Saturday, 17 January 2009

Signs of growth in youth support for pro-life movement in Britain

Almost every day I hear about young people initiating significant pro-life events and activities around the UK. There are signs of a growth in youth support for the pro-life movement. Watch this space for further developments - but here are two forthcoming events on which you may wish to spread the word.

Lucy McCully (pictured above to the right of Cathy McBean, manager of British Victims of Abortion) has written to me to say:

"Due to the phenomenal success of our first international conference, SPUC Scotland will be hosting the 2nd International Student Pro-Life Conference in 2009. This conference is an excellent opportunity for those aged between 17 and 35 years to network and socialise with fellow pro-lifers from around the world. This year our theme is ‘I Am Here’ and we will be putting a face to the common pro-abortion arguments by hearing from those behind the ‘hard cases’. Our keynote speaker will be international pro-life speaker, Rebecca Kiessling (below, right), who was conceived after her mother was raped. Rebecca will share her personal story and explain to us why she believes, 'Your value is not based on the circumstances of your conception.'

"Delegates will be given the opportunity to network with established pro-life organisations such as SPUC, Youth Defence (Ireland), Stand True (USA) amongst others. In addition we will also hear from professionals in the fields of International Law, Bioethics and Post Abortion Counselling.

"This weekend will be a unique, inspiring experience filled with educational opportunities, activities, socialising and most importantly lots of fun! If young people would like to attend this conference, please book in advance to avoid disappointment. You can register by contacting me at SPUC Scotland, 75 Bothwell Street, Glasgow, G2 6TS Telephone: 0141 221 2094 or email me: lucy@spucscotland.org"

Next month the Oxford University ProLife Society, the Oxford University Newman Society, and the Catholic Society at the University of Oxford, are joining forces for a Fertility and Faith Conference on Saturday 21st February at 10.00am. The Oxford University Newman Society website states:

"Hosted by the Linacre Centre for Healthcare Ethics in association with the Newman Society, the Catholic Society and the Pro-Life Society at the University Catholic Chaplaincy, Fr Tim Finigan, Anthony McCarthy and Ira Winter will give presentations, and there will be a panel discussion and Q&A session after lunch. If you are interested in finding out about the Church's teaching on fertility, infertility, marriage and love, please do come along. To book your free place, or for further information, please contact Stephen Barrie, Education Officer for the Linacre Centre on 01865 610 212, 020 72667410 or at stephen@linacre.org."

Friday, 16 January 2009

Voting list on European Parliament pro-abortion resolution: Spread the word

Further to my previous blog, check here for how MEPs voted, listed by country, on the pro-abortion resolution (the Catania report) passed on Wednesday by the European Parliament.

If you have pro-life contacts in any EU country, make them aware of this appalling resolution which calls for the recognition of a so-called right to abortion (despite the fact that not one international treaty or human rights court recognises any such right). Tell them to check and to spread the word on how their country's MEPs voted.

Please email immediately the MEPs for your region, either to congratulate them or to express your disappointment, on how they voted on the Catania pro-abortion resolution on Wednesday. You can find who the MEPs are for your region and their email addresses by following the links here , specifically by clicking on your region on the coloured map on the left of the page.

The Alliance Defence Fund, an organisation of pro-life lawyers, has published a most useful commentary on the resolution which you can find in full here.

Thursday, 15 January 2009

Population explosion myth blamed for conflict in Gaza

Fiorella Nash's Monstrous Regiment of Women highlights an article in the Wall Street Journal earlier this week that suggests (as Fiorella describes it) "the current conflict is the fault of western aid agencies for allowing Palestinians to breed".

I worry that this kind of thinking in the brave new world of Barack Obama, the most pro-abortion president in US history, will be translated into more of the kind of major international policy developments which took place in the US in 1970.

Steven Mosher, president of the Population Research Institute, writes:
"As the populations of developing countries began to grow after World War II, alarm bells sounded in the heads of many in the national security establishment ... Demographic projections, showing population spiking in the developing world, combined with falling birthrates in Europe, were viewed with foreboding. Hushed discussions in the corridors of power followed.

"When the US birthrate, robust until the early 1960s, headed south [down] a few years later, these discussions quickly took on an increasing urgency. One of the first official expressions of concern was a classified National Security Council Memorandum [NSSM 200] dated 10 August 1970. This memorandum, signed by President Richard Nixon's national security advisor, Henry Kissinger, stated that 'The US should recommend that the UN Fund for Population Activities undertake a study of world population problems and measures required to deal with them, as a top priority item in the Second Development Decade' ... The preoccupation of the US security establishment with population growth - seen as US security and economic interests - stands here revealed. At the same time, NSSM 200 is a blueprint for preserving the global economic, political, and military dominance of the United States. Believing that people mean power, and worried about the demographic decline of the West, these practitioners of realpolitik unapologetically sought to engineer a fertility decline among more prolific peoples. And they were fully prepared to deceive other countries into doing so with spurious arguments".
I recommend that you obtain a copy of Steven Mosher's seminal book Population Control - Real Costs, Illusory Benefits

A favourite Cherie Blair charity promotes abortion in Poland and Mexico

It seems that the letter I wrote last week to Cherie Blair (pictured) was timely. One of her favourite charities, Human Rights Watch, which has a radical pro-abortion agenda, has been busy promoting legal access to abortion in Poland and in Mexico. My letter asks Cherie Blair to drop her support of Human Rights Watch – and all the other leading pro-abortion organizations she backs.

The folly of the Angelicum, a leading Catholic university in Rome, in inviting Cherie Blair to speak on women and human rights, is becoming more obvious as the weeks pass. I do hope and pray that Mrs Blair has a change of heart. Once again, I invite those interested to join me in the prayer campaign for Cherie Blair and her husband, Tony Blair, and for Barack Obama, who is set to become the most pro-abortion president in US history.

Wednesday, 14 January 2009

Churches and pro-lifers must act following pro-abortion European Parliament vote

It's time for church leaders and pro-life groups throughout Europe to make the right to life the top political priority in their countries. MEPs voted today to approve a resolution calling on the European Union (EU) to promote abortion and same-sex unions throughout the EU. The resolution, authored by Giusto Catania of Italy's Communist Refoundation Party (logo pictured), is built on the Charter of Fundamental Rights, part of the Lisbon treaty, despite the fact that neither the charter nor the Lisbon treaty have been passed into law.

Anthony Ozimic, our political secretary at SPUC, says: "The resolution passed today is soft-law pressure for abortion to be made a right in every EU member-state. The resolution violates national laws on conscientious objection to abortion and on public funding for abortion. The resolution calls for the recognition of a so-called right to abortion - yet not one international treaty or human rights court has recognises any such right. Abortion is the most contentious issue at United Nations conferences and any attempt even to imply a right to abortion creates heated controversy between national delegations.

"Religious leaders and pro-life groups throughout Europe must shake off their complacency about the EU and mobilise religious believers for pro-life action. The message everyone must hear is that the right to life is the most important political issue, because the right to life is the indispensable foundation of all other rights. Failure to act will mean that countless millions of unborn children will die because of the EU's promotion of abortion both inside and outside Europe."

It is interesting to note Giusto Catania, the resolution's author, is a communist. Communism was one of the first modern movements to promote abortion. Soon after taking power in Russia, Lenin legalised abortion on demand in 1920.

If you're interested in helping SPUC's new political drive to make the right to life a top political priority, please contact me at johnsmeaton@spuc.org.uk

Tuesday, 13 January 2009

The hypocrisy of anti-life politicians who present themselves as Catholic

The leader of the majority Democrat party in the US House of Representatives has spoken of her continued support for government funding for human embryo research, and says she would support a law to enforce it. Ms Nancy Pelosi (right) claims she is an ardent practising Catholic.

Pope Benedict told the General Assembly of the Pontifical Academy for Life on 27th February 2006: "God’s love does not differentiate between the newly conceived infant still in his or her mother’s womb and the child or young person, or the adult and the elderly person. God does not distinguish between them because he sees an impression of his own image and likeness (Genesis 1:26) in each one… Therefore, the Magisterium of the Church has constantly proclaimed the sacred and inviolable character of every human life from its conception until its natural end."

How, then, does Ms Pelosi, justify her actions? The same question must be put to certain Catholic politicians listed in the Catholic Directory of England & Wales. The following MPs supported the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act at both second and third reading:
  • Andy Burnham
  • David Cairns
  • Rosie Cooper
  • Jim Cunningham
  • Hugh Irranca-Davies
  • Tommy McAvoy
  • Paul Murphy.
This act allows the licensing of yet more procedures that will harm or kill embryos created in the laboratory. It extends the ways in which embryos can be artificially created and manipulated, and it makes it easier to change the law to extend objectionable procedures like cloning.

Some British Catholic politicians, and Ms Nancy Pelosi, seem to think they know more about the love of God than Pope Benedict. MPs who hypocritically call themselves Catholic have voted contrary to church teaching. After all, Pope John Paul began his 1995 encyclical on human life with: "The Gospel of life is at the heart of Jesus' message."

Monday, 12 January 2009

Act today to stop anti-life, anti-family EU resolution this Wednesday

This Wednesday the European Parliament will vote on a resolution which seeks to promote abortion and same-sex unions throughout the European Union. The resolution, authored by Giusto Catania, an Italian Communist MEP, calls upon EU member-states to guarantee access to "sexual and reproductive health and rights", a term which is often interpreted to include abortion on demand. The resolution also calls on EU member-states to recognise same-sex unions equally with (heterosexual) marriage. The full report can be read here.

The resolution should be rejected, because it threatens unborn children. The resolution repeats the usual calls by the pro-abortion lobby for more contraception, more sex education and more confidential advisory services. Providing these things, however, does nothing to decrease the numbers of abortions, sexually transmitted infections and teenage pregnancies, and may in fact serve to increase them. (For more information about this, see my blog citing the work of Professor David Paton.)

The resolution should also be rejected because it promotes an unauthentic model of the family, by seeking to impose upon EU member-states the recognition of same-sex unions. Although SPUC is not a religious organisation, we feel that both religious and non-religious pro-lifers can understand and appreciate the following words of the late Pope John Paul II:
"It is an illusion to think that we can build a true culture of human life if we do not help the young to accept and experience sexuality and love and the whole of life according to their true meaning and in their close interconnection ... Only a true love is able to protect life." (Evangelium Vitae, 97)
Please email immediately the MEPs for your region, urging them to vote against the Catania resolution on Wednesday. You can find who the MEPS are for your region and their email addresses by following the links here , specifically by clicking on your region on the coloured map on the left of the page.

Time for a change of mind at Mencap

Mencap, which describes itself as the voice of learning disability, says that Britain's state health service is failing people with mental impairments. They write: "People with a learning disability get unequal healthcare. This is leading to people dying when their lives could have been saved." Now we learn that a hospital in southern England has apologised after Mr Martin Ryan (aged 43, pictured) who had Down's syndrome was left to starve to death.

Mencap is right to be concerned and I hope that the tragic occurrences which its report describes will cause it to reconsider its support for the Mental Capacity Act. This law enshrines lethal discrimination against the disabled and vulnerable. Things can only get better once we have that act repealed or significantly amended. Mencap needs to understand that the Mental Capacity Act is the problem under which food and fluids can be withdrawn with the intention of ending the patient’s life.

Sunday, 11 January 2009

Catholic parents call Catholic Education Service "arrogant" and "undemocratic"

The National Association of Catholic Families (NACF) has sent an open letter, signed by a number of Catholic parents, to Ms Oonagh Stannard, the chief executive of the Catholic Education Service (CES) which accuses the CES of "arrogantly and undemocratically [attempting] to usurp our rights and challenge our moral authority as primary educators and protectors of our children".

The carefully annotated letter challenges the authority of the CES, calls on the CES to "unambiguously" follow the teaching of the Catholic Church worldwide and to reject "its own local hybridization with this State's ill concealed and discredited birth control policies".

Oonagh Stannard is pictured above with Archbishop Vincent Nichols, the CES chairman, (to the right) and Ed Balls, Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families.

Concerned Catholic parents everywhere should have the above letter drawn to their attention and take the action it recommends.

I am a Catholic parent who's appalled at the ambiguous policy of the Catholic Education Service regarding the presence in Catholic schools of Connexions which is committed to giving schoolchildren, under the age of 16, access to abortion and abortifacient birth control drugs and devices without parental knowledge or permission. I am delighted that NACF (in association with a number of Catholic parents) has taken this action.

Britain is facing a crisis in which an ideology of evil, including the promotion of abortion and other anti-life practices, and false concepts of human sexuality, directly threatens the common good. In light of this crisis, the CES policy, on behalf of the Catholic bishops of England and Wales, is, to put it politely, inexplicable.

The Telegraph reported in November that the National Children bureau and Sex Education Forum have called for every 11 to 18-year-old in England to be able to receive advice on contraception, pregnancy tests and screening for sexually transmitted diseases between lessons. Such advice can include confidential access to abortion.

The thinking behind the conclusions of the NCB/SEF reports is clearly set out in the Sex and Relationships Education Framework, the “core document” of the Sex Education Forum. It is a document to which all Forum members agree in order to meet membership criteria as it makes clear on page 4. The Catholic Education Service is a member of the Sex Education Forum.

The NACF letter begins:

"Last week's Government statistics and BBC Panorama programme, Kids behaving Badly (5th January 2009) demonstrated the crisis of premature sexualisation of little children in our schools.

"In your capacity as Chief Executive of the Catholic Education Service (CES) you have given an interview in which you are reported to have said that the CES has welcomed Government plans to make Sex and Relationship Education (SRE) compulsory in all primary and secondary schools. This policy, we know, will corrupt innocent children and at the beginning of this new school term we publicly express our opposition to it based on the authentic teaching of the Catholic Church.

"The NACF: We as Catholic parents who accept Catholic teaching on the natural inalienable rights and duties of parents, categorically reject, without reservation, your current position and that of your Board. With respect, neither you nor it has any credible standing on this matter. Parents do so as primary educators of their own children.

"The fecundity of conjugal love cannot be reduced solely to the procreation of children, but must extend to their moral education and their spiritual formation. 'The role of parents in education is of such importance that it is almost impossible to provide an adequate substitute.' ' The right and the duty of parents to educate their children is primordial and inalienable.' (our emphasis) The Catechism of the Catholic Church 2221

"You speak about how you think compulsory sex education would work in Catholic primary schools and are reported to have said: 'You would expect that young children would need to learn about body parts, that simple sort of biology'.

"The NACF: The CES arrogantly and undemocratically attempts to usurp our rights and challenge our moral authority as primary educators and protectors of our children.

"[S]ince parents have conferred life on their children, they have a most solemn obligation to educate their offspring. Hence, parents must be acknowledged as the first and foremost educators of their children. Their role as educators is so decisive that scarcely anything can compensate for their failure in it.' (our emphasis)

The Documents of the Second Vatican Council "The right and duty of parents to give education is essential, since it is connected with the transmission of human life; it is original and primary with regard to the educational role of others, on account of the uniqueness of the loving relationship between parents and children; ... and it is irreplaceable and inalienable, and therefore incapable of being entirely delegated to others or usurped by others.' (our emphasis) Apostolic Exhortation of Pope John Paul II N 36. Familiaris Consortio ... " Read on.