Monday, 29 June 2015

MPs call for buffer zones around abortion clinics

MPs are calling for buffer zones to be established outside abortion clinics. An early day motion proposed by Caroline Lucas MP aims to prevent a peaceful prayer presence outside abortion centres. Nine MPs have already signed the motion. Home Office Minister Mike Penning said police have "adequate powers" to prevent the harassment of women already. [Independent, 24 June]

To see a full news summary for 29 June 2015, click here.

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Wednesday, 24 June 2015

UN committee calls for Irish abortion referendum

The UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights has called for a referendum on abortion in Ireland. Following a two day hearing in Geneva, the 17-member committee stated its concern at "Ireland's ... legislation on abortion." It has called for a referendum to repeal Article 40.3.3 which protects the right to life of the unborn. The committee also called for a revision of the 2013 Protection of Life During Pregnancy Act, claiming it is unclear "what constitutes a threat to a woman’s life." [Irish Times, 22 June]

To see a full news summary for 23 June 2015, click here.

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Thursday, 18 June 2015

Voice of the Family statement notes welcome and troubling aspects of environment encyclical

Professor Hans Schellnhuber,
co-presenter of papal encyclical to press
Voice of the Family issued this morning the following statement on the papal encyclical on the environment:

The international coalition Voice of the Family is deeply concerned by the omission from the encyclical letter Laudato Si of a reaffirmation of the Church’s teaching against contraception and on procreation as the primary end of the sexual act.

The encyclical, published this morning, contains the welcome assertions that “concern for the protection of nature is also incompatible with the justification of abortion” (No. 120) and “that demographic growth is fully compatible with an integral and shared development” (No. 50).

However the omission of any reference to Church teaching on the use of contraception leaves Catholics ill-prepared to resist the international population control agenda.

“God commanded man to ‘increase and multiply, and fill the earth’ (Gen 1:28)” said Voice of the Family manager Maria Madise “but the environmental movement commonly regards population growth as a threat”. Madise continued: “Developing nations are being flooded with contraceptives and subjected to pressure to legalise abortion. Given that contraception and environmentalism so often go hand-in-hand it is deeply troubling that Church teaching on the primacy of procreation is not reaffirmed.”

Patrick Buckley, UN lobbyist for the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC), noted that “The encyclical calls for increased international environmental action in paragraphs 173-175, while neglecting to prepare Catholics for what such action will undoubtedly involve: renewed attempts to further impose contraception and abortion on the developing world.”

Professor Hans Schellnhuber was among those chosen by the Holy See to present the encyclical to the press this morning. Schellnhuber has previously stated that the “carrying capacity of the planet” is “below 1 billion people”. The global population would have to be reduced by more than 80% to meet this target.

John-Henry Westen, co-founder of Voice of the Family and editor-in-chief of LifeSiteNews commented “Professor Schellnhuber is an advocate of the establishment of a supreme global government that would have the power to take action to resolve the perceived environmental crisis, which in his view requires population reduction. In this context the references in the encyclical to the need for a ‘world political authority’, which should have the power to ‘sanction’, is deeply troubling.”

Yesterday it was revealed that Professor Schellnhuber has been appointed a member of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences (PAS) by Pope Francis.

In November 2015 the PAS will be holding workshops to discuss how to use “children as agents of change”. The programme involves strategising on how to deploy children to advance the environmental agenda worldwide. Such efforts seem to be endorsed by the encyclical in paragraphs 209-215. Some of those involved in the workshops, such as Jeffrey Sachs, are among the most vehement promoters of contraception and even abortion as necessary elements of population control.

John Smeaton, co-founder of Voice of the Family and Chief Executive of SPUC, stated “The international environmental movement often seeks to convince children that the world is overpopulated and that this must be resolved by controlling reproduction through contraception and access to abortion. There is now grave danger that our children will be exposed to this agenda under the guise of education on environmental concerns. The proposed plans of the PAS, and the lack of clear teaching on these dangers in the encyclical, put us on our guard. Catholic parents must resist all attacks on our children, even when they emanate from within the Vatican.”

About Voice of the Family:

Voice of the Family can be contacted by email to enquiry@voiceofthefamily.info or by telephone on +44 (0)20 7820 3148 (UK landline)

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Voice of the Family is an international lay coalition of major pro-life and pro-family organizations that has formed to offer expertise and resources to leaders of the church, the media, NGOs, and governments before, during, and after the Catholic Church’s Synod on the Family.


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