Saturday, 27 August 2011

SPUC Northern Ireland announces major pro-life conference, 10 March 2012

Liam Gibson
Liam Gibson (pictured), SPUC's Northern Ireland development officer, reports today on a conference SPUC is holding in March 2012 to combat insidious government policies which lead to abortion. The day conference will be held in the Belfast Conference Hotel.

Liam writes:

Since the early 1980s the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children has worked with Northern Ireland’s politicians in blocking attempts by the abortion lobby to the introduce the Abortion Act to the Province.

In addition, in July 2010 Northern Ireland's health department withdrew its interim guidance on abortion, following SPUC's two successful court challenges in May 2009 and in December/November 2009.

With the success of the peace process the threat of the Act being imposed from Westminster has significantly diminished. Nevertheless, Northern Ireland has been badly affected by the same social policies which have so seriously damaged family life across Europe and north America.

In recent months various media stories have highlighted the dangerous trend toward the increasing sexualisation of children. At the same time politicians have lamented the lack of responsibility taken by parents for the behaviour of their children. Despite these concerns, it remains government policy to facilitate recreational sex among underage children by supplying them with powerful chemical steroids and abortifacients without the knowledge of their parents.

Supporters of this policy claim it is necessary to reduce the number of teenage pregnancies. However, 26 years after the Gillick ruling allowed family planning clinics to provide birth control to underage children, the conception rate for teenage girls remains notoriously high. In England and Wales over half the recorded pregnancies among mothers under the age of 18 end in abortion. It’s simply impossible to calculate how many early abortions occur as a result of the so-called morning-after pill and other forms of abortifacient birth control drugs and devices. Other consequences of this policy include the epidemic level of sexually-transmitted infections among young people, often leading to infertility and serious health problems in later life.

Happily, political developments have reached a point where it is now possible for the pro-life movement to call on the Northern Ireland Assembly to re-examine some of the anti-family policies which have been in place for decades.

With a view to preparing the way for a re-evaluation of public policy in this area, SPUC will be hosting a conference in Belfast, 10 March 2012 to discuss this and related issues. Professor David Paton will be a principle speaker at the conference and will present his research into the effects of the British government’s disastrous teenage pregnancy strategy.

Other speakers will include Jim Wells MLA, the deputy chair of the Stormont health committee and Pat Ramsey MLA, the deputy chair of the Assembly’s all-party pro-life group.

For further information about the conference write to Liam Gibson at liamgibson@spuc.org.uk or telephone (02890) 778018.

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Friday, 26 August 2011

Oppose BPAS abortion facility in Stratford

Daniel Blackman, a youth officer and researcher at SPUC, has given me the following report on a pro-life outreach in Stratford last weekend. It involved young supporters of the Society as well as young pro-life colleagues from other pro-life groups.

Daniel writes: Following the success and hard work of the 11 young members of the SPUC team and friends who initiated and ran the Lewisham Peoples Day event in July which you can read about here and here, they have been out again in London, this time in Stratford, and for a very good reason.

The Borough of Newham has the sixth highest number of abortions in the entire country. In 2010 there were 2,341 abortions recorded for residents of Newham Borough. This is higher than many of the larger cities in the UK.

Newham is a very dangerous place for unborn children and their mothers these days.

With these sorry statistics in mind, it was of great concern to younger members of SPUC to learn that the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS), England’s largest private abortion provider, has just opened its newest abortuary right in the heart of Stratford, a major town in Newham Borough.

How on earth is a large abortion centre in the heart of a borough that already has one of the worst abortion problems in the country going to help the local people? How, for example, is BPAS setting up shop going to help cut the tragic abortion rate?

The team L-R: Paul, Frances, Shirleyann, Siobhan, Jo, Danny, Anna, Chris. Not pictured: Daniel and Delia 

Last Saturday, SPUC launched a pro-life community outreach project in Stratford. In a very short space of time a team of 10 pro-life leaders were gathered together: five young adults from SPUC, two women involved in pro-life activities, and three members from the Helpers of God’s Precious Infants.

We had an eye-catching display with child development posters and the SPUC How You Began foetal model set. We also brought hundreds of good quality pro-life materials to give away for free, including SPUC’s Abortion: Your Right to Know leaflet, Good Counsel Network's pregnancy leaflets and 40 Days for Life You can Stop Injustice magazines.


The day began at 10.30am and ended at 2pm. Our team spent the whole time engaging with members of the public. We spoke to nurses, medical students, mums and grannies, teens and young couples. We noticed that the people of Stratford were interested in what we had to say and offer, many of them expressing strong support for pro-life work, and shock that BPAS has chosen to set up shop in their community. It is pertinent to note that not a single person to whom we spoke was aware that an abortion centre had been set up right where they live. The day was a success with twenty-two people signed up to receive more information and learn about what they could do to tackle the problem of abortion in their area.


As with any planning application, there needs to be a certain amount of public consultation. From our research it appears that the BPAS planning application, which was open to public comment on the Newham Borough planning applications website, did not receive a single comment.

From the same website we found that 47 letters were sent to adjoining occupiers of the BPAS centre (it is a large residential building, with BPAS occupying the ground floor, and two levels of residential flats above). However, none of the letters sent out were registered as having been received, and no replies were received from the adjoining occupiers. Moreover, the letter does not make clear that the proposed clinic to be opened was in fact an abortion facility.

There is virtually no public awareness about what has happened in their area. The public consultation period seems to have gone completely unnoticed by everyone, and with minimal effort put into letting local people know about something that every resident should have known about. People have strong stances on abortion. Planning permission for a facility that kills unborn children is not the same as seeking permission to build a wall or extend the driveway.

In summary:
  • None of the forty-seven letters sent to adjoining occupiers were registered as having been received. This is stated on the Newham Borough Physical Regeneration website.
  • From the Newham planning applications website, there were no comments from the general public at all. BPAS has so far been completely unopposed. 
  • Possibly one reason why no one responded is Newham Borough’s failure to make clear that the clinic to be opened is in fact an abortion facility.
  • According to the 2001 national census, Newham borough has the most ethnically diverse demographic, and the highest youth population. Women from ethnic minorities and young women are disproportionately affected by abortion. This makes the setting up of an abortion clinic in the area all the more questionable.
We still have time to raise public awareness, and to get the residents of Stratford and the surrounding area to write to the councillors and MP, raise their voice in opposition, stating that Stratford and the Borough of Newham do not want abortionists in their area.

Contact Daniel Blackman at danielblackman@spuc.org.uk if you can help or call the SPUC team at (020) 7820 3140.


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Thursday, 25 August 2011

Today's must-read pro-life news-stories, Thu 25 Aug

Abp. Charles Chaput
Top stories:

Swiss primary school children given "sex box" to explore sexual pleasure
Primary school children in Basel have been given a "sex box" to encourage them to explore sexual pleasure. The box includes a wooden penis and a fabric vagina. Officials in Basel have received 3,000 letters of complaints from parents. [Christian Institute, 24 August] http://bit.ly/pmCHAy SPUC's Safe At School campaign helps parents fight against similar sex education programmes in the UK.

US vice-president backtracks on one-child policy comments
Joe Biden, the US vice-president, has backtracked on comments in China which implied sympathy for China's one-child policy. In a later statement Mr Biden's spokesman said that both he and the Obama administration condemned the policy. [Washington Times, 24 August] http://bit.ly/pnrXjx Both the US and UK governments fund pro-abortion population control agencies which are complicit in the policy.

Other stories:

Abortion
Sexual ethics
General
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Wednesday, 24 August 2011

The AMRC lobbies parliament for destructive embryo research

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 charity is the Association of Medical Research Charities.

The Association of Medical Research Charities (AMRC) is an umbrella body for some of the most powerful medical research charities' campaigns in support of destructive experimentation on human embryos and screening to eliminate the risk of hereditary diseases.

One of many examples of AMRC's support for unethical medical research is the support it gave to the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008. In a briefing for parliamentarians it said:
  • "We welcome[s] the provisions in the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill that relate to research. We particularly support provisions that allow the creation of human admixed embryos"
  • "Stem cells from three different sources are currently used in research: adult (including reprogrammed cells), fetal and embryonic stem cells ... [C]losing off any one avenue of research would be detrimental to the potential development of therapies."
  • "The creation of human admixed embryos (HAEs) is necessary to overcome the limited availability of donated human eggs – one of the major barriers to embryonic stem cell research."
  • "If research involving HAEs is prohibited, UK scientists will no longer be able to work at the cutting edge of stem cell research."
SPUC comment: Human embryos are human beings from the moment of their conception (fertilisation or an analogous form of creation such as cloning). Removing stem cells from them abuses and usually kills them. The creation of hybrid embryos is also unethical.

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Today's must-read pro-life news-stories, Wed 24 Aug

Top stories:

Polish parliamentary commission rejects anti-abortion bill
A commission of Poland's parliament has voted against a bill seeking to ban all abortions. The bill is backed by a 600,000-strong petition and by the Catholic Church. Mariusz Dzierzawski of the Stop Abortion group: "[A]t the next election...we'll seek to make life a key campaign issue. If the MPs don't want to support life, we'll have to change the MPs". [Tablet, 23 August] http://bit.ly/r7LHAz

Dutch priest refuses to conduct funeral for man who chose euthanasia
A priest in The Netherlands refused to conduct a funeral for man who had chosen euthanasia. Norbert van der Sluis said he was following both his conscience and the advice of bishops, adding that he would not allow another priest to conduct such a funeral in his church. The denomination of the church is not clear from the source. [DutchNews.nl, 23 August] http://bit.ly/nVaUAS

Afghan government starts population control programme
The government of Afghanisation has started a birth-control programme to reduce the country's population. The programme will involve the promotion of contraception. Khalilullah Mohammad, a lecturer in Islamic law at Kabul University, said: "It is not up to us to control the reproduction of children. The holy Koran tells us not to kill your children... If anyone asks me advice on this new plan, I will strictly oppose it." [Reuters, 23 August] http://reut.rs/ojZWaG Many drugs and devices which work as contraceptives also induce early abortions by killing newly-conceived embryonic children.

Other stories:

Abortion
Embryologist
General
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Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Today's must-read pro-life news-stories, Tue 23 Aug

HSH Prince Alois of Liechtenstein
Top stories:

Young British Christian adults much more concerned about pro-life issues than elderly Christians
Young British Christians are much more concerned about pro-life issues than elderly Christians, suggests a new poll. Two out of three Christians aged 18-34 surveyed said abortion and euthanasia were very important issues, compared to one in three Christians aged over 65. [Inspire Magazine, 23 August] http://bit.ly/qywnp8 John Smeaton, SPUC director, commented: "This is encouraging news for the defence of the sanctity of human life. It shows that the pro-life movement has a promising future."

English coroners turning a blind eye to assisted suicide, claims report
Coroners in England are turning a blind eye to suspected cases of assisted suicide, claims a new report. Two coroners (one retired) interviewed by Demos, a think-tank, said they avoided looking too closely into such cases in order to spare families problems. [Telegraph, 23 August] http://tgr.ph/rdagXW Demos is hosting a fake commission into assisted suicide on behalf of the euthanasia lobby.

UK IVF lottery suspended pending watchdog review
A lottery in which couples can win IVF treatment has been suspended pending a review by the Charity Commission. Entrants paid £20 for a ticket to win £25,000 worth of treatment. [Express, 21 August] http://bit.ly/pBHNTG SPUC's Anthony McCarthy has criticised the lottery as trivialising human life and procreation.

Other stories:

Abortion
Embryology
Population
General
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Monday, 22 August 2011

Cancer Research UK supports embryonic stem cell research

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 charity is Cancer Research UK.

Cancer Research UK was formed in 2002 as an amalgamation of the Cancer Research Campaign and the Imperial Cancer Research Fund.
It is a member of the Association of Medical Research Charities (AMRC).

Cancer Research UK has stated (14/08/11) that it
"...does not fund any research that uses human embryos or foetal tissue. However, we are funding a very small number of research projects that use human embryonic stem cell lines grown in the lab."
Cancer Research UK supported the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA)'s regulations on the creation of animal/human hybrid embryos for research purposes and were disappointed when the HFEA stopped licensing this research pending the results of a consultation. In a letter (11/10/10) from Harpal S. Kumar, its chief executive, Cancer Research UK outlined its support for research using embryonic stem cells and its support for couples to screen human embryos for inherited cancer genes.

SPUC comment: Human embryos are human beings from the moment of their conception (fertilisation or an analogous form of creation such as cloning). Removing stem cells from them abuses and usually kills them. The creation of hybrid embryos is also unethical.

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Watch this powerful pro-life film just released on YouTube

In 2008 two young North American film-makers produced a 15-minute pro-life film called "Volition". John Jalsevac of LifeSiteNews.com gave it a glowing review, saying:
"Volition is an astonishing achievement ... Volition places its central character, who goes unnamed, in the historical contexts of what the filmmakers clearly believe to be three of the greatest human rights violations in history: the holocaust, slavery, and abortion ... The premise is as clever and well-executed as it is effective."
Although "Volition" was released as a standard film in 2008, it has only now been released on YouTube, thus making it easy to share it with a global audience. Do watch it below or on YouTube and spread the word! The film also has a Facebook Page which you can 'Like'.



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Sunday, 21 August 2011

Read Anthony Ozimic's introduction to stem cell research

Anthony Ozimic, SPUC's communications manager, has authored a new paper entitled "The past, present and possible future of stem cell research". It is written as an introduction to stem cell research for anyone as yet unfamiliar with the subject. Do the read it in full on the SPUC website and share with anyone who think may benefit it from it. Anthony writes:
"One of the best-known fields within cutting-edge science today is stem cell research. Every week not just the scientific press but increasingly the mainstream media report new breakthroughs. The advances are being made at all stages of the scientific process: speculation, theory, laboratory research, clinical trials and patient treatments. At the same time as these technical achievements, a debate about the ethics of different types of stem cell technology continues to rage, nationally and internationally.

Everyone conscious of the debate about stem cells realises that it is not merely a pedantic in-house discussion between academics. Momentous issues are at stake: the creation and destruction of human entities, the future of medical science and the limits of official power. Individuals, too, may be powerfully affected: from the family of the Parkinson’s patient hoping for a cure, to the women suffering life-threatening side-effects after donating their eggs for research.1 It’s a debate no one interested in science and humanity can afford to miss."
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