Monday, May 31, 2010

The importance of upholding natural law

In a report of an address given by George Weigel to college graduates at the Thomas More College of Liberal Arts, New Hampshire, USA, recently, Zenit News Agency says that Mr. Weigel urged the students to ‘base themselves firmly in natural law in order to make a good defense of religious freedom in society today.’

Mr. Weigel, who wrote Witness to Hope, a biography of the late Pope John Paul II, is quoted as saying to the young people that:
‘One of the great challenges of the younger generation of Catholics will be to rise to the defense of religious freedom in full.’
He referred to the situation when the US Supreme Court established
‘a spurious “right to abortion” as the right that trumps all other rights’, and when US legislators ‘decided that it was within the state’s competence to redefine marriage and to compel others to accept that redefinition through the use of coercive state power.
’ He continued:
‘The conscience rights of Catholic physicians, nurses, and other health care professionals are not second-class rights that can be trumped by other rights claims; and any state that fails to acknowledge those rights of conscience has done grave damage to religious freedom rightly understood. The same can and must be said about any state that drives the Catholic Church out of certain forms of social service because the Church refuses to concede that the State has the competence to declare as “marriage” relationships that are manifestly not marriages.’

What a pity that the people – politicians and others – who should be taking note of these words will probably not hear or read them, unless they are told. I would encourage all readers of this blog – to take Mr. Weigel’s wisdom and truth out into the market-place (as the late Pope John Paul would have urged) and, respectfully, tell your politicians and policy-makers what they ought to know.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Northern Ireland High Court grants SPUC leave for full legal challenge to Health Board refusal to withdraw abortion guidelines

The society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC) report that the high court in Belfast has granted leave to the Society for a full legal challenge of the decision by the Northern Ireland Health Department to re-issue controversial guidance on abortion, despite a last-minute attempt by the health department to have the case adjourned. see SPUC director BLOG

SPUC argued that the publication of the guidance in its current form was perverse, and contravened a 30 November court order for the document’s withdrawal. Following the success of SPUC’s previous judicial review, the department sought permission to withdraw only the sections of the guidance dealing with counselling and the rights of medical staff to non-participation in abortion. Those sections were heavily criticised by Lord Justice Girvan on 30 November. He ruled that the issues in the guidance were inter-related, that the guidance must therefore be withdrawn in its entirety and reconsidered.

James Dingemans QC, representing SPUC argued that the department’s decision effectively ignoring last year’s ruling was “simply impermissible and irrational”.

Mr Justice Treacy said that SPUC’s application had more than exceeded the threshold necessary for the challenge to go to the next stage of a full judicial review.

Liam Gibson of SPUC Northern Ireland, speaking outside the high court, said:
“Today’s events are yet more evidence of the bitter and irrational approach taken by the department of health to the issue of abortion guidance. At the very last minute the department asked the judge for an adjournment but refused to give any reasons for a four-week delay. Sadly, this is the way the department has behaved all along. It has disregarded public opinion, the will of the Assembly, the Stormont health committee and even the high court, in order to pursue an agenda of widening the scope for abortion in Northern Ireland.

“We don’t believe that the department has given any serious consideration to the ruling made by Lord Justice Girvan last year. A document that says nothing about counselling of women or the rights of medical staff cannot possibly provide adequate guidance to doctors. Naturally, we’re pleased that Mr Justice Treacy has granted leave for the case to proceed",
said Mr Gibson.

On 30 November last, Lord Justice Girvan ruled against the department’s guidance on two grounds:

(1) because abortion remains illegal in Northern Ireland, it was wrong to expect medical providers to give non-directive counselling to women who might be considering abortion.

(2) the guidance was wrong regarding the rights of health professionals to non-participation in abortion (conscientious objection).
On 14 December Lord Justice Girvan confirmed that the guidance should be withdrawn in whole and not merely in part.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Further drop in numbers of Irish women traveling to the UK for abortion

The number of Irish women traveling to the UK to have their babies aborted has declined for the eighth year in a row. Department of Health statistics for England and Wales for the year 2009 show a fall of 178 in number of women giving Irish addresses. This figure has fallen every year from 6,673 in 2001 to the present 4,422, a reduction of 33.7 per cent in the period. see report

Whilst it is good to see the numbers of Irish women seeking abortion in the UK is continuing to fall each and every case is tragic and more must be done to support women and girls who become pregnant. This reduction in numbers has little to do with the Crisis Pregnancy Agency (CPA) which has now been subsumed into the Health Services Executive (HSE) and which has consistently portrayed abortion as a positive option. The CPA/HSE continues to fund agencies that that are affiliated to and financially supported by, international abortion providers, that claim their counseling is non directive but at the same time provide information on foreign abortion clinics.

The drop in the numbers of women seeking abortion is due rather to the excellent and highly professional services of pro-life agencies. Clearly the CPA focus on reducing the number of so called “crisis pregnancies” is not the same as that of agencies that seek to protect the life and health of both mother and baby by giving women comprehensive information, denied to them by pro-abortion agencies, such as the possible physical and mental effects of abortion.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Report on World Health Assembly 2010

The 63rd World Health Assembly (WHA) held in Geneva Switzerland from May 17 – 22 focused primarily on the Millennium Development Goals (MDG’s) which were agreed in the year 2000 and which will be reviewed at a special United Nations session in New York in September.

The Assembly, which is the governing body of the World Health Oraganziton (WHO), composed of Health Ministers and Delegates from 188 countries, focused in particular on Goals 4,5 and 6. Goals 4 and 5 call for accomplishment of substantial reductions in both Maternal and child mortality by 2015 and goal 6 relates to combating HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases..

The background to this meeting relates to the fact that in this 10th year after agreement of the MDG’s and with only 5 years to go in order to meet the targets set out at the time, insufficient progress has been made with the result that the targets cannot be realized without accelerated programmes.

A series of three major technical briefings on progress, challenges that remain and strategies to achieve the MDG’s were held as side events. Although the speakers continued to promote decreasing the number of children women deliver as a means to decrease maternal mortality, the focus of the session was actually mainly on known and effective means of decreasing maternal mortality, not the promotion of legalization of abortion.

Three of the 10, resolutions approved by the assembly on a variety of health related issues, such as viral hepatitis, nutrition, and blood safety, included one on “Monitoring of the achievement of the health-related Millennium Development goals,” one on “Birth defects,” and one on the “WHO HIV/AIDS Strategy for 2011- 2015”

Unfortunately, the Health Ministers, a large percentage of whom come from pro-life countries, unfamiliar with implications and nuances of certain UN language related to the term “reproductive health,” accepted the resolutions on Monitoring the MDG’s and on “Birth Defects” with the inclusion of references to reproductive health “services” which can be interpreted to include abortion. Member UN nations in other venues have come to accept that “reproductive health” without the term “services” does not include abortion and do not accept “services” in relation to reproductive health.

They also accepted problematic references buried in the WHA Executive Board Reports or documents referenced in the.resolutions.

The resolution on birth defects for example references a WHA Executive Board Report (EB 126/10) on which the resolution is based which, among other things, calls for prenatal screening and diagnosis for birth defects and selective termination of pregnancy.

The Resolution on HIV/Aids references a report: “UN AIDS Outcome Framework” (2009-2011) which includes the term “sexual and reproductive health and rights,” which has never been defined in any UN negotiated document.

The resolution on the Monitoring of the MDG’s, welcomes a WHO report
“Women and health: today’s evidence tomorrow’s agenda.” (Geneva, World Health Organization, 2009), with questionable statistics and inaccurate unsubstantiated claims relating to maternal mortality and abortion.

The truth is, the lack of and unavailability of modern medicine and quality health care, not the prohibition of abortion, results in high maternal mortality. Legalizing abortions actually leads to more abortions—and in the developing world where maternal health care is poor, this would increase the number of women who die or are harmed by abortion. The solution to illegal abortions and high maternal mortality does not lie in legalizing abortion but in the provision of adequate education and care, including the provision of universal pre and post-natal care, emergency obstetric care, a clean blood supply, ensuring a clean water supply, adequate supplies of antibiotics and other vital medicines, and good nutrition. Statistics confirm that these measures save women's lives -- not the legalization, of abortion.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Athlone / Mullingar Advertiser Editorial welcomes Channel 4 TV advertisments promoting abortion

Following the publication of an article by the Athlone/Mullingar Advertiser welcoming the new pro-abortion TV advertisements to be shown on Channel 4 , the following letter was sent to the Advertiser Group Editor Declan Varley of the Galway advertiser.

Well done to Ray Mc Intyre who spotted the article and authored the letter below

"after reading the editorial in the Mullingar/Athlone Advertiser (part of the Galway Advertiser Group) where the promotion of abortion via TV advertisements on Channel 4 in the UK was lauded and applauded as a ''huge step forward for women's rights'' I would ask you to clarify if it is now the Advertiser Group editorial policy to promote the practice of abortion and the TV advertising of abortion as a commercial and profit making service?

As an educated man you must surely realise that abortion kills an innocent human being in the most violent fashion. Furthermore the abortion industry can no longer hide or evade the scientifically established fact that abortion leaves a woman psychologically traumatised for the rest of her life. Many international scientific studies show post-abortive women suffering many of the symptoms common to veteran soldiers suffering from PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) with its associated depression and risk of self harm. The psychological trauma of a father losing his child in an abortion is also recognised as a scientific fact.

Your Mullingar editor mourned the fact that abortion is a taboo subject and welcomed the TV advertising initiative in the UK which would help to bring the subject of abortion out into the open.

One cannot deny that there is a good reason why abortion is a taboo subject. No matter what word games you play or semantic nuances you employ to de-humanise the baby in the womb and to sanitise the procedure; the grim reality of abortion is that an innocent human being is destroyed in the most inhumane and gruesome manner imaginable.
I will spare you the details and the routine practices involved in a typical 2nd or 3rd trimester abortion. However the abortion technician who after each and every act of aborting a tiny innocent life has to re-assemble the tiny disparate body parts of the dead baby on a cold stainless steel tray is in no doubt about the incredible violence involved in aborting a baby in the womb. Many of these technicians have renounced their careers in this industry, so sickened are they by the gruesome reality of killing a baby.

Indeed it is a fact that in the UK there are less and less medical Doctors willing to perform abortions such is the obvious injustice and violence involved. This increasing distaste that the UK medical community has for involvement in performing and recommending abortion is partly the reason why the abortion industry is seeking to promote itself and ''mainstream'' its activities via a TV ad campaign.
This is all part of a subtle propaganda campaign to normalise the inherently gory reality and to de-sensitise the general public so that people will gradually accept abortion as just another routine operation, just another personal lifestyle choice. Is your paper now an active part of this campaign? This is a serious question that you will have to answer now that your Mullingar editor has nailed her colours to the mast.

The abortion industry in the UK is a huge industrial concern which has since 1967 faciliated the killing of 7 million babies.It is also a fact that this industry is run on a commercial basis with many national and multinational companies with an economic vested interest in supplying equipment and stimulating ''demand'' . In other words the industry sustains itself by performing more and more abortions. It is in the commercial interest of the UK abortion industry to hide the gruesome facts from the public and for more and more women to make this unfortunate, irreversible and lethal decision. Today in the UK up to one third of babies in the womb are aborted and are denied the very human right that is fundamental to all other human rights, the Right to Life.

It is indeed ironic that your Mullingar editor is promoting abortion as a human right while denying the right to life of the baby in the womb.
In her view the female baby in the womb has the right to an abortion but has absolutely no right to life.
Let me state this incredible position again because it is truly shocking;
In the view of your Mullingar editor the female baby in the womb has the right to an abortion but has absolutely no right to life.

That is the twisted logic of the multi million Pound Sterling abortion industry which employs sophisticated propaganda masquerading as a TV ad campaign which your paper now unfortunately appears to support.
This is bizarre logic indeed and it is in fact a case of a blind ideology triumphing over reason and logic. This year almost 5000 Irish babies in the womb will never be allowed to see the light of day. Our abortion rate is still only approximately 1 in 15 versus the UK's 1 in 3 babies in the womb. All parties agree that abortion is a gruesome affair. Why then is your Mullingar editor applauding a UK initiative which will promote the abortion of more and more innocent babies both in the UK and in Ireland? Why isn't your editor promoting the Irish example of much lower abortion rates versus the UK? Even some of the most ideological pro-abortion voices will admit that there are far too many babies aborted, why then is your editor now promoting a campaign which can only result in more and more babies never seeing the light of day?

In demonstrating her blatant zeal for the promotion of commercial abortion services on TV, your Mullingar editor makes another incredible and illogical statement. She claims that now because the '' Church '' is now at such low ebb that ''priests'' can no longer tell us what to do in the case of abortion. She continues to claim that now that the ''Church '' is mired in child abuse claims it is time to promote abortion as a ''human right'' (sic) .

In my own case I never needed to listen to any ''priest'' or the '' Church '' to know that abortion and the intentional killing of an innocent human being is wrong. How can the terrible wrong of child abuse be promoted as an excuse to support the abortion of innocent babies?

Many of the Child Abuse support groups have loudly denounced any attempts to piggy back the promotion of abortion on the legitimate public rage against the terrible sexual abuse of children. Indeed I ask you, how can your paper publish an editorial which would rightly condemn the abuse of a week old baby while at the same time support and promote the dismembering by lethal suction or cruel dissection of a baby in the womb who may be only 2 weeks younger than the first one.

I do not need any '' priest '' or ''Church '' to tell me that something as violent and inhumane as abortion is simply wrong. I do not need any ''priest or Church '' to see the exploitation of vulnerable women for commercial purposes that advertising abortion on TV facilitates.

The promotion of the Right to Life of the innocent baby in the womb and the empowerment and education of young women to understand the true gruesome nature of abortion and its life long psychological effects is The most noble human rights movement of our generation.

Your newspaper group has the choice to make whether it will join the this most noble grassroots cause since the abolition of human bondage and Slavery or side with the propaganda, deception and commercial interests of the giant UK abortion industry and its handful of ideologically driven Irish fellow travellers.

I would ask you to clarify whether this editorial in your Mullingar/Athlone edition is supported by the Galway Advertiser group? I would also ask you to clarify whether the future editorial direction of the Galway Advertiser Group is to promote and support abortion and the killing of more and more innocent Irish babies in the womb by UK based commercial interests?"

I would encourage readers to contact the Advertiser group and have included some contact numbers below.

Mr Declan Varley
091-530 936

Mr Ronnie O'Gorman
Mr Peter Timmins
Company Directors
Galway Advertiser
41/42 Eyre Square

Mr David Pyne
Sales Manager Galway
091 530 949

Mr David Martin
Sales Manager Athlone/Mullingar
0906 470920

Maria Daly
Editor Athlone/Mullingar
0906 470927

Galway Advertiser
41/42 Eyre Square
Tel: 091 530 900

Athlone Advertiser
21 Mardyke Street
Co. Westmeath
Tel: 090 647 0920

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Publication of leaflet opposing civil partnerships bill

Despite the fact that during his recent visit to Portugal Pope Benedict condemned so called "Gay Marriage" the Portuguese President has signed a law approving it.

Ireland is also currently debating a law on Civil Partnerships despite significant public opposition.

A group of concerned people in Co. Donegal Ireland has got together to produce an excellent explanatory leaflet on the subject of the ‘Civil Partnership Bill 2009’ that is being debated in the Irish Parliament at the moment. The leaflet uses the statement issued by the Irish Bishops’ Conference about the Bill, setting out the teaching of the Catholic Church in relation to marriage and the family.

The ‘Civil Partnership Bill’ would totally undermine marriage and the family – the bedrock of society. The leaflet states:
‘The Bill fails to recognize the special position of marriage. Under the Bill same sex partnerships are virtually equivalent to marriage.

‘It is a grave injustice if the State ignores the unique and proper place of husbands and wives, the place of mothers and fathers, and especially the rights of children, who deserve from society a clear understanding of marriage as they grow to maturity.
‘Without protection and support for the unique place of marriage in society the State would, in effect, intentionally deprive children of their right to a mother and a father.
‘Male-female complementarity is intrinsic to marriage. It is naturally ordered toward sexual union in a faithful, committed relationship as the basis for the generation of new life. The true nature of marriage, lived in openness to life, bears witness to the preciousness of the gift of a child and to the unique roles of a mother and father.’

The leaflet also refers to the sanctions liable under the Bill for anybody who declares a conscientious objection to carrying out provisions of the Bill –
‘Registrars who refuse on the grounds of conscience to carry out a ceremony for same sex couples will face fines and up to six months in prison. Christians, Jews and Muslims, or anyone else, who refuses to make halls and other facilities available for a celebration or reception connected with a same sex partnership will face prosecution and fines.

Copies of the leaflet can be ordered directly by contacting: Browne Printers Ltd., Letterkenny, Co. Donegal (phone: 0749121387)

Further information about the ‘Civil Partnership Bill’ is available on numerous recent ELN blogs.

Friday, May 21, 2010

50 years of "the pill"

The Irish Times Weekend Review, published on Saturday, 1 May, ‘celebrates’ the fiftieth anniversary of the contraceptive pill under the header ‘Fifty years of The Pill’. Kathy Sheridan, in her related article, states ‘[The Pill] changed the world. Or did it? It was a panacea. Or was it a poison?’ How right she is in suggesting that it is a poison. She goes on to say that:
‘The pill is now used by some 100 million women around the world and has a clean bill of health, yet questions still hang over it.’
Indeed they do. She writes:
‘The pill was a toddler in 1963, when the National Maternity Hospital [in Dublin] opened a “marriage guidance clinic” offering advice only on the rhythm method, while pharmaceutical companies were introducing the pill to Ireland as a “cycle regulator”. By 1965, when Dr Sheila Jones [who was later to become ‘medical director’ of the Irish Family Planning Association – an associate of the International Planned Parenthood Federation] was working in Jervis Street Hospital, the pill was already being prescribed for women with kidney damage to ensure that they did not get pregnant. “The Hospital was run by nuns, but they looked the other way,” she says.’ …Ireland was a country of two faces. Courageous doctors, nurses and lay supporters risked their professional lives and reputations to set up the Fertility Guidance Company Ltd (later the Irish Family Planning Association) in 1969. …’

Miss Sheridan has some further interesting remarks:
‘In Ireland, some would place the turning point [with regard to contraception] at around 1967, with the introduction of free secondary schooling and the resulting start of the average Irish Catholic’s journey along the road to individual conscience. A year later came the damning papal encyclical on contraception, Humanae Vitae, ignored by Irish couples in their tens of thousands. … Fifty years on, the pill is by no means perfect. Yes, the doses are lighter, but for all the choices available, women continue to carry the can of hormonal contraception and Irish doctors still hold themselves to be uniquely qualified to be the judges of women’s decisions. The latest power/money battle is over who dispenses emergency contraception. In France, school nurses are authorised to do it. Here only doctors may. … So, … if raising a glass to the pill, do raise a toast to Carl Djerassi, Gregory Pincus and John Rock, the scientists behind the marvel. Then raise several more to Margaret Sanger and Katharine Dexter McCormick, the extraordinary American women who championed and funded Pincus when Harvard denied him tenure. …’

Now – read my blog on Margaret Sanger (29 April) again.

You might also like to read (or re-read!) my blogs relating to Margaret Sanger at 14 and 19 April 2009, 17 March 2009, 8 January 2009, and 22 November 2008.

I wonder if Kathy Sheridan has read Humanae Vitae and, if so, does she realise how prophetic a document it is.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

SPUC condemn TV advertising for abortion

Following reports that Channel 4 will run TV advertisements on behalf of Marie Stopes Clinics, commencing on Monday next, the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children issued the following statement condemning the move

London, 19 May 2010 - The planned screening of an advertisement for abortions on British television has been condemned by the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC), a leading pro-life group.

Marie Stopes International told the media today that Channel 4 will be broadcasting its advertisement for abortions from 24 May onwards.

Anthony Ozimic, SPUC communications manager, commented: “Marie Stopes may claim to be a non-profit organisation, but they have a financial interest in drumming up demand for abortion. Marie Stopes has a cavalier attitude to obeying legal restrictions regarding abortion, and has been implicated in illegal abortions overseas. Neither Marie Stopes nor any similar organisation should be allowed to advertise the killing of unborn children.

“We are taking advice regarding the legality of the scheduled advertisement. Although Marie Stopes claims to be a charity helping women, its huge multi-national revenue means it can afford TV advertising, which is hugely expensive. This creates an unfair playing field, as pro-life groups simply cannot afford any such advertising.

“Allowing abortion to be advertised on TV will lead to more unborn babies being killed and to more women and girls suffering the after-effects of abortion. Abortion ads will trivialise abortion. It is an insult to the hundreds of women hurt by abortion every day. Such ads are offensive and will mislead viewers about the reality of abortion.

"The Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport has the power to insist that Ofcom controls advertising in this area. We call upon him to intervene immediately. [cf. Communications Act 2003 s.321]

"Abortion is in English law a criminal offence. Advertising of a criminal offence is not permitted.

"European law also prohibits the advertising of restricted (i.e. on prescription) medical procedures, such as abortion. [cf. the Audio-Visual Media Regulations 2010, preamble, 89]

"The Broadcasting Act 1990 requires that advertising is not offensive or harmful. Abortion is offensive to the countless women damaged by abortion; and lethally harmful to the hundreds of unborn children aborted every day", concluded Mr Ozimic.

Last year 29,000 people signed a SPUC-organised paper petition to the prime minister against a proposal to allow abortion agencies to advertise on television and radio. Hundreds of people also wrote submissions to the broadcasting authorities against the proposal.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Canadian March for Life

It is estimated that at least 12,000 people took part in this year’s March for Life in Ottawa, Canada, in March. see

Jim Hughes, president of the Campaign Life Coalition, addressing the crowd, said he welcomed all those who had come to take part in the March and, in particular, he thanked the young people – who made up a very large part of those participating. He said, too, that he would like to pay tribute to ‘the teachers and the chaperones’ of the young people.

Also at the March for Life (other countries please take note of this) were twenty-one members of the Canadian Parliament, together with an encouraging number of the Canadian Catholic bishops and other prominent clergy who came to be present with their fellow pro-lifers. The Cardinal Primate of Canada congratulated the Canadian government for recently having decided not to include support for abortion in its ‘G8’ maternal health plan, but he also urged them to continue to protect life. Another bishop told the crowd: ‘My message is very simply: my friends, just to remind you that God created life. God did not create death. We don’t own our lives.’ Reminiscent of a quote that appeared in a Canadian pro-life journal many, many years ago that stated: ‘A baby is God’s opinion that the world should continue’, he said that ‘Every child that is born is a sign that God is not tired of man.’

One of the Members of Parliament, who is chairman of the Pro-Life Parliamentary Caucus, declared to the thousands taking part in the March: ‘…I believe in the value of the unborn, and I’m not afraid to say that.’
At the conclusion of the March, after the many speeches, a number of members of the Silent No More Awareness group spoke of their experiences and the hurt they now feel following an abortion that they have come to regret. It’s not only women who are affected by abortion, but men too.


Ireland’s Rally for Life – as mentioned in previous blogs – is planned to take place in Belfast on 3 July next. Watch out for further details in the coming weeks!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Irish TD quizzed on his attitude to abortion

Dr Leo Varadkar, a medical doctor and a member of Fine Gael (one of the opposition parties in the Irish Parliament), was interviewed recently in relation to his life and outlook on life generally. [Dr Varadkar’s father is Hindu and his mother Catholic, and he was reared as a Catholic.]

When, during the course of the interview, it was put to him that his views on a number of controversial issues – such as abortion – were quite ‘black and white’, Dr Varadkar is reported as saying the following:
‘I would accept a lot of Catholic social teaching. I’m not a practising religious person, but I would accept that. I wouldn’t be in favour of abortion. The only thing that would be a grey area is if there’s a genuine threat or risk to the life of the mother.’ He said that he wouldn’t be in favour of abortion in the case of rape – ‘…it isn’t the child’s fault that they’re the child of rape. You can say the same thing about disabled children. You know, some people would make that argument in favour of abortion. It’s not their fault they’re disabled. I wouldn’t be in favour of it in those circumstances either. Even, how would that work practically? Would someone have to prove that they’ve been raped? I think where that’s been brought in in countries it has more or less led to abortion on demand. … ’

Monday, May 17, 2010

Concern about the Irish Stem Cell Foundation

In my blog for 8 March 2010 I wrote about the newly established Irish Stem Cell Foundation, and I voiced my concerns as to the possible motives behind the formation of this agency.

Irish public policy and human embryonic stem cell research – A policy document by the Irish Stem Cell Foundation is the title of a booklet published by the Foundation in April of this year (2010). Here are some quotations from the booklet:

‘Overall the Report of the Bioethics Council acknowledges that:
“Societal attitudes in relation to these questions vary greatly, with some people fundamentally opposed to research involving nascent human life, while others take the view that research on human embryos offer [sic] a legitimate opportunity to garner new scientific and medical knowledge.”
‘In the past policy-makers have fallen back on a claim of general societal anxiety as a rationale for their lack of legislative action. Despite a lack of political will, given the significance of the issues involved, such reservations should not be allowed to hinder policy development.’

In relation to independent Senator Rónán Mullen’s proposed ‘Stem-Cell Research (Protection of Human Embryos) Bill’ [2008] that Senator Mullen put before the Seanad (Upper House of the Irish Parliament), but on which no vote was taken, despite vigorous debate, the ISCF says:
‘This Bill, if enacted, would … prohibit the use of any cell lines derived from embryos, even if the research from which the cell lines where obtained took place outside the jurisdiction. … The problem with this particular proposal, however, was that it did not hold out any prospect of regulation; rather it simply banned hESC research altogether. They also felt that the Bill in this form sent out a message that Ireland was not open to scientific research. …’

‘It is clear that Ireland will in the near future have to face up to the difficult challenge of defining at which point the constitutional protection of the unborn specified by Article 40.3.3. [of the Constitution of Ireland] begins, and that finding appropriate policy will involve serious moral debate, and a willingness to be open to compromising policy solutions. … As evidenced by the ongoing debate about legalising abortion it can be difficult to conduct a debate on an issue of public policy where opposing sides are separated by an apparently unbridgeable chasm of moral disagreement. …

‘Any policy initiative in this area which tries to weigh the moral value of human embryos against the moral value of human welfare, is trying to balance an acceptance of the value of human life against the obligation to care for existing human kind generally. The Irish Stem Cell Foundation (ISCF) argues that embryonic research is acceptable in certain contexts and under certain strictly controlled conditions. Defining what those contexts or conditions might be and subsequently securing agreement for them from both the conservative and scientific communities in Ireland is likely to prove difficult.
‘Both the Report of the Commission on Assisted Human Reproduction and the Opinion of the Irish Bioethics Council have recommended that hESCR be allowed on donated “spare” embryos from IVF cycles up to a maximum of 14 days and that the generation of embryos for research should not be allowed nor should cloning be permitted. The ISCF feels that their approach was measured, and, in considering a wide range of interest groups within Irish society, allowed voice to the concerns of many over this type of research.
‘The ISCF would therefore support the carefully regulated use of supernumerary IVF embryos – embryos that are otherwise destined to be destroyed – for the purposes of embryonic stem cell research aimed at alleviating human suffering.
‘If Ireland continues to avoid addressing the difficult ethical issues thrown up by advances in reproductive technology we may find that Ireland is in danger of becoming, the “unregulated environment for practices that may be controversial” …and that we are no long capable of recognising and appreciating … “what is normal about being human” …
‘It is essential … that Ireland develops a flexible regulatory scheme that respects the ethical and moral values of 21st century Ireland while allowing the public/professional dialogue in this area to continue.’

I have quoted at length and, I hope, fairly, in order to give some idea of the direction in which it appears that the ISCF is going. Readers can make up their own minds.
It is important to mention here, too, that although submissions were ‘invited’ from interested members of the public to respond to the proposals of both the CAHR (Commission on Assisted Human Reproduction) and the ICB (Irish Council for Bioethics), and that these submissions were overwhelmingly against the use of embryos for research purposes, the two agencies blithely ignored this fact.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Aborted baby cries before cremation

An aborted baby declared dead by doctors in south China's Guangdong Province cried before he was due to be cremated, but died hours later as doctors refused to treat him. See Shanghai Daily

A mortuary worker at Nanhai Funeral Home in Foshan City said the baby cried and scared him as he was about to throw the coffin into a furnace, Information Times reported today.

He opened the box and found the seven-month fetus moving, but apparently choking on some cotton wool in his mouth, the report said.

After the worker cleared his mouth, the baby yawned and breathed peacefully. Workers rushed him back to Guanyao Hospital which delivered the baby as medical waste earlier that day.

But doctors left him in the lobby, and confirmed after an hour that the baby died.

The vice head of the funeral house said Guanyao Hospital sent many aborted fetuses or still-born babies for cremation. This baby apparently survived an abortion at seven months, and he had videos to prove the baby was still alive before the cremation.

Hospital official Liu Sanhong said its staff checked the baby for an hour and made sure it was dead. Liu did not say whether the doctors tried to save the baby or not.

The body was later sent back to the funeral house. The report said all workers were ordered not to talk about the incident.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Pope Benedict XVI 'deeply appreciative' of initiatives aimed at defending essential and primary values of life

Pope Benedict XVI in an address to Catholic charity and social workers in Fatima on Thursday, said he 'deeply appreciated' initiatives aimed at defending what he said were 'essential and primary values of life'.

Among these values, he said, was 'the family, founded on indissoluble marriage between a man and a woman'. Abortion and threats to heterosexual marriage were he said 'among some of the most insidious and dangerous challenges facing the common good today'.

Pope Benedict's statement during his trip to Portugal was particularly poignant in view of the decision by the Portuguese parliament last January to legalise same-sex marriage.

It is to be hoped that his words will also be taken to heart by the Irish Government which is currently debating a bill to legalise civil partnerships

see coverage by The Daily Mail and Times on line

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Cord Blood a rich source of adult stem cells

One of the sources of adult stem cells, which has been proven to have a rich stem cell harvest is, sadly, one which is regularly discarded as hospital waste. Umbilical cords are not normally harvested despite the fact that they are an ethical source of stem cells and could provide treatment for many different ailments.

All told, there are over 70 different diagnoses that use cord blood to treat children and adults. More than 20,000 units of cord blood stem cells have been used in transplants and since 2007 the International Marrow Donor program released more cord blood stem cells than bone marrow stem cells for transplant.

Bearing this in mind “Biostór", an Irish firm with a capacity for storage of cord blood pose the question.
“(w)hy do we in Ireland choose to discard it when it is such a rich source of stem cells, the preferred therapy to treat leukaemia and lymphoma and could save 20 Irish adults and children each year?”

see article on your country your call and related youtube video

Biostór say the physical establishment for cryogenic storage and manufacturing already exist at their plant in Wexford Ireland. The facility they report, meets the required standards of the EU, the FDA in the US, and has been inspected and licensed by the Irish Medicine Board as a Tissue Establishment. It is the first spoke in the wheel and a vital interface between academia, the medical profession and industry.

With a birth rate of more than 75,000 annually there is no question about the availability of cord blood. Clearly this could provide a platform for ethical stem cell research and therapies.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Blood Money: new movie exposing the abortion industry

The following link is to a new independent film, which has set out to expose Planned Parenthood and the abortion industry in general. The movie is called Blood Money, and in order for the producers to get it into theaters they need to show that millions of interested people have visited their website.

You need only to visit the website; there is no need to sign-up as a supporter unless you want to. If you'd like to watch the short trailer for the film, it is also available on the website.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Who or what are the Trilaterals

Who, or what, are the Trilaterals? We don’t know, really, for the simple reason that this group is a somewhat secretive one. The Trilateral Commission was formed, it is thought, sometime in the early 1970s. It is a body dedicated to One World Government, and its first objective is to merge the economic structures of Europe, North America and Japan. (That last sentence is taken from an article written in 1992, but its significance is still obvious today – nearly twenty years later.) The Trilateral Commission was established by the multi-millionaire Chairman of the Rockefeller Foundation, the Chase-Manhattan Bank and the Council for Foreign Relations in the USA, one David Rockefeller.

Irish names associated with membership of the Trilaterals include Mary Robinson (former President of Ireland), Garret Fitzgerald, Ken Whitaker (former Governor of the Central Bank of Ireland), Richard Conroy (Conroy Petroleum), Barry Desmond (Labour Party), etc.

The Bilderbergers is another, similar, ‘private’ body. It is linked to the Trilaterals, and the members of both groups can intermingle. Peter Sutherland is further Irish name linked to these groups.

It is very difficult to obtain reliable information on either of the groups, or on what actual decisions are made by members at their meetings. The worrying thing, therefore, is that a meeting of the Trilaterals – consisting of high-ranking world leaders in banking, business, politics, etc. – took place in Dublin over the weekend of 8/9 May 2010. What was the purpose of their meeting here? What did they discuss? How will their discussions and decisions affect Irish people and life in Ireland?

It will be interesting to see if there is any media coverage of the event – even the fact that the meeting took place. As I said, the Trilaterals are a secretive bunch.

Parents BEWARE your teenage daughters life or health could be at grave risk from vaccine

Irish parents – please take note that as from 17 May next, your daughters will be at grave risk in their school. Why? The reason is because Minister for Health, Mary Harney, has announced that on 17 May her ‘cervical cancer vaccination programme’ for schoolgirls will begin – just two weeks before the start of the summer holidays.

We have reported on this issue previously see BLOG Posts Jan 182010 Dec.18 2008

First-year students will be particularly vulnerable. The vaccine, known as Gardasil, is actually a vaccine to prevent HPV (human papilloma virus) which is a sexually-transmitted disease, together with other sexually-transmitted diseases. The vaccine has to be given in three doses over a six-month period. This means that the young girls will have to return to their school in July for the second dose, and they will receive the third dose sometime in November. That’s assuming, of course, that they don’t suffer any ill-effects from the vaccine in the meantime. Sixth-class children who are planning to go to secondary school in September will be vaccinated at that time.

The HPV vaccine, it is reported, ‘which is most effective when given before girls become sexually active, guards against the most common, but not all, strains of the HPV virus which causes cervical cancer.’ Ah! So Gardasil is not a ‘cervical cancer
vaccine’. It is a vaccine to ‘protect’ against sexually transmitted diseases.

Now, why would young girls, at the age of about 11, 12, 13 and 14, need to be vaccinated against sexually transmitted diseases?

The British National Health Service (NHS), is reported as having given bribes in the form of shopping vouchers to girls between the ages of 16 and 18 to persuade them to get the Gardasil vaccine, which has been implicated in numerous cases of severe harm and death. It seems that governments around the world have been pushing Gardasil through national campaigns designed to scare women and girls into getting the vaccine.

Comments on the Irish Medical Times website in relation to Gardasil, include: ‘Parents across the world are coming together, sharing stories, documents and research on the adverse reactions to share with their respective governments. Please educate yourself about this vaccine before your daughter becomes “one less” healthy teenager.’

Already, it appears that there may be some squabbling amongst the nurses’ unions as to how the ‘vaccination programme’ can be rolled out, as public health nurses have an existing backlog of work, particularly because of their involvement in the swine ‘flu vaccination programme. Remember the swine ‘flu vaccination?

Interestingly, the Gardasil vaccination will be ‘offered’ to schoolgirls, and their parents will receive ‘information packs and consent forms’ very soon.

So, parents, please be aware that twenty-one schools around the country – Our Lady’s Grove, Goatstown, Dublin; Loreto Convent, Letterkenny, Co. Donegal; Presentation Secondary School, Kildare Town, Co. Kildare; St. Paul’s Community College, Browne’s Road, Waterford City; Dominican College, Griffith Avenue, Drumcondra, Dublin; to name just some of them – are being targeted in the initial pilot project. Don’t wait and see what happens – act now to protect your daughter from being one of the statistics.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Explanatory 'Civil Partnership Bill 2009' Leaflet produced

A group of concerned people in Co. Donegal has got together to produce an excellent explanatory leaflet on the subject of the ‘Civil Partnership Bill 2009’ that is being debated in the Irish Parliament at the moment. The leaflet uses the statement issued by the Irish Bishops’ Conference about the Bill, setting out the teaching of the Catholic Church in relation to marriage and the family. The ‘Civil Partnership Bill’ would totally undermine marriage and the family – the bedrock of society. The leaflet states:

‘The Bill fails to recognize the special position of marriage. Under the Bill same sex partnerships are virtually equivalent to marriage.

‘It is a grave injustice if the State ignores the unique and proper place of husbands and wives, the place of mothers and fathers, and especially the rights of children, who deserve from society a clear understanding of marriage as they grow to maturity.

‘Without protection and support for the unique place of marriage in society the State would, in effect, intentionally deprive children of their right to a mother and a father.

‘Male-female complementarity is intrinsic to marriage. It is naturally ordered toward sexual union in a faithful, committed relationship as the basis for the generation of new life. The true nature of marriage, lived in openness to life, bears witness to the preciousness of the gift of a child and to the unique roles of a mother and father.’

The leaflet also refers to the sanctions liable under the Bill for anybody who declares a conscientious objection to carrying out provisions of the Bill –

‘Registrars who refuse on the grounds of conscience to carry out a ceremony for same sex couples will face fines and up to six months in prison. Christians, Jews and Muslims, or anyone else, who refuses to make halls and other facilities available for a celebration or reception connected with a same sex partnership will face prosecution and fines.’

Copies of the leaflet can be ordered directly by contacting: Browne Printers Ltd., Letterkenny, Co. Donegal (phone: 0749121387)

Further information about the ‘Civil Partnership Bill’ is available on numerous recent ELN blogs.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

New Study shows correlation between autism level and use of cells from aborted babies in vaccines reports that a new study conducted by the Environmental Protection Agency shows a correlation between the use of cells from babies in abortions in vaccines to an increase in autism rates. The study provides another cause for concern for pro-life advocates who already had other concerns about the abortion-vaccine tie.

The study, published in February in the publication Environmental Science & Technology, confirms 1988 as a “change point” in the rise of Autism Disorder rate.

the study says,
"Although the debate about the nature of increasing autism continues, the potential for this increase to be real and involve exogenous environmental stressors exists,"

The Lifenews article continues, [T]he 1988 date is significant because, as pro-life blogger Jill Stanek notes, the Sound Choice Pharmaceutical Institute indicates that's when the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices added a second dose of the MMR vaccine, containing fetal cells from aborted babies, to its recommendations.
The study found two other change point dates: 1981, two years after MMRII was approved in the United States with fetal cells, and 1995, when SCPI says the chickenpox vaccine using aborted cells was approved.