Thursday, 10 December 2009

Pro-life disabled rights campaigner challenges new Supreme Court

Alison Davis, the well-known pro-life disabled rights advocate, is heading a challenge to July's House of Lords judgment in favour of Debbie Purdy, the assisted suicide campaigner. SPUC supporters will know Alison well through her many years as co-ordinator of No Less Human, a group within SPUC representing the disabled.

Alison's challenge, which is being backed by the Christian Legal Centre, is directed to the new Supreme Court, which has replaced the House of Lords judicial committee (the Law Lords sitting as a court) as the UK's highest court. Alison's submission calls on the Supreme Court "to reconsider and hear fresh argument on the case of Purdy", due to the apparent bias of Lord Phillips. Lord Phillips was the senior judge in the Purdy case and is now the president of the supreme court. He had given an interview to The Telegraph after the judgment in which he expressed personal sympathy for people seeking assisted suicide

The House of Lords judgment in favour of Debbie Purdy has now led to the director of public prosecutions (DPP) drafting guidance which undermines the right to life of disabled people. The DPP is conducting a public consultation on the draft guidance, which closes next Wednesday (16 December). SPUC has produced a briefing to help you respond to the consultation.

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Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Youth protest against abortion outside European court

A youth vigil was held this morning outside the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, France, as the court considered a challenge to Ireland's constitutional protection of unborn children.

Young people representing Ireland, the UK, France, Germany, Italy, Hungary, and Romania held placards outside the court reading: "Europe needs children not abortion", "Hands off Ireland's pro-life laws" and "Abortion kills children". The vigil was organised by Liam Gibson of SPUC Northern Ireland.

The court is considering the A, B, & C v Ireland case, which the Irish pro-abortion lobby is using to claim that Ireland's ban on abortion violates the European Convention on Human Rights.

One of the young people taking part in the vigil, Olivier Jarry from France, said outside the court:
"Ireland is one of the only countries to have resisted abortion. The people of Ireland have voted against abortion, yet now there is a danger that the European institutions will change Ireland's constitution."
Another young person, Anne-Catherine Kegelin, also of France, said:
"No one has the right to kill another innocent person. We are demonstrating for human rights in front of the human rights building. There can be no rights if there is not the right to life. All rights depend on the right to life. There is no difference between a grandfather of 90 and an unborn child, only time."
Katy Robinson, Rebecca Roughneen and Sorcha Nic Mhathuna of Ireland's Youth Defence, said:
"We travelled to Strasbourg to represent the majority of Irish people who are pro-life and who don't want abortion in Ireland. This issue should be decided upon by the Irish people and not imposed undemocratically by a European court. We stand here in solidarity with the children whose lives are threatened by the possible outcome of the court's ruling."
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Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Catholics can honour the Immaculate Conception by opposing compulsory sex education

Catholics celebrate today the feast of the Immaculate Conception. This feast celebrates the Catholic teaching that Mary, Jesus' mother, was conceived free from original sin. Pictured is a representation of St Anne, Mary's mother, pregnant with Mary. (Some Catholics on the SPUC HQ staff attend Mass on weekdays at the nearby St Anne's church).

As we know from science, in normal human reproduction pregnancy begins with the conception of an embryo through fertilisation in the fallopian tube. Pro-abortionists claim that killing newly-conceived embryonic children after fertilisation but before implantation in the womb is not abortion. They claim that pregnancy doesn't start until implantation, and they make this claim in order to exempt the morning-after pill from laws restricting abortion. The American College of Obstetricians & Gynaecologists even went so far as to redefine not just pregnancy but also conception, declaring that: "Conception is the implantation of the blastocyst. It is not synonymous with fertilization."

Such shameless shifting of the goal-posts is a commonplace tactic of the anti-life lobby. Unfortunately some Catholics, anxious to compromise with the secular world, have adopted this false thinking. Yet, as Dana Rosemary Scallon, the former Irish politician, reminded Irish voters in the 2002 abortion referendum, Catholics celebrate the feast of the Immaculate Conception, not the feast of the Immaculate Implantation!

The British government's providing access to children with abortion and abortifacients and preparing them for sexual activity is the worst development in Britain since the passing of the Abortion Act. Citizens whose children attend both faith and non-faith schools must resist the wicked government policy which robs our children of their innocence and which kills our grandchildren. The government's proposals for compulsory sex education, if not blocked, will result in a massive promotion of embryo-killing drugs and devices in schools, including Catholic schools.

It is therefore incumbent upon the Catholic Education Service (CES) in England and Wales to reverse its general support for compulsory sex education. The CES should also stop welcoming Connexions into Catholic schools.
Connexions is a government agency which is committed to giving schoolchildren, under the age of 16, access to abortion and abortifacients without parental knowledge or permission. Connexions' advisers are trained to tell young people that they can obtain abortion and abortifacients without parental knowledge or consent.

I suggest that on the feast of
the Immaculate Conception, Catholics make reparation for the CES's complicity in the government's anti-life/anti-family agenda by reading and responding to SPUC's campaign alert.

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Monday, 7 December 2009

Prevent teen repeat abortions by opposing government bill

Today's Telegraph and Daily Mail report that, according to official statistics, over 5,000 under-20s had abortions in 2008. The figures were revealed in response to a parliamentary question by Anne Milton, a shadow health minister.

It is refreshing to read Mrs Milton's reported comment on abortion:
"Abortions can be incredibly traumatic for women and terminating an unwanted pregnancy can have a damaging effect on mental health."
One of Mrs Milton's proposed solutions to the revolving door of teenage repeat abortions is improved government information on contraception. Yet, as Dr Judith Bury, former director of Edinburgh's Brook Advisory Centre, an abortion referral agency, admitted:
"There is overwhelming evidence that, contrary to what you might expect, the availability of contraception leads to an increase in the abortion rate."
(1)
"Sex Education for Bureaucrats", The Scotsman, 29 June, 1981
I agree, however, with Mrs Milton that the phenomenon of repeat abortions among teenagers is a consequence of the government's teenage pregnancy and sexual health strategy. As Christine Hudson of SPUC Plymouth wrote for this blog last month:
"Abortion and the abortifacient morning-after pill are the lynchpins of the government’s teenage pregnancy strategy. The aim is to rid children and young women of unplanned pregnancies. These pregnancies are the result of sexual activity encouraged by government and our society, with little or no attention paid to the age of consent."
The government's proposals for compulsory sex education will result in even more promotion of abortion in schools. If the Conservative party opposition wishes to halt the rise in teenage abortions, then it must block the government's proposals, contained in the Children, Schools and Families bill. Likewise, the Catholic Education Service (CES) in England and Wales must reverse its general support for compulsory sex education.

Teenage abortions will not start falling until the right of parents to act as the primary educators of their children, recognised in the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, is manifested in law and policy. Please act now to stop the government's compulsory sex education and its anti-life agenda - please read and respond to SPUC's campaign alert.

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