Saturday, 30 July 2011

Please act now re abortion ads, SPUC conference and sex ed

Yesterday I sent SPUC's activists the following letter which is also applicable to readers of this blog:
  1. Keep the abortion peddlers off the screen
  2. Book now for SPUC’s annual conference
  3. Ban sexually-explicit videos from primary school – petition date extended
1. Keep the abortion peddlers off the screen
The Broadcasting Committee of Advertising Practice (BCAP), the body responsible for setting, reviewing and revising the rules for broadcast advertising, has proposed revisions to its old advertising codes. In 2009, according to their website: "BCAP received more than 29,000 responses to its consultation many of which focused on the fact that BCAP has proposed to change the regulatory position on advertisements for post-conception advice services (PCAS) "
BCAP is now returning to the subject of PCAS. All pro-lifers need to be aware of this dangerous development. The new proposals include allowing commercial PCAS to advertise on television, allowing advertising by all those seen as providing suitable credentials, and requiring services to state if they do not refer for abortion.
The proposals would, in practice, ensure that large commercial 'providers' of abortion would be able to advertise freely; while small pro-life organisations wouldn't, either because they couldn't afford it or because they would be excluded as not able to provide 'suitable credentials'. Credentials in all likelihood will include a willingness to refer for abortions. It is telling that abortion is seen, by BCAP, as something so ordinary and mainstream that pregnancy services not offering it are to be highlighted and subject to possible exclusion. I urge SPUC members to get involved and make their concerns known with regard to this pernicious move. Please read and use SPUC's briefing paper on the subject http://bit.ly/peGRZ5 Time is, regrettably, short, but if you want to keep the abortion peddlers off the screen and less capable of poisoning our culture yet further, then please make time to write. Consultation closes Monday 8 August.

2. Book now for SPUC’s annual conference
Please consider booking into SPUC’s 2011 annual conference which takes place from Friday evening, 16 September until Sunday lunchtime, 18 September. The conference venue is the Hayes Conference Centre, Swanwick, Derbyshire. Keynote talks include "The graphic reality of what young children are shown in the classroom" from Antonia Tully, national co-ordinator for the SPUC Safe at School campaign; and "How the pro-euthanasia lobby works" with guest speaker Dr Peter Saunders, chief executive of the Christian Medical Fellowship. Also speaking is the powerful pro-life advocate, Bobby Schindler, the brother of Terri Schiavo. Terri was a physically-healthy woman with a profound brain injury; she was starved and dehydrated by order of a US court and died from severe dehydration on 31 March 2005. The cost per person for a full weekend, including accommodation and meals, is £160 – or £145 if you book before 19 August; for students in full-time education, the cost is £100 and for children aged 8 to 12, it’s £75. For full information contact Katherine Hampton, conference organiser, at SPUC, 3 Whitacre Mews, Stannary Street, London SE11 4AB, or email conference@spuc.org.uk or phone (020) 7091 7091.

3. Ban sexually-explicit videos from primary school – petition date extended
SPUC’s nationwide campaign to ban sexually-explicit videos from primary school is having such a big impact we have decided to extend the closing date of our petition till 15 October 2011 when all petitions will be returned to HQ.
Antonia Tully, who’s leading SPUC’s Safe at School campaign, already has five public meetings between September and early October organized by concerned parents. In November, a group of the parents organizing Antonia’s public meetings will present the petition to Michael Gove MP, the Secretary of State for Education.
The petition cites content from the sexually-explicit DVDs which are part of Channel 4's “Living and Growing” programme for primary schools. Children between seven and nine years of age are shown animations of sexual intercourse in different positions and are told that touching their sexual organs is pleasurable. “Living and Growing”, heavily promoted by local authorities, is the most-widely used sex education teaching resource.
If you are not a SPUC branch officer, and you wish to organize the petition in your area or at your local church, please contact us so that we can help you to do so, either by putting you in touch with your local SPUC branch or advising you how to organize the petition locally and sending you all the necessary materials – petitions, explanatory leaflets, petition guidelines etc. Local branches and others might consider extending the petition in your local area – on the high street, outside a local railway station, or at local churches (with the clergy’s permission of course). Contact tonymullett@spuc.org.uk or phone him on (01772) 258580; or contact SPUC HQ.

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Thursday, 28 July 2011

Here's the advice Childline gives to young people

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 entry is on Childline:

Childline is a British 24-hour counselling service for people under the age of 18, run by the NSPCC (National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children).

Childine's website describes abortion as a legitimate choice. The website also recommends the pro-abortion organisations Brook and the Family Planning Association (FPA) as "sources of help"; and says that teenagers "should always use contraception". SPUC comment: According to the manufacturers, many forms of contraception can cause early abortions through making the lining of the womb hostile to newly-conceived human embryos.

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Today's must-read pro-life news-stories, Thursday 28 July

Missing Chinese children
Top stories:

New euthanasia ruling worrying as M case continues
A new ruling by a English high court judge allowing euthanasia by omission is worrying, coming at the same time as another high court judge considers the M case, says SPUC's Patients First Network. Mr Justice Charles ruled that food, fluids and heart medication can be withdrawn from a 54-year-old mother-of-four deemed to be in a so-called "permanent vegetative state". This court-case is a separate court-case from the M case, currently before Mr Justice Baker, in which a 51-year-old woman, deemed to be in a so-called "minimally-conscious state", is threatened with the same denial of care. Anthony Ozimic, speaking on behalf of Patients First Network, commented: "The provision of water, food and reasonable medical treatment to patients who are not dying is a human right underpinning the fundamental right to life, yet the English high court has discriminated against disabled people by denying them that right." [SPUC, 28 July] http://bit.ly/oi4gPI

89 infants and young children rescued from Chinese people traffickers
Police have broken-up two large child-trafficking rings in China. 89 infants and young children, some as young as 10 days' old, were rescued. Such child-trafficking is partly the result of China's one-child policy. [Daily Mail, 27 July] http://bit.ly/oy0Buh

Other stories:

Abortion
Embryology
Euthanasia
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A new euthanasia ruling is worrying as the M case continues

A new ruling by a English high court judge allowing euthanasia by omission is worrying, coming at the same time as another high court judge considers the M case.

SPUC's Patients First Network has commented on Mr Justice Charles' ruling, reported this morning, that food, fluids and heart medication can be withdrawn from a 54-year-old mother-of-four deemed to be in a so-called "permanent vegetative state". This court-case is a separate court-case from the M case, currently before Mr Justice Baker, in which a 51-year-old woman, deemed to be in a so-called "minimally-conscious state", is threatened with the same denial of care. (Read the interview with Nikki Kenward of Distant Voices about the M case.)

Anthony Ozimic, speaking on behalf of Patients First Network, told the media this morning:
"Although the court-cases are separate, the M case is being heard against the backdrop of such recent high court rulings which effectively sentenced disabled people to death. The provision of water, food and reasonable medical treatment to patients who are not dying is a human right underpinning the fundamental right to life, yet the English high court has discriminated against disabled people by denying them that right. Whether and to what extent a person has brain-damage is irrelevant to their membership of the human family."
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Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Find out what Barnardo's does regarding abortion and contraception

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 entry is on Barnardo's:

Barnardo's is a UK charity established to care for vulnerable children and young people.

Barnardo's runs the Young Womens London Project which offers a "sexual health service". Through the service "[y]oung women can access [a] nurse for free condoms, contraception (including emergency contraception) pregnancy testing and advice about abortion/termination." SPUC comment: According to the manufacturers, many forms of contraception can cause early abortions through making the lining of the womb hostile to newly-conceived human embryos.

The Barnardo's website recommends the websites of Marie Stopes International and the Family Planning Association, two of the UK's leading abortion agencies.

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Today's must-read pro-life news-stories, Wed 27 July

Amanda Gudz and sisters
Top stories:

UK woman acted as surrogate mother to sister's child
A British woman has acted as a surrogate mother to her sister's child. Samantha Lewin gave birth to a girl conceived using her sister Amanda Gudz's egg and Mrs Gudz's husband's sperm. Another sister later paid for a second pregnancy for Mrs Gudz using frozen embryos. [Mirror, 27 July] http://bit.ly/pf5suq Anthony Ozimic of SPUC commented: "The full details of this case are worth reading. It shows how IVF kills embryonic children and debases procreation into mere reproduction."

Former locked-in patient now campaigns against euthanasia
A woman who recovered from locked-in syndrome is now campaigning against euthanasia. Nikki Kenward, of the group Distant Voices, is campaigning to save a woman threatened with court-approved denial of assisted food and fluids. Mrs Kenward argues that the life of every disabled person is worth living. [Daily Mail, 27 July] http://bit.ly/nnCXZh

Generation of young UK women putting off motherhood due to money worries
A new survey suggests that 42% of British women under 30 are delaying motherhood due to concerns about personal finances. The survey, backed by an insurance company, also found that 29% of British women over 30 were also delaying motherhood for the same reason. Julian Brazier MP said that high property prices was a factor. [Daily Mail, 27 July] http://bit.ly/r32Ynu

Other stories:

Abortion
Embryology
Sexual ethics
General
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Tuesday, 26 July 2011

SPUC's Anthony Ozimic reflects on assisted suicide, rebellion and theology

Baader-Meinhof gang insignia
Anthony Ozimic, SPUC's communications manager, has kindly sent me his recent personal theological reflections on assisted suicide, below.
"Suicide is a hallmark of rebellion against the divine order" by Anthony Ozimic

May 2011 marked the 25th anniversary of the suicide of Ulrike Meinhof, one of the leaders of German communist group the Baader-Meinhof gang. Meinhof, along with the group’s other leaders, had been convicted and jailed for a series of terrorist acts which had outraged West Germany. Increasingly isolated by her fellow leaders, Meinhof descended into self-neglect, culminating in her hanging from a bedsheet. The other three revolutionaries killed themselves two years later following a failed attempt by terrorists to free them.

That anniversary highlights the close association between the acceptance of suicide and a failure of resignation to life’s visissitudes. In some pagan societies, such as ancient Rome or medieval Japan, suicide was seen as a way of avoiding a perceived indignity, such as defeat in battle. St Augustine, in "The City of God", gives an unfavourable verdict on such suicides when compared with the patient suffering of the early Christians. For St Augustine, suicide is a cowardly flight from life’s misfortunes. And for St Thomas Aquinas, suicide is a rebellion against the providence of the benevolent God.

In the context of modern terrorism, suicide appears to be being justified, by at least some Islamist groups, with reference to 'martyrdom operations'. Cherie Blair famously tried to explain the self-destructive bombings of Palestinians in the context of despair among the youth of the Occupied Territories. The organisers of 9/11 bolstered the terrorists’ resolve by assuring them that their self-wrought deaths would deliver them from this life into a paradise of bodily comforts. Here again we see an association between the rebellion of revolution and a rebellion against life’s realities. Self-destructive terrorists have refused to accept that less violent yet more difficult means are the nobler ways to achieve their political goals.

How are the suicides of Stoics, the samurai and some modern terrorists relevant to the current debate about assisted suicides for terminally-ill modern Westerners? Are not the proposals of Lords Joffe and Falconer, of Margo MacDonald and Debbie Purdy framed in terms of respect for law, order and civilised standards? Yet it is this very respectability which hides the objective reality of suicide. Suicide in Nazi Germany (whether for the ill or of Nazi officers) was commonly practised within a State which was anxious to give (at least outside) respect to legal forms and administrative efficiency. Yet Nazism was at its heart a revolutionary movement which totally rejected the sanctity of human life. There is a greater Judge, Who forbids His creatures to disobey His higher law protecting life from the insurrection of suicide.

It has been quite fashionable for modern commentators to describe our Lord as one of the first revolutionaries. One peer even claimed in a parliamentary debate that the Crucifixion was an assisted suicide. Yet, as St Paul tells us, “Christ was made obedient for us unto death, even death upon a cross.” His submission was the very antithesis of the despair and rebellion in the face of failure and suffering which marks so many suicides throughout history. It was not for nothing that on the Cross He said: “My God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken me?”; for the psalm He was reciting (Ps. 22) continues: “He hath not slighted nor despised the supplication of the poor man”, and ends: “My soul shall live.”

To recognise that suicide is a hallmark of rebellion against the divine order is not, however, to refuse compassion to those tempted to commit suicide for whatever reason. Rather, that recognition serves as a basis upon which we can explain that suicide is not part of God’s loving plan for His children in this vale of tears. Our lives are always worth living, not least because the Author of life “hath borne our infirmities and carried our sorrows” (Is.53.4) By His example on the Cross, Jesus the suffering servant proved Himself to be the King of love. We must pray that all those who feel indignity, resentment, suffering or misplaced revolutionary zeal will exchange the rebellion of suicide for a hope-filled, life-affirming humility.
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Today's must-read pro-life news-stories, Tuesday 26 July

Anders Breivik
Top stories:

Norway shooter supports abortion for disabled babies
Anders Behring Breivik, who killed scores of people in Norway on Friday, supports abortion in cases of rape and disability. The mainstream media have been reporting that Mr Breivik is a "Christian fundamentalist", whereas in his own writings he made clear that he is not a religious believer. A number of his ideas are at variance with pro-life and pro-family principles. [LifeSiteNews.com, 25 July] http://bit.ly/pxMRKW

UK premature baby survives after doctors advised abortion
A British baby born at 23 weeks into pregnancy has survived, after his parents rejected doctors' advice to abort him. Jacob McMahon was born weighing 1lb 4oz (0.57kg). [Telegraph, 25 July] http://tgr.ph/pwld7R The Telegraph's reporter states incorrectly that the upper time-limit for abortion in Britain is 24 weeks. In fact, abortion is allowed up to birth on the ground of disability and on some other grounds.

UK sperm bank to offer new online catalogue offering 'well-dressed' donors
A London sperm bank is offering women an online catalogue of sperm donors classified by personal attributes. The catalogue includes details of the donor's personality, lifestyle and appearance. [Marie Claire, 25 July] http://bit.ly/oS1pmN Anthony Ozimic of SPUC commented: "Such catalogues have been available in the United States for many years. It is disturbing that such objectification and commodification of the gift of reproduction is now appearing in the United Kingdom."

Other stories:

Abortion
Euthanasia
General
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Monday, 25 July 2011

Read about Amnesty International'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 entry is on Amnesty International:

Amnesty International is one of the world's most prominent human rights organisations.

Amnesty International claims that it is not pro-abortion, but it now campaigns for the decriminalisation of abortion. In an October 2010 reply to a SPUC supporter, Amnesty International said that the organisation had in 2006 defined their policy to "Provide women and men with full information on sexual and reproductive health; Repeal laws criminalizing abortion...Ensure access to abortion services to any woman who becomes preganant as the result of rape, sexual assault or incest, or where a pregnancy poses a risk to a woman's life or a grave risk to her health."

The late Michael Evans, Catholic bishop of East Anglia, England, and a prominent member of Amnesty International, left the organisation in protest at its change of policy to support legal abortion.

Amnesty International has criticised Latin American countries for banning or restricting abortion.

Amnesty International's "Integrated Strategic Plan 2010 to 2016" states that it will work for the "...protection of sexual and reproductive rights and health" (p. 8). SPUC comment: "sexual and reproductive rights and health" is used commonly as either a technical term or a euphemism for abortion on demand.

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Please attend Michael Voris's talk in London on 24 August

I am delighted to hear that Michael Voris will be speaking in London on Wednesday 24 August. The talk has in fact been organised by my son Paul and you can purchase tickets for the talk on Paul's blog.

Michael Voris S.T.B. is the president and founder of St Michael’s Media and the senior executive producer of RealCatholicTV.com, the world's first online Catholic television station. Michael gave up a successful media career as an anchor, reporter and producer for CBS to dedicate his energies to the promotion of the Gospel through the media.

I met Michael Voris last year at Human Life International's conference in Rome, one of the many highlights of which was Cardinal Burke's address: 'Catholic orthodoxy: antidote against the culture of death'. In his speech Cardinal Burke claimed that the root of the attacks on the innocent life of unborn children was an erroneous view of human sexuality. Cardinal Burke said:
" ... The attack on the innocent and defenseless life of the unborn has its origin in an erroneous view of human sexuality, which attempts to eliminate, by mechanical or chemical means, the essentially procreative nature of the conjugal act. The error maintains that the artificially altered conjugal act retains its integrity. The claim is that the act remains unitive or loving, even though the procreative nature of the act has been radically violated. In fact, it is not unitive, for one or both of the partners withholds an essential part of the gift of self, which is the essence of the conjugal union. The so-called "contraceptive mentality" is essentially antilife.Many forms of so-called contraception are, in fact, abortifacient, that is, they destroy, at its beginning, a life which has already been conceived ..."
Michael Voris addressed this very issue in a recent episode of his show 'The Vortex'.

RealCatholicTV.com have also produced an hour-long documentary called The Cost of Abortion. This documentary focuses on the disastrous social and economic impact of abortion in the United States. Particularly interesting is Michael's reflections on the role of the media in promoting abortion and deliberately denigrating the work of pro-life organisations. I warn readers, as the website does itself, that the documentary contains disturbing images of actual abortions. This video was sent to every member of the US senate.

I have no doubt that Michael's talk will inspire people young and old either to embrace or renew their commitment to building-up of the culture of life. I would urge readers both to come to this event and to tell their friends about it.

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Today's must-read pro-life news-stories, Monday 25 July

Professor John Harris
Pro-life ethicists sceptical of scientists' call about hybrids
Pro-life ethicists have expressed scepticism about a call by UK scientists for the creation of new expert body to advise on human-animal hybrids. A report by the Academy of Medical Scientists raises the possibility of breeding great apes with human intelligence. Peter Saunders of the Christian Medical Fellowship warned that Professor John Harris (pictured), the academy's advisory ethicist, is an anti-life extremist. [Peter Saunders, 22 July] http://bit.ly/oPRgVa

Korean Catholic bishops condemn sale of abortifacient pill
The Catholic bishops of Korea have condemned the South Korean government's approval of Ella (Ulipristal), the latest version of the morning-after pill. The bishop's pro-life committee said that the approval "is very regrettable, and the government is extremely irresponsible”. [Catholic Culture, 21 July] http://bit.ly/nFxqEz According to their manufacturers, morning-after pills can cause early abortions by preventing newly-conceived human embryos from implanting in the lining of the womb.

Prominent US psychiatrist says men are traumatized by abortion
Dr Keith Ablow, a prominent American psychiatrist has said that men are traumatized by abortion. In an opinion column, Dr Ablow said that in his own practice of psychiatry he has heard many men express intense pain about the abortions of their children. [Fox News, 22 July] http://fxn.ws/oxkWkU Abortion Recovery Care and Helpline (ARCH), SPUC's sister organization, provides counselling for men and women hurt by abortion. www.archtrust.org.uk

Other stories:

Abortion
Euthanasia
Population
Sexual ethics
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