Friday, 22 July 2011

Check out Christian Aid's policy on abortion

SPUC is re-launching its information on charities as an online index, with new entries and updated information added as and when new information is received. Today's new entry is on Christian Aid:

Christian Aid is a UK-based charity which provides aid to developing countries. It is sponsored by the main Christian denominations in the UK with the exception of the Catholic Church.

In a letter (8 March 2011) to SPUC, Loretta Minghella, Christian Aid's director said that:
  • While not supporting abortion clinics, Christian Aid follows the laws of each country it works within, i.e., places where abortion is legal.
  • "Christian Aid does not fund abortions." But Christian Aid does fund organisations that "...provide support to poor women in crisis, including the provision of counselling services to inform victims of their legal rights, both in terms of advice on legal abortions as well as the risks of illegal abortions."
  • "Christian Aid does fund partners that work with young people to ensure they have increased access to accurate, evidence-based and appropriate education around the issues of sexual and reproductive health rights..." SPUC comment: It should be noted that "sexual and reproductive health rights" is used commonly as either a technical term or a euphemism for abortion on demand. Also, terms such as "increased access" and "accurate, evidence-based" are used commonly as euphemisms for abortion services and pro-abortion propaganda.
  • "....[Christian Aid's] partners also work to strengthen young girls' capabilities for informed and autonomous decision-making, in particular to help reduce sexual violence, unintended pregnancies and associated risks." SPUC comment: "informed and autonomous decision-making" is a phrase used commonly as a euphemism for abortion on demand.
  • "Christian Aid does work with partners that promote use of and access to contraception and we see this as part of our critical strategy around training healthcare staff." SPUC comment: many forms of contraception also act to cause early abortions. Also, greater provision of contraception has been shown to lead to higher rates of abortion.
The autumn 2010 edition of "Christian Aid News" said (p.22) that: “Part of the answer is improving reproductive health services, which include contraception...”

Christian Aid have no policy on embryo research.

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Thursday, 21 July 2011

The chutzpah of population control extremists is breathtaking

Simon Ross of Population Matters (formerly the Optimum Population Trust) was quoted thus in last Sunday's Observer:
"[F]amily planning is cheap, yet many people don't use it properly and accidental pregnancy rates are very high. We need to change the incentives to make the environmental case that one or two children are fine but three or four are just being selfish.The Beckhams, and others like London mayor Boris Johnson, are very bad role models with their large families." [my emphases]
Excuse me? For all my adult life, supporters of "family planning" have claimed - repeatedly and in no uncertain terms - that "family planning" is all about choice, that no one (especially not men) have a right to tell women what to do with their bodies and that one should never, ever be judgmental about another person's private reproductive decisions.

Mr Ross' chutzpah shows that population control extremists are as bendy as a Beckham free-kick.

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Wednesday, 20 July 2011

A new study provides further evidence of parents' role as the primary educators of their children

A new study, from the University of Montreal, has found that for most teenagers, parents are their sexual role models. The International Business Times reports:
"Research from the University of Montreal shows that 45 percent of teens do consider their parents their sexuality role models ... The survey participants included 1,139 mothers of teenagers and 1,171 youths between ages 14 and 17 years...

'Good communication within families and especially around sexual health issues is associated with more responsible behaviors," said Dr. Jean-Yves Frappier, a researcher at the University of Montreal's affiliated CHU Sainte-Justine Hospital Research Center. ... 'Parents seem to underestimate their role and the impact that they have', Frappier said in a statement. 'Health professionals and the media have an important role to play in empowering parents and enabling them to increase their communications with their children with regards to sexual health issues.'"
To my mind this provides further evidence for both the truth and the principle that parents are the first and foremost educators of their children. It shows just how important it is that schools, governments and religious bodies should emphasise the importance of supporting parents, ensuring that parents have the confidence to talk about sexual matters with their children.

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This morning's must-read pro-life news-stories, Wednesday 20 July

"The Sex Education Show"
Abortion
Embryology
Euthanasia
Population
Sexual ethics
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Tuesday, 19 July 2011

SPUC's Anthony McCarthy responds to a survey of medical students' abortion objections

Anthony McCarthy, SPUC's new Education and Publications manager, has responded to a survey* published today in the Journal of Medical Ethics (JME). An abridged version of Anthony's comment has been adapted for the SPUC website but do read his unabridged version below:
"The new survey found that nearly half of medical students believe in the right of doctors to conscientiously object to any procedure – with demand for a right not to perform a given procedure particularly high among Muslim students. Of 733 medical students surveyed,
“almost a third of students would not perform an abortion for a congenitally malformed foetus up to 24 weeks, a quarter would not perform an abortion for failed contraception before 24 weeks and a fifth would not perform an abortion on a minor who was the victim of rape.”
The current GMC guidelines hold that where medical practice conflicts with a doctor’s religious or moral beliefs, the doctor is expected at least to explore with the patient their ability to find another doctor - the implication being that this doctor will comply. In light of this, it’s worth highlighting that the survey found that
“not all students in the survey who objected to the idea of performing an abortion would necessarily conscientiously object to performing it in practice”.
What is happening, and how, that strong ethical objections are somehow overridden?

If doctors are trained to act as mere facilitators of the desires of their patients and of the DoH’s aims then they have ceased to be members of a noble profession with a clear internal ethic. Indeed, any doctor not heeding his/her conscience, in line with the natural moral law, cannot be said to be operating within the Hippocratic tradition. While it is encouraging that many medical students, especially Muslims, are standing up for their autonomy in relation to fundamental moral truths concerning life and fertility, it is troubling that Dr Sophie Strickland, the survey's author, prominent ethicists and professional bodies view such autonomy as a problem. Conscientious objection - unlike abortion - is a fundamental human right protected by international law. The problem is not medical students asserting their rights to conscientious objection, in line with Hippocratic respect for human life, but the distortion of medicine by unethical practices such as abortion.""
*Conscientious objection in medical students: a questionnaire survey, Strickland SLM J.Med Ethics 2011

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Monday, 18 July 2011

This morning's must-read pro-life news-stories, Monday 18 July

Abortion
Embryology
Euthanasia
Sexual ethics
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