Friday, June 29, 2012

Controversial Supreme Court decision on "Obamacare"

Much has been written about the Supreme Court decision on "Obamacare" and by now, you will have heard that the Supreme Court on Thursday June 28th voted to uphold President Obama’s health care law in a 5-4 decision, with Chief Justice John Roberts providing the decisive swing vote, declaring the hotly contested individual mandate to be a tax.
Roberts wrote,
“The Affordable Care Act is constitutional in part and unconstitutional in part…[the Individual Mandate] cannot be upheld as an exercise of Congress’s power under the commerce clause”.
However, he then goes on to say,
“In this case, however, it is reasonable to con­strue what Congress has done as increasing taxes on those who have a certain amount of income, but choose to go without health insurance. Such legislation is within Con­gress’s power to tax”.
President Obama responded quickly, urging “it’s time for us to move forward.”

Manhattan Declaration. org writes
Though the ruling does indeed provide the final word on the constitutionality of certain provisions of the law, including the crucial “individual mandate,” we must remember what it does not say. Today’s decision says nothing about the contraception mandate, nor does it address the question of abortion funding. Lawsuits on these specific questions continue to make their way through the justice system.

Had the law been struck down these questions would be moot. But now, more than ever, advocates of life and the rights of religious conscience must pray for justice and support our partners in the legal battle.
Th Manhattan Declaration statement also gives information on three resources which can be accessed for up to date information as follows

The Alliance Defense Fund has created a page of resources to better understand the implications of Obamacare. Visit

The Becket Fund is partnering with Catholic and evangelical institutions suing the administration, including Belmont Abbey College and Colorado Christian University. Becket has created HHS Information Central with cases, maps, a timeline, and other resources.

The Colson Center has developed a page with regular updates on the religious liberty questions still in play.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

"We had a whole plan to sell abortion, and it was called sex education" (Part 1)

This is a powerful story on a new youth blog "Why I am Pro-Life"
I have linked to the blogpost but it is also reprinted below
The title of this post is a quote from Carol Everett, a former owner of 4 abortion facilities, who was responsible for the deaths of 35,000 unborn babies and 1 mother, and the injuring of at least 19 mothers who required serious surgery following an abortion. Carol's descent into the abortion industry began after she aborted her third child in 1973, under pressure from her husband and doctor. After the abortion her life began to fall apart; she had an affair, started to drink and eventually left her husband. With a psychiatrist's help she got her life together enough to go to work for a medical supply company, which led her into the abortion industry. Working for an abortionist showed her how much money can be made in the abortion business, so she decided to open her own clinics. Carol was on target to open her fifth abortion facility, and earn $1 million a year selling abortions, as she puts it. 

Below is a video interview with Carol. It is definitely worth watching the whole thing. Direct induced abortion is the intentional homicide of an innocent unborn child. On a list of bad things, it's at the top. At the same time, let's remember that abortion doesn't exist in a vacuum. The intentional killing of the child in the womb is the end result of a chain of causes such as anti-life sex education and the misuse of the gift of sex. 

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

WHO’s horrific guide to abortion, so called ‘Safe abortion’ guidelines issued

The World Health Organization (WHO) last week released a guide detailing the most effective ways to kill unborn children, with different methods at various stages of the unborn child’s development.

The document is the second edition of the WHO, “Safe abortion: technical and policy guidance for health systems” which was originally published in 2003.

“It is a horrific read,” stated Scott Fischbach, Executive Director of Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life (MCCL) Global Outreach.

“Following these guidelines will assuredly kill women and their unborn children, especially in developing nations,” he added. “Some of the recommendations, WHO admits, are based on very low evidence.  They are truly reckless and deadly.”

International abortion advocates lauded WHO’s new guide as a ‘major step forward’.  IPAS, the organization which was founded on the creation of a vacuum device used in abortion, praised “WHO’s respect for the essential role of abortion access in women’s health and their ability to fully exercise their human rights,” evidenced in the new document.

The guidelines include four main topics: estimates on unsafe abortion worldwide, the latest clinical recommendations to perform abortions, recommendations for “scaling up” services, and advice on policymaking and legislation.  The last of the four areas is not one usually found in medical advice documents, but WHO stresses the application of a “human rights framework” to advance pro-abortion policymaking and legislation — especially for young women.

Through the years WHO has done good work for millions of people to protect, advance and enrich their lives, but Fischbach says these deadly guidelines to advance and promote abortion take the organization in the exact opposite direction.

“The solution to illegal abortions and high maternal mortality rates is very simple: provide a clean water supply, clean blood supply and adequate health care,” Fischbach explained.  “Statistics confirm that these save women’s lives — not the legalization of abortion.”

Contact the World Health Organization:
Web form:

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Youth Defence rolls out its pro-life billboard campaign

Youth Defence in what they describe as, “The Better Answer campaign”, have rolled out the first phase of their pro-life billboard campaign over the last few weeks. There are almost 100 of these billboards in Dublin and over 200 advertisements in the Luas tram system, as well as free-standing ‘Metropanels’, and ‘Transvision’ screens which is basically a short video displayed on huge screens in major public transport stations in the city. There are also have 200 exterior Dublin Bus advertisements. Phase 2 of the campaign will extend the Billboards, Metropanels’, and ‘Transvision’ screens  to the rest of Ireland

The campaign has already been featured in the Irish Times, Independent, Evening Herald, The Daily Mail, and the popular Huffington Post, as well as on radio. Feedback so far from the public has been excellent! People, who are constantly bombarded with an anti-life agenda from the media, are glad to finally see a pro-life message out there. 

The campaign is not without controversy however and the pro-abortion movement has not wasted time in attacking it, both in the media and by defacing some of the billboards

Youth Defence has said that attempts by abortion campaigners to vandalise their pro-life billboards were "pathetic and smacked of desperation", the statement continued that after two weeks of blustering, threats and hot air, a small group of left wing activists had eventually caused minimum damage to just two or three of more than 300 pro-life adverts around Dublin.

Niamh Ui Bhriain of the Life Institute said that the extreme reaction of abortion campaigners was indicative of the mindset of people who did not want to debate the issue but preferred to resort to vandalism. "They've failed to win over the Irish people and want to censor the pro-life message instead," she said. "They won't succeed.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Opinion Poll shows strong support for the unborn in Ireland

A new opinion poll carried out by Millward Brown Lansdowne, on behalf of the ProLife Campaign shows strong public backing for the pro-life commitments made by majority government party Fine Gael, prior to the general election in 2011.

The new research also reveals significant public support for current medical practice in Ireland where there is a duty of care towards the baby when intervening in pregnancy to save the mother’s life.

Poll respondents were asked, “Just prior to polling day in the 2011 General Election, Fine Gael said it was opposed to the legalization of abortion and experimentation on human embryos. It said that Fine Gael’s representatives would bring to the proposed all-party committee a clear commitment that women in pregnancy will receive whatever treatments are necessary to safeguard their lives, and the duty of care to preserve the life of the baby will also be upheld.  Would you agree or disagree with this commitment?”

Some 80 percent said they agreed with the pro-life commitment while 20 percent said they disagreed. The response from Connacht/Ulster, which includes the Prime Minister’s (Taoiseach’s) own constituency of Mayo, was telling as 87% agreed and only 13% disagreed.

A second question in the poll asked Irish citizens, “Current medical practice in Ireland does not allow the deliberate killing of the unborn baby.  In a crisis pregnancy situation, the doctor has a duty of care towards the baby when intervening to save the mother’s life.  Do you consider that this ethical practice should be protected by law?”

Some 78% of those who expressed an opinion said it should and 22% disagreed and ProLife Campaign noted there was majority support in all ages, social classes and regions.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Pro-Life Victory in RIO+20 Negotiations

The Rio+20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development commences today in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The three-day meeting of world leaders is the culmination of months of work dedicated to the RIO+20 conference, also known as the “Earth Summit.”

The outcome document for the conference (known as 'The Future We Want') has been a major battleground for months with numerous attempts to insert anti-life measures including abortion and population control under the guise of so-called 'reproductive rights' or 'reproductive health services'. The finally agreed text, to be signed by heads of state on Friday however has dropped references to either 'reproductive rights' or 'reproductive health services'. See UN report

This pro-life success was won by a group of countries together with the Holy See, among others including Russia, Poland and several Latin American countries.

Pro-abortion groups, furious at the result are initiating a variety of actions aimed at amending the finally agreed text before it is signed on Friday. Some groups have been attacking the involvement of the Holy See in the negotiations, others are demanding that negotiations be reopened while others still are mobilizing youth groups to demonstrate in favour of amending final text.


Ireland has been described by the pro-abortion lobby as the ‘jewel in the crown’ of the pro-life movement, but there is a new and lethal determination to remove that jewel and the danger is imminent. Ireland is currently under more pressure to introduce abortion than ever before.

Why do we say this?

Following a recent judgement at the European Court of Human Rights known as the A,B and C case in which three women challenged Ireland’s constitutional ban on abortion, the Irish Government has appointed an expert group to review the current position.

For decades Ireland has bravely held out against the introduction of abortion despite constant pressure from the abortion industry, the media, UN Agencies and Committees and many pro-abortion member States of the UN.

Earlier this year, Socialist Clare Daly introduced a bill under the misleading heading of “Medical Treatment (Termination of Pregnancy in the case of Risk to Life of Pregnant Women)” Bill 2012, creating a false impression that women in Ireland are currently being denied necessary medical treatment because of the lack of abortion laws.

Health Minister Reilly, instead of countering the false impression that had been created, welcomed this pro-abortion bill and placed his view on record the sponsors of the Bill had proposed it “for the best of motivations and for the right reasons”. He also said that six previous governments had taken no steps to legislate on abortion  and he assured the sponsors of the bill that the present Government “will not be the 7th”.

It seems clear from Minister Reilly’s speech that he expects that the only real option open to him is to legislate in favour of abortion but there are other options such as a new amendment to copper-fasten the protection of unborn life or simply retaining the status quo which has served very well despite the constant attacks from the pro-abortion forces

What is needed?

·      International support
·      Education
·      And most of all prayer

Following the phenomenally successful 50th International Congress we wish to encourage all Catholic readers to commit to an hour of Eucharistic adoration every week specifically for the intention of protecting unborn life in Ireland.  We would also ask members of other denominations or faiths to commit to an hour of prayer each week for the same intention.

We at European Life Network (ELN) would very much appreciate if you could let us know if you are willing to join in this call to prayer and Eucharistic Adoration by e-mailing or writing to us at the following address
Glenrue, Ballinclea Road, Killiney, Co Dublin, Ireland

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Swedish court rules in favour of family whose son was abducted by the State

We reported in 2009 on the abduction by the Swedish State, of Domenic Johansson the son of a Swedish homeschooling couple.
The good news is that following a a prolonged separation Domenic may shortly be reunited with his parents as a result of a Swedish district court decision. The court ruled that the couple did not act irresponsibly by removing their children from the public school system. See ADF report

Government officials seized Christer and Annie Johansson’s 10-year-old son, Domenic, in June 2009 as they boarded a plane for Annie’s home country of India. Domenic, who was seven at the time, has been in state custody ever since.
“We will ask the court for the immediate return of Domenic Johansson to his parents,” said Ruby Harrold-Claesson of the Nordic Committee on Human Rights, who represents the parents. “Based on the information in this verdict, there can be no justification for keeping this family apart.”
The U.S.-based Alliance Defense Fund and Home School Legal Defense Alliance are providing legal advice.
 “The government shouldn’t abduct and imprison children simply because it doesn’t like home schooling,” said ADF Legal Counsel Roger Kiska. “This family’s human rights have been unimaginably violated.”
HSLDA Director of International Relations Mike Donnelly agreed the case was “a grotesque abuse of their human rights.”
 “Domenic has not been returned home yet, but we have every hope that he will be soon,” he said.
The child has been in state custody for three years with limited visitation from the parents, while the state has considered terminating their parental rights altogether. Authorities jailed Christer after he took his son on an unauthorized outing in December 2010.

According to Crisis magazine, the years-long separation led Annie to have a nervous breakdown.  

Meanwhile, the Scandinavian nation has cracked down on homeschooling, allowing it only under “extraordinary circumstances.”

Monday, June 18, 2012

Forced abortion of 7 month pregnant, Chinese woman

Reggie Littlejohn of Women's Rights without Frontiers reports that a woman was forcibly aborted at seven months of pregnancy on June 3, 2012 in Shanxi Province, China.  

According to a report by the China-based human rights organization 64Tianwang, the woman, Feng Jianmei, was beaten and dragged into a vehicle by a group of Family Planning Officials while her husband, Deng Jiyuan, was out working.  The officials asked for RMB 40,000 in fines from Feng Jianmei’s family.  When they did not receive the money, they forcibly aborted Feng at seven months, laying the body of her aborted baby next to her in the bed.  Feng is under medical treatment in Ankang City, Zhenpin County, Zengjia Town, Yupin village.

The report together with a graphic image of this appalling incident can be seen on this link
(Be warned this image is a very graphic one)

Due to the widespread revulsion engendered by this action it was reported on Saturday June 18th that

China suspended three officials and apologised to Feng Jianmei  after the photos of Feng lying on a hospital bed with her aborted, blood-covered baby, were posted online and went viral

The moves appeared to be aimed at allaying public anger over a case that has triggered renewed criticism of China's widely hated one-child limit.

Reggie Littlejohn, president of Women’s Rights Without Frontiers, stated, “This is an outrage.  No legitimate government would commit or tolerate such an act.  Those who are responsible should be prosecuted for crimes against humanity.  WRWF calls on the United States government and the leaders of the free world to strongly condemn forced abortion and all coercive family planning in China.”

Friday, June 15, 2012

Coalition for Marriage presents half a million signatures to Downing Street in support of real marriage

Congratulations are due to the Coalition for marriage  which, in response to the proposal to redefine marriage in the UK, has in record time gathered over half a million signatures in support of  real marriage, marriage between one man and one woman.

The first 500,000 signatures have been presented at No 10 Downing Street but the petition remains open and the number of signatures in support of marriage is growing daily.

See report by John Smeaton of SPUC and also see video below

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Illegal trade in body parts flourishes with economic downturn

BioEdge comments, June 9th on an earlier New York Times report about a new illegal trade in body parts in Europe resulting from the economic crisis. see also Bio Edge report.
The financial crisis in Europe has sparked an increase in the trade of human body parts, as families and individuals scramble to put food on the table. Experts say that the black market for human organs -- traditionally based in India, China, Brazil and the Philippines -- is spreading to crisis-hit Western countries like Greece, Italy, Spain and poor Balkan nations like Serbia. Vulnerable and impoverished people are trying to sell their kidneys, bone marrow, lungs or corneas, spurred on by the internet, amoral organ traffickers and a global shortfall of organs for transplantation.

A 46-year-old businessman from Piraeus, Greece, said recently that the only way to rescue his family from ending up on the street was to sell one of his kidneys for €100,000, or US$123,000. He told Greek media that he even hired a private investigator to track down a buyer.

The trade has expanded to the US where, according to experts, there have been many recent cases of poor undocumented immigrants selling their kidneys via websites such as Craigslist to get by.
“Thanks to the global financial crisis organ trafficking is a growth industry,” said Jonathan Ratel, a European Union prosecutor. “Organized criminal groups are preying upon the vulnerable on both sides of the supply chain, people suffering from chronic poverty, and desperate and wealthy patients who will do anything to survive,” he said.

While accurate statistics are hard to find, 15,000 to 20,000 kidneys are sold illegally each year, according to Organ Watch, a human rights group in Berkeley, California, that tracks the illegal trade in organs. The UN estimates that 5% to 10% of kidney transplants performed annually result from organ trafficking. Mr Ratel, the prosecutor, said organ tourists mainly come from the US, Britain, France, Israel, Italy and Germany. Often, donors never see a penny, he added

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

From Russia with Love

A coalition of more than 100 Russian and Ukrainian NGOs have issued a strong statement in defence of life and the natural family, denouncing the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) for exceeding its mandate by among other things, pressuring countries to promote abortion, homosexual marriage and sexual "education" for children. It is understood that to further highlight this issue, the group plan to hold a special event at the UN HQ in New York later this year.

The document consisting of a 50 page Report details some of the “ultra-vires”, anti-family, acts of the UNCRC and its new Optional Protocol

The following is the Executive Summary from the document

This Report examines the issues around the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on a communications procedure (UN document A/RES/66/138), such as:
procedural flaws in its development;
  • its undermining of domestic legislation and judicial systems;
  • its erosion of the exhaustion of domestic remedies rule;
  • its potential belittlement of the value of the family.
Due to the protocol granting the Committee new powers to consider complaints for UNCRC violations (including complaints by children), particular attention is given to past ultra vires (beyond its authority) acts by the Committee. The Report notes with concern that many CRC acts can be viewed as being:
  • contrary to the principle of the sovereign equality of the UN member States (Article 2 of the UN Charter);
  • beyond the mandate of the Committee;
  • contrary to or not based on intergovernmental consensus.
In particular, its acts included:
  • pressuring states to change their abortion laws irrespective of intergovernmental consensus and with no foundation in international human rights instruments;
  • indirectly promoting controversial concepts with no established intergovernmental consensus behind them (legalizing same-sex sexual relationships, legal recognition of same-sex marriages and partnerships, decriminalization of prostitution);
  • demanding that states should give children sexuality education regardless of and access to reproductive health services regardless of and without parental consent and knowledge, with no basis in UNCRC or other international human rights instruments whatsoever and contrary to the Cairo Programme of Action and the Beijing Platform for Action (both possessing a degree of intergovernmental recognition at UN level);
  • using an ultra vires (beyond its authority) interpretation of UNCRC to unlawfully introduce a new ‘obligation’ for states parties (to outlaw any parental corporal punishment for children) not following from UNCRC itself, and then demanding compliance, up to the point of changing their national legislation;
  • demanding of states (contrary to the principle of the sovereign equality of states and with no basis in UNCRC) ratification of international agreements hitherto not signed by them.
All these acts (documented in the Appendix), regardless of their ethical assessment, are shown to be ultra vires and must be recognized as violating the principle of sovereign equality and exceeding the treaty monitoring body mandate. The Committee’s ultra vires acts, though not directly legally binding, seriously affect the legal regime in states parties to UNCRC. They affect national law enforcement practice, changes to national legislation, and influence legally binding decisions by other international bodies.
Ultra vires acts by the Committee can seriously threaten the sustainability of international human rights framework, the sovereignty of states parties, cultural identity of their peoples, and the standing of the family, which is ‘the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the State’ (Article 16 (3) of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights), and, therefore, by the international community.
For states parties to recognize the new CRC power by signing and ratifying the Optional Protocol would, in these circumstances, seem impractical and dangerous.
The Report points out that to remedy the situation created by the ultra vires acts by the Committee, legitimately concerned states parties can employ a number of means, such as:
  • refusing to ratify the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on a communications procedure until a relevant reform of the Committee is taken place;
  • exercising their right to issue interpretative declarations on UNCRC;
  • exercising their right to point out the limits of the Committee’s mandate replying to its requests for additional information related to periodic reports;
  • warning the Committee of the possibility of their denunciation of UNCRC in case a relevant reform of its activities does not take place;
  • actively participating in reforming UN treaty bodies to bring their activities into strict conformity with their mandates, to give it greater transparency, and to bring it under more effective states parties control.
These means can, after due assessment of the consequences of their implementation, be employed at the discretion of states to protect the rights of their sovereign peoples, the family, and their cultural, religious, and moral identity.

The NGO’s have also signed a document known as the St.Petersburg Resolution highlighting the anti-family trends  and the unacceptable actions of the United Nations human rights treaty monitoring bodies and also a Resolution on the “Draft Recommendation on the rights and legal status of children and parental responsibilities” of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe (CJ-FA-GT3 (2010) 2 rev. 5) - approved at the Public Hearing on October 8th, 2011 by 100 Russian and Ukrainian NGOs and experts.

The group in their statement say they are convinced that now is the time to create an effective mechanism of protection of the natural family on the level of the International and Russian law, to build highly efficient network of the pan-Russian grassroots socially conservative activists, that would be able to consistently exert real influence on the family policy in Russia, at the U.N. and internationally.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Spread of 'baby boxes in Europe alarms United Nations

The Guardian reported June 10th on the existence of "baby boxes" used in various European countries to ensure that babies born as a result of crisis pregnancies can be anonymously left to ensure that they can survive and be placed for adoption.  The article reports that the UN says hatches in which newborn babies can be left contravene children's rights to know and be cared for by parents. 

There is no doubt that the most appropriate outcome is for children to remain with and be loved and cared for by parents, however current thinking by many UN Committees and Member States focuses on the termination of these vulnerable lives rather than having an alternative method of ensuring that they survive.

The article continues: 
The United Nations is increasingly concerned at the spread in Europe of "baby boxes" where infants can be secretly abandoned by parents, warning that the practice "contravenes the right of the child to be known and cared for by his or her parents", the Guardian has learned.

The UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, which reports on how well governments respect and protect children's human rights, is alarmed at the prevalence of the hatches – usually outside a hospital – which allow unwanted newborns to be left in boxes with an alarm or bell to summon a carer.

The committee, a group of 18 international human rights experts based in Geneva, says that while "foundling wheels" and baby hatches had disappeared from Europe in the last century, almost 200 have been installed across the continent in the past decade in nations as diverse as Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Poland, Czech Republic and Latvia. Since 2000, more than 400 children have been abandoned in the hatches, with faith groups and right-wing politicians spearheading the revival in the controversial practice.

Their proponents draw on the language of the pro-life lobby and claim the baby boxes "protect a child's right to life" and have saved "hundreds of newborns". There are differing opinions on this key social issue across Europe. In France and Holland women have the right to remain anonymous to their babies after giving birth, while in the UK it remains a crime to secretly abandon a child.

However UN officials argue that baby hatches violate key parts of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) which says children must be able to identify their parents and even if separated from them the state has a "duty to respect the child's right to maintain personal relations with his or her parent".

In an interview with the Guardian, Maria Herczog, a member of the UNCRC committee, said that the arguments from critics were a throwback to the past. "Just like medieval times in many countries we see people claiming that baby boxes prevent infanticide … there is no evidence for this."

Herczog, a prominent child psychologist from Hungary, says baby boxes should be replaced by better state provision of family planning, counselling for women and support for unplanned pregnancies.

She likened the pro-baby box movements in Europe to the religious right in the US. "Very similar to the United States where we have the spread of the Safe Haven programme with baby boxes in 50 states since 1999. Now we have MEPs arguing for baby boxes and they just reject the convention."

The committee wrote last year to the government in the Czech republic, which has seen 44 baby boxes set up since 2005, asking it "undertake all measures necessary to end the programme as soon as possible".

The ensuing row spilt over borders with two dozen right-wing MEPs, including the current president of Hungary, writing to complain that baby boxes "offer(ed) a solution for women who unfortunately keep their pregnancy a secret and fear to approach official instructions".

In an email to the Guardian, Manfred Weber, German MEP and vice-chairman of the European People's Party – the largest grouping on the centre right – who signed the anti-UNCRC letter, said the issue was one of competing "rights". "Although I am convinced that a child is best raised within an intact family, the safety of children is of higher priority than their desire to know their biological parents," he said.

There is evidence that the baby box idea is popular. A Swiss poll in 2011 found 87% saying baby boxes were "very useful or useful" and more than a quarter of respondents thought every hospital should have one.

Herczog said that the committee is undeterred. "We review countries' adherence to the convention. We did Czech Republic. Austria is coming up. I cannot say for sure but I can imagine we will do the same for Austria (as the Czech Republic)".

Her stance was backed by experts. Kevin Browne of the Centre for Forensic and Family Psychology at The University of Nottingham has just completed a two-year study into the phenomenon. He said of the 27 EU member countries, 11 still have "baby hatches" operating – Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Portugal and Slovakia.

"There is growing evidence that it is frequently men or relatives abandoning the child, raising questions about the mother's whereabouts and whether she has consented to giving up her baby," he said. "You also have to ask whether an anonymous drop allows the authorities to check whether there's a chance for the baby to remain with its family in the care of other relatives."

Browne's research found that the Czech Republic and Lithuania both have an average of seven infants left in baby hatches per year, followed by Poland with six and Hungary and Slovakia with four – and highlighted that baby boxes had flowered in post-Communist eastern Europe.

Politicians in the former Communist bloc dispute this analysis. Miroslav Mikolášik, a Christian Democrat MEP from Slovakia, said that the "communist idea" was "to take away violently a child from a family that they considered as an enemy of regime and place him or her in a state orphanage … If UN convention on the rights of the child's article 8 that guarantees children's right to know their own identity means the death of only one unwanted baby, it is a very wrong article and very wrong convention."

In western Europe the issue is complicated by religious practice and the law. Sari Essayah, Finnish MEP from the centre-right Christian Democrats, pointed out that in Scandinavia "two lesbians can get sperm anonymously and have children. They don't know the name of the donor. So what about the rights of the child? The UN have got it wrong here about baby boxes."

Perhaps the most taxing problem will be Germany, the powerhouse of Europe, which has about 80 baby boxes operating across the nation. The German constitution says all citizens have a right to "know of their origins" and fathers have a right to be part of a child's upbringing. Both are breached when a mother gives birth anonymously. Hatches are tolerated – but earlier this year German ministers floated the possibility of a new "legal framework for confidential births".

In February the German Youth Institute found that the anonymous service had lost trace of a fifth of all abandoned babies – giving ammunition to those who want to end the practice.

However Bernd Posselt, Christian Social Union MEP for Munich who signed the letter to the UNCRC last year, told the Guardian that "our experiences with baby-boxes here in Munich, for example organised by a monastery, have been positive. I know also the problems, but for me it is essential to protect and to safeguard the life of children in extreme situations. All other problems can be solved with good will as long as the child is alive. It is not the decision of an United Nations committee what we are doing to help born or unborn children".

Monday, June 11, 2012

The Pill and contamination of our water supply

For some years there have been major concerns about the effects of chemicals such as estrogen in our water supply which have recently been recognised in a European Union water framework directive.

The Guardian on June 2nd printed a report on the effects together with the potential cost of suitable treatments but also report that drug firms are opposing an EU call for controls on potent chemicals that have been blamed for the gender mutation of freshwater fish.

Britain according to the report faces a £30bn bill to clean up rivers, streams and drinking water supplies contaminated by synthetic hormones from contraceptive pills. Drastic reductions in these chemicals, which have been linked to collapses in fish populations, are proposed in the latest European Union water framework directive.

There is of course a simple solution, the withdrawal of the offending products from the market altogether would mean that water supplies would return to normal and the huge treatment bill could be avoided.

The report continues [...] the plan, which would involve upgrading the sewage network and significantly increasing household water bills, is controversial. Water and pharmaceutical companies dispute the science involved and argue the costs are prohibitive. By contrast, many environmental researchers say the proposal is sound. Ethinyl estradiol (EE2), the main active ingredient of contraceptive pills, can trigger a condition known as intersex in freshwater fish. which has caused significant drops in populations in many species – although no links have yet been made with human health. "That does not mean we will not find impacts in future," said toxicologist Professor Richard Owen of Exeter University. "But do we want to wait until we see effects in humans, as we did with thalidomide and BSE, or do we act before harm is done?"

Preventing EE2 from having environmental or health effects is difficult, however. "Ethinyl estradiol is a very potent chemical," said Professor Susan Jobling of Brunel University. "It is designed to have effects in the human body at very low levels. That means it will also have a significant impact in the environment."

More than 2.5 million women take birth control pills in the UK. Their EE2 content is excreted and washed into sewage systems and rivers. Even at very low concentrations, this chemical has harmful effects on fish. Males suffer reduced sperm production, with severe effects on populations. In one recent trial, in a Canadian lake, researchers added EE2 until levels in the water reached five parts per trillion (ppt), a minute concentration. Yet fish populations suffered severe problems with one species, the fathead minnow, collapsing completely.

In Britain, research by Jobling found that at 50 sites 80% had noticeable levels of EE2 in their water. The closer a downstream sampling point was to a sewage works, the higher the level of EE2 tended to be. Similar levels are found elsewhere in Europe.

To reduce dangers posed by these concentrations, the EU proposed in January that it would set a level of 0.035ppt for ethinyl estradiol in water in Europe. Achieving that target will not be easy, as Owen and Jobling point out in a recent issue of Nature. They calculate that, for a town of about 250,000 people, it would cost about £6m to install a system that uses granular activated carbon to cut EE2 levels, with a further £600,000 being needed to operate the system each year. To upgrade the 1,400 sewage waterworks in England and Wales would cost a total of more than £30bn, they add. "The question we have to ask ourselves is straightforward," said Owen, a former head of environment and health at the UK Environment Agency. "Are we willing to pay up or would we rather settle for environmental damage associated with flexible fertility?"
A final decision on introducing the EU's plans to cut EE2 levels will be taken in November by the European parliament. Water and pharmaceutical companies have already begun to lobby to block the plan and it is expected other parties will become involved. "There is a danger that the battle will take place behind closed doors," said Jobling. "The public need to be told what the issues are and make its voice heard. It may be happy to pay the extra cost and so avoid the risk of ill-health in the future."
Nor is it necessary that the public should pick up the tab, added Owen. "The pharmaceutical industry makes billions out of the drugs and treatments it sells. If these pollute the environment, what is wrong with making them pay to have it cleaned up?"
However, the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry rejected the idea and disputed the scientific basis of the EU plans. "Feminisation in fish populations has been observed in a number of field surveys, but a detrimental impact on the level of those populations has not been established," said a spokesman. "It would be premature to require such intensive upgrading of waste water treatment."
An official at Water UK, the trade body for the water industry, also attacked the plan and criticised the European commission for focusing on "end of pipe treatments" rather than tackling the issue of what enters the waste water stream.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Unborn babies could be tested for 3,500 genetic anomalies

The proponents of 'the brave new world' seem to be determined to ensure it flourishes even at the expense of human life.

According to a Daily Telegraph newspaper report June 6th, US scientists claim to have predicted the entire genetic code of an unborn child.  

The Telegraph says that it could lead to tests for 3,5000 genetic anomalies. Tests on unborn children often lead to decisions to perform abortions and this can only lead to more and more terminations. 

Anthony Ozimic of SPUC made the following comment: 
"The science-fiction scenario of the film Gattaca, in which babies are graded at birth according to predictions of future health, is becoming fact. Society can reverse this nightmare scenario by resolving to put human beings above so-called scientific progress,"

Here is a short poem

Survival of the fittest

Will you take me as I am?
Now that you have seen the scan.
You fear I could be born deficient
Is my presence not sufficient?

Will you love me and accept me,
Or will you callously reject me?
Focus not on my defect,
Please accept and don’t reject.

What about the blind and lame
Surely they deserve a name?
If only the perfect may be born
What you practice is profane.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Pope Benedict in Milan

Pope Benedict XVI began his visit to Milan for the 7th World Meeting of Families by addressing a huge crowd in the Piazza in front of Milan’s Cathedral, the Duomo. The Pope in his inaugural address to the enthusiastic crowds, called for the creation a future built upon the Christian family. 
 “Faith in Jesus Christ, who died and rose for us, who is living among us, must animate the entire fabric of your life, personal and communal, private and public, so as to enable a stable and authentic 'well-being' beginning with the family,”
Over a three day visit the Pope met with many of thousands of pilgrims from over 150 countries who gathered in Milan for the meeting on the theme of “The Family: Work and Celebration.” Pope Benedict described the family as “humanity’s principal patrimony, coefficient and sign of a true and stable culture in favor of man.”
The Holy Father announced during the last day of his Milan visit that the eighth World Meeting of Families will be held in Philadelphia, U.S.A. in the year 2015. "I send my warm greetings to Archbishop Charles Chaput", he said, "and to the Catholics of that great city, and look forward to meeting them there, along with numerous families from all around the world".

Pope Benedict told the meeting of that the family based upon marriage can revolutionize modern society for the better.
“Your vocation is not easy to live, especially today, but the vocation to love is a wonderful thing, it is the only force that can truly transform the world,”
Pope Benedict was concluding a three-day visit to the event in northern Italy which brought together families from over 150 countries to pray, celebrate and study marriage and family life. 
The Pope used his homily to provide some advice on the “elements that build up family life.”
He recommended: 
“maintaining a constant relationship with God and participating in the life of the Church,” “cultivating dialogue, respecting the other’s point of view, being ready for service and patient with the failings of others,” agreeing on “principles of upbringing,” “being open to other families, attentive towards the poor, and responsible within civil society.”
The Pope also stressed the importance of family life built upon a man and woman who are married to each other. This is because God “created us male and female, equal in dignity, but also with respective and complementary characteristics, so that the two might be a gift for each other, might value each other and might bring into being a community of love and life.” 

He told the married couples present in the large outdoor congregation that they were “not giving each other any particular thing or activity” in marriage “but your whole lives.”

This love becomes most fruitful in its desire to “accomplish one another’s good” as well as in the “generous and responsible procreation of children,” followed by their “vigilant and wise education.”

The Pope also explained that the benefits of married families go beyond the spouses and children to include society at large, since “family life is the first and irreplaceable school of social virtues, such as respect for persons, gratuitousness, trust, responsibility, solidarity, cooperation.”

He then urged parents to transmit to their children “with serenity and trust, reasons for living, the strength of faith, pointing them towards high goals and supporting them in their fragility.”

Pope Benedict next turned his attention to the children present and encouraged them to “always maintain a relationship of deep affection and attentive care for your parents, and see that your relationships with your brothers and sisters are opportunities to grow in love.”

Towards the conclusion of his homily, the Pope addressed the damaging impact that modern economic theories based upon “a utilitarian concept of work, production and the market” can have upon the family. 

Both God’s plan and experience, he said, show that this “one-sided logic of sheer utility and maximum profit” is not conducive to the good of the person, family or society.

“Indeed, the utilitarian mentality tends to take its toll on personal and family relationships, reducing them to a fragile convergence of individual interests and undermining the solidity of the social fabric.”

One of the ways in which Christian families can combat this trend is by making sure they keep Sunday as a special day for the family each week. It should be a day “of man and his values,” set aside for “conviviality, friendship, solidarity, culture, closeness to nature, play, sport,” said the Pope.

“Dear families, despite the relentless rhythms of the modern world, do not lose a sense of the Lord’s Day! It is like an oasis in which to pause, so as to taste the joy of encounter and to quench our thirst for God.”

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Irish abortion statistics

European Life Network has welcomed the drop in the latest Irish abortion figures released by the British Department of Health. The recently released 2011 figures show that the number of Irish women travelling to Britain for abortions has once again decreased, for the tenth consecutive year. 

The figures show that in 2011, 4,149 Irish women travelled to Britain for abortions, down from 4,402 in 2010 and 4,422 in 2009.  The 2011 figures show a marked decrease over previous years. 2011 is the tenth consecutive year that Irish abortions have declined and represents a 38% decline since the high of 6,673 Irish abortions in 2001.

Needless to say however while this reduction is to be welcomed, the fact that over 4100 babies lives were terminated in 2011 is a significant tragedy and more must be done to ensure that every baby who is conceived will be brought to birth and welcomed into our society.

Attitudes, which foster the idea of abortion as any kind of a solution to pregnancy must be firmly rejected and perpetrators and facilitators of this barbaric act who operate under the guise of caring for women, must be exposed.  Abortion is big business.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Michael J Fox concedes that a cure for parkinson's disease will most likely come from sources other than embryonic stem cells

Dave Andrusko of National Right to Life writes that Michael J Fox has conceded that embryonic stem cells will not produce a cure for Parkinsons disease. 

In a most revealing interview with ABC’s Diane Sawyer, actor Michael J. Fox conceded that it is likely that sources other than embryonic stem cells will provide a cure for Parkinson’s, the disease from which he suffers. He did so, even though Sawyer kept trying to find a way to elicit from him a response that embryonic stem cell research was merely in a temporary “cul-de-sac” and even though he has been among the most vocal proponents of embryonic stem cell research.

See Dave's article here

The interview can be watched on this link