Friday, 6 December 2013

Act now to stop new version of pro-abortion Estrela report

On Tuesday 10 December the European Parliament will meet in plenary to vote on a new version of the "Report on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights" put forward by Edite Estrela, the radically pro-abortion MEP. SPUC urges all pro-lifers to email their MEPs to tell them to vote against the very dangerous Estrela report.

On 16 October and 25 November SPUC issued action alerts about the Estrela report. The report suggests that abortion is a human right, calls for compulsory sex education for all children in and outside of school, and attacks conscientious objection for healthcare professionals. It is believed that Vicky Claeys, president of the European section of the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) has claimed publicly to have co-written the report.

When the original version of the report was debated in plenary on 22 October, MEPs voted to send it back to the FEMM women’s committee. On 26 November the FEMM's women's committee again passed the report and has now sent a new version forward to the plenary for 10 December. The new version of the report is extremely dangerous and must be rejected in its entirety.

You can find your MEPs and their contact details via the SPUC website: http://www.spuc.org.uk/campaigns/ (scroll down). Please remember to forward any replies you receive from MEPs to SPUC's political department, either by email to political@spuc.org.uk or by post to SPUC HQ.

The Estrela report is very dangerous because it:
  • says that abortion is a human rights concern, uses the myth of backstreet abortion to claim moral high ground yet no national or International law states abortion is a human right (section 33)
  • gives free reign to abortionists, calls for the non-prosecution of abortion (section 36)
  • presents liberal abortion laws, sex education, contraception as the ideal (section AK)
  • says attention should be devoted to killing unborn children, claims sex education and contraception prevents unwanted pregnancies, contrary to the peer-reviewed evidence (section AE)
  • calls for the rejection and overriding of all pro-life laws (section 7)
  • singles out and attacks traditionally pro-life countries for protecting unborn children (section U)
  • wants the EU to skirt around the right of Member States to implement pro-life laws and policies, via EU strategies and policies about public health (section 13)
  • wants new EU Member States to make access to abortion and contraception easier, considering prolife laws and policies as obstacles (section 17)
  • wants to curtail countries from protecting its citizens, born and unborn (section 29)
  • calls for abortion on demand on spurious “risk to health or life” grounds, discriminates against unborn children conceived in rape, makes no mention here of support for mothers who do not want to abort (section 66)
  • again calls for the non-prosecution of abortion, dictates to EU Member States and countries wanting to join, making pro-abortion position a requisite for membership (section 37)
  • attacks large families (section 26)
  • attacks and wants to curtail conscientious objection to abortion, attacks faith based hospitals and staff (section 34)
  • targets children and teens, calls for children, teens, young adults to act as sex education propagandists in the EU and even to candidate countries (section K and section 40)
  • calls for compulsory anti-life sex education for primary school children onwards (section 41 and 45)
  • wants to make sex education a human rights concern (section 42)
  • dictates that the homosexual agenda must be promoted in schools (section 51)
  • wants the EU to impose abortion as part of overseas development assistance (sections 76, 81, 85)
  • anti-life definition of sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHRs) purported as a human right, essential for highest level of health (sections G, 1, 4, 14, 25, 67)
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God rest Nelson Mandela. His record on pro-life/pro-family issues

Nelson Mandela (centre)
May God rest Nelson Mandela, the former president of South Africa who died last night. Below I reproduce the substance of a blogpost I wrote on 1 February 2011 entitled "South Africa's Catholic bishops are wrong to laud Nelson Mandela", which contains details of Mr Mandela's record on pro-life/pro-family issues:
It is absolutely vital that Catholic leaders do not allow themselves to become respecters of persons, swept away by personality cults. Catholic leaders have a duty to stand up to public figures with  anti-life and anti-family records, however praiseworthy their record may be on other issues. The sanctity of human life and the dignity of the family are the foundation and guarantee of all other human rights.

Nelson Mandela and abortion

Mr Mandela has been quoted as saying on abortion: "Women have the right to decide what they want to do with their bodies." In 1996, Mandela signed into law the Choice on Termination of Pregnancy Bill, which permits abortion on demand. SPUC's pro-life colleagues in South Africa tells us that the bill was introduced into the South African parliament by Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, Mr Mandela's health minister. In addition, the wording of the new South African constitution, signed by Mr Mandela in 1996, had made the legalisation of abortion on demand a mere formality. Mr Mandela's African National Congress (ANC) has a strong ideological committment to abortion, with the ANC Women's League strongly behind the legalisation of abortion on demand. The ANC has for decades been in a close political and electoral alliance with the South African Communist Party (SACP) (Mr Mandela pictured with SACP leader Joe Slovo) which also has a strong ideological committment to abortion.

Nelson Mandela and homosexuality*

The 1996 Constitution signed by Mr Mandela made South Africa the first country to forbid so-called discrimination on the grounds of "sexual orientation”. Homosexualist activists have honoured Mr Mandela for this provision.

Nelson Mandela and condoms

Mr Mandela is well-known for his activism regarding HIV/AIDS, through which he has many times promoted the use of condoms.

Nelson Mandela and "The Elders"
Mr Mandela is one of "The Elders", a group of retired international public figures dominated by leading international advocates of abortion, homosexuality and population control.

* The late Pope John Paul II, the great pro-life champion, taught (Evangelium Vitae, 1995, para.97) it is an illusion to think that we can build a true culture of human life if we do not offer adolescents and young adults an authentic education in sexuality, and in love, and the whole of life according to their true meaning and in their close interconnection.  
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Thursday, 5 December 2013

Proposed abortion changes not wanted in Northern Ireland, says SPUC

David Ford, NI justice minister
Proposed changes to abortion law are not wanted by the people of Northern Ireland nor by their elected representatives, said SPUC Northern Ireland.

SPUC Northern Ireland was responding to reports today that David Ford, Northern Ireland's justice minister, is to launch a consultation on whether Northern Ireland's abortion law should be changed to allow abortion where the unborn child is terminally-ill or has been conceived in rape or incest.

Abortion is presumptively illegal in Northern Ireland and remains a criminal offence.

Liam Gibson, SPUC Northern Ireland's development officer, told the media earlier today:
"The people and politicians of Northern Ireland have shown, time and time again, that they reject pro-abortion attempts to change Northern Ireland's abortion law. I am confident that they will do so again. This consultation is not the result of public opinion but the result of a propaganda campaign orchestrated by the pro-abortion lobby and its willing accomplices in the media, most notably Stephen Nolan."

Abortion is not a compassionate response to the diagnosis of fatal disability. Babies with fatal disabilities are no less human than other children and share the same right to life as all other human beings. The law in Northern Ireland respects that right, while the British Abortion Act has led to the situation where it is lawful to kill a disabled child up to birth.

Abortion in cases of rape or incest is also not a compassionate response for the mother. Abortion simply adds a second tragic and traumatic experience onto the first. Unborn children conceived in rape or incest should not be punished by being killed by abortion. It is a basic principle of natural justice that the innocent should not be punished along with the guilty."
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Details of Alison Davis's funeral

The Requiem Mass for Alison Davis will be offered on Friday 13 December at 12 noon at Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Dorchester, Dorset. This will be followed by burial at Milborne St Andrew, the village 8 miles from Dorchester where Alison lived. Further details about the funeral arrangements will be posted shortly.

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Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Tribute to Alison Davis by Colin Harte, her carer

Colin Harte, Alison Davis, Pope Benedict
Colin Harte, Alison Davis's carer, said today:
"It is with much sadness that I write to tell you that Alison died at home this morning at 8.40am. Funeral arrangements and other information about Alison will be posted in due course at http://alison-davis-info.blogspot.co.uk/ I know Alison's many friends love and appreciate her and many others have long admired her. Having shared her life for a quarter of a century I have known first hand how remarkable she is. Though in some ways she has been well known, so much about her has been 'hidden' during her life. In due course there will be a better understanding and deeper appreciation of this extraordinary woman who is now irreplaceably missed."
See this morning's statement by SPUC and an obituary by Francis Phillips on The Catholic Herald website.

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Alison Davis, leader of SPUC's division for disabled people, is mourned

Alison Davis, the leader of No Less Human, the division for disabled people within SPUC, died this morning at 08:40 GMT, aged 58. She had been unwell for several years, and a long-term difficulty in eating resulted in her sad passing this morning.

In a statement earlier this morning, I said:
"Everyone in SPUC and the whole pro-life movement will be greatly saddened at her passing. Frail in body, she was full of strength in defence of the most defenceless human beings - disabled unborn children. Her keen insight and uncompromising solidarity have proved a powerful defence for the sick and disabled targeted with euthanasia. Her own early struggle with temptations to suicide made her an exceptional witness that life is always worth living. Alison's strong Catholic faith and her love of children moved her to care for disabled children in India. Countless people touched by her life will now be praying that Alison, her family and her friends will receive the peace they seek."
Fr John Fleming, SPUC's bioethical consultant, said:
"Alison was a great pro-life warrior, and a wonderful example to us all of one who accepted her sufferings with astonishing equanimity. I also wish to pay tribute to Colin Harte, whose care for Alison was heroic, constant, and expert, and who greatly enhanced Alison's quality of life in every possible way."
Alison Davis and SPUC's division for disabled people ("No Less Human")

Alison Davis, who led SPUC’s No Less Human since 1982, had spina bifida and was a major commentator on anti-life philosophies and policies which discriminate, lethally, against disabled people http://www.spuc.org.uk/about/no-less-human/alison No Less Human, SPUC’s division for disabled people, their loved ones and carers http://www.spuc.org.uk/about/no-less-human/about promotes the equal status, worth and rights of disabled people, including the most fundamental right of all – the  right to life, from conception to natural death. In spite of serious illness, Alison continued to write, publish and broadcast on the eugenic nature of the Abortion Act and on healthcare, government policies, which treat disabled lives as expendable – including major interviews on BBC’s Newsnight, the BBC World Service’s series Heart and Soul: Choosing Life and leading letters in the national newspapers throughout Britain. In addition, in August 2009 she published a paper showing how euthanasia has spread, starting with the 1992 Bland judgment, and how it has expanded as a result of the 2005 Mental Capacity Act and came to be implemented through the Liverpool Care Pathway.

In September 1982, in my report to SPUC’s national council, I proposed that Alison Davis should be asked to join the Council to represent SPUC’s Handicap Division, now known as No Less Human. The minutes state that my proposal "was warmly agreed by the Council".

Alison's early involvement in SPUC

Not long before, Alison, who had previously been in favour of abortion, had changed her mind on the issue, having read about a baby named Louise born in High Wycombe Hospital who was found to have both spina bifida and hydrocephalus. In Alison’s words:
"Her paediatrician, Dr. Donald Garrow, persuaded her parents that she would be ‘better off dead’ as she would be unable to walk, and would thus compare herself unfavourably with her two able-bodied sisters ...  Dr. Garrow made a video of her last days which was shown on daytime TV, and which I saw. Louise's face was grey, her eyes sunken. I wrote to Dr. Garrow at the hospital and explained that I was disabled to just the extent that Louise had been, and that I felt he had made a horribly wrong decision. In response he invited me to speak to his ‘team’ at the hospital, which I accepted. I cannot remember exactly what I said, but I pointed out that life with spina bifida and hydrocephalus could be full and happy, and that it was in any case wrong to deliberately kill any child on grounds of his/her disability."
Alison remained at the helm of SPUC’s work for disability rights ever since, speaking at SPUC’s Mother Teresa Rally in 1983 and joining SPUC's full-time staff in 2000.

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Monday, 2 December 2013

Eugenics and the pro-abortion campaign in Ireland

Clare Daly TD
Matthew McCusker, one of the authors of SPUC's youth blog, has sent me kindly his reflections on eugenics and the pro-abortion campaign in Ireland, below:
"In a recent blogpost Pat Buckley has drawn attention to the intention of Independent TD Clare Daly to introduce a private members bill in the Dáil (Irish Parliament) to allow for abortion in cases of fatal ‘foetal abnormality’. The Irish Times has reported that the Government will not oppose the introduction of the Protection of Life in Pregnancy (Amendment) (Fatal Foetal Abnormalities) Bill.

The clear implication of all such laws is that unborn children with disabilities, and by extension all people with disabilities, are of less value than other human beings. This is the inescapable conclusion of allowing them to be killed in circumstances where others would be protected. It is no surprise to find that disabled infants are being specifically targeted by abortion advocates. The movement for abortion and the movement for eugenics have in fact always been closely associated with the former developing seemlessly from the latter.

The term ‘eugenics’ was coined by Sir Francis Galton who thought that modern science could be used to selectively breed a human master race. His ideas were soon popularised by figures such as H. G. Wells who wrote that in the world of the future there would be no place for those who ‘who do not come into the new needs of efficiency’. Wells asserted that, in order to deal with those who, through physical or mental disability, fell short of the standard of human perfection, ‘the method that must in some cases still be called in… is death…the merciful obliteration of weak and silly and pointless things.’

Ideas like this were commonplace among scientists and politicians in the first half the twentieth century. In the United States alone thousands of people were forcibly sterilised after being deemed ‘unfit’. An enthusiastic participant in the eugenic movement was Margaret Sanger who, while best known for her advocacy of birth control, considered that birth control was inseperable from the broader re-shaping of the human race through eugenics. ‘The campaign for Birth Control is not merely of eugenic value’ she wrote ‘but is practically identical in ideal with the final aims of Eugenics.’ As well as contraception she favoured a variety of other methods such as the forcible segregation and sterilisation of those, such as the ‘mentally and physically defective’, who she deemed to be no more than ‘human weeds’. The organisation she founded, the International Planned Parenthood Federation, placed itself at the forefront of the movement to legalise and performs abortions in the United States and around the world. In Britain similar views were voiced by Marie Stopes, and the organisation that proudly bears her name is a major abortion provider already established on Irish soil.

TD Clare Daly is only one of many who have sought that unborn children with disabilities be eliminated by abortion. Her amendment is focused on children who would die before birth but the lesson of recent history is that the abortion movement will not stop there. Indeed, the speed with which this amendment follows the ‘Protection of Life in Pregnancy Bill’ shows that the connection between abortion and eugenics is as strong as ever."
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Croatia helps protect the future of humanity by upholding true marriage

Yesterday the people of Croatia voted in a referendum on the question: “Do you support the introduction of a provision into the constitution of the Republic of Croatia that defines marriage as a life-long union of a woman and a man?”

65.8% of those who voted said yes, 33.5% said no. The turnout was 37%.

Croatia's president, government and mainstream media opposed the referendum. However, a petition numbering almost 750,000 signatures, organised by the Catholic group "In the name of the family", enabled the referendum to be held.

The BBC reported that Cardinal Josip Bozanic, the archbishop of Zagreb, said in a letter read out in churches that: 
"Marriage is the only union enabling procreation. This is the key difference between a marriage... and other unions."
What Croatia has achieved helps to protect the future of humanity. Anthony McCarthy, SPUC's education and publications manager, has said:
"Moves which undermine marriage by redefining it out of existence will inevitably impact harmfully on society. [W]here traditional marriage has been weakened and where the sexual revolution has been fostered by those who wish to displace the central role of traditional marriage in society, children suffer, and unborn children suffer most."
Catholic teaching on marriage puts the Catholic Church, of course, in the vanguard of discussions on this topic. It’s therefore important to note what recent Popes have said:

Pope (now emeritus) Benedict said last January in an address to the world's ambassadors to the Holy See:
"In addition to a clear goal, that of leading young people to a full knowledge of reality and thus of truth, education needs settings. Among these, pride of place goes to the family, based on the marriage of a man and a woman. This is not a simple social convention, but rather the fundamental cell of every society. Consequently, policies which undermine the family threaten human dignity and the future of humanity itself. The family unit is fundamental for the educational process and for the development both of individuals and States; hence there is a need for policies which promote the family and aid social cohesion and dialogue. It is in the family that we become open to the world and to life..."
Pope Francis, in his first encylical Lumen Fidei, wrote (section 52):
"I think first and foremost of the stable union of man and woman in marriage. This union is born of their love, as a sign and presence of God’s own love, and of the acknowledgment and acceptance of the goodness of sexual differentiation, whereby spouses can become one flesh (cf.Gen 2:24) and are enabled to give birth to a new life, a manifestation of the Creator’s goodness, wisdom and loving plan."
And in his Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium, Pope Francis says (section 66):
"The family is experiencing a profound cultural crisis, as are all communities and social bonds. In the case of the family, the weakening of these bonds is particularly serious because the family is the fundamental cell of society, where we learn to live with others despite our differences and to belong to one another; it is also the place where parents pass on the faith to their children. Marriage now tends to be viewed as a form of mere emotional satisfaction that can be constructed in any way or modified at will. But the indispensible contribution of marriage to society transcends the feelings and momentary needs of the couple. As the French bishops have taught, it is not born “of loving sentiment, ephemeral by definition, but from the depth of the obligation assumed by the spouses who accept to enter a total communion of life”.[60]

[60] CONFÉRENCE DES ÉVÊQUES DE FRANCE, Conseil Famille et Société, Élargir le mariage aux personnes de même sexe? Ouvrons le débat! (28 September 2012).
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