Friday, 30 December 2011

"I begged and danced for the approval of my mother who tried to abort me"

On Wednesday I had the privilege of speaking at a pro-life march in Budapest, the capital of Hungary. Over recent decades, anti-life policies have resulted in the killing by abortion of more than 6 million Hungarians, and thus deeply damaged many millions of families. Pro-lifers in Hungary chose the feast-day of the Holy Innocents to name the children lost and toll bells in their memory.

At least one Hungarian, by the grace of God and by the strong intervention of his father, survived the abortion intended for him. He is my host, Dr Imre Taglasy, the director of Human Life International (Hungary) who took such good care of me when a bone got stuck in my throat on my first day in Budapest. He and I are pictured above in Budapest, after the march.

Here, in his own words, is his deeply moving story:
I begin my story with my family, and especially with my father, who was a major in Hungary till the end of the Second World War. As a professional soldier with his religious conviction (he was born in a Catholic family of eight children) he was declared a class-enemy of the new Communist regime and was sacked at once and removed with his wife and two sons from Budapest to the Great Hungarian Plain (puszta). They were ordered not to leave their dwelling place. He could hardly find the most basic job ... he and his family were starving.

In this sad plight my father's wife realized she was pregnant. My father tried to protect me, but my mother did not want to carry me to term. But it was not so simple to get rid of an unborn baby in the early '50s ... so she asked my grandfather staying in the capital to get a doctor who would be willing to perform the abortion. He found such a doctor in Budapest but class enemies were not allowed to leave the plain (puszta), so while my father was absent she tried to cause an abortion by jumping down from a kitchen table; when that failed she took very hot baths in a tub but they were not successful either. Then she got a lot of quinine pills from her brother. She took them but they were not sufficient to cause a miscarriage so I was born.

I heard the story of my birth accidentally when I was 11 years old and when my father and I were staying in Yugoslavia with relatives. It was late at night and I had gone to bed in the room in which my father and my relatives were talking.

At that time my parents had already divorced and one of my relatives asked my father why. Thinking I was asleep, my father told him the story.

As I lay there in bed, neither a small child nor an adult, I cried, speechlessly, all night long into my pillow. I experienced an emotional earthquake. I felt good myself and I did not know why my mother had tried to kill me at all.

I am still looking for the answer which is perhaps blowing with the wind, since she died some years ago.

There are two different expressions in our Hungarian language concerning "mother". One of them ("edesanya") is connected with "sweetness" meaning that the sweetness of a loving mother has a connection to the milk you get from her bosom. The other word ("anya") simply means that somebody has a mother but this term is very formal and has no special content of sentiment so one uses this term in every official form requiring the name of your parent. In fact my mother tried to kill me, terrorised by the economical pressure of the regime and when it was not successful she didn't give me suck, so I was neither able to enjoy her milk nor her love.

Later when I was two years old I was found by a very nice young lady who lifted me up to her heart from under the kitchen table. She bought me new clothes, shoes, brought me to the opera-house for performances (since she was a ballet-dancer) and to the photographer since she was proud of "her" nice godson ... my relatives told me that I had usually called her with this word: "mother" (edesanya).

My biological mother could not love me although I was begging or dancing for her approval and acceptance. I studied well, become a well-known writer by publishing several books, carried out scientific research and won academic honours but everything seemed to be in vain since I was not able to win her love. In my twenties I published a book of poems and one of these works reflects on my life story using the ancient Greek myth of Penelope. In this poem you can analyse the confused bonding of an abortion-survivor with his parent or with the abuser of her child.

PENELOPE, MY MOTHER

you sit on the stigma of silence
with averted eyes
you would draw my face
onto your withered lap
spin it over weave it through
with sea-blue veins
with scarlet reed
spin me over weave me through
with snake
with strand of hair
unravel me by night
give birth to me by day
only kill me by night

you would piece together my bones
a stripped-down image
for the walls of your palace
bind my skin and gut
as strings onto your harp

is it an axe that I am
propped up in a corner
is it a prince
sewn inside a frog's skin

(Translated by Eva Kovacs-Hicks, Toronto)

It took 50 years of pain and sorrow to overcome the situation of a deeply damaged (unborn) child and that of a post-abortive mother ... I always tried to love my mother ... meanwhile I realized that I hated those foods (cheese, beer, etc) which she liked whilst, on the contrary, I liked the kind of women who have black hair and eyes, slight face which reminded me of my god-mother. So many times I asked myself: where is my mother, how can I love her?

Before her death the Lord gave me the answer by His merciful forgiveness. After so many years of struggling, begging and dancing for her love I finally was able to reconcile with her before her death. It happened by not accepting but rather understanding some of the elements of the kind of "internal" terrorism which pushed and pressured her to kill me. And finally I am going to die too and I badly need this forgiveness of the Lord for my own sins as well.

There is a picture in my bedroom above my bed. This photo was taken by the sculpture of the Pieta carved by Michelangelo in the middle of 16th century. The picture illustrates the Blessed Virgin who is a Patron Saint of Hungary and now she is perhaps my mother and hope and trust as well.

Against the civilisation of death I am now working for the culture of life full time. From the special grace offered me by Almighty God, the Creator, I have a large family ... The smiles of my children and wife are my strongest weapon in doing my duty to protect life! Thanks to the Lord!
Comments on this blog? Email them to johnsmeaton@spuc.org.uk
Sign up for alerts to new blog-posts and/or for SPUC's other email services
Follow SPUC on Twitter
Like SPUC's Facebook Page
Please support SPUC. Please donate, join, and/or leave a legacy

Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Please attend SPUC's conference on women's rights

Each year an estimated 350,000 mothers die from pregnancy related causes. This is a tragedy that must come to an end. The 2015 deadline for achieving millennium development goal 5 (maternal health) is fast approaching, yet mothers are still dying. What is happening, and how can you and I help bring it to an end?

Join us on 20th March 2012 for an international day conference in London that will address the UK's policy on maternal health and mortality in the developing world. The scandal of the UK exporting abortion around the world will be challenged at a day conference entitled "Abortion or Maternal Health: What should we be funding in developing countries?" This will take place on Tuesday 20 March 2012, at the Regent Hall, 275 Oxford Street, London W1C 2DJ, from 9.30am to 5pm.

Please encourage your friends and contacts, especially medics, students, clergy, lawyers, developing world charity promoters, teachers and advocates of women's rights to attend the conference.

The coalition government continues to promote abortion intensively in poorer countries of the world – on the false pretext of reducing maternal deaths. We cannot ignore how our country is working to export the culture of death around the world.

A detailed briefing and presentation are available to prepare participants for the conference and future educational and lobbying efforts. The briefing includes suggestions for straightforward action to challenge the government.

Internationally renowned experts speaking on the day include lawyer Roger Kiska of the Alliance Defence Fund, consultant obstetrician Dr. Obielumani Ideh from Nigeria, and maternal health campaigner Fiorella Nash. 

Our headline speaker is Professor Robert Walley. Dr. Walley is the founder and executive director of MaterCare International (MCI), and Fellow of the Royal College of Obstetricians & Gynaecologists of England. He has visited Africa regularly since 1981, and for seven years he directed a maternal health project in Nigeria. MCI has worked in Ghana, Kenya, Haiti, East Timor, Rwanda, and Sierra Leone.

Entrance to this important conference can be purchased online via our website shop or by filling in and returning a booking form. Tickets cost £55 or £35. Lunch can be added for £10.

Official flyer for the conference

Downloadable booking form

You can also use the conference's Facebook page to invite others to attend.

Comments on this blog? Email them to johnsmeaton@spuc.org.uk
Sign up for alerts to new blog-posts and/or for SPUC's other email services
Follow SPUC on Twitter
Like SPUC's Facebook Page
Please support SPUC. Please donate, join, and/or leave a legacy

A bone stuck in my throat in Budapest leads me to witness a sign of hope

Yesterday I arrived in Budapest to particiapte in and to speak at the "Peace in the Womb" march for the abolition of legalised genocide in Hungary, which takes place today.

I spent much of my time yesterday at St John's hospital in Budapest (pictured) where, with great kindness and professionalism, the medical staff succeeded in removing a duck bone stuck in my throat.

Dr Imre Téglásy, my host in Hungary, was also very kind. Imre, an abortion survivor and the father of ten children, is president of Alpha Alliance, Human Life International, Hungary. He is organising today's march, which finishes at the palace of the Hungarian state president. In spite of the great pressures on Imre on the eve of such a big event, he stayed with me throughout my mercifully short but painful ordeal, joking "a prophet cannot ignore someone in need of help because he's so busy prohesying".

So my adventure in Hungary has begun with an impressive experience of the kindness of Hungarians - a kindness also in evidence at the old people's retirement home where I am staying and where the residents are clearly being treated by the staff with great love and respect. That kindness is a sign of hope for Hungary and for Europe. That kindness is the legacy of a largely Catholic culture which clearly still survives in spite of the numerous disastrous historical events, which have afflicted Hungary in the twentieth century and into the twenty-first century...including the killing by abortion of (at least) six million unborn children since abortion was legalised here in June 1956.


As long as the milk of human kindness continues to flow there's  hope that abortion can be defeated and a civilisation of life and love established.


Comments on this blog? Email them to johnsmeaton@spuc.org.uk
Sign up for alerts to new blog-posts and/or for SPUC's other email services
Follow SPUC on Twitter
Like SPUC's Facebook Page
Please support SPUC. Please donate, join, and/or leave a legacy

Monday, 26 December 2011

Pro-life movement continues to flourish in Belarus


At the start of 2011 LifeSiteNews.com described the Open Hearts Foundation, an education focused pro-life group in Belarus, as a ray of hope in Eastern Europe. Hilary White reported:
In 1994, four years after Belarus declared independence from the Soviet Union, the abortion rate in the country had reached an unimaginable high of 65.8 percent of all pregnancies. Since then it has fallen steadily to 28.2 per cent in 2008, according to figures issued by the Ministry of Statistics and Analysis and the Ministry of Health.
Some of this success may be attributable to a growing pro-life movement, which is doing everything it can to make sure that those numbers continue to drop. According to the pro-life education group, The Open Hearts Foundation, the Belarus pro-life movement had a very busy year last year.
Their recent newsletter indicates that pro-life work is continuing to flourish in Belarus. Their recent newsletter reports plans to open crisis several crisis pregnancy centres, pro-life motor-rallies (pictured) in three cities (Vitebsk, Mogilev and Brest), participation at the World Demographical Summit in Moscow (at which SPUC were represented by Dr Tom Ward) and the hosting of pro-life seminars for families.

The editorial of the newsletter concludes by saying:
our mission on this earth is to create the civilization of love and life round us
We at SPUC wish the Open Hearts Foundation and all their pro-life colleagues in Belarus every success in doing just that.

Comments on this blog? Email them to johnsmeaton@spuc.org.uk
Sign up for alerts to new blog-posts and/or for SPUC's other email services
Follow SPUC on Twitter
Like SPUC's Facebook Page
Please support SPUC. Please donate, join, and/or leave a legacy