Monday 21 January 2008

let's support Portugal

Whilst I’m on the subject of abortion being forced on people, let’s turn to Portugal, a country somewhat closer to the UK. I got a message today from Thereza Ameal, one of the pro-life leaders there, begging for our spiritual support.

You may recall that last November, the Portuguese government piled pressure on doctors to change their ethical code on abortion. Reuters reported on 15th November:

“Portuguese doctors have rejected a government ultimatum to remove an ethical ban on performing abortions after this deeply Catholic country approved the practice in July.

"Pedro Nunes, the head of Portugal's Medical Association, said doctors had every right to object morally to an abortion, which is stated to be wrong in the association's ethical code, despite government threats to take him to court.

"Having an opinion and ethical principles is what separates rational beings from a flock of sheep," Nunes said.

"The ethical code states doctors must respect human life from its beginning and the practice of abortion constitutes a grave ethical failure.

"This has nothing to do with abortion. It has to do with doctors having the right to have their own opinion," Pedro Nunes, who represents around 35,000 doctors, told reporters.

"The health minister threatened to take us to court if we did not change our code ... but the code can only be changed by doctors and not by a health minister."

Thereza writes today:

"We are preparing some events of praying here in Portugal for the sad anniversary of the referendum of 11th February 2007.

"We have [continuous] prayer in different churches, in front of the Holy Sacrament, … from the 1st to the 15th February, 24h a day and we hope to have it also until the rest of the month.

"We asked … hundreds of parishes to pray the Rosary before or after the Sunday Mass (10th February) and during the Mass to make a short prayer for Life.

"In the 29th January a group of people will also start to pray in front of the abortion clinics. They are looking for people to pray for them and for this work

"Please, pray for Portugal and for all who are working for Life here. It is very difficult with this Government."

I’m sure that many will be joining Thereza in spirit and in prayer, especially on 29th January and on 11th February, the anniversary of the abortion referendum.

The resistance to abortion in Portugal is alive and well. Anything the pro-life movement in other countries can do to help – through practical support, sharing experience and expertise, and prayer – is vital. International Planned Parenthood Federation and its powerful allies must not be allowed free rein to quash pro-life resistance in this beautiful, civilized, corner of Europe.