Monday 31 October 2011

History will judge Dana's bid for the Irish presidency to have been succesful

Dana Rosemary Scallon is a person of immense courage, grace and good humour. All of these qualities were clearly in evidence at the end of her unsuccessful bid for the Irish presidency. reports:
Dana Rosemary Scallon congratulated Michael D Higgins on his success and said she was glad she had been part of the campaign.
... “I think I might be too old to run for president again. Oh no, maybe not, because I'd still be younger than Michael D. But however, I think, it's really great to have come through a campaign. I think all of the candidates...we all face different challenges.”

... “I really wouldn't have missed it and I don't regret standing up for what I believe and speaking out on what I think I have to speak out on and that's how I live my life and I'm just glad to be here,” she said.
In September, I gave the reasons for my delight that Dana was standing for the presidency:
At the beginning of this year, Dana joined an alliance of over thirty cross community groups calling for absolute protection for unborn children prior to the Irish general election in February. The alliance called on party leaders to sign a pledge to defend human life at all stages, from conception until natural death and that if elected:
  • They will not dismantle Ireland’s Constitution and will maintain the people’s sovereign and democratic right, in final appeal, to decide all questions of national policy according to the requirements of the common good.
  • They will respect and uphold the Constitutional right of the Irish people to decide on Ireland’s unique pro-life status.
  • They will not legislate for abortion and will absolutely oppose any attempt by unelected judges from the European Court of Human Rights, (ECHR) to usurp the Constitutional right of the Irish people to decide on abortion.
I pray that all Irish citizens who care about Ireland's historic defence of the sanctity of human life, and that all Irish citizens who care about defending their constitution, will get behind Dana's bid for the presidency.
Actually, from the perspective of eternity, and in the light of the values Dana stands for, I don't believe her bid for the Irish presidency will prove to have been unsuccessful.

After all, God promised Abraham that he would spare Sodom from destruction if He found a mere ten just men there. However, last Thursday, 51,220 men and women (2.9% of the total) voted for Dana and for the values she was determined to uphold - not least the right to life of unborn children which Ireland's people voted to protect in their 1983 constitutional referendum which reads:
“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 laws to respect, and, as far as practicable, by its laws to defend and vindicate that right.”
In spite of this constitutional amendment, and with complete contempt for the will of the Irish people, in today's Irish Times, Jan O'Sullivan, the minister of State for Trade and Development, proudly refers to Ireland's membership of UNFPA's executive board.

This is the UNFPA whose executive director until last year, Thoraya Ahmed Obaid, said  that China had seen notable achievements made in population control by implementing the family planning policy. This family planning policy is the notorious, well-documented,, forced abortion policy in which UNFPA has been deeply involved for over thirty years - and continues to be deeply involved.

This is the same UNFPA which ten months ago signed a memorandum of understand with Islamic Relief in order to work together to ensure that "more women and men have access to reproductive healthcare information and services, including during times of emergency … " – which entails the promotion of abortion on demand, even in the desperately unsafe environment of refugee camps.

This is the same UNFPA which in 1979, the very year that China introduced its brutal one-child policy, signed a "Memorandum of Understanding" with the Chinese government.

This is the same UNFPA which in 1983, the year commonly regarded as the worst year for coercion, gave one of its first two Population Awards to the minister-in-charge of China’s State Family Planning Commission. (The other award that year was given to Indira Gandhi, the Indian prime minister, whose government enforced compulsory birth control including sterilisation.)

This is the same UNFPA which in 1991, under its then executive director, Nafis Sadik, said: "China has every reason to feel proud of and pleased with its remarkable achievements made in its family planning policy and control of its population growth.” (Xinhua, 11 April 1991)

I'm quite sure that when the vitriolic media campaign directed against Dana subsides, including in the Catholic media, there will be many more Irish citizens who will wish they had voted for Dana - especially when they see how their government's contempt for the will of the Irish people emerges more and more clearly. When the tide turns in Ireland, as it surely will - not least because there are far, far more than the 51,220 citizens who voted for Dana who really do care for the things she cares for - Dana's courageous witness will be recognized as one of the key reasons why the Irish people kept faith in civilised human values.

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