Friday, November 30, 2012

Canadian Shame; 491 babies born alive were left to die

Life Site News reports the shocking news that 491 babies born alive after failed abortions were left to die.
Pro-life advocates according to the report are calling for a federal investigation after Canada’s official statistics agency has confirmed that 491 babies died after they were born alive during abortions between 2000 and 2009.

Statistics Canada confirmed the information in an e-mail to LifeSiteNews Tuesday. Pro-life blogger Patricia Maloney first discovered the data about the abortions in the federal agency’s online database.

Mary Ellen Douglas, National Organizer for Campaign Life Coalition, called the revelation “outrageous.”
Nearly 500 babies were born alive after failed abortions and left to die between 2000 and 2009.
“The federal government needs to do whatever it can to investigate this data,” she added. “It’s bad enough that babies are being killed in the womb, but now we learn that even those protected under Canadian law are apparently being left to die.”

Douglas recalled that pro-lifers heard about babies being born after hysterotomy abortions in Kingston in the 1980s. “Babies were found struggling for life in a basin and nurses were told to leave them alone because they were aborted,” she said.

Andre Schutten, legal counsel for the Association for Reformed Political Action, pointed out that Canada recognizes the baby as a human being as soon as it emerges alive from its mother, and questioned why there have been no homicide investigations into the live births.

“Why have there been no criminal prosecutions? Why no outcry? And why are the provinces funding this explicitly criminal activity?” he asked.

Full LifeSite article available on this LINK

Thursday, November 29, 2012

The Church clearly distinguishes treatments when a mother is at risk

The Irish Catholic in its edition of November 29th has published a letter from Anthony McCarthy, Education and Publications Manager of the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children concerning Catholic Church teaching on abortion

“The Church clearly distinguishes treatments when a mother is at risk”

Dear Editor, The sad and painful death of Savita Halappanavar, in circumstances that are still very unclear, is prompting discussion of abortion definitions in Church teaching itself (as distinguished from Irish law and medical practice). 

Abortion is not always defined by the Church in terms of deliberate killing -  though certainly such killing will always be abortion -  but sometimes in terms of deliberate expulsion or ‘acceleration of birth’ before viability  (a good source here is John Connery’s book Abortion: the Development of the Roman Catholic Perspective).   Pius XII in his Allocution to Large Families refers to life-saving interventions on a pregnant woman, “independently of her pregnant condition”, which are permitted, even if they have the unintended, but inevitable, effect of causing the death of her baby. These words were cited by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith as recently as 2009. 

Such treatment could include the giving of antibiotics or blood transfusions, the clamping of the woman’s blood vessels to prevent bleeding, hysterectomies for uterine cancer and, for ectopic pregnancy, the removal of a damaged fallopian tube. Irrespective of the unborn child’s continued presence, the damaged tube or uterus would need to be removed:  an operation which targets the woman’s body alone, and is therefore legitimate, despite its impact on the child.

In short, the Church herself distinguishes between deliberately abortifacient procedures which are aimed at destroying and/or removing a pre-viable child (though in practice they also require a harmful separation of foetal tissues) and procedures which may result in a baby’s death or miscarriage as a genuine side-effect of treatment aimed to help the pregnant woman (in the words of Pius XII) “independently of her pregnant condition”. Foetal removal should not be deliberately intended, any more than foetal death.

Yours etc.,

Anthony McCarthy
Education and Publications Manager,
Society for the Protection of Unborn Children

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

''United Pro Life'' Vigil next Tuesday December 4th at 4.30 outside Dail Eireann;

Ireland’s Taoiseach (Prime Minister) Enda Kenny has appeared to cave in to the incessant demands of the Labour Party to legislate for abortion availability based on the so called “X-case''. It has also been reported that Kenny has told his backbenchers they must vote in favour of the legislation. Despite seriously held views and conscientious objection by many of the major government party deputies there will not be a free vote. 
The whole affair from the appointment of the so called 'Expert group’ to the delivery of its report and the aftermath has been an example of cynical choreography by the abortion lobby and their Government allies to deliver access to abortion.
The Government is now intent on legislating for abortion despite the promises made by Enda Kenny before the last election.

In response to this distressing news all pro-life groups are jointly promoting a pro-life vigil under the banner Unite for Life. There will be no name of any group on the day, just a 'unite for life' vigil and all pro-life people are not only welcome but are encouraged to come and bring their friends. We want to show our politicians that their current strategy is completely unacceptable
Unite for Life Vigil Tue 4th Dec 4.30pm at the Dáil
Please make every effort to attend. This cannot be stressed enough. It will most likely be the only opportunity we get to send a united message to the Government not to introduce abortion. The vigil will have a positive, clear message about safeguarding the lives of mothers and babies in pregnancy. Posters will be provided on the day.

Please, please spread the word to family, friends and anyone you know.
For more details and bus information contact: Claire 0872668702 or Katie 0877020255.
See you @ 4.30pm sharp on Tues 4th.

Please promote this widely and ask your local parish to carry the notice in the blue text in your parish newsletter. Please share with all groups...or other contacts

European Life Network calls for widespread resistance to the pro-abortion agenda of the Irish Government "Expert Group" on Abortion

The report of the expert group is deeply flawed and if implemented would lead to widespread availability of abortion despite the protestations of various politicians. The expert group failed in its duty to consider all possible options by ignoring the possibility of overturning the Supreme Court judgment in the X case.
ELN are in complete accord with the news release by SPUC (Society for the Protection of Unborn Children) which was officially represented in the A, B & C case before the European Court of Human Rights, has called for "widespread resistance" to the report published today by Ireland's Expert Group on abortion. SPUC describes the report's recommendations as "unconstitutional" and "a door to mass abortion on a British scale".
John Smeaton, SPUC's director, commented: 
"The expert group's report is based on the erroneous judgment of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in the A, B & C case. That judgment not only misrepresented the European Convention on Human Rights, but also failed to respect Ireland's national sovereignty by unilaterally misinterpreting the Irish Constitution's protection of the right to life. The case was never about helping women faced with a crisis pregnancy. It was instigated by the international pro-abortion lobby, which has the ultimate aim of forcing governments across the globe to recognise access to abortion as a legal right.
"This report is undemocratic. It fails to suggest as an option consulting the Irish people through a referendum. Conversely, it suggests proposals which the Irish people rejected in the 2002 referendum, namely repealing the ban on abortion in the Offences Against the Person Act 1861. Also, it is an outrageous violation of the consciences of parliamentarians for Enda Kenny to threaten to suspend any Fine Gael TD who will not vote to legislate for abortion. One despairs of politicians like Mr Kenny, who fail to respect basic human rights, such as conscientious objection and the right to life of all members of the human family, including the unborn.
"Any Irish parliamentarian who votes for this report will be giving-in to unelected judges in Strasbourg who have tried to usurp the Irish people's constitutional right to decide on abortion. The Irish Supreme Court ruled that the Irish Constitution trumps the European Convention on Human Rights, because the Convention is not part of Irish law and therefore not directly applicable in Irish cases." (McD. -v- L. & anor, 10 Dec 2009 )

Mr Smeaton continued: "In the A, B & C case, the court confused abortion with healthcare. The Irish Constitution does not confer any right to abortion, nor can the right to life of unborn children be seen as in any competition with their mother's equally inalienable right to life, or with life-affirming healthcare. Ireland has one of the world's best record for maternal health. Abortion does not treat or cure any medical condition.
"Not only is abortion not genuine healthcare, but in Irish law it is a criminal offence. It would be wholly wrong for a criminal offence to be 'regulated'. If the expert group's report is implemented, it would in fact allow abortion in a wide range of circumstances. It would 'medicalise' abortion, introducing structures and procedures which will allow doctors to approve abortions as a matter of routine, then carry them out at designated facilities.
"Once abortion is allowed in one case, there is no compelling logic against allowing abortion in every case."
Mr Smeaton concluded: "We call upon all people of good-will in Ireland, including the Catholic bishops, to back an all-out campaign to defeat - not just amend - any options allowing abortion. This will require widespread resistance to be mobilised. Ireland's politicians should be put on notice that they will lose their seats at the next election if they vote to legislate for abortion."

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Publication of the Report of the Expert Group on Abortion expected imminently

A leaked copy of the report the expert group on abortion appointed by the Irish government was the basis of reports in various Sunday newspapers It is understood that the report, which suggests abortion should be allowed in limited circumstances, will be discussed by the Irish Government today Tuesday 27th Nov.

The reported leaks  claim that the report stipulates that “limited abortion” be available and an appeals process be established for women who are denied an abortion under the laws protecting unborn children.

“Termination  of pregnancy should be considered a medical treatment regardless of whether the risk to the woman arises on physical or mental health grounds,” the leaked report suggests. “In the case of a risk to the mother it must establish criteria or procedures by which a doctor is to assess that risk; and set up an independent review system where a patient disputes her doctor’s refusal to certify that she is entitled to a lawful abortion and where there is a disagreement between doctors as to whether one is necessary.”

“Ultimately, the most politically contentious aspect of the report is likely to be its analysis of whether non-statutory guidelines on the rights of a woman to an abortion in Irish hospitals, or a legislative response, will meet the requirements of the European Court of Human Rights,” it says.

The Society for the Protection of Unborn Children responded to media stories about the leaked report, due for imminent publication, saying it would wrongly open the door to legalized abortions.

John Smeaton, SPUC director, commented: “According to a leaked copy of the report, the so-called experts recommend that ‘termination of pregnancy should be considered a medical treatment regardless of whether the risk to the woman arises on physical or mental health grounds.’”

“If this principle is followed to its logical conclusion, Ireland will end up with a similar abortion regime to Great Britain. Britain’s Abortion Act 1967 is based on the false premise that there are circumstances in which abortion is a clinically-indicated medical treatment, such that abortionists should be automatically exempt from prosecution under the Offences Against the Person Act 1861, under which abortion is a criminal offence,” Smeaton said. “It is no surprise, therefore, that the report calls for the 1861 Act’s provisions on abortion to be removed from Irish law. The Irish people must rise up and demand that the Irish constitution’s ban on abortion be upheld against this report, which is the fruit of the international pro-abortion lobby’s machinations.”

Irish pro-life groups are dismayed at how the death of Savita Halappanavar has been exploited by abortion campaigners and media. The autopsy report on Savita’s death revealed that she died from blood poisoning and E coli ESBL an antibiotic resistant strain of the bacterium.  Despite the wild claims which have had global coverage it has also been suggested that termination of Savita’s pregnancy would not have made any difference to her condition.  It is understood that E Coli ESBL has recently spread throughout the UK causing urinary tract infections which can develop into blood poisoning.

The tragic loss of Savita’s life did not result from Ireland’s pro-life laws, abortion is not part of best medical practice. Doctors are always obliged to intervene to save the life of the mother – even if there is a risk that the medical treatment could result in the unintentional death of her baby.

Friday, November 23, 2012

New HIQA investigation into the death of Savita Halappanavar and Minister James Reilly meets Praveen Halappanavar

It was reported today that Ireland’s Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) has announced it will also investigate the death of Savita Halappanavar.

In a statement this afternoon the independent health watchdog says that it will assess the “safety, quality and standards of services” provided by the Health Service Executive at University Hospital Galway as reflected in the care and treatment of Savita, who died following a miscarriage last month at the hospital.
The HSE is currently investigating the death but this investigation has been mired in controversy with Savita’s husband Praveen Halappanavar refusing to cooperate with it and instead calling for a public inquiry into her death.
It is not yet clear whether he will cooperate with the HIQA inquiry.
In a statement today, the health watchdog said that on foot of a request from the HSE, which was considered by its board this morning, it will now “investigate the safety, quality and standards of services provided by the HSE at University Hospital Galway (UHG) to critically ill patients, including critically ill pregnant women as reflected in the care and treatment provided to Savita Halappanavar”.

The statement continued:
The investigation will assess whether the services provided complied with the National Standards for Safer Better Healthcare and national and international evidence of what is known to achieve best outcomes.
The Authority requested, and received, information from University Hospital Galway and the HSE to ascertain the facts about the tragic case of Savita Halappanavar.
Following consideration of this information, the Board of the Authority has made the decision to instigate this investigation.
The terms of reference and membership of the investigation team will be published when finalised.
As with any investigation undertaken by the Authority, and in the interest of a fair and thorough investigation, the Authority does not envisage making any further public comment until the investigation has concluded. The investigation report, and its recommendations, will be published following the completion of the investigation.

It was also reported that Health Minister James Reilly has held a 45-minute meeting with the husband of Savita Halappanavar and his solicitor in Galway this afternoon in the first contact between the government and Praveen Halappanavar.
The meeting took place at a hotel in Galway this afternoon and lasted around 45 minutes, a spokesperson for Reilly confirmed.

Despite the meeting today Praveen Halappanavar has maintained his call, through his solicitor Gerard O’Donnell, for a full, sworn public inquiry into the death of his wife.

Mr Halappanavar has refused to cooperate with the HSE inquiry set up to examine Savita’s death but it is not yet known whether he will speak with those heading a separate investigation by the health watchdog, the Health Information and Quality Authority, which was announced today.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Savita’s death may have been due to resistant bacteria strain

A very interesting letter from a Cork Doctor appeared in the Irish Examiner on Nov. 20th relating to the tragic death of  Savita Halappanavar. Dr Jim Clair writes, 'Concerning the unfortunate death of Savita Halappanavar, I fear that the main problem is being missed.

The article continues
The Irish media reported last week that this young woman most likely died from septicaemia due to an ESBL E. coli strain.

ESBL, or Extended Spectrum Beta-Lactamase positive gram negative bacteria, are now spreading rapidly within the Irish population.

The significance of these organisms is in the fact that they are resistant to almost all
available antibiotics.

We had a media frenzy over the last decade about MRSA but we had at least ten antibiotics capable of inhibiting this organism.

In contrast we have only a few antibiotics (if we are lucky) active against ESBL positive organisms, and these are third line antibiotics which must be used sparingly.

Deaths have already occurred due to these organisms and the potential for many more deaths is very real. ESBL positive organisms present a far greater threat than MRSA ever did or will.

I feel confident that the doctors in Galway would have followed accepted procedures for dealing with the clinical problems that emerged. When signs of infection first develop, doctors are usually forced to used antibiotics blindly, often with broad spectrum intravenous antibiotics.

The problem with ESBL organisms is that they are very resistant and thus a tragedy can result.

It appears to me that the problem was an unforeseen ESBL infection rather than an issue of obstetric mishandling.

In my experience of over 30 years with clinical antibiotic use, ESBL antibiotic resistance is by far the most worrying development that I have experienced.

The insult to the Irish medical service is added to by the suggestion that the Indian Embassy is upset with the lack of abortion services in Ireland.

This insult is further compounded by the fact the Indian subcontinent has played a major role in the spread of ESBL positive organisms.

If the Minister for Health wants to preserve lives, young and old he would do better to put a lot more resources into monitoring and controlling the spread of ESBL positive bacteria rather than responding to a pressure group who obviously have an ambition to turn our superb obstetricians into little more than paid killers.

Dr J Clair
Co Cork.  EXAMINER. NOV.20

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

John Paul - Ours for a time

In every family there are times of joy and times of sorrow and the question which arises is how do we deal with them. The joy is easy but when it comes to sorrow we can have difficulty facing it.

This is a most beautiful story of one family who were given a diagnosis early in a pregnancy that their baby was not developing properly and suffered from a congenital condition known as anencephaly.

Cliona Johnson describes the devastation she felt in getting the diagnosis and her determination to let her baby, whom she and her husband JP (John Paul) decided to name John Paul, develop and live every minute of the short life he was capable of living.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Statement by the Standing Committee of the Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference on the equal and inalienable right to life of a mother and her unborn child

 At the conclusion of the meeting of the Standing Committee of the Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference in the Columba Centre, Saint Patrick’s College, Maynooth, the following statement was issued:

The death of Mrs Savita Halappanavar and her unborn child in University Hospital Galway on the 28 October last was a devastating personal tragedy for her husband and family. It has stunned our country. We share the anguish and sorrow expressed by so many at the tragic loss of a mother and her baby in these circumstances and we express our sympathy to the family of Mrs Halappanavar and all those affected by these events.
In light of the widespread discussion following the tragic death of Mrs Halappanavar and her unborn baby, we wish to reaffirm some aspects of Catholic moral teaching. These were set out in our recently published Day for Life message on 7 October last, available on :
· The Catholic Church has never taught that the life of a child in the womb should be preferred to that of a mother. By virtue of their common humanity a mother and her unborn baby are both sacred with an equal right to life.
· Where a seriously ill pregnant woman needs medical treatment which may put the life of her baby at risk, such treatments are ethically permissible provided every effort has been made to save the life of both the mother and her baby.
· Whereas abortion is the direct and intentional destruction of an unborn baby and is gravely immoral in all circumstances, this is different from medical treatments which do not directly and intentionally seek to end the life of the unborn baby. Current law and medical guidelines in Ireland allow nurses and doctors in Irish hospitals to apply this vital distinction in practice while upholding the equal right to life of both a mother and her unborn baby.
· Some would claim that the unborn baby is less human or less deserving of life. Advances in genetics and technology make it clear that at fertilisation a new, unique and genetically complete human being comes into existence. From that moment onwards each of us did not grow and develop into a human being, but grew and developed as a human being.
With many other religious and ethical traditions we believe in upholding the equal and inalienable right to life of a mother and her unborn child in our laws and medical practice. This helps to ensure that women and babies receive the highest standard of care and protection during pregnancy. Indeed, international statistics confirm that Ireland, without abortion, remains one of the safest countries in the world in which to be pregnant and to give birth. This is a position that should continue to be cherished and strengthened in the interests of mothers and unborn children in Ireland.
For media contact: Catholic Communications Office Maynooth: Martin Long 00353 (0) 86 172 7678 and Brenda Drumm 00353 (0) 87 310 4444


It is also worth reading John Smeaton's BLOG POST for Thursday last Nov. 15 which sets out Catholic teaching on the issues involved

Monday, November 19, 2012

Cynical exploitation of the tragic death of Savita Halappanavar by pro-abortion campaigners

The Irish Independent reported the disturbing news on Sunday Nov 18th that  abortion campaigners, including two left-wing political researchers in Leinster House (seat of the Irish Parliament), were not only aware of the Savita Halappanavar case at least three days before her death became public knowledge but were cynically strategising on how best to make use of the situation for their own ends.

According to the story pro-choice activists held an emergency meeting last Monday night in Dublin city centre to plan how they would proceed after the details emerged publicly about the death at University Hospital Galway of 31-year-old Mrs Halappanavar, whose death is now the subject of two separate investigations.
The article continues;
Emails seen by the Sunday Independent, from a Google discussion group used by members of the Irish Choice Network (ICN) – an organisation set up to link pro-choice individuals and groups – show they were aware last Sunday, and probably earlier, that a "denial of abortion" story was about to break.

That was three days before the story broke on Wednesday.

The ICN web discussion was sparked by a member, Andrew B, who wrote: "Hi all, there are rumours that a major news story related to denial of abortion access is going to break in the media early this coming week. I don't want to put anything more in an email as the information I have is both fragmentary and complex but I have talked to a few people, some of whom have heard similar details.

"Because of the complexity of the situation it's not obvious how best to proceed so we are calling an emergency meeting of ICN (if that is what we are called, I'm not sure after last Sat) for tomorrow in Seomra Spraoi. We hope by then to have more definite information around which we can make some collective decisions about how to proceed. Apologies if this is all a little mysterious but the reason why I didn't want to put specific details down by email will probably be clear tomorrow.

"I'm sending this out to the list of people who received the planning documents for the Saturday meeting and I'll also post it on the internal forum."

Seomra Spraoi is a small social centre located just off Gardiner Street in Dublin.

Among those who responded to that email was Alison Spillane – co-ordinator of the Irish Feminist Network and a political researcher in the Oireachtas, currently working in the Leinster House office of Deputy Mick Wallace.

In her responding email post on Monday, she wrote: "Thanks for this Andrew – have also heard rumours but details are scant. I can't make this evening's meeting unfortunately but would really appreciate it if notes on any decisions taken could be circulated by email. Have also seen that a protest has been called for this Wednesday at 6pm outside the Dail. I'm sure I'll see some of you there."

When contacted by the Sunday Independent at Mr Wallace's office in Leinster House, Ms Spillane said: "I am not going to give a comment I'm afraid."

Another member of the ICN Google discussion group who responded to Andrew B's email was Stephanie Lord, a political advisor to Sinn Fein who works out of the Leinster House office of Deputy Padraig MacLochlainn, the Sinn Fein spokesman on Justice Equality and Defence.

Ms Lord, a barrister, was also political advisor to Sinn Fein on the Oireachtas Committee on the Constitutional Amendment on Children and is a former policy officer with the party based at their Parnell Square headquarters.

Calls to Ms Lord at Leinster House were not returned.

According to the anti- abortion group The Life Institute, the postings on the ICN Google discussion group suggest that abortion campaigners were given prior knowledge of the circumstances surrounding the death of Mrs Halappanavar.

Spokeswoman for the Life Institute Niamh Ui Bhriain said it was clear that abortion advocates knew about the death of Mrs Halappanavar, which she said they "most distastefully described as a 'major news story'".

She said serious questions now needed to be asked.

"The tragic loss of Savita Halappanavar's life should not be exploited by campaigners. The media and the HSE now needs to ask why this information seems to have been given in advance to abortion advocates," she asked. "Was it given to them by the Irish Times who only broke the news days later, or by someone in the HSE? If so, why?" she asked.

"As we await the investigation into what happened in Galway University Hospital, we need to know if this private patient information was given to campaigners for legalised abortion in Ireland.

"And the very obvious and wholly distasteful desire of abortion advocates to use this story to further their own agenda has now been exposed by this email," said Ms Ui Bhriain.

However, later in an email response to the Sunday Independent, the ICN said: "Members of the Indian community got in touch with pro-choice groups following Savita's death."

They declined to give any further details.

UPDATE European Commission Vacancy: No Christians Need Apply!

We reported last week on the impending appointment of a new EU Commissioner from Malta see article European Commission Vacancy: No Christians NeedApply!

Following a three-hour hearing on Nov. 13 MEPs  have drafted seven pledges for Tonio Borg to commit to. The issue will now come before Parliament for a vote on Wednesday next 21st Nov. See news report from
The Conference of Committee Chairs has yesterday sent an evaluation letter to EP President Martin Schulz concerning the Hearing of Commissioner-designate of Hon. Tonio Borg.

The letter and the full report, including the positions of the ENVI, IMCO and JURI committees of the EP, can be found here.

Tonio Borg will have to deliver a public "unambiguous and full commitment" to seven separate pledges - such as treating all EU citizens equally and support EU policies on women's rights - if he is to be endorsed by a majority of the European Parliament, the chairman of the committee on environment, public health and food safety Matthias Groote MEP said today.

“For Mr Borg to be endorsed by a majority of the House, it is vital that the Commissioner Designate deliver in respect to the following issues and concerns and reaffirm publicly, prior to the final vote in Parliament, his unambiguous an full commitment to:

·      The delivery of the legislative proposal on tobacco products by January 2013
·      The adoption of legislative proposals on animal cloning and novel food by mid-2013
·      The full respect of the March 2013 deadline for the ban on animal testing for cosmetics
·      Better enforcement of EU law in particular on animal transport
·      Fuly respect and abide by the EU charter of fundamental human rights in particular of Articla 21 thereof as well as the EU anti-discrimination legislation and case law
·      Recognising the innate dignity of all Citizens of the EU, regardless of their sexual orientation or distinctions mentioned in Article 21, and to treating as a Commissioner of Health and Consumer Policy and as a member of the College of Commissioners, all citizens of the EU fairly and equally; actively working to address health inequalities and to acting against the stigmatisation of people suffering from HIV/AIDS
·      Actively support EU policies with regards to women’s rights.

“There are substantiated reasons to believe that, if the above pledges are made, a constructive co-operation between the European Parliament and the Commissioner Designate could ensue and that Mr Borg would eventually be able to demonstrate by his actions that the reservations held against him were groundless.”

The Conference of Presidents has also set the date for the vote on Commissioner-designate for Wednesday 21 November at about midday.

The deadline for amendments (time in which groups of MEPs may submit a resolution on the topic) has been set for Tuesday at 9pm.

The vote in the Plenary is now scheduled for next Wednesday, 21 November, in Strasbourg.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Indian Gynaecologist defends Irish doctors in the Savita Halappanavar case

Indian Gynaecologist Hema Divakar defended the Irish doctors for not aborting Savita’s foetus saying that under the circumstances, it may have been equally dangerous to have done the procedure.
See BLOG POST by Big Blue Wave

Explaining the complication Savita found herself in, Dr. Divakar — president-elect of the Federation of Obstetric and Gynaecological Societies of India (FOGSI) for 2013-2014 — told The Hindu on Thursday: “Based on information in the media, in that situation of septicaemia, if the doctors had meddled with the live baby, Savita would have died two days earlier.”

“Delay or refusal to terminate the pregnancy does not in itself seem to be the cause of death. Even if the law permitted it, it is not as if her life would have been saved because of termination,” she said. “Severe septicaemia with disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC), a life-threatening bleeding disorder which is a complication of sepsis, major organ damage and loss of the mother’s blood due to severe infection, is the cause of death in Savita’s case. This is what seems to have happened and this is a sequence which cannot be reversed just by terminating the pregnancy.”

Analysing the situation, Dr. Divakar said: “Based on available information, Savita would have reported pain and infection and doctors would have indicated a miscarriage as the 17-week foetus may not have grown as expected. Its growth would have been deteriorating because of the infection. Having understood that the baby was not going to make it, the couple would have asked for termination. But as Savita’s infection may have required aggressive treatment at that stage, doctors must have felt the need to prevent complications. The usual [practice] is to meddle the least till the mother is stable.”

In other words, in the opinion of this gynecologist, delaying the termination might have been the right thing to do.

See also article in the Bangalore HINDU

HLI statement on the death of Savita Halappanavar

Front Royal, VA – Following is a statement from Father Shenan J. Boquet, president of Human Life International, on the death of Savita Halappanavar, the Indian woman who was allegedly refused an abortion from a Catholic hospital in Ireland.
The staff and pro-life missionaries of Human Life International join those mourning the death of Savita. We pray that God have mercy on her soul and that He will bring peace and healing to her family and friends who have lost a loved one.

But we categorically reject the pro-abortion activist and media effort to use her death for their own cause when very few facts are known about the decisions regarding her treatment. We join Irish Health Minister James Reilly in appealing for people to await the outcome of investigations by the coroner and the Hospital and Health Service Executive. And it needs to be pointed out that according to Mr. Reilly, there is no evidence that a Catholic ethos prevented responsible treatment of Savita, despite some news reports demonizing the Catholic Church’s position on abortion as the sole reason for Savita’s tragic death.

The Church’s position in these difficult cases is always to save both patients – both mother and child. The description of the hospital's response to Savita's condition sounds, at best, incomplete, and at worst, a complete misrepresentation of the response of a hospital that has an exemplary record for maternal health.

We must also ask why it is not time for a national conversation about abortion when a woman dies from having an abortion. In the U.S., it is well known that a young woman named Tonya Reaves died this past July from a botched abortion at a Chicago Planned Parenthood, yet somehow her death did not merit international attention and condemnation despite reports of staggering negligence on the part of Planned Parenthood leading to her death. And yet we are led to believe with this deluge of press surrounding the death of Savita, and with obviously incomplete information, that a Catholic hospital maliciously caused the death of a young mother by not treating her.

This is activism masquerading as compassion and moral outrage. Let us find out what the hospital actually offered for treatment, how things actually proceeded, then let's make our judgment as to the cause of this tragic death. But if we are actually concerned about women's health, we must be just as outraged by those many women harmed or killed every week through legal and illegal abortion around the world. Until then, with the Catholic Church we insist that medical professionals do everything they can to save both mother and child in these difficult situations. Abortion always takes one life and harms another. It saves no one, and it divides communities and nations, as we see again in this tragic episode.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Proposed legal challenge to referendum result

Kathy Sinnott writes
We are working on mounting a challenge to the recent referendum. Ideally we would establish that the result was not valid.

In pursuing a serious legal challenge we can, even if we don't achieve the ideal, at least achieve fairer more balanced referendums in the future, giving us a fighting chance of counter those that are

The government has a string of referendums lined up, anti-sovereignty, anti life, anti-family, anti-democracy, anti-religious It is now obvious that even in the face of a serious threat to children and the family, we can no longer count on an organised, properly funded opposition to mount a NO campaign. Yet we have seen that voters respond given even a minimum of opposition providing true information.

Any challenge to the recent referendum must happen in the next few days.

For this we need:
1. Money.  The referendum petition fee is 5,000 punts and a pro bono legal team will need funds upfront to commission expert opinions to support the legal arguments. These funds must be identified this week if the case is to go ahead. Our request is that people will pledge whatever they can immediately and should the challenge proceed honour those pledges over the next two weeks. Should costs be awarded at the end of the challenge, we hope that donations can be returned.

2. Active participation. Information gathering and analysis, already some of you are gathering evidence and extracting important lessons and patterns from it.

3. Prayers and Support!

Given the McCrystal decision and the strength of the arguments that are emerging, we can challenge the referendum with a reasonable expectation of some level of success. The alternative, not trying, is
to hand over the constitution to government and let them do what they like, when they like, with it.

Please help generously and without delay.

God Bless
Kathy Sinnott

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Tragic death of Savita Halappanavar

London, 14 November 2012: The death of Savita Halappanavar in Ireland is tragic but does not justify allowing abortion, says leading pro-life group the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC)

SPUC was responding to claims that Mrs Halappanavar’s death was due to a hospital's refusal to abort her unborn child by inducing labour. According to reports, Mrs Halappanavar was 17 weeks’ pregnant when she came to the hospital in Galway. She miscarried and later died from septicaemia. The case is currently subject to investigations.

Paul Tully, SPUC’s general secretary, commented: “The full details of this case are not yet known, so we must await the investigations which have been launched before we can make definitive comments. What we do know is that miscarriage and infection can be managed by proper medical treatment. Abortion is not medicine - it does not treat or cure any pathology."
Leading obstetricians with extensive experience in dealing with these situations have found that they can be successfully managed without abortion, while sometimes the pregnancy can be saved. This was recently confirmed at a symposium in Dublin by Dr Byron Calhoun, a US obstetrician

Mr Tully continued: “It is not ethical to induce delivery of an unborn child if there is no prospect of the child surviving outside the womb. At 17 weeks’ pregnancy Mrs Halappanavar’s child was clearly not viable outside the womb, as there is no scientific evidence that unborn children are capable of surviving outside the womb at such a young age. Rather than removing the protection of the womb from unborn children, the ethical response to emergency situations in pregnancy is medical treatment of the mother for the conditions causing the emergency. In the case of infection, this is usually timely administration of antibiotics. It is also not ethical to end the life of an unborn child, via induction or any other means, where the child is terminally-ill.”

"We do not oppose medical treatment which is necessary for the mother and targets her own body but may have an adverse side-effect on the baby such as unintended death/miscarriage,  provided this is truly unintended and proportionate to the threat to the mother."

Mr Tully added: “What is rarely reported are the many cases of women who have died from infection or other causes because of supposedly safe and legal abortions. Manon Jones, Jessie-Maye Barlow and Emma Beck would all be alive today if they had not been subjected to abortions in Britain. The Republic of Ireland has the world’s best record in maternal health, without recourse to abortion. By contrast, Great Britain and the United States, with their high abortion rates, have poor maternal health records. It is therefore entirely spurious to argue that Ireland should legislate for abortion in order to save women’s lives.”

Paul Tully, SPUC’s general secretary, can be contacted on mobile +44 (0)7964 048373 or direct dial landline +44 (0)20 7820 3127. SPUC's communications department can be contacted on:
mobile +44 (0)7939 177683
direct dial landline: +44 (0)20 7820 3129
Twitter: @spucprolife

The State of Catholicism

Given the level of debate we have had here in Ireland on social issues such as childrens' rights, same sex marriage, abortion, assisted suicide and euthanasia one of the underlying issues that arises, the question which must be asked is, what is the state of Catholicism in Ireland?

There has been a significant change in Irish society and a move away from the understanding of human rights based on natural law to a rights based approach which is termed liberalism but is in reality a socialistic positivism and it portrays an individualistic hedonism

This video of an interview of Michael Voris by Canadian talk show host Michael Coren is of major significance not just for the United States and Canada but for Ireland and indeed for the entire Catholic Church
The Voris website was originally named Real Catholic TV but has recently been renamed Church Militant TV.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

WRWF's Reggie Littlejohn Presents at European Parliament

BRUSSELS, Nov. 8, 2012–Women’s Rights Without Frontiers President Reggie Littlejohn co-presented the feature-length documentary, “It’s a Girl,” at the European Parliament, together with the film’s director, Evan Grae-Davis. Littlejohn is featured as an expert on China’s One Child Policy in this powerful new documentary exposing gendercide and forced abortion. The event, hosted by MEP Gay Mitchell packed the auditorium.

According to one UN expert, up to 200 million women are missing in the world today due to the sex-selective abortion of baby girls. In China, moreover, the government forcibly aborts women who become pregnant in violation of the One Child Policy, up to the ninth month of pregnancy.

In response to a question about what the European Parliament can do to address this violence against women, Littlejohn raised the issue of the funding of UNFPA and International Planned Parenthood (IPPF).

Littlejohn praised the European Parliament for recently passing a resolution that “strongly condemns . . . the practice of forced abortions and sterilizations globally, especially in the context of the one-child policy.” The resolution further states that “the EU has provided, and still provides, funds for organizations involved in family planning policies in China,” and “urges the Commission to ensure that its funding of projects does not breach” the European Parliament’s commitment against coercive population control.

Littlejohn stated, “It is significant that the European Parliament has urged the Commission to ensure that this funding is not associated with coercion. For decades, the UNFPA and International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) have worked hand in hand with the Chinese population control machine, which is coercive. They are funded by many nations, not only in Europe but the world over, including the United States. I have no doubt that any unbiased investigation by the European Parliament or any other governmental body will reveal that these organizations are complicit with coercive family planning in China.”

In addition, Women’s Rights Without Frontiers just launched a campaign to end gendercide and forced abortion in China. Littlejohn said, “We are saving lives in China, one baby girl at a time.” WRWF’s “Save a Girl” campaign has been adopted by the “It’s a Girl” film as its official Action Plan for China. End Gendercide and Forced Abortion in China

Check out how you can see the “It’s a Girl” film

Monday, November 12, 2012

Referendum outcome: Kathy Sinnott calls for Frances Fitzgerald to resign

The children’s rights amendment to the Irish Constitution was passed with 57.4 per cent of people voting for the amendment and 42.6 per cent voting No.

In one of the lowest referendum turnouts on record just 33.49 per cent of the 3.1 million people eligible to vote cast their ballots.

The Irish Times reports that, former MEP Kathy Sinnott, in a reaction to the result, called for the resignation of Minister for Children Frances Fitzgerald.
“The amount of people voting No shows that the leadership in this country is out of touch. Heads should roll after this. Frances Fitzgerald’s position is untenable,” she said. “I am disappointed the referendum was carried yet it was a magnificent No vote. People realised the State had misinformed them and felt uneasy about the referendum.

“There was no real information given about it and the debate surrounding it was left too late in the day. Considering all the major political parties called for a Yes vote, the amount of people that voted No was significant,” she added. Ms Sinnott said she hoped the result of the referendum would be challenged. “I hope there is a voter out there who is willing to take the challenge. I will help them in any way I can. This referendum is unsafe in legal terms because the result does not represent a fair choice on behalf of the people. Rules were broken by the Government and they spent our money on a one sided and misinformed campaign to ensure a Yes vote.”
Another prominent No campaigner John Waters said 42 per cent of people voting no was a “fantastic achievement”.

“I’m very disappointed that we didn’t defeat the Government on this but the significant number of people who voted no was a great achievement for the No side,” he said.

“There are grounds for challenge to this decision and I hope that someone does challenge it,” he added.
Speaking at the count centre in Dublin Castle yesterday, solicitor Malachy Steenson said a challenge to the referendum was “up for discussion.”

Saturday, November 10, 2012

European Commission Vacancy: No Christians Need Apply!

European Dignity Watch reports on a new attack against Christianity at the highest levels in Europe and is similar to the attack, which resulted in Rocco Buttligione from Italy being denied a Commissioner-ship some years ago.

Dr. Tonio Borg, currently Malta’s Foreign Minister, is his country’s nominee for the European Commission’s Health and Consumer Policy portfolio, a post recently vacated by John Dalli. With academic qualifications in administrative and human rights law, and decades of experience in his country’s Justice and Home Affairs Ministries, Dr. Borg is an ideal nominee. Dr. Borg is also a catholic Christian and, because of this, a coordinated campaign opposing his nomination is in full force.

On 13 November, a three hours hearing of the nominated Commissioner will take place at the European Parliament. Parliament has a quasi veto on the confirmations of new commissioners. Under normal circumstances, there would be no reason for Parliament to doubt the nominee’s suitability for the post.

But for weeks, a coalition of special interest groups and NGOs have been mounting an aggressive negative campaign against Dr. Borg.

In articles, blog-posts and tweets, his critics— first and foremost the European Humanist Federation, the International Planned Parenthood Federation, and the International Lesbian and Gay Association (ILGA)—have focused their attacks on Dr. Borg’s Christian faith and his personal views on issues like abortion, same-sex ‘marriage’ and divorce.

None of these fall under EU competence or have anything to do with the portfolio Dr. Borg would inherit if confirmed. And yet, his opponents, disrespectful of the principle of subsidiarity enshrined in the EU treaties, claim that these are not ‘European values’. They even go as far as to assert that he has ‘extremist values’.

In other words, according to these vocal lobby groups, simply holding Christian beliefs on social issues is a sign of ‘extremism’.

This would have certainly surprised the ‘founding fathers’ of European integration, many of whom were devout Christians who based the European project on Christian principles such as solidarity, subsidiarity and human dignity.

The vast majority of European citizens today are Christians. To portray Christianity as ‘extremism’ is hateful and intolerant propaganda, much of it disseminated by various NGOs who hold themselves rather extreme views of a minority of radical secularists, abortion and LGBT advocates. But the message of their saber-rattling in the lead-up to the hearing is clear: European values are not Christian values—and Christian values are incompatible with European values.

There is a fundamental arrogance in the assertion made by Dr. Borg’s opponents that only views closely aligned with their own can be considered ‘truly European’—that their secularist, pro-abortion, pro-gay marriage and anti-Christian agenda is ‘more European’ than mainstream views. This campaign is not about having a public debate on European values, it is about denying a qualified person to hold a high-ranking office in the EU because he is a Christian.

The simple fact is that these groups are trying to use the veil of ‘European values’ to advance their own radical agenda. These groups seem to have forgotten the Preamble of the EU’s Charter of Fundamental Rights, which speaks of “respecting the diversity of the cultures and traditions of the peoples of Europe.” It also explicitly recognises Europe’s “spiritual and moral heritage”, of which Dr. Borg is a dignified exponent.

Amid all the accusations, Dr. Borg’s critics continue to ignore Annex XVII of Parliament’s own Rules of Procedure, which stipulates that European commissioners are to be designated solely on the basis of their competence and knowledge of their prospective portfolio. Dr. Borg’s personal beliefs thus should not and cannot be used to evaluate his suitability for the post.

In the days leading up to Tuesday’s hearing, the MEPs on the interviewing committees ought to consider very carefully whether they will be guided by these Rules of Procedure and the broader, democratic ideals of the EU—including religious liberty, as well as freedom of thought and expression—or whether they will simply allow themselves to be cowed by radical special interests and well-funded lobby groups, which hold views that are not representative of the majority of Europeans.

Furthermore, it should be a matter of great public concern that some of the NGOs seeking to classify Dr. Borg’s Christian values as “un-European” are funded by the European Commission itself—such as ILGA Europe, which receives 70% of its annual budget from the EU.

Every year the European Parliament presents its Sakharov Prize to a defender of freedom of thought in the world. Surely, it must be consistent and defend such freedom in its own house as well. Elsewise, the very credibility of the European Parliament is at stake.

Dr. Borg’s values are certainly consistent with the European values embodied in the Charter of Fundamental Rights. All the vicious, intolerant and hateful attacks made against him should be seen for what they are—a smokescreen behind which radical special interest groups are trying to advance their agenda.