Thursday, 6 December 2012

Same-sex marriage bill imminent - SPUC warns government MPs

Following indications that the Cameron government plans to launch its bill for same-sex marriage next week, SPUC has written to government MPs warning them against the move.

The letter slams the government's railroading of its proposals as "dishonest", "high-handed" and "shoddy". SPUC points out that the family based on real (i.e heterosexual) marriage is the safest place for children both born and unborn. The letter ends by warning that at the next general election SPUC will highlight MPs' voting records on same-sex marriage.

The full text of SPUC's letter to MPs is below.

SPUC's position paper on the same-sex marriage issue can be read at http://www.spuc.org.uk/documents/papers/ssm201201

Letter to government MPs regarding same-sex marriage, Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC), 5 December 2012
"Dear [name of government MP],

I write regarding a story that the Government plans to launch its bill for same‐sex marriage next week.

If the story is correct, it is consistent with the thoroughly dishonest and dishonourable way the government and its allies have attacked real marriage. In the marriage consultation exercise earlier this year, Mr Cameron sought in a high‐handed manner to discuss only “how” to achieve his aims, and not to consider whether they have merit or public support. To hang his proposals on a non‐manifesto plan to “consider the case for changing the law” on civil partnerships is another shoddy manoeuvre.

Marriage is embedded in the fabric of society. Marriage is unquestionably the best setting for children to be conceived, born and raised and to receive their first education. The marriage‐based family is also (and critically for us who defend unborn children) the safest social context for new life.

Contributors to the consultation exercise drew attention to the evidence of the benefits of real marriage, the support for it, its ancient pre‐political heritage, its worldwide status, and the approach of mainstream religions. However, drawing attention to the enormity of his folly only seems to have made Mr Cameron more determined.

We will continue to point out the hypocrisy of asserting that “equal marriage” will not interfere with church weddings. Those planning the legislation know full well that churches which refuse to co‐operate will be denied civil recognition of their marriage rites or face worse persecution.

The recent by‐election results have proven disappointing for both Conservative and Lib‐Dem parties. This is not surprising, given the usual run of mid‐term contests. What was most notable was the strong showing by UKIP, which broadly supports real marriage. SPUC has never taken a party political line, but we do tell people where individual election candidates stand, and our activists have highlighted the position of UKIP candidates alongside others in these contests. We will continue to inform electors of candidates’ voting records and voting intentions on a wide range of issues in future elections.

I urge you to ask Mr Cameron to reconsider and to withdraw his plan.

Yours sincerely,

Paul Tully
General Secretary
Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC)
London"
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Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Pro-abortion motion fails at Queen's University Belfast

Liam Gibson, SPUC's Northern Ireland development officer who blogs at Pro-Life Belfast, has kindly sent me this exclusive report:
"In an extremely close vote a motion calling for the legalisation of abortion in the Republic of Ireland was narrowly defeated at the meeting of the Students' Union Council, of Queen's University Belfast on Tuesday 27 November. The motion stated:
'This Council notes that, last month, a woman died 17 weeks into her pregnancy as a result of being denied an abortion. Savita Halappanavar was miscarrying and was denied a medical termination over two and a half days because the unviable foetus still had a heartbeat.

This Council also notes the great tragedy that this is for Savita's family and friends.

This Council recognises that the X case, a case ruled on by the Irish Supreme Court 20 years ago and never acted upon by Government, called for abortion if a woman's life was at risk due to pregnancy. Council further recognises that, if X case legislation was made into law, then many women in Savita's position would not be exposed to the same fate.

This Council resolves to express a message of condolence for Savita, her family and friends. This Council also agrees to send a message of support to the group 'Action on X', which actively campaigns for X case legislation in Ireland and to actively support the efforts of activists likewise fighting for abortion rights on the island of Ireland.'
In an unexpected victory for pro-life members of the council, an amendment to delete the last two paragraphs was adopted. In the debate that followed on the amended motion Ciaran McKinley, the president of the university's pro-life society, argued that it was too soon to draw definitive conclusions regarding the events surrounding Mrs Halappanavar's death and therefore the motion was potentially defamatory. He also asked if the council was going to adopt such a motion on other equally tragic cases.

With 17 votes in favour, 17 against and 17 abstentions, the motion fell when the speaker also abstained.

After such a close fought debate pro-life members of the council expect the motion to be re-introduced. However, doubts are growing over the accuracy of the initial media reports and even the basic facts are now in question. In a less impassioned debate attempts to link Mrs Halappanavar's death to calls for the legalisation of abortion may look increasingly like the cynical exploitation of a tragic loss of a young woman and her unborn baby."
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10,000 join Vigil for Life outside Ireland's parliament

Last night at least 10,000 people joined a Vigil for Life outside Dáil Éireann (Ireland's parliament) in Dublin to tell the Enda Kenny, the Taoiseach (prime minster), to keep his pre-election promise not to legislate for abortion. Watch the video below from Youth Defence. It's wonderful to see so many fresh-faced young people speaking out for the protection of human life in Ireland.

Pat Buckley, who represents SPUC in the Republic of Ireland, has blogged:
"All pro-life groups that make up Ireland’s pro-life movement united together and turned out in force today in response to the Irish Government’s recent announcement that it intends to legislate for abortion in Ireland along the lines of the X case judgment. The unprecedented turnout which included 5 Bishops ... The groups and many other pro-life individuals came together in order to send an unequivocal message to the Irish Government that legislation on the X case will lead to abortion on demand and is "absolutely unacceptable to the Irish people".
Pro-lifers on Facebook have started a novena that Ireland will be protected from abortion. They ask everybody willing to do so to:
  • pray the Rosary each day
  • some kind of personal fast each day, whatever it might be
  • go to Mass on December 12th for this intention.


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Monday, 3 December 2012

Must-read pro-life news-stories, Mon 3 Dec

Top story:

Please respond urgently to consultation on mitochondrial disease
An important consultation, by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA), will close next Friday (7 December) on the genetic manipulation of embryos with mitochondrial defects. Researchers want to create human embryos in the laboratory that have genes from one man and two women. Alternatively they want to make a new embryos by combining two IVF embryos. This would extend the scope for destructive exploitation of human embryos, and in particular for more genetic experimentation on embryos, including human cloning. These processes reinforce the attitude that human embryos are things to be used, not early human beings. Embryos will increasingly be treated as mere commodities, ripe for commercial exploitation, and denied their proper status and respect as members of the human family. Please respond urgently to the consultation. We have produced a briefing with simple points that can be made in response to this important issue: http://www.spuc.org.uk/campaigns/alerts/2012/mitochondria20121130 Please make a submission by going online and submitting your responses at: http://mitochondria.hfea.gov.uk/mitochondria [SPUC, 30 November]

SPUC calls for widespread resistance to Irish expert group abortion report
SPUC which was officially represented in the A, B & C case before the European Court of Human Rights, has called for "widespread resistance" to the report published by Ireland's Expert Group on abortion. SPUC describes the report's recommendations as "unconstitutional" and "a door to mass abortion on a British scale". John Smeaton, SPUC director, commented: "We call upon all people of good-will in Ireland, including the Catholic bishops, to back an all-out campaign to defeat - not just amend - any options allowing abortion. This will require widespread resistance to be mobilised. Ireland's politicians should be put on notice that they will lose their seats at the next election if they vote to legislate for abortion." [SPUC, 27 November]

Other stories:

Abortion
Embryology
  • Doctor charges governments with ignoring causes of infertility [CNA, 2 December]
Euthanasia
General
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The Islamic Sharia Council urges Muslims to lobby against presumed consent to organ donation

The Islamic Sharia Council, a panel of scholars which provides advice and guidance from an Islamic Sharia perspective, has issued a statement (pictured) against the proposed bill in Wales for presumed consent to organ donation. The statement says:
"We oppose the forced/compulsory taking of organs without consent at time of death (as in presumed consent)

We are dismayed to hear about the proposed bill in Wales on presumed consent which will allow doctors to take organs by force at the time of death and without giving our written consent or permission before.

We in Sharia Council absolutely oppose strongly this proposed bill.

We are aware that the present law is adequate in that anyone wishing to donate organs may do so by giving consent in writing before death. In absence of this, how can it be assumed that the deceased has consented? On the contrary it can be assumed that the deceased did not consent at all.

We therefore, not only oppose the proposed bill but also urge all the Muslims in Wales/UK to write to the members of the Welsh Assembly to drop and stop this bill."
This statement is a very welcome sequel to the fatwa (Islamic ruling) issued by Hizbul Ulama in the UK (Association of Muslim Scholars/UK) earlier this month.

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Sunday, 2 December 2012

Please respond urgently to consultation on mitochondrial disease

An important consultation, by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA), will close next Friday (7 December) on the genetic manipulation of embryos with mitochondrial defects. Researchers want to create human embryos in the laboratory that have genes from one man and two women. Alternatively they want to make a new embryos by combining two IVF embryos. This would extend the scope for destructive exploitation of human embryos, and in particular for more genetic experimentation on embryos, including human cloning.

These processes reinforce the attitude that human embryos are things to be used, not early human beings. Embryos will increasingly be treated as mere commodities, ripe for commercial exploitation, and denied their proper status and respect as members of the human family.

Please respond urgently to the consultation. We have produced a briefing with simple points that can be made in response to this important issue:
http://www.spuc.org.uk/campaigns/alerts/2012/mitochondria20121130

Please make a submission by going online and submitting your responses at: http://mitochondria.hfea.gov.uk/mitochondria

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