Saturday, January 30, 2010

Yet another anti-life vote in the Council of Europe

The Council of Europe Assembly on Friday 29th Jan approved the Mc Cafferty report "Fifteen years since the International Conference on Population and Development Programme of Action". The members present rejected some excellent amendments and voted to accept this anti-life report which calls for sexual and reproductive rights for women, which is a euphamism for the provision of abortion.

(Doc. 11992, report of the Social, Health and Family Affairs Committee, rapporteur: Mrs McCafferty and Doc. 12053, opinion of the Committee on Migration, Refugees and Population, rapporteur: M. Agius). Link to report

The debate in the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly presented a false interpretation of the ICPD or Cairo conference outcome document and failed to accept a more balanced approach which proposed comprehensive maternal health care and repect for human dignity. Pro-life amendments were proposed by Luca Volunte, Ronan Mullen and Marco Gatti but sadly none were adopted, although the margin was as low as 3 votes in one case.

The debate on Friday was monitored by various pro-life and pro-family groups who report that the attendance was very poor with less than 70 out of 318 eligible parliamentarians present for most of the time.This resolution was finally adopted by 50 votes in favour, 14 against and 4 abstention. The resolution was finally adopted by 50 votes in favour, 14 against and 4 abstention.

The poor attendance has been attributed to the debate being held on a Friday
The names of those present at the debate and their votes is set out on the following link

Thursday, January 28, 2010

New Attack on Irelands pro-life laws by pro-abortion NGO

The pro-abortion NGO, Human Rights Watch today issued a report entitled “A State of Isolation” on the lack of access to abortion in Ireland, in which they accuse the Irish Government of violating so called "human rights" in its treatment of abortion and related issues including "health, information, privacy, freedom from cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment, life, equal protection under the law, and non-discrimination ".

The report says the Irish Government have been "erratic and divisive" in the face of the "need for abortion" and it calls for a change to its restrictive abortion laws to meet its obligations under international law.

This report is dishonest in that its authors know full well that there is no such thing as a right to abortion under international law. The report is therefore more about trying to create such aright by exerting pressure on the Irish Government to permit the slaughter of the youngest and most vulnerable members of the human family in Ireland.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

PPFA training young Ecuadorian teens to inject peers with dangerous Depo Provera

STOPP which closely monitors Planned Parenthood reports as follows

Planned Parenthood has carried its peer-to-peer program to a shocking extreme. Global Health featured a story about 15 year old Juan who has been trained by Planned Parenthood Federation of America and CEMOPLAF to give dangerous Depo Provera birth control injections to children as young as 11 years of age.

Depo Provera is known to decrease bone density, a side effect which could spell tragedy for the young children being injected with the drug. The manufacturer, Pfizer, began warning of this danger in 2004, and cautioned against using the drug on a long-term basis.

In exchange for doing the bidding of PP, Juan and his peers receive a weekly free meal and job training.

PPFA spent 18 months in the communities trying to gain the trust of the Ecuadorian people so they could begin injecting the teen population. 90 percent of those they inject are first time contraceptive users.

“[F]or a first time user, it’s less invasive than other methods,” the article says. Add to that the confidentiality (no pill pack lying around) [so parents don’t know], the accessibility (outside clinic walls), and the convenience (a promoter comes every 12 weeks).”

The story caused such an uproar that it has been pulled from the Global Health website.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Conjoined Twins

A poignant, but heartening, story was carried in the media in Ireland recently. It concerned the conjoined twin boys who were born in University College Hospital, London, nearly two months ago. The babies’ parents have now returned to their home in Co. Cork, where they will have the care of University College Hospital, Cork, until they return to London later in the year for a separation operation to be undertaken on the boys in the Great Ormond Street Hospital.

Requesting privacy for the family from now on, on the part of the media, the babies’ mother said that her world was ‘turned upside down’ when she was told that she was carrying conjoined twins. She said: ‘I went through the pregnancy thinking it was awful, and why me.’ But, she continued,
‘the first day I held them in my arms, I knew I was chosen. They are a gift. … It was never expected they would live and do as well as they are – hence the name, “the little fighters”. … They fought their way to be here, please God they will come through the operation fighting. I have to remain positive. They fought through the birth and are getting stronger day by day. … Our wish is that two babies will survive [the operation] but it’s in God’s hands. So each day, each minute with them is precious.

In a live television interview, her husband – gazing down on the babies as they lay in their mother’s arms, surrounded by their two older little sisters – declared: ‘They are so handsome as they are. I am thrilled to bring them home and am very proud of my little boys.’ Their mother also commented that the babies were obviously caring for each other – although they slept throughout the interview they each had an arm around the other – and that she was aware that this had also been the case while they were still in her womb.
Please pray for this wonderful family.

Viewers will choose outcome of women with unintended pregnancies in new series

In what has to be a new low in online interaction, Yellow Line Studio have announced a new webcast series that will focus on the fictional stories of three women who face unintended pregnancies. It will allow viewers to choose how the characters' stories will end for the final episode. see Catholic Newsagency (CNA) report

The idea of inviting viewers to decide how each of the unintended pregnancies should end, is bizarre to say the least and is rather reminiscent of the concept of Romans deciding the fate of gladiators in the Coliseum arena for their pleasure. under the circumstances it is a relief to know that the stories are fictional.

Yellow Line Studio said the premiere of BUMP + would be Friday, Jan. 22. Thirteen episodes will follow in February and March, the California Catholic Daily reports
and quotes the series' executive producer Dominic Iocco as saying.
"From Juno and Bella to Glee and Desperate Housewives, a woman's right to choose has been explored across the media landscape,"

Iocco continued
"What makes BUMP + different from the others is that we're letting the viewers decide how our characters' stories will end. We've opened the official website to comments and our team will craft the final episodes based on audience feedback. Their choice really is up to you. "

Series co-executive producer Christopher Riley said the series was inspired by President Barack Obama's May 2009 commencement speech to graduates at Notre Dame

Monday, January 25, 2010

Putting politics ahead of women's lives

The Coalition on Abortion/Breast Cancer announced today it is sending a letter, signed by doctors and pro-family organizations, to President Obama and the leaders of Congress calling for an investigation of the U.S. National Cancer Institute. It puts political leaders on notice of a discrepancy between what the U.S. National Cancer Institute (NCI) says about the breast cancer risks of abortion and oral contraceptives (OCs) - "the pill" - and what Louise Brinton, the NCI's Chief of the Hormonal and Reproductive Epidemiology Branch, has reported in her research. The letter asks Congress to investigate the NCI's failure to issue timely warnings about breast cancer risks and asks political leaders to remove public funding for abortion from all legislation being considered by this Congress. copy of Obama letter

"As a scientist representing the official policy of the NCI, Brinton says there is no abortion-breast cancer (ABC) link," explained Professor Joel Brind of Baruch College, City University of New York, "While as a scientist publishing her findings in a peer-reviewed medical journal, she says there is a significant ABC link. Both of these points of view rely on data that is up to 20 years old, yet both points of view have been recently--within the last few months---confirmed publicly (on the NCI website and in the Dolle study, respectively. Will the real Louise Brinton please stand up? Since this direct contradiction came to light in the public eye, she appears to have been hiding under her desk."

The letter tells how the NCI conned women with its 2003 workshop, "Early Reproductive Events and Breast Cancer." Brinton was the chief organizer of that workshop.

"The NCI puts politics ahead of women's lives," said Karen Malec, president of the Coalition. "That's why we're putting both parties on notice of the NCI's misconduct. If they decide to watch women die, instead of cleaning house when we have prima facie evidence of a cover-up, then both parties will have to answer to angry women."

The Coalition features a YouTube video discussing researchers' findings.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Christopher Smith - Address to March for Life

Congressman Chris Smith gave a very inspiring address to this years annual Washington March for Life.

Smith began by thanking the march participants, who numbered in their hundreds of thousands, for being an important part of the greatest human rights struggle on earth—the right to life movement.

For all of us said Smith
"all human life is precious and sacred and in urgent need of protection. We welcome and deeply respect everyone including the weak, the vulnerable and the disenfranchised. We especially admire and honor the extraordinarily courageous post-abortive women who are silent no more. Their voice and witness show the path to reconciliation for all women who have been first deceived, then victimized by abortion.

And President Obama--the abortion president—should know this: even though you have unleashed the full might and power of your administration in the ignoble promotion of abortion on demand both in the United States and around the world, especially in Africa and Latin America, we do pray and fast for you, even as we tenaciously fight your anti-life policies[...]"

Addressing President Obama again Smith continued,
is it really so hard to understand that abortion is violence against children, a pernicious form of child abuse, falsely marketed as choice, a human right, health care and safe? Abortion isn't health care. There is nothing whatsoever benign, healing or nurturing about abortion.

Safe? Certainly not for the 52 million babies who have been dismembered or chemically poisoned or starved to death since 1973. And certainly not for women, who have been hurt physically and psychologically, and the medical data strongly suggests abortion even causes prematurity in a significant percentage of children born to women who have undergone abortion.

Safe for women? At least 102 studies show significant psychological harm, major depression and even higher incidences of suicide in women who abort. This has been covered up.

Safe for women? At least 28 studies--including three in 2009—show that an abortion increases the risk of breast cancer by some 30-40 percent or more, yet the abortion industry has largely succeeded here as well in suppressing those facts."

The complete text of the address which is reprinted in full can be found on the National Right to Life website

Friday, January 22, 2010

Sarah Palin- being pro-life is being pro-woman

Former vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin has sent a strong message to the mainstream media and to abortion advocates. In a new note encouraging pro-life advocates at the March for Life, the former Alaska governor says pro-life people won't "get over" abortion because abortions hurt women reports

"In the years following Roe, we were told that the issue was no longer open for debate and that we should get over it and move on. But we couldn't get over the stirrings of our conscience or move on from an issue that cuts to the heart of who we are as a nation," she says.

"Affirming the dignity and worth of every innocent human life and defending the defenseless are fundamental American values. With that in mind, this peaceful, hopeful grassroots crowd of individuals, families and students comes to our capital every year to remind us that every innocent life is beautiful, precious and full of potential," Palin continues

"The pro-life movement is pro-women, and it empowers women with the message that we are strong enough and smart enough to be able to pursue education, vocations and avocations while giving life to a child," she writes today

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Miracle Baby Found Alive In Haiti Rubble

Amidst the devastation and trauma in Haiti there was at least one good news story when a 22-day-old baby buried in rubble was found alive and well more than a week after the earthquake that turned Haiti into a disaster zone

View Sky News Video

Planned Parenthood use Haiti earthquake to raise funds

The cynical use of the appalling Haitian disaster by Planned Parenthood to raise funds for the provision of abortion and birth control must be condemned by all right thinking people. Haiti urgently needs all kinds of medical care and even basic necessities such as food and water not condoms. see lifesite

Douglas R. Scott, president Life Decisions International (LDI), a Planned Parenthood watchdog organization also issued a statement on Wednesday Jan 20th condemning the Planned Parenthood action and pointing out that it is true to form, in that they (PP) have used various different crises to raise funds for their deadly agenda.

Planned Parenthood according to Scott will use any excuse to ask for money, even when doing so is ridiculous," … "What the people of Haiti need is food, water, clothing and shelter. They do not need anything Planned Parenthood has to offer."

"Planned Parenthood's deadly network wants to provide 'sexual and reproductive health to people affected by the disaster.' While there are many organizations offering essential healthcare to the people of Haiti, Planned Parenthood wants to be sure that this includes birth control and abortion," Scott said.

Scott also said that said he is reminded of Planned Parenthood's response to other disastrous circumstances. "This kind of self-serving opportunism is common for Planned Parenthood," he said, pointing to several examples:

* After the fall of Romania's brutal dictator in 1989, Planned Parenthood donated $22,000 to buy abortion equipment and arranged for an airlift of 40,000 condoms.

* Following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, Planned Parenthood offered a week of free "reproductive health care" (taxpayers picked up the tab).

The full text of the LDI press release can be viewed on this link

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Council of Europe Votes

A gentle reminder, for a very serious reason – please go to my blog for 14 January 2010 in relation to the upcoming Council of Europe votes next week.

It is important that your voice is heard by your representatives on the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, so please do contact them to let them know your views – as set out in my blog.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Annual Pro-Life Marches

January is the prime month for pro-life marches and walks and we report here on some that occurred last weeked and others which are planned for the coming weekend

To commemorate the Roe v.Wade judgement in 1973, when abortion was legalised in the United States, it is reported that approximately 12,000 Canadians gathered in Ottawa last Thursday for a rally and march against legalised abortion in Canada. The event, which included eighteen members of the Canadian parliament, was also publicly supported by Canada’s Catholic bishops, with at least twelve bishops celebrating a number of Masses during the course of the day. Last year’s March for Life was the first time that the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops gave its official support.

United States
Leaders of pro-life groups from across the world are coming to the U.S. this week to join their American colleagues at the annual March for Life. They are hoping to draw inspiration from the hundreds of thousands of pro-life advocates who will attend and to learn new strategies to stop abortions.

The pro-life advocates will come from as far away as Africa, Europe, South America, Asia and island nations to stand in solidarity with their American brothers and sisters and protest the radical expansion of abortion under President Barack Obama.
Joseph Meaney of HLI told lifenews "America's March for Life is now the world's March for Life,"..."It has become the world's pro-life protest because of the aggressive promotion of abortion and population control that is now official policy of the United States, thanks to the administration of President Barack Obama,"

Again remembering Roe v. Wade, in Denver, Colorado, the Annual Respect Life Mass was celebrated by Archbishop Chaput in the Cathedral Basilica of Denver on 16 January, and Pro-Vitae Awards and 7th and 8th grade students’ Respect Life Essay Contest Awards were presented. On Friday next, 22 January, following Mass in the Cathedral Basilica in Denver, the Colorado Right to Life March for Life will take place, and the lead actor of the ‘Bella’ film, Eduardo Verastegui, will speak on the occasion.

Thousands of pro-life advocates joined together to protest the massive new abortion business in Houston, Texas that appears to be the largest abortion facility of its kind in the nation. This six-story Planned Parenthood abortion "super center" is located in the middle of four minority neighborhoods. see Lifenews .com

Thousands of Texans attended a rally and march in Dallas this Saturday, protesting legalized abortion and marking the 37th anniversary of Roe v. Wade through prayer and peaceful public witness.
The day began with a rosary prayed in front of a Dallas abortion facility, before turning to a special Mass with Bishop Jevin J. Farrell of Dallas and Bishop Kevin W. Vann of Fort Worth. About 2,500 people attended. see Lifesite

we reported last week in advance of the Paris march which was held on Saturday and Sunday last in protest at the current French abortion regime which terminates the lives of some 210,000 babies annually and has killed approximately 7,000,000 (7M) babies in 35 years. see SPUC report on the Paris march

These days of prayer and penance are ‘for an end to abortion, protection for unborn children, and support for women and families in crisis.’

Many Hierarchies across Europe are taking part in similar events, but it would be very encouraging if not just many – but ALL – Hierarchies would become involved in this way.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Irish Health Minister introduces Cervical cancer vaccine for teens

In 2008, the Minister for Health and Children, Mary Harney, announced that 30,000 school-children were to be offered the Gardasil cervical cancer vaccination, at a cost to her Department of approximately €15m/€16m, this decision however was subsequently rescinded. On Friday last 15th January Minister Harney announced that this programme will now proceed and that 30,000 girls in first year in secondary school are to be offered the cervical cancer vaccine from later this year at a cost of €3m.(Irish Times article)

Cervical cancer is caused chiefly by the Human Papilloma Virus, which is contracted through sexual activity. What, then, is the provision of a cervical cancer vaccination to young girls saying to them, and what is it saying to their parents? To my mind (and many other parents agree with me) it is saying that – ‘We know that your daughter will probably be sexually active while she is still in school, or she might be.’

We blogged on this issue on several occasions and sent an open letter to Minister Harney at that time pointing out that apart from the obvious moral objections there had been very a very significant level of adverse reactions to the vaccine. We pointed out for example that in 2007 and up to mid 2008 deaths attributed to the vaccine were running at one per month (10 deaths in 10 months). The US FDA (Food and Drug Administration agency) we said,
“also produced 140 "serious" reports (27 of which were categorized as "life threatening"), 10 spontaneous abortions and six cases of Guillain-Barre Syndrome - all since January 2008. The watchdog group says the number of deaths associated with the vaccine is at least 18 and possibly as many as 20 in the US alone. The serious adverse events include anaphylactic shock, grand mal convulsion, foaming at mouth, coma, paralysis, and death.”

The programme was subsequently withdrawn by the Minister citing lack of funds.

It seems rather odd (or does it?) that the vaccination is now to be re-offered to schoolchildren, but at a reduced cost of about €3m. In October 2009 Dr. Diane Harper, the leading international developer of the HPV vaccines, gave a sales pitch for Gardasil, (see article Merck Researcher admits: Gardasil Guards Against Almost Nothing.)

Far from reassuring her audience that Gardasil was safe and efficacious Dr Harper told her audience that:

*70% of HPV infections resolve themselves without treatment in one year. After two years, this rate climbs to 90%. Of the remaining 10% of HPV infections, only half coincide with the development of cervical cancer.

* the incidence of cervical cancer in the U.S. is so low that “if we get the vaccine and continue PAP screening, we will not lower the rate of cervical cancer in the US.”

* “There have been no efficacy trials in girls under 15 years,”

Dr. Harper, then in an interview with ABC News, admitted that “The rate of serious adverse events (for the vaccine) is greater than the incidence rate of cervical cancer.”

Given this frank assessment of the vaccine it is hard to understand why Minister Harney decided to introduce it.

The questions that must be asked are, why is the Minister and her Department proceeding with this initiative when the risks associated with the vaccine are so serious and are already in the public domain?
Why did the cost of the vaccine drop so significantly in such a short time? Is this reduction due to the adverse publicity based on both the record of adverse reactions to the vaccine and the negative publicity created by Dr. Harpers frank admissions?

The other questions that must be asked are does the Minister and her Department believe there is an acceptable level of risk and if so what is that level?

There is one certain method to avoid HPV – it is called abstinence.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Hidden epidemic of premature births

L’Osservatore Romano on January 10th published an article by Dr. Carlo Bellieni, in which he discusses the “hidden epidemic” of premature births. Dr. Bellieni who lectures in the Department of Obstetrics, Pediatrics, and Reproductive Medicine at the University of Siena, claims that there has been a significant increase in premature births in many countries. Italy he says says now has about 40,000 premature births annually. The article also says that premature births in France increased by 25% in a decade (between 1995 to 2005) and by 30% in the United Kingdom over the last 25 years, while in the United States there has been an increase of 20% since 1990.

The article claims that 13M (13,000,000) children are born prematurely every year, and 1M (1,000,000)of these children die, every year.

Dr Bellieni identified postponment of childbearing until after age 35 as one of the causes of the rise of premature births and also pointed to IVF as a factor. It is an ironic twist of fate according to Dr. Bellieni that public health agencies respond to the teenager, but ignore the epidemic of problem pregnancies of middle age.

Dr Bellieni also refers to a “paradoxical inverse shame” in which one speaks freely about “sex and contraception” but “absolutely does not speak about the desire and instinct to have children.”

While we have not seen an accurate translation of the article in L’Osservatore Romano it appears that the link between earlier abortion and subsequent prematurity has not been mentioned in the article

According to a German study, published by the “Reduce Preterm Risk Coalition” last year and which joins a solid body of other evidence, there is significant increased risk of preterm births for children who are brought to term after a previous abortion. This study found that for a woman with one prior abortion, VPB (under 32-34 weeks' gestation) the risk is boosted by 30%, while more than one prior abortion increases relative VPB risk by 90%. see report

Preterm birth also raises a child's risk for cerebral palsy, mental retardation, epilepsy, visual impairment, hearing disability, gastrointestinal injury, respiratory distress, and severe infections. Those born under 28 week's gestation have 129 times the risk of cerebral palsy as a full-term newborn, according to 2008 study by Dr. Eveline Himpens et al.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Paris March for Life: next Sunday 17 January

The sixth annual March for Life in will take place in Paris on Sunday next January 17th.

(Photo is a file copy from a previous march)

Participants are directed to meet at Place de la République at 2.30pm.
The event, since it was first commenced has grown in size from year to year. The 2009March was a huge success with an attendance of between 15 and 20,000 peaceful participants, among whom were many young people under the age of 25 and delegations from many European countries were also in attendance

The organisers once again expect that there will be a significant attendance from many European countries.

We would encourage anyone who is in a position to do so should support this March for Life

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Council of Europe to debate two anti-life and family resolutions

The council of Europe is scheduled to debate an anti life and an anti family measure in Strasbourg the week after next. The first report and resolution “Discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity” prepared by Andreas Gross a member of the Socialist Group will be debated on Wednesday January 27th
The second issue the Mc Cafferty report “Fifteen Years Since the International Conference on Population and Development Programme of Action” will be debated on Friday January 29th

The Mc Cafferty report involves the promotion of abortion as a means of family planning and population control. The Report summary while it includes many important measures for the improvement of women’s health also calls for so called ‘sexual and reproductive rights’ to be upheld and this includes among other things, access to family planning, so called ‘emergency contraception’ and safe abortion, irrespective of age, community or country. A comprehensive report on the critical issues involved intis report and resolution has been prepared by the European Centre for Law and Justice

The Gross report and the accompanying resolution is an attempt to mainstream the whole area of sexual orientation and includes concepts such as “Gender identity” which it says, refers to each person’s deeply felt internal and individual experience of gender, and it defines a “transgender person” as someone whose gender identity does not correspond to the gender he or she was assigned at birth.

According to a report by the European Centre for Law and Justice the draft resolution diminishes or even endangers the following fundamental rights:
- The freedom of speech
- The freedom of religion and conscience;
- The higher interest of children:
- The States’ sovereign interest and right to protect public morality, family and the best interests of the child.
Many of the other concepts set out in the report and resolution such as ‘hate speech’ are undefined and if they are to remain in the text tight definitions must be provided

Please contact Members of the European Parliament from your Country and ask them to reject these measures

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The importance of marriage and the family

While European nations appear to be sinking further and further into a moral morass, it is heartening to know that many States in the U.S. are actually recognising the importance of marriage and the family, and the sanctity of human life from the moment of conception until natural death.

Through its socialist government, Portugal has recently joined the ranks of other European countries that have passed laws inimical to all areas of family life, in that it has just ratified a law allowing homosexuals and lesbians to have similar ‘marital’ status as normal couples.

However, some consoling news is that in the U.S., the State of New Jersey is the latest to reject the proposal to grant marriage rights to homosexuals and lesbians. By a vote of 20 to 14, a Bill to grant legal recognition to same-sex ‘marriage’ was defeated in the New Jersey Senate. The States of Maine and New York are two of the other U.S. States that have recently said a big NO to such a proposal.

I hope that the Irish Government, which is currently trying to have similar proposals enacted into legislation, will take note of the forward-looking and civilised decisions of those U.S. States, and abandon the Bill that they are trying to force on the Irish people.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

'Supreme Court judgement devalues every human life'

The recent Irish Supreme Court Judgement on the fate of the three frozen embryos has initiated a national dialogue on the issues surrounding in vitro fertilization (IVF). There have been calls for new legislation in the area and the enactment of such legislation has been promised by Health Minister Mary Harney.

In the context of the ongoing debate a colleague Séamas de Barra, has sent me a commentary on an article by Fr. Kevin Doran that appeared in the January edition of the 'Alive newspaper.

In his article of January 2010, 'Supreme Court judgement devalues every human life' [p. 4], Fr Kevin Doran says among other things:
The problem of the Roche embryos arose because, in the absence of legislation, clinics and hospitals in Ireland have begun to keep embryos in frozen storage.
Legislation is required to ensure that clinics which perform IVF only generate the number of embryos which can be safely transferred to the mother's womb in one treatment cycle.
Better still, research funding should be diverted to programmes which seek to prevent or to treat infertility, rather than simply trying to get around it.

In his commentary Mr de Barra sets out the following:
As regards the third paragraph we know that good work is being done by the likes of Dr Phil Boyle with his NaProTechnology/FertilityCare, and also by the staff of the National Association of the Ovulation Method of Ireland [NAOMI] who help those who are having difficulty having a child.

I disagree with Fr Doran that Mrs Roche's problem arises because of lack of legislation here in Ireland. The problem arises because of the practice of In Vitro Fertilization itself in Ireland. In its Instruction Donum Vitae (1987) the Vatican condemned the practice of IVF, and other unethical means of getting around infertility. The Vatican repeated the condemnation in the Instruction Dignitas Personae which is dated, September 8, 2008.

The first solution that Fr Doran recommends actually is condemned in par. 15 of Dignitas Personae:

The reason for multiple transfer is to increase the probability that at least one embryo will implant in the uterus. In this technique, therefore, the number of embryos transferred is greater than the single child desired, in the expectation that some embryos will be lost and multiple pregnancy may not occur. In this way, the practice of multiple embryo transfer implies a purely utilitarian treatment of embryos. One is struck by the fact that, in any other area of medicine, ordinary professional ethics and the healthcare authorities themselves would never allow a medical procedure which involved such a high number of failures and fatalities. In fact, techniques of in vitro fertilization are accepted based on the presupposition that the individual embryo is not deserving of full respect in the presence of the competing desire for offspring which must be satisfied.

Let us put things in context. Of 100 embryos conceived in vitro [i.e. 'on glass', in a petri dish] and frozen, only 40 survive the thawing process. Only 10% of those 40, that is 4, have any chance of being born, and that is putting it at its most optimistic. That is, the optimum success rate is 4 out of 100. The so-called "take-home baby rate" is enhanced only because of the use of multiple-embryo transfer.

In par. 16 Dignitas Personae refers to the 'blithe acceptance of the enormous number of abortions involved in the process of in vitro fertilization'. Nevertheless in par. 19 we are reminded by means of a quotation from Pope John Paul II that 'there seems to be no morally licit solution regarding the human destiny of the thousands and thousands of "frozen" embryos which are and remain the subjects of essential rights and should therefore be protected by law as human persons.' In other words, it is actually immoral to transfer these frozen embryos, whether by single-embryo transfer, or by multiple-embryo transfer, to their mother's womb. In par. 23 of Dignitas Personae we are reminded of the 'serious penalties in canon law' that those involved in abortion attract. The reference is to automatic excommunication, for being involved in, or voting for, the like.

The problem with IVF is not dissimilar to that of Humanae Vitae. The Church's authentic teachings on these matters are regarded by many priests and bishops as a dead letter, and instead, they give the laity their own private opinions on them.

It is vital that all voices should be heard on the issues at stake here and which have major implications for the right to life of the human embryo prior to implantation in the womb of a woman. Future legislation will without doubt have significant implications for the constitutional protection of the unborn in Ireland

Monday, January 11, 2010

Obama Administration anti-life agenda

There are some people who still are not aware of the pro-abortion/anti-life agenda of President Barack Obama of the United States, and the Clinton family – particularly Mrs. Hillary Clinton.

To learn more about Mrs. Clinton’s most recent manifestation of her plans to promote abortion I would strongly recommend that you read John Smeaton’s blog for 9 January 2010 (

Reading this blog, and in conjunction with his blog for 8 January 2010 – which gives a review of a book entitled Cultures of Abortion in Weimar Germany – will send shivers down your spine, in fact many shivers.

Readers might also wish to go to to learn about Barack Obama’s latest proposed appointees as district court judges. Because of Senate Republicans blocking their nominations on the last occasion, two Obama nominees – both of them being abortion advocates – were unsuccessful. However, it is reported that, unfortunately, Barack Obama will again put these two people forward for appointment. One of the two is a former attorney for the pro-abortion legal group ACLU.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Consultation on teenage access to contraception

We reported on Dec 23rd that the Irish Law Reform Commission is proposing that Ireland should copy Britain and allow teenagers, including those under the age of consent, legally to receive contraception. The commission's consultation report on the matter proposes the legal situation in Britain as a model for Ireland. The report also relies upon false claims by the pro-abortion World Health Organisation and the pro-abortion Irish Family Planning Association that access to contraception is good for teenagers's sexual health.

We now report on an article by David Paton PhD, chair of industrial economics, Nottingham University Business School. The article is titled "Exploring the evidence on strategies to reduce teenage pregnancy rates" and was published in the Nursing Times.

This article outlines the goals of the Teenage Pregnancy Strategy, its progress in reducing conceptions over the past 10 years and the scientific evidence on the effectiveness of these policies.

The article reveals that;

*Some sexual health interventions can have unexpected and unwanted effects on teenage sexual behaviour.

*Providing emergency contraception in school and other settings is unlikely to contribute to lower teenage pregnancy rates.

*Insisting on parental consent before providing sexual health services to minors may have beneficial impacts on teenage sexual health.

*Practitioners should consider the possible impact of interventions on STIs as well as teenage pregnancy

This research is vitally important in ensuring that we in Ireland do not make the same unfortunate mistakes that have been made in the UK where despite more than £200m being spent on the Teenage Pregnancy Strategy,the report tells us there has been little discernible impact on conception rates, at least at a national level. Although disappointing, these results should not be surprising.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Abortion: "another wound in our society"

Although over eighteen months have passed since Pope Benedict XVI addressed the members of Italy’s Pro-Life Movement with the following words, yet they are still as fresh and relevant today as they were when he declared them in 2008:

‘… Looking at the past three decades and considering the current situation, it is impossible not to recognize that in practice defending human life today has become more difficult because a mindset has developed, entrusted to the opinion of the individual, which has gradually debased its value. One result of this has been the decrease in respect for the human person, a value at the root of all civil coexistence, over and above the faith professed.
‘The causes that lead to such painful decisions as abortion are of course many and complex. If, on the one hand, faithful to her Lord’s commandment, the Church never tires of reaffirming that the sacred value of every human being’s life originates in the Creator’s plan, on the other hand, she encourages the promotion of every initiative in support of women and families in order to create the favourable conditions in which to welcome life, and the protection of the family institution founded on the marriage between a man and a woman. Not only has permitting recourse to the termination of pregnancy not solved the problems that afflict many women and a fair number of families, but it has also made another wound in our society, unfortunately, already burdened by deep suffering. … It is necessary … to join forces so that different Institutions may once again focus their action on the defence of human life and give priority attention to the family, in whose heart life is born and develops. It is necessary to help the family with every legislative means to facilitate its formation and its task of education in the difficult social context of today.
‘ … It is necessary to witness concretely that respect for life is the first form of justice to apply. …
‘Human rights, then, must be respected as an expression of justice, and not merely because they are enforceable through the will of the legislators. …’

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Abortion: “the worst dictatorship that can exist and the greatest injustice in history”

In a hard hitting sermon last Monday Archbishop Carlos Osoro of Valencia denounced abortion as "the worst dictatorship that can exist" and "the greatest injustice in history because it ends the lives of the weakest." See LifeSite News.

The Archbishops comments were made as the Spanish Chamber of Deputies approved legislation to make abortion more freely available in Spain and which would allow women to have abortion on demand up to fourteen weeks and includes pro-abortion education throughout Spain. The legislation must now go to Spain's upper house.

According to the Spanish newspaper ABC, Osoro also denounced western nations where
"we fill our mouths with talk of human rights and where the most is being done to prevent the construction of peace and reconciliation."

"Reconciliation will never arrive while human life is not respected from its beginning until its natural end," added Osoro, who noted that the situation is similar to "what was experienced in Europe in previous times," comparing the current abortionist regimes to the totalitarianism of the 20th century.

"In questioning life, liberty in itself is brought into question, and the most profound injustice that can exist is established, which is to take away the life of the most defenceless,"
the Archbishop said.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Tragedy of death by contraception

Reports that a 17-year-old German girl died at Basel University Hospital from of a pulmonary embolism caused by a contraceptive pill were confirmed on 22 December 2009 by Swissmedic, the Swiss Agency for Therapeutic Products. A spokesperson for the agency said that, 'a 17-year-old died of a pulmonary embolism around 1 month after taking a hormonal contraceptive. Joachim Gross head of Press Relations for Swissmedic confirmed that the pill in question was of the anti-androgen type, according to, an article which appeared in the Sonntagsblick, (a Swiss publication) and also according to a report by Sandra Weber of Les Quotidiennes.

The latest tragic death is the third such incident in Switzerland attributed to this type of pill in the past year (2009). In September another woman died in very similar circumstances, while in May, a young woman became severely handicapped after 3 months in a coma following a pulmonary embolism, again linked to the pill.

These tragedies prompted the Swiss Federation of Patient Services (Patientenstellen der Schweiz) to demand a ban on pills containing anti-androgens also known as “drospirenone.” Despite the tragedies however Swissmedic argued that this measure was not necessary, citing research they conducted last autumn, that drospirenone does not increase health risks, and that there is no reason, therefore, to withdraw these products from the market. They did confirm, however, that taking a hormonal contraceptive is never harmless and that all pills increase the risk of venous thrombo-embolism, especially during the first year.

Monday, January 4, 2010

The morning-after pill

A letter in the London Independent, 2 January 2010, under the heading ‘A bitter pill to swallow’ which was written in response to an article by Liz Hogard, “A morning-after pill is best served without a sermon” (29 December), makes interesting reading.
The letter writer says:
‘It was with a heavy heart that I read the article from Liz Hogard, “A morning-after pill is best served without a sermon” (29 December). I find her attitude to abortion disturbing, not to say frightening.
‘The idea that young women who find themselves pregnant should have the immediate facility to abort the new life in them, by use of Levonelle 1500, without having to think or care further about the consequences of their actions is bad enough, but then to expect everyone around them, including the pharmacist, to be forced to silently endorse the same total lack of moral awareness or responsibility, is a sad comment on our society….

The letter continues

‘What I see now in the UK is the State gradually arrogating to itself the right to decide whether something is right or wrong, and doing its level best to stifle debate, which is never a healthy state of affairs. Left to itself, the State has no moral scruples, as the lessons of the 20th century teach us, in the history of the Soviet Union, the Third Reich, Cambodia, and so on. …’

The complete letter is worth reading