Thursday, 4 December 2008

Concern about government plans to clarify the suicide law

It has been reported that the government plans to use its Coroners and Justice bill to clarify the law on assisted suicide. SPUC is calling on the government to give an assurance that its plans are limited to its stated aims of preventing the online promotion of suicide and suicide methods. We are concerned that radical, so-called right-to-die MPs or peers - urged on by media coverage for assertions that some elderly people have a so-called duty to die - might seek to use the bill to weaken the legal protection of the right to life. We are therefore also calling upon the government and parliamentarians to block any attempts to use the Coroners and Justice bill to weaken in any way the Suicide Act 1961 and the existing legal prohibition on assisted suicide.

FPA DVD for schoolchildren is a glorified advertisement for abortion

Fiorella Nash (pictured) 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, 3 December 2008

Tony Blair continues to manipulate the Catholic Church

Tony Blair has written an article in the latest edition of The Tablet, which describes itself as an "international Catholic weekly". The article's subject is the work of Mr Blair's Faith Foundation in promoting the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Mr Blair neglects to tell Tablet readers that his government interpreted the MDGs to include a universal right to abortion on demand which, along with other anti-life policies he pursued, he has refused to repudiate since being received into the Catholic Church (see below). Mr Blair quotes Cardinal Oscar Rodríguez who has said that "the needless deaths of nearly 10 million children a year are an abomination that cannot be tolerated". Cardinal Rodriguez was referring to the deaths of born children from disease. Interestingly, Mr Blair does not quote Cardinal Rodriguez's call for life and the family made to politicians and legislators in 1996, the year before Mr Blair became prime minister:

"Abortion is a primordial evil and one of the fundamental problems of our age ... We call for a massive international effort by politicians and legislators in favour of human life ... We call for legal protection for the unborn child from the moment of conception. We recommend unequivocal pro-life legislation on embryo experimentation and genetic engineering ... We call for an end to the 'contraceptive imperialism' of population control promoted with the use of abortion, sterilization and contraception."

Nor does Mr Blair quote what Cardinal Rodriguez said about politicians who support abortion, shortly before Mr Blair was received into the Catholic Church in 2007:

"A politician who publicly supports abortion, he excommunicates himself ... [T]hat person himself is doing an act that is inconsistent with what he says he believes. That is, we're talking about a person who...is doing something that is a lie."

Since being received into the Catholic Church shortly after leaving office, Mr Blair has refused even to comment upon, let alone repudiate, the swathe of anti-life laws and policies he supported as prime minister and as a parliamentarian.

Mr Blair goes on to praise Pope Paul VI's encyclical Populorum Progressio on international development. Yet Mr Blair makes no reference to certain other of Paul VI's words:
  • "It is inadmissible that those who have control of the wealth and resources of mankind should try to resolve the problem of hunger by forbidding the poor to be born." (address to UN Food and Agriculture Organisation, 1974)
  • "[I] declare that the direct interruption of the generative process already begun and, above all, all direct abortion, even for therapeutic reasons, are to be absolutely excluded as lawful means of regulating the number of children." (Humanae Vitae, 1968)
  • "[W]hatever is opposed to life itself, such as any type of murder, genocide, abortion, euthanasia or wilful self-destruction...are infamies indeed. They poison human society" (Gaudium et Spes, 1965)
Mr Blair explains the Faith Acts Fellowship programme that his Faith Foundation is running in partnership with the InterFaith Youth Core, but neglects to inform Tablet readers that the Interfaith Youth Core is bankrolled by pro-abortion foundations and that the Faith Acts Fellowship works with World Vision, which is calling for abortion on demand to be legalised in the world's poorest nations. Mr Blair says the programme's fellows will need "compassion in the face of needless suffering and death" - yet what compassion has Mr Blair shown for the needless suffering and death of the unborn and the vulnerable caused by the laws and policies he promoted?

Mr Blair, stretching to his full moral stature, preaches to us: "[S]ins of omission can vary in their gravity, and the worst can be more grievously damaging than sins of commission." Indeed - omitting to repudiate anti-life laws and policies for which one is mainly and personally responsible, and refusing to witness to the sanctity of human life.

Mr Blair predictably reminds Tablet readers that "countering climate change [is] the greatest moral challenge of this century." So, Mr Blair, is countering climate change the greatest moral challenge of this century, or abortion? Was Pope John Paul II wrong to tell pro-life leader Fr Paul Marx that he was "doing the most important work on earth"?

Tony Blair, and his anti-life wife, is undermining the faith of the church into which he has been received.

Supposing Tony Blair had pursued throughout his political career, policies in support of killing bishops or the lay faithful of, say, the Catholic Church or the Anglican Communion? And, supposing, having been received into the Catholic Church, he refused to repudiate such policies? Would The Tablet give him free rein to present his thinking on religious matters? If not, why not? What distinctions does The Tablet draw between unborn children and the respect due to their right to life, and the right to life of Catholic and Anglican bishops and lay faithful?

Tuesday, 2 December 2008

Urge Catholic university to withdraw Cherie Blair invitation

Cherie Blair (pictured) has been invited to speak next week at a conference on women and rights organised by the Pontifical University of St Thomas, otherwise known as the Angelicum, one of the world's leading Catholic universities.

Mrs Blair, like her husband Tony, is often listed as a Catholic. Yet like her husband, Mrs Blair has a long track-record of promoting anti-life and anti-family causes, in opposition to Catholic teaching. Mrs Blair has endorsed CEDAW (the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women), specifically mentioning CEDAW's affirmation of women's so-called 'reproductive rights', which is both a technical term and a euphemism for abortion on demand. The CEDAW convention and the committee which implements it are the vehicles for one of the most radical pro-abortion campaigns ever. Mrs Blair has also endorsed the radical pro-abortion organisations the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF), the Family Planning Association (FPA) UK and Human Rights Watch. (Mrs Blair is pictured here at FPA's 75th birthday party, where she cut a special birthday cake.) Both IPPF and FPA endorsed the failed campaign to remove the Holy See from the United Nations.

It is therefore deplorable that an abortion-promoter like Mrs Blair has been invited to speak, not just at a pontifical university in Rome, but at a conference on women and rights. What about the rights of the countless unborn girls killed because of the
pro-abortion groups Mrs Blair has endorsed? What about the countless millions of women suffering from post-abortion trauma?

Organisations associated with the Catholic Church (or indeed any group, religious or secular, opposed to abortion) should not invite Mrs Blair (or her husband) to their events. I urge people to contact the Angelicum immediately to protest against Mrs Blair's invitation and demand it be withdrawn. You can contact the following relevant persons at the Angelicum:
You may also like to contact His Eminence Zenon Cardinal Grocholewski, Prefect of the Congregation for Catholic Education:
  • by fax: +39 06 69 88 41 72
  • by post: Congregation for Catholic Education, Palazzo della Congregazioni, Piazza Pio XII 3, 00193 Roma, Italia

Hillary Clinton's appointment tops unprecedented pro-abortion line-up

The appointment of Hillary Clinton as US Secretary of State is confirmation that Barack Obama's administration will be the most anti-life in American history. In addition to Mrs Clinton's appointment and other anti-life Obama appointments which I blogged about recently, Mr Obama has appointed:

  • Susan Rice, who worked in Bill Clinton's anti-life administration, to be a US ambassador to the United Nations
  • Ellen Moran, executive director of pro-abortion group EMILY's List, to be White House director of communications
  • Dawn Johnsen, former legal director of pro-abortion group NARAL, to be a member of his Department of Justice Review Team.

    It is therefore incredibly appropriate that Pope Benedict's prayer intention for this month is: "That, faced by the growing expansion of the culture of violence and death, the Church may courageously promote the culture of life through all her apostolic and missionary activities."

    Courage means, for both Catholic and non-Catholic pro-lifers, not engaging in woolly wishful thinking that fails to oppose Mr Obama's pro-abortion government, naively allayed by his vague election-time promises to find "common ground" with pro-lifers in order to reduce abortions. Supposing Barack Obama supported the killing of, say, Catholic nuns ... Would right-minded citizens feel inclined to accept vague assurances that he would work with opponents of such killings in order to lower their incidence - whilst simultaneously promising to sign into law a draconian measure designed to extend such killings? What is the difference between the humanity and human rights of unborn children and Catholic nuns?

    After the infamous Munich agreement in May 1938, Adolf Hitler said that he had no further territorial claims to make in Europe -and then went on to invade and control huge swathes of Europe. Hitler's words at Munich were believed by many wishful thinkers at the time, even though Hitler had set out clearly in Mein Kampf his belief that it was essential for Germany to occupy eastern Europe. Mr Obama has set out clearly his intention to sign the Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA) as his first deed as president, and to reverse the pro-life gains made under the Bush administration - yet some wishful thinkers, Chamberlain-like, remain in denial.

    Many Germans of Hitler's time, and many people across the world, will have loved J.S. Bach's Advent chorale Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme (Sleepers, wake, the voice calls us). This Advent, let's rouse all those people we know are sleeping in apathy to awake and respond to Pope Benedict's call to courageously promote the culture of life.
  • Monday, 1 December 2008

    Abortion increases risk of mental health problems says new 30 year study

    According to a 30-year study published in the British Journal of Psychiatry abortion increases the risk of mental health disorders, whereas other pregnancy outcomes are not related to an increased risk of mental health problems. The researchers say: " ... abortion was associated with a small increase in the risk of mental disorders; women who had had abortions had rates of mental disorders that were about 30% higher. There were no consistent associations between other pregnancy outcomes and mental health. Estimates of attributable risk indicated that exposure to abortion accounted for 1.5% to 5.5% of the overall rate of mental disorders".

    Sunday, 30 November 2008

    Britain's "apartheid" is still reflected in the killing of Down's syndrome babies

    There has recently been a lot of press coverage rejoicing over the supposed fact that more babies with Down's syndrome are being born now than at any time since widespread pre-natal testing began in 1989. The claim made is that the trend towards aborting increasing number of babies with the syndrome has now been reversed. The articles in various national newspapers have suggested that this is because British society's increasing acceptance of allowing such babies to be born.

    While this sounds like very good news, it has to be tempered with a very large dose of caution.

    Just over two years ago, the Down's Syndrome Association pointed out that 62 per cent of all Down's syndrome cases are diagnosed while still in the womb and 92 per cent these babies are aborted.

    And Rosa Monckton, who (with her husband Dominic Lawson) has a daughter Domenica, aged 13, who has Down's syndrome (both pictured above) sounded a cautionary note in her article in the Daily Mail (26th November 2008). She says: "These are the figures: in 1989 there were 717 babies born with Down's syndrome, and in 2006 there were 749. This does not seem to be to be such a huge sea change ... "

    Whilst well over half of babies with Down's Syndrome are sought out before birth, and then the vast majority of those are killed, British attitudes towards the disabled, including the parents and families of the disabled, born and unborn, arguably remain as enlightened as those towards the majority population in South Africa under apartheid.