Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Patrick O'Donoghue and the ASA

The Bishop of Lancaster (England), Rt. Rev. Patrick O’Donoghue, has issued the following statement in response to the announcement of the Advertising Standards Authority in the UK that it is considering allowing abortion agencies to advertise on television stations:
‘It has been widely reported in the media that the Advertising Standards Authority is considering allowing the abortion industry to advertise through the broadcasting media. This deeply damaging proposal originates from the Independent Advisory Group on Sexual Health & HIV and therefore comes from the heart of the abortion industry – threatening yet another hammer-blow to the sanctity of human life in this country.

‘I am appalled that this proposal will result in the deaths of many more preborn children and cause untold harm to women. As a society, we need to wake up and stop treating abortion as a quick-fix solution to pregnancy and offer compassionate and practical support to women facing crisis pregnancies. The Cardinal Winning Pro-Life Initiative in Scotland is a shining example of the Church and others reaching out to pregnant women who find themselves isolated and frightened, offering emotional support and practical help such as liaising with families and providing financial assistance to women in need.

‘The killing of the innocent can never be a genuine solution to a problem. I urge all those who care about the sanctity of human life to voice their opposition to this proposal with one voice. At the same time, please consider lending your support to our pro-life organizations that care about mothers and their preborn children.’

Congratulations, Bishop O'Donoghue, I couldn't have put it better myself.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Condoms and HIV/AIDS

In the days since Pope Benedict XVI responded to a question by a French journalist on HIV/AIDS the media in most cases have been very critical of his comments. Support for Pope Benedict has come from many different places and from people in many walks of life including science. The Washington Times published a very interesting editorial on the topic. To place the issue in context I have first included the text of the exchange between the French Journalist and Pope Benedict and added a link to the Washington Times article.

En Route to Cameroon a French journalist asked Pope Benedict: "Holy Father among the many evils that affect Africa there is also the particular problem of the spread of AIDS. The position of the Catholic Church for fighting this evil is frequently considered unrealistic and ineffective.

Pope Benedict replied "I would say the opposite,” and he continued,
"It is my belief that the most effective presence on the front in the battle against HIV/AIDS is precisely the Catholic Church and her institutions. I think of the Community of Sant' Egidio, which does so much, visibly and invisibly to fight AIDS, of the Camillians, of all the nuns that are at the service of the sick.
"I would say that this problem of AIDS cannot be overcome with advertising slogans. If the soul is lacking, if Africans do not help one another, the scourge cannot be resolved by distributing condoms; quite the contrary, we risk worsening the problem. The solution can only come through a twofold commitment: firstly, the humanization of sexuality, in other words a spiritual and human renewal bringing a new way of behaving towards one another; and secondly, true friendship, above all with those who are suffering, a readiness - even through personal sacrifice - to be present with those who suffer. And these are the factors that help and bring visible progress.
"Therefore, I would say that our double effort is to renew the human person internally, to give spiritual and human strength to a way of behaving that is just towards our own body and the other person's body; and this capacity of suffering with those who suffer, to remain present in trying situations.
"I believe that this is the first response [to AIDS] and that this is what the Church does, and thus, she offers a great and important contribution. And we are grateful to those that do this."

Link to Washington Times article

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Cork University Hospital and Euthanasia

Cork University Hospital issued an invitation recently to attend a lecture at the Hospital, sponsored by the Health Services Executive (formerly the Health Boards of different areas of Ireland) on the subject: ‘Why Euthanasia Should Be Legalised’. Unless it is cancelled in the meantime, the lecture will be given in early April. The lecturer in question is Professor Len Doyal, a UK professional who in 2006 is reported as saying that doctor-assisted deaths should be legalized, and called for the law to enable doctors to give lethal injections even if patients cannot give their consent.

Youth Defence has asked: ‘Why are taxpayers’ funds sponsoring a HSE pro-euthanasia event? It is absolutely unacceptable that the government is using our taxes to promote an agenda which targets the old and the vulnerable for extermination.’ Youth Defence called on all citizens to contact the hospital and demand that the lecture be cancelled. Owing to the number of calls received by them so far, it is believed that the Ethics Committee of the hospital discussed the situation and a decision is to be announced this week.

The General Manager of Cork University Hospital is Mr. J.A. McNamara, and he can be contacted at 021-4922133.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

More on the HPV Vaccine

Following the furore that arose in Ireland when Minister for Health and Children, Mary Harney, announced that – ostensibly because of necessary Government financial cut-backs – she would not proceed with her plan to have twelve-year-old girls vaccinated with the anti-cervical cancer drug Gardasil, a number of doctors declared that they would provide such vaccination, at their own expense, and cost-free to parents, for some hundreds of girls in the Dublin area. These vaccinations were carried out early in March. The actual vaccines were bought by a consortium of businessmen.

See also ELN Open Letter to Health Minister Mary Harney which sets out the problems associated with the use of the vaccine.

The following piece is taken from Witness to Love, in relation to a similar programme put in place in the United Kingdom.
This consequentialist approach to what is in fact an ethical issue typifies the utilitarianism of contemporary society. Although the potential for saving lives comes with the HPV [Gardasil] vaccination, it would be far less necessary if parents and young people learned about responsibility, purity and marriage as the safest way to avoid HPV and cervical cancer. To vaccinate my child against a disease that she is most likely to get from taking multiple sexual partners seems to me to capitulate to a culture in which the image of the human person has become grossly distorted. It is to admit and promote the idea that sexual activity between young people before marriage is inevitable and unstoppable despite being potentially harmful.

At the age when young boys and girls are just beginning to learn the fuller use of reason, to offer them drugs in the place of virtue is not only a capitulation to a materialistic view of man, but it diminishes the meaning of their freedom. Instead of teaching children self-control, temperance and purity, giving them a drug communicates to them that their capacity for this is limited and unreliable.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Abortion NEVER necessary to save the mother

The doctor who performed an abortion on a nine-year-old girl carrying twins, justified his actions by claiming that the abortion was necessary to save the girl's life. This claim has been swallowed by the media and certain figures within the Church without question, but a Brazilian Catholic physician was one of a number of doctors to refute the notion that abortion is ever necessary to save the mother's life. He states:
‘As an obstetrician for fifty years, graduated in the National Medical School of the University of Brazil, and former chief of Obstetrics in the Hospital of Andarai [Rio de Janeiro], in which I served for thirty-five years until I retired in order to dedicate myself to the Diaconate, and having delivered 4,524 babies, many from juvenile [mothers], I never had to resort to an abortion to “save lives”, as well as all my colleagues, sincere and honest in the profession and faithful to their Hippocratic oath …'

h/t to Rorate Caeli

Thursday, March 26, 2009

EU proposal would prefer to use human embryos rather than animals for testing

LifeSiteNews report March 24th that a proposed new directive from the European Commission (EC) will drastically restrict the use of animals in laboratory testing, and certain toxicology tests on animals will be permitted only after alternative methods, including research on tissue taken from human embryos, has proved fruitless, according to a report in the Catholic Herald.

In its coverage of the issue, the Herald quotes a report accompanying the EC directive that says, "The establishment of human embryonic stem cells in 1998 raised hopes in many research areas, including the development of alternatives to animal experiments." The report says that human embryonic research is a "powerful alternative to animal tests."

This is a shocking proposal and yet another instance of the appalling lack of respect for unborn human life in the EU institutions. It was because of appalling anti life decisions such as this that Ireland voted against the Lisbon treaty last year. Animals should never be treated cruelly but to propose that human embryos should be used for research instead is utterly reprehensible.

Considering the serious implications of this proposal we are carrying out further investigation and will report further on it in due course

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

USAID rejects proposal to reduce maternal mortality in Kenya

USAID have turned down a Matercare International (MCI) project which would have significantly reduced maternal mortality in the Isiolo area of Kenya. according to Dr. Robert Whalley of MCI. Dr Whalley however is determined to press ahead with his plans. The Local Government District of Isiolo in Kenya has donated 7 acres of prime land for a maternity hospital and MCI has already raised over $600,000 (US) over the past few years. The project has been costed at $5,000,000 (US).

According to Dr. Whalley Mothers in the developing world are experiencing unimaginable suffering due to a scandalous lack of effective care during pregnancy and childbirth, with the consequence that many thousands are dying. The MCI proposal will provide comprehensive care to thousands of women but is being delayed due to lack of funding.

The essence of the plan developed by Dr Whalley is to bring much needed healthcare to women in their own villages but to back this up with the provision of trained personnel and emergency care centres.

The basic five point plan is:

1. Construct a 30 bed birth centre including a 2 bed delivery room, operating room, outpatients, laboratory and pharmacy.
2. Renovate, equip and staff existing parish dispensaries.
3. Provide a maternity waiting home for high risk mothers.
4. Establish mobile ambulance clinics to cover specific districts.
5. Train midwives and traditional birth attendants to provide basic maternity care in the districts.

The World Health Organisation estimates that there are over 500,000 maternal deaths annually, of which 99 per cent occur in developing countries. There is no accurate data to substantiate these numbers, the reason being that most developing countries do not report information on births, deaths, the sex of dead people or the cause of death. However, figures quoted by Dr. Whalley based on his own experience at a mission hospital in Nigeria, where the in-hospital maternal mortality ratio was 1,700per 100,000 live births, illustrates the enormity of the problem and the urgent need for financial aid to deliver the much needed health care and save lives.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

New Northern Ireland guidelines on abortion fundamentally flawed

Guidance issued by Northern Ireland's Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety (DHSSPS) on the circumstances in which abortion can be performed in Norther Ireland, is fundamentally flawed according to John Smeaton Executive director of the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC). Mr Smeaton has also issued a clear warning that unless these guidelines are amended to reflect the true state of affairs, the policy could face a judicial review.

Mrs Betty Gibson, chairwoman of SPUC Northern Ireland, said: "Abortion is a criminal offence in Northern Ireland not a medical procedure. A medical intervention to save the life of a pregnant woman is lawful, even if it risks the death of her unborn child. However, it is never lawful to perform any operation solely aimed at taking the life of a child. This remains the law and the guidance published by the department of health cannot change that.

"The guidelines are incorrect in relation to a medical professional's refusal to facilitate an abortion. The DHSSPS guidance cites advice from the General Medical Council in an attempt to convince objecting doctors that they should refer women to a colleague who will approve the abortion. However, no-one can be forced to co-operate in the performance of a criminal offence.

"Doctors should remember that GMC advice also states: 'Patients must be able to trust doctors with their lives and health. To justify that trust you must show respect for human life and you must: Make the care of your patient your first concern.'

"Medical professionals have a duty to have respect for life and an ethical and legal duty of care owed to an unborn child as a patient. It is unacceptable for the health department guidelines to require anyone to put in place arrangements to facilitate the intentional killing of a child through abortion. On the contrary, a doctor has a moral and legal duty not to be involved in the deliberate killing of one of his or her patients.

"We believe the department of health has not listened to the concerns expressed by the Northern Ireland Health Committee. As a result these guidelines are fundamentally flawed. At present we are considering all of the options available to us to ensure that the law is fully reflected in the guidelines. If the department wishes to avoid a judicial review of this document then it must introduce serious changes right away

Monday, March 23, 2009

Confraternity of St Joseph

The Sisters of the Gospel of Life have launched an excellent initiative to involve men in the pro-life campaign.
Today we launch the Confraternity of St Joseph. This is an exciting new venture for us - so often abortion is characterised as an issue which does not concern men at all. While the devestating effect that abortion has on many women is beginning to come to light, little attention is paid to the effect that it can have on men. Like women men have a part to play in building a culture of life. If we are to truly embrace life, all hearts must be converted.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Saturday, March 21, 2009

No to Embryo Research Funding

Family and Life report that the Science Federation of Ireland, which funds most of Ireland’s research projects, has announced that it will not fund embryonic stem-cell experiments. A spokesman for the Federation said that Irish Medical Council guidelines would be adhered to. These guidelines declare that creating an embryo for the purpose of killing him or her for experimentation is ‘professional misconduct’.

Friday, March 20, 2009

End of Life Ireland

On 11 March, Mary McAleese, President of Ireland, officially opened a year-long Forum on End of Life in Ireland. The Forum, which is described as a ‘listening process’, operates under the auspices of the Irish Hospice Foundation, which is a not-for-profit organisation that promotes the hospice philosophy and supports the development of hospice/palliative care. The philosophy is that no one should have to face death or bereavement without appropriate care and support.

The stated aim of the Forum is to develop a vision of how Ireland can address the challenges involved in death and bereavement, and how to ‘ensure that a systematic quality approach exists within all public services to facilitate a good death when it is expected, or can be predicted, and supportive systems are in place for when death occurs unexpectedly or traumatically.’ Prior to the launch of the Forum, interested persons, and groups were invited to make a submission on end-of-life issues, and it is an indication of the interest that exists in this subject that hundreds of people attended the launch of the project.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

EU seeking increase in fertility Rates?

The Czech Republic which currently holds the Presidency of the European Union (EU)sponsored a side event on behalf of the EU during the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW)held at the United Nations headquarters in New York. The meeting was titled "Reconciling Family and Professional Life: The EU Approach." There were three presenters one from France, one from Sweden and the third from the European Commission in Brussels. A report on the meeting by Vincenzina Santoro says:

"The representative from Brussels, the Director for Gender Equality at the European Commission, focused on EU efforts to find family friendly policies as these would encourage family formation and help increase the EU's low fertility rate. She mentioned a recent ministerial meeting that was organized and held in Iceland, which is not a member of the EU, but the EU ministers wanted to go to there to learn what the country was doing to achieve a replacement level fertility rate. The Director noted that Iceland's fertility rate was 2.1, then she actually said: "...and that's where we would like to be.""

A number of facts emerge from this report, first that the EU ministers care about the family and about Europe's low fertility rates, second they want to do something about it and thirdly they would like the fertility rate to be at replacement level.

The solution is plainly obvious to anyone who is willing to look. Europe must move away from ideologically driven policies with regard to life and family, and abortion should immediately be made illegal in all EU countries. There are other issues at stake but this would be an excellent start in helping to reverse Europe's disastrously low fertility rates.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Does every child really matter? Comment on Baby P case

A report on child protection services in England was published on 12th March. The British government called for a review of service after the death last year of the child known as Baby P, a 17 month-old boy who suffered horrific abuse at the hands of his mother and two men, despite being on the child protection register and being seen by child safety officials 60 times. In response to media accusations that social workers weren’t doing enough to safeguard vulnerable children, the Children’s Minister asked Lord Laming of Tewin, a former Chief Inspector of the Social Services Inspectorate to write a progress report following-up on the recommendations he made some years ago in the wake of a similar case of abuse.

In his introduction Lord Laming outlines the scale of the problem saying:

“[The] Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF) information shows that on 31 March 2008, 37,000 children were the subjects of care orders (of 60,000 children looked after by local authorities) and 29,000 children were the subject of child protection plans. Home Office data shows that in 2007/08, 55 children were killed by their parents or by someone known to the child.”

He goes on, however, to praise the government’s children protection policy usually referred to as ‘Every Child Matters.’ While media attention in the Baby P case has focused on the failure of social workers, it seems that no one has asked what is wrong with a society in which the lives of so many children are threatened by their own parents.

Child protection services are vitally important but it is simply untrue for the British government to claim that every child matters when it is highly selective when it comes to protecting children. And it is on this fundamental level that the problem needs to be addressed. If we are serious about child protection then it must begin in the womb. So long as a parent can lawfully end the life of a child before birth then the life of every child will be endangered. Yet the hypocrisy of the British government is not unusual, most of its European counterparts, including Irish politicians, are equally guilty. We only have to look at their support for the Catania report. Recommendation 114 of the reports condemns:

“[A]ll forms of violence against children, and stresses in particular the need to combat the forms of violence most frequently encountered in the Member States: paedophilia, sexual abuse, domestic violence, corporal punishment in schools and other forms of abuse in institutions; calls for reliable, confidential, accessible mechanisms to be put in place to allow children in all the Member States to report violence, and for those mechanisms to be given wide publicity[.]”

The report’s condemnation of violence against children does not include the leading cause of death of children in Europe, that is abortion. In fact the report actually promotes it.

In the run-up to the local and European Parliament elections each of us need to ask ourselves this question. Regardless of the other policies they advocate, could I vote for any candidate who supported the killing of children like Baby P? Nor should anyone who cares about protecting children support a politician who believes it should be lawful to kill children before their born.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Article on Margaret Sanger

Angela Franz has this excellent article in Inside Catholic examining the eugenicist ideals of Planned Parenthood's founder Margaret Sanger. Franz argues that Sanger's 'elitist bigotry' - her belief that certain social groups should be prohibited from having children - was even more dangerous than her racism. According to Franz, eminent feminists are questioning the motives behind some family planning institutions:

A small cadre of feminists radical enough to criticize the mainstream feminist establishment (Greer, Linda Gordon, and Betsy Hartmann, for example) have challenged the common wisdom that contemporary family planning groups are acting out of a disinterested humanitarianism. While remaining, to varying degrees, pro-contraception and pro-abortion, these women have had the courage to point out the unspoken elitism and "crypto-eugenics" behind the seemingly benevolent fronts of organizations such as Planned Parenthood.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Little Miracles

Rachel Crossland discovered she was pregnant shortly before undergoing surgery for cancer. She says: "By then I was 13 weeks into my pregnancy and there was no way I could deal with getting rid of my babies and having to then fight cancer. That was the turning point and I decided I would take a chance." So she refused to abort her twins and made the decision not to have chemotherapy, fearing that it would harm them.

Both Rachel and her twins survived and she is now recovering at home with her family.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Saturday, March 14, 2009

The Human Rights Council marks the 20th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child but ignores the slaughter of the Unborn

The Human Rights Council devoted a full-day on Wednesday 11th March to discus children’s rights, to mark the 20th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). The discussion focused on the achievements and challenges in implementing the Convention at both international and national levels.

The panels comprehensively considered all the major issues on the topic of Children’s Rights except the “elephant in the room” the abortion question. The termination of unborn life was studiously and shamefully ignored by all.

Two of the ideas tabled for assisting in the implementation of the Convention were firstly the use of the new Universal Periodic Review (UPR) system to report on how nation states are meeting their commitments and secondly the possibility of drafting a new Optional Protocol to the Convention to provide a communications procedure as the CRC is the only International Convention without either a mandatory reporting or complaints procedure.

High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay who opened the session said “Children are no longer regarded as the property of parents or the passive recipients of charity or goodwill, but as rights-holders,” […] There remained ample ground for “very serious concern”, Pillay said.

“UN figures” according to Pillay “show that each year nearly 10 million children die from preventable causes before their fifth birthday, and that that some 1.2 million children are trafficked worldwide. The UN Study on Violence against Children reported that some 80 to 98 per cent of children suffer physical punishment in their homes, while the World Health Organization in 2002 estimated that 150 million girls and 73 million boys under 18 experienced forced sexual intercourse or other forms of sexual violence. Yet, all too often, crimes and violence against children continue to go unpunished”.

These are shocking statistics by any standard and clearly require immediate and prolonged attention. Every child has a right to a childhood lived in peace security and safety. For further coverage see UN report

Sadly the greatest crime of all the killing of the unborn did not even get a mention. The ideological approach to human rights which sees the unborn child as a non person and choice rights as being supreme is a travesty that must contine to be challenged. The international community must be brought to understand that we cannot continue to ignore the rights of the most vulnerable.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Catania Report

I reported recently on the vote which took place on this Report in the European Parliament in January.

Of the thirteen Irish MEPs, nine – including all the Fianna Fáil members – voted in favour of the Report, which promotes abortion and same-sex unions. Candidates in the forthcoming Local Elections should be challenged with this information when they come knocking on doors in the coming weeks, looking for votes.

Only two MEPs (Kathy Sinnott and Marian Harkin) voted against the Report, and two abstained.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

40 Days for Life

The Northern Ireland group, Precious Life, has organised a 40 Days for Life programme, which includes Prayer, Fasting, and participation in vigils outside abortion facilities. Check out their website for more information.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

In the name of choice

I saw this very sad piece of news on the blog of the Sisters of the Gospel of Life. Tragically, stories like this involving a young women being forced into abortions by others - usually parents - are painfully familiar to pro-life counsellors, but like so many abuses carried out in the name of 'choice', feminists have very little to say on the subject. Anyone who remains silent in the face of such despotism is complicit in the abuse and there can be no greater form of abuse than to force a woman to kill her own child.

Whilst abortion promotors wave the banner of choice, abortion is being cynically used to abuse women and kill the innocent. As I may have said once or twice before, if feminists really cared about women, they would speak out against coercive abortion, whether it takes place in China or Scotland, but they refuse to do so.

We cannot remain silent.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Submission on Organ Donation

Those who may not have already sent in a submission in relation to the proposed Human Tissue Bill, at present under consideration by the Irish Government, might like to know that the closing date for receipt of submissions from the public has now been extended to 14 March.

There are three options which have been put forward, as follows:

Option A – Opt-out: sometimes called presumed consent
(The person is presumed to have consented to donate his or her organs after death unless he or she has specified otherwise.)

Option B – Opt-in: sometimes called explicit consent
(The person can decide in advance to consent to donate his or her organs, or to nominate someone to make the decision on his/her behalf after death. Where the deceased has not made a decision his or her family may do so.)

Option C – Mandated choice and required request
(A person would be required by law to specify whether or not he/she wishes to donate their organs after death.)

Submissions should be sent either by e-mail: tissue_legislation@health.gov.ie
Or, alternatively, by post, to: Tissue Legislation Consultation, Department of Health and Children, R. 324, Hawkins House, Hawkins Street, Dublin 2

This is a very serious subject, and the importance of our response cannot be overestimated. For more information about the ethical issues surrounding organ donation, see John Smeaton's blog here and here.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Did I deserve the Death Penalty?

At the SPUC student conference over the weekend, Rebecca Kiessling was the keynote speaker, talking about the ultimate hard case from a personal perspective - she discovered as a teenager that she had been conceived through rape. Read more about it at Monstrous Regiment.

The conference was well-attended, with delegates from Britain, the United States, Ireland, Germany and Italy, and the atmosphere was upbeat. It is so encouraging to see a new pro-life generation emerging who are confident, committed and informed about the issues.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Would my parents have destroyed me if… ?

Anyone who still seriously doubts that IVF turns children into commodities needs to take a look at this report on a Los Angeles clinic offering to screen IVF embryos for sex, hair and eye colour. The directors euphemistically call it 'cosmetic medicine'. The rest of us might describe it as eugenics.

Ethicist Dr Marie Hillard warned:
“Life is being engendered to be destroyed, with only those deemed eugenically fit allowed to live. The implications are incredible for all of us."

Friday, March 6, 2009

Comic Relief boycott

A friend has suggested printing this image onto an address label and wearing it over the next week as a protest against Comic Relief.

h/t to The Hermeneutic of Continuity for the image

Thursday, March 5, 2009

China's One Child Policy

I have previously written about China's one child policy but I came across a new angle on it while attending the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) at the UN headquarters in New York. On Tuesday March 3rd I interviewed a young woman who spent 6 years in China working with orphans. For reasons that will become obvious she asked me not to publish her name so I will call her Mary for the purposes of this article. The other names mentioned herein have also been changed for the same reasons.

During her time in China Mary worked with various different groups of orphaned children including those who were in the fullness of their health, children with special needs and terminally ill children. Mary loved this work and would like to return to China some day to continue it.

Mary came face to face with China’s one child policy when a desperate young woman pleaded with one of her colleagues for help because she wanted to keep her baby. Out of this first request for help an effective underground support system developed which has saved the lives of many babies. Mary told me about a young married woman Mrs Zhang who already had one child and when she found she was pregnant again, was under pressure from her in-laws to comply with Chinese law and terminate the baby's life. Having been reported to the population control police by her mother in-law Mrs. Zhang was visited by the police and reluctantly agreed to report to the local hospital the following morning for an abortion. Instead however she fled during the night and went into hiding. Mary and her colleagues assisted Mrs Zhang and her baby boy was born safely. Mrs Zhang's family are now happy that she took the decision she did, but she has not yet gone home nor has the baby’s birth been registered. If and when the birth is registered it will result in huge fines being imposed on the family.

This was not the only time Mary and her colleagues came across China’s infamous one child policy, they soon found themselves, operating a safe house for pregnant women in dire need help. On another occasion when a single girl, Ms Wang became pregnant her family was trying to force her to have an abortion. This girl was beaten by her father and her mother threatened to commit suicide unless she agreed to have an abortion. Ms Wang reluctantly agreed to the abortion and was brought to the abortion clinic under the watchful eye of her mother, she had however, heard of the support system for pregnant women who wanted to keep their babies and when her mother fell asleep she escaped and made her way to the safe house.

These are just two of the many stories that could be told but is sufficient to illustrate the menace felt by women and their families resulting from the coercion of the population controllers and it also illustrates the determination of some courageous women to save their babies lives despite coercion.

At one point in time according to Mary it began to be obvious that something was happening at the safe house and people began to notice that there were considerable numbers of young women arriving there, so it became necessary to move it to another location. Sadly not all those who contacted the support system were able to avail of the help and some went on to have abortions. Most Chinese women Mary met during her six years in China, would have loved to have more children but they reluctantly accepted the status quo. The people have been brainwashed into believing that there are too many people in China and it is their civic duty to limit population.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Linacre Conference

A colleague of mine attended a student conference in Oxford last month, organised by the Linacre Centre, a London-based Catholic bioethics institute. She writes:

It was an excellent conference, with very engaging and informative talks, interspersed with lively discussion. I was particularly struck by Fr Finigan's talk on faith and fertility, as the relationship between pro-life work and faith is rarely discussed in any great depth in spite of its significance.

The Linacre Centre is currently running an ethics forum in London for students and healthcare professionals.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Heartening News...

...from the United States as the 40 Days for Life campaign gathers pace. The campaign involves people praying outside abortion facilities in over 200 cities and has recorded 33 babies saved so far, the first within just four hours. The campaign appears to be giving a much-needed boost to the pro-life movement in the United States and will hopefully gather even more momentum in the days to come.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Comic Relief - it's no joke

John Smeaton and other commentators such as the Hermeneutic are warning people not to give money to Comic Relief, the organisation behind the high profile bi-annual Red Nose Day fundraiser. Unfortunately, Comic Relief gives money to organisations that promote abortion and contraception in the developing world in spite of previous assurances that this is not the case.

As both John Smeation and Fr Finigan point out, it is never advisable to give money to a generic fundraising organisation as the donor has no way of knowing where their money is actually going. There are many excellent charities that receive no publicity in the mainstream media but are nevertheless in need of funds for their worthy work. My advice would be: boycott Red Nose Day but do some fundraising anyway. 'Do Something Funny For Money' as Comic Relief puts it, and give the money to a charity you can trust.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

UNFPA Exposed

Over the next few weeks, I will be posting a series of videos produced by Population Research Institute exposing the human rights abuses UNFPA has colluded with around the world. I think it is particularly important to expose this corrupt organisation now that the U.S. has resumed funding. Here is episode one: