Friday, 19 October 2012

SPUC welcomes inquiry into Marie Stopes Belfast

The pro-life movement in Northern Ireland has welcomed the news that the Justice Committee in the Province's devolved government is to launch an investigation into the operations of the Marie Stopes International (MSI) abortion facility which opened amid protests in Belfast on Thursday 18 October. The arrival of MSI has caused widespread public concern that laws protecting children before birth will be overturned.

Liam Gibson, SPUC's Northern Ireland development officer, told the media earlier today that the Northern Ireland Assembly has no choice but to act against the direct challenge to the law presented by MSI:
"Abortion is not health care and in Northern Ireland it is a criminal offence. The Parliament of Northern Ireland rejected the British Abortion Act in 1967 and for the last 45 years the majority of the people and politicians have continued to oppose the liberalisation of our abortion laws. Through the long years of direct rule from London only the force of public opinion stopped successive British governments from imposing the Abortion Act on the Province. The last attempt to introduce it, in 2008 came only months before criminal justice powers were returned to local politicians. It failed because of the pressure brought to bear on the Prime Minister in London."
Pro-life campaigners are calling on members of the public to lobby their elected representatives to urge them to take all the necessary steps to ensure that Marie Stopes is unable to maintain its abortion centre in Belfast.

Liam Gibson continued:
"Public opinion must demand action to shut this centre down. There is too much evidence of Marie Stopes's involvement in illegal abortions in other countries for claims that the Belfast centre will operate inside the law to hold any credibility.

This is probably the greatest threat against the right to life of Northern Ireland's unborn children. We need everyone to raise this issue with their politicians, in their churches and among their families and friends. The financial resources available to MSI are enormous; but the pro-life people of Northern Ireland have fought long against the threat of liberal abortion. They worked too hard for the return of accountable democracy to see our laws and our devolved institutions swept aside by the abortion industry. I believe Marie Stopes have underestimated the level of opposition it faces from the people of Northern Ireland."
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EllaOne morning-after pill trial is dangerous

SPUC has described as dangerous a trial by The Co-operative Pharmacy chain of prescription-free sale of the EllaOne morning-after pill. EllaOne is claimed to work up to five days after sexual intercourse. The Co-operative Pharmacy is conducting the trial in 40 pharmacies. See The Telegraph report "'Five-day-after' pill to be sold at chemists' without prescription"

Anthony Ozimic, SPUC's communications manager, told the media this morning:
"Our main concern is that EllaOne is dangerous for unborn children. As well as a form of contraception, EllaOne can also act as a form of abortion, by making the lining of the womb hostile to newly-conceived human embryos, thus killing them. Women should be told that this is one of EllaOne's modes of action. (see note 1 below).

EllaOne and other so-called 'morning-after' pills are marketed as 'emergency' contraception, yet millions of packs have been sold in the UK alone over the past two decades. Older forms of morning-after pills have been widely available without prescription throughout the UK for 12 years now, and in that time the incidence of registered (i.e. post-implantation) abortions and of sexually-transmitted infections has continued to rise. As the work of Professor David Paton of Nottingham university has shown, increasing access to morning-after pills doesn't improve sexual health outcomes. (note 2)

Contraceptive use has a massive failure rate. Easy access to EllaOne will promote a casual attitude to sex by lulling people into a false sense of security about unplanned pregnancy. Abortion clinics are quite open about the fact that most women seeking abortion were using contraception when they fell pregnant.

We know from past experience that age restrictions won't stop under-16s from getting morning-after pills, and that many pharmacists won't ask the questions which the prescription-free protocol requires. Also, pharmacists don't have access to medical records and this places women at danger from side-effects. Some young women asking for morning-after pills will be under pressure from partners demanding sex or even wanting to hide abuse.

Society must move in the opposite direction, by reducing the level of premature sexual activity among young adults, and by defending marriage as the responsible place for sex."
Notes :
1) See SPUC's leaflet "Contraceptives: what you need to know", July 2012 http://www.spuc.org.uk/education/contraceptives Also see SPUC's briefing "Birth-control (‘contraception’) methods which can cause abortion", July 2012 http://www.spuc.org.uk/documents/papers/abortifacients201207
2) See http://spuc-director.blogspot.co.uk/2012/03/professor-david-patons-address-on.html

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Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Abortion never saves a woman's life

Congratulations to Life Institute who have produced a superb new video Abortion never saves a woman's life.



Life Institute says: "Please take 90 seconds to watch this powerful new video message which spells out the facts - abortion never saves a mother's life: it just kills a baby".

For more information on this theme, see Liam Gibson's blogpost Abortion is not medically necessary to the life of a woman. ... and as Life Institute's new video makes clear, the Republic of Ireland, with its constitutional ban on abortion, has one of the lowest maternal mortality rates in the world, according to figures published by the World Health Organization in 2007.

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SPUC Scotland protests against abortionists' conference

venue of abortionists' conference
Top stories:

SPUC Scotland protests against abortionists' conference [Edinburgh Evening News, 16 October]

SPUC youth and student newsletter published
SPUC has today published a youth and student newsletter. In its history, SPUC has consistently sought to support pro-life young adults and students. This has included support for pro-life societies, speakers, conferences, public acts of witness, and campaign materials. In the last few years we’ve seen a resurgence of pro-life youth societies in the UK. Our international youth conference has gone from strength to strength, making it the largest pro-life youth event in the UK. We felt that it was a good time to re-launch a straightforward, action-focused newsletter, about how we can work together for the culture of life. Please forward this newsletter to a friend. It features information about:
  • SPUC's 9 Million Children campaign
  • SPUC's pro-life speaker taster training day
  • SPUC's youth blog
  • SPUC's internship scheme
  • SPUC's campaign to inform people about abortion-inducing forms of birth control
  • SPUC's campaign to defend marriage, which protects unborn children
  • SPUC's universities speaker tour
  • SPUC's international youth conference
  • news of other pro-life events and resources
Abortion poster campaign move condemned as cynical by SPUC
Responding the announcement that the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS), one of Britain's main abortion providers, is launching a national billboard poster campaign, Anthony Ozimic, SPUC's communications manager, commented: "BPAS, which is a lucrative abortion enterprise, is cynically exploiting the hype over the upper-limit debate to drum up more clients. BPAS knows very well that there is no realistic prospect of new abortion limits getting past Parliament's large pro-abortion majority. Instead of pursuing the red herring of time-limits, ministers should instead cut off the tens of millions of pounds the government hands to BPAS in NHS contracts." [SPUC, 15 October]

Other stories:

Abortion
Euthanasia
Sexual ethics
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Archbishop Neary appeals to Irish politicians to give unborn children full legal protection

Archbishop Michael Neary (right), the archbishop of Tuam, has made a dramatic appeal to the Irish government, to Irish politicians, and to Irish citizens to give "full protection in Irish law for the right to life of the baby in the womb".

His appeal follows a powerful statement from Cardinal Sean Brady, the primate of all Ireland, that the Church would vigorously oppose any Government proposals to legislate for abortion in Ireland.

In bold clear terms, during an interview on Vatican radio, Archbishop Neary said:
"The Irish government is under no obligation to legislate for abortion because of ... the European court. Indeed on the contrary our government is free to respond [to the European Court of Human Rights] by seeking full protection in Irish law for the right to life of the baby in the womb. And this could be done while ensuring women in pregnancy continue to receive every treatment necessary to safeguard their lives so as bishops we’re calling on our public representatives and on our people to respect the humanity and life of children in the womb and to reject abortion."
If you want to hear for yourself Archbishop Neary’s eloquent appeal in support of full constitutional protection for the right to life of unborn children and their mothers, you can listen to it now on Pat Buckley’s blog.

What he says is so timely and important  and is so clear and so instructive about Irish constitutional protection for mothers that I have transcribed much of the interview below:
"The right to life .. is the most fundamental of all rights because it is the foundation of all other rights. The Catholic church teaches that the direct and intentional killing of innocent human life from conception till natural death at any stage is gravely morally wrong.

"The day for life [launched by the Irish bishops] coincides with the decisive moment for Ireland. In the coming weeks our government here in Ireland will decide how to respond to a 2010 judgement of the European Court of Human Rights  ... despite what some people have asserted, the Irish government is under no obligation to legislate for abortion because of this ruling of the European court.

"Indeed on the contrary our government is free to respond by seeking full protection in Irish law for the right to life of the baby in the womb. And this could be done while ensuring women in pregnancy continue to receive every treatment necessary to safeguard their lives so as bishops we’re calling on our public representatives and on our people to respect the humanity and life of children in the womb and to reject abortion ...

" ...  By virtue of their common humanity the life of both mother and her unborn baby are sacred  ...  Concern for the mother’s life must go hand in hand with concern for her unborn child. Anyone who claims to be pro-life must be emphatically pro-mother. That’s the kind of context in which the day for life is being celebrated this year.

"Ireland is one of the few remaining countries in the EU and indeed worldwide in which abortion is not legal. The World Health Organization recognized that Ireland without abortion remains one of the safest countries in the world in which to be pregnant and to give birth. And this is something we should be proud of as a country but also something that we should seek to protect ... Under article 40 of our constitution 'The State acknowledges the right to life of the unborn and, with due regard to the equal right to life of the mother, guarantees in its law to respect, and as far as practicable, by its laws to defend and vindicate that right.'

"Now the clear intention of that article was to equally protect from direct attack the right to life of both the mother and her unborn child. But this intention was undermined by the decision of the Supreme court in 1992 in the X case judgement of the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court interpreted that article of the Irish Constitution as permitting the direct killing of the child in the womb in certain circumstances.

"If our government chooses now to legislate in line with the Supreme Court judgement, this will mean legislating for abortion in Ireland for the first time. That's our concern and we are endeavouring to bring that concern to the people of our parishes and to our dioceses so that they will recognize that this is a decisive moment for our country.

"Genetics and technology have been able to highlight for us something of the beauty and mystery of the life in the womb. Any mother or father who has gazed in wonder at an ultrasound scan of their baby or heard his or her heart beating for the first time ... will surely know how rapid and beautiful is the development of their baby in the womb. Because of the advances in technology this is something which has been brought home to us in ways which we would probably not be aware of in a previous age. It emphasises that the baby does not suddenly become a human being at birth and they would know that their son or daughter now present before them as an infant or teenager is the same human life, the same child, they saw in that first scan.
"The child in the womb is not a potential life but rather a human life with potential, a precious and God–given potential, that all of us whether we’re parents, nurses, midwives, doctors, lawyers, politicians, citizens or voters are called on to respect and protect. We are encouraging an initiative of prayer coinciding with this. There will be a month of prayer from the 7th October, from the day for life, until 6th November which is the feast of all the Irish saints."
Archbishop Neary encouraged Vatican radio listeners worldwide to join Irish Catholics in the prayer being said in Ireland's 1360 parishes during this month of prayer for the unborn child.

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Tuesday, 16 October 2012

SPUC youth and student newsletter published

SPUC has today published a youth and student newsletter. In its history, SPUC has consistently sought to support pro-life young adults and students. This has included support for pro-life societies, speakers, conferences, public acts of witness, and campaign materials. In the last few years we’ve seen a resurgence of pro-life youth societies in the UK. Our international youth conference has gone from strength to strength, making it the largest pro-life youth event in the UK. We felt that it was a good time to re-launch a straightforward, action-focused newsletter, about how we can work together for the culture of life. Please forward this newsletter to a friend. It features information about:
  • SPUC's 9 Million Children campaign
  • SPUC's pro-life speaker taster training day
  • SPUC's youth blog
  • SPUC's internship scheme
  • SPUC's campaign to inform people about abortion-inducing forms of birth control
  • SPUC's campaign to defend marriage, which protects unborn children
  • SPUC's universities speaker tour
  • SPUC's international youth conference
  • news of other pro-life events and resources
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Monday, 15 October 2012

Abortion poster campaign move is cynical

Responding the announcement that the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS), one of Britain's main abortion providers, is launching a national billboard poster campaign, Anthony Ozimic, SPUC's communications manager, has told the media:
"BPAS, which is a lucrative abortion enterprise, is cynically exploiting the hype over the upper-limit debate to drum up more clients. BPAS knows very well that there is no realistic prospect of new abortion limits getting past Parliament's large pro-abortion majority. Instead of pursuing the red herring of time-limits, ministers should instead cut off the tens of millions of pounds the government hands to BPAS in NHS contracts."
For more information, see today's Telegraph story "Charity accused of 'exploiting' controversy over abortion"

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