Thursday, November 26, 2015

The war on Ireland's unborn has entered a new and deadly phase

We reported in June and October that relentless pressure is being exerted, by pro abortion forces in the lead up to the next general election in Ireland, to remove Ireland’s remaining protection for the lives of unborn babies.
Now that it is clear that the next general election will be held in spring 2016 this pressure is becoming even more relentless.

Minister for Children James Reilly on Sunday Nov 22nd called for a referendum on the issue to take place early in the next Dáil term. Reilly called for the next government to move quickly to repeal the 8th Amendment, which gives equal rights to the life of the mother and that of the unborn.

The Irish Independent reports that Taoiseach Enda Kenny was furious at Reilly’s intervention and gave him a severe dressing down prior to the Cabinet meeting yesterday.  With an eye on being returned to power after the next election neither Kenny nor his Finance Minister Michael Noonan wanted the issue of abortion, the taking of unborn human life, to influence their campaign or to cause further strains in the Fine Gael Party, bearing in mind that five TDs and three senators, including then minister Lucinda Creighton, were forced to resign from Fine Gael in 2013 for voting against the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Bill.

Reilly’s intervention according to the Irish Independent  caused a bitter split among Fine Gael Cabinet ministers over the party's approach to the divisive issue of the taking of unborn life and forced Mr Kenny to assure his parliamentary party that, in the event of a referendum to repeal the pro-life amendment, TDs and senators would be permitted vote in accordance with their conscience.
Kenny  also said the Fine Gael manifesto will not commit to a repeal of the Eighth Amendment instead it would pledge to refer the issue to a 'Citizens Convention', which is clearly a prelude to taking a decision to hold a referendum on the issue.

Meanwhile Labour Women has made clear that seeking a referendum to remove the remaining protection of the unborn from the Irish Constitution will be a major plank of the Labour Parties general election campaign.
Labour Women commenced its campaign with the publication of draft anti life legislation they hope will replace the pro-life amendment if they succeed in repealing it.
The draft legislation published by Labour Women would allow for killing unborn babies on grounds of: risk to life of the mother, risk to health of the mother, rape and foetal abnormality. In short it is a recipe for abortion on demand

No one should be under any illusion about the issue, a major battle about the rights of the unborn has already begun and everything must be done to protect all unborn life. 
Not only should article 40.3.3, the 28th amendment to the Irish Constitution remain, to ensure that the lives of all unborn babies be given constitutional protection, it is also essential for pro-life organizations to seek the strengthening of the existing amendment to counteract the effects of recent pro-abortion legislation.We must take the initiative away from the anti life forces and demand full and unambiguous protection for all unborn babies.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

WHO report shows substantial reduction in Maternal Mortality Rates

According to a  new report “Maternal Mortality 1990-2015”, issued by the World Health Organization (WHO) in conjunction with UNICEF, UNFPA,  the World Bank Group and the United Nations Population Division, maternal deaths dropped sharply in past 25 years.
WHO estimates that the global maternal mortality ratio (MMR–maternal deaths per 100,000 live births) dropped 43% between 1990 and 2015, from an estimated level of about 532,000 in 1990 to a new lower and also estimated level of 303,000 in 2015. This shows an MMR reduction of 169, from a level 385 in 1990 to 216 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births.
The report acknowledges that accurate measurement of maternal mortality levels is still a significant challenge.

The drop in the MMR estimates is most likely attributable to the Millennium Development Goals (MDG’s). MDG. 5A sought to reduce maternal mortality by 75% between 1990 and 2015. It is evident from the report that this target was not met, in that only nine countries managed to reduce their MMR level to the 75% target, although the report makes it clear that significant progress was made towards achieving it.

Despite this progress however the latest MMR estimate contained in the 2015 report is 303,000. The majority of these (99%) occurred in developing regions, 66% of which occurred in sub-Saharan Africa.

The MDG 15 year programme was replaced in September 2015 by a new programme known as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s) and the post 2015 agenda which now aims to reduce the global MMR to 70 by 2030. This is certainly possible but only if the focus is placed on the measures that actually save lives.

Most maternal deaths can be prevented with adequate nutrition, basic health care, and good obstetric care throughout pregnancy, at delivery and postpartum.
The decline in maternal mortality rates in the developed world coincided “with the development of obstetric techniques and improvement in the general health status of women” (from 1935 to the 1950s), according to the World Health Organization (WHO)[i]  This took place well before the widespread legalization of abortion.

To reduce maternal mortality, we must strive to give women in the developing world access to the same standard of care that has been available to women in the developed world for decades—care that results in a healthy outcome for both mother and baby.

It is also clear from the new report that pro-abortion demands that abortion should be legalized in order to reduce maternal mortality are absurd. Contrary to the claims of organizations advocating so called safe legal abortion, no direct relationship exists between the legal status of abortion and maternal mortality rates. Indeed, abortion can be legal but unsafe for women. It is of course always unsafe for the unfortunate baby. Ireland, Poland, Malta, Chile, Kuwait, Libya, and the United Arab Emirates ban most or all abortions and have very low MMR's.

The main outstanding issue in respect of the SDG’s and the post 2015 agenda is the agreement of indicators which will be used as bench marks for the implementation of the SDG’s. A preliminary report on the indicators was issued by the sustainable development solutions network in June 2015 and some model indicators have recently been proposed. Careful monitoring of this process is essential as there are already significant problems with the report and the model indicators but in addition there have been a number of submissions by pro-abortion agencies and NGO’s in an attempt to further radicalise the indicators.

[i] World Health Organization, Maternal Mortality: A Global Factbook (Geneva: World Health Organization, 1991).