Monday, August 15, 2011

Master Class on "termination of pregnancy" has been re-named

In my blog for 11 July I wrote about the ‘master-classes’ that have been organised by the Department of Adult and Community Education of the National University of Ireland Maynooth, in conjunction with the Crisis Pregnancy Programme (formerly the Crisis Pregnancy Agency, but now subsumed into the Health Service Executive).  The ‘master-classes’ will take place on the University campus in the coming months.  
The first ‘master-class’ in the series, entitled ‘Supporting an unplanned pregnancy’, was originally advertised as ‘Termination of pregnancy: A lawful choice’.
Now, there are two things very wrong with these words.  The first is the use of the word ‘termination’ – ‘termination of pregnancy’ is a euphemism for ‘abortion’, so why don’t the organisers use the word ‘abortion’?  Need we ask?  The second thing is the statement ‘A lawful choice’.    As I explained in my blog, abortion is not legal in Ireland so the presenters of the series are actually proposing an illegal action.
The organisers have recently announced that, following numerous complaints by phone and by email they have changed the title of the master-class to ‘Termination: Dealing with complex issues’.   As if that changes their intent to normalise abortion!
This is the blurb describing the newly named master-class:
Over 4,000 Irish women travelled in 2009 to the UK for termination of their pregnancy.  Yet this experience is rarely discussed by these women or by the wider society.  Professionals who encounter this issue with their clients need clear information and guidelines as well as an opportunity to discuss and clarify thoughts and feelings about termination of pregnancy.
‘The Masterclass will consist of a presentation by Sherie de Burgh, One Family, who has many years experience in working with clients regarding pregnancy and parenting.  She brings the necessary knowledge, compassion and empathy to this topic.  The event will also include stories from women who have made this journey to the UK.
‘The aim of this session is to reflect together on the complexity of working with clients to assist them arrive at their own choice.

The final paragraph of the original blurb reads as follows:
The aim of this session is to reflect together on the complexity of working with clients to assist them arrive at their own true choice.  This session is a facilitated space to reflect on the implications the learning has for your practice.

It’s interesting to see that the original brochure for the master-class (‘Termination of pregnancy: A lawful choice’) is still available on the website of NUIM.

As mentioned in my earlier blog, Sherie de Burgh – who is described in the master-class brochure as having had ‘many years experience’ in working in the area of ‘crisis pregnancy’, and who ‘brings the necessary knowledge, compassion and empathy to this topic’ – formerly worked with the Irish Family Planning Association (IFPA), which is the Irish affiliate of the International Planned Parenthood Federation which, in turn, is the world’s biggest provider and promoter of abortion.

It is shocking to realise that by changing the title of their master-class NUIM and the Crisis Pregnancy Programme/HSE think that they have hoodwinked the people of Ireland into believing that they are not still promoting abortion.
Please continue to write to or phone the Taoiseach, Enda Kenny (remember his pre-election promise that neither he nor his Fine Gael party would legislate for abortion?).   Also, contact:
1.  Dr. James Reilly, Minister for Health,
2.  The Department of Adult and Community Education at NUI Maynooth (email:     , or phone her at: 01 708 3784)
3.  Crisis Pregnancy Programme/HSE (Health Service Executive

Ask each of them to cancel the master-class.