Saturday, 12 September 2009

Polish bishops lead the way for Catholic politicians

The Polish bishops' conference have said that Catholic politicians who support abortion or another anti-life/anti-family practices risk excommunication, according to a report by LifeSiteNews.com.

Commenting on the bishops' statement, Father Andrzej Rebacz, head of the Episcopate Council for Family Affairs and the National Chaplain for Families, warned of concerted attacks against life and family in Poland, adding that "These attacks include promotion of sex education at schools."

In an interview with Polkie Radio, Konrad Szymanski, a Polish member of the European Parliament (MEP) said:
"I've read the [bishops'] letter with great satisfaction because bishops reminded us the very simple truths that the obligation of conscience is much more important than any other obligation, including political obligations"
For anyone who truly realises the intrinsic value of human life, or how the right to life of all unborn children is protected by international human rights law, the matter is straightforward.

We must therefore remind politicians, Catholic or not, of those truths, lest they violate their consciences by voting or tolerating the killing of the innocent.

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Friday, 11 September 2009

Millennium development goals being hijacked by pro-abortion lobby


The millennium development goals (MDGs) are being hijacked by pro-abortion groups, anti-life governments and politicians in order to undermine the primary right of parents to educate and to protect their children and to promote pro-abortion laws.

This is the warning issued by the International Right To Life Federation (IRTLF) after their meeting at our SPUC offices in London this week.  Pictured above left to right are:
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Thursday, 10 September 2009

We must continue to work courageously for a ban on IVF procedures

Today's BBC story says it all:
"Women whose frozen embryos were due to be destroyed in the next few weeks have had the threat lifted. The time limit on storing embryos is due to rise from five years to 10 from October. But some women faced losing their embryos in the remaining weeks before the change comes in, as they breached the five-year rule. Ministers have ruled that these 'out of time' embryos need not now be destroyed."
Amidst all the challenges faced by the pro-life movement, we must continue to work openly and courageously for a ban on IVF procedures which has led to such a travesty of justice for these tiny human beings - who "need not now be destroyed" by virtue of a decision of government ministers!

Opposing in-vitro fertilisation (IVF) does not imply denying babies, conceived by IVF, their humanity. However, it's vital to oppose IVF as a way of conceiving children since it turns human beings into commodities to be brought to birth or discarded at will.

In addition, as Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger (now Pope Benedict) put it in Donum Vitae:
"In consequence of the fact that they have been produced in vitro, those embryos which art not transferred into the body of the mother and are called 'spare' are exposed to an absurd fate, with no possibility of their being offered safe means of survival which can be licitly pursued."
Since the birth to the first IVF child over thirty years ago – more than two million embryos have been discarded, or frozen, or selectively aborted, or miscarried or used in destructive experiments. (2,137,924 human embryos were created by specialists while assisting couples in the UK to have babies between 1991 and 2005, according to BioNews. During this period, the HFEA informs us that the total of live babies born through IVF procedures was 109,469.)

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Obama's speech to Congress contains "political hoax" on abortion

Yesterday, I warned visitors to my blog not to be fooled by President Obama's upcoming speech (last night) on health care reform. Just as I predicted, he sought to mislead Congress and US citizens by claiming "no federal dollars will be used to fund abortion".

Significantly, in his speech, Obama failed to promise to support language that explicitly prohibits the use of taxpayers' money for abortion.

Mary Harned, of Americans United for Life (AUL), says: "No matter how President Obama and Congress change the structure of the health care reform proposals ... any legislation that provides government funding for health care must contain explicit language that excludes abortion. Abortion is not health care; however, based on how courts have interpreted Medicaid, we know that courts will interpret any legislation relating to government-funded health care as requiring abortion coverage unless there is an explicit prohibition (like Hyde)."

AUL, the first national pro-life organization in America, explains here how Barack Obama's health care proposals mandate abortion funding.

And Douglas Johnson, legislative director for the National Right to Life Committee (NRLC), provides a useful commentary on the abortion myths in Obama's speech last night which you can find here. Johnson says: "The claim that a federal agency would be spending private funds on abortion, not federal funds, is absurd on its face, a political hoax".

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Wednesday, 9 September 2009

Don't be fooled by Obama's speech tonight

President Obama is due to address a joint session of the US Congress this evening on the subject of health care reform. Here at SPUC we will be monitoring Mr Obama's speech closely. Americans United for Life (AUL) and the National Right To Life Committee (NRLC) in the US have published superb briefings (AUL, NRLC) exposing the way Mr Obama and his Democrat allies in Congress are misleading the public about the anti-life implications of the healthcare reform legislation currently being debated.

As a Christian, I am reminded of our Lord's Gospel warning: "For the children of this world are wiser than in their generation than the children of light." Mr Obama and his fellow pro-abortion activists, representing an anti-life culture of darkness, know very well how to conceal their true agenda behind a veil of obfuscation. I'm also reminded of Monsignor Michel Schooyans' masterly analysis of the Obama-Blair agenda to remake law and religion. And I am worried by a pro-Obama video made in January, in which Hollywood celebrities pledge (among other things) "to be of service of Barack Obama" and "to advance stem cell research" (implying the embryo-destructive techniques promoted by Mr Obama).

A worldwide movement is needed to stop Mr Obama's anti-life propaganda juggernaut.

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Tuesday, 8 September 2009

Huge response to abortion advertising consultation welcome

SPUC has welcomed today's confirmation that a consultation on proposals to allow abortion agencies to advertise on TV has drawn massive public opposition to the proposals.

SPUC has confirmed a report in today's Guardian newspaper that the Broadcasting Committee of Advertising Practice (BCAP) will not be able to complete the consultation process until the first quarter of next year due to the unprecedented number of submissions, numbering 4,000, many of which expressed opposition to abortion.

Paul Tully, SPUC general secretary, told the media today:

"We are pleased to note that the BCAP is carefully scrutinising the submissions. We hope that this huge expression of public concern will make the BCAP realise the depth of public feeling on the issue. We are very, very grateful to all those who have expressed reservations about the proposals.

"We must ensure that the government too notes the depth of public concern on this matter, and SPUC groups around the country are currently promoting a national petition directed to the prime minister to ensure that our concerns are heard by politicians too"

The proposal threatens to further commercialise the killing of unborn children. It would completely disregard the adverse effect of abortion on women's health.

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Abortion killings worldwide overtake WW2 slaughter

The death-toll of World War II was a tragic prelude to the far greater slaughter by abortion and euthanasia that has happened since, I told this past weekend's SPUC annual national conference. Deaths of unborn children worldwide through abortion vastly outnumber the total of military and civilian war deaths.

I also spoke out against the government's promotion of an end-of-life care scheme which experts have now said allows doctors to shorten patients' lives.

70 years on we're not fighting Nazi tyranny but the tyranny of politicians who promote legislation worldwide that destroys the lives of unborn children. We are also fighting the tyranny of politicians who undermine the Catholic Church's pro-life resistance to such legislation.

Tragically, the history of the past 43 years - since the current British abortion law was introduced - is a history of ever-growing, calamitous attacks on the right to life by governments and parliaments in country after country throughout the world, thereby abusing and flagrantly failing to abide by their commitments and obligations under international agreements to respect the right to life.

About 55 million people were killed during the 1939-45 conflict, but 57 million unborn children have been killed since 1967 in Britain and the United States of America alone. This is not to mention the deaths of human embryos through in vitro fertilisation procedures and the countless deaths of human embryos through abortifacient birth control.

Neither can we ignore widespread killings through euthanasia, not least in Britain, where the government's silent euthanasia policy is clearly taking a grip throughout the country. The Liverpool Care Pathway (LCP) is just the tip of the iceberg in relation to euthanasia practices in hospitals. Alison Davis, the national co-ordinator of SPUC's disability rights division No Less Human, told the conference that the guidance was "very disturbing". She said:
"Some people are not dying naturally - they are being pushed into death. They are having food and fluid withdrawn."
The Daily Mail recently featured the experience of Mrs Felicity Smart whose neighbour, though relatively healthy, died after three days under the LCP. Mrs Smart challenged the nurses and doctors over her neighbour's care, but was unable to save her life. SPUC's Patients First Network (PFN), which helps patients and their advocates fight euthanasia supported Mrs Smart. PFN, which is available to help anyone concerned about relatives or friends under threat from euthanasia, recently help save the life of a man with learning difficulties in a west country hospital.

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Sunday, 6 September 2009

Veteran pro-life leader gives hope to SPUC supporters

Dr Jack Willke, president of the International Right to Life Federation, said to this morning's SPUC national conference that the provision of abortion contained the seeds of its own destruction. Women who had had abortions were now mothers and might advise their daughters not to do the same as they had done. Young women were noticing that girls who had abortions were badly affected by the experience.

While Jack did not think he would live to see a change in abortion law, he thought his children would. Arguments which had been initially deployed to legalise abortion were no longer effective. When abortion supporters said that unborn children were not babies, many people were appalled and thought of images from prenatal scans.

The issue was no longer just a Catholic one, with Muslims and Evangelicals also opposing abortion. There was no relationship between how mothers felt towards their unborn children and how they treated them after birth. The number of illegal abortions had been wildly exaggerated. Tightening of Poland’s abortion law had not led to illegal abortions. Maternal mortality was a bigger problem in countries with a high abortion rate that countries with a low rate.

Jack said that the over-population argument was undermined by the way in which many countries with legal abortion had birth rates which were below replacement levels. Abortion supporters had to fall back on the argument that women simply had to have the right to choose.

Pro-life people were having more children than abortion supporters, which was changing the nature of public opinion. The number of pro-life pregnancy help centres in the US had grown immensely. Jack has found that few women wanted to speak out positively about their abortion experience. Women were increasingly prepared to say why they regretted their abortions. To the original pro-life argument that abortion kills babies could be added the argument that abortion hurts women. It also hurt men, who increasingly sought support after a partner's abortion.

Jack said how pro-life activists were fighting abortion by getting states to restrict it through regulation. He told the conference:
“We must keep doing what we’re doing. It’s slow but we shall win in the end.”
One could not lose the argument when one advanced the case that abortion killed babies.

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Hope for pro-life progress in America despite Obama control

Mr William Saunders, senior counsel for Americans United for Life, told the SPUC annual national conference this morning that anti-life political forces were in national control in the United States. President Obama had done more or less everything he could have done to advance the anti-life agenda. It was deeply disappointing that the University of Notre Dame, Indiana, had given Mr Obama an honorary degree.

The president’s proposed health care reforms would advance the culture of death. The Hyde amendment, a measure which prevents state funding for abortion, could well be undermined and abortion provision could be made mandatory. There was ambiguity in draft legislation over counselling on suicide and euthanasia. The provision for conscientious objection was extremely limited in the case of one bill in the congress. Some pro-life Democrats would oppose the proposals if they promoted abortion.

Bill’s organisation had led opposition to Mr Obama’s appointment of Ms Sonia Sotomayor to the supreme court. She had said that she was not a judicial activist and Bill hopes she will not make matters worse.

Bill Saunders pointed out that many states also had their own local battles over life issues. Some states had placed restrictions on abortion and these measures had reduced the rate. The federal House of Representatives was due for an election next year and pro-life candidates could pick up seats.

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The challenges for the pro-life movement in Australia and Canada

Mr Chiang Lim, chief executive officer of NSW (New South Wales) Right to Life and a local councillor, said that although Australia had been the first country in which euthanasia had been legalised, it was also unique in subsequently having it banned nationally.

Australia had a higher abortion rate than many European countries, Chiang said. The pro-life movement concentrated its resources on trying to unseat anti-life representatives from marginal seats. Such tactics could help determine which party formed a state or national government. The state of Victoria denied medical staff conscientious objection to abortion but other states were wary to enact similar measures because of pro-life pressure.

Jim Hughes, president of Campaign Life Coalition in Canada, who opened the conference on Friday night, said that his country had recently given its major award to Henry Morgentaler, a leading abortionist. The nation had no law against abortion. Jim recommended LifeSiteNews.com, a international pro-life and pro-family news agency which his organisation had helped to establish.

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Philippines people resisting daily assaults from the anti-life lobby

Mr Francisco "Kit" Tatad (pictured right) former head of the Philippines senate, this morning told (full speech) this weekend's SPUC national conference that the Filipino people’s faith in the sanctity of life was being daily tested by assaults from the media and pressure groups. Abortion nevertheless remained banned in that country. State-run contraception and sterilisation were the first steps on the road to legalised abortion. Families were getting smaller.

Legislators were promoting a reproductive health bill which contained policies which were against Filipino culture and the Philippines constitution. The bill fell short of legalising abortion but contained much that was unethical. It would empower the state to prevent women from conceiving. Mr Tatad described the proposed measure as Orwellian; politicians should have blocked it from the start yet it was being debated. Scholars at a Jesuit university in the Philippines had said that Catholics could support it; Catholic academics overseas had rebuked them.

Mrs Fenny Tatad (pictured left with her husband Kit) executive director of the Bishops-Legislators Caucus of the Philippines, said that the media had not been neutral on the bill but its opponents had used blogs to spread their message. Parliamentary debate had been tumultuous and the Catholic bishops had also intervened to stop anti-life language from being inserted in a different bill on women. Anti-life activists had also tried to bring language on reproductive health into a bill on agriculture.

While the Philippines had a bloated reproductive health budget, there was insufficient money for basic healthcare and sanitation. Mrs Tatad said that some local councils had adopted reproductive health programmes and formed alliances with overseas organisations and governments.

Mr Tatad added that President Obama’s over-riding of the ban on the use of US money for abortion overseas was a threat to the Philippines. UN bodies were also applying pressure to the nation to legalise abortion. There was a risk of the election of a morally indifferent president in the Philippines.

The UN had to be made to focus once more on its original mandate of promoting peaceful cooperation between nations, instead of intervening in the intimate affairs of families. The UN should promote the sanctity of human life. It needed to have an international convention which would stop states and agencies from promoting birth control and abortion.

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