Friday, June 28, 2013

Human Life International (HLI) commentary on Ireland's co called Protection of Life during Pregnancy Bill

Human Life International President Father Shenan J. Boquet has published a very incisive article on Ireland’s proposed abortion legislation. The article is reprinted in full below and the original is accessible on this link.
This is how crazy the situation has become in Ireland. The abortion bill that is nearing a vote on the Emerald Isle is being pushed by politicians who promised not to do what they are now doing. OK, maybe this is not shocking anymore. But the bill is being sold as necessary to save the lives of pregnant women who are suicidal, even though so far none of the psychiatrists called to testify at the Irish hearings can say under oath that abortion was needed to save the life of a suicidal woman. Plus, many studies have shown that women who have had abortions are much more likely to commit suicide than women who have not had them.

Priscilla Coleman’s 2011 review of scientific literature demonstrated the following:

Overall, women with an abortion history experience an 81% increased risk for mental health problems. The results showed that the level of increased risk associated with abortion varies from 34% to 230% depending on the nature of the outcome. Separate effects were calculated based on the type of mental health outcome with the results revealing the following: the increased risk for anxiety disorders was 34%; for depression it was 37%; for alcohol use/abuse it was 110%, for marijuana use/abuse it was 220%, and for suicide behaviors it was 155%.

So the proposed bill, called the Protection of Life during Pregnancy Bill, isn’t actually designed to protect a single life during pregnancy. It is designed to destroy life. As some Irish politicians who support the bill have admitted, it is only intended as the opening to abortion on demand. This is obvious, of course, but still it helps when pro-abortion pols admit it. It is possible that all a woman will have to do if this bill becomes law is claim – after being coached by counselors or nursing staff on what to say — that she is considering suicide, and she can therefore bypass all restrictions on abortion, at any point in her pregnancy.

All this, supposedly to protect the lives of pregnant women, in a nation whose maternal mortality rates are among the very lowest – that is, the best – in the world.

It is tempting, and perhaps not even unfair, to ask, ‘What is happening to Ireland?’ But it’s hard to throw that rock from the glass house of America. The same thing is happening in Ireland that has long been happening here — we have ceded control of our nations to radicals who could genuinely care less about what the majority of the nation’s citizens think. These people think that abortion, despite truckloads of evidence to the contrary, is a boon for women’s health, and that it is a human right.

I always want to sit these people down and ask them a question: Can you name another supposed “human right” that, 40 years after it had been won, was actually opposed by many thousands of people who had exercised that right? Can you name just one such “right?” How many freed slaves dedicated their lives to reinstate slavery? How many women who won the right to vote in the United States in 1920 turned around after a couple decades and said that they should never have been allowed to vote?

The fact is that there is no such thing as a right to abortion. That the pro-life movement is now led by many women who have had abortions, and who will make any sacrifice to stop other women from making the same mistake, is a testimony to this fact.

So the deceivers in Ireland who are pretending that the proposed bill is about saving lives have been exposed. It isn’t about saving lives, it is about taking lives in the name of a false “right.”

Ireland has avoided the legalization of abortion for decades while maintaining its reputation as one of the safest places in the world to give birth, but that has not stopped British, European and American billionaires from pouring money into Irish “human rights” groups to reverse this law. And now they are very close to achieving their goal.

If I sound angry that’s because I am angry. I am just returning from Mexico City, where I met with other pro-life leaders, clergy and seminarians. Six years ago this city suffered a similar onslaught of foreign interference, legalizing abortion over the objections of the majority of the citizens of the Federal District of Mexico. Almost immediately movements sprung up in other Mexican states to revise their constitutions to prevent this from happening, and most of these succeeded. As we have seen in other nations where abortion is legalized under false pretenses, what follows is not greater peace and prosperity, but more pitched political battles and corruption.

And, more and more, we see governments willing to crush other basic rights to preserve the false rights that have been adopted. We see the rights to free speech and freedom of religion trampled so that our overlords and their allies do not have to hear a voice of dissent, and we see the fundamental institutions of family, Church and citizens groups attacked so that there will be no resistance.

This isn’t peace and justice that is being promoted, and it is not progress. It is war and injustice, especially for those millions of children who suffer violent deaths, and for women who are sold a false way to supposed liberation, only to suffer terribly.

Please pray for Ireland, for Mexico, and for your own nation. This is by no means over, and as we act, we must do so in accordance with the will of God, which requires our prayerful attention to his voice in our lives.

Here in the United States we can today join with our bishops in this second Fortnight for Freedom. Let’s get the word out far and wide — we need prayer and the kind of action that is informed by prayer if we are going to turn this around. 
Father Shenan J. Boquet is the president of Human Life International, the world’s largest international pro-life and pro-family organization.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Trouble in the Labour Party

Labour TD and Party Chairman Colm Keaveney yesterday resigned both his chairmanship and membership of the Labour Party citing a situation which he said “is increasingly like a political charade”.
Meanwhile the Journal has also reported that a Labour Party councillor has said he is resigning from the party over its stance on abortion. Galway councillor Shaun Cunniffe said he believes the upcoming legislation on the X Case judgment will open the doors to “social abortion” and that the Oireachtas hearings on the issue were “undemocratic”.

Galway East TD Keaveney according to the Journal report issued a detailed statement confirming earlier reports that he intended to resign his position six months after voting against the Budget and amid increasing tension between him and the Labour leadership.

Keaveney had refused to relinquish the chairmanship of the party despite being outside the parliamentary whip since voting against the Budget and had also publicly differed with the party’s position on a number of issues including the Protection of Life during Pregnancy Bill.

His resignation makes him the second Labour TD to quit the party in less than a week after Patrick Nulty’s resignation last Friday.

This will fuel speculation that the newly independent TDs and other Labour dissidents including former minister Róisín Shortall could form a new party.

In a statement today Keaveney said that cuts to Special Needs Assistants, resource hours and the mobility allowances are part of a “consistent approach” by the government where, he claims, “those groups least able to defend themselves are targeted for decisive action, while powerful vested interests are left untouched”.

“Unfortunately I can no longer go along with what is increasingly like a political charade,” he said.

    “We promise one thing then do another and blame it on someone else.  The members must accept what they are given and the leadership will tolerate no dissent.”

He said he feels “alienated” from the leadership of the party as a result of the policies it is pursuing in coalition government and said he no longer feels welcome by them.

“I am in no doubt that my presence is no longer welcome by them. A party cannot function on that basis,” he said.

    “It is with a heavy heart that I am forced to reach the only decision I believe is honourable and resign as Chair of the Labour party and from the Labour party itself.”

Keaveney has recently come out against the proposed abortion legislation citing concerns with the lack of term limits in the bill. He apologised to party members for this but said he had genuine concerns about the law.

“Labour is a pro-choice party and I never had a difficulty with that until it came to considering the recent legislation,” he said.

    However, I believe it is right to question all legislation in order to ensure that what we deliver is just and workable. I hope that all can appreciate that my approach is honest and made with the best of intentions even if they disagree.

Keaveney said he intends to continue in his role as a TD for Galway East and took aim at Cabinet ministers from the Labour Party, saying: “I will not breach the contract that they [constituents] made with me just for the sake of staying in a position.

    “Too many at the cabinet table are willing to trade what they held dear for one more hour in the sun.”

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

There is no legal requirement for suicide exemptions

Very important article by Maria Cahill that appeared in the Sunday Business Post 23-06-2013.
Although the European Court of Human Rights specifically requested that Ireland provide legal clarity in relation to lawful medical treatments in pregnancy, the political rhetoric surrounding the introduction of the Protection of Life during Pregnancy Bill has been a model of legal obfuscation.
The government has been keen to emphasise that it is obliged to legislate to introduce abortion on the grounds of suicidal intent, and both the Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, and the Minister for Health, James Reilly, have, on countless occasions, presented this 'obligation' as deriving from law: from the Constitution, the European Court of Human Rights or the Supreme Court.
As long as this political rhetoric about legal obligation holds sway, frank debate about the terms and merits of the legislation is almost impossible. Indeed, so long as this political rhetoric is unchallenged, there is no necessity for the minister to present the legislation as medically justifiable and legally legitimate; he can simply say that he has no choice.
Is the government constitutionally obliged to legislate for a Supreme Court judgment? No, as a matter of law. The Constitution gives permission to the Dáil and the Seanad to legislate, rather than imposing such an obligation on them. There are examples dating all the way back to 1965 of the court establishing that various rights exist, only to have 14 successive governments decline, in the lawful exercise of their discretion, to legislate to provide an express statutory footing for these rights.
The only constitutional obligation is that legislation must remain within the terms of the Constitution. In this instance, the right to life protected in Article 40.3.3 must be fully vindicated.
Is the government legally obliged to legislate for a suicide-based exemption from the right to life because of the European Court of Human Rights ruling in the case of ABC v Ireland? No, as a matter of law. The rules of the committee of ministers require that Ireland should adopt measures that are "effective for preventing the recurrence" of the breach that was found in the case of ABC v. Ireland.
Applicant C, following an internet search, diagnosed that her cancer might return during her pregnancy, and then went to England to have an abortion. She was not suicidal. A suicidebased exemption from the right to life would not have clarified her legal position at all.
Apart from the fact that the Oireachtas is under no constitutional obligation to legislate for the X case, is a future court bound by that precedent to allow suicide-based exemptions from the right to life? No, as a matter of law. The X case is in a separate category of judicial decisions because of what it did not decide. As every first-year law student learns, a precedent is only binding in relation to the points that were decided in the case. All the points that were “entirely overlooked or conceded without argument" are not part of the decision, as the Supreme Court itself ruled in 1965. If a point is not argued before the judge, the judge cannot make a decision on that point, and there is therefore no precedent on that point. If it were to be otherwise - if precedents could be made based on what the judges did not decide in court - then we would not be living under the rule of law.
In the X case, the attorney general did not contest whether abortion was an appropriate treatment for suicidality. That is why neither the High Court nor the Supreme Court heard any legal arguments or medical evidence on the question of whether suicidality should be treated by abortion. The point was entirely overlooked or conceded without argument and therefore, according to the Supreme Court, no precedent exists on that point.
Is the X case the most recent legal decision in the area of suicidebased exemptions from law? No, as a matter of law. In 2006, the Cosma case concerned a woman who threatened to commit suicide if she were deported. The High Court based its ruling on the test of "real and substantial risk" determined in the X case, but developed that test in important ways. First, it required that the risk should be demonstrated in the context of an ongoing psychiatric relationship where the patient would receive counselling and all psychiatric treatment that she needed. Second, it held that she should demonstrate that all other avenues for treating her suicidality should have been thoroughly considered before concluding that revoking the deportation order was necessary.
Moreover, the court ruled that the Minister for Justice was entitled to take into account the 'floodgates' argument and to refuse to quash the deportation order because other people might abuse a suicidebased exemption. The minister had argued that allowing suicide-based exemptions would open "a Pandora's box" with the effect of "paralysing" the operation of the rule of law in general. The concept of suicide-based exemptions from law is a new one in the Irish legal system and it warrants careful consideration. There are many cases, like the Cosma case, where people have presented psychiatric evidence regarding their suicidal ideation because of a deportation order or a European arrest warrant; should they now be granted exemptions by the courts?
There are also many unfortunate instances of Irish people who are suicidal because of crippling financial constraints; should they also be granted suicide-based exemptions from making mortgage repayments or paying taxes? Before embarking on this entirely novel approach to legislative obligation, shouldn't we ask the question whether there is psychiatric evidence supporting suicide-based exemptions from law as an effective way of treating suicidality?
The legal reality is that there is no obligation on the government deriving from the Constitution or from the European Court of Human Rights or from the Supreme Court to propose legislation for a suicidebased exemption from the right to life. When we hold to that legal reality, we can then begin to debate the real question: is it just to propose that the right to life of one person can be denied if another threatens to commit suicide due to the very existence of that first person? This is the question that should be discussed in Dáil Eireann this week.

Dr Maria Cahill is a lecturer in constitutional law in University College, Cork, and was invited by the Oireachtas health committee to give evidence at the hearings on the heads of the bill in May

Promotional Video by Michael Voris for July 6th pro-life rally in Dublin

Promotional Video by Michael Voris for July 6th pro-life rally in Dublin

Please come and persuade  all your friends to join you time is short and the stakes are high
The stakes involve the life or death of the most innocent, the most vulnerable of human beings, the baby in the womb.
As a nation we have rejected the death penalty, why does our Government now wish to reintroduce it for the most vulnerable, the voiceless?
We must be their voices, we must not let this happen, we must stand up and be counted


Tuesday, June 25, 2013


European Centre for Law and Justice ECLJ director Grégor Puppinck writes on the subject of a resolution on sexual orientation to be discussed by the Council of Europe on Thursday June 27th
On June 27th, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE Strasbourg) “Tackling discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation andgender identity” (Doc. 13223) submitted by the socialist Norwegian deputy Håkon Haugli. This document is primarily intended to reinforce the prevention and repression of social hostility towards homosexuality (homophobia) in order to change mentalities, policies and legislation.
will discuss a draft resolution and recommendation entitled
The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe is composed of representatives of the national parliaments of the 47 member States of the Council of Europe (including a French delegation). One of its functions is the adoption of resolutions and political recommendations for the States. The Council of Europe has set the promotion of “LGBT” rights as a political priority. It has adopted a text of reference in this matter (PACE Resolution1728/2010 and Recommendation 2010/05 of the Committee of Ministers) and created in its bosom an “LGBT Unit” whose mission is to ensure, promote and supervisethe implementation of these resolutions and recommendations.
While the texts previously adopted by the Council of Europe promoted equal rights, the draft Resolution and Recommendation to be discussed on June 27th focuses on social equality.  A major change of mentality must occur in order for the tackling of discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity. The array of resources recommended are vast: beginning with the recommendation of public figures to participate in gay pride, to the strengthening of the repression of homophobic speeches and acts, through the organization of “public campaigns on equality and diversity” and finally to the training of State officials in this policy.  Echoing the policy of the current French government in tackling gender stereotypes in schools, the text invites States to support and initiate projects of “prevention” of homophobia and transphobia by “address[ing] to and involving students, teachers and school staff.”
Regarding “homophobic speech,” the draft resolution requests that it be called “hate speech” and punished more harshly as such, while also recognizing that “there is no universally accepted definition of the expression “hate speech” (§ 61). This creates uncertainty in regards to the limitations of freedom of expression which this concept could itself justify (similar to the concept of Islamophobia).
More specifically, the text of Håkon Haugli forcibly condemns and calls for a “repeal” of the Russian laws on the “propaganda of homosexuality amongst minors” and similar laws adopted or under discussion in the Ukraineand Moldova. These laws prohibit “propaganda of same-sex relationships aimed at children,” that is to say the promotion, including through the media, of “propaganda of homosexuality, lesbianism, bisexualism and transgenderness amongst minors.” Mr. Haugli can build on the Commission of Venice, a body of expertise from the Council of Europe, which rendered on June 18, 2013 an opinion that, after an analysis of these laws, condemned their application and requested their repeal (Opinion 707/2012 – CDL-AD (2013) 022). This opinion, noting that homosexuality is a sexual orientation protected on the same terms as heterosexuality which stresses in particular that of “‘public morality” [i.e.] the values and traditions including religion of the majority and ‘protection of minors’” that are invoked byRussia, can not justify these laws (§ 78). According to this opinion, the only acceptable prohibition is limited to sexually explicit and obscene contents, regardless of sexual orientation.
If, on the one hand, the report lamented “a worrying setback” of LGBT rights in Eastern Europe, it congratulated on the other a “significant progress” in other countries where there exists “the recognition or strengthening of rights for LGBTs in the areas of adoption, civil partnership and marriage, and the introduction of stronger measures against homophobic and transphobic speech and violence.”(Para. 95) In fact, this cultural divide is increasing in proportion as the West becomes more libertarian andEastern Europetries on the contrary to reconstruct itself culturally. The Council of Europe is one of the first victims of this cultural divide because, as rooted inWestern Europe, it is no longer able to bring about unity amongst its 47 member states regarding these social issues. Increasingly, it oscillates between paralysis and the struggle for power. Where as the spirit of consensus long ruled, as in the Committee of Ministers and in the European Court of Human Rights, division and confrontation are now present, extending between radically divergent positions. Russian law on the protection of minors serves as an example of this hostile spirit in that it is the exact opposite of the French policy against gender stereotypes in schools.
This East-West divide, replicated itself in a second cultural division within every country in the West. The French social movement born around the “Manif pour Tous,” by its size and politico-cultural dimension, indicate that Francehas not completely acquired a libertarian mentality. Because of its size, it fits inline with recent major social movements (colored revolutions, Arab Spring, Spanish and Greek Indignados) but with a message of cultural overhaul rather than revolution. The role of European institutions and of the drafted resolution must be understood in this context of cultural conflict. Håkon Haugli in his report illustrates this cultural conflict, stating that “[i]n Ukraine, adopting a comprehensive anti-discrimination law [thus including non-discrimination based on sexual orientation] is part of the conditions that the European Union has set for the conclusion of an association agreement.”
Because the “LGBT issue” specifically targets the definition of individual freedom more specifically in the link between nature and culture, it has become a symbol of a profound cultural conflict permanently dividingEurope. Far from the ideal of the founding fathers of the Council of Europe, the European “spiritual and moral values” are again in crisis and are overshadowed by the power struggle.

Monday, June 24, 2013

All-Ireland Rally for Life : July 6th GARDEN OF REMEMBRANCE, DUBLIN

The next major pro-life demonstration in Ireland, the RALLY FOR LIFE will be held on Saturday July 6th at 2.00 PM commencing at the Garden of Remembrance Parnell Square Dublin 1

Buses are being organised from different parts of the Ireland North and South. Please ring BELFAST on 028 90278484 or DUBLIN on 01 8730463 for details on a bus from your area.

The government’s Bill would if passed will legalise abortion in Ireland until birth on suicide grounds and will permit abortion on other grounds too. But opposition to the Bill is growing every day.

Some TDs are listening to the huge crowds gathering in Dublin, and to the opposition in their constituencies from ordinary voters to this cruel and unacceptable Bill, others though are simply ignoring the pleas of the thousands of voters who have already demonstrated their objections to this anti life measure because they have accepted the pro-abortion propaganda being spewed out by the media and the abortion campaigners, but they do so at the peril of losing their seats at the next election.

Now the countdown is on to the Rally for Life - which has been arranged to take place at a crucial time as the Draft Bill is being debated by TDs.

Please be there and help to make this crucially important event as impactful as possible - as we stand UNITED for Life.

Friday, June 21, 2013

New Opinion Poll shows strong support for a free vote on abortion and for a referendum rather than the currently proposed Government legislation

An opinion poll carried out by Amárach Research on behalf of the Life Institute and Family and Life shows that the vast majority of Irish voters believe Taoiseach Enda Kenny is wrong to try to force pro-life TDs and Senators to vote for his abortion legislation It also shows that  86 per cent of voters would prefer to see the abortion issue resolved by popular referendum than by the politicians in Leinster House. A similar proportion believe that if legislators are to decide the issue they should be allowed a free vote. See reports by LifeInstitute and Irish Catholic.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has repeatedly insisted that his Fine Gael colleagues will not be allowed to vote according to their consciences. It is clear from the poll results that this autocratic style of leadership is not favoured by Fine Gael voters, among whom support for a free vote is exceptionally high at 74 per cent. Support for a free vote is strongest among Fianna Fáil voters at 85 per cent.

Niamh Ui Bhriain of the Life Institute said that the poll showed that TDs such as Peter Mathews were more in tune with the public mood than the Cabinet, and that the public did not agree with the bullying attitude of party leaders towards conscience-based objection to the legislation.

Mr Kenny, however, remains adamant that a three line whip will apply and that anyone who votes against the government will be expelled from the Fine Geal parliamentary party. Minister for Finance Michael Noonan said at the weekend, “We don’t give free votes and everybody, when they decided to become a Fine Gael candidate, signs a pledge that they will vote with the party and that’s our system.” He made no mention of the fact that before the last election Fine Gael candidates also pledged not to legislate for abortion.

The poll also found strong support for the idea of resolving the abortion issue by way of a referendum (86 per cent, excluding don’t knows). A new generation has grown up since the last abortion referendum, yet our focus groups revealed continuing interest and engagement in the issue among young people as well as old. Preference for a referendum is actually higher among under-35s (92 per cent) than over-35s (82 per cent). Women are more likely than men to prefer a referendum, and support is strongest among Fianna Fáil voters (90%).

When it comes to the issue of voting intentions, a substantial 58pc of Fianna Fáil supporters say they would be less likely to support a TD in a future election who voted in favour of abortion in the Dáil division on the issue. For Fine Gael voters, a significant minority of 43pc of supporters said they would be less likely to support a candidate in favour of the legislation and 34pc of Sinn Féin voters agreed that they’d be less likely to support party TDs who back abortion. Just 16pc of Labour supporters and 29pc of Independent supporters said a candidates’ support for abortion would make them less likely to vote to re-elect that candidate.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Nearly half a million new sexual infections in 2012 in the UK

According to a new report sexually transmitted infections are still rising in the UK. This is not surprising bearing in mind that public policy and comprehensive sexual education programmes are not only unhelpful but are a substantial part of the cause.
According to the report based on PHE data;
New sexually transmitted infection diagnoses rose 5% in 2012, however rather than facing the truth and making drastic changes to public policy such as the introduction of education that encourages abstinence based programmes for singles and faithfulness in marriage the PHE claim that the increased numbers are mostly due to improved data collection and their resultant recommendations centre around safer condom use. 
New sexually transmitted infection (STI) diagnoses rose 5% in 2012 (up to 448,422 from 428,255 in 2011) according to Public Health England (PHE) data published today (5 June, 2013), mostly due to improved data collection. However, the continuing high STI rates in England suggest too many people are still putting themselves at risk through unsafe sex, especially young adults and men who have sex with men (MSM).

Chlamydia remained the most commonly diagnosed STI (206,912; 46%), but considerable numbers of genital warts (73,893; 16%) and genital herpes (32,021; 7%) cases were also reported last year. New gonorrhoea diagnoses rose 21% overall (from 21,024 in 2011 to 25,525 in 2012), and by 37% in the MSM population (to 10,754).

High gonorrhoea transmission rates are concerning as the global threat of antibiotic resistance grows. Ensuring treatment resistant strains of gonorrhoea do not persist and spread remains a public health priority, and the Gonorrhoea Resistance Action Plan for England and Wales was launched by PHE to help tackle this threat in early 2013.

Those aged under 25 experienced the highest STI rates, contributing 64% chlamydia and 54% of genital warts diagnoses in heterosexuals in 2012. Young adults are advised to test for chlamydia annually or on change of sexual partner, as part of the National Chlamydia Screening Programme to control the infection and its complications. In 2012, over 1.7 million chlamydia tests were undertaken and over 136,000 diagnoses made.

Dr Gwenda Hughes, PHE head of STI surveillance, said,

There have been significant improvements in screening in recent years, particularly for gonorrhoea and chlamydia among young adults and men who have sex with men, so we are diagnosing and treating more infections than ever before.

However, these data show too many people are continuing to have unsafe sex, put themselves at risk of STIs and the serious consequences associated with infection, including infertility. Ongoing investment in programmes to increase sexual health awareness, condom use and testing, particularly for groups at most risk, is vital.

We must also ensure chlamydia screening remains widely available. Local authorities should continue to integrate chlamydia screening into broader health services for young adults. This will also help this age group develop positive relationships with services, enabling them to develop and maintain good sexual health throughout their lives.

Professor Kevin Fenton, PHE director of health and wellbeing, said,

Public Health England welcomed the Department of Health’s ‘Framework for Sexual Health Improvement in England’ published earlier this year, setting out a range of ambitions. We are committed to improving the nation’s sexual health, with a focus on the groups most at risk, and will provide local authorities and clinical commissioning groups with data on local health needs, coupled with evidence-based advice on STI prevention and sexual health promotion approaches, to improve risk awareness and encourage safer sexual behaviours.

Getting screened for HIV and STIs can lead to early diagnosis and treatment, as often these infections have no symptoms. In addition, reducing the number of sexual partners and avoiding overlapping sexual relationships can reduce the risk of being infected with an STI.
According to the report
Individuals can also significantly reduce their risk of catching or passing on an STI by:

Always using a condom when having sex with casual and new partners.
Getting tested regularly if in one of the highest risk groups:
Sexually active under 25 year olds should be screened for chlamydia every year, and on change of sexual partner.
MSM having unprotected sex with casual or new partners should have an HIV/STI screen at least annually, and every three months if changing partners regularly.
What they fail to appreciate is that more of the same advice will produce more of the same results when will they ever learn

Maternal and Neonatal Health Better in Ireland Than in Great Britain, Reports the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons

Globe Newswire reports on a newly released study which underlines the fact that Ireland without abortion has one of the lowest maternal mortality levels in the world being about half of that in England and Wales.

Comparing national health data over a period of 40 years shows better maternal and neonatal outcomes in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, where abortion is illegal or highly restricted, than in Great Britain, where abortion has been legal since 1968, according to an article in the summer issue of the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons.

Researchers Byron C. Calhoun, M.D., of West Virginia University-Charleston, John M. Thorp, M.D., of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and Patrick Carroll, M.A., of Britain's Pension and Population Research Institute (PAPRI) examined maternal mortality, stillbirth rates, and preterm births.

Irish women can travel overseas to Great Britain or the continent to obtain abortions, but Irish abortion rates continue to be low. The authors calculate total abortion rates (TARs), analogous to total fertility rates (TFRs), of 0.13 for the Republic and 0.09 for Northern Ireland in 2011, compared with 0.52 for England and Wales, 0.36 for Scotland, and 0.6 for Sweden. About one-third of English women are likely to experience an abortion, compared with less than one-tenth of Irish women, they state.

Since 1968, maternal mortality has declined much more steeply in Ireland than in Great Britain. In the last decade, the article reports maternal mortality of 3 per 100,000 in the Republic of Ireland compared with 6 per 100,000 in England and Wales.

A history of prior induced abortion is associated with preterm birth and low birth weight, which are in turn associated with a higher rate of cerebral palsy. The authors find that these indicators of neonatal health are also more favorable in the Irish jurisdictions.

"Over the 40 years of legalized abortion in the UK there has been a consistent pattern in which higher abortion rates have run parallel to higher incidence of stillbirths, premature births, low birth-weight neonates, cerebral palsy, and maternal deaths," the authors conclude. "In contrast, both Irish jurisdictions consistently display lower rates of all morbidities and mortality associated with legalized abortion."

"Women, women's health policy advocates, and national health systems ought to take careful note," they state.

The Journal is an official publication of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS), a national organization representing physicians in all specialties, which was founded in 1943.

Byron Calhoun, M.D.,  or
Jane M. Orient, M.D., (520) 323-3110,

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Fine Gael TD Brian Walsh says he cannot support Protection of Life in Pregnancy Bill

RTE news reports 19.06.2013 that another Fine Gael TD has announced that he cannot support the Government pro-abortion legislation. See also report in the Journal.
FINE GAEL TD Brian Walsh has confirmed that he will not be supporting the Protection of Life during Pregnancy Bill in an email to colleagues this morning and has also said that as many as 10 parliamentary party members will oppose the bill.

In the email, obtained by, Walsh says that while there are elements of the bill – which will legislate for the Supreme Court verdict in the X Case – that he welcomes, he cannot support it based on some of the concerns he previously highlighted.

“Last evening I informed An Taoiseach that I cannot support its passage through the Dáil,” the Galway West TD writes. “I regret if this decision has the unintended effect of placing you under additional pressures from some of your constituents.”

Speaking to RTÉ’s News at One a short time ago, Walsh said he had “no doubt” that there would be further opposition to the legislation and suggested around 10 members of the parliamentary would oppose it.

“I am sure there are others who will oppose it,” saying that members are being “forced to choose between their conscience and their livelihoods”.

Walsh had previously raised concerns with the suicide element of the bill whereby a woman is entitled to abortion in circumstances where her life is a risk because of a threat of suicide. These concerns have not been allayed by the publication of the bill.

The Fine Gael deputy is the second TD to indicate he will not support the legislation joining Dublin South TD Peter Mathews. Senator Fidelma Healy-Eames has also said she will not support the legislation.
Email to TDs and Senators

In his email to colleagues, Walsh writes that he has not arrived at the decision lightly having come from a family “steeped in the tradition of Fine Gael”.

He says he has the “utmost admiration and respect” for Enda Kenny and does not want his decision to be interpreted as undermining the Taoiseach.

He says the decision has also been difficult personally and indicates that it may herald the end of his political career in addition to his now certain expulsion from the parliamentary party for voting against the government whip.

He continues:
    “As a father of two young children with obvious commitments and responsibilities, I had hoped for a long career with Fine Gael, and I accept that this move will likely herald the end of my membership of the parliamentary party and, quite possibly, my political career.”
Walsh concludes the letter by stating that he hopes the Taoiseach will listen to requests and grant a free vote on the legislation when it comes before the Dáil and Seanad.

He adds that he hopes his position with party colleagues will not be compromised by his decision to vote against the legislation.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Reilly concedes that abortion laws will mean more babies ‘suffering damage’

According to a report in the Journal the Irish Health Minister James Reilly has conceded that the Government’s proposed abortion laws will probably result in more babies being delivered having ‘suffered damage’ because of their premature delivery. The Government is still in denial however about the real effects of the proposed legislation and persist in calling this pro-abortion legislation the ‘Protection of Life During Pregnancy Bill’.

According to the report James Reilly said it was inescapable that laws allowing pregnancy to be terminated would result in more children being delivered in a premature state – a condition which would ultimately mean health difficulties for the baby.
“I accept that,” Reilly told RTÉ’s The Week in Politics, after being asked about the potential impact on juvenile health – though insisting that the only alternative was to force the pregnancy to continue, which could risk both the lives of the mother and child.

“There are risks involved in that to the baby – but what happens to the baby if the mother’s life is lost? The baby will die also.”

He then added: “Which is the lesser evil – to be born having suffered damage, or not to be born at all?

“This is not a perfect world we live in – this is a very difficult situation for both mother and child and for the clinicians who have to look after both the patients.”

The minister insisted that the constitutional right to life of the unborn would still take precedence over the legislation, and that a clinician’s duty was to offer the best possible treatment to both a pregnant woman and the unborn child.

Reilly also criticise those who claimed that the legislation would result in viable foetuses, who may be only weeks away from full term, being killed.

“People have been misled here [...] that somehow a child’s life would be terminated as a consequence of terminating the pregnancy,” the minister said.

    It’s very clear in the law – a woman in this law has a right to have a termination where her life, as opposed to her health, is at risk.

    That does not confer any right on her, or anybody else, to end the life of the baby.

Reilly said that in all cases, “the baby will be supported – and if it’s a viable baby, that baby will be born”.

“To suggest that babies would be, as some have, aborted with a view of terminating their lives right up to the point of birth, is utterly misleading and very disingenuous.

Separately, Reilly said he was confident that a motion tabled by FG backbencher Peter Mathews, where he will ask the Fine Gael parliamentary party to vote on whether the party whip should be lifted for votes on the legislation, would be defeated.

Mathews has proposed that members have a ‘free vote’ on the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Bill – a measure which Enda Kenny has repeatedly ruled out

Monday, June 17, 2013

Fine Gael Senator will not support abortion law

A Fine Gael Senator has said that she cannot support the Protection of Life during Pregnancy Bill 2013 according to and RTE report.

The Senator, Fidelma Healy Eames from Galway said that she would not be supporting the Government's Bill while the suicide clause remains.

Ms Healy Eames said she had informed Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Fine Gael headquarters of her decision.

She described the proposed legislation as "unjust and dangerous", and said it would permit abortion on a threat of suicide without any sound psychiatric basis.

"I am deeply disappointed that I find myself having to vote against my party, Fine Gael, on this bill," she said.

Friday, June 14, 2013

FG rebels demand free vote on abortion to avoid exodus and Sinn Fein will apply party whip

FINE Gael TDs are banking on forcing Taoiseach Enda Kenny to allow a free vote on abortion legislation to prevent a threatened exodus from the party according to a report in the Independent.

According to the report three of Mr Kenny's TDs will almost definitely vote against the Bill.

A further dozen members are still expressing strong concerns about the legislation and there is speculation about some of them also losing the party whip by opposing the bill.

Although a concerted effort is being organised to convince Mr Kenny to allow a free vote, the prospect is accepted as unlikely as the Taoiseach has so firmly ruled out such a concession.

Fine Gael TDs Peter Mathews from Dublin South, Terence Flanagan from Dublin North East and Brian Walsh are regarded as certainties to vote against the legislation.

Mr Kenny’s constituency colleague John O’Mahony, from Mayo, is viewed by the party hierarchy as also in danger of going overboard.

Senators Paul Bradford and Fidelma Healy-Eames are the most likely in the Seanad to vote against the legislation.

After that, there is a raft of TDs and senators with problems on the legislation who are regarded as likely to vote against if there was a free vote.

There are still doubts over the intentions of Damien English, Michelle Mulherin, Peter Fitzpatrick, John-Paul Phelan and Billy Timmins and Senators Terry Brennan, Michael Mullins, Tom Sheahan and Michael D’Arcy.

Individuals in this group are viewed as having the potential to vote against it.


Junior minister Lucinda Creighton is understood to still have concerns and is not committing to voting for the legislation.

However, senior party figures regard her as unlikely to vote against the legislation.

There is a further group with concerns, but regarded as not likely to vote against the party whip, including TDs James Bannon, Ray Butler, Paudie Coffey, Sean Conlon, Noel Coonan, Michael Creed and John Deasy and Senator Paul Coghlan.

But Fine Gael Senator Catherine Noone, who had previously expressed reservations about the inclusion of suicide as grounds for abortion, now says she is satisfied with the safeguards in the bill.

Mr Mathews is tabling motions at next week’s meeting of the Fine Gael parliamentary party calling for a free vote and the removal of the suicide clause from the bill. Although these motions will be defeated, they could still get a lot of support.

Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams last night warned a party TD would be disciplined if he voted against the party's position on the abortion legislation.

The party's enterprise spokesman Peadar Toibin says he will vote against the legislation, even though Sinn Fein has clearly indicated it will be supporting the bill.

“It would be a serious breach of party rules for any TD to vote against the party position and they would be subject to party discipline,” said Mr Adams.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

“I can’t believe that the people of Poland and Ireland, once they understand what is happening, will not stand up in defense of human life.” Cardinal Burke

Cardinal Burke head of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura who will give the keynote speech for the weekend pro-life gathering at the Vatican in a speech this week said;
 “The Church has a very critical role to play in Ireland and Poland,”
“I can’t believe that the people of Poland and Ireland, once they understand what is
happening, will not stand up in defense of human life.”
 “The important thing is that the citizens be well informed about what is happening, which is against the most fundamental moral truth, and that they be encouraged to resist,” the cardinal said.
(CNA/EWTN News) .- Just three days before a Vatican pro-life summit, Cardinal Raymond L. Burke urged people to actively resist efforts to pass anti-life legislation, because “many strong forces are at work.”

“Catholics should be involved in various groups, which are organized to influence legislation so that it can respect the dignity of human life,” Cardinal Burke told CNA in an exclusive June 11 interview.

“They should make it a point to be in contact with their legislators and with others who are responsible for their local and national political life in order to promote the cause of life,” he said.

He also called on everyone, especially faithful Catholics, to “be alert and awake against the forces of death” and give “strong witness” to the dignity of human life.

“In all of these democratic countries, the people have a voice, and if they insist on this, the government will have to change,” said Cardinal Burke.

“But if the people do not insist and if there is not a strong teaching by Church leaders and a strong support for the good lay faithful who are leading the pro-life movement, then the Church is failing,” he added.

Cardinal Burke, who is the head of the Church’s highest court – the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura – will give the keynote speech in English on June 15 for a weekend pro-life gathering at the Vatican.

The “Evangelium vitae” (Gospel of Life) weekend is being organized by the Vatican as part of the celebrations for the Year of Faith.

It will include talks in different languages based on Blessed John Paul II’s encyclical “Evangelium vitae,” which he wrote to defend the dignity of life at all stages.

Thousands of pilgrims will also take part in Eucharistic Adoration, a pilgrimage to the tomb of Saint Peter and a candlelit procession down Via della Conciliazione to affirm their stance against abortion, euthanasia, assisted suicide and same-sex “marriage.”

Cardinal Burke emphasized, “it is important that good Catholics enter into politics to influence a change in the direction in which a number of nations are going, which is very anti life and anti family.”

He also spoke about the growing European pressure for Poland and Ireland to legalize abortion and same-sex “marriage.”

“The Church has a very critical role to play in Ireland and Poland,” he stated.

“I can’t believe that the people of Poland and Ireland, once they understand what is happening, will not stand up in defense of human life.”

“The important thing is that the citizens be well informed about what is happening, which is against the most fundamental moral truth, and that they be encouraged to resist,” the cardinal said.

He believes there are “many strong forces at work, which are not open to life, for many reasons, including the so-called agents of death, who have made of abortion an industry.”

“They want to eliminate those that are weak and feeble because they are no longer so-called useful to society,” he said. “It is a completely totalitarian view of human life.”

Cardinal Burke believes that although those forces “are great,” there are also “many good people.”

“They understand that if there is no respect for human life, then all of society is reduced to violence and death and society destroys itself,” said the Vatican’s Supreme Court head.

And that makes Blessed John Paul II’s call in “Evangelium vitae” for conscientious objection by the people who know and understand the moral law necessary, he said.

“The attacks on human life are more true today than ever,” the cardinal alerted.

“What Blessed John Paul II urges in order to establish a civilization of love and life is also more timely than ever.”

“He was prophetic in many aspects but especially regarding human life because having suffered himself so many attacks on human life in his homeland during the Nazis, he was especially sensitive,” he said.

The culture of life is not just Catholic, Cardinal Burke emphasized, but is “written in the hearts of everyone.”

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Annual 'Climb for Life' in Ireland

The annual Climb For Life,  which will focus on the Human Rights of the Unborn Baby, will take place on Saturday June 22nd, 2013. This event consisting of climbing the mountain named after St Patrick (Croagh Patrick) in Co. Mayo is for the purpose of increasing awareness of the right to life from conception until natural death and it takes on a new relevance this year with the Irish Government poised to enact pro-abortion legislation.

The Climb, which is an annual event, will commence at 10am with an ecumenical service at the foot of the mountain led jointly by Rev Fr. Vincent Monaghan and the Very Rev Daniel Cauldwell.

Members of the public, pro-life individuals and organisations and prayer groups are very welcome and encouraged to participate.    
Walkers are advised to bring good footwear, raingear and drinking water.  All are welcome.

For more information about the climb telephone (087) 6311 381 or email

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

A time to uphold the right to life: Statement by the Catholic Bishops of Ireland

A time to uphold the right to life: Statement by the Catholic Bishops of Ireland

 On the second day of the June General Meeting of the Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference in Maynooth, the following statement has been issued:

A time to reflect

On Saturday last, tens of thousands of women, men and children gathered in Dublin to express their support for the equal right to life of mothers and their unborn children.

We are at a defining moment for our country.
The Gospel of life is at the heart of the message of Jesus.  He came that we may have life and have it to the full (Jn 10:10).  The Gospel challenges us to work for a world in which the dignity and beauty of every human life are respected.

A time to uphold the right to life

The right to life is the most fundamental of all rights; it is the foundation of all other rights.  No individual has the right to destroy life and no State has the right to undermine the right to life.

Yet the Irish Government is proposing abortion legislation that will fundamentally change the culture of medical practice in Ireland.  For the first time legislation will be enacted permitting the deliberate and intentional killing of an unborn child. This represents a radical change. Every citizen, not just people of faith, should be deeply concerned.

We value the skill and efforts of our doctors, nurses and other care professionals who have helped to earn Ireland’s place as one of the safest countries in the world for mothers and their babies during pregnancy.

Catholic Church teaching is clear: 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 is made to save both the mother and her baby.

This is different from abortion, which is the direct and intentional taking of the innocent life of the unborn.  No matter what legislation is passed in any country, abortion is, and always will be, gravely wrong.

A time for clarity and truth

The Government is under no obligation to legislate for the X case.  People are being misled. We challenge repeated statements that this legislation is about saving lives and involves no change to the law or practice on abortion.  Legalising the direct and intentional destruction of the life of an unborn baby can never be described as ‘life-saving’ or ‘pro-life’.

Contrary to clear psychiatric evidence, this legislation proposes abortion as an appropriate response to women with suicidal feelings during pregnancy.  It is even possible to envisage as a result of this legislation the deliberate destruction of a child, who could otherwise be saved, right up to and including the moment of birth.

Furthermore, we challenge assurances that the proposed legislation will provide limited access to abortion.  As published to date, the legislation will allow for a very wide margin of subjective professional assessment by which the deliberate destruction of an unborn baby can be legally justified. As we have learned from other countries, such legislation opens the door to ever wider availability of abortion.

We remain convinced that enhanced medical guidelines, which do not envisage the direct and intentional killing of the unborn, could provide the necessary clarity as well as a morally, legally and medically acceptable way forward.  While good health can normally be restored, life, once taken, can never, never be restored.

A time for freedom of conscience

Freedom of conscience is a fundamental human right.  A State that truly cherishes freedom will respect the conscience of its citizens, including its public representatives, on such an important human value as the right to life.

It is ethically unacceptable to expect doctors, nurses and others who have conscientious objections to nominate others to take their place.  Neither should any institution with a pro-life ethos be forced to provide abortion services.

A time to decide: a time to act; a time to pray

We call on citizens to exercise their right to make their views known respectfully to our public representatives and to leave them in no doubt about where they stand on this issue.

We ask our public representatives to uphold the equal and inviolable right to life of all human beings, even if this means standing above other pressures and party loyalties.

We also invite our priests and people to continue to pray the Choose Life prayer at Mass and in the home that the dignity and value of all human life will continue to be upheld in this country.

Some mothers today are facing difficult or crisis pregnancies. Other people who have had, or who have assisted with abortions, may be re-living what happened in the past.  They deserve to receive all the love, support and professional care that they need.

As Bishops we will join this weekend in prayerful solidarity with millions of Catholics all over the world in the Year of Faith celebration of Blessed John Paul II’s Encyclical Evangelium Vitae (The Gospel of Life).

Every human life is precious, every human life is beautiful, every human life is sacred. Choose life!


For media contact: Catholic Communications Office Maynooth: Martin Long 00353 (0) 86 172 7678 and Brenda Drumm 00353 (0) 87 310 4444

Shock report says Irish Aid used for aborting thousands of Ethiopian babies

The Independent reported last weekend that Irish taxpayers money given to Ethiopia by Irish Aid ended up in the coffers of Ethiopia’s two largest abortion providers, for the purpose of aborting thousands of Ethiopian babies.

The report reads as follows;
Millions of euros of Irish taxpayers' money has been used to support agencies which fund abortion in Ethiopia through Irish Aid, the Government's overseas development agency.

When questioned about its policy, Irish Aid said: "We don't provide any funding to those whose focus is to provide abortion services as this would be against government policy."

However, between 2005 and 2012, Irish Aid gave over €8.5m to two of Ethiopia's biggest abortion providers.

The Family Guidance Association of Ethiopia (FGAE), which got €2.7m from Irish Aid between 2008 and 2012, lists the provision of "safe abortion services" as one of its "major focus areas".

The agency, which provided 50,000 abortions in 2011, funds its abortion services from its "unrestricted funding". Irish Aid provided some 10 per cent of its "unrestricted funding" in 2011.

DKT Ethiopia, the biggest supplier of medical abortion kits to the Ethiopian government, received €5.8m. Almost 10 per cent of its total donor support came from Irish Aid in the period 2005 to 2012.

The agency DKT said that Irish Aid introduced a condition that Irish funding should not be used for procuring abortion products in "early 2010". However, Irish Aid gave DKT Ethiopia some €4.8m in the period 2005 to 2009.

The Family Guidance Association of Ethiopia confirmed that the Irish Aid funds had been "unrestricted" before 2012. In 2011, the Irish Embassy in Addis Ababa sought confirmation that Irish Aid funds would not be used for "abortion-related activities". FGAE said: "We confirmed same in writing to the embassy before year 2012."

Such restrictions may be "artificial", according to a 2012 report by FGAE's partner organisation, the International Planned Parenthood Federation. Its 2012 report on FGAE states that "resources from [FGAE's] donors are used in a similar way and it is therefore difficult, and somewhat artificial, to isolate the individual impact of one of the donors". This report said that core funders, such as Irish Aid, were "making a significant direct impact [on sexual health service provision] particularly in the areas of access to safe abortion".

In 2002, the US withdrew funding from FGAE, due to President George Bush's policy of not funding NGOs that offer abortion services abroad. However, by 2008, Irish Aid was one of FGAE's core funders. In late 2012, after being questioned about this funding, Irish Aid said it was "consolidating" its programme in Ethiopia and was already ending direct support of Ethiopian "sexual and reproductive health programmes" from 2012.
Irish Aid confirmed "the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade has responsibility for Irish Aid. Decisions related to funding by the department are approved by the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade or the Minister of State with Responsibility for Trade and Development".

Micheal Martin was Foreign Affairs Minister from 2008 to 2011, when much of the Irish Aid funding was paid to the Ethiopian abortion providers. Mr Martin's Fianna Fail reaffirmed its "pro-life" position at its 2013 Ard Fheis.

From 2004 to 2011, Minister of State with responsibility for overseas aid was variously held by Fianna Fail deputies Conor Lenihan, Michael Kitt and Peter Power. Eamon Gilmore became Foreign Affairs Minister in March 2011, after which time funding for the Ethiopian NGOs was reduced, before being axed at the end of 2012.