and passes out unknown to its mother.

There is another dimension to the MAP publicity which Malta is now witnessing that is not confined merely to cold clinical, scientific fact. The survey of Maltese university students last week raises the subjects of divorce, contraception and gay issues. While the students cited were laudably against abortion, precisely the same type of publicity has been employed in Ireland these last 10 years to effectively "soften up" the pro-life culture to pave the way for legalised surgical abortion. A key part of this has been to agitate for a loosening of the sexual ethic, a route down which Ireland has significantly travelled. Malta does not need to go the same way.

In a sense, Malta is undergoing its new "siege", not of guns and cannons but of a new though equally deadly type of cultural disintegration. Your proud culture and sound religious and pro-life ethic makes Malta the envy of the rest of the world and no less in the abortion sense. Your cultural and religious practice is the most powerful and effective blockage to the advocates promoting a disintegration of the sexual ethic, and they know it.

Malta has shown its mettle before, can hold its head high and need not go down the road of cosmopolitan secularism and the name of so-called progress.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Support Aaron Doherty’s “Run for Unborn Life”

Ireland North and South is under continual pressure from pro abortion forces to introduce abortion and legal cases are currently underway in the two jurisdictions, both of which need urgent support.

The current battle in Northern Ireland is the SPUC judicial review of recently issued guidance from the Northern Ireland health department, which threatens to make abortion in the Province more easily available. Abortion in the guidelines is presented as a “service” to which patients must have access rather than a tightly controlled exception to a criminal prohibition. See SPUC Director BLOG

Aaron Doherty from Portstewart in Northern Ireland will take part in the Dublin City Marathon on Monday next 26th October 2009, in a bid to raise funds to assist in fighting the Legal action in Northern Ireland, an action aimed at saving countless unborn lives. Aaron is pro-life activist and a member of SPUC’s national executive committee who among his other activities has been giving pro-life talks in schools for almost 20 years.

The hearing of the Judicial Review of the abortion guidance is scheduled to be held in the High Court in Belfast on 27th-28th October and SPUC’s lawyers have estimated that the challenge is likely to incur legal costs running into many thousands of pounds

Please consider what you can to help SPUC’s Judicial Review fund today and help protect unborn babies before it’s too late. You can do this by:

• donating online at (select letter code: DM193NIJR)
• help Aaron raise sponsors using the downloadable sponsorship form
• phoning through your donation using a credit/debit card on (020) 7091 7091

The liberalisation of abortion in Northern Ireland would seriously damage the prospects of protecting unborn children in the Republic of Ireland too, so please pray for the success of the case.

Watch out for Aaron in his yellow pro-life T-shirt, in the Dublin City Marathon!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Every Life Matters

Congratulations to the Spanish pro-life movement for a highly successful rally in Madrid, which drew an estimated two million people. The theme was Every Life Matters.

The purpose of this demonstration was to show the opposition of the Spanish people to new, very permissive, abortion legislation being promulgated in that country. The law, which would allow women to procure an abortion for any reason whatsoever during the first 14 weeks of pregnancy, has already been approved by Spain’s Council of State and is a further step towards final approval by the National Congress and then signed into law by the President.

The Spanish pro-life movement believe that now it time to seek concrete responses from political parties, from government and from other public institutions and will keep holding such demonstrations until they are listened to. Until political will in the corridors of power finally coincides with and represents the will of the people and recognises the right to life, the freedom and the dignity of every human being.

Let's see if Zapatero pays any attention at all to the will of the people.

The Spanish Federation of Prolife Associations are conscious that the fight to save unborn lives is not only a national one and that a global effort is needed to oppose the culture of death, with this in mind they have arranged a Prolife World Congress to be held from November 6-9 in Saragossa in Northern Spain.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Obamania and the Vatican Newspaper

Good to see the Vatican newspaper's measured and critical article on Obama being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. As has already been noted on a number of blogs, it goes some way to limiting the damage done by the extraordinary response made by the Vatican press office.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Swine Flu and the Unborn Child

Thanks to Fr Boyle for this link to a news report expressing concern for the unborn child in the wake of the Swine Flu epidemic. The comments come about fifteen minutes into the 15th October news report.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Civil Unions Bill: Threat to Marriage, and Religious Freedom

The two Irish Government coalition partners Fianna Fáil and the Green Party have announced a revised programme for government which commits them to enacting “The Civil Partnership Bill,” which is expected to come before the Dáil (The Irish Parliament) on November 2 and be enacted by the end of the year. This Bill is a direct attack on the institution of marriage and the family. It also contains provisions that would severely restrict the rights of religious believers in the areas among others, of conscientious objection and freedom of speech. We are currently preparing an analysis of the provisions of the bill but include a link to it here.

This bill is yet another example of the Irish Government apparent disdain of traditional Christian values and their blind pursuit of yet another radical EU agenda. It is precisely because of this type of action that the Lisbon Treaty was rejected by the Irish electorate in the first instance.

This bill should be withdrawn immediately, attempting to amend it is insufficient.

Whilst there are members of many faiths and none in the Dail many of its members are Catholic. We respectfully point out that the issue of civil unions was highlighted for Catholics in a statement issued by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, June 3, 2003 with the approval of Pope John Paul 11. This document sets out Church teaching on the issue and concludes as follows.

The Church teaches that respect for homosexual persons cannot lead in any way to approval of homosexual behaviour or to legal recognition of homosexual unions. The common good requires that laws recognize, promote and protect marriage as the basis of the family, the primary unit of society. Legal recognition of homosexual unions or placing them on the same level as marriage would mean not only the approval of deviant behaviour, with the consequence of making it a model in present-day society, but would also obscure basic values which belong to the common inheritance of humanity. The Church cannot fail to defend these values, for the good of men and women and for the good of society itself.

We strongly urge all Irish readers to contact their TD’s and to object in the strongest possible terms to the passing of this bill.

Other readers are also encouraged to contact the Irish Government to express your opposition to this move.
The names and e-mail addresses of all TD’s are set out in the following link

Friday, October 16, 2009

A Modern Vision of Hell

I came across a blog entitled The Abortioneers, courtesy of Standing on My Head, which includes a post involving a pregnant abortionist talking about dismembering an unborn baby, whilst her own baby kicked inside her. It makes grotesque reading, all the more so because of its clinical tone:

With my first pass of the forceps, I grasped an extremity and began to pull it down. I could see a small foot hanging from the teeth of my forceps. With a quick tug, I separated the leg. Precisely at that moment, I felt a kick – a fluttery “thump, thump” in my own uterus. It was one of the first times I felt fetal movement. There was a leg and foot in my forceps, and a “thump, thump” in my abdomen.

I noticed a certain amount of angst in the combox about 'the antis reading this' and the usual assumption that pro-lifers are out to get women. I wonder whether these people genuinely fail to recognise how evil their actions are? For all the talk about 'honesty', does it not occur to them that the reason people oppose abortion is because there is something so obviously evil about tearing a tiny, helpless baby limb from limb? The old defences of 'sentience' or 'consciousness' simply do not ring true when we all know that dismembering a newborn baby would be regarded as an unspeakable crime and a newborn baby has no more consciousness than a baby who has yet to pass through the birth canal.

There was a survey at the side of the blog, but I didn't fill it in because the only option for a pro-life campaigner was 'I am anti-abortion and I am reading this to make myself mad.' Well, to be honest, reading accounts of people killing babies does make me incredibly angry, but I read it because I was interested to see what an abortionist had to say on the matter. And yes, it did strengthen my belief that tiny human lives are entitled to protection from the violence of abortion. The most nuanced arguments in the world cannot conceal the raw horror of abortion.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Do not lose hope

h/t Love Undefiled for reminding me of these beautiful words of Pope John Paul II to women who have had an abortion

I would now like to say a special word to women who have had an abortion. The Church is aware of the many factors which may have influenced your decision, and she does not doubt that in many cases it was a painful and even shattering decision. The wound in your heart may not yet have healed. Certainly what happened was and remains terribly wrong. But do not give in to discouragement and do not lose hope. Try rather to understand what happened and face it honestly. If you have not already done so, give yourselves over with humility and trust to repentance. The Father of mercies is ready to give you his forgiveness and his peace in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. To the same Father and his mercy you can with sure hope entrust your child. With the friendly and expert help and advice of other people, and as a result of your own painful experience, you can be among the most eloquent defenders of everyone's right to life. Through your commitment to life, whether by accepting the birth of other children or by welcoming and caring for those most in need of someone to be close to them, you will become promoters of a new way of looking at human life.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Support Vaclav Klaus

Now that the result of the referendum in Ireland has paved the way for the ratification of the Lisbon Treaty, it appears that the only obstacle to this taking place is the current refusal, or hesitancy, of the brave Czech President, Mr. Vaclav Klaus, to sign the Treaty on behalf of his country.

Those who care for the future of their country, and indeed the future of Europe, are being asked to sign a petition to President Klaus, asking him to hold out against all the forces that are opposing him. Here is the link to this most important petition:

Support Vaclav Klaus

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Monday, October 12, 2009

Convention on the Rights of the Child Anniversary

I made an intervention at a special session to mark the anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. Due to time constraints and the way the session was organised, I was only able to make a few points, but I submitted the whole intervention to the secretariat and have reproduced it below.

Discrimination against the child before birth

The current application of the Convention on the Rights of the Child as applying only from birth is discriminatory. This is unfair, unjust and contrary to the human rights of the child before birth.

Discrimination against the unborn child represents the gravest possible level of discrimination against children. The World Health Organisation estimates that there are 42 million abortions annually and it is clear by any standards that this is by far the single most significant issue of violence against children.

The Convention recognises human rights in the entire pre natal period and the fact that these rights are currently being ignored is also the single biggest challenge facing the children's rights movement and one that requires urgent attention.

We set out hereunder an outline of the basis on which the above statements are based

The preamble to the convention says that "the child by reason of his physical and mental immaturity needs special safeguards and care before as well as after birth"

The convention applies the generic name “The Child” inclusively, to the condition before birth as well as to the condition of born children.

Article 1. of the Convention continues the inclusive approach by defining the word child as “every human being under the age of 18”. On the basis that the generic name child is given to the condition before as well as after birth this therefore is also an inclusive statement and refers to the entire pre-natal period as well as to born children.

Article 2.1 the non discrimination clause clearly sets out that birth or other status should not be used grounds for discrimination. Termination of the life of a child before birth based on a determination of the child being disabled, being a girl, being a second child, being unwanted or simply being inconvenient is the very essence of discrimination

Article 6. Proclaims, “every child has the inherent right to life”. Again on the basis that the generic name child is given to the condition before as well as after birth this therefore is also an inclusive statement and refers to the entire pre-natal period as well as to born children. Since every child then has the inherent right to life the taking of that life, apart from other labels that could be attached to it, is contrary to article 6 of the convention

Article 24 the Right to health is the child’s right to health

1. States Parties recognize the right of the child to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health and to facilities for the treatment of illness and rehabilitation of health. States Parties shall strive to ensure that no child is deprived of his or her right of access to such health care services.

2. States Parties shall pursue full implementation of this right and, in particular, shall take appropriate measures:

(d) To ensure appropriate pre-natal and post-natal health care for mothers;

Clearly while pre and post-natal care is to be delivered to mothers it is in this convention for the benefit of the rights holder, the child.

We remind the committee that every child counts, every life is a precious and unique gift, never to be repeated. Every child, born or before birth, has an equal right to life with all other human beings, including his or her mother. Every pregnant woman knows that she carries a new human baby child. Medical science has also shown beyond any doubt that from the moment of fertilization each newly formed human embryonic child has a unique, separate and distinct identity.

Abortion is not, and can never be a human right. Abortion ignores the right to life of innocent and vulnerable babies. Extreme ideologies have been adopted by many governments and powerful NGO’s, ideologies which are hostile to the life of the child before birth. These ideologies must be confronted and shown to be false and in fact detrimental to the future population of all nations and thereby their economic viability..

We stand at an important juncture in the history of the development and implementation of the Rights of the Child and we appeal to the Committee to urgently reassess current practice and to courageously face this most difficult issue.

Finally we appeal to the Committee implement the Convention in the way it was intended.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

'No regrets' for rape victim who chose life

Miriam was walking with a nurse towards the operating theatre, dressed in a hospital gown, when she burst into tears and said that she had changed her mind about the abortion. At the age of 19 she had become pregnant through rape and had felt that abortion was the only way she would be able to get her life back to normal.

Her daughter is now seven and Miriam has never regretted that last-minute decision to save her life. Speaking about her experience of motherhood, Miriam said:

Having Kayleigh made me realise I could do anything, that it was up to me to make what had happened a positive thing in my life. But I’ll also tell her about the moment I decided to keep her, and how I felt all this love for her, love that is even stronger now. Watching her grow up, I feel lucky to have her in my life: I love her with all my heart.

Miriam now works with women who have been through rape and speaks regularly about her experience.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Mexican Resolution on Discrimination against Women

The Human Rights Council on Friday last approved a resolution tabled by Mexico and Columbia on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women. The resolution was approved by consensus.

This hotly debated resolution originally attempted to create a new mandate within the Human Rights Council by the appointment of an independent expert on “laws that discriminate against women”

The scope of the proposed mandate in the resolution was unclear and whilst it was accepted that there are very real problems of discrimination that require urgent attention nevertheless the mandate originally called for in the draft resolution had the potential to be used for many other so-called areas of discrimination against women such as lack of access to abortion.

The new mandate was proposed despite the fact that there are many existing instruments dealing with discrimination against women such as Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) and the Commission on the Status of Women, as well as a special rapporteur for violence against women. The new mandate was also proposed, despite the fact that the United Nations General Assembly in September adopted a resolution on gender equality and women's rights for the creation of a new United Nations agency for global Gender Equality Architecture Reform GEAR.

The final version of the resolution dropped the proposal to create a new mandate and instead requested the High Commissioner to prepare a thematic study on women’s equality before the law, to address the new “thematic study”, including conclusions and recommendations, at its fourteenth session, and to hold a half-day discussion on the issue in order to consider taking further possible action on discrimination against women at that session.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Traditional Values

In a rare break from its long term strategy of attempting to dictate newly conceived so called rights on everyone, the UN Human Rights Council last Friday approved a resolution tabled by the Russian Federation, “Promoting human rights and fundamental freedoms through a better understanding of traditional values of humankind”

The resolution which cites the United Nations Charter, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action, calls for the holding of a workshop to be held in 2010 for an exchange of views on how a better understanding of traditional values of humankind underpinning international human rights norms and standards can contribute to the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms,

Needless to say this resolution was strenuously opposed by the countries that are trying to impose their own values on mankind. The EU attempted to amend the resolution to enforce the concept that “traditional values” should be “consistent with and subordinate to human rights standards.” When this proposition was rejected the EU declined to enter consensus and the resolution was put to a vote. The resolution was carried by 26 votes to 15 with 6 abstentions.

The EU in explaining their reasons for rejection seem to have failed to grasp the difference between “values” and “practices” and while accepting that it was not the intention of the proposers, attempted to equate the concept of traditional values with unacceptable traditional practices such as female genital mutilation despite references in the resolution to the commonality of a set of values that belong to humankind in its entirety appearing across all cultures and civilizations,

The US also voted against the resolution on the basis that the concept of traditional values was undefined.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Mothers' Alliance statement more relevant now than ever

In the lead up to Ireland's second vote on the Lisbon Treaty Mrs. Nora Bennis, of the Mothers’ Alliance, made a very strong plea – both by way of information leaflets and in a You Tube video – to the people of Ireland that they should reject the Lisbon Treaty by voting NO in the referendum last Friday. In a press release she stated that:

‘Parents and grandparents are particularly horrified that they have been kept in the dark for so long about the deadly consequences of this Treaty for them, for their children and grandchildren. They did not know that ratification of the Lisbon Treaty will enable the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child to become legally binding on them. … Lisbon is the first EU treaty to include children’s rights. Article 3 of Lisbon [TEU] and Article 24 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights open the door so that the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child can become legally binding on ALL children. Article 2 of that Convention makes it quite clear that “States Parties” – NOT PARENTS OR LEGAL GUARDIANS – WILL DECIDE FOR THEIR CHILDREN, and this is totally contrary both to the way Irish parents rear and educate their children.’

Article 52 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights is also relevant.
Her warnings are borne out by statements from a number of prominent Irish politicians confirming what she says.

Mrs. Bennis went on to say that parents and legal guardians could be prosecuted for simple disciplinary actions within the home, for example, for ‘interfering’ with the privacy of their children – Article 16 CRC states that:
'No child shall be subjected to arbitrary or unlawful interference with his or her privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to unlawful attacks on his or her honour and reputation. The child has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.’

Parents could also be prosecuted if they try to control the information that their children are receiving or imparting to others – Article 13 CRC states:
‘The child shall have the right to freedom of expression; this right shall include freedom to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds, regardless of frontiers, either orally, in writing or in print, in the form of art, or through any other media of the child’s choice.

‘The exercise of this right may be subject to certain restrictions, but these shall only be such as are provided by law and are necessary: (a) for respect of the rights or reputations of others; or (b) for the protection of national security or of public order, or of public health or morals.’

Article 15 CRC could very well be used to prosecute parents if they try to prevent their children from associating with undesirables:
‘States Parties recognize the rights of the child to freedom of association and to freedom of peaceful assembly.

‘No restrictions may be placed on the exercise of these rights other than those imposed in conformity with the law and which are necessary in a democratic society in the interests of national security or public safely, public order, the protection of public health or morals or the protection of the rights and freedoms of others.’

Mrs. Bennis rightly refers to various Articles of Bunreacht na hÉireann (the Constitution of Ireland) that emphasise the unique place the Family – the natural primary fundamental unit group of society – including the children, holds in Society. Article 42.5 of the Constitution provides for the interference of the State only in the case of obvious neglect of the children on the part of parents, but with due regard to the natural and imprescriptable rights of the child. However, under the Lisbon Treaty, the Charter of Fundamental Rights will allow for the legally binding enforcement of the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the ensuing usurping of the rights of parents over their children. Article 2.2 CRC states:
'States Parties shall take all appropriate measures to ensure that the child is protected against all forms of discrimination or punishment on the basis of the status, activities, expressed opinions, or beliefs of the child’s parents, legal guardians, or family members.

Please see (4 October 2009) for further comment on the dangers to which children can very well be exposed by forces outside the family.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Kerri Wooltorton's death shames Britain

Two years ago, a young woman, suffering from severe depression, made her tenth suicide attempt by drinking poison and called an ambulance. She stated that she had called the ambulance so that she would not die 'alone and in pain' and was holding a living will which stated that she did not want to be treated. Fearing that he would be charged with assault, the doctor did not intervene to save Kerri Wooltorton's life and she was left to die. An inquest found that he had acted lawfully.

SPUC warned repeatedly when the Mental Capacity Bill was being debated that vulnerable people would be left to die but those warnings were dismissed. I remember during a conference, hearing a Catholic doctor describing just such a scenario if the Mental Capacity Bill passed into law. In his case, he feared that he would face prosecution for doing his duty as a doctor and saving a suicidal person, regardless of their living will. Again, such concerns were not taken seriously, but Britain has essentially criminalised doctors who follow the Hippocratic Oath which contains the unambiguous instruction: "First Do No Harm."

An Australian psychiatrist has pointed out in an article that many people suffering from complex disorders can be helped out of their despair with appropriate medical care and go on to lead satisfying lives, though it can sometimes take years for a person to recover from severe depression.

Tragically for Kerri, she will never have the chance to recover from her depressive illness.

Monday, October 5, 2009

End of Life Forum

Another Public Meeting organised as part of the Forum on End of Life in Ireland takes place at the Radisson Blu Hotel and Spa, Rosses Point Road, Sligo on Thursday, 8 October 2009 at 6.30 p.m.

The meeting will be chaired by Mr. Dermot Healy – ‘Author and Poet’.
Panellists will include:
Sharon Brennan, Clinical Nurse Specialist Support Team, North West Hospice
Fr. John Carroll, Chaplain, Sligo General Hospital
Seán Feehily, Funeral Director
John Griffin, Retired DON, Cregg House, and Chairperson, Hospice Friendly Hospitals Standing Committee, Sligo General Hospital
Patricia Hannon, HSE Bereavement Therapist and Psychotherapist
Dr. Diarmuid Hegarty, Medical Director, NOW Doc, and Acting Coroner, Donegal South West

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Lisbon 2 Referendum result; Ireland votes yes but Lisbon ratification not yet assured

In what has to be a pyrrhic victory for the Irish Government and for Europe, Ireland has voted to accept the Lisbon Treaty. The overall result was a massive yes but one county Donegal voted against it.

Fear seems to have been a major factor in the resounding vote in favour of the treaty, fear generated by the economic crisis of the past year, and fear for the future. Now that the vote has taken place however one must accept the result, and that this is now the choice of the Irish people irrespective of the undemocratic way the first vote was not respected, either by the Irish Government or by Europe.

Sadly our Government were not strong enough to accept the first verdict given by the Irish people in voting NO and gave in to European demands to ‘do it all over again and make sure you get the right answer this time’. European democracy has suffered a significant setback and the will of the Irish electorate has been disgracefully manipulated.

This unacceptable Treaty which, together with its Charter of Fundamental Rights, started life as a new constitution for Europe, instead of being consigned to the pages of History following rejection, first by France and Holland and subsequently by the first Irish rejection, has risen once again like the phoenix from its own ashes and Europe is now one step closer to becoming a superstate.

The ratification of the treaty however is still not assured, the Czech Republic also held out and while the Czech government want it ratified President Klaus refuses to sign it. (Sunday Business Post article) Klaus was initially waiting for the Irish verdict, however a group of Czech senators have recently taken a legal challenge against ratification of the treaty and President Klaus now says that he cannot sign until the constitutional court makes its decision. Meanwhile UK Conservative leader David Cameron has promised UK voters a referendum on the treaty, if his party win the general election next year and if Lisbon has not been ratified by that time. It is expected that the result of a UK referendum would be a massive rejection of the treaty.

Thursday, October 1, 2009


Libertas Leader Declan Ganley in a TV3 interview told the show host Vincent Browne and viewers that Cardinal Bertone head of the Holy See Secretariat of State and the most senior Cardinal in the Vatican had issued a statement stressing the importance of European countries “keeping their own identity”, and in which he refers to Ireland’s resistance to centralisation as “logical”.

The text of a press statement issued by Libertas leader Declan Ganly is reproduced below.

Libertas Leader Declan Ganley has tonight welcomed comments by the Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Bertone, in which the Pope’s chief diplomat stresses the importance of European countries “keeping their own identity”, and refers to Ireland’s resistance to centralisation as “logical”.

Speaking this afternoon to a Czech newspaper, Cardinal Bertone said:

"Individual European countries have their own identity. The European Union prescribes its laws or views to them and they must comply with their traditions and history. Some countries are logically resisting this - for example, Ireland... The Church wants to encourage the states in this."

Commenting, Mr. Ganley said:

“This statement should end the debate about how the church interprets this Treaty. The campaign to resist the centralisation of power in Brussels is described by the Pope’s official spokesperson as “logical”, and the Holy Father’s office has said that the church wants to “encourage” states to take this stand.

I welcome these comments by Cardinal Bertone, and encourage all practising catholics to take them on board before they cast their ballots”


Slovak MEP Anna Záborská: Statement on the upcoming Irish referendum

Does the EU Lisbon Treaty really respect fundamental and non negotiable values?

Having served since 2004 as a Member of the European Parliament for a very small EU Member State (Slovakia), I am persuaded that negotiating "national guarantees" is part of the political strategy. Those guarantees do not have any legal effect in EU law, which always has primacy over national legislation. If the Lisbon Treaty is passed the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, which is part of the Treaty will become legally binding, will have primacy and will confer extensive rights to the European Court of Justice. Whenever there will be a discord between the Lisbon Treaty and national laws or constitutions, the EU Court in Luxemburg will decide. Recent rulings show that the EU Court of Justice is more likely to take a stand in favour of the EU legislation. Who will protect the national legislation?

In 2005, my own Slovak government was under attack because we wanted to sign an additional protocol on objection of conscience related to our Concordat. The EU Network of Independent Experts on Fundamental Rights (which at this time belongs to the EU Commission) declared that any provisions on objection of conscience would not be compatible with EU legislation!

In January 2009, the European Parliament urged Member states to recognise abortion rights among other ‘rights’, based on the provisions of EU Fundamental Rights Charter. The existing EU legislation on non discrimination would force Ireland and all the other Member States to change their national family policy to make them compatible with the so-called EU standards.

Just three weeks ago, Lithuania was been threatened by the EU Parliament because of the protection of minors in its national school law. The EU Parliament supposed that this provision could harm the principle of non discrimination on the ground of "sexual orientation". But nobody was interested in arguments in favour of the protection of the child and the rights of the parents to educate them. There was no respect for the principle of subsidiarity.

The next Member State could be Ireland or anybody else. Can the Irish government guarantee that the EU will not attack the Irish Constiution or the guarantees when the upcoming Council directive on non discrimination needs to be implemented in national law? Can the Irish Government guarantee that Ireland will not be similarly threatened on their pro-life and pro-family legislation?

I am almost certain that an Irish No to the Lisbon Treaty would not cause the collapse of the EU, as the every day experience in the institutions clearly shows.

I would invite the Irish voters to carefully consider also my arguments which intend to defend an EU society based on values which are fundamental and non negotiable, and which the Lisbon Treaty does not respect enough.


MEP Anna Záborská
European Parliament
ASP 3 F 357
B 1047 Brussels
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