Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The privilege of a peaceful death

I use the word privilege with a certain trepidation here because a peaceful and natural death should not be merely a privilege in an affluent country that can afford decent medical and palliative care for its citizens. Earlier this month, after 28 years in a coma, a 76-year-old woman, Martha von Bulow, died at her New York nursing home. The cause of her collapse in 1980 was the subject of a number of sensational court cases and a Hollywood film, with her husband convicted first and then acquitted at a second trial, of trying to murder her using insulin injections.

She never regained consciousness and was diagnosed as being in a Persistent Vegetative State, but unlike Terri Schiavo, she was cared for until her death and nobody succeeded in having her starved to death with the blessing of the media. Caring for a vulnerable person (and there is no one more vulnerable than a person in a coma) should be regarded as a loving duty but in a society where human life is held cheap, there is little love and little sense of duty. As Ghandi said, the measure of a civilised society is how it treats its weakest members.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Courageous Act of Witness

Meet Kathleen O'Neill, a courageous 13-year-old from Scotland who took part in a silent act of witness for the unborn at her school. The Pro Life Day of Silent Solidarity is popular in the United States but is much less known in Britain and Kathleen was the only person in her school to wear the armband labelled 'life' and to hand out fliers explaining why she was remaining silent for the day.

I was interested to read in her account how supportive her teachers and fellow-pupils were about the stand she took. A certain FPA DVD I could mention, tries to give the impression that young people, particularly young women, are uniformally pro-abortion, but this is simply not the case. It is true that young people are being influenced by a largely pro-abortion media but it is also true that if a person has not yet been politicised, the inherent injustice of abortion is plain to see. We should not be discouraged from taking the pro-life message into schools and colleges where young people are still open-minded enough to listen.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

You forgot to mention Love

This feature by a journalist who has a disabled son, came hot on the heels of an article which argued that women pretty much have a social duty to abort if they discover that their baby may have a disability. She describes this attitude as "the purest form of eugenics: it is Nazi doctrine", a point of which we in the pro-life movement have always been aware. The passage that really struck me was her point about love:

Still, let’s be generous: it is expensive and it is hard and your world-view shifts and sometimes you cry. What Marrin seems unable to grasp is that these things – time, stress, expense, anxiety, tears – are sacrifices that parents are happy to make because they love their children. There is no mention of love in the 1,050 words of her column, nor of hope or faith or compassion or even kindness.

It is a pity that India Knight undermines her otherwise powerful article by describing abortion - including eugenic abortion - as a 'powerful, subjective choice' all women should have. What happened to love, India?

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Happy Christmas

May I take this opportunity to wish you and your loved ones a happy Christmas and a blessed New Year.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Baby found in manger

The Curt Jester carries the story of a German priest who was astonished to discover a newborn baby in the manger of the nativity scene he had recently put up in his church. He took care of the baby until an ambulance arrived and the little one is doing well at a local hospital. The mother turned out to be a Romanian woman who left the baby in the church in the hope that someone would be able to take better care of him.

The priest said that the parish was ready to help the lady and that she must be in a very difficult situation, but that she needs to be left in peace whilst she decides what to do.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Ho Ho Ho, have a condom

Durex is advertising its products this year by sending men out dressed as Santa Claus to hand out condoms to Toronto shoppers. Suresh Dominic of Campaign Life described the stunt as 'deeply saddening' and 'offensive in the extreme.'

I would go further than that, it is not only deeply offensive it could be harmful to innocent children in an age when we are supposed to be more aware than ever of the need to protect children. Santa Claus is a figure associated with childhood and whether or not these people are handing out condoms exclusively to adults, it is impossible to avoid the implications of Durex using a children's icon to promote sexual activity. Whilst I do not expect they will do so, Durex should cancel this tasteless and dangerous stunt immediately, to protect children if nothing else.

Monday, December 22, 2008

The real story behind suicide

There has been much comment about the recent decision to broadcast a man committing suicide courtesy of Dignitas. A story that has received rather less attention was another filmed suicide, that of a young, depressed man whose suicide was filmed live on the internet. The teenager took an overdose, egged on by people posting comments telling him to get on with it and police were only called by some concerned viewers after he collapsed. The streaming video stopped after police and paramedics broke into his house.

One comment urging him to end his life read: "You want to kill yourself? Do it, do the world a favour and stop wasting our time with your mindless self-pity."

This tragedy shows the real story behind suicide, what may drive a person to end their life and what it involves. At the heart of such an act lies loneliness and despair, not compassion. The lies the euthanasia movement tout fall apart when people are confronted with this ugly reality, so far removed from love, dignity and personal autonomy that it is almost obscene to use such language in this context. Commentators who self-righteously claimed in defence of the assisted-suicide documentary that people need to 'get to grips' with the reality of suicide may have a point. The public need to lose the sentimental image the euthanasia movement has given to suicide, of a person dying peacefully and contentedly in the arms of a loved one. They need to see suicide for the unbearable tragedy it is.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Mosher and the Huffington Post

Steve Mosher has responded to a rabid attack on the Population Research Institute by the Huffington Post, which accuses pro-lifers of being liars and PRI of 'swirly-eyed lunacy', whatever that is supposed to mean. Judging by the hysterical tone of the original article and the bizarre rant some anonymous individual has left in the combox attached to this YouTube clip, one can only assume the abortion lobby has finally run out of straw man arguments and decided to focus entirely on gratuitous insult as a way of making their case.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Colonialism disguised as Aid

Aid to the Church in Need has criticised western aid agencies operating in Africa for importing their own ideologies regarding sexuality and family life to the continent, with little respect shown for the pro-family and pro-life values at the heart of many African countries. Christine du Coudray of ACN, who has recently returned from a fact-finding trip to Africa, praised African Family Life Federation for its work in support of families and the building of a culture of life in Africa.

Friday, December 19, 2008

More PP child abuse cover-ups

Standing on my head reports another undercover video exposing Planned Parenthood counsellors covering up a report of statutory rape. This is another investigation by the Mona Lisa Project, in which a student posing as a 13-year-old claims to have had sex with a 31-year-old. As in the previous video, Planned Parenthood staff state that they do not care how old the father of the child is and help the girl evade the parental consent laws of Indiana.

Planned Parenthood reacted to the previous evidence of a cover up by firing the member of staff involved and trying to give the impression that this was an isolated case breaching PP's 'strict policies' on the subject, but this video makes it fairly obvious that ignoring statutory rape is routine in PP facilities as is flouting state parental notification laws.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

HPV Vaccine hits the headlines again

The controversial vaccine against cervical cancer has hit the headlines again with a woman claiming her 12-year-old daughter became paralysed after receiving the injection. Doctors and health officials are denying that Ashleigh Cave's collapse and subsequent paralysis have anything to do with the Cervarix vaccine (similar to Gardasil) but the cause of her illness has not been identified and critics argue that the five-year pilot study was too short to ensure the safety of the drug.

Jackie Fletcher of Jabs, an organisation campaigning against the use of this vaccine, stated: "We should halt the HPV vaccine programme in the UK until we get to the bottom of whether this poor girl's paralysis was caused by the vaccine or not."

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

So Misunderstood

In spite of an avalanche of protests, Cherie Blair gave her talk at the Pontifical University of St Thomas Aquinas (the Angelicum)and was warmly received by the members of that institution.

Fr. Bruce Williams, a professor of moral theology at the Angelicum, publicly supported her, saying from the floor: "It was crystal clear to me at least that you see abortion as morally repugnant and that you are in line with the teaching of the Church.” He added: "the way you came across was decisively contrary to the way you have been pictured recently by a number of websites that describe you as pro-abortion and anti-family and which protested against our university giving you a platform. What you have just said inclines me all the more to think that those accusations were at the very best rash, if not outright calumnious, and I regret that you were subjected to that.”

Poor Cherie, subjected to the calumnies of pro-life organisations and bloggers. Just to make things crystal clear for those of us who have apparently misunderstood Mrs Blair's position; how did a person who finds abortion 'morally repugnant' come to lend her (public) support to International Planned Parenthood, the FPA and CEDAW?

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


Further to my last post, please consider adding your name to this petition in support of the Grand Duke's stand against euthanasia.

It profits a man nothing... sell his soul for the whole world, but for Luxembourg?

Grand Duke Henri, Luxembourg's monarch, has agreed to be stripped of his power to veto laws after refusing to give his consent to a law permitting euthanasia. This is a courageous stand by a man of principle and an inspiration to the pro-life movement at a terrible moment for Europe, when yet another country is turning its back on its vulnerable citizens.

This is not the first time a monarch has made such a stand. In 1990, the King of Belgium refused to sign abortion into law and abdicated temporarily. There was a facebook petition asking the Queen of England not to sign the HFE bill into law, to no avail.

Monday, December 15, 2008

The Irish Government has betrayed its people

This press statement was released by Declan Ganley and Jens-Peter Bonde last week. The Irish Government's failure to respect the wishes of the electorate is not just a betrayal of those who rejected the Lisbon Treaty but a betrayal of Ireland's hard-won democracy.

Thursday 11 December 2008 @ 09:13 CET

EUOBSERVER / COMMENT - The French president yesterday told the group leaders of the European parliament that he has made a deal with the Irish government to hold a second referendum in Ireland to ratify the Lisbon treaty first rejected on 12 June by 53 percent of Irish voters.

None of the representatives of the Irish people who voted No to the Lisbon Treaty were consulted by the Irish government before they struck a deal with the French Presidency. The Irish government has simply ignored the result of the referendum and betrayed those people who voted No in the majority. Government ministers, including the prime minister, have been urging other countries to "isolate" Ireland by ratifying the treaties so the Irish could sweat it out and then change their mind.

And what do they deliver as concessions to the Irish voters? Not one single word to be changed in the treaty that was also rejected by the French and Dutch voters in referendums in 2005 when it went under the name of "Constitution".

Not one word or legal obligation will be changed. The same content will simply be put in a new envelope, just as Valery Giscard d'Estaing said about the change from the Constitution to the Lisbon Treaty. But this time, not even the headline or the wording will be changed. It is the same text that was rejected.

It is legally doubtful if it is possible to repeat a binding referendum on the same text in the same parliamentary period.

In the new envelope, there will be a lot of nice words in Declarations. They have not the slightest legal value. They will neither change anything in the treaties nor hinder the court in Luxembourg from deciding directly against whatever the Declarations say.

Then, they will have the promise of a commissioner from each member state. Fine. But the Irish commissioner will be picked by a majority of prime ministers and presidents in the EU. The Irish government can come up with "suggestions", but other member states decide.

It would indeed be a concession if they were change the treaty and allow every member state to elect its own commissioner, and it would be democratic progress if we could elect our commissioner in direct elections together with the elections to the European Parliament.

The Irish government has simply given in and will not even insist on the right of Ireland to nominate its own commissioner.

Declan Ganley is president of Libertas and Jens-Peter Bonde is president of the EU Democrats and a member of the European Parliament from 1979-2008

Sunday, December 14, 2008

New Vatican Document

In a new document, entitled Dignitas Personae, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has re-iterated the ethical unacceptability of IVF. John Smeaton's blog carries a full review of the document by Dr John Fleming, a bioethicist and corresponding member of the Pontifical Academy for Life.

This is a much-needed clarification of the Church's teaching at a time when very few people understand the moral implications of IVF and the catastrophic loss of early human life caused by the procedure.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

70-year-old gives birth

A woman old enough to be a great-grandmother has given birth to a baby girl after conceiving through IVF and become the world's oldest mother. Rajo Devi, from the Haryan province of India, is apparently not worried about what will happen to the child when she and her 72-year-old husband die - almost certainly before the child reaches adulthood. They have an extended family who will look after her.

This may be the case, but there is no getting round the fact that two elderly people have deliberately created and brought into the world a child neither of them will be able to love and support into adult life.

The newspaper report is entirely positive, with the doctor who performed the ICSI procedure, a Dr Anurag Bishnoi, talking excitedly about how IVF has revolutionised the way we see fertility. It certainly has. It has turned children into goods to be created or discarded and allowed adults to indulge their selfish and unethical desires. We have nothing to be proud of.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Assisted Suicide Documentary

SPUC has criticised a decision by Sky to broadcast a documentary showing an assisted suicide at a Dignitas clinic. The documentary appears to be part of a much broader campaign to change public opinion on assisted suicide and has been treated sympathetically by most media outlets.

However, as Anthony Ozimic of SPUC states in a press release:

"We are concerned that focusing upon one particular case will have a disproportionate effect upon the debate on assisted suicide, skewing viewer's perceptions. Many people, including patients themselves, often don't know that palliative care is highly successful in alleviating the symptoms of motor neurone disease. Craig Ewert's fears about his quality of life and the effect on his family could have been properly addressed with correct medical advice and full personal support. We fear the documentary will obscure the broader issues of how allowing assisted suicide devalues human life and endangers the vulnerable.

"Many terminally ill and disabled people, and the vast majority of medical professionals, are opposed to legalising assisted suicide. Assisted suicide sends a message to the terminally ill that caring for them is a waste of time, that their lives are no longer worth living and that they are better off dead.

"Assisted suicide also sends a message that no one really has dignity unless they have the option to be poisoned. Killing is not a valid answer to human suffering or a perceived loss of dignity. Every human being has equal and absolute dignity simply by being human. Assisted suicide makes a mockery of our laws on equality."

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Grave concern at creation of a new EU network of independent experts

We reported in a recent newsletter that pro-life and pro-family groups have expressed grave concern at the appointment by the EU Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA) of a new network of independent experts known as FRALEX. We have prepared a review of the issues surrounding this new panel of experts and its implications.

Controversial political agendas can be pushed through more easily if public debate is not allowed to take place. One strategy to avoid debate consists in pretending that decisions have already been taken long ago so that they cannot be questioned any more, or that they are pre-determined by high-ranking obligations that are binding on the policy makers. The reference to ‘Human Rights’ requirements plays a key role in this strategy, given that neither States nor individuals want to be seen as opposing the implementation of high human rights standards.

It is in this way that certain pressure groups attempt to impose on society a new ideology that is radically opposed to traditional concepts of marriage, the family, human dignity, and the right to life. They pretend that International Human Rights Law obliges States to legalize abortion and same-sex marriage. The present dossier provides information on how a small group of ‘experts’ called ‘FRALEX’, aka ‘The EU Network of Experts for Fundamental Rights’ promotes abortion and homosexuality by providing biased ‘expertise’ to complicit EU institutions.

The complete review together with related documents can be accessed as PDF's on the European Life Network website
We also published a related article in June

President Klaus of the Czech Republic verbally abused by Members of the European Parliament

A meeting took place on Friday (5 December) in Prague Castle between Czech President Vaclav Klaus and a delegation of MEPs in advance of the Czech Republic taking over the presidency of the EU in January. Two of the MEP’s were verbally abusive to President Klaus for his opposition to the Lisbon treaty and his friendship with Irish No campaigner Declan Ganley. See also EU

Green MEP Daniel Cohn-Bendit formerly known as “Danny the Red", told President Klaus" I don't care about your opinions on [the Lisbon treaty]. I want to know what you will do if both the Czech Chamber of Deputies and the Senate approve it. Will you respect the will of the people's representatives? You will have to sign it."
Cohn-Bendit also called on the Czech president to explain the level of his relations with Declan Ganley, the founder of the Ireland's Libertas group, which was formed to fight the Lisbon treaty. "A man in your position is not supposed to meet him," he said, citing "unclear" and "problematic" funding of Mr Ganley's political activities.

President Klaus responded by saying that nobody had talked to him in such a way in the six years since he was elected president, calling the conversation "unprecedented." "You are not on the Paris barricades here," he told Bendit referring to the Green leader's past as protester in Paris in 1968. "I thought that these practices had ended for us 19 years ago. I see I was wrong. I would not dare to ask how the Greens' activities are funded," Mr Klaus said.

Irish MEP Brian Crowley (UEN and Fianna Fail) told Mr Klaus he was offending Ireland. "By meeting [Mr] Ganley, you insulted the Irish people. That man has failed to [disclose] the funding of his campaign. It is an insult to meet someone without a mandate. I just want to inform you how the Irish feel," Mr Crowley said.

Mr Klaus responded to the attacks by thanking the MEP's for the experience which he gained from the meeting. In a clear reference to the the experience of the Czech Republic under Communist rule, he said "I did not think anything like this is possible and have not experienced anything like this for the past 19 years. I thought it was a matter of the past, that we live in democracy, but it is post-democracy, really, which rules the EU. You mentioned the European values. The most important value is freedom and democracy. The citizens of the EU member states are concerned about freedom and democracy, above all. But democracy and freedom are losing ground in the EU today. It is necessary to strive for them and fight for them.

Referring to Brian Crowley’s attack on him President Klaus said the biggest insult to the Irish is the refusal to accept their vote in the referendum. "I met someone representing a majority view in Ireland, while you, Mr Crowley, represent a minority opinion. That is the tangible result of the referendum," he said, which resulted in a further tirade from Brian Crowley who told him. "You will not tell me what the Irish think. As an Irishman, I know it best".

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Conflicts of interest

If research funded by the tobacco industry just happened to come to the conclusion that smoking carried no serious health risks, would you be just a teensy weensy bit sceptical? Me too. I might just be of the opinion that they had a vested interest in ensuring people lit up as often as possible.

That being the case, it is a little odd that the usually sceptical press have not picked up on the fact that a study claiming that women who have abortions do not suffer adverse psychological effects was funded by Planned Parenthood. One of its authors also just happens to be a former member of the Alan Guttmacher Institute's board of directors (the research arm of Planned Parenthood) and is heavily involved with the abortion industry.

But the press is quite selective about what it chooses to be sceptical about and the ulterior motives behind this latest piece of junk science are unlikely to be questioned very publicly. In the meantime, women will continue to be lied to by the abortion industry in the name of choice and will continue to suffer the consequences.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Planned Parenthood covers up rape

This undercover film, made by the Mona Lisa Project, clears shows a Planned Parenthood nurse in Indiana covering up the statutory rape of a patient who claimed to be 13 and pregnant by a 31-year-old. The nurse is shown repeatedly saying that she doesn't want to know the age of the man involved and that she will not tell the authorities even though she is legally obliged to do so. She then gives the girl a cover story - that her boyfriend is a teenager - and shows her how to obtain an abortion in another state to avoid Indiana parental consent laws.

The nurse has been suspended pending a full investigation, but this is just one of many videos the Mona Lisa Project made during its investigations earlier in the year.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Pro-life pharmacist racially attacked

A man has been convicted of racially abusing a Muslim pharmacist who refused to sell him and his partner a morning after pill. According to the prosecution, Chris Mellett shouted: “United Kingdom, Great Britain, not for people like you!" and “Shut your ******* mouth you black ******* you don’t know what you’re talking about.”

The comments in the combox are varied but generally side with the racist rather than the pharmacist who committed the apparently un-British crime of sticking to his principles. Even the article itself puts the word 'ethical' in inverted commas when reporting the pharmacist's refusal to dispense the abortifacient drug on ethical grounds. It says something for the way the UK is going that a racist is regarded with more sympathy than a pro-lifer, but at least the law could see who the real criminal was.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Murder by any other name...

A man who was convicted of two murders after he killed a woman who was eight months' pregnant, failed to convince a Texan court that only religious people believe life begins at conception, according to a news report.

Interestingly, though, Jacob Eguia has a point when he says that if he is guilty of murder for killing an unborn child, so are abortionists who do this for a living. State law gets around this awkward state of affairs by making an exception for abortion, but giving abortionists a get-out clause only renders the law more absurd. Since the state recognises that human beings have the right to legal protection from the moment of conception, how can it allow human beings to be butchered simply because the person committing the act of killing is a doctor and the murder scene is a clinic?

The core issue in this case is that of personhood, the court found that personhood begins at conception. Over the cunturies the issue of personhood has been used by elites to deny the humanity of a person, a group or even an entire race. It was on the basis of denial of personhood that hundreds of thousands of men and women of African origin were kidnapped, transported and forcibly enslaved in the colonies. Women in past centuries have also been treated as non persons. In this age it is the turn of the unborn baby to be treated as non persons in order to establish the radical feminist dream of a so called "right" to abortion. This decision is therefore a vitally important step in the articulation of the rights of babies before birth and because of this will undoubtedly be challenged.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

More on Children as Commodities

A couple of days ago, I mentioned the disturbing phenomenon of people who think they can buy anything, including IVF babies of their preferred sex.

Just to confirm my worst suspicions about the Brave New World society we live in, in which children are valued only as far as they satisfy the needs of adults, LifeSite reports a couple facing jail for selling their baby on Ebay. The couple from Belgium, sold the baby for an undisclosed sum to a Dutch couple to whom they handed the baby in a hospital car park.

According to the report, this is not the first incident involving the online sale of a baby, with another case in America earlier in the year involving a newborn baby being advertised for $10,000.

The Catholic Church warned in Donum Vitae that this sort of behaviour would be the inevitable consequence of the "dynamic of violence and domination" so characteristic of abortion and IVF. The document states:
“The abortion-mentality which has made this procedure possible...leads, whether one wants it or not, to man's domination over the life and death of his fellow human beings and can lead to a system of radical eugenics.”

“The child is not an object to which one has a right, nor can he be considered as an object of ownership: rather, a child is a gift, ‘the supreme gift.’”

Friday, December 5, 2008

Heroic Malta firmly pro-life

I have long felt a strong admiration for the tiny Mediterranean island of Malta. I have hardly had much choice on the matter, with a Maltese colleague regaling me with stories of Malta's heroism, from standing firm against the mighty Suleiman's fleet in 1565 to surviving the Nazi air attacks and submarine blockade during the Second World War.

My affection for Malta only increased the other day, when I read that a new telephone survey of the Maltese people has found them to be overwhelmingly opposed to abortion across the political spectrum. Now we just have to remind the abortion lobby to respect democracy. That means you, Rebecca Gomperts with your abortion ship and your insulting, colonial attitude to people who believe in protecting life. That means you, Myria Vassiliadou, lamenting the 'terrible situation in Malta' whilst in the same meeting speaking of the need to focus on 'democracy.' If any of these people were worthy of their liberal credentials, they would stop trying to interfere with the laws of democratic nations and re-examine their own deplorable lack of respect for both human life and democracy.

On a more cautionary note, however, the survey does serve as a warning to pro-life groups of the need for education. The small minority who were in favour of abortion, cited either rape and incest or threat to the mother's life as reasons. As Malta's Gift of Life stated: "We believe that when people understand the facts about these two delicate issues, that many would change their minds even about abortion in these cases."

Thursday, December 4, 2008

FPA DVD for schoolchildren is a glorified advertisement for abortion

Fiorella Nash has sent me the following review:

"The Family Planning Association (FPA) in the UK has produced a DVD entitled Why Abortion?, intended for schoolchildren as young as 14. In some respects it contains few surprises. The scenarios used in the DVD are intended to portray abortion as a sensible, altruistic decision, whilst the arguments against abortion are not mentioned at all. Pro-lifers are demonised as angry, sneering individuals who wave banners displaying the word 'Murderers', or who accuse their friends of being murderers when they announce that they have had an abortion. An accompanying leaflet claims that 'in countries where abortion is legal, some individuals and groups violently oppose abortion. 'In one scenario, a religious girl who has always been pro-life declares to her pro-life boyfriend: 'It’s not about beliefs and ideals any more, it’s about realities. I just don’t want this baby', whilst the group of teenage commentators argue that 'churches shouldn’t moralise or dictate', 'no matter what your religion you have to do what’s right for you' and 'you never know how you’re going to feel about something like this until it happens.'

"Pro-life doctors come off worst of all. Young people are asked: 'Some doctors and nurses are anti-choice. Is it okay for them to promote their personal, moral viewpoints?' Not one of the teenagers in the scripted discussion supports the pro-life position. The reasons why doctors refuse to be involved with abortion are not explained. Women are encouraged to check the views of doctors beforehand and 'vote with their feet.'

"Young people are warned about pro-life counselling services. The DVD is peppered with the usual arguments for abortion, backstreet abortion (see some counter-arguments here), a woman’s right to choose etc, with no attempt being made at all throughout the DVD to confront the real moral arguments surrounding abortion. Prenatal development is not mentioned once, and the potential risk of breast cancer and post-abortion trauma are dismissed as 'myths', as is the fact that so-called emergency contraception is abortifacient.

"Most insidiously, the DVD was developed in Northern Ireland, and the teenage commentators are clearly based in Northern Ireland to give the impression that the people of Northern Ireland want the Abortion Act extended there, when the reality is completely different. The lack of abortion on demand in Northern Ireland is portrayed as a crass injustice, rather than the will of the people to protect life.

"This so-called resource contains information on private abortion facilities such as BPAS, which constitutes little more than product placement in the classroom. In an all-too characteristic display of hypocrisy, this glorified advertising campaign for abortion is dressed up as 'balanced and accurate information' designed 'to contribute to a more open and less judgemental debate'. Parents must fight this DVD being shown at their children’s schools as a matter of urgency."

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Exposing UNFPA

One of Barack Obama's many promises to the abortion lobby during his presidential campaign was that he will resume US Funding of the UNFPA.

The US government has refused to fund the UNFPA for seven years because of its abysmal human rights records, particularly in China where it has colluded with abuses against women including forced sterilisation and forced abortion.

Population Research Institute is urging people to watch their YouTube video on UNFPA and to circulate it as far as possible to raise awareness of UNFPA's disgraceful record.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Children as Commodities

An incredibly depressing article cited at Monstrous Regiment of Women on women who marry for money and status, then leave their husbands for other rich men as soon as they lose their jobs.

One case mentioned in the article which has not (I think) been picked up by other commentators, is the story of the couple who paid a fortune to have identical twin boys through IVF, joking that they would have sent them back if they had been girls. In our shallow, status-obsessed world, IVF has pushed the boundaries of materialism so far that even children become commodities who can be custom-made for the right price.

Monday, December 1, 2008

BPAS - stop insulting women!

St John Valdosta, a blog I had never come across before today, has more news on the tasteful and respectful manner in which the abortion lobby is abusing Christmas. BPAS has come up with the above poster, which tells you pretty much everything you need to know about BPAS's pretences at respecting women and taking them seriously.

As Anthony Ozimic of SPUC put it:
"It will encourage men to see females as sex objects, who can be exploited without responsibility for the consequences. The morning-after pill's promoters share in the abuse of women by misleading them about its potential effect, which, the manufacturers concede, may include causing an early abortion."

Sunday, November 30, 2008

An Audience with Jane Roe

Outside the pro-life movement, very few people know the name Norma McCorvey. She is better known as Jane Roe of Roe v. Wade, the U.S. supreme court decision that legalised abortion across America.

When the abortion lobby talk in emotive terms about the need to 'save Roe' they have a nasty tendency to forget that Roe does not need saving from pro-life campaigners - Jane Roe/Norma McCorvey changed her mind about abortion and joined the pro-life cause years ago.

In this video, Norma talks frankly about the terrible mistake she made in helping bring abortion to America. Courageous individuals like Norma McCorvey and Bernard Nathanson are some of the most powerful witnesses to the sanctity of life and to the power of the truth to convert all those involved with abortion.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

More on Down's Syndrome

Scientists from the Institutes of Health, Maryland, have made an apparent breakthrough in experiments on unborn mice with a similar condition to Down's. The scientists injected the unborn mice with proteins and found that the mice brains developed normally. It should be noted that this is not a 'cure' for Down's Syndrome as some reports in the media are suggesting and it will be some years before tests are carried out on humans, but it does raise the strong possibility that effective treatments may one day become available for conditions such as Down's.

One of the objections raised to potential treatments of this kind was that it could be used "just to ensure that somebody conforms to our idea of an ideal standard" but I find it difficult to see why there could be an ethical problem here. We do not talk about corrective surgery for cleft palate or bilateral squint as 'conformity to an ideal standard'. There are thousands of medical and surgical interventions that are used to treat disabling and potentially disabling conditions across the spectrum and all to the good.

Where there may be a problem would be if these drugs turned out to carry a high risk of miscarriage, in which case the risk to the child's life might outweigh the potential benefits. Like the Down's Syndrome Association, I will be watching this story with interest.

Friday, November 28, 2008

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) at 60

Many things can be said about the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). It is the foundation of international human rights law, the first universal statement on the basic principles of inalienable human rights, and a common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations. As the UDHR approaches its 60th birthday, it is timely to emphasize the document’s enduring relevance, its universality, and that it has everything to do with all members of the human family. Today, the UDHR is more relevant than ever in a world threatened by racial, economic and religious divides, and we must therefore defend and proclaim the universal principles --first enshrined in the UDHR-- of justice, fairness and equality that people across all boundaries hold so deeply. We must also take cognisance of the threats to the UDHR from those who reinterpret it to suit their own ideologies.

For all its lofty ideals the UDHR has failed to protect the most vulnerable members of our society who cannot speak for themselves. Babies once conceived and prior to birth are treated as disposable and millions are terminated annually. This failure is not so much a failure of the actual text of the document as the inadequacy or deliberate manipulation of its interpretation and therefore its implementation.

The UDHR explicitly includes all members of the human family and yet those who interpret and implement it and the conventions enacted as part of the International Bill of Rights have allowed themselves to be diverted by ideologues and have supported their demands rather than serving the truth.

It is incumbent on all to revisit the issue of interpretation and reassess the implementation of the UDHR. We must ask ourselves why are some members of the human family not given the protection they are entitled to? Why have the most vulnerable members of our society, babies once conceived and prior to birth been deliberately excluded from the protection that is theirs by right?

All attempts to re-interpret the Universal Declaration to exclude the baby prior to birth, are shameful, they are unlawful and unjust. It is to be hoped that those who hold high offices at the UN such as the Secretary General and the High Commissioner for Human Rights together with the different arms of the UN such as the General Assembly and the Human Rights Council, will reject the current inadequate interpretations placed on the document by NGO’s and some members of the interpretative committees who are hostile to embryonic life, and courageously stand for the rights of the weakest members of society and defend them against ideologies, which seek to destroy them.

The humanity of the embryo is beyond question and we must all recognize the scientific fact that the human being, from the single cell stage of development of the human embryo : whether brought into being by sexual reproduction or otherwise, and whether inside or outside the womb of a woman, is a separate and distinct, living human individual who will progress through all stages of development in a continuum, through the embryonic and fetal stages, to birth, unless it dies or is killed. The embryo therefore is a distinct and autonomously developing human being, whose right to survival, guaranteed by the UDHR, depends upon a protected, hospitable and interpersonal environment that provides life sustenance in the form of nutrition, hydration, and oxygen -- the basic rights of every human being at all stages of life.

It is time to look afresh at the issues, and to redress the faulty interpretation and implementation of the UDHR. It is time for a new and radical approach which will include the protection, which the international community originally decided to put in place and which will help to create a new momentum leading towards the goal of cherishing all human life at all stages of development. It is time the killing stopped

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Choice on Earth

The Curt Jester has a somewhat disturbing post about Planned Parenthood's Christmas products. In past years, Planned Parenthood has sold cards entitled Choice on Earth and is now promoting gift cards to give to girls as Christmas presents, so that they can get money off 'services' including contraception and abortion.

It says a great deal for the demonic nature of the abortion lobby that they are prepared to use the birth of Christ to promote the killing of babies and apparently fail to see the obscene irony involved. The Curt Jester has designed a few cards of his own, including a modification of Choice on Earth with the subheading: "continuing where King Herod left off. Make sure no infant interferes with your life."

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Facing Crisis Pregnancy

Feminists for Life of America's latest video records a speech by a student who discovered, shortly after she started university, that she was pregnant. The temptation with campaigning sometimes is to dwell too much on the extreme cases. They do need to be acknowledged, but in many ways Chaunie's story is more typical of the sort of situation that might tempt a young woman into seeking abortion and offers insights into the ways in which the pro-life movement can support women facing a crisis pregnancy.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Going the Distance for Life

This is a compelling video encouraging American pro-lifers to pray and campaign to protect innocent life. Given the impact the Obama presidency is likely to have on pro-life activities across the globe, particularly at the United Nations, we should all be inspired to redouble our efforts to protect the most vulnerable members of our society.

Shortly before he died, Pope John Paul II warned against a ‘new ideology of evil, perhaps more insidious and hidden than its predecessors, which attempts to pit even human rights against the family and against man’

Abortion is not, and never can be, a human right. We live in times however in which real human rights are being usurped by the attempts of certain elites to create new human rights including a right to abortion, despite the objections of many countries and people of goodwill everywhere.

Sadly this new ideology is moving centre stage and given the pro-abortion statements of President elect Obama, his previous anti life history and now the choice of anti life Democrats in the highest offices, the stage has been set for an increased slaughter of innocents on a global basis. This video calls for prayer which of course is the first weapon in our armoury, unfortunately most of us tend to use it only as our last resort. I am reminded of the episode in the Gospels where the apostles who were competent sailors only woke Jesus and called on his help as a last resort when the boat was in danger of sinking, and He calmed the storm. Let us then pray-pray-pray that He may also intervene to protect life and calm this particular storm

H/T The Hermeneutic of Continuity

Monday, November 24, 2008

Crying without tears

Esperanza Puente's new book 'I Aborted' offers a frank account of the abortion process from the viewpoint of a woman who has had an abortion. It is a world away from the friendly, supportive and professional image abortion providers like to give themselves. Puente writes:

“In the waiting room, women cry without tears and scream without a voice... the standard procedure is that women don’t see ultrasounds of the baby, which is considered to be a ‘cluster of cells’ or a blob of tissue, as one doctor in Madrid told a woman a few days ago.”

She describes the behaviour of staff as 'cold' and mentions a particularly horrific moment when she found the remains of her dead baby that a nurse had forgotten to take away.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Victory over Violence

Feminists for Life of America have released a video of a talk given by Joyce Ann McCauley-Benner, a woman who discovered she was pregnant two months after being raped. Rather than seeing herself as a 'hard case', she describes her decision to take care of the baby as her own victory over violence. One of the slogans of Feminists for Life is 'Say No to the Status Quo.'

Warning: The talk contains descriptions of sexual assault and may be unsuitable for some viewers.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Eugenics and other Evils

A draft law is being considered in The Netherlands that would punish 'unfit' parents by forcing women to use contraception for a number of years and taking the baby away as soon as it was born if the woman refused the order to take contraception and became pregnant.

Khaled Diab in The Guardian, voices disquiet at the proposed law, warning:

This government may have all the best intentions, but what's to guarantee that a future government doesn't use the law, or an amendment of it, to target "undesirable" groups, such as Roma, gays, religious minorities and immigrants?

More immediately, there's the question of how we would define the "unfit parents" who should be deprived from the right to bear children. Should the law apply only to parents who pose a clear and present danger to potential offspring or could it be more loosely interpreted to apply to those of whose parenting style the state disapproves?

As numerous commentators at the end of the article point out, this is essentially just another piece of legislation stemming from the eugenicist ideology so popular during the Interwar period, which was of course promoted by the likes of Marie Stopes and Margaret Sanger. Others quote the number of European countries and US states that had eugenicist laws in place until the early 70s, which involved the compulsory sterilisation of those regarded as mentally and physically unfit, along with some racial minorities.

An article in Second Spring analyses the work of G.K. Chesterton in campaigning against and defeating the Mental Deficiency Bill in 1912. Chesterton was one of the only vocal and influential opponents of eugenics at a time when eugenics was being publicly embraced and promoted by England's liberal intelligentsia.

As the horrors of past eugenics programmes fade in memory and this evil ideology once again takes hold of society, we need another G.K. Chesterton to sound the alarm.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Excellent Tablet Editorial

No, I have not lost possession of my mental faculties. I don't like the Tablet, but their arguments are impeccably correct in this case so I really did mean to use the word 'excellent' in the title of this post. Whilst trawling through The Tablet website the other day, I stumbled upon an editorial about Daniel James, the young rugby player who committed suicide in Switzerland after being paralysed in an accident. The editorial focuses on Warnock's deplorable position and the inevitable slippery slope caused by calls for the legalisation of assisted suicide:

While Lady Warnock's utilitarian approach has shocked many, she has also done society a service in showing how efforts to reform the law at one level - in the name of compassion for the terminally ill - leads swiftly to calls for even greater changes in the law in the name of personal autonomy. It is becoming seemingly more acceptable to suggest that the physically disabled and those suffering from mental affliction should organise their deaths as a reasonable response to their condition.

A law permitting assisted suicide would be a message to the vulnerable that their lives are no longer valued. Rather than being barbaric, as some suggest, the outlawing of assisting suicide is protective of those in greatest need of care.

Baroness Warnock's suggestion that those suffering from dementia would be doing the right thing if they chose to die could well be taken up as a solution to scarce resources. But a society that puts resources before patients is neither a compassionate nor a civilised one.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Self-delusion is not the same as ignorance

A heated discussion has erupted on Standing on My Head, inspired by a post discussing the parallels between abortion and slavery.

Some interesting moral arguments have been raised, particularly on the extent to which abortionists realise that they are ending human lives. It was pointed out by one commentator that the Nazis knew they were exterminating human lives when they committed acts of genocide, but abortionists are acting in ignorance. I pointed out that this does not seem to me to be an acceptable argument.

The abortion lobby repeatedly dismisses the humanity of the unborn, using expressions such as 'bundle of cells', 'pregnancy tissue', 'the contents of the uterus' etc etc but this is sheer self-delusion. The scientific evidence is there for the world to see. As a fellow campaigner and mother-of-two put it:

When I started showing signs of going into premature labour, nobody at the hospital spoke of the fetus or the products of conception. It was 'let's have a listen to the baby's heartbeat', 'the baby's moving a lot', 'we're doing everything we can to save the baby' and even 'this is really going to hurt, love, just think of the baby.' I can't fathom the logic of obstetricians who refer to a wanted child as a baby and work through the night to save its life, only to dismiss an unwanted child as a waste product to be removed.

The abortion lobby can be described as many things, but it is not ignorant.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Lisbon Treaty Update

David Fieldsend of Care for Europe who was in Dublin to address an Oireachtas (Irish Government) committee hearing on the Lisbon Treaty also addressed a meeting in Buswell’s hotel in Dublin on Tuesday 11th Nov.
Fieldsend told the meeting that EU Institutions are increasingly seeking to influence national practice in the area of social issues previously felt to be a matter of subsidiarity. Seeming ‘safeguards’ in the Treaties appear to have been all too easily got round by re-classifying the issue to appear under a different heading or article of the Treaties where action is not restricted – or just by putting a new and unexpected interpretation on the Treaty wording.
He instanced a variety of ways in which the EU had managed to expand competence into areas which should have remained within national arena such as the decision to give EU funding to embryonic stem-cell research a decision which was backed by the Irish Government.

According to Fieldsend, while there is as yet no EU legislation which specifically refers to abortion many reports and resolutions have been adopted – and at least one piece of legislation which include the ambiguous expression ‘sexual and reproductive health and rights’. Although all official answers from both the European Commission and the Council of the EU consistently deny any European competence to act in the matter of abortion most international organisations which use this expression (certainly including UN agencies, WHO, etc) interpret it as including access to abortion (usually under the title ‘preventing unsafe abortion’). It is also frequently quoted in court cases across the world where family planning NGOs (of which the ‘Center for Reproductive Rights’ is a leader) seek to pressurise southern hemisphere countries to allow unrestricted access to abortion.

Fieldsend also referred to the Maruko judgment of the European Court of Justice (ECJ), which extends to same-sex partners the pension rights previously enjoyed only by spouses. The significance of this decision is that the EU is supposed to have no competence, or power, in the area of family law. The further significance is that the Employment Equality Directive, on which this decision was based, explicitly safe-guarded member-state marriage law, and yet the ECJ still came to this judgment. (Irish Independent 14th Nov.)There was the attempt by the European Commission to restrict the right of religious schools in Ireland and elsewhere to employ individuals who will respect their ethos, again in the name of employment equality.
In addition, the Commission has told Germany that its civil partnership model for same-sex couples must be made equal to marriage, also in the name of equality. Will it tell us the same thing?
Other examples can be given but what we are seeing again and again is the EU turning the principle of non-discrimination into an absolute, as though no other social goods exist. Added to this is competence creep on the part of the EU, plus activism by the ECJ, which drive forward this agenda and treat the principle of subsidiarity as though it doesn't exist.

Fieldsend told the meeting that past experience does not give him great comfort that just keeping something out of the Treaty is a cast iron guarantee and he recommended that Ireland ringfence Articles 40-44 of the Constitution which protect fundamental rights, including religious freedom, the right to life and the family based on marriage.
For the full reassurance of religious voters I would respectfully suggest that at least the whole of Articles 40 to 44 of the Constitution should be considered for protection and that such protection should not be merely from the Treaty content itself, but also extend to any laws subsequently enacted under those Treaties and the judgments of the European Court of Justice

A Pro-Abortionist's Dream

Vincenzina Santoro, Chief United Nations Representative of the American Family Association of New York, has published a summary of Congressman Chris Smith's comments on President Obama, made during an interview for Family News in Focus.

He states what many of us at the UN already know, but with so many people still deluding themselves about the terrible consequences an Obama presidency will have on the culture of life at the UN, Chris Smith's comments need to be heard.

Representative Chris Smith, Republican from New Jersey and the main defender of life in the United States Congress, was interviewed Sunday morning (November 16th) on the radio program “Weekend Edition of Family News in Focus.” His remarks on the incoming president were frightening (but not new) to all supporters of life, especially at the United Nations.

According to Rep. Smith, “on day one, sadly and tragically,” by executive order (more than 250 have been identified) Obama will overturn every pro-life policy in the United States. The list includes the Mexico City Policy dating back to the Reagan Administration in 1984 that refuses funding to NGOs that promote the inclusion of coerced abortion in family planning. Obama will support the Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA) that provides taxpayer funds for abortions including partial-birth abortions, will completely nullify all state laws restricting abortion including references to parental notification, and permit all kinds of stem cell research.

Rep. Smith called attention to an Obama speech to Planned Parenthood, available on YouTube, in which he stated that his “first priority” as president will be FOCA and lifting all restrictions on abortion – measures that go well beyond Roe v. Wade.

“Obama will be the pro-abortionist dream and the culture of life nightmare” according to Rep. Smith. Nowhere should the “state of euphoria” be greater than at the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) as funding for this UN entity had been cut off for several years by the current Bush Administration. UNFPA will now receive US taxpayer money to promote its anti-life agenda even more forcefully. Rep. Smith stated that UNFPA is in “co-management” in coercive abortion and child abuse. He reminded listeners that at the Nazi trials at Nuremberg forced abortion was “considered a crime against humanity.” Finally, only pro-abortion individuals will be considered for the Supreme Court.

According to Rep. Smith’s estimates, Obama favors a doubling of spending on anti-life matters from $450 million to one billion dollars.

Obama’s actions will have a devastating effect on countries of Latin America and Sub-Saharan Africa with unrestricted pursuit of abortion by UNFPA and the large number of anti-natal NGOs.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

An Abortionist Converted

Catholic News Agency carries the extraordinary story of a Serbian abortionist who converted to the pro-life cause after performing 48,000 abortions.

Stojan Adasevic performed up to 35 abortions a day at the height of his career until he began to have a recurring dream in which he saw children running away from him in terror whilst a man in a habit watched him in silence. Finally, the man told him that the children were those he had killed through abortion and that his name was Thomas Aquinas - a name that Adasevic had never heard of, having had an entirely secular Soviet education.

When he refused to perform any more abortions, he was punished by the authorities. His salary was halved, his daughter lost her job and his son was barred from university, but he persevered with his pro-life mission and is now a leading campaigner for the unborn.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Pro-abort MP told to get lost

Diane Abbott, Labour MP for Hackney, just can't leave Northern Ireland alone. After her failed attempt at imposing abortion on Northern Ireland, the minister for Northern Ireland, Shaun Woodward, has spelt out in plain English that Westminster will not extend the 1967 Abortion Act to the province and that any debate on the issue should take place within Northern Ireland's own legislative assembly.

Undeterred, Ms Abbott intends to continue her campaign to interfere in other people's legislative business and has said she will propose a private bill to bring abortion to Northern Ireland.

Bernie Smyth of Precious Life had this to say: "My message to Diane Abbott is butt out of Northern Ireland and stop interfereing in our protection of our unborn children."

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Thoughts of an EU reformist

A detailed and disturbing account at Orwell's Picnic of Kathy Sinnot's recent lecture given at the MaterCare conference. She describes the essentially anti-democratic nature of the European Union and the promotion of the culture of death with devastating clarity.

Describing the way the European Court of Justice works, she stated:

Judges slip very easily into law-making and judicial activism and this is particularly true in the European Court of Justice for a particularly interesting reason. Most of our High Courts or Supreme Courts or whatever you call them in your own countries – the job of most of those courts is to uphold your constitutions. But the actual stated job of the European Court of Justice – the EU’s court is to promote the European project. So, it takes whatever document or whatever treatise, and it decides what interpretation at this point in time will best promote the European project; not what do those words truly mean and what do case law tell us about them. And this is a particularly worrying thing in terms, again, of the Lisbon Treaty because for the first time, we had a Charter of Rights included – called the Fundamental Charter of Rights and those rights had very interesting things like ‘Everyone has a right to life.’ But, of course, the only country fighting that statement was Ireland because we wanted to retain our Right to Life – and we knew that a statement like “Everyone has a right to life” – actually did not apply to such things as abortion and euthanasia. It actually meant the opposite and it would mean the opposite because it was the European Court in Luxemburg that would decide what it meant and that was why countries that are very invested in things like abortion – even countries that are invested in policies of euthanasia – had no problem ratifying the Lisbon Treaty and even welcoming this fundamental charter because, in fact, it would reinforce their policy not counter-act it.

Reading this post made me all too aware of the vital work MEPs like Kathy are doing in the European Parliament, against appalling odds. It should be noted that Kathy describes herself as an EU-reformist, not a Eurosceptic. This is, I think, an important clarification to make, as it is quite common for people to assume that anyone who dares question the functioning of the EU is against it per se. Just as a true patriot should regard it as a duty to stand up to unjust laws in his own country, a good European should regard it as a duty to stand up to the injustices currently being carried out in the name of the European project.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Clarification from Bishop Hollis

Possibly in answer to the protests his earlier message caused, Bishop Hollis has added a clarification.

Barack Obama: A Clarification
I would like to add some words to the statement that I issued last week on the election of Barack Obama as President of the United States of America.

I genuinely welcome his election because he represents such a different political profile from that of President Bush. America – and the world – needs that political change and will benefit from it.

However, I am aware of what he has said about abortion and about the so-called freedom of choice and I deplore his words. There is no way in which I endorse his position on these crucial “life” matters, nor, as a Catholic bishop, could I ever do so.

Perhaps it’s naïve to say this but I hope and pray that the realities of the political process will mean that he has to temper his personal policies on these all important life issues and pay serious attention to the outrage with which many view his “life” agenda.

Bishop Crispian Hollis

h/t Catholic Action UK

Friday, November 14, 2008

Thanks, Bishop Hollis

Oh dear, the Bishop of Portsmouth, Crispin Hollis, has done it again. In his excitement and enthusiasm about the election of the most anti-life president in history, Bishop Hollis has issued a special message to mark the occasion:
“With millions of others, I have been thrilled by Barack Obama’s victory and I thank God for it. For me, it represents a rare moment of hope and optimism which shows American democracy at its best and it is of seismic significance and potential for the whole global community. And so, more than ever now, he deserves and needs us to keep him in our prayers.”

Yes, well for those of us with naturalisation papers to planet Earth, the picture is rather different. Vacuous adulation like this really causes me grave concern because it shows at best a lack of understanding (and I very much doubt Hollis is lacking in understanding) and at worst, a callous disregard for the fate of millions of innocent human lives who will never benefit from Obama's hope.

It is certainly major news when a non-white has been elected to the highest office in the US, Obama however is the most pro-abortion President ever to be elected to this high office. I cannot therefore share Bishop Hollis' moment of hope and optimism but there is one issue on which I am in complete agreement with him, Obama certainly does need our prayers, we must pray for a Pauline conversion and a very urgent one at that, otherwise the consequences of his threathened actions will be disastrous. Of particular concern is his promise to IPPF to sign the freedom of choice act.

I would add that in addition to prayer for Obama, the United States needs our prayers and in particular we need to pray for the protection of all innocent life

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Jamie Carragher

A heartwarming story going round blogosphere at the moment. Footballer Jamie Carragher describes in his autobiography, his Catholic mother's refusal to have him aborted in spite of pressure from doctors who claimed that he was disabled. He writes:

'Our Lord told me to have the baby', she still claims.
She's the rock on which my family is built.
I owe everything to that decision
she took thirty years ago.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Nature is a harsh judge

Mary Magdalen has a link to an extract from a documentary on the demographic crisis facing the western world. Fr Blake expresses a certain degree of anxiety about such videos because of the possible racialist agenda (not enough of us, way too many of you in a manner of speaking) of these documentaries, but I am not sure this is what the video is attempting to convey.

In any case, as one message in the combox stated rather ominously:

Fr Ray, as the (immigrant) mother of two babies and counting, I would agree that economic policies make it very hard for families in this country but that is not the real issue, it is the social expectation that 'two children are enough' and that babies are a burden who cramp your lifestyle. I come across this attitude among Christians all the time, including among 'orthodox' Catholics.

My children are mixed race and I have no time whatsoever for people who moan about shrinking indigenous populations when those populations themselves are contracepting and aborting themselves out of existence. God is merciful, nature is harsh.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

In a muddle about the 'right' to die

The BBC website carries a characteristically confused article about what it describes as a 'right to die' case involving a thirteen-year-old girl. Hannah Jones suffered from childhood leukaemia and the drugs she has had to take from the age of five have weakened her heart, leaving her terminally ill. She has refused a heart transplant which may or may not be successful and even if successful would require medication for the rest of her life. She has shown herself to be competent to make such a decision and has convinced the authorities that she is not being coerced by anyone else into refusing treatment.

Contrary to media reports, this case has nothing to do with euthanasia. It can be perfectly ethical for a person to refuse burdensome treatment and this appears to be what Hannah is asking: that she be allowed to live out the rest of her life at home and to be spared invasive treatment that offers only a limited prospect of success. She has in many way made a courageous decision and it should be respected, but it should be seen for what it is - a decision to refuse treatment, not a desire to die.

Monday, November 10, 2008

An abortion survivor speaks

Melissa Ohden's extraordinary story, captured here on video, echoes that of Gianna Jessen, the abortion survivor publicly attacked by Barack Obama for exposing his record on infant protection legislation. Like Gianna, Melissa's teenage mother underwent a late-term saline abortion but Melissa was born alive and astonished doctors by surviving. She describes the procedure and her subsequent adoption by a loving couple. Particularly moving is her description of the moment her adoptive mother had to tell her the truth about her origins.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

God save Spain's Pro-Life Queen!

I would never have described myself as a monarchist, but I have to admire the courage and highly-principled stand of the Queen of Spain, Doña Sofia Margarita Victoria Frederica, on the life issues. A new book based on interviews with her has caused a stir in her country after she expressed her opposition to abortion and euthanasia.

In her own words:

"It is necessary to respect every living child, every child that has begun to live. And to be in favor of life is not backward, nor is it something confined to Christianity. It is to follow the natural law."

Of death with dignity she adds:

"Life and death are not in our hands. Death with dignity? I'm completely in agreement. Those who are in agony should be in better conditions, these are their final moments. For humanity's sake, they should have the pain taken away, and for that there are sedatives, palliatives. I don't think that any doctor, any nurse, any health worker, should be willing to kill someone, even if it is requested or it is required by the hospital."

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Official: lighted matches have a tendency to start fires

Here is a shocking piece of news. Researchers have discovered that if young people are constantly being exposed to images of attractive people burning houses down and playing with matches, if these programmes contain the strong message that being an arsonist is 'cool', 'grown-up' and involves no serious risk of injury or loss to anyone, young people are much more likely to start fires. The media cannot understand why this should be the case. The Government and their faithful agencies are equally baffled as to why handing teenagers boxes of matches as well as promoting the message that arson is a good idea, appears to be aiding and abetting this problem. Indeed, they doubt this is really the case. Teenagers are, by their very nature, prone to starting fires and it is far better if they are taught to do so in an open, responsible, adult....[cont. page 98]

I can't be the only person who choked on their morning cornflakes, having it solemnly announced to me via the radio news that explicit television programmes portraying sex as a glamorous recreational activity devoid of any negative consequences are increasing the teenage pregnancy rate. Good heavens, really? Can't think why that should happen.

Predictably, the give-toddlers-condoms brigade are using this latest piece of research to argue in favour of exposing children to yet more sexually explicit material (in the classroom not on the television so that's all right then). Society needs to wake up and take responsibility for this moral crisis before any more young people are sucked into a pattern of behaviour that causes such physical, mental and emotional suffering, whether or not a pregnancy occurs.

Friday, November 7, 2008

MPs named and shamed

His Hermeneuticalness has produced a list of Catholic MPs who voted in favour of the recent embryology bill, with the comment that there hardly seems to be any point in listing Catholic MPs in the Catholic Directory when they have no qualms about voting for evil legislation. I was particularly disturbed by the presence of two Papal knights on the list, but I can think of stranger choices for a Papal knighthood in recent years...

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Amnesty for Babies

Back in September, I blogged on the Amnesty for Babies campaign to recognise the rights of nascent human beings. I am writing again to ask readers to consider signing the two petitions currently being circulated by Amnesty for Babies, one general petition, the other specifically for scientists and members of the medical profession.

With a strongly anti-life US president, the battle for the lives of the unborn at the UN will become increasingly difficult and necessary. Please consider adding your name to the campaign.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Pro-Life concern following Obama election

So, US voters have made their choice: President elect Barack Obama.

They have chosen a president who:

Was unable (or unwilling), when asked, to say when life begins. He declared it to be above his pay-grade.

* Co-sponsored the "Freedom of Choice Act,” which would overturn the ban on partial-birth abortion, require taxpayer funding of abortion, and strike down virtually all limits on abortion, such as parental notification laws.

* Has stated “I have consistently advocated for reproductive choice and will make preserving women’s rights under Roe v. Wade a priority as President."

* Voted FOUR times against legislation that would have protected the lives of children who survived abortion.

* Could overturn the Mexico City Policy and will appoint only pro-abortion judges to the Supreme Court.

US citizens must now face the consequences of their decision but this decision will inevitably have consequences throughout the world. President elect Obama's seemingly unstoppable campaign was likened to a whirlwind and we must all now reap the whirlwind