Tuesday, June 30, 2009

More Public Meetings

Last week I drew your attention to a public meeting on ‘The Cost of Living and The Cost of Dying’ (sub-titled ‘why we can’t afford to ignore the inevitable’) that was held in Dublin as part of the Forum on End of Life in Ireland.

Three further, similar, public meetings are planned to take place during the coming week, as follows:

TODAY – Radisson Hotel, Galway, 6.30 p.m.
Wednesday, 1 July – Clarion Hotel, Steamboat Quay, Limerick, 6.30 p.m.
Thursday, 2 July – Gresham Metropole Hotel, MacCurtain Street, Cork, 6.30 p.m.

Please do your best to attend one of the abovementioned meetings, if at all possible.

It is interesting to note that Dr Deirdre Madden (Faculty of Law, University College Cork) will act as Chair of the Cork meeting. This is the lady who is foremost in the promotion of experimental research on human embryos. She was a member of the Irish Government-appointed Commission on Assisted Human Reproduction, and chairperson of the University Research Ethics Board at University College Cork when that institution voted to allow embryonic stem-cell research to be carried out at its premises.

At the Dublin meeting last week, one participant highlighted the fact that the HSE (Health Service Executive) had invited Prof Len Doyal, who is a noted proponent of euthanasia, to speak in Cork recently, and also that Prof Doyal advocates euthanasia as a ‘cost-cutting’ method in dealing with elderly and ill patients. The serious implications of this did not appear to impact greatly on those present at the meeting.

The representative of the Irish Hospice Foundation assured the participant that such a proposal would never be considered by the Foundation.

Nevertheless, bearing in mind the appalling statement made by the HSE recently in relation to people suffering from, for instance, spina bifida and scoliosis – together with the involvement of the HSE in the visit to Ireland by the euthanasia promoter Prof Doyal, and also the abortion of Irish babies in the UK – we will have to be on our guard in relation to the activities of the HSE.

A second leading article in the Irish Times (25 June 2009), commenting on the Forum on End of Life in Ireland, states: ‘ … the debate cannot expect to be untouched by calls for the legalisation of assisted euthanasia. No doubt the palliative care movement will prepare a trenchant rebuttal.’

Monday, June 29, 2009

Three flames

h/t to Love Undefiled for this thought-provoking film reflecting on the nature of love and how much contemporary society misunderstands it.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

FertilityCare and NaPro Technology

I met Dr Phil Boyle at the SPUC National Conference some years ago and was very impressed by his presentation on the work of his Galway clinic. 800 children have now been born as a result of Dr Boyle's pioneering work. As one couple say on the film, this technology needs to be promoted nationwide - spread the word!

FertilityCare and NaProTechnology from Fertility Care on Vimeo.

h/t Love Undefiled

Saturday, June 27, 2009

The HSE's shameful attitude towards disability

Ireland's Health Service Executive has come under a barrage of well-earned criticism, following its crass remarks about children with disabilities. The HSE has suggested that Ireland's high levels of Spina Bifida and other disabilities are the 'fault'of Ireland's constitutional ban on abortion. In other words the HSE has a problem with Ireland protecting its most vulnerable citizens and an even bigger problem with parents who have the audacity to bring disabled children into the world. Disability rights groups and parents of disabled children have reacted angrily to the comments, calling them "insensitive" and "disgraceful" but tragically, the HSE's appalling attitude towards disability is common among lawmakers and members of the medical establishment across Europe. Abortion has fuelled the eugenicist notion so popular among the Nazis that some lives are not worth protecting, and this view is being shamelessly propagated by those who claim to speak in the name of liberty.

The HSE should issue a full and public apology to the thousands of Irish citizens who are living with disabilities or caring for those with disabilities. Ireland has a pro-life constitution of which it should be proud, we remain one of the only countries in Europe to afford protection to the most vulnerable and innocent human lives. We have a duty to ourselves and to the world to continue to welcome and protect people with disabilities, the unborn and all sections of the population other countries regard as expendable.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Teengers tell the real story of abortion

h/t to Witness to Love for alerting my attention to this incredible website for teenagers considering abortion. Abortion promoters and providers such as FPA, BPAS and Marie Stopes International, bombard teenage girls with the message that abortion is a straightforward, morally neutral decision that will have no consequences other than leaving them feeling relieved and ready to get on with their lives. Teen Breaks allows teenagers who have been through abortion to tell the real story, which they do with harrowing honesty. To give you a few examples:

"It has been almost a year since the abortion, and it hits me every day. I regret it so much. Before you make a decision, think about whether it is worth the pain of only 9 month or the pain of a lifetime."

"They never told me about the depression, anger, anxiety, fears, and self-hatred that I would experience after the abortion. They didn't tell me I would lose sleep and my appetite for weeks or continue to be uneasy around babies, children, pregnant women and people in general because I thought I was such a terrible person. They never told me I'd hate myself, that I'd have suicidal thoughts. But the saddest thing for anyone affected by abortion - the saddest thing is that it's irreversible."

"The worst mistake of my life. I have always loved children, and to go to that sterile place just to come out barren…it feels awful. I cry every time I see someone close to where I would have been. It was my mistake, and I will have to live with it for the rest of my life. My baby, my angel I used to dream about…its gone now."

What is so painful about reading these accounts is that you are made constantly aware of the human consequences of the abortion industry's lies. It is so easy as a pro-life campaigner to see pro-abortion misinformation almost in academic terms, but these lies are costing thousands and thousands of innocent lives and damaging so many others. These young women are having their lives devastated before they have even left school. This is child abuse pure and simple. I applaud websites like this for reaching out to teenagers with the facts that might spare them the horror of abortion. They have a right to the truth. We should not just call ourselves the Pro-Life Movement. We are the Pro-Truth Movement.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Abortion Advertising: a GP speaks

A doctor from Yorkshire has criticised proposals to allow abortion facilities to advertise on prime time television. Dr.Pickering warns that such advertisements would add to the already unrealistic images of sex that young people are getting from the television and other media. We all know what he is referring to, the persistent portrayal of sex as consequence free, consisting of "beautiful people jumping in and out of bed" as he puts it, never getting pregnant, never getting diseases and never having to deal with the consequences of abortion.

Dr. Pickering has already been criticised in the article's combox for suggesting that abortion is portrayed as a quick fix solution, but anyone who has ever been involved in post abortion counselling can verify that abortion providers seldom if ever give women accurate information about the possible long-term effects of abortion. A colleague of mine at SPUC stated during a recent radio debate on this issue that advertising abortion was essentially commercialising killing, advertising killing as though this procedure were no more serious than buying a packet of cornflakes or booking a holiday. It represents a new low in British Media standards that the ASA is even considering changing the guidelines.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Keep asking, Ms Kissling

Shock horror! Frances Kissling, former president of Catholics for a Free Choice (sic) has actually had the guts to draw attention to one of the enormous elephants in the abortion industry's room. In a recent article, she admits that there are some occasions when a woman should not be allowed to undergo an abortion, for example, if she is in the late stages of pregnancy, if she wishes to undergo a sex selective abortion or if her reasons are entirely frivolous. She cites a grotesque and real life example of a woman who went to a clinic seeking an abortion because her baby would be born under the wrong star sign. The abortionist went ahead with the abortion because he could not deny her the right to make a choice, even if the reason were as ludicrous as that for not bringing a child into the world.

Kissling expresses concern about reducing an ethical debate to a single ideological point - choice - on the grounds that it makes the abortion lobby as "extreme" as they claim the pro-life lobby is, and in so doing she touches upon a much concealed point about the abortion lobby. It is extreme, its ideological obsession with choice at the expense of any other rights including the right to life renders it so extreme that it would be called fanatical or fundamentalist if it were a religious organisation.

Her comments have been roundly condemned in the combox and it is hardly surprising that this is the case, because she is exposing the Achilles Heel of the abortion argument. If it is morally acceptable to refuse certain reasons for abortion, why not others? If refusing to give birth to a child under the wrong star sign is a frivolous reason for abortion, what precisely constitutes a serious enough reason to end a human life? The abortion industry's ideology is narrow and extreme because it cannot be otherwise. The leaders of the global abortion campaign know this and Frances Kissling also must know this. It is not for me to say whether she is genuinely questioning the abortion industry's extremism or simply trying to appear moderate, but there is one thing I can say with confidence. The only final answer to such questioning is to retreat back into denial or to embrace the pro-life position. We are ready to welcome you, Frances.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

New Anti-Life Speaker for Parliament

John Bercow, a Conservative MP with a strong anti-life record, has been elected Speaker of the House of Commons, following the resignation of Michael Martin over his handling of the expenses scandal. On her blog, Nadine Dorries MP quotes an exchange between Bercow and Chris McCafferty on abortion:
Bercow: I am extremely grateful to the hon. Lady for giving way and I entirely agree with her. It is a pity that the Bill is being used for that purpose although, to be fair, it is in parliamentary order. Does she agree that if people who want to reduce the upper time limit are determined to go ahead with their amendments, as they are perfectly privileged to do in parliamentary terms, those of us who favour a different modernisation and improvement of the law will take our opportunity, too? We can obtain a genuinely progressive reform, rather than the antediluvian reform that some favour.

Chris McCafferty (Calder Valley, Labour) The hon. Gentleman makes a valuable contribution to the debate. I sincerely hope that we get our opportunity to improve the legislation on behalf of women.

As Dorries comments:

John Bercow described the 190 of us, who voted in favour of reducing the upper limit, as ‘antediluvian’, which means 'before The Flood' i.e. prehistoric.

And yet, as was widely reported in both the media and reflected in various polls, the majority of doctors and the general public were right behind us.

Why is his view on this issue important? Well, part of the Speaker’s role is to select the amendments laid down by MPs to be called and voted on in the House.

Can we trust a Speaker who has such strident zealot views on such an issue to be fair, if he regards those in favour of reducing the number of abortions as prehistoric?

I think not.

We don't always agree, Nadine, but I don't think so either.

Monday, June 22, 2009

The Cost of Living

A public meeting to discuss ‘The Cost of Living and the Cost of Dying – why we can’t afford to ignore the inevitable’ will take place at the Royal Irish Academy in Dawson Street, Dublin, on Thursday 25 June at 6.30 p.m.

This event is organised in conjunction with the Forum on End of Life in Ireland and anyone who is interested in this critically important subject is invited to take part.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

The problem with sperm donation

This article on Super Duper lists a series of arguments against sperm donation that really deserve to be considered by anyone who is in two minds about this issue. One point in particular caught my attention:

Calling a man who provides his sperm to create a child a "sperm donor" clouds the issue. A sperm donor is not a donor in the sense of a blood or organ donor. He does not merely give some material substance. He gives to someone else the power to create his children, and with that, he essentially abandons his own children.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Late-term abortion: a post-abortive woman speaks

This young woman went through a late-term abortion at the age of fourteen and describes in graphic terms what the procedure involved and the effect it had on her for years afterwards. As she says to the interviewer, people need to know what abortion involves.

h/t Ponte Sisto

Friday, June 19, 2009

Bloggers for Chen

This petition is doing the rounds at the moment and I would urge readers to take a moment to sign it. I have blogged about Chen before and feel such admiration for a man who was prepared to stand up to the might of the Chinese authorities on behalf of thousands of women who have been abused in the name of population control. Chen has now been incarcerated in terrible conditions for over 100 days and was denied early release on medical grounds even though he is said to be in very poor health. Please show your support for this courageous man.

h/t Monstrous Regiment

Thursday, June 18, 2009

"Hideousness and Evil"

It is very easy for me as a pro-life activist to be lulled into believing the myth that people who promote abortion do so for genuinely altruistic motives. Like most campaigners, I really ought to know better. As the abortion industry gets ever bolder, its advocates are making fewer and fewer efforts at concealing the hideous face of the abortion cause. The incidents are numerous: an angry mob screaming blasphemies and insults, hitting and spitting upon people praying peacefully outside a cathedral in Argentina, consecrated hosts being desecrated, the grotesque parody of a crucifix involving models of pregnant teenagers in place of the figure of Christ, the frequent physical and verbal abuse of campaigners as they pray peacefully outside abortion facilities.

However, if you are still in any doubt about the truly demonic nature of the abortion industry, take a look at this article written by a a man who attended the March for Women's Lives in January 2008 and talked to some of those who participated. What most struck him was the absence of any rational arguments in favour of abortion and the levels of hatred and vitriol being vented not just from the platform but from within the crowd. Hate was the unifying force between the different groups represented at the march, hatred of religion particularly the Catholic Church and hatred of the United States, which was then regarded as more sympathetic to the pro-life movement. Compassion, the word most often misused to justify abortion, was entirely absent.

As the author puts it succinctly:

While I do not doubt that some individuals involved in the pro-abortion movement are misled and need compassion, my experiences at the march reaffirmed my conviction that the movement itself is not built upon these people. It is built upon hideousness and evil and must be vigorously resisted.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Pro-Life March in Poland

On 31 May a gathering of an estimated 3,500 people took part in the Fourth Annual National March for Life and Family in Warsaw, Poland. Despite the torrential rain that poured down on the march, it was generally agreed that all the participants were very happy to show their support for family and life in such a public way. People carried signs saying: ‘Always and everywhere the family is for life’, ‘Stop Abortion’, ‘Choose Life’, etc.

The marchers came not only from all over Poland, but also from France, Germany, Slovakia, the Ukraine and the United States. All carried the flag of their respective countries, and were united in the common cause of being against the Culture of Death. Organisers of the march say that the fact that the Lisbon Treaty, with its anti-family and anti-life implications, was defeated by public referendum in Ireland (2008) gave a considerable boost to the pro-family movement in Poland and indeed all of Europe.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Child Abuse continues in Ireland

Readers may remember the infamous ‘C’ case in 1997, when a young girl of thirteen years of age was made pregnant through rape. She was taken into the care of one of the then Health Boards and, against the wishes of her mother and father, the High Court here granted permission to the Health Board to bring the pregnant mother to England for an abortion. In the last few days it has been reported that the young girl, now in her twenties, says that she was unaware of what abortion was at the time that her baby was killed. She remembers that having woken up following the abortion, she called out asking for her baby, but the abortion clinic workers told her that there was no baby.

It is shocking that she was not even aware of what abortion was when she was brought to an abortion facility by Health Board social workers. Nor was she allowed to see her parents before she was brought by the social workers (acting on behalf of the Irish State) to the UK. But it is now abundantly evident that the reason for this was to ensure that the abortion was carried out. She says she wished her baby had been allowed to live, and that she thinks of her aborted child all the time.

A somewhat similar case has occured since then, when the then Midland Health Board, acting on behalf of the Irish State, was responsible for bringing another young girl – who became pregnant while in their care – to the UK to have her twenty-three-week-old baby killed. This is state-sponsored child abuse of the most brutal kind - how many decades will it take for those responsible to be called to account?

Monday, June 15, 2009

Sextuplets 'a gift from God'

The mother of naturally-conceived sextuplets has revealed that she and her husband resisted pressure from doctors to undergo 'selective abortion' at fourteen weeks. "These babies are a wonderful gift from God," said Nuala Conway, "whatever God laid out for our lives we were taking it."

Sextuplets occur naturally in just one in 4.5 million pregnancies. The babies are still in intensive care but the couple are hoping to be able to take them home soon.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Ethics of Care

I have been sent word about a one-day conference being held at London Metropolitan University entitled Ethics of Care. Speakers include the notorious Mary Warnock, medical experts in the field such as Philip Howard and many others. For more information and to download a booking form, check out their website.

h/t Monstrous Regiment of Women

Friday, June 12, 2009

Intelligender Tests for New Zealand

A new test to determine the sex of the unborn child as early as ten weeks, is to go on sale in New Zealand, having been promoted in pharmacies across Australia. The Intelligender test, which claims 90% accuracy, has been greeted with concern by the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists on the grounds that it will encourage sex selective abortion.

The manufacturer's reassurances offer little comfort to pro-life activists who know the terrible toll sex selective abortion is taking on communities around the world. Sex selective abortion is a global problem that is costing the lives of millions of baby girls and causing social unrest that will take generations to solve. Developing and marketing tests that make this war on baby girls even more effective is quite simply evil.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Tiller Abortion Facility to close

George Tiller's family have announced that his abortion facility is to close permanently. In a statement, Tiller's legal team wrote:
"The family of Dr. George Tiller announces that effective immediately, Women's Health Care Services, Inc., will be permanently closed. Notice is being given today to all concerned that the Tiller family is ceasing operation of the clinic and any involvement by family members in any other similar clinic."

h/t At Home in my Father's House

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Pro-Life Losses in European Elections

Most of the pro-life candidates who stood for the European Parliament elections in Ireland were defeated. Sitting MEP Kathy Sinnott who championed the pro-life cause in the last parliament unfortunately was not re-elected in the Ireland South Constituency.

The outcome of the election was greatly influenced by the current economic crisis and Kathy was the target of a deliberate smear campaign which cost her critical support. Despite all the difficulties the final result was very close.

The election was also disastrous for Libertas with none of its Irish candidates being elected. Libertas founder Declan Ganley, who was prominent in last years referendum when Ireland rejected the Lisbon Treaty, lost by a small margin in the Ireland North West while Caroline Simons a pro-life Dublin Solicitor was eliminated after the first count in the Dublin Constituency.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

All Night Vigil

There’s an all night vigil coming up organised by the pro-life prayer group at St Lucy’s, Abronhill. It starts at 7.30pm on Friday 19 June 2009, the Feast of the Sacred Heart and continues into Saturday 20 June, the Feast of the Immaculate Heart, finishing at 6.30am.

The pro-life group are a great bunch who’ve very generously picked the Cardinal Winning Pro-Life Initiative as their key charity, pledging to provide all sorts of spiritual and material support. If you can make the vigil please do, and if you can’t make it you can join your prayers with theirs, wherever you are in the world!

St Lucy’s is located at 9 Pine Crescent, Abronhill, Cumbernauld, G67 3BB (Click on the links below for directions). For more information phone 01236 724894.

h/t Sisters of the Gospel of Life

Monday, June 8, 2009

Pro-Life "Extremists"

The abortion industry and certain sectors of the media are capitalising on the murder of George Tiller by laying the blame for his killing on the entire pro-life movement, ignoring the hundreds of statements that have now been made by pro-life groups around the world deploring his killing.

George Tiller was killed by a lone vigilante, he was not murdered by a global movement whose representatives publicly and repeatedly speak out against violence. The abortion industry and their friends in the media know this, but when have they ever allowed the truth to get in the way of their rhetoric? When London was bombed by Islamist extremists, powerful voices within the political establishment and the media were quick to make the point that the men who blew themselves up on 7 July 2005 were not representative of Islam and they were right to make that point. If the thousands of innocent, law-abiding Muslims living in Britain had been held responsible for the deaths of 52 people simply by professing and living out their faith, it would not only have been a crass injustice, it would have put innocent people at risk of retaliation.

Unfortunately, the same courtesy has not been extended to the pro-life movement. A very interesting article, written by a post-abortive woman and published on That The Bones You Have Crushed May Thrill looks at label of 'extremist' pinned onto pro-life activists from the perspective of a woman who was coerced into an abortion as a teenager. She also describes how it felt to wake up after the abortion to face the horrible truth of what she had done

I saw my son. I saw his tiny hands and feet. I looked at him as he lay on the bed next to me dead, and I prayed I could put him back inside of me. Horrified, I wondered how on earth our country could condone such a thing. How was it possible we thought this was ok? It was beyond, my comprehension.

I lived with the impact my abortion had on my entire family. My dad, my mom, my sibling, and my future children all lived with the consequences of the death of my son. Mostly, I lived with the impact of my abortion. I suffered from guilt, shame, anxiety and self hatred, in a silence that was deafening because no one would acknowledge my pain. There are millions of other families out there living with these same consequences.

And later:

There are people in our government now who may label me, by their standards, a potential terrorist. I find this ironic since the only violent act I have ever been involved with was the killing of my unborn son by abortion.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

The Miracle of Childbirth

An account of the birth of six babies (sextuplets) to a couple in Co. Tyrone made big news in Ireland recently. What appears to have been a major obsession with the media here, however, is the fact that the babies were conceived naturally, and not ‘as a result of IVF’.

An interesting piece was published in the London Independent in relation to the story, and I think it deserves to be reproduced here:
‘Nuala Conway and her husband, the County Tyrone couple who have just become the proud, if somewhat apprehensive, parents of sextuplets, are by all accounts very keen for people to know that the multiple birth was not the result of IVF, making it all the more extraordinary.

‘What is just as remarkable, though, is that they thought they were expecting twins until only a month before the birth, when doctors dropped the bombshell that there would be four more babies than they had expected.

‘It never fails to astonish and, frankly, delight me that in the 21st century, with some scientists refining cloning techniques and others working out how to land a man on Mars, something that happens every second of every day – childbirth – can still confound all the scanners, all the doctors, all the textbooks, in all the world.’

Friday, June 5, 2009

Care not Killing

h/t to In Hoc Signo Vinces for this interview of Baroness Findlay on why euthanasia should not be legalised. She provides some excellent arguments, many based upon her experience in palliative care.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Assisted Suicide Symposium

The Second International Symposium on Assisted Suicide, under the co-sponsorship of Terri’s Foundation (instituted in memory of Terri Schindler Schiavo), took place at the National Convention Center in Virginia, USA, from May 29 – 30. Many well-known international speakers, including Alison Davis, Colin Harte, Wesley J. Smith, and others, addressed the delegates.

The organisers say that the holding of the Symposium is vital at this time, particularly when a growing number of experts in the USA are warning of the impending dangers of a President Obama ‘health care’ plan. One of the speakers, Dr Mostert recently wrote an article entitled: ‘Is Obama the First Pro-Euthanasia President?

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Euro Elections

The European Elections are fast approaching. The number of MEPs for Ireland has been reduced from thirteen to twelve, so the fight for the available places is considerable. Although some aspiring MEPs have reportedly claimed that they have the backing of Dana Rosemary Scallon (she represented the constituency of Connaught/Ulster in the European Parliament from 1999 until 2002), Dana has stated unequivocally that she would never have anything to do with the Liberal group in Europe (to which Fianna Fáil – the main government party – is about to align itself), nor any person or group associated with them nor those who support or promote issues such as abortion, euthanasia or embryo research.

The number of genuinely pro-life candidates here is small, but it is reported that Dana has given her support to Declan Ganley, who is running in the same area as she herself did.

An indication of the stance of Irish MEPs on family and life issues can be seen, for instance, from the vote taken on the Catania Report in the European Parliament last March, when only two MEPs – out of a total of thirteen – voted against that Report. The Report called for the promotion of abortion, and the legalisation of same-sex unions. The two MEPs who voted against the Report were Kathy Sinnott, whose consistent support and battling for family and life are well known; and Marian Harkin – who is now running against Declan Ganley. It is notable that all of the Fianna Fáil MEPs voted for the Catania Report.

For the convenience of voters, Precious Life and Cóir have each issued a list of guidelines in relation to the elections. The guideline leaflets are urging the public to be aware, when casting their votes, of the stance of prospective candidates - particularly on the issue of abortion and other life and family issues.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Monday, June 1, 2009

Murder of George Tiller

As many of you will already have heard, notorious late-term abortionist George Tiller was shot dead yesterday morning by an as yet unnamed vigilante. European Life Network condemns this act of violence as it condemns all violence. Fr Z has some reflections on this case, which may be of interest.