Friday, February 28, 2014

Post abortion depression and suicide


During the recent parliamentary debate in Ireland that lead to the introduction of abortion and despite scholarly research based evidence to the contrary, the Irish Government decided that suicide ideation was grounds for abortion.

Expert psychiatric witnesses explained that in many years of professional practice they had never found this to be the case. On the contrary their evidence pointed to the fact that post-abortive women had a propensity to self-harm that sometimes ended in suicide.
Two high profile cases of suicide broke this week this week and the reports in both cases referenced abortion as having been a major factor in the subsequent depression that tragically ultimately led to suicide.

The first tragic suicide was that of an Australian model and TV star Charlotte Dawson, after a long battle with depression, originally triggered by an abortion back in 1999. According to news stories Dawson it was decided that she should abort her first child with Olympic swimmer husband Scott Miller because her due date coincided with the 2000 summer Olympics and Miller was so focused on his own pursuits that a child was not welcome in the picture at the time. Dawson says they planned to try to have children later, but the marriage broke up shortly afterwards and she ultimately died without living children.

The Daily Telegraph reported:

‘But friends believe she had never really gotten over her marriage to Miller, which ended in divorce after only a year. In her tell-all autobiography Air Kiss And Tell, she revealed she had an abortion because the pregnancy would interfere with Miller’s preparation for the 2000 Olympics — and blamed that for the start of her long battle with depression.’

The second case reported in the Daily Mail relates to an Oxford student who committed suicide following the break up of her relationship with her boyfriend. The report however cites the torment she suffered following an abortion
Oxford student Charlotte Coursier committed suicide six hours after her boyfriend ended their relationship
A 'talented and gifted' Oxford University student hanged herself after her boyfriend of 11 months ended their relationship.
Charlotte Coursier was struggling to cope with a 'campaign of harassment' inflicted on her by a college lecturer, as well as the torment of having aborted a pregnancy.
An inquest heard how Miss Coursier was found dead at home by her housemates in June last year.

The incidence of increased mental health problems associated with abortion is well documented and can be found in the Fergusson Study (2006) and the Coleman Meta-Analysis (2011). Sadly this is denied for both ideological and financial reasons by the abortion industry
The American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists AAPLOG report that compared with birth abortion has a 600% increased risk of suicide and the timing very often corresponds to anniversary grief.
AAPLOG cite the Gissler Record Link (1997) that found that the risk of suicide after birth was half that of the general population but that the risk of suicide following an abortion was 600% greater than following a birth.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

40 days for life 2014 Dublin


For the 4th year in a row a '40 days for Life' campaign will take place in Dublin during Lent, commencing on Ash Wednesday, 5th march and continuing until Easter Sunday, feast of the Resurrection.

The campaign began in the US but is now a worldwide initiative, taking place in 21 countries. Everybody can take part.

The three essential elements are prayer, fasting and public witness outside an abortion referral agency.

Since the year 2010 many people in Ireland have offered their Lenten fast for the success of the campaign.

For the campaign to be a success it is essential for several people to be present as often as possible outside the agency during business hours. Even if you have never done this work before, you are welcome. You don't need any experience just to stand and pray.

Contact numbers and e-mail address for Gianna Care:

Carolyn 087-6729393, Paul 087-9253483, Maura 087-9842365
info@giannacare.ie

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

New Important Initiative on the Family:


New Important initiative on the family: leaders throughout history have proclaimed it, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights declares it, and constitutions across the world affirm it: The family is the natural and fundamental unit of society and must be protected.
Never has the family stood in more urgent need of protection as it now faces its moment of greatest peril, a crisis that is eroding society and jeopardizing civilization. The solution has been known since antiquity. To put the world in order, we must first put in order the family.

Please sign, encourage others to sign, and disseminate the World Family Declaration as widely as possible—and then do everything possible to strengthen and protect the family. What we now do, or fail to do, will shape our world for generations to come.

The text of the declaration is set out below and there is also a link to the website to view the text with its footnotes and to sign the declaration.


We the people of many lands and cultures reaffirm the truth enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and echoed in international treaties and many of our national constitutions, that “The family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the State.” Hence the family exists prior to the state and possesses inherent dignity and rights which states are morally bound to respect and protect.

We declare that the family, a universal community based on the marital union of a man and a woman, is the bedrock of society, the strength of our nations, and the hope of humanity. As the ultimate foundation of every civilization known to history, the family is the proven bulwark of liberty and the key to development, prosperity, and peace.

The family is also the fountain and cradle of new life, the natural refuge for children, and the first and foremost school to teach the values necessary for the well-being of children and society. The family truly is our link to the past and bridge to the future.

Children are our future, and we gratefully acknowledge the selfless service rendered by parents, grandparents, guardians, and other caregivers who provide opportunities, as prescribed in the Declaration of the Rights of the Child, for children “to develop physically, mentally, morally, spiritually and socially in a healthy and normal manner and in conditions of freedom and dignity.”

Recognizing that, as stated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, “motherhood and childhood are entitled to special care and assistance,” and, as stated in the Declaration of the Rights of the Child, every child should, “wherever possible, grow up in the care and under the responsibility of his [or her] parents,” we declare that a functional, nurturing family founded on marriage between a man and a woman provides the surest safeguard of the special care and assistance to which children are entitled.

Gravely concerned by the escalating calamities afflicting children and society due to the rapid decline of marriage and family, we recall the sobering observation that “throughout history, nations have been able to survive a multiplicity of disasters— invasions, famines, earthquakes, epidemics, depressions— but they have never been able to survive the disintegration of the family.” We affirm the ancient wisdom that the world cannot be put in order without first putting in order the family.

We call for a culture that honors and enables faithful, fulfilling, and resilient marriages; that recognizes and protects the uniquely valuable contributions of both mothers and fathers to the lives of their children; and that encourages the values and vision necessary for young people to look forward to and prepare for successful marriage and parenting.

We call upon officials and policymakers, internationally, nationally, and at all levels of government, to immediately establish policies and implement measures to preserve and strengthen marriage and family.

We urge citizens, leaders, and people of influence everywhere to place as their highest priority the protection and strengthening of the family as the irreplaceable foundation of civilization and our only hope for prosperity, peace, and progress.




Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Every Life Matters Conference Stormont


A conference with the title ‘Every Life Matters’ took place on Monday February 24th. in Belfast. The conference which was held the Long Gallery in Stormont was an initiative of the all party pro-life committee in Northern Ireland’s Assembly and was sponsored by Pat Ramsey MLA and JIM Wells MLA.
The conference was opened by Pat Ramsey who told the meeting that the all party committee had been in existence for 10 years and that the issues being dealt with would serve to inform parliamentarians for future discussion on the abortion issue.
The meeting was shown videos dealing with the loss of babies lives due to fatal abnormalities  and was addressed by three parents who  experienced tragic losses, Cliona Johnson from Dublin, Ryan Gamble and Derbhille McGill from Northern Ireland. 


Cliona Johnson’s baby boy John Paul who had been diagnosed with anencephaly lived for 17 minutes after birth surrounded by his family and those who loved him. He was theirs for a time only and his short life, both in the womb and after birth, was celebrated by his family. John Paul’s mother Cliona spoke about the precious moments with him and the love he brought to everyone in the family.

Ryan Gamble spoke about the three days spent with his son Rory. ‘The three days we had with our son Rory completely changed our lives forever’ Ryan told the meeting. Ryan then explained that Rory had not moved a muscle for the three days of his life but just before he died he reached out his hand towards his dad. Rory’s short life has touched people all over the world and Ryan has now formed a Charity in his memory called tennis ministries.

Derbhille McGill shared the moving story of her little baby daughter - Clodagh - who was diagnosed in the womb with having a fatal disability, Trisomy 13, and was told her baby would die before, or soon after birth. Little Clodagh lived for 33 days and was a great blessing to her family during her short life.

One of the significant issues evident from the three testimonies was the different levels of care in the different institutions and the importance of establishing properly constituted peri-natal hospice care 

Thursday, February 20, 2014

What's in a Name.


I note that the Irish Times has finally admitted what many pro-lifers have known for some time they will not use the term ‘pro-life,’ except when they are actually quoting someone who has used the expression, instead they will use the description ‘anti abortion’. Clearly the idea of accepting the term at face value sticks in their pluralistic craw.

Their attitude tells us quite a lot about the mentality behind their refusal to accept the term. First there is a denial that the act of abortion, takes a life, that it actually kills a baby, another human being. We have been told many times that it simply a ‘bunch of cells’ or that it is only potential life rather than human life with potential.

Then there is an ideology, the idea that abortion is a legitimate choice expressed as the so-called ‘right to choose’. We all have choices, life is full of choices and we can choose life or death. Can someone who commits murder because that is his or her choice be seen as making a legitimate choice? Of course not and yet the pretence that, either there is no human life present or that there is a right to choose to terminate a life simply because it is inconvenient, is no different.
Those who are pro-abortion like to hide behind the expression pro-choice and become very agitated when they are described as being pro-abortion.

We are pro-life because we wish to protect all life, both the life of an unborn baby and the right to life of a mother and we say categorically that you should not choose to end either life. Rather each life must be recognized as being valuable, having dignity and the right to live, the right to survive.

We are often reminded of hard cases such as pregnancy following rape. In such a case the rapist should face the full rigour of the law but there are two victims and each must be cared for and protected. The Convention on the Rights of the Child recognizes that “The child by reason of his physical and mental immaturity, needs special safeguards and care, including appropriate legal protection, before as well as after birth”.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Media attack on abstinence education misguided


The Irish media at large do not seem to be capable of understanding that it is important to encourage young adults to avoid early sexual initiation and the commencement of sexual relationships outside of marriage and hence they sneer and jeer at any effort to encourage teenagers to live chaste lives.
The latest episode in the news relating to the excellent youth group ‘Pure in Heart’ is clearly an attempt to stop them from teaching the truth about human sexuality.
Following a report on the group a number of radio programmes have sought to denigrate them and their methods but no criticism is made of groups that encourage early sexual encounters or the consequences of such encounters.
This type of sneering knee jerk reaction is not only counter productive it is highly insulting to the good young people engaged in trying to encourage a sensible approach to sexuality and it does a disservice to vulnerable young people.
See report in the Journal
A more constructive approach would look at the facts and compare the outcome of abstinence education with the disastrous comprehensive sexuality education which is being perpetrated on young adults today.
The Washington Post for example in 2010 reported on a randomized control study on sexual abstinence among early teens, Efficacyof a theory-based abstinence-only intervention over 24 months” was carried outby John B. Jemmott III, PhD; Loretta S. Jemmott, PhD, RN and Geoffrey T. Fong,PhD published in the February edition of Archives of Pediatric & Adolescent Medicine
The study showed that a high-risk population of 6&7 graders receiving abstinence-centered education had the following behavioral changes:
•Reduced sexual initiation (32.6% abstinence intervention vs 51.8% for “safer sex” and 41.8% for “comprehensive” sex education.)
•Reduced the number of sexual partners (a crucial determinant in acquiring an STD),
•The author cites the value of a single focused abstinence approach for encouraging sexual delay, as opposed to a mixed “comprehensive” message. (AP article 2/2/10: “Jemmott said the single focus may have been better at encouraging abstinence than the other approaches in his study. ‘The message was not mixed with any other messages,’ said Jemmott)

Clearly this information challenges policies that claim to want to fund “evidence-based programs,” yet ignore the results of abstinence programmes such as this important study.

This new study proves,
* Single-focused abstinence-centered education is the most effective approach in reducing teen sex.

The study clearly showed that students receiving the Abstinence centered approach were significantly less likely to initiate sex than either the “Safe-Sex” and “Comprehensive” sex education approaches. The safer sex and comprehensive interventions did not reduce sexual initiation.

* Abstinence education has a long-term positive impact on teens’ sexual behavior. Reduction in teen sex continued over a 24-month timeframe.

* Abstinence education is effective among high-risk teens.
The study was conducted among urban, low-income, African American youth, a population at high risk for pregnancy and STDs, including HIV.

The abstinence–centered approach is preferred over condom-based instruction in many communities throughout the US, as cited in the study (this is also true of many communities throughout the world). Offering parents and schools a choice in the type of sex education their children receive not only supports pluralism but the value of local control in education.  

Monday, February 17, 2014

North Korea’s Kim Jong-un forced mothers to drown newborn babies: U.N. report


The washington Times reports today February 17th that a new U.N. Report, on North Korea, alleges that the Kim Jong-un regime has been guilty of crimes against humanity including forcing women to abort their babies or killing them after birth.

The Wahhington Times article follows
The North Korean regime is committing systematic and widespread human rights abuses, including forcing mothers to drown their newborn babies and setting up secret prison camps, a United Nations report released Monday found.
“The gravity, scale and nature of these violations reveal a State that does not have any parallel in the contemporary world,” the U.N. Commission on Inquiry says in the report, a damning indictment of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s regime.
The commission’s chairman, Michael Kirby, warned Mr. Kim in a letter that he could face trial at the International Criminal Court in The Hague for crimes against humanity.
The commission documents crimes against humanity, including “extermination, murder, enslavement, torture, imprisonment, rape, forced abortions and other sexual violence, persecution on political, religious, racial and gender grounds, the forcible transfer of populations, the enforced disappearance of persons and the inhumane act of knowingly causing prolonged starvation.”
“Crimes against humanity are ongoing in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea because the policies, institutions and patterns of impunity that lie at their heart remain in place,” it added.
The 372-page report is based on evidence provided at public hearings by around 80 victims and witnesses in Seoul, Tokyo, London and Washington. More than 240 confidential interviews were conducted with victims and other witnesses.
North Korean women repatriated from China were forced to undergo abortions if they were found to be pregnant, because it was believed they could be carrying babies conceived by Chinese men. The women are not asked about the ethnicity of the child’s father, the report says.
One witness saw seven women given injections to induce abortions. In most cases, guards at the detention facilities “force either the mother or a third person to kill the baby by drowning it in water or suffocating it by holding a cloth or other item against its face or putting the baby face down so that it cannot breathe,” the report says.
Mr. Kirby urged the international community to take North Korea to task over his commission’s report.
“We should be ashamed if we do not act on this report,” he said in Geneva on Monday.
The Obama administration strongly welcomed the report, said State Department spokesman Marie Harf.
The report “provides compelling evidence of widespread, systematic, and grave human rights violations” by the North Korea, Ms. Harf said.
“The [commission’s] report reflects the international community’s consensus view that the human rights situation in the D.P.R.K. is among the world’s worst,” she added, using the
formal name for North Korea.
The commission will formally present its findings to the Human Rights Council in Geneva on March 17.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Belgium passes euthanasia law for children


The 13th of February 2014 like Dec 7th 1941 is a day that will go down in infamy. On this day a new and horrifying law on euthanasia for children was passed by the Belgian Parliament. Doctors will be allowed to kill children "under 18" who have been diagnosed as being terminally ill. 
This of course begs the question of how accurate is any diagnosis and in particular one that will allow life and death decisions will be made on the basis of quality of life issues?  Both the existing and the new law appear to be in contravention of the United Nations Disability Convention which in Article 25. f} calls for prevention of ‘discriminatory denial of health care or health services or food and fluids on the basis of disability.’ 

Euthanasia has been legal in Belgium since 2002 but since its enactment has been prohibited for patients below 18 years of age. The newly approved law allows minors to seek euthanasia under certain conditions and to extend the right to request euthanasia to adults with dementia. There is no age limit but the children who are euthanized would have “to possess the capacity of discernment.”

The decision to kill a child will have to be approved by the parents and the physicians in care. In addition the implications of his/her condition must be explained to the child including the fact that euthanasia means being killed.
This expansion of the current law makes it unique in modern Europe and is reminiscent of the Nazi era in Germany.

Many concerns have been expressed in relation to the original law on the basis that the number of euthanasia deaths in Belgium has shown a rapid increase, the 2012 increase being 25%. Recent studies indicate that up to 47% of all assisted deaths are not being reported, 32% of all assisted deaths are being done without request and nurses are killing their patients, even though the law restricts euthanasia to doctors.
--> One can only guess at this stage what the implications of the new law will be and how it will be administered.

Belgian pediatricians said that the law was not necessary as "palliative care teams for children are perfectly capable of achieving pain relief, both in hospital and at home". Many members of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe signed a declaration saying that this law "betrays some of the most vulnerable children in Belgium" and "promotes the unacceptable belief that a life can be unworthy of life which challenges the very basis of civilised society". 

Following the adoption of the law by the Belgian Parliament it is now up to King Philippe of the Belgians to sign it into law and appeals are being made to him to refuse to do so. It will be remembered that his uncle the former King Baudouin refused to sign the law that liberalized abortion in 1990 by abdicating for a day.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Spanish Socialists fail to derail draft abortion restriction law


The Irish Times in its usual anti unborn life mode seem to take the view, in branding it unpopular, that the proposed restrictions to Spain’s abortion very liberal abortion law is some kind of calamity.
It was actually the introduction of abortion on demand by the former Zapatero government that was highly unpopular and at the time brought more than one million Spaniards out on the street to
--> demonstrate their opposition. BBC report at that time
There is no doubt that the proposed new law is sincere in wanting to protect unborn life but nevertheless is misguided. It will go some way towards protecting the unborn however it will still allow abortion in the case of rape, serious foetal deformity or in the event of a grave mental or physical health risk to the mother.

The Irish Times article can be found on this link and is reprinted below
Spain’s Socialists failed on Tuesday to block an unpopular draft law restricting women’s access to abortions, which has sparked large protests across the country and caused rare rifts in the conservative People’s Party (PP) that sponsored the Bill.
In an unusual secret ballot, which gave its members a chance to go against the ruling party’s line without being exposed, the PP, with an absolute majority in parliament, was able to defeat a motion to block the law.
Thousands of people all over Spain have joined marches in recent weeks to show their opposition to the Bill, which will limit abortion to cases of rape or severe danger to the mother’s health.

Restrictive regime
Several PP politicians have spoken out against the law, which will make Spain one of the most restrictive countries in Europe and overturns rules that allow abortions on demand in the first 14 weeks of pregnancy. But the motion, put forward by the Socialists, was rejected by 183 votes, with 151 in favour and six abstentions.
“If this goes ahead, the number of abortions in Spain will [still] rise and many of them will be more dangerous abortions for women,” said Elena Valenciano, deputy leader of the Socialists, told parliament in a debate before the vote. “Inequality will grow. Spanish women will once again be divided into two groups: those that can travel to a neighbouring country and undergo a safe abortion and those that cannot.”
A PP member of parliament defended the party, saying it was in favour of further debate rather than simply dismissing the issue. “We are prepared to have a dialogue,” Marta Torrado de Castro said.
The Bill will be subject to more discussions in parliament before being written into law.
Prime minister Mariano Rajoy’s cabinet approved the draft bill last December in a move widely seen as a bid to soothe his party’s right wing, although the PP has lost ground to the Socialists in opinion polls since.
Polls show 80 per cent of Spaniards, including practising Catholics, support abortion on demand. – (Reuters)

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

UN OPEN WORKING GROUP ON SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS


The final Open Working Group meeting which took place at the UN in New York during the first week of February was attended by my Colleague Vincenzina Santoro, Main United Nations Representative for the American Family Association of New York, who reports that the session covered a panoply of topics including: oceans, seas, forests, biodiversity, equality (social and gender), women’s empowerment, conflict prevention, peace, peace-building, rule of law, and much more. In other words: everything for everyone everywhere.

Vincenzina continues,
The MDG process took place behind closed doors and rubber stamped at the General Assembly in 2000. This has been heavily criticized and so now the entire global community has been asked to participate in the formulation of the SDGs. After all the OWG meetings and other fora that have been held, the two co-chairmen of the OWG process, the Ambassadors of Hungary and Kenya (who in my view are rather exceptional for UN ambassadors) will have to cull hours and hours of utterances by delegates, inter-governmental organizations, UN agencies, and civil society and produce a final report sometime in the near future.

Among the voices that were heard was the Executive Director of UN Women who featured prominently on the third day with a major address reiterating what she has said at other venues during her brief tenure. Prof. Joseph Stiglitz, economic adviser to the Secretary-General, was a no show due to his inability to be at two places at once on a snowy day.

Among the delegates who spoke, two could be considered “friendly.” The delegate from Trinidad &Tobago who spoke on behalf of the Caribbean Community included supportive and family friendly references in his statement. (I subsequently learned he had received input from one pro-life, pro-family NGO!)

Archbishop Francis Chullikatt, the Papal Nuncio, spoke eloquently in defense of the dignity of life at all stages from the preborn to loneliness in old age.

One of the worst was a long statement delivered by the delegate from Uruguay with repeated pejorative references to the sexual and reproductive rights agenda.

The United Nations has created “major groups” among the NGOs that represent and advocate the same message/agenda. These include women, youth and others. A young person spoke on behalf of the “youth group” and in her first sentence advocated equality for the LGBT community followed by all sorts of sexual and reproductive matters for youth with services to be available without parental consent. (A similar message had been heard at a previous OWG meeting in June.) While she made no effort to be ‘inclusive’ it was clear that she did not represent the entire global youth community.

The danger of all these meetings remains that ideologues are everywhere. They are forceful in advocating certain language that will find its way to the stand alone goals for the SDGs. By sheer repetition they hope to get their way.

Among the novelties heard were several calls for developing data on gender this and that, an initiative that is likely to generate jobs for statisticians somewhere. There was even a reference to creating a “rule of law index” although this was not explained.

“Side events” always are part of any major UN agenda. These usually take place at 1:15pm, interfering with lunch! Duty called to “Achieving Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment for Sustainable Development” but this only gave some dignitaries and one NGO (out of nearly 4,000) a second chance to state their same message.

Several side events occur simultaneously so one has to pick and choose. When I saw something potentially positive (there aren’t too many) on the program I chose to attend. On Tuesday, the program listed “How can tourism contribute to the sustainable development agenda?” organized by the UN World Tourism Organization. The quick answer is “immensely!” Today more than one billion people travel across borders for leisure, business, family visits, pilgrimages and more. International tourism receipts exceeded $1.1 trillion in 2012 and nations big and small benefitted.

A book was distributed entitled: “Tourism Stories: How Tourism Enriched My Life” which tells 14 stories of individuals and couples who started a successful tourism enterprise. One story was of a Vietnamese woman who ferries visitors in typical boats along a river that runs in a scenic area called Trang An. Today more than 1,000 boats travel the route and their rowers enjoy significantly higher wages and living standards in a tourism venture that started with the idea of one woman with one boat.

A delegate from Samoa spoke of the importance of tourism to her country which later this year will host a UN meeting of the SIDS (Small Island Developing States). This year Samoa is celebrating its “graduation” from the LDC (Least Developed Countries) group as that small country now has achieved middle-income status, thanks in part to the tourism industry.

Isn’t it nice for once to end a UN report on a constructive note?

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

SPUC director John Smeaton receives the Cardinal John J O’Connor award.


The Prestigious Cardinal John J O’Connor award for 2013 has been awarded to the executive director of the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children John Smeaton for his untiring work in support of unborn life for the last 40 years.
The Cardinal John J O’Connor award has in previous years been given to Cardinal Raymond Burke and also to Dr. Jack Wilke who is known as the father of the pro-life movement in the United States. 
See reports by SPUC and LifeSite News

Photo shows John Smeaton and his wife Josephine with Legatus founder Tom Monaghan and Mike Faricy of the Legatus Board

John Smeaton who was also asked to address the Legatus convention in accepting the award told the gathering that he was deeply honoured to receive the award and he continued;
In addition to the honour to me personally, which I most gratefully acknowledge, it’s an award which implicitly honours Josephine, my dear wife, whose loving, wholehearted support for me, for my work for the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children, SPUC, makes it possible for me to do that work.
It’s also an award which honours all of my fellow workers in SPUC and its members, who are the salt of the earth, and with whom I have had the privilege to work for 40 years, 36 of those years professionally.
It seems to me that the history of Legatus and the history of this award, are rooted in prophetic witness. It was, after all, Blessed John Paul II who wrote in his encyclical Evangelium Vitae: “Bishops are the first ones called to be untiring preachers of the Gospel of Life.” And Cardinal John J O’Connor’s life and work embody those prophetic words of our late Holy Father, as does the award itself. And I understand that it was following a meeting with Pope John Paul II, arguably the greatest prophet of the 20th and 21st century, that Mr. Monaghan was inspired to found Legatus.
Moreover, the roll call of previous recipients of the Cardinal John J O’Connor – several of whom I have the honour to know personally – is humbling and inspiring. I must now endeavour to live up to the standards set by so many great pro-life figures and leaders who’ve won this award before me. To mention but one, Dr Jack Willke remains a living pro-life prophet whose erudite, easy-to-read books, have been translated into thirty two languages and who broadcast on over 1000 radio stations. I doubt if any pro-life figure has done more than Jack, and his late beloved wife Barbara, to promote the Gospel of Life on the basis of solid facts and reliable empirical evidence.
I understand that Legatus requires its members to be ambassadors for Christ and in this connection I am particularly honoured to be receiving this award from Mr Monaghan whose prophetic witness in opposing President Barack Obama’s healthcare coverage for contraception and abortion has inspired the world.
The artificial separation of the unitive and procreative elements of sexual intercourse is not only the basis of contraception, it's also the basis of early abortion and in vitro fertilisation. It underpins today's culture of death.
 Cardinal Raymond Burke, who won the Cardinal John J O’Connor award two years ago, said in a speech in Rome, in November 2010, to the World Prayer Congress for Life:
“The attack on the innocent and defenceless life of the unborn has its origin in an erroneous view of human sexuality, which attempts to eliminate, by mechanical or chemical means, the essentially procreative nature of the conjugal act.  The error maintains that the artificially altered conjugal act retains its integrity. The claim is that the act remains unitive or loving, even though the procreative nature has been radically violated. In fact, it is not unitive, for one or both of the partners withholds an essential part of the gift of self, which is the essence of the conjugal union. The so-called ‘contraceptive mentality’ is essentially anti-life. Many forms of so-called contraception are, in fact, abortifacient, that is, they destroy, at its beginning, a life which has already been
conceived.”
May these prophetic words of Cardinal Raymond Burke. May the prophetic work of Legatus, and its ambassadors for Christ in the US and throughout the world, continue to inspire and guide the world in our struggle to build anew a culture a life in our troubled world.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Aborted babies bodies used to produce so called ‘miracle cure’


The Daily Mail have reported on a truly shocking story of aborted babies bodies being used to make a so called miracle cure.
The report tells of the discovery of thousands of pills filled with powdered human baby flesh, by customs officials in South Korea. According to the report the smuggled pills originate in China and over 17,000 have been intercepted in the last six months.
The Daily Mail article can be found on this link and is reprinted below
Thousands of pills filled with powdered human flesh have been discovered by customs officials in South Korea, it was revealed today.
The capsules are in demand because they are viewed as being a medicinal 'cure-all'.
The grim trade is being run from China where corrupt medical staff are said to be tipping off medical companies when babies are aborted or delivered still-born.
Dead baby pills: This is ground baby powder which tests discovered is 99.7 per cent human last year. South Korean officials have stopped 17,000 dead baby pills being imported since last August+5
Dead baby pills: This is ground baby powder which tests discovered is 99.7 per cent human last year. South Korean officials have stopped 17,000 dead baby pills being imported since last August
The tiny corpses are then bought, stored in household refrigerators in homes of those involved in the trade before they are removed and taken to clinics where they are placed in medical drying microwaves.
Once the skin is tinder dry, it is pummelled into powder and then processed into capsules along with herbs to disguise the true ingredients from health investigators and customs officers.

The discoveries since last August has shocked even hardened customs agents who have pledged to strengthen inspections.
Chinese officials are understood to have been aware of the trade and have tried to stop the capsules being exported but thousands of packets of them have been smuggled through to South Korea.
Danger: The Chinese Ministry of Health has launched an investigation into the alleged production of pills made from dead babies+5
Danger: The Chinese Ministry of Health has launched an investigation into the alleged production of pills made from dead babies
There is a huge demand for alternative Chinese remedies - which include ground up rhino horns.
The Chinese have historically consumed human placentas to improve blood supply and circulation.
ENDANGERED SPECIES IN CHINESE MEDICINES
Rhino horns+5
Chinese alternative medicines contain traces of endangered species, a study has found.
Many of the remedies are more than 2,000 years old - and claim to be alternative methods for curing disease.
The use of rhino horns in Chinese medicines has been widely criticised.
Despite the claims the 'cures' can treat everything from broken bones to headaches, there is limited proof they actually work.
A team of Australian scientists discovered that some of the medicines contained traces of black bears and antelope.
The Murdoch University team used DNA sequencing to work out what the plants and animal ingredients are.
Health authorities in Asia are concerned that if the powdered foetus trade is allowed to continue the capsules will find their way onto the internet and be sold to gullible or sick desperate people in other parts of the world.
The South Korean Customs Service said today that it had heightened its searches of suspicious packages being brought into the country by travellers from China in an attempt to stamp out the sickening trade.
According to customs agents, 35 smuggling attempts have been made since August last year involving more than 17,000 capsules disguised as 'stamina boosters'.
Hospitals and abortion clinics in China reportedly pass the remains onto drugs companies when a baby is stillborn or aborted, the South Korean SBS documentary team reported last year.
The San Francisco Times reported that tests carried out on the pills confirmed they were made up of 99.7 per cent human remains.
The tests were successfully able to establish the genders of the babies used.
There is a huge demand for the pills which are thought to enhance stamina. Microwave-dried placenta is also sought after for its alleged 'medicinal' benefits.
However, in reality the human flesh capsules contain super-bacteria and other harmful ingredients.
A number of smugglers who have been detained by the South Korean authorities have claimed they did not know what the ingredients were or the manufacturing process behind them.
Crackdown: Chinese officials, pictured confiscating thousands of illegal tablets, say they will clampdown on the massive herbal medicine industry which has seen dangerous bacteria an human remains added to seized pills+5
Crackdown: Chinese officials, pictured confiscating thousands of illegal tablets, say they will clampdown on the massive herbal medicine industry which has seen dangerous bacteria an human remains added to seized pills
'Ethnic Koreans from north-east China who now live in South Korea are those who were mostly intending to use the capsules or share them with other Korean-Chinese' said a customs official.
'They are normally brought into South Korea in luggage or posted by international mail.'
The capsules were all confiscated but no one has been punished because the amount was deemed small and they were not intended for sale, a customs official added.
Chinese newspapers have identified the north eastern provinces as the source of the human flesh capsules, in particular the Jilin region which is close to North Korea.
Smuggling: More than 17,000 capsules disguised as 'stamina boosters' have been intercepted as they were smuggled into South Korea last year (pictured is Seoul airport)+5
Smuggling: More than 17,000 capsules disguised as 'stamina boosters' have been intercepted as they were smuggled into South Korea last year (file photo of Seoul airport)
There have been disturbing reports that some babies were those who had perished in China's notorious 'dying rooms' where youngsters are deliberately left to die because they were born into families that already had the limit of one child in country areas.
In order to keep its population down, China performs 13 million abortions a year - mainly because mothers sacrifice their newborns to avoid punishment such as severe fines or even a beating by the authorities.
The Chinese authorities have confirmed that 38 per cent of women of child-bearing age have been sterilised - but the babies that are aborted do not go to waste because of the sickening trade in using their corpses for purported medicinal purposes.
Despite their disgust at discovering packets of the so-called rejuvenation pills being brought in from China, South Korean officials have refused to confirm where the babies came from or who made the capsules.
Sources said this was because they were not prepared to create diplomatic friction with Beijing, preferring to leave it to Chinese officials to do something about the horrific trade in powdered babies.

Friday, February 7, 2014

THE HOLY SEE WILL RESPOND TO THE CONCLUDING OBSERVATIONS OF THE U.N. COMMITTEE FOR THE RIGHTS OF THE CHILD: ARCHBISHOP TOMASI


Vatican Information Services VIS reported Feb 6th on the initial response by The Papal Nuncio to the UN in Geneva Archbishop Tomasi  to the outrageous report of the Committee on the Rights of the Child.
In his statement Archbishop Tomasi emphasized that the Holy See will respond in more detail but will do so based on the text of the Convention not the ideologies that underlie much of content of the committee’s concluding observations and he reminded them that the Convention in its preamble actually calls for protection of unborn life .
“the Holy See will respond, because it is a member, a State that is part of the Convention: it has ratified it and intends to observe it in the spirit and letter of this Convention, without added ideologies or impositions that lie outside of the Convention itself. For instance: in its Preamble, the Convention on the Protection of Children talks about the defence of life and the protection of children before and after birth; whereas the recommendation made to the Holy See is that of changing its position on the question of abortion! Of course, when a child is killed it no longer has rights! Hence this seems to me to be a real contradiction of the fundamental objective of the Convention, which is the protection of children.
The full text of the VIS press release  containing Archbishop Tomasi’s statement is set out below
Yesterday afternoon Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, permanent observer for the Holy See at the United Nations in Geneva commented on the concluding observations of the United Nations Committee for the Rights of the Child, which were very critical regarding the issue of the abuse of minors by members of the clergy and the actions taken by the Vatican and the Holy See on the matter, and urges revision of the Church's teaching on certain themes such as contraception and abortion.
“My first impression: we need to wait, read attentively and analyse in detail what the members of this Commission have written”, commented the nuncio. “But my first reaction is of surprise, because of the negative aspects of the document they have produced and that it looks almost as if it were already prepared before the meeting of the Committee with the delegation of the Holy See, which had given in detail precise responses on various points, which have not been reported in this conclusive document or at least have not seemed to be taken into serious consideration. In fact, the document does not seem to be updated, taking into account what, over the last few years, has been done by the Holy See, with the measures taken directly from the authority of Vatican City State and then in various countries by the individual Episcopal Conferences. It therefore lacks a correct and updated perspective, which in reality has seen a series of changes for the protection of children that, it seems to me, are difficult to find, at the same level of commitment, in other institutions or even in other States. This is simply a question of facts, of evidence, which cannot be distorted!”.
With regard to the Holy See's reaction to the document, the archbishop affirmed that “the Holy See will respond, because it is a member, a State that is part of the Convention: it has ratified it and intends to observe it in the spirit and letter of this Convention, without added ideologies or impositions that lie outside of the Convention itself. For instance: in its Preamble, the Convention on the Protection of Children talks about the defence of life and the protection of children before and after birth; whereas the recommendation made to the Holy See is that of changing its position on the question of abortion! Of course, when a child is killed it no longer has rights! Hence this seems to me to be a real contradiction of the fundamental objective of the Convention, which is the protection of children. This Committee has not done a good service to the United Nations, seeking to introduce and request the Holy See to change its non-negotiable teaching! So, it is somewhat sad to see that the Committee has not grasped in depth the nature and functions of the Holy See that, however, has expressed clearly to the Committee its decision to carry forward the Convention's requests on the rights of the child, but defining precisely and protecting first of all those fundamental values that give real and effective protection to the child”.
The observer for the Holy See also commented on the fact that the United Nations had said at one time that the Vatican had responded better than other countries to the protection of minors, and with regard to the change of opinion expressed in the document published yesterday, he said, “the introduction to the final report recognised the clarity of the answers that were given; there was no attempt to avoid any request made by the Committee, on the basis of the evidence available, and where there was no immediate information, we had promised to provide it in the future, according to the directives of the Holy See, as all countries do. So it seemed to be a constructive dialogue and I think it should remain as such. Therefore, given the impression received through direct dialogue by the delegation of the Holy See with the Committee and the text of the conclusions and recommendations, it is tempting to say that probably that text had already been written, and does not reflect the input and clarity, other than by some hasty addition, to that which had already been offered. So we must, with serenity and on the basis of the evidence - because we have nothing to hide! - bring forth the explanation of the position of the Holy See, respond to the questions that remain, so that the fundamental objective that is to be pursued - the protection of children - can be achieved. We are talking about 40 million cases of child abuse in the world: unfortunately some of these cases - even though in small proportions in comparison to all those that are happening in the world - affect people in the Church. And the Church has responded and reacted and continues to do so! We must insist on this policy of transparency, of no tolerance of abuse, because even one single case of child abuse is one case too many!”

Thursday, February 6, 2014

UN Committee exceeds mandate in making recommendations to Russian Federation


The Russian Federation appeared before the Committee on the Rights of the Child on January 23rd and 24th for their combined 4th and 5th review of their level of compliance with the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC).
The Russian delegation in presenting their 5-year review to the Committee on the Rights of the Child referred to the current demographic deficit in Russia, which has resulted in a fall in population of around 700,000 people
According to the report the total fertility rate sank as low 1.3 children per woman but with Government assistance has now climbed back to 1.7, which is still below the 2.1 replacement level. According to the report 1.4 million children were born in 2006 and this increased to 1.9 million in 2012.
A number of reports were submitted to the Committee by NGO’S complaining about the Russian laws protecting children from anti family propaganda.
One such report with the title Implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and Problem of Children from Vulnerable Groups compiled as a result of collaborative efforts of three Russian organizations: Anti-discrimination Centre Memorial, regional St. Petersburg organization 'Coming Out' and Russian LGBT Network.
EFFECTS OF RUSSIAN ANTI-GAY LAWS ON LGBT CHILDREN AND CHILDREN OF LGBT FAMILIES
As was partially noted in reports on rights of children with respect to sexual orientation and gender identity, submitted to the Committee in 2013 by the Coming Out LGBT organization (hereinafter “Coming Out Report”) and Russian LGBT Network, a range of laws were adopted within the last two years in Russia which restrict the rights of LGBT people, LGBT families and LGBT rights advocates. These laws are as follows:
· Law prohibiting “propaganda of sodomy, lesbianism, bisexualism, transgenderism among the underage” adopted in St.-Petersburg;
· Federal law prohibiting “propaganda of unconventional sexual relationship”30
· Law prohibiting adoption of Russian children by same sex couples from other countries;
There is no reference to any of these issues in the CRC nevertheless this committee once again exceeded its mandate by making recommendations that have no relevance to the Convention.
The Committee’s concluding observations were published on Feb 5th and contain the following recommendations at paragraphs 24, 25 and 55 and 56 c. 
24. The Committee is also concerned at the recent developments in the legislation of the State party prohibiting “propaganda of unconventional sexual relationship”, generally with the intent of protecting children, which however encourages stigmatization of and discrimination against LGBTI persons, including children, and children of LGBTI families. The Committee is particularly concerned that vague definitions of propaganda leads to the targeting and ongoing persecution of the country’s LGBTI community, including abuse and violence, in particular against underage LGBTI rights activists.

25. The Committee recommends that the State party repeal its laws prohibiting propaganda of homosexuality and ensure that children who belong to LGBTI groups or children of LGBTI families are not subjected to any forms of discrimination by raising the awareness of the public on equality and non-discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

Adolescent health
55. The Committee is concerned at the high incidence of suicides and large numbers of drug and alcohol addiction among adolescents in the State party. The Committee is also concerned about the reports of coercive treatment of transsexual and homosexual persons, in particular children, and attempt to diagnose transsexuality as psychiatric disease as well as the lack of sexual health information for LGBTI children.

56 (c) Put an end to the coercive treatment of transsexual and homosexual persons, in particular children, and to attempts to diagnose transsexuality as psychiatric disease as well as provide LGBTI children with easy access to necessary sexual health information.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Ideologically driven Committee on the Rights of the Child oversteps mandate

-->
The United Nations (UN) Committee on the Rights of the Child significantly overstepped its mandate in presenting its non-binding concluding remarks and recommendations in respect of its recent consideration of the Holy See report.
This was particularly evident in its recommendations.
The Committee for example attacked the Catholic Church's teachings on abortion, contraception and homosexuality, under the guise of a critique of the Church's handling of child sex abuse cases. The report, among similar things, recommends that the Catholic Church: identifies 
  • "circumstances under which access to abortion services can be permitted" (section 55)
  • "overcome[s] all the barriers and taboos surrounding adolescent sexuality that hinder their access to sexual and reproductive information, including on family planning and contraceptives" (section 57a)
  • "ensure[s] that sexual and reproductive health education and prevention of HIV/AIDS is part of the mandatory curriculum of Catholic schools" (section 57c) 
This Committee has once again overstepped its mandate by making demands well beyond the scope of the actual wording of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. There is nothing in the Convention, which requires the Catholic Church or any other body to facilitate abortion, contraception or homosexuality.

The Committee also failed to recognise the significant progress achieved by the Holy See in the area of the protection of children or to take cognizance of the actual submissions made by the Holy See both in writing and during its January appearance before the Committee
The Holy See Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva Archbishop Tomasi responding to questions in respect of the Committee conclusions said:
‘I would say that there is a difficultly apparent in understanding the position of the Holy See that cannot certainly give up certain teachings that are part of their deep convictions and also an expression of freedom of religion and these are the values that in the tradition of the Catholic Church sustain the common good of society and therefore cannot be renounced, for example the committee asked for acceptance of abortion and this is a contradiction with the principle of life that the convention itself should support recommending that children be protected before and after birth.
If a child is eliminated or killed we can no longer talk about rights for this person, so there is a need to calmly and in detail analyzing the recommendations proposed by the committee and provide an accurate response to the committee itself, so that there will be no misunderstanding on where we stand and the reason why we take certain positions and I would add that the practical remedies for preventing cases of abuse of children in forms of laws or decisions of Episcopal Conferences of directives for the formation of seminarians constitute a package of measures that is very difficult, I think, to find other institutions or even other states that have done so much specifically for the protection of children. So, my sense is that we have to continue to refine, to enact provisions that protect children in all their necessities so that they may grow and become productive adults in society and their dignity be constantly respected.
And at the same time we have to keep in mind that even though there are so many millions, forty million cases of abuse a year regarding children and unfortunately some cases affect also Church personnel. We have to keep in mind that, we have to continue to combat this tragedy knowing that even a case of abuse of a child is a case too much.’
John Smeaton executive director of the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children SPUC commenting on the report  said;
'There is a great deal of hypocrisy in the committee's report. Under the cover of seeking to protect children against sexual abuse, the report promotes damage to children - the destruction of unborn children through abortion and the destruction of born children's innocence through the promotion of contraception and homosexuality.
The Holy See's representatives made clear to the committee last month, Catholic leaders are facing up to the shocking child abuse scandals within the Church. Pro-life and pro-family groups throughout the world must  - like SPUC - come to the UN to help the Holy See in its vital work of protecting, unborn children and the marriage-based family. This work is under constant attack by the Catholic Church's enemies, as manifested in the committee's report today.
Any pro-life/pro-family groups interested in lobbying at the UN are invited to contact me for help and advice regarding accreditation and related issues'