Thursday, September 30, 2010

UK national survey of homosexual population

The homosexual and lesbian agenda is constantly being promoted with the aggressively positive message that this particular grouping makes up a significant part of the general population.

That lie has now been well and truly laid to rest with the news that the Office of National Statistics (ONS) in Great Britain has published its findings following a survey to establish the actual homosexual population in that jurisdiction. The results show that this group of people makes up the grand total of 1.5 per cent of the entire population. A far cry from the much vaunted figure of 10 per cent! The highest concentration of homosexuals – 2.2 per cent - is to be found in London, and the lowest figure – 0.9 – predictably, is in the Six Counties of Northern Ireland.

I wonder if the Irish Government ministers who insisted on pushing legislation for Civil Unions for homosexuals through the two houses of parliament recently, with indecent speed, might reflect on these figures. Somehow, I doubt it. There is too much at stake for their EU and global reputations, and they must be seen to be ‘tolerant’, ‘liberal’ and ‘inclusive’ in granting ‘human rights’ to those who have openly declared and boasted that their aim and purpose is to destroy the family

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Maltese pro-life crisis pregnancy support group credited with saving babies lives

According to a report in the Malta Independent a crisis pregnancy support group has been effective in saving babies lives. The group called "Hope" which is a branch of the pro-life organisation "Gift of Life"is reported to have saved the lives of 60 babies in the last three years. Gift of Life spokesman Paul Vincenti said the group seeks to help pregnant women who are considering an abortion.
One of the channels the group uses to promote the right to life of the unborn is a marketing campaign by means of advertisements published in magazines distributed on all Air Malta flights and Virtu Ferries trips to Sicily.
“We aim to target any pregnant women on their way to have an abortion in Sicily, the UK or elsewhere,"
Vincenti explained.
“We never try forcing people not to have an abortion. We adopt a non-judgemental approach. Our people speak to mothers-to-be in strict confidentiality and help them make informed decisions by providing them with support and information about pregnancy and foetal development, as well as available support and options,"
he added.

Hope provides free pregnancy testing and non-diagnostic ultrasound scanning, referrals (obstetric, gynecological, social, as well as referrals for professional support to women who have experienced pregnancy loss through abortion), emotional support, practical assistance and support, and psychotherapy.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

China’s Silent Holocaust to continue

China’s disastrous one child policy, now thirty years old has wreaked havoc and destruction on the Chinese people. This policy is responsible for the termination of an estimated 400 million babies lives, it has destroyed the lives of millions of women, skewed the countries sex ratio creating huge population imbalances that will make it impossible for many Chinese men to find wives and has also resulted in a rapidly ageing population.

Despite all of this however it is reported that the policy is set to continue according to many reports; see Irish Independent report as follows
China will continue to limit most families to just one child in the coming decades, state media said yesterday, despite concerns about the policy's problematic side effects, such as too few girls and a rapidly ageing population.
China has the world's largest population and credits its 30-year-old family planning limits with preventing 400 million additional births and helping to break a traditional preference for large families that had left many trapped in poverty.
There had been growing speculation about whether the government would relax the policy, allowing more people to have two children. A family planning official in the southern province of Guangdong had predicted his province would loosen the restrictions by 2015.
But the 'China Daily' newspaper yesterday quoted Li Bin, head of the National Population and Family Planning Commission, as saying there were no changes planned.

The family planning rules, which limit urban couples to one child and rural couples to two, have curbed China's population growth but brought new problems, such as an expanding elderly population that demographers say will be increasingly hard to support.
The policy is also blamed for the country's skewed sex ratio. Chinese families with a strong preference for boys sometimes resort to aborting their baby girls. Demographers worry the imbalance will make it hard for men to find wives.
The male-female ratio at birth in China is about 119 males to 100 females, with the gap as high as 130 males for every 100 females in some provinces. In industrialised countries, the ratio is 107 to 100.

Monday, September 27, 2010

European Centre for Law and Justice express concern on freedom of conscience in Spain at UN meeting

The Human rights Council in Geneva is currently considering the final reports of the 8th session of the new universal periodic review held in May

During the final report on Spain Grégor Puppinck of the EUROPEAN CENTRE FOR LAW AND JUSTICE told the meeting that his organisation took notice with great attention of the report of the Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review concerning Spain and its various recommendations.

The ECLJ, as an NGO specialized in the defense of freedom of conscience is very disappointed that a major issue has not been properly addressed in this report: I mean the fact that over 50,000 parents have, in the recent years, conscientiously objected to the participation of their children to a compulsory curriculum, in both State and private Schools, because they do not want their children to be indoctrinated against their faith and deep convictions.

The Spanish educational system established a new teaching called “Education for Citizenship” (EFC), that introduces both evaluable and compulsory subjects at Primary and Secondary school. The core subjects of Education for Citizenship have been designed, as the official curriculum states in order to shape the conscience of children, getting deep into their values and their personal and family privacy and, in many cases, conflicting those values. These subjects are strongly rejected by an important part of the Spanish society and nearly 55,000 parents have conscientiously objected to the participation of their children to this compulsory curriculum. Parents have formed more than 70 local and regional associations to support objectors and inform parents and to protest against this direct violation of their fundamental right to educate their children according to their own religious and philosophical convictions.
Nearly 2,300 judicial complaints have been lodged in less than two years as a consequence of Education for Citizenship in the national compulsory curriculum. In most of the cases (aprox. 86%), during the past tree years, local and regional courts sentenced against government. Last year, in 2009, against the opinion of the overwhelming majority of local courts, the Supreme Court denied the rights of the objecting parents,. Some parents have also claimed before the Constitutional Court, which has also dismissed the parents.

Mr President, this case is a major issue concerning freedom of conscience that the Spanish government should redress as soon as possible. The working group should have addressed it

Mr President, in this new school year, thousands of families will face again the schools and the Courts because they do not want their children to be indoctrinated against their deep faith and convictions.
Those families have not hope to see their rights respected in a near future at the national level, and they call the Human Right Council to address this issue.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Conscientious objection to abortion under threat in the Council of Europe

A report on conscientious objection in medicine will be debated in early October in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE). PACE consists of elected representatives from the legislatures of the 47 member-states of the Council of Europe. (Please note that the council is entirely separate from the European Union.) The report’s focus is conscientious objection to abortion, contraception, IVF and euthanasia. If the report is passed, Council of Europe member-states will be under pressure effectively to abolish in law and practice conscientious objection within medicine.

Please contact your country’s representatives in PACE telling them that: you object to the report “Women’s access to lawful medical care: the problem of unregulated use of conscientious objection,” proposed by Christine McCafferty (UK) the report is due to be debated in the PACE plenary session between the fourth and eighth of October

Conscientious objection is recognised as a fundamental human right in international law, but abortion is not ask your representatives to vote against the report as a whole, and to support any pro-life amendments that may be tabled
Here are some facts and pro-life arguments you may wish to use in your message to your country’s PACE representatives:
Access to abortion is not a human right. In the case of Tysiac v. Poland the European Court of Human Rights ruled that states have sovereign rights to regulate abortion, and that medical staff have a right of conscientious objection to abortion;

The report’s attitude to conscientious objection within medicine is in stark contrast to Council of Europe documents upholding a right to conscientious objection to military service;

The report proposes an official complaints procedure which would violate natural justice e.g. no right to representation, no guarantee of impartiality, no right of appeal;

The establishment of an official complaints procedure seeks to legitimise objective wrongs (e.g. abortion), and contravenes EU directives which state that no court or committee can penetrate or examine a person’s conscience.

The report mistakes conscientious objection to objective wrongs (e.g. abortion) for unregulated disobedience based on subjective personal beliefs.

The report’s anti-life bias comes from its anti-life authors: Christine McCafferty (UK); Dr Christian Fiala, International Federation of Professional Abortion and Contraception Associates; and Ms Christina Zampas, Center for Reproductive Rights, New York.

More information in support of these points can be found via the European Centre for Law and Justice

SPUC has also produced an in-depth background briefing on the McCafferty report.

Please copy any replies you receive from country representatives to

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Climate change, Sustainable Development and Human Rights

It seems that the former President of Ireland, Mary Robinson, is re-inventing herself once again. When she was offered the job of UN High Commissioner for Human Rights some years ago, she decided to quit her current job (as President of Ireland) early and go on to higher things. In the intervening years she has made her presence felt in various other areas. Now, however, it has been announced that Robinson is coming back to Ireland to chair a ‘non-profit foundation that aims to foster Irish and international leadership on climate change and sustainable development.’ She is quoted as saying that she is ‘absolutely passionate’ about her new venture. The main purpose of the foundation will be ‘to ensure that human rights are at the heart of the climate change agenda.’ She also said
‘I’d rather not have the icon of a polar bear prancing on the ice, but a poor indigenous woman in sub-Saharan Africa’[...] ‘I feel we’ve got the debate on climate change completely wrong. The leadership to date has been provided by environmentalists and scientists… But there has been no human-centred approach to the issue.’
Robinson's biography states that, in Ireland:
‘By the end of the 1980s, Mary Robinson had won every liberal campaign medal there was. A new generation was living comfortably within the freer society she had helped introduce; the older generation had begun to accept that the sky, after all, wouldn’t fall.’
Robinson has been to the forefront in promoting contraception, abortion, divorce, homosexuality. Her desire to introduce abortion into Ireland was well known (She)
‘would make abortion available in this country [i.e. Ireland] in limited circumstances. … It would be healthier to be more mature about ourselves, more honest. Even for a country that regrets and feels a great sense of loss at the termination of life, it would be a preferable situation. It would be a kind of coming to terms with the problem, instead of exporting it and moralising about it.’
I cannot therefore but be concerned about the possible thrust of this new initiative, I wonder if she is thinking that abortion might be a ‘solution’ to the ‘problems’ of the ‘poor indigenous woman in sub-Saharan Africa’, or, indeed, for the environment generally.

The international advisory council of the new foundation includes Richard Branson (we know his credentials with regard to the promotion of contraception, etc); the former WHO (World Health Organisation) director general Gro Harlem Brundtland; the former US vice-present Al Gore; and the former EU commissioner Margot Wallstrom.

Now, there’s a fine collection of people to advise us!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

‘A Prayer for my daughter’ article on Down Syndrome

This is the heading given to an article (I don’t know if that’s the right word – maybe encomium, a speech in praise, might be a better one) by a regular contributing columnist in the Irish Sunday Independent recently. The writer, one Brendan O’Connor, tells us about the birth of his baby daughter, and their reaction when they were made aware that their baby, Mary, is a Down Syndrome baby. The story is best told in Brendan’s own words:

‘It feels disloyal and unfair to Mary now, two weeks on, to look back on her birth, and how it was like a scary time. But that is where it started. That is where Mary’s story started and where our story took a fairly unexpected turn. Thursday two weeks ago, we went into Holles Street [a maternity hospital in Dublin] in the morning, tentative but full of hope, and by two o’clock, our hearts were broken and our lives were turned upside down. … People ask now how we found out, did we not have tests done and so on (some people say the most appalling things to you. But you know, people don’t know what to say. I wouldn’t either.) … There is no good way to find out. But they handled it as best as anyone can handle it. And at least when we did find out we had the consolation of Mary being there, the consolation of having a baby whom we loved. If you found out in the abstract, you have months to worry about it, without the consolation of Mary being there and us knowing we love her. We were also in the right place. …
‘The next few days were a bit of a fog. You’re in shock, they tell you. And you’re grieving for the baby you didn’t have. I don’t quite buy that. I was grieving for my life before, and for my dreams maybe. But we had a baby and she was very cute, and I also had a toddler to manage who didn’t deserve any of this no more than I did, or Sarah did, or Mary did. So gradually, you tell people. You tell them Sarah had a beautiful baby girl and then you say she has Down Syndrome. …
‘So now I know that people are amazing. And I have more of an idea what love and friendship and family and kindness are. Some days, in my more elated moments, I would think that having spent 40 years looking for the meaning of life, sometimes in the most self-destructive ways. Mary had taught it to me in a few days. …
‘I would be foolish to think that things are normal in the way they were normal before. But you know, I think we are happy. Some days now I can even look to the future. I wonder, as I did with Anna, who Mary will be. Each day she opens her eyes a bit more, a little more alert, and I feel I know her more and she is unveiling her little self to me and I think I like her. She has great muscle tone, is 10 times the feeder her sister was, prefers when she is in control of the bottle, likes music and I suspect she is going to be a laugh. In short, I think she’s an O’Connor. I had a feeling before she was born that this one would be a writer, and not just a scribbler like her dad, a real writer, more like her mother. I still think it. And while it begins with a slight surprise, I think she’ll have a great story to tell. …
‘I think I’ve learnt one really important thing in the past two weeks. I’ve got my cross to bear now, so I won’t be looking for any more, anywhere else. Everything else now has to be about joy. My family is going to have the joy imperative, and that means we might have to travel the world and go to lots of amazing places and eat lots of food and drink lots of wine, but that’s the joy imperative for you.
‘The funny thing is, you know, very quickly when something happens whether everything is going to be okay. … There might be sadness ahead and there might be challenges ahead. But everything is going to be okay. Everything is going to be okay. Better than okay.’

The above is only a small extract from the article, but I hope that I have given you a good flavour of it – there is lot more!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Highlights from Pope Benedicts speeches

In his address to Parliament Pope Benedict warned that governments are threatening conscientious objection:
"What are the requirements that governments may reasonably impose upon citizens, and how far do they extend? ... [T]here are those who argue – paradoxically with the intention of eliminating discrimination – that Christians in public roles should be required at times to act against their conscience. These are worrying signs of a failure to appreciate...the rights of believers to freedom of conscience ... [R]eligious bodies – including institutions linked to the Catholic Church – need to be free to act in accordance with their own principles and specific convictions based upon the faith and the official teaching of the Church."
Speaking at a residence for the elderly on Saturday evening Pope Benedict said:
"Life is a unique gift, at every stage from conception until natural death and it is God’s alone to give and take
Speaking to pilgrims in Hyde Park, Pope Benedict said:
"in our day, when an intellectual and moral relativism threatens to sap the very foundations of our society," every person is called "to work for the advancement of God's Kingdom by imbuing temporal life with the values of the Gospel."
"No one who looks realistically at our world today could think that Christians can afford to go on with business as usual ... Each of us has a mission, each of us is called to change the world, to work for a culture of life, a culture forged by love and respect for the dignity of each human person."

In his public address to the English and Welsh bishops, Pope Benedict told them
"As you proclaim the coming of the Kingdom, with its promise of hope for the poor and the needy, the sick and the elderly, the unborn and the neglected, be sure to present in its fullness the life-giving message of the Gospel, including those elements which call into question the widespread assumptions of today’s culture."

Monday, September 20, 2010

New UN report represents yet another attack on pro-life laws

A new report on, "discrimination against women, in law and practice”, has been issued by the office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and the UN Secretary General. The new report among other things seeks to undermine a doctors right to conscientious objection to abortion and calls for the setting up of yet another special procedure to monitor discrimination against women, despite the existence of the pro-abortion Committee for the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (the CEDAW Committee) and despite the creation of the new super-agency for women’s issues known as “UN Women”

The new report cites pro-abortion recommendations made by both the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR), which seeks to “address the refusal of physicians to perform legal abortions.” and the Committee on Torture (CAT) which seeks to address “violations of women’s reproductive rights,” and calls for elimination of legislation that “severely restricts access to voluntary abortion”. These recommendations in each case go beyond the mandates of both committees as no UN Treaty or Convention calls for a right to abortion and despite the fact conscientious objection is actually a protected right in several Conventions

The report recommends the creation of a new office or “Thematic Procedure” to focus on laws and practices that discriminate against women. This means the appointment of a special rapporteur who in addition to following up on genuine rights contained in the human rights Treaties and covenants would also follow up on treaty body recommendations such as the pro-abortion recommendations made by the CESCR and CAT as set out above.

The bottom line is that pro-life laws would be targeted by such a procedure in an official manner. The Centre for Reproductive Rights CRR already works to create a global right to abortion by using UN treaty body recommendations to underpin their arguments but the creation of this new mandate should it be accepted would inevitably place additional pressure on pro-life Governments.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Extracts from Pope Benedict's Address to British Civil Society

One of the central topics covered by Pope Benedict in his address to British Civil Society was the issue of conscience and the moral foundations of society together with the vitally important presence of religion in the public square

Pope Benedict said
"I recall the figure of St. Thomas More, the great English scholar and statesman, who is admired by believers and non-believers alike for the integrity with which he followed his conscience, even at the cost of displeasing the sovereign whose 'good servant' he was, because he chose to serve God first. The dilemma which faced More in those difficult times, the perennial question of the relationship between what is owed to Caesar and what is owed to God, allows me the opportunity to reflect with you briefly on the proper place of religious belief within the political process".

"The fundamental questions at stake in Thomas More's trial continue to present themselves in ever-changing terms as new social conditions emerge. Each generation, as it seeks to advance the common good, must ask anew: what are the requirements that governments may reasonably impose upon citizens, and how far do they extend? By appeal to what authority can moral dilemmas be resolved? These questions take us directly to the ethical foundations of civil discourse. If the moral principles underpinning the democratic process are themselves determined by nothing more solid than social consensus, then the fragility of the process becomes all too evident - herein lies the real challenge for democracy".

The Holy Father continued his remarks: "The inadequacy of pragmatic, short-term solutions to complex social and ethical problems has been illustrated all too clearly by the recent global financial crisis. There is widespread agreement that the lack of a solid ethical foundation for economic activity has contributed to the grave difficulties now being experienced by millions of people throughout the world. Just as 'every economic decision has a moral consequence', so too in the political field, the ethical dimension of policy has far-reaching consequences that no government can afford to ignore".

"The central question at issue, then, is this: where is the ethical foundation for political choices to be found? The Catholic tradition maintains that the objective norms governing right action are accessible to reason, prescinding from the content of revelation. According to this understanding, the role of religion in political debate is ... to help purify and shed light upon the application of reason to the discovery of objective moral principles".

Without the "corrective" role of religion, the Pope explained, "reason too can fall prey to distortions, as when it is manipulated by ideology, or applied in a partial way that fails to take full account of the dignity of the human person. Such misuse of reason, after all, was what gave rise to the slave trade in the first place and to many other social evils, not least the totalitarian ideologies of the twentieth century. This is why I would suggest that the world of reason and the world of faith - the world of secular rationality and the world of religious belief - need one another and should not be afraid to enter into a profound and ongoing dialogue, for the good of our civilisation.

"Religion, in other words, is not a problem for legislators to solve, but a vital contributor to the national conversation. In this light, I cannot but voice my concern at the increasing marginalisation of religion, particularly of Christianity, that is taking place in some quarters, even in nations which place a great emphasis on tolerance. There are those who would advocate that the voice of religion be silenced, or at least relegated to the purely private sphere. There are those who argue that the public celebration of festivals such as Christmas should be discouraged, in the questionable belief that it might somehow offend those of other religions or none. And there are those who argue - paradoxically with the intention of eliminating discrimination - that Christians in public roles should be required at times to act against their conscience. These are worrying signs of a failure to appreciate not only the rights of believers to freedom of conscience and freedom of religion, but also the legitimate role of religion in the public square. I would invite all of you, therefore, within your respective spheres of influence, to seek ways of promoting and encouraging dialogue between faith and reason at every level of national life".

Friday, September 17, 2010

"Morning after pill" distorts abortion figures in Spain according to experts

The president of the Institute for Family Policy in Spain, Eduardo Hertfelder, charged this week that the widespread distribution of the morning-after pill has not resulted in fewer abortions - as government officials have reported. According to a CNA news report

Spain's Health Minister, Trinidad Jimenez, attributed the decline in the unofficial number of first-time abortions to the legalization of the morning-after pill. According to the newspaper La Razon, Jimenez said abortions have dropped by more than 3,000 since 2008. Hertfelder called that claim a "lie." "Perhaps there are fewer surgical abortions," he said, "but chemical abortions, like those caused by the pill, are on the rise."

In fact, the morning-after pill began to be made available with prescription to Spanish women and teens last year, and in the first few months more than 388,000 doses were distributed.

To claim that abortions have declined because of the drug "is a way of camouflaging chemical abortions," Hertfelder asserted.

Benigno Blanco from the Forum on the Family added, "The promotion of contraceptives creates a false sense of security that unleashes an increase in promiscuity and sexual relations and, consequently, increases the risk of contracting sexually-transmitted diseases and unwanted pregnancies."

The "unofficial decline" in the number of abortions "is without basis," Blanco added, noting with regret that the country's Minister of Equality has celebrated these figures as "a triumph of the law on abortion, which is so tragic and harmful for women.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Article: Influence of age on infertility and birth defects

The London Independent (3 September 2010) carries an interesting article entitled: ‘Revealed: why risk of infertility and birth defects rises with age – Study pins blame on declining protein levels’.

Now, it is very possible, and probable, that declining protein levels do indeed affect fertility. But it does happen also that couples, who for reasons of career, etc., postpone having children until their later years, find at that stage that it is not possible or it is less possible to become pregnant. For those who find themselves in such a situation do they ever wonder how it is that they remained ‘un-pregnant’? Do they realise (maybe they were never told) that the contraceptive pill, and other methods of contraception, could very well have contributed to their infertility? As the Independent says:
‘ The trend of later motherhood is one of the most significant social developments of recent times, but it has brought heartache as an increasing number of women discover they left it too late to have a baby.’
And it also says,
‘Births to women aged 35 and over have soared 50 per cent in the last decade and among women in their 40s by 90 per cent (to 2009). Down’s syndrome pregnancies rose by more than 70 per cent in the 20 years to 2008, driven by the trend to later motherhood.’
The article is accompanied by a photograph of an ultrasound scan of a baby in her mother’s womb. Beautiful. So the baby is a human being in the process of growing! It’s good to see this acknowledged.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Health Minister Harney Please reverse Gardasil decision now

I have already blogged, on a number of occasions, on the subject of the Gardasil vaccination programme to which Irish schoolchildren are being subjected. The majority of parents are probably totally unaware of the full implications of Minister for Health Mary Harney’s plans for their children.

One group, however, the Mothers Alliance, has been to the fore in highlighting what is really involved in the vaccination programme. The Alliance has now written to the Minister, warning her of the consequences of her actions in this matter, and pleading with her to halt and withdraw the programme immediately. A copy of the letter has been sent to the Minister for Education, and also to the Irish Medicines Board. Here is part of what the Mothers’ Alliance has said to the Minister:
‘Mothers Alliance is notifying you that we have uncovered disturbing facts in relation to the Gardasil Vaccine which we believe warrants the immediate withdrawal of the vaccination programme from Irish schools. It appears that these facts have not been brought to the attention of the parents, schools’ authorities and recipients of the vaccine.’
Mothers Alliance quotes a Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) Report, showing that: ‘The longest duration of follow-up in relation to vaccine efficacy, reported in published clinical trials, is approximately five years. Consequently, the protective effect of the vaccine against invasive cervical cancer has not yet been demonstrated.’ HIQA is certainly not an agency that would lightly take, or appear to be taking, a stand against Minister Mary Harney.
The Report goes on to show that 32% of participants in an ‘Immune response in women aged 16 to 26’ survey did not have immunity to HPV (human papilloma virus) type 18, which is one of the two high-risk strains for cervical cancer.
The Mothers Alliance letter to Minister Harney continues:
‘The HSE [Health Service Executive – the government agency that is facilitating the vaccination programme on behalf of the Minister] has also failed to inform parents and the general public that condoms offer no protection whatsoever against HPV, and that promiscuous lifestyles and use of the contraceptive pill – which lowers the natural immunity – predisposes girls to contracting HPV putting them at risk of many forms of cancers.’
The letter also highlights a number of serious side-effects, and deaths, that have occurred as a result of receiving the vaccine – I have blogged on this important information very recently.
A press release issued by the Mothers Alliance – outlining the dangers associated with the plan (already begun) to vaccinate Irish schoolchildren with Gardasil – warns that the administration of the vaccine ‘poses a serious risk to the lives, health and welfare of Irish children’, and that it must be abandoned immediately.

So, what does Minister Mary Harney think she is doing? Does she realise that she is putting the lives and welfare of our children at risk, against the financial gains of kow-towing to the big business of international pharmaceutical companies? Maybe, too, she is bowing to the liberal agenda promiscuous lifestyle, which she will live to regret.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Italy gradually turning away from abortion

We are grateful to Vincenzina Santoro for her excellent article on the falling abortion rates in Italy, published recently on Mercatornet

For the purpose of this BLOG I have simply quoted from the article however the full text can be viewed on this link
The recently released 2009 report on abortion – which the Ministry of Health presents to Parliament each year – confirms another drop in the number of abortions and in the abortion rate. Abortion, which was legalized in Italy in 1978, reached a peak of 234,801 cases in 1982. In 2009, 116,933 abortions were performed, a decline of 3.6 percent from the previous year – a figure that for the first time was less than half the number in the peak year. The numbers have declined consistently for the last five years.

The abortion rate for women of child-bearing years (15-49), a more meaningful measurement of abortion prevalence, in 2009 showed a result of 8.3 per 1,000 women, a 3.9 percent decline from the previous year. In 1982, the ratio had been 17.2 per 1,000.

Interestingly, abortions have declined for all age segments of child-bearing women and are particularly low for minors especially when compared with other developed countries. For females under age 20, in 2008 the abortion rate was 7.2 per 1,000 in Italy, down from 7.5 the year before, and differed sharply compared with 13.5 for Spain, 15.6 for France (2007 data), and 20.5 for the United States (2004). Only Germany had a lower rate of 5.0 per 1,000.

Observing a divergence in trends, since the mid 1990s the Ministry of Health began disaggregating data to show abortions by both Italian and foreign women in Italy. The abortion rate for foreign women alone has continued to rise since data commenced, and for 2008, the latest data available, foreign women accounted for 33 percent of all abortions in Italy, compared with 10 percent in 1998. Were it not for the foreigners, Italy’s abortion total and abortion rate would be even lower. Compared with 1982, the number of Italian women having recourse to abortion dropped by nearly two-thirds – by 65.2 percent to be exact!

The trends indicate that the most rapid decline in abortions has occurred among the more highly educated, the employed and married women. In 2008, among Italian women having abortions, 45 percent reported not having any children, compared with 33 percent for foreign women. About half of both groups were married.

Data for repeat abortions (second or higher) showed that in 2008 the rate held steady at 27 percent, of which 22 percent was applicable to Italian women and over 37 percent to foreign women. By this yardstick, Italy again compared favorably with such countries as Spain (34 percent), Sweden (38 percent) and the United States (47 percent)

The growing number of foreign women resorting to abortion has been attributed to increased immigration, failed contraception practices, and looser attitudes towards terminating a pregnancy held by women from foreign countries especially by Eastern Europeans who accounted for 52 percent of non-Italian abortions. In 2009, foreigners comprised 7 percent of Italy’s resident population of 60.3 million.

Vincenzina looks at international comparisons and has included an interesting compilation in her article showing comparative abortion rates for 19 countries which show that only four European countries have lower abortion rates. She also looks at comparative figures for contraceptive prevalence in those countries.

Monday, September 13, 2010

A mother's womb "has become the most dangerous place for survival.

Bishop Demetrio Fernandez of Cordoba in Spain said this week that with the increase in abortions, a mother's womb "has become the most danger place for survival."according to a CNA report

During a Mass celebrating Our Lady of Fuensanta, Bishop Fernandez expressed his concern for the ease with which women can obtain abortions, while "they are offered nothing to help them continue their pregnancy."

"Women have once again become victims of a selfish society," he added, with "many feeling obliged to carry out this act which they will regret for the rest of their lives."

Bishop Fernandez said women must look to Mary, whose womb "became a holy fountain of life that gave birth to Jesus, the savior Son." The prelate also referred to the constant attacks on religious traditions "in an age in which pluralism is being fostered."

"They cannot hurt us Christians," he said. "They may take our lives, but never our faith."

Friday, September 10, 2010

Pope Benedict xvi points out the dangers of moral relativism to Council of Europe delegation

Pope Benedict XVI in an address to members of the Bureau of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe was very forthright in pointing out the risks associated with moral relativism, particularly the risks of attempting to process values, rights and duties without basing them on an objective rational foundation common to all peoples. He also reiterated that these principles must be faithfully maintained when dealing with human life, from conception to natural death, with marriage -- rooted in the exclusive and indissoluble gift of self between one man and one woman.

Extract from the text of Pope Benedict’s address
[…]I have pointed out the risks associated with relativism in the area of values, rights and duties. If these were to lack an objective rational foundation, common to all peoples, and were based exclusively on particular cultures, legislative decisions or court judgments, how could they offer a solid and long-lasting ground for supranational institutions such as the Council of Europe, and for your own task within that prestigious institution? How could a fruitful dialogue among cultures take place without common values, rights and stable, universal principles understood in the same way by all Members States of the Council of Europe? These values, rights and duties are rooted in the natural dignity of each person, something which is accessible to human reasoning. The Christian faith does not impede, but favors this search, and is an invitation to seek a supernatural basis for this dignity. I am convinced that these principles, faithfully maintained, above all when dealing with human life, from conception to natural death, with marriage -- rooted in the exclusive and indissoluble gift of self between one man and one woman -- and freedom of religion and education, are necessary conditions if we are to respond adequately to the decisive and urgent challenges that history presents to each one of you.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

HLI Ireland open "Gaudalupe Centre in Knock Co Mayo

Human Life International (HLI) Ireland are relocating to Knock Co Mayo and their new Centre which is known as the "Gaudalupe Centre" will be officially opened by Dana Rosemany Scallon on Sunday next Sept 12th (Feast of the holy name of Mary) following 11.45am Mass in the nearby Knock Shrine chapel. Sunday is also "Grandparents Day" in Knock
The opening will be followed by a light lunch buffet

The Gaudalupe centre is a drop in Catholic resource centre named after Our Lady of Gaudalupe and visitors to the nearby Shrine of Our Lady of Knock are welcome to call in at any time during normal working hours

Chinese blind activist lawyer Chen Guangcheng freed

According to a BBC report Chen Guangcheng the blind activist Lawyer jailed after revealing rights abuses under China's one-child policy has been freed after a four-year prison term.

We reported in February 2009 on the case of Chen who had been imprisoned on spurious grounds for exposing thousands of atrocities which included forced abortions and sterilizations in the Shandong province under the infamous Chinese One Child Policy.

At the time of our 2009 report, Chen had been denied early release on medical grounds and in addition had been denied visits from his wife. It was also reported that he had been subjected to severe beatings whilst in gaol. Chen at that time had been ill for a number of months but pleas for early release so that he could access appropriate medical treatment were ignored by the authorities.

It has been rumoured that Chen may be a contender for this year's Nobel Peace Prize.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

40 days for Life

The annual 40 days for life event will take place this year between September 22nd and October 31st. This initiative which commenced in the United States has been a phenomenally successful event. These efforts are mobilized by people of faith and conscience in 307 cities across all 50 of the United States plus six Canadian provinces, three Australian states, the UK and communities in Northern Ireland and Denmark.

European events have been arranged this year in Northern Ireland in Belfast and Derry and in the UK in London. and one in Denmark

According to its website there have now been six coordinated 40 Days for Life campaigns since 2007 during these which participants witnessed countless blessings from God:

40 Days for Life consists of:
• 40 days of prayer and fasting
• 40 days of peaceful vigil
• 40 days of community outreach

To date:
• More than 350,000 have joined together in an historic display of unity to pray and fast for an end to abortion
• More than 11,500 church congregations have participated in the 40 Days for Life campaigns
• Reports document 2,811 lives that have been spared from abortion — and those are just the ones we know about
• 35 abortion workers have quit their jobs and walked away from the abortion industry
• Six abortion facilities completely shut down following local 40 Days for Life campaigns
• Hundreds of women and men have been spared from the tragic effects of abortion, including a lifetime of regrets
• More than 850 news stories have been featured in newspapers, magazines, radio shows and TV programmes
• Many people with past abortion experiences have stepped forward to begin post-abortion healing and recovery.

This event is a worthy of support either by personal participation or by taking a leadership role for your country

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Marches for Life Berlin and Zurich

We report on two "Marches for Life" both of which have been arranged to be held on the same day Saturday September 18th, 2010!

The Berlin March for Life which will take place between 1PM (13.00 H) and 3PM (15.00H) will process from Neptunbrunnen, Alexanderplatz, 13.00 H
to Cathédrale Ste Hedwige (culte oecuménique) 15.00H

Further details of the Berlin event are available on the following website

The Zurich event Marche pour la Vie « Marsch für s’Läbe » will take place at 2PM (14.00H) at the following location Zürich Helvetiaplatz and further details in this case can be found on

Both events have been arranged to raise public awareness of the injustice of abortion and to offer information and help to people who have suffered from the consequences of abortion. The Zurich march is also being held with the intention of proposing a new ban on abortion

Monday, September 6, 2010

Tony Blair in Ireland

Last weekend, Mr. Tony Blair, former Prime Minister of Great Britain, visited Ireland. The main purpose of his visit, it seems, was to promote his just published book. During the course of his visit he made an appearance on a popular television show, where he tried to ‘explain’ his reasons for invading Iraq.

The matter of his ‘conversion’ to Catholicism was also referred to, but Mr Blair did not appear to want to dwell on this too much beyond stating that he had attended at Mass for the past twenty-five years, and that his wife Cherie is a ‘Catholic’, together with their children. At the end of the show, the audience duly acclaimed his presence. Outside the television centre a number of ‘Anti-War’ protesters gathered and made him aware that they were there.

Why am I telling you all of this? It is appalling that both Mr. Blair and his wife should proclaim to the world that they are ‘Catholics’, while at the same time acting, and speaking, in their public lives, totally at variance with the teachings of the Catholic Church.

Many of the readers of this blog will no doubt also be readers of John Smeaton’s blog ( However, if you are not familiar with John’s blog, or if by any chance you may have missed his recent commentaries on Tony Blair, I strongly advise you to consult that blog so that you will see the extent to which this man has promoted the anti-life and anti-family agenda over the years, through his support and promotion of abortion, abortafacient birth-control, euthanasia, homosexual unions, embryonic stem cell research, unsuitable so-called sex education programmes in schools, etc., etc.
As John Smeaton says,
‘Indeed, Mr. Blair has refused to repudiate his record. He and his wife Cherie have continued their campaign against Catholic pro-life/pro-family teaching.’
Why should this man who, by his own admission, has ‘conceal[ed] the full truth’, and ‘ben[t] and even distort[ed] it’, be feted in Ireland, or indeed anywhere else?

It has also been reported that the signing of his book in Dublin was disrupted by the throwing of eggs and shoes causing him to abandon the entire promotional tour for the book

Friday, September 3, 2010

Cold winter blamed for baby boom

The long, cold winter is being blamed for a baby boom this autumn according to a London Independent report.

The report says that health chiefs in Portsmouth, Hampshire, are having to plan for a surge in births expected from this September. More than 600 12-week scans were carried out in March - 100 above the normal monthly average.

A spokeswoman for Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust said they could not speculate about what had caused the rise in pregnancies. But independent midwife Joy Horner, of Birth Joy, said bad winters often led to baby booms. She told the Portsmouth News: "We do see a rise in conception rates when there's been severe weather. The weather does have an impact. "The snow could definitely be the reason for the baby boom next month. "If you can not get out of your house, you've got to find some way to keep yourself occupied."

Julie Dawes, director of nursing at Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust, said: "Having a baby is a very special time for anyone and we are excited for all mums-to-be who are expecting this autumn.

"A 'baby boom' is determined by how many women are having pregnancies confirmed by a 12-week scan.

"In a normal month that number would be about 500. In March this year we carried out more than 600 12-week scans and in April more than 550 were done.

"The higher number of mothers due to give birth from September onwards will be an obvious challenge for us due to the extra demand upon our services but we remain committed to continuing to provide the highest possible standard of care to mothers and their babies in the safest environment."

Thursday, September 2, 2010

The Reverend Thomas J Euteneur steps down from his position as Human Life International President

We at European Life Network wish to express our good wishes to the Reverend Thomas J Euteneuer who has stepped down from the position of President of Human Life International (HLI) after nearly 10 years of meritorious service. Fr. Euteneuer has been asked by his Bishop to return to his Diocese in West Palm Beach, Florida.

The HLI board which is one of the largest pro-life organisations in the world with 105 branches issued a statement thanking Fr. Euteneuer for his leadership, hard work and dedication in carrying on the legacy of Fr. Paul Marx the founder of the organisation.

The statement says that during his tenure as President Fr. Euteneuer traveled more than one million miles as a pro-life missionary to the world.

While Fr. Euteneuer's leadership at HLI and his influence on the pro-life movement around the world will be greatly missed, the statement continues, HLI are blessed to have gifted staff who will continue to carry out our mission while a search for a new president is undertaken.

Msgr. Ignacio Barreiro Carámbula, director of HLI's office in Rome, will assume Fr. Euteneuer's responsibilities until such time as a permanent replacement is named.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

'Late-Term Elective Abortion and Susceptibility to Post-Traumatic Stress Symptoms,'

A study of women who had abortions has found that women undergoing later abortions face increased psychological risks, are more likely to be ambivalent about having an abortion and are more likely to need counseling and support. The study, 'Late-Term Elective Abortion and Susceptibility to Post-Traumatic Stress Symptoms,' was published in the August issue of the Journal of Pregnancy." Late-Term Elective Abortion and Susceptibility to Post-Traumatic Stress Symptoms Priscilla K. Coleman, Catherine T. Coyle, and Vincent M. Rue according to a report
The results came from an online survey of 374 women who answered a detailed questionnaire about the circumstances leading to their abortions, their previous mental health history, or physical or sexual abuse and emotional state following abortion. The small study is the first to compare the experiences of women having early abortions compared to women having later abortions (in the second or third trimester).

The study, lead by Prof. Priscilla Coleman of Bowling Green State University, found that women having abortions after 13 weeks were more likely to report that:
- their partner desired the pregnancy (22.4 percent of women who had later abortions vs. 10.3 percent of women who had early abortions);
- that they were pressured by someone other than their partner to abort (47.8 percent vs. 30.5 percent);
- their partner didn't know about the abortion (23.9 percent vs. 12.5 percent);
- they had left their partner before the abortion (28.3 percent vs. 15.6 percent);
- physical health concerns were a factor in having the abortion (29.8 percent vs. 14.7 percent).