Friday, May 31, 2013

Labour Party Chairman Colm Keaveney rejects the Irish Government abortion bill

It has been widely reported this week that the current Labour Party Chairman Colm Keaveney has stated publicly that he cannot support the proposed Government legislation on abortion, much to the consternation of his colleagues and in particular the party leader Eamon Gilmore. An article in the Galway Independent describes Keaveney as a ‘Renegade’ see below and also thislink
Renegade Labour Party Chairman Colm Keaveney has this week voiced his opposition to the Government’s Protection of Life During Pregnancy Bill.

The Galway East Deputy joins Galway West Fine Gael Deputy Brian Walsh in publicly stating that he cannot support the proposed bill as it currently stands, in particular raising concerns that it does not impose limits on when a termination may be carried out.

Speaking to the Galway Independent, Deputy Keaveney said he found the absence of time limits on the termination of a viable pregnancy in the recently published heads of the bill “disturbing”.

He added that both Minister James Reilly and Minister of State Alex White had confirmed that “in the event of a late term termination of pregnancy, not an abortion, a proposal would exist that babies would be prematurely delivered and left, potentially, with a wide ranging set of disabilities in the care of the State”.

While welcoming aspects of the bill that improve clarity around emergency treatments where the health of the mother is at risk, Deputy Keaveney also suggested that politicians who support the legislation as it stands would look back in two years and ask, “Did we just do that?”

“Because I suspect that the Supreme Court will have a view when the failure of the bill to adequately balance the rights between the life of the mother and the child are not fulfilled in the legislation,” he said, also raising fears that the proposed legislation could “normalise suicide as an option”.

Labour Youth has called on Deputy Keaveney to reconsider his position on the legislation, with group chairperson Aideen Carberry pointing out that Labour has “argued over many years that the X Case judgement needs to be legislated for, and this explicitly included the threat to the life of the woman by suicide”.

“Although he is under no obligation to vote in line with the Labour Party, having lost the whip, we urge [Mr] Keaveney to reconsider his position on this Bill, and represent the views of the party members who elected him as their party chairperson,” said Ms Carberry.

Deputy Keaveney has however stood by the concerns raised, adding, “I’m not influenced by pro-life or pro-choice, I’m influenced by the public interest. I don’t do slogan politics, this is a very serious situation that needs critical analysis by the public.”

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Catholic Church says Irish Government claims on the need for abortion legislation "untrue"

The Irish Times reports on a recent initiative of the Catholic Church in Ireland and highlights a pamphlet which directly contradicts the Government claims on the need to legislate for abortion and says the Government claim that there is no change to the law on abortion is ‘untrue’.

A newsletter being circulated by the Catholic Communications Office at Maynooth says it is “untrue” to state “that there is no change to the law on abortion in Ireland” being planned by the Government. 
It adds: “If there was no change this legislation (Protection of Life During Pregnancy Bill) would not have been published. The proposed legislation gives practical effect to the X case decision which permits abortion up to birth where suicide is threatened. Ireland is about to cross a fundamental moral rubicon – the direct and intentional killing of the innocent.”

See Choose Life 2013 newsletter 

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Rescue of Chinese baby flushed down toilet

A shocking consequence of the Chinese one child policy came into public view yesterday when a video showing an abandoned baby went viral. The baby who was rescued last weekend from a sewage pipe is being nursed back to health in a local hospital. Meanwhile, the baby’s mother has been found and has reportedly been reunited with the infant
Firefighters in an eastern Chinese province rescued the newborn infant from the sewage pipe after neighbors reported hearing crying. Officials in China’s Zhejiang Province rescued the infant on Saturday afternoon.

PS It has subsequently been reported that the presence of the baby in the pipe was accidental

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Major Pro-Life Events in Ireland

Two major pro-life events have been arranged in Dublin to register opposition to the Irish Government plans to introduce abortion.

The first one will take place on Saturday June 8th in Merrion Square in Dublin.

The second on the Rally for Life will be held one month later on Saturday July 6th.

We encourage all those who can, should ensure they are present at both events, time is short.

Poster for the first event

Poster for second event

Monday, May 27, 2013

Analysis of Irish Government proposed legislation on abortion, prepared by the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children SPUC

We recently published our first draft of an analysis of the Irish Government’s proposed legislation on abortion in conjunction with the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC). We have since then continued along with SPUC to work on our analysis and now link to John Smeaton’sBLOG and to our joint final report.

John Smeaton writes
I have no doubt that the Irish government's legislative proposals on abortion will be used by the international pro-abortion lobby, worldwide, as a "model" for majority Catholic countries. It's essential that pro-life citizens, politicians and church leaders worldwide study this Bill - not least SPUC's full analysis of it

Deceptively entitled Protection of Life during Pregnancy Bill 2013 (my emphasis) the Irish Government’s legislative proposals strip the right to life from children before, and even during, birth in a broad range of circumstances.

Their Bill will compel all maternity hospitals, including Catholic hospitals, to provide abortions. It will greatly increase the small number of abortions of questionable legality which are performed annually in Ireland.

It is urgently necessary that Catholic politicians are warned that support for the legislation would be contrary to Catholic teaching. In particular Catholics supporting these legislative proposals should be warned not to receive Holy Communion. Furthermore Catholic hospitals should be forbidden by Ireland’s bishops to provide abortion, if the legislative proposals are enacted.

In brief: 
The Protection of Life during Pregnancy Bill (2013) if passed will mark a radical change in Ireland's abortion law. In many aspects the Bill is more permissive than the British Abortion Act (1967):
It repeals the comprehensive protection of unborn children under the Offences Against the Person Act (1861). It strips the right to life from children before, and even during, birth in a broad range of circumstances. Threats to life need not be inevitable or immediate.
It permits abortion on the grounds of suicidal ideation – once again, even when a threat of suicide is neither inevitable nor immediate.
Its numerous inconsistencies and ill-defined terms (eg "good faith", "reasonable opinion" and "due regard") render the Bill's limited protection of children virtually unenforceable.
The Bill fails to consider developments in science and legal precedent:
Its arbitrary and unscientific definition of "unborn" excludes all unimplanted embryos conceived naturally or by artificial means leaving such embryos vulnerable to exploitation.
This definition ignores the implications of recent Irish case-law which identifies the point of genetic fusion of parental DNA (ie fertilisation, not implantation) as decisive in establishing motherhood.
The Bill violates rights guaranteed by the Irish Constitution and the European Convention on Human Rights, including the equal right to life and freedom of conscience:
It will compel medical personnel to participate in abortion in some ways, while offering no protection to other professionals.
It will compel maternity hospitals, including Catholic hospitals, to provide abortions.
It legalises abortion without the consent of a pregnant woman in undefined “emergency” situations.
This Bill is so dangerously and deeply flawed that successful amendment of it is impossible. It should therefore be withdrawn in its entirety. If passed, this Bill will hugely increase the number of abortions carried out in Ireland. It is, without doubt, a Bill proposing a clearly unjust law and it must be resisted at every level.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Fianna Fail leader Michael Martin claims that the Irish Government pro-abortion legislation is 'pro-life' and deserving of support

According to news reports Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin says he is in favour of his party supporting the abortion legislation as it is in his opinion "consistent with a pro-life position", but his stance puts him at odds with large sections of his party, following the passing of three strongly pro-life motions at the Fianna Fail Ard Fheis.
"I think that the bill is consistent with a pro-life position. I think it's a restrictive piece of legislation, which I think actually limits what the current situation is, I mean the current legal position is that basically a woman can seek an abortion on suicidal grounds in any hospital, one doctor making an assessment, no requirement for psychiatric assessment whatsoever.
This is absolute nonsense, the proposed legislation is clearly pro-abortion and rather that taking the word of pro-lifers Michael Martin should take note that it has been welcomed by all the main pro-abortion groups in Ireland. 
The Bill cannot be described as ‘pro-life' or 'restrictive' because sections 58 and 59 of the 1861 offenses against the person act currently prohibits abortion entirely. The effect of the new legislation would be to establish an abortion regime for the first time in Ireland with no time limits and contrary to the evidence presented by psychiatrists at the recent Oireachtas Hearings.

The Independent also reports that Martin in making his statement has admitted that achieving consensus in his party will be difficult and that he has not ruled out a free vote on the issue as requested by some members of his party.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Morning after pill is not a "life-saving commodity" says Holy See

During the 66th World Health Assembly the Holy See made a forthright attack on a resolution before the Assembly, which lists "emergency contraception" (the morning-after pill) as a "life-saving commodity".

The Sixty-sixth World Health Assembly is taking place from 20 to 28 May 2013 in the United Nations, Palais des Nations Geneva. The Health Assembly, which is the annual general meeting of the World Health Organisation, this year, is discussing health topics like noncommunicable diseases, universal health coverage, women and children’s health, and is monitoring the achievements of the Millennium Development Goals.

Archbishop Zygmunt Zimowski (above), Head of the Delegation of the Holy See to the 66th World Health Assembly, addressed the Assembly. During his address, the archbishop was referring to efforts 'being made to save the lives of millions of women and children who continue to die every year from conditions that can easily be prevented with existing medical commodities' when he turned his fire on the morning-after pill." 
Archbishop Zimonski said:
While indeed some of the recommendations [in Resolution EB132.R4] are truly life-saving, that of "emergency contraception" can hardly be labeled as such since it is well known that, when conception already has occurred, certain substances used in “emergency contraception” produce an abortifacient effect. For my delegation, it is totally unacceptable to refer to a medical product that constitutes a direct attack on the life of the child in utero as a “life-saving commodity” and, much worse, to encourage “increasing use of such substances in all parts of the world." 
It is good to hear the Holy See speaking out boldly on this fundamental issue. Women are entitled to the truth - and the Catholic Church is serving the best interests of women, chidren and families worldwide, when it proclaims the truth fearlessly on abortion and abortifacient products in world assemblies.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Women suffer in multiple ways from abortion, reveals new analysis of research WHA urged to focus on improved maternal health care

GENEVA, Switzerland — Legalized abortion is widely touted as beneficial to women, but a wealth of medical and psychological evidence suggests otherwise, according to a new analysis of decades of research.  The analysis was released today at the World Health Assembly (WHA) in Geneva by Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life Global Outreach (MCCL GO) and National Right to Life Educational Trust Fund (NRLC), an NGO based in Washington, D.C.  Jeanne E. Head, R.N., Patrick Buckley and Scott Fischbach who are in Geneva introducing the analysis, are calling for a renewed emphasis on providing women with improved maternal health care.

“Women face numerous risks with abortion, legal or illegal, and those risks are substantially greater in the developing world,” said Jeanne Head, R.N., National Right to Life vice-president for international affairs and U.N. representative.  “Yet some in the international community have focused their resources primarily on legalizing abortion at the expense of women’s lives and health.”

“The evidence is overwhelming: Abortion is dangerous for women,” said MCCL GO Executive Director Scott Fischbach.  “Abortion is by its very nature a violent and damaging procedure.”

“Rather than legalize or promote abortion, governments should protect the equal dignity and basic rights of all human beings, including women and their unborn children,” said Patrick Buckley, Geneva main representative for the U.K. Society for the Protection of Unborn Children.

The analysis, “How Abortion Hurts Women,” provides an overview of extensive research from multiple countries into the risks of abortion.  Documented complications include hemorrhage, infection, cervical damage, uterine perforation, pelvic disease and retained fetal or placental tissue.  Large record-based studies from Finland, Denmark and the United States found that maternal mortality rates were significantly higher after abortion compared to childbirth.

Long-term risks of abortion, including subsequent preterm birth, infertility, cancer, miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy and placenta previa, can substantially impede future reproductive success.  In addition, abortion is associated with increased risk of negative psycho-social consequences.  For example, a 2011 meta-analysis published in the British Journal of Psychiatry found an 81 percent increased risk of mental health problems.  Anxiety, depression, alcohol and drug use and suicidal behaviors have been found to increase following abortion, along with damage to key relationships.

In the developing world, these dangers increase where basic maternal health care is unavailable.  Ms. Head explains: “The incidence of maternal mortality is mainly determined by the quality of maternal health care.  Legalization does not improve outcomes, but only increases the number of women subjected to the risks of abortion.”

MCCL GO and National Right to Life called upon the WHA to focus its resources on the improvement of women’s health care in the developing world.

“We call upon the WHA to acknowledge that abortion needlessly puts women at serious risk, both physically and psychologically,” Mr. Fischbach added.  “We urge the World Health Assembly to adopt measures that protect women from abortion and improve women’s health care.”

The analysis is available in English, French and Spanish at the MCCL GO website,  Copies are available at the WHA Geneva conference by calling Mr. Fischbach on 001-320-492-9062.

MCCL GO is a pro-life global outreach program of the Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life Education Fund with one goal: to save as many innocent lives as possible from the destruction of abortion.  Learn more at  Please subscribe to our RSS Feed.

Founded in 1968, National Right to Life, the federation of 50 state right-to-life affiliates and more than 3,000 local chapters, is the nation's oldest and largest grassroots pro-life organization. Recognized as the flagship of the pro-life movement, NRLC works through legislation and education to protect innocent human life from abortion, infanticide, assisted suicide and euthanasia.

Legislators who support abortion are excommunicating themselves.

The new Coadjutor Archbishop of Armagh and next Catholic primate of Ireland Eamon Martin has said politicians who “knowingly introduce legislation aiding and abetting abortion” should not “approach [a priest] looking for communion”. See Sunday Times Report

In the clearest statement so far on the church’s position Archbishop Eamon Martin, who will succeed Cardinal Seán Brady next year, said legislators who support abortion are excommunicating themselves.

“You cannot regard yourself as a person of faith and support abortion,” Martin said in an interview with The Sunday Times. “You cannot believe you are with your church and directly help someone to procure an abortion. This includes medical professionals and the legislators.

“If a legislator comes to me and says, ‘Can I be a faithful Catholic and support abortion?’ I would say no. Your communion is ruptured if you support abortion. You are excommunicating yourself. Any legislator who clearly and publicly states this should not approach looking for communion.”

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Appeal to Minister Reilly to reconsider his position on abortion

Geneva Monday 20th May, meeting with James Reilly attending the World Health Assembly as part of Ireland’s Presidency of the EU. ELN’s Patrick Buckley approached Minister Reilly and following introductions appealed to him to reconsider his position on abortion.

Minister Reilly was presented with information on the right to life of the unborn and the consequences of abortion for women's health.

When his officials realised he was being lobbied on the abortion issue they hastily intervened and rushed him away saying that he was already late for a meeting. 
The information given to Minister Reilly on the right to life confirmed the scientific fact a new human life begins at conception and is a continuum advancing through all stages until natural death and that at all points of development each individual is a living member of the human species homo sapiens.

  • That from conception each unborn child is by nature a human being and as a member of the human family is entitled to recognition of his/her inherent dignity and to protection of his/her inalienable human rights which are recognized in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and other international instruments.

  • That justice requires that governments protect the basic rights of every member of the human family and that the law should therefore protect unborn human beings just as it protects each of us. Any policy that permits the killing of unborn children is gravely unjust. 
The information given to Minister Reilly on the consequences of abortion for women's health, confirmed that there is no such right as a right to abortion under international law, either by way of treaty obligation or under customary international law.

  • That evidence shows that legalizing abortion usually increases the number of abortions that occur. In the United States, the number of abortions rose from an estimated 98,000 per year to a peak of 1.6 million following total legalization in 1973 and that more than 54 million abortions have been performed in the US since that time.
  • That abortion—even in countries with excellent maternal health care—poses serious risks to women, which are well documented.
  • That possible physical complications of surgical abortion include hemorrhage, infection, cervical laceration, and uterine perforation. non-surgical or chemical (ru486) abortion can cause severe pain, cramping, nausea, hemorrhage, infection, and incomplete abortion.

  • That these complications are sometimes so serious they result in the death of the mother.

  • That the possible long-term effects of abortion include sterility, miscarriage, premature birth, an increased risk of breast cancer, and ectopic (tubal) pregnancy, which can lead to death if not treated promptly.

  • That abortion can also have numerous psycho- social consequences, including grief, depression, drug abuse, and relationship problems. Many women (and men) now regret their decision to have or participate in an abortion.

Monday, May 20, 2013

“the inclusion of suicidality within the legislation may [...] lead to an increase in demand for termination [...]"

Fine Gael back benchers are likely to increase the pressure on the Government to alter the provisions for suicide in the draft abortion legislation after the emergence
of key divisions between the masters of the country's two main maternity hospitals.

The first day of the current Oireachtas health committee hearings on Friday highlighted sharp divisions in the evidence presented to it  by the Masters of Irelands main maternity hospitals. Dr Sam Coulter Smith Master of the Rotunda Hospital questioned the inclusion of suicidal intent as grounds for abortion.
He also said the provision of suicide raised ethical dilemmas for doctors and could lead to a rise in the number of women in Ireland looking for a termination, and he was critical of the absence of a gestational time limit.
Dr Coulter Smith told the committee.
“Our psychiatric colleagues tell us that there is currently no available evidence to show that termination of pregnancy is a treatment for suicidal ideation or intent and, as obstetricians, we are required to provide and practice evidence-based treatment,”
Coulter Smith also said in his view and the view of many of his colleagues;
 “the inclusion of suicidality within the legislation may, and I stress may, in the long-term lead to an increase in demand for termination in this country.” 
Dr Coulter's Smith's evidence was in sharp contrast to that from Dr Rhona Mahony, the Master of the National Maternity Hospital, who supported the suicide clause in the legislation. She said a woman who was intent on suicide was indeed at risk of dying, and needed to be assessed appropriately, believed, and provided with expert psychiatric care.

The issues raised by Dr Coulter Smith, one of Ireland's most experienced obstetricians, are expected to place additional pressure on the Fine Gael party and Taoiseach Enda Kenny. Many Fine Gael TD’s have reservations about the Government's draft legislation on abortion, particularly the inclusion of a suicide clause and there is strong pressure for amendments to the proposed legislation to drop the issue of suicide and for the inclusion of a provision for legal representation for the unborn and a time limit for terminations of pregnancies.

There is no doubt that the evidence given by Dr Coulter Smith is evidence based as there are a number of major national and international studies which support his submissions.
A large record based study in Finland that linked actual death certificates to medical records, reported a 650% higher risk of suicide after abortion compared to women who carried to term. Gissler M et al. Suicides after pregnancy in Finland: 1987-1994: register linkage study. British Medical Journal 1996; 313:143,4.

A records based UK study comparing suicide attempts before and after abortion indicated the increase in suicide rates after abortion was not related to prior suicidal behaviour but was most likely related to adverse reactions to the abortion
Morgan CM et al. Suicides after pregnancy: mental health may deteriorate as a direct result of abortion. British Medical Journal 1997: 314-902

A study of more than 173,000 California Medicaid records showed an increased rate of suicide that persisted for 8 years, not explained by prior mental illness.
Reardon DC et al. Deaths associated with pregnancy outcome: a record linkage study of low-income women. Southern Medical Journal 2002; 95(8): 834-841

The proposed legislation is ill conceived and can only lead to abortion on demand. The best solution would be for the Government to abandon its plans and retain the status quo.

Friday, May 17, 2013

New report on human cloning and production of embryonic stem cells

According to news reports there has been a new breakthrough in human cloning using somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) which has been used to clone an embryo or embryos for the production of stem cells. US scientists claim that this marks a "significant step" for medicine. A team at the Oregon Health and Science University, according reports, have developed the embryo to the blastocyst stage - around 150 cells – which they claim is enough to provide a source of embryonic stem cells.

This practice however is completely unethical in that living human embryos are being deliberately brought into being and then destroyed in the process of stem cell production.

The study, published in the journal Cell says the methods used were similar to those  used by Ian Wilmut to clone Dolly the sheep in the UK.

According to the reports the cloned embryos were used as a source of stem cells, which, according to the report, can in theory make new heart muscle, bone, brain tissue or any other type of cell in the body.  Major problems have been experienced in the past however in the manipulation of embryonic stem cells in mice, resulting in cancerous growths where the stem cells were injected.
The United Nations General Assembly in 2005  approved an International Convention against this kind of research in which it called on all member states to “prohibit all forms of human cloning inasmuch as they are incompatible with human dignity and the protection of human life. (A/59/516/Add.1)
This kind of research known as therapeutic cloning is not only unethical it is unsafe and is also unnecessary because of the significant progress made in recent years in the production of adult stem cells and their use in treating many ailments.

Some adult/umbilical cord stem cell treatments are now used in routine clinical practice. But most remain experimental. For example, trials are currently underway in human patients with "severe" multiple sclerosis using the patients' own blood stem cells. After three years, the study reported, adult stem cells were "able to induce a prolonged clinical stabilization in severe progressive MS patients," meaning the disease stopped advancing, "resulting in both sustained treatment-free periods and quality-of-life improvements."
Another area of great hope for adult stem cell therapy comes from using a patient's olfactory tissues, found in the nasal cavity, to treat paralysis caused by spinal cord injury. Peer-reviewed animal studies previously highlighted great potential for this technique. For example, olfactory tissues have "promoted partial restoration of function" in paralyzed rats.
This new report follows a number of previous bogus claims that stem cells have been produced by SCNT, the most infamous one being that made by the disgraced South Korean scientist, Hwang Woo-suk, who also claimed to have created stem cells from cloned human embryos, but was found to have faked the evidence.

Similar reports are repeated with such regularity that they have now almost become a mantra: "Embryonic stem cells" we are told "offer the most promise for finding cures" for degenerative diseases and conditions such as Parkinson's disease and spinal cord injury. Continually repeating something however doesn't make it true and time will tell whether this new claim is actually real or another bogus claim in order to attract funding for the unethical research.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

'I wasn’t suicidal before my abortion, but I was afterwards' woman tells TDs in Leinster House

Three women representing the organisation ‘Women Hurt by Abortion’, yesterday met with an all-party group of TD’s in Leinster House. The women addressed the problems they experienced following their abortions particularly issue such as depression, self harm and suicide, and made it clear that the after effects of abortion can and often do, lead to suicidal ideation.
See report report which follows
Hundreds of Irish women are left traumatised, depressed and suicidal after they have an abortion, it was claimed today.
A support group for those suffering from the after-effects of terminating a pregnancy said others are also silenced by shame and terrified of sharing their secret.
Bernadette Goulding, of Women Hurt, said she and others like her have been invisible in the debate on abortion.
“I had an abortion and I have been deeply damaged by it and I meet hundreds of women now who come to my abortion recovery programme,” she said.
“I suffered from many years of depression, anxiety, panic attacks, suicidal attempts, suicidal thoughts.
“When I work with women in recovery I meet many women who were suicidal. I’ve visited them in psychiatric hospitals around the country.”
Lynn Coles, from Belfast, had an abortion in 1980 at the age of 18 and struggled until she got help 13 years later.
“We want to get the message out there is hope and healing after abortion,” said the Women Hurt co-founder.
“It does anger me that women in the media would claim to be pro-choice. I’m pro-choice but I’m for women having proper choice and fully informed choice.
“Why would they want to silence our voices?”
The women, and Adele Best, spoke as they went to share their stories with cross-party politicians in Leinster House who will have to vote on legislation to allow abortion for suicidal women.
They said they would have been prepared to lie and say they were suicidal to get an abortion.
They warned their service is already overstretched and they claimed they expect numbers to rise if the proposed legislation is enacted. The Government has said it wants to bring it into law by the summer.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

SPUC and ELN Joint Commentary on Protection of Life during Pregnancy Bill 2013: Executive Summary

Protection of Life during Pregnancy Bill 2013 – an analysis by the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC)
3 Whitacre Mews, Stannery Street, London, SE11 4AB

Executive Summary

The Protection of Life during Pregnancy Bill (2013) if passed will mark a radical change in Ireland's abortion law. In many aspects the Bill is more permissive than the British Abortion Act (1967).

·            It repeals the comprehensive protection of unborn children under the Offences Against the Person Act (1861). It strips the right to life from children before, and even during, birth in a broad range of circumstances. Threats to life need not be inevitable or immediate.
·            It permits abortion on the grounds of suicidal ideation – once again, even when a threat of suicide is neither inevitable nor immediate.
·            Its numerous inconsistencies and ill-defined terms (eg "good faith", "reasonable opinion" and "due regard") render the Bill's limited protection of children virtually unenforceable.

The Bill fails to consider developments in science and legal precedent.

·            Its arbitrary and unscientific definition of "unborn" excludes all unimplanted embryos conceived naturally or by artificial means leaving such embryos vulnerable to exploitation.
·            It ignores recent Irish case law that recognises life beginning at fertilisation.

The Bill violates rights guaranteed by the Irish Constitution and the European Convention on Human Rights, including the equal right to life and freedom of conscience.

·  It will compel medical personnel to participate in abortion in some ways, while offering no protection to other professionals.
·  It will compel maternity hospitals, including Catholic hospitals, to provide abortions.
·  It legalises abortion without the consent of a pregnant woman in undefined “emergency” situations.

This Bill is so dangerously and deeply flawed that successful amendment of it is impossible. It should therefore be withdrawn in its entirety. If passed, this Bill will hugely increase the number of abortions carried out in Ireland. It is, without doubt, a Bill proposing a clearly unjust law and it must be resisted at every level.


Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Kermit Gosnell convicted of first degree murder of three babies and 3rd degree murder of woman

The Jury in the landmark case against late term abortionist Kermit Gosnell yesterday delivered their verdicts following 10 days of deliberation. The Jury found Gosnell guilty on 3 counts of 1st degree murder and one count of 3rd degree murder. Gosnell was also convicted on many of the lesser remaining charges including racketeering, performing illegal abortions after 24 weeks, failing to observe Pennsylvania's 24-hour waiting period before an abortion can be performed and endangering a child's welfare for employing a 15-year old in the procedure area.

The court heard during the trial how Gosnell and his unqualified staff persuaded vulnerable women seeking abortions to give birth to live babies, whom they killed by "snipping" their spinal cords with scissors.
"It was literally a beheading," Stephen Massof, an unlicensed medical school graduate who worked at the clinic, testified. "It is separating the brain from the body."
The case generated widespread revulsion in America and throughout the world despite the fact that the US media failed to adequately report it.
Gosnell now awaits sentencing and it has been reported that the prosecutor may seek the death penalty.

The convictions were based upon the horrendous and extensive evidence presented by the prosecution through 54 witnesses during more than a month-long trial that concluded with Gosnell's defense attorney offering no witnesses or other evidence in his defense, except to argue contrary to the evidence, that the babies killed by Gosnell or his associates were already dead when they were born. The prosecution's case was that the case was, "the most extraordinary hype and exaggeration in the history of the criminal justice system" and was solely based upon the "political climate of racism and elitism." The defense made a critical misstep in arguing that the neck snipping was to alleviate any pain that the brain might detect, indicating that there may have been brain function together with the sensation of pain in these babies before their spinal cords were cut. Pennsylvania law says brain wave activity after birth is evidence of being "alive."

This is a timely reminder if ever it was needed, of the ugly reality of abortion, at a time when the Irish Government is determined to introduce legislation permitting it in Ireland. We can no longer keep our heads in the sand and refuse to look at what really happens in abortion clinics. Butchering babies in the womb is just as horrific and cruel as it is babies who are alive. The only difference is you can see and touch the babies aborted alive while they are being killed.

Boston cardinal says he will boycott event because Enda Kenny is going

Cardinal Seán O’Malley has urged Ireland to stand up to the “great pressure” it faces to legislate on abortion, saying it should be proud of its pro-life heritage according to an article in the Catholic Herald.
His comments came as Irish MPs prepared to vote on legislation that would allow abortion in cases where the mother is deemed at risk of suicide.

The government claims that the legislation will merely provide “legal clarity” for doctors and codify a Supreme Court ruling that allowed abortion in such cases anyway.
But the country’s bishops’ conference have described the proposal as a “dramatic and morally unacceptable change to Irish law” that would “make the direct and intentional killing of unborn children lawful in Ireland”.
In an exclusive interview with Mary O’Regan in this week’s Catholic Herald Cardinal O’Malley said that changing the law would “encourage” and “condone” abortion.
Cardinal O’Malley said: “Abortion is the taking of an innocent human life; everyone should resist abortion. Ireland has the good fortune, in part thanks to Catholic sensibilities, that her people have been opposed to abortion despite the great pressure that they have come under from secularising forces.”
He continued: “Ireland should be very proud of its pro-life heritage and how traditionally there has been great importance given to human life. Every life counts, and I am very proud that in Ireland protection is given to life that is as vulnerable as the unborn. I hope that Ireland will continue to stand up against the pressures – I know the pressures are there. Pressure to legislate for abortion is a dehumanising force in our world.”
The cardinal, asked if the change in the law would make such a difference as many Irish women travel to Britain for an abortion, said: “The laws have a function of teaching what is right and wrong. And simply because someone is going to do something, does not mean that we have to facilitate it, condone it, or encourage it.”
The Irish bishops’ conference last week condemned the idea that abortion could be a remedy for suicidal depression.
Its statement said:“It is a tragic moment for Irish society when we regard the deliberate destruction of a completely innocent person as an acceptable response to the threat of the preventable death of another person.”
Cardinal O’Malley meanwhile said: “If any woman is suicidal, she must be given treatment for depression. If she has an abortion, there are greater chances that she will be depressed and suicidal as a result of having had an abortion.”
The cardinal also said the Church should do more to promote adoption. “I am realising how negative the attitude is towards adoption… When a woman is in a difficult pregnancy, she sees adoption as a continuation of her problems… We need to change that attitude, because otherwise we will never be able to counter abortion,” he said.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Pope Francis Joins 40,000 strong pro-life march in Rome reports that Pope Francis surprised about 40,000 Italian and international participants in Sunday’s Marcia per la Vita (March for Life) Internazionale in Rome, when he left the Apostolic Palace to greet them personally from his popemobile in the street where they were lined up.
Monsignore Ignacio Barreiro, the head of the Rome office of Human Life International, told that for the pope to have effectively joined the March for Life was highly unusual.
Since his election, the pope has gained a reputation for making spontaneous gestures that have sometimes taxed his security staff, beginning with taking the bus back to his temporary residence with the other cardinals the night of his election, instead of the car reserved for the pope.
In this case, however, the Vatican appeared to have prepared the event ahead of time. Monsignore Barreiro noted they had prepared crowd control barriers to guide the popemobile out of St. Peter’s square and across the adjacent piazza and down the wide Via della Conciliazione that leads up the Basilica.
But if organizers knew about a planned appearance by the pope at the march, they made no mention of it before the event, leaving participants delighted by the unexpected arrival of the pontiff.  
The pope also gave a shout-out to the marchers from his usual weekly Regina Coeli address, briefly welcoming them and endorsing a European-wide pro-life petition against embryo research.
The ‘One of Us’ campaign is seeking to gain 1 million signatures as part of a European Citizen Initiative. If organizers of the campaign achieve their goal the European Parliament is duty-bound to schedule a debate on the issue.
“I invite you to keep the attention of everyone on the important issue of respect for human life from the moment of conception,” the pope told the marchers.
He also invited all to attend the Vatican’s “Evangelium Vitae Day,” which he said would be “a special moment especially for those who care about the defense of the sanctity of human life,” to take place “in the context of the Year of Faith,” on 15 and 16 June.
March organisers were delighted with the greeting and with the extraordinary surge of numbers from last year’s march, which attracted 15,000 from around the country.
“The welcome of Pope Francis represents the highest recognition for the initiative and the confirmation of the sensitivity of the Pope to the non-negotiable principles, beginning with the right to life,” organisers said.
Mons. Barreiro also described the dramatic increase in numbers, from 1000 two years ago, to 15,000 last year, to about 40,000 yesterday. This he put down to the hard work of the organisers in helping thousands come by bus from up and down the length of Italy, and to a “renewed awareness” among the public that Italy’s abortion law “must be abrogated.”
“The people are now really certain that we have to stake a stronger position than that which has been held in the past by some Italian pro-life groups.”
The pope is known for his strong defense of the right to life.
In 2005, as activists urged Argentina to legalize abortion, the future pontiff urged Catholics to defend the right to life even if they “deliver you to the courts” or “have you killed.”
At a Mass in Buenos Aires on Aug. 31st, 2005 in honor of St. Raymond Nonnatus (Raymond "the unborn"), who is revered as the holy protector of pregnant women, the then-Cardinal said that promoting life is “a road that is full of wolves.”
“Perhaps for that reason they might bring us to the courts. Perhaps, for that reason, for caring for life, they might kill us,” he said. “We should think about the Christian martyrs. They killed them for preaching this Gospel of life, this Gospel that Jesus brought. But Jesus gives us the strength.”

Friday, May 10, 2013

Submission from Human Life International Ireland (HLII) to the Department of Health and Children Regarding The Protection of Life During Pregnancy Bill 2013

We continue our series of publication of submissions to the Oireachtas Committee on Health and Children with the submission of Human Life International Ireland.

Oireachtas Submission

Human Life International (Ireland)

On Abortion Bill 
8th May 2013
               Request to address Oireachtas Hearings
Human Life International (Ireland) reject out of hand the abortion bill so-called the 'Protection of Life during Pregnancy Bill 2013'.

The entire Bill should be scrapped.

We request to address in person the Oireachtas hearings on this Bill.

We will bring our medical and counselling personnel engaged in crisis pregnancy counselling every day.

We will bring women who themselves once were in a crisis pregnancy to testify on the pressure / temptation to suicide during such a difficult situation.

The testimony of one such woman is included below.

Patrick McCrystal 09493 75993

“ I was pregnant and suicidal”
-           Pauline’s story

8th May 2013

I was pregnant, terrified, confused, frustrated and isolated.  I was surrounded by people but no-one to turn to.  The doctor, the nurse; they were no help…

I was told to get the morning after pill…   I knew I was on my own…

Had abortion legislation been there, it would have been the final straw.

How could a stranger know that aborting my baby would have saved my life?

Only when I discovered for myself where REAL help was, did I see hope.  The support was there, I just didn’t know where to go.

Real women need to talk to real women.  Women in that situation have come through it and are coming through it every day.

I knew deep in my heart and soul suicide wasn’t the answer.

My whole life felt crashed at my feet.  But it wasn’t, it was only taking a different route.  One more rewarding than I ever would have thought.

I knew there was something in me.  Only when I saw her on scan at nine weeks, the size of my thumb, her heart flittering away – I knew she was part of me.  There was a life there as well as my own.

The answer wasn’t abortion or suicide.  It was help and support.  An abortion would have left me with a void.  There would never be happiness.  Part of me would have been missing.

Fear takes its hold…but don’t let it win.

Women need to see the scan.  Not the lies coming from Dublin.  Its not about the suicidal woman – its about the government themselves.  Its for their own ends.

            Its about elevating themselves for all to see – for their own advantage.

If they were REALLY cared, they would get a support network organised for women, scans, counselling, where women can talk.  Have someone there who had walked that road.

When I look into my baby’s eyes, I shudder in horror what might have been. She has made my life worth living.

Human Life International Ireland, Guadalupe centre, Main Street, Knock Co. Mayo

09493 75993

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Pope Francis on the “guideline we need for this point in history.”

Pope Francis in the letter to the Argentinian Bishops says that the “guideline we need for this point in history,” is a document called the Apareceida which deals among other issues with Eucharistic coherence and is very clear that legislators cannot receive holy communion and at the same time act with deeds or words against the commandments, particularly when abortion, euthanasia, and other grave crimes against life and family are encouraged.

Paragraph 436 reads as follows:
“436: We hope that legislators, heads of government, and health professionals, conscious of the dignity of human life and of the rootedness of the family in our peoples, will defend and protect it from the abominable crimes of abortion and euthanasia; that is their responsibility. Hence, in response to government laws and provisions that are unjust in the light of faith and reason, conscientious objection should be encouraged. We must adhere to “eucharistic coherence,” that is, be conscious that they cannot receive holy communion and at the same time act with deeds or words against the commandments, particularly when abortion, euthanasia, and other grave crimes against life and family are encouraged. This responsibility weighs particularly over legislators, heads of governments, and health professionals.”

This has serious implications for Ireland’s Taoiseach Enda Kenny, who has just introduced draft abortion legislation and for all Catholic TDs who will vote on the issue.