Thursday, March 28, 2013

Why the Marriage Debate Should Focus on the Needs of Children

Meridian magazine has published an excellent article by Jenet Erickson pointing out a basic truth we all know instinctively, that the needs of children should be paramount in the current debate on

The article, which can be found on this link, is reprinted below.
When we celebrate marriage, we celebrate the rights and protection of the most precious and vulnerable among us—our children. I was reminded of this profound responsibility to these, our children, in becoming a new mother again just four months ago. This little soul—who bears the genetic imprint of the father and mother who brought him into being—looks to us for every aspect of his survival. We are the source of his understanding of who he is, who he can trust, and where he belongs in this world.

In seeing such vulnerability, I am reminded of the pain we have all at some time felt looking to the face of a child who learns that one of the parents who brought him or her into being no longer desires to be married to that child’s mother or father—or the face of a child who yearns to know who his father or mother is and what he or she is like.

Such images cut through abstract ideologies and theoretical arguments. They remind me again that the most important thing we can do for a child is to heal and strengthen the relationship that brought him or her into being and that is the foundation for his or her identity. They remind me that each child is entitled to birth within the bonds of matrimony and to be reared by a father and a mother who honor marital vows with complete fidelity. They remind me that although adults marry for different reasons—some better than others—the ultimate societal purpose of marriage is “to protect children—our only real future—by uniting them with the man and woman who made them.”

No child can defend these rights him or herself. It is we—as a society—who must ensure that marriage protects children by increasing the likelihood that they will be born to and raised by their own mother and father. In the words of Maggie Gallagher, we must all work together to help build marriages “strong enough that a child’s heart can rely on them.”

Any discussion about marriage that diverts our attention from that core concern—and focuses instead on adult concerns—including adult sexual desires and behaviors—has taken us away from what the real moral concern of marriage ought to be. The needs of children should not—must not—be divorced from marriage!

Sadly, current public debates about redefining marriage are not focused on the needs of the children. Instead the debate is framed only in terms of adult “rights” and “freedoms” to marry. But in the end, it is children, who will be the most affected by how we tamper with it.

When we genuinely focus on the needs of children, we will see through the false idea that mothers and fathers are replaceable. Children need more than two parents, even two loving parents. For “all the love in the world can’t turn a mother into a father or a father in to a mother.” As a mother, I know that my love cannot replace the unique influence and protection of my children’s father. And their father knows that no matter how much he tries, his love could never replace the tender nurture of their mother.

Fathers and mothers give their children something else fundamental to their well-being. The Chief Rabbi of France, Gilles Bernheim says it well—“To a child, Father and Mother represent more than caring affection. They represent the clear and coherent genealogy that allows a child to find his place as an individual. They situate him in a generational chain—a chain that guarantees each individual a place in the world in which he lives, for he knows where he came from…”

Now wonder then when society weakens marriage, children suffer. Decades of social science research has proved this fact in a frightening manner. We have long known that a maternal sensitivity is the single most consistent predictor of a child’s development. But research similarly confirms the significance of fathers. Children from fatherless families experience higher rates of incarceration, teenage pregnancy, and various forms of abuse. When children grow up without their mothers and their fathers, something seems to happen to their hearts.

We do not have to be against anyone to be for marriage. And it is not discrimination to ensure that, as much as possible, a child be reared by his or her married mother and father. Every generation is tested. Every generation must stand for something. This is our test. Will we stand for marriage? Much is being said in our society now about being on the “right side of history.” When we stand on the side of children, we cannot go wrong. May God bless us to be on their side.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Trial of Abortionist Kermit Gosnell underway

Last week the trial of Kermit Gosnell the infamous late term abortionist from Philadelphia finally got underway (see previous report). 
Gosnell is charged with murdering seven newborn babies and one young woman in a botched abortion. Gosnell according to reports was not an ordinary abortion practitioner, he specialized in late term abortions and would jab scissors into the necks of tiny unborn babies who had already passed the point of viability and could have survived on their own.

Not only would Gosnell personally "snip" the spinal cords of these babies but expected staff members to do so too. CBS Philadelphia reported on testimony given in evidence by a member of Gosnell’s staff, Adrienne Moton who testified for the prosecution. Moton admitted that she had also used medical scissors to snip babies spinal cords.  Adrienne Moton broke down several times as she recounted her work at the clinic.

Untrained, she says, she was doing ultrasounds and administering anesthesia within months.  And eventually, she has admitted, she snipped the necks of ‘a good ten’ fetuses.”

The conditions in Gosnell’s “house of horrors,” otherwise known as the Philadelphia Women's Medical Society, have been well documented,.

The premises, according to a report, were dirty and unsanitary. Gosnell routinely relied on unlicensed and untrained staff to treat patients, conduct medical tests, and administer medications without supervision. Even more alarmingly, Gosnell instructed unlicensed workers to sedate patients with dangerous drugs in his absence [...] In addition, he regularly performed abortions beyond the 24-week limit prescribed by law. As a result, viable babies were born. Gosnell killed them by plunging scissors into their spinal cords. He taught his staff to do the same.

In addition to Gosnell other staff members and associates are also before the Court. Pearl Gosnell, the abortionist’s wife, 49, is held on $1 million bail. She faces charges of assisting her husband in carrying out illegal, very late abortions, and conspiracy to commit them.
Sherry West, 51, is held on $2 million bail for being an unlicensed worker who committed illegal abortions, illegally administered anesthesia and dispensed illegal drugs. She faces additional charges of 3rd degree Murder in the death of a woman, conspiracy, and is charged with infanticide of a newborn known as “Baby C.
Tina Baldwin is held on $150,000 bail, faces charges of illegal administration of anesthesia and corruption of a minor for forcing her 15-year-old daughter to work 50 hours a week at Gosnell’s clinic. The Grand Jury report said she was required to work after school to midnight, in the course of which she “was exposed to the full horrors of Gosnell’s practice”.
It was Baldwin who told the Grand Jury in her testimony that Gosnell once joked about a baby that was writhing as he cut its spine: “that’s what you call a chicken with its head cut off.”

The remainder of Gosnell’s associates are held on bail ranging from $1 million to $150,000 for various other charges relating to conspiracy, perjury, racketeering, and obstruction of justice.

This trial begs the question: where was the Pennsylvania Department of Health? According to the Grand Jury report, Gosnell’s clinic had not been inspected for more than 17 years.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Shock statistics: The number of abortions carried out in China Since 1971 is higher than the population of the U.S.

The Financial Times (FT) has recently reported on Chinese demographics.
China’s aging population has been brought about by its zero-growth population policies that have been in place since the 1970s.

The most well known aspect of these policies is the infamous “one-child policy” which mandates forced abortions and sterilizations.

In a recent FT article, Simon Rabinovitch, presented population data obtained from the Chinese health ministry:
Since 1971, doctors have performed 336m abortions and 196m sterilisations.
They have also inserted 403m intrauterine devices, often forced on women in China by local family planning officials.

The magnitude of these figures is truly staggering.  By comparison, at present there are 315 million people living in the United States.  Rabinovitch does not really tell where the data came from within the Chinese government, but these are pretty specific numbers that make sense.  In short, we are talking about a maximum of 336 million Chinese who would be under the age of 42 – the peak working years.
China’s one-child policy has been the subject of a heated debate about its economic consequences as the population ages. Forced abortions and sterilisations have also been criticised by human rights campaigners such as Chen Guangcheng, the blind legal activist who sought refuge at the US embassy in Beijing last year.

China first introduced measures to limit the size of the population in 1971, encouraging couples to have fewer children. The one-child rule, with exceptions for ethnic minorities and some rural families, was implemented at the end of the decade.

See also LifeNews report

Monday, March 25, 2013

Massive demonstration in Paris against 'same sex marriage'

A massive demonstration took place in Paris yesterday Sunday March 24th in support of marriage and to protest against the same sex marriage and adoption bill proposed by the French government.

It has been estimated that around 1.4 million people attended ‘La Manif pour Tous’. Demonstrators filled the Avenue de la Grande Armee that leads to the Arc de Triomphe together with Avenue Foch and other adjoining roads leading to it.

The demonstrators who came from all parts France and even from overseas shouted loudly and repeatedly "Hollande, demission”, a call for French President, Francois Hollande to resign.  

Friday, March 22, 2013

March 25th International Day of the Unborn Child

Scott Fischbach of Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life Global Outreach reminds us that the International Day of the Unborn Child is to be celebrated on Monday, March 25 and has designed graphics to highlight the fact. It is a timely reminder to those of us who live in Ireland and are currently opposing Government plans to introduce abortion here despite our pro-life Constitution. It is a day to recall the remarkable journey of life each member of the human family has taken in our commonality as human beings and our uniqueness as individuals.

Initiated by Pope John Paul II to coincide with and to honor the Feast of the Annunciation, the March 25 event has grown into a day of celebration and remembrance for all unborn human beings. It is a time to celebrate human dignity and the amazing world of the developing child yet to be born. It is also a day to remember the millions of unborn children whose lives have been ended by the violence of abortion.

In 1993, El Salvador became the first country to officially celebrate a “Day of the Right to Be Born.” Subsequently other countries have begun official celebrations for the unborn, including Argentina with “Day of the Unborn” in 1998, Chile with “Day of the Conceived and Unborn” in 1999, and also in 1999, Guatemala’s “National Day of the Unborn.” Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Peru, the Philippines, the Dominican Republic and Paraguay are all nations that now celebrate a day for the unborn child.

Scott also reminds us that while many nations celebrate the inalienable worth and value of every unborn child, we must also raise our voices against the current U.S. administration’s unrelenting war on the innocent unborn child. 
Since President Obama’s election in 2008, the U.S. administration’s policy of advocating the destruction of unborn children has come in all forms, from taxpayer funding of abortion and embryo-killing research, to funding efforts abroad to rid other countries of their pro-life constitutions. Never before in the history of the world has an unborn child faced such a great struggle just to be born.
It is important in 2013 to recall how much we have learned about the intricate world of the unborn child and humanity itself. Current developments include intrauterine surgery, ultrasound, neo-natal intensive care, fetal heart monitoring and much more. We also know now that the unborn child has the ability to feel pain.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Rosary Crusade to protect Ireland from abortion

WE wish to draw the attention of readers to a Rosary Vigil scheduled to take place  at 3pm this Saturday March 23rd outside Dáil Éireann in Molesworth Street and encourage a large attendance.

Buses will be arriving from all parts of Ireland check with local convenors.

The vigil is the culmination of a Novena for Life, which has been supported by thousands of people across Ireland who have joined in the Novena  in view if the imminent threats to unborn Life throughout the island of Ireland

Pro-life NGOs Hold Back Pro-Abortion Onslaught at United Nations’ 57th Annual Commission on the Status of Women

Raimundo Rojas  of National Right to Life in the United States  reports on the recently completed Commission on the Status of Women (CSW).
The two-week long exercise in futility known as the United Nations’ 57th annual meeting of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) is over.  The harangues, the excesses, and the disconnect between the needs of the third world versus the wants of the first world are now a not-too-distant memory. However, the document produced by the commission is still with us and those who promote and profit from abortion are spinning it is a “tremendous victory.”     And it really is just spin – the reality is that pro-abortion extremists did not succeed in advancing their agenda or their goal of establishing abortion as a fundamental human right worldwide.

The outcome agreement that they are vacuously lauding was written within the context of this year’s all-important CSW theme:  The Elimination and Prevention of all Forms of Violence Against Women and Girls. An important topic that needed serious contemplation, discussion, debate and outcomes – but instead of focusing exclusively on the real issues that confront women around the world, we listened to delegates discuss why six and eight year old girls should be able to “fully reach and explore their sexual and reproductive rights.”

Shannon Kowalski, director of advocacy and policy at the International Women’s Health Coalition, was quoted in a Reuter’s news article as saying, “Governments have agreed to take concrete steps to end violence. For the first time, they agreed to make sure that women who have been raped can get critical health care services, like emergency contraception and safe abortion.”

She really did say that.  The fact that the intent of the Commission was to PREVENT violence against women is lost on Ms. Kowalski.  Pro-life NGOs and many delegations would have welcomed language ensuring women receive the critical health care services they need after any violent trauma.  But the goal of the extremists was to politicize violence against women as a way to procure more liberalized abortions laws around the world, and they failed.

The CSW outcome agreement is a non-binding document; it has no legal standing anywhere.  It can only be misinterpreted and then used by UN agencies and radical pro-abortion NGOs to try and browbeat countries into changing protective pro-life laws.  They already have many of those documents and this one is essentially more of the same – no harm no foul. The real problem was, and is, with the process of how the United Nations’ and their commissions are now doing business.

For decades the custom was that a bureau comprised of commission members and UN agency employees would research and draft a document focusing on that year’s commission theme.  That document, called the “Agreed Conclusions” would then be released to the entire Commission and be debated and negotiated beginning on the opening day of the Commission Meeting.  More often than not, when language in the document was contentious and an impasse was reached, that language would ultimately be deleted or supplanted with previously agreed conclusions and the commission would move on to the next paragraph.

In the last few years however, and in this commission meeting in particular, the negotiating process has been subverted.  During the course of the debate at this year’s CSW, contentious paragraphs were glossed over and set aside. But as the clock ticked, time ran out and in the 11th hour, when no consensus on the unsettled language could be reached, the Chair of the committee offered the “Chair’s Text” (with little contribution from member states) and declared it the outcome document

Any of the 49 countries on the Commission could have vehemently objected to the language and the end result would have been no document – as was the case in 2012.  This year however, there was extra pressure placed on member nations by UN agencies, powerful pro-abortion NGOs and their cohorts at the New York Times to reach “consensus” and release a working document.  Several countries offered reservations to the language, but in the end, they all agreed to it.

The process, far from being perfect to begin with, has now become more flawed.  As a result, we are dealt these seemingly consensually agreed to documents that do little to really help the women of the developing world and simply offers those who deal in abortion an opportunity to claim victory.

Raimundo Rojas is the director of Hispanic outreach for the National Right to Life Committee. He is a former president of Florida Right to Life and has presented the pro-life message to millions in Spanish-language media outlets. He represents NRLC at the United Nations as an NGO. Rojas was born in Santiago de las Vegas, Havana, Cuba and he and his family escaped to the United States in 1968.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Submissions to consultation on the issue of marriage

The following submissions have been lodged in respect of the consultation on marriage which is focusing on whether so called “same sex marriage” should become constitutional.
The submission to the consultation by European Life Network enclosed the position paper prepared by the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children, which can be found on this link.

The basis of that position paper is as follows:
*Marriage - the permanent, exclusive union of one man and one woman - is the basis of the family, the fundamental group unit of society. Upholding marriage is therefore in everyone’s interests.
*Marriage as an institution protects children, both born and unborn. Statistics show that unborn children are much safer within marriage than outside marriage.
*Same-sex marriage lacks basic elements of true marriage e.g. the complementary sexual difference between spouses necessary for the procreation and healthy upbringing of children.
*Same-sex marriage represents an attempt to redefine marriage, thus undermining marriage. This undermining lessens the protection for unborn children which true marriage provides.

Our colleagues in Irish Media Review have also made a submission, which we have included below.

1. Marriage and the Family are adequately defined in the Constitution as it stands.
2. It is clear from the Constitution that Marriage is between a man and a woman.
3. The current drive for Same-sex "marriage", concerns equality and rights between adults, not the rights of children. Implicit in this, is the adoption of children.

4. Children are thus excluded from this equation.
They are brought into this world through no will of their own. Those who are responsible have an obligation to ensure that the rights of a child pro-created by them are vindicated.

In consequence, the child is entitled to a mother and a father, and to the security, and welfare of a home.

It seems incredible that, in a society that considers itself "civilized", all this has to be explained.

5. This right has been consistently ignored by legislators, eg, divorce, children’s rights, and now same-sex "marriage".

6. Divorce has led to more, not less, co-habitation. Co-habitation often means that adults keep their options open, while the children have no choice.


7. One in three children in this country are now born "out of wedlock". This may seem a dated term, but it means that children are deprived of their right to a mother and a father, and in some cases, to a secure family home. The priority is the interests of adults; children have to make do. They have no vote and no voice, and in the case of unborn children, no visibility.
In addition to the numbers of children affected by co-habitation, there are those who witness the marriages of their parents torn apart, as well as their families and homes. Again, they have to grin and bear the consequences for them.

To ease the minds of legislators1, children are now said to have a voice in matters affecting them. What could affect a child more than the divorce of their parents?

Yet what is the experience in, for instance, the UK? It is doubtful if many, or any at all, divorces are refused, due to the objections of the child.

8. Are we seriously suggesting, then, that all this can be remedied by same-sex "marriage"?

9. There are many who saw Civil Partnership as a stepping stone only, when legislation was passed in 2011. And so it has come to pass!

10. Those who sought the legislative promotion of Civil Partnerships in 2011, viewed marriage as anathema. It seems to me that the reason for this was the (sexual) freedom CP allowed, as against the restrictions and obligations of marriage.
Yet, if a child is involved, or a parent becomes disabled, that person is entitled to a solid commitment. The commitment may be for a long period, perhaps even for the life of the parent(s).

Is it really the case that same-sex marriage contains a commitment "till death do us part"?


11. Even if no abuse of the rights of the child occurred in co-habitation, divorce, child-"care", same-sex "marriage", or polygamy, society would still need children to continue the species.
In fact, the State is obligated to parents who go the trouble and expense of rearing the next generation. The granting of the same status, and financial recompense, to any other group, including same-sex couples, would undermine marriage.

12. How would continuation of the species be achieved in same-sex "marriage"?
There are a number of solutions. All, as far as we can see, are intended to be beneficial to the adults, but treat the child in an even more demeaning way, even regarding the child as possession to which adults feel entitled.

For instance, things did not work out very well in the case of McD. -v- L. & anor, (10/12/2009), where a third party became involved, and subsequently aggrieved. Similar cases are likely to keep lawyers and courts busy.

IVF is likely to lead to surrogacy, to the use of animals for pregnancy, and beyond. Science, it is suggested, should only operate within the bounds set by society. Otherwise, science is likely to become a law unto itself.

13. All this is not to say that heterosexual couples do not fail in their duty. They do, and this is recognized in the Constitution. Does this provision need to be up-dated? Probably, but same-sex "marriage" is not the answer to failed real marriages.

14. We should be conscious of what is happening in the UK. The UK is further down the line on same-sex "marriage". The result, so far, is that religiously-based adoption agencies have been closed.
Assurances that same-sex "marriages" will not be required to be held on church premises, are seen as just that. Just assurances.


15. I would suggest that it is the duty of legislators to respect life, and, in so doing, to provide laws that benefit society as a whole into the foreseeable future.
I would equally suggest that this is not achieved by seeking out, and legislating for, extra-ordinary circumstances.

Divorce, resulting in detrimental effects on children, was sought because it was claimed that co-habitation was just around the corner (which it was), and divorce was the answer. Instead, it promoted co-habitation. Petrol was thrown on the problem.

We should be conscious of this example.

16. There seems to have been much haste in pursuing this project. Notification seems to have been made on 1 March and the deadline date is 19 March.
This leaves 18 days for the consideration of a project which is likely to undermine what has been in existence, and has been effective, for many thousands of years!

17. A covering letter is being sent separately to the Chairman.

The so-called "children’s referendum" of 2012 was hypocritical.
The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child was signed by the Irish Government in 1992, but never put before the people. The reason was obvious. It would not have been approved by them. Instead, the Courts were empowered to adjudicate on those provisions of the Convention brought before them, thus permitting "children’s" groups to cherry-pick from the Convention.

An underhand attempt was made to permit sanction of wide-ranging changes to Article 40 of the Constitution. In the event papers were withdrawn by the Department from Post Offices days before the referendum. Had the attempt been successful, it would have made possible changes to Article 40.3.3 permitting abortion.

Ms Frances Fitzgerald, TD, was placed in charge of the referendum, and of the Government Department of Children. Ms Fitzgerald is a leading member of the National Women’s Council of Ireland, a major objective of which is to legalize the taking of the lives of unborn children.

Donal O’Driscoll,
Irish Media Review

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Conference on Post-2015 Sustainable Development Agenda

Scott Fischbach of Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life Global Outreach (MCCLGO) reports that they will participate in an international conference on sustainable development in Bonn from March 20-22 at the World Conference Center Bonn.

The conference, which is being hosted by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, the United Nations Department for Economic and Social Affairs and the Baltic Sea Forum, is aimed at advancing the Post-2015 Sustainable Development Agenda, “Reconfirming Rights–Recognizing Limits–Redefining Goals”.

The total number of participants invited to attend is about 280—one-third from civil society representatives of developing countries, one-third civil society from other parts of the world, and the final third being key stakeholder representatives from governments, citizen movements, trade unions and business interests.

Global leaders will be coming together in Bonn to continue the discussion from the Rio +20 Conference on new development goals as the United Nations Millennium Development Goals wind down in 2015. Pro-life and pro-family organizations such as MCCLGO will continue their push to keep human beings—and their fundamental right to life—as the centerpiece of all sustainable development.

Selected plenary sessions will be streamed live on this link so that viewers anywhere in the world can join in. A commenting feature will also be available.  The conference has established a new Twitter account at @Post2015Bonn.  Organizers will be following the hashtags #Post2015Bonn, #Post2015, #MDGs, #SDGs.

Individuals and organizations are encouraged to post comments and add their voices to discussions throughout the three-day event.

Focusing on the protection of human rights, all originating with the first fundamental right, the right to life, will enable sustainable development in our world post–2015.  Adequate access to health care, education, housing, nutrition, personal security and a livable environment will come from a prioritization of the human being.  Human beings and their protection must remain at the center of all global development.

MCCL GO who say their goal is to save as many innocent lives as possible write
“we now live in a time of unlimited data, analysis and demographic and medical research.  No longer do we have to make educated guesses about the social impacts of our actions.  We know that more girl children are aborted than boy children.  We know that women suffer greatly from abortions.  We know that many developed countries are aging at a rate that cannot sustain their economies.  We know that migration and immigration are propping up many developed countries.  The list can go on and on, with all facts pointing in one direction: Human beings are the center of all sustainable development now and post-2015."

Friday, March 15, 2013


Ireland United for Life welcomes our new Pope Francis.

Media and pundits who were hostile in pushing for a Pope, by secular opinion poll or diktat of the ignorant, who would abandon Church teaching and go chasing after the secular moral fashions of the world will be distraught, scattered, silenced and very disappointed by the election of  Pope Francis 1.

The new Holy Father has great devotion to Our Lady, has a decades- long record of supporting the sanctity of human life, traditional marriage, Gospel support of the vulnerable, the poor and regard for the dignity and worth of human life.

On September 1 2009 - the feast of St. Raimondo Nonnato, the patron of expectant mothers and the unborn – he said, during mass, to “defend life from conception to its natural end”. He also added that “to really promote the culture of life means also supporting the existence of these unborn children, in all phases of their childhood.”

He said in 2007 that abortion is a “death sentence for the unborn, we are not in agreement with the death penalty.”  He also denounced euthanasia and assisted suicide, calling it a “culture of discarding” the elderly.

As Cardinal he presented a statement in 2007 that we should commit ourselves to “Eucharistic coherence”, that is we should be conscious that people cannot receive Holy Communion and at the same time act or speak against the commandments, in particular, when abortion, euthanasia, and other serious crimes against life and family are facilitated. The responsibility applies particularly to legislators, governors and health professionals.

Pope Francis states that “being disallowed Holy Communion was a consequence for those who facilitated in an abortion”.

In 2005  he said, “Defend the unborn against abortion even if they persecute you, calumniate you, set traps for you, take you to court or kill you. No child should be deprived of the right to be born, the right to be fed and the right to go to school.”

At this watershed time of pushing for decriminalisation of abortion and introducing abortion legislation in Ireland, all politicians, legislators and health professionals who claim to be Catholic should listen to and understand exactly what Pope Francis is saying.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Pope Francis 1st

Cardinal Bergoglio (pronounced Ber-GOAL-io) the Archbishop of Buenos Aires, who was elected Pope yesterday, chose the name Francis I. His Holiness Pope Francis I, a Jesuit, is 76 years old and is the first South American to lead the Catholic Church.

Pope Francis, is known as a valiant defender of life and family. Pro-lifers are cheered by his strong statements on abortion (“abortion is never a solution”) and the dignity of the elderly and the importance of resisting euthanasia (“Even if euthanasia is not legal in many countries, it is being actualized covertly through attitudes of exclusion and abandonment” of the elderly).

In terms of  so called ‘same sex marriage’, Cardinal Bergoglio fought valiantly to have the law in Argentina continue to protect the traditional family. In July 2009, he called on the priests of his Archdiocese to encourage the faithful to attend protest against “same sex marriage."
"Let's not be naive, we're not talking about a simple political battle; it is a destructive pretension against the plan of God," […] He wrote
"We are not talking about a mere bill, but rather a machination of the Father of Lies that seeks to confuse and deceive the children of God."

Bergoglio also requested his priests to read, a declaration defending the true definition and understanding of marriage, from the pulpits.
"The Argentinean people will have to confront, in the coming weeks, a situation whose result could gravely injure the family.  We are speaking of a bill regarding marriage between people of the same sex," a bill that calls into question "the identity, and the survival of the family: father, mother, and children."

The latter, warns Bergoglio, might also be threatened by homosexual adoption, which would be a true form of discrimination.

The country now needs "the special assistance of the Holy Spirit, to place the light of truth in the middle of the darkness of error, to defend us against the enchantment of so many sophistries with which they seek to justify this bill," he wrote.

Cardinal Bergoglio also defended the life of the unborn even in cases of rape, in very stark terms.
In a 2007 speech given to a gathering of priests and laity on October 2nd, then-Cardinal Bergoglio issued a defense of life even in cases of rape saying: "we aren’t in agreement with the death penalty," but "in Argentina we have the death penalty.  A child conceived by the rape of a mentally ill or retarded woman can be condemned to death."

Moreover, on behalf of the bishops of Latin America, also in 2007, Cardinal Bergoglio presented the "Aparecida Document" regarding the situation of the Church in their countries.  The document, approved by Pope Benedict XVI in July of that year, made a very clear statement regarding the consequences of supporting abortion, disallowing Holy Communion for anyone who facilitates an abortion, including politicians.

The text states in paragraph 436 that "we should commit ourselves to ‘Eucharistic coherence’, that is, we should be conscious that people cannot receive Holy Communion and at the same time act or speak against the commandments, in particular when abortion, euthanasia, and other serious crimes against life and family are facilitated.  This responsibility applies particularly to legislators, governors, and health professionals."

See reports from LifeSite

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Sinn Féin 'Petition of Concern' blocks Northern Ireland attempt to halt the operation of private abortion clinics

We reported last month on a proposed amendment to the Criminal Justice Bill in Northern Ireland aimed at stopping private abortion clinics from operating in Northern Ireland

Sinn Fein’s Assembly Members have used a ‘Petition of Concern’ to block the amendment to the Criminal Justice Bill aimed at stopping private abortion centres like Marie Stopes International from operating in Northern Ireland.

The 'Petition of Concern’, which required a minimum of 30 signatures, was also signed by Anna Lo of the Alliance Party and Stephen Agnew of the Green Party.

Despite the fact that Sinn Fein were bombarded with petitions from constituents, asking them either to support, or at least allow the amendment to proceed, their views were ignored and the 'Petition of Concern' was signed, effectively blocking the amendment.

Under Assembly rules, the vote on the amendment can still take place but the ‘Petition of Concern’ means it cannot be passed without both a majority unionist and nationalist vote.

“By using the process of a “Petition of Concern” in this manner Sinn Fein has expanded the use of the process beyond the purpose for which it was intended. ‘Petitions of Concern’ were designed to protect the rights of minorities within Northern Ireland to ensure one community did not trample upon the rights of another.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Irish Presidency of EU and Partners Promote Radical Pro-Abortion View at UN

Marie Smith, Director of the Parliamentary Network for Critical Issues PNCI writes.
The wearing of the green by pro-life advocates this St. Patrick's Day may not be so proud as the Republic of Ireland, as holder of the Presidency of the Council of the European Union from January to June 2013, acts in a complicit manner with abortion-minded organizations to enable the furthering of distorted pro-abortion arguments. Tomorrow, March 12, the Irish Presidency co-sponsors an event at the UN during the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) entitled "Women Human Rights Defenders: A Resource at Risk?"

As the main organizer for the side event, the Irish Presidency partners with Amnesty International, Women's Human Rights Defenders International Coalition (WHRD IC), and the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. All three support the manipulative argument that portrays abortion activists, and abortionists, as 'human rights defenders' despite that fact that no binding UN treaty legitimizes abortion in any way and more countries ban or restrict abortion than allow abortion on demand.

The questionable decision by the Irish Presidency to chose such partners becomes more disturbing after reading a document by WHRD IC, Global Report On The Situation Of Women Human Rights Defenders. The "report" denigrates political and religious support for protection for the child in the womb and elevates abortionists and those who work to maintain laws allowing for the destruction of the preborn child.

It addresses the present abortion situation in the US categorizing all pro-life advocates as "fundamentalist actors" stating, "Fundamentalist actors sought to create a political environment where abortion, though legal, was delegitimized, and consequently providers of this service were dehumanized. Defenders working on reproductive rights, particularly abortion providers are subject to retaliation for their role in assisting women to alter their 'natural' role as mother and caregiver."

The paper includes the violent death of late term abortionist George Tiller which is described as "a tragic example of fundamentalisms influencing the political and legal environment in which a human rights defender lives and works. Fundamentalist actors opposed to abortion were able to highjack the law and use it as a weapon to prosecute a healthcare provider performing lawful activities to ensure women's rights. Once they secured political power, these actors fomented animus towards Dr. Tiller, contributing to a context that dehumanized abortion providers and eventually gave rise to violence."

Such stark and outright lies attempt to shift debate away from the reality that preborn children are dehumanized in the US, nearly 3,300 of whom are denied their most basic human right--the right to life--every day. It also ignores the facts that many pro-life leaders condemned the killing of George Tiller and that the pro-life movement believes in peaceful non-violent protest.

It is a shocking disappointment that the Irish Presidency appears to be aligning itself with such arguments and the speech by its Minister of State for Disability, Equality, Mental Health and Older People to CSW gives further evidence of the questionable path the Irish Presidency is following. Kathleen Lynch TD stated, "The EU also emphasises that gender equality cannot be achieved without guaranteeing women's sexual and reproductive health and rights, and reaffirms that expanding access to sexual and reproductive health information and health services are essential for achieving the Beijing Platform for Action, the Cairo Programme of Action and the MDG's."

Countries with pro-life laws and pro-life lobbyists at the UN argue for removal of the contentious undefined expressions "women's sexual and reproductive health and rights" and "expanding access to sexual and reproductive health information and health services" knowing that these words are used to advance universal access to abortion by certain governments and organizations.

It is most disturbing to see the Irish Presidency of the Council of the European Union partnering with organizations that not only seek exclusionary language that discriminates against an entire group by virtue of their place of residence-the womb--but which depict cultures and religions that respect life from conception as purveyors of violence.

This combined with pressure from some in the government of the Republic of Ireland to change its pro-life policy are profoundly troubling. There will be no wearing of the green this year for me.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Irish Government inform Council of Europe that abortion legislation will be enacted by the end of July

The Irish Times reported Saturday March 9th that the Irish Government intends to enact abortion legislation by the end of July according to information it has supplied to the Council of Europe (COE).
Despite the fact that there is grave public disquiet about the intention to legislate and regulate for abortion the Irish Government are forging ahead with completely unacceptable proposals which  have now been welcomed by the COE
In an update to the COE Council of Ministers meeting on March 7th the Government said it planned to publish a Bill by April and enact the legislation by the end of July.
The Council of Europe monitors the implementation of judgments made by the European Court of Human Rights. Its Committee of Ministers meets about four times a year to consider any outstanding cases.
The Deputies according to a report
1. highlighted the legal obligation on Ireland to put in place and implement a legislative or regulatory regime providing effective and accessible procedures whereby pregnant women can establish whether or not they are entitled to a lawful abortion, and that only the implementation of a statutory framework would provide a defence for medical doctors from criminal prosecution;
2. noted with satisfaction that the authorities have decided to implement the judgment by way of legislation with regulations which will soon be published in draft, strongly urged them to proceed as quickly as possible and invited them to rapidly inform the Committee on their content and time-table for full implementation of the judgment;
3. considered that beyond the wide publicity given to the judgment, which according to the authorities has raised awareness amongst medical practitioners where women’s lives may be at risk due to their pregnancy, concrete measures are still necessary and called on the authorities to consider urgently any other possible steps in this respect.

The Irish Times in its report says
Among the cases considered by the committee this week was the European Court of Human Rights’ 2010 “ABC” judgment on Ireland. Based on cases taken by three Irish women challenging Ireland’s abortion laws, the court ruled in December 2010 that Ireland was under a legal obligation to put in place legislation or regulation in accordance with the Supreme Court’s X case judgment.
Despite the fact abortion has been legal in circumstances where there is a substantial risk to the life of the mother since a 1992 Supreme Court ruling, successive governments have failed to enact legislation to give full effect to the ruling.

Timetable welcomed
In its update on the case, due to be published on Monday, the Council of Europe said the committee “noted with satisfaction” that the Irish authorities have decided to implement the judgment by way of legislation and regulations.
It also welcomes the indicative timetable presented by the Government.
However, the committee reiterated its concern regarding the situation of women who believe their life may be at risk due to their pregnancy, as had been the case with Ms “C” in the 2010 judgment.
Ms C became unintentionally pregnant while being treated for cancer, but was unable to find a doctor willing to make a determination as to whether her life would be at risk if she continued to term. She travelled to England for an abortion. The European Court of Human Rights ruled in 2010 that Ireland had been in breach of the European Convention of Human Rights regarding her case.

‘Necessary measures’
In its update, the Council of Europe also reiterated the need for the Irish authorities to “take all necessary measures” regarding women who are of the opinion that their life may be at risk during pregnancy, pending full implementation of the judgment.
In this regard, the council welcomed the Government’s intention to shortly roll out the Irish Maternal Early-Warning System to standardise the management of acutely ill pregnant women.
The Health Service Executive announced a plan to roll out the service as early as this month as a response to the death of Savita Halappanavar, who died in Galway University Hospital last October.
The early-warning system is designed for early detection of a range of life-threatening conditions, including sepsis, among women during and before childbirth.

While a general early-warning score system for hospital patients nationally is already in place in 80 per cent of acute hospitals, including Galway University Hospital, it was not in place in the hospital’s maternity unit, as a different system is required for pregnant patients.
While countries are obliged to abide by the judgments of the European Court of Human Rights, the Council of Europe cannot implement sanctions on countries.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Anti-Life, Anti-Family UN report on children's health slammed by large groups of member states

An all day debate on Children’ Rights took place at the Human Rights Council in Geneva on Thursday March 7th. The debate focused on a controversial report issued recently by the High Commissioner for Human Rights on the right of the child to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health.
The report was welcomed by some member states however large groups of states such as the African Group, the Arab Group and the Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC) together with a number of individual states rejected the report claiming that the special rapporteur Anand Grover, who prepared the report on behalf of the High Commissioner, had exceeded his mandate.

The report A/HRC/22/31 sets out an anti-life and anti-family agenda for children’s health that includes controversial ‘comprehensive sexuality education (CSE), which has been described by some observers as pornographic, together with access to so called  ‘confidential’ sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services including abortion.  Since the report deals with children the question arises from whom should such information be kept confidential? The answer becomes clear when the report goes on to attack cultural norms and parental rights. It identifies barriers, which, it says make access to both CSE and SRH services difficult for children, such as cultural values and parental consent laws.  The report cites article 24 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), which it says; “highlights children’s need for information on all aspects of health education to realize their right to health and to enable them to make informed choices in relation to lifestyle and access to health services without any reference to their parents or guardians. Information and life skills education, according to the report, should address, inter alia, comprehensive sexuality education.”

The report then goes on to encourage States to review national laws and policies and, where necessary, amend them to ensure consonance with fulfilling the right of the child to health including the removal of barriers relating to comprehensive sexual and reproductive information and services, the barriers which had been identified earlier as cultural values and parental consent laws

During the all day debate, the African Group of member states told the meeting it had been looking forward to the report but had concluded it presents a high-risk and culturally insensitive prescription that disregards the priorities of developing countries and departs from the main legal frame of reference embodied in Article 24 of Convention on the Rights of the Child, highlighting inter alia, the following:
1)            The family is the natural and fundamental base unit of society, and should be perceived as a valuable asset in protecting children’s rights. Against this backdrop, we are alarmed by how the report tackled the issue of seeking information, education, and counseling by children in a way that severely violated the principle of the responsibilities, rights, and duties of parents in guiding and upbringing their children according to their evolving capacities, including in the area of sexual and reproductive health and its related educational curricula. […]
2)            The report used concepts and notions that lack any basis in International Human Rights Law, in a way that deviates from the international consensus on universally recognized and agreed human rights, prejudges the sovereign right of states to create and enact national legislation that reflect their obligations under international human rights law; and likewise disrespects the diversity of cultural, moral, and religious value systems present in different societies.
3)            The African Group would like to stress that the occurrence of hazardous behaviors among children, such as sexual activity among minors and drug use, should not be a justification to normalize these practices and accept them. On the contrary, these behaviors must be unequivocally rejected and eradicated through means of parental guidance, awareness, and promotion of abstinence, which the Report failed to realize. Addressing these issues simply from the angle of enhancing precautionary measures while practicing these unacceptable behaviors is counter-productive, and actually makes children more vulnerable to increased risk factors and undermines their right to health. […]

To conclude, the African Group would like to register its definitive rejection to the methodology and major parts of the content of this document, and expect that this position will be clearly reflected in the summary report of the discussion.
Similar statements were made by the Arab Group and the OIC. 
The Egyptian delegate told the meeting that his country express their deepest disappointment at the Report. Instead of providing a contribution to global and national efforts, the report presents a high-risk and culturally insensitive approach that disregards the priorities of the developing countries and departs from the main legal frame of reference embodied in CRC.  
The Egyptian delegate also said.
1)            The family is instrumental in protecting children’s rights. Henceforth, we are alarmed that the report tackled the issue of information, education, healthcare services, and counseling by children in clear departure from the principle of the role of parents in guiding and upbringing their children. International human rights law has unambiguously enshrined this principle in the UDHR, CRC, ICCPR, ICPD.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Review of maternal deaths in Ireland over a 60 year period

The Irish Independent reported March 5th that A REVIEW of maternal deaths, spanning 60 years in the country's main maternity hospitals, has found no recorded case of a woman taking her own life because she was pregnant, writes Eilish O'Regan.

The review was led by Mater Hospital psychiatrist Professor Patricia Casey, who said every death from 1950 to 2011 was examined.

During those decades, five women, who were pregnant or had given birth, were recorded as committing suicide but these were linked to mental illness.

The study involved examining the reports of the masters of Holles Street, the Rotunda and Coombe hospitals and involved more than one million women.

Prof Casey said: "It is important to note that in the context of the present debate, the records cover a period that begins almost 20 years before the liberalisation of the British abortion laws in 1967.

"This makes it much harder to claim that suicidal pregnant women in the first part of the period under examination were going to Britain for abortions. It demonstrates that suicide in pregnancy is extremely rare," she added.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Constitutional Convention consultation on 'same sex marriage'

The Journal on Friday last March 1st reported that the chairman of the Constitution Convention, Tom Arnold, had urged the public to submit any suggestions, proposals or comments they have regarding same sex marriage.

The call for submissions comes ahead of the convention’s examination of the issue at its next meeting on 13 April. Arnold said one of the central principles of the convention is that it is a citizens’ forum.
“I am calling for people to engage with the convention by making their views known on what is a very important subject for many in Irish society today,” he said.
“We are keen that the convention’s deliberations and subsequent decisions are properly informed. Therefore, we want to hear from all sides of the debate regarding the proposal to make a constitutional provision for same sex marriage.”
He said the convention was encouraging organisations, citizens and the disapora to make their voices heard.

Submissions, proposals and comments must be received by 19 March, 2013 and can be made on the convention’s website.

We would encourage all our Irish readers to make submissions on this issue because the experience of legalising marriage for same-sex couples in Europe and North America shows that such legalisation has negative effects for real marriage and for families and it is vital to be able to access the latest evidence for the purpose of the consultation.

The evidence for this was recently presented to the House of Commons committee examining the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill, in a written submission by Dr Patricia Morgan, the British family policy researcher, on behalf of SPUC. The submission can be read in full on this link

Based on research and data from Sweden, Norway, Denmark, the Netherlands, Spain, Canada and the US, Dr Morgan concluded that:
            as marriage is redefined to accommodate same-sex couples, this reinforces the idea that marriage is irrelevant to parenthood
            same-sex marriage leads to the casualisation of heterosexual unions and separation of marriage and parenthood
            Spain saw a pronounced acceleration in the decline of marriage following the introduction of same-sex marriage (same-sex marriage was introduced at the same time as the ‘express divorce bill’)
            across all countries analysed, no causal link has been established to support the idea that same-sex marriage prevents marital decline
            in the move to same-sex marriage, opposite-sex relationships have to conform to gay norms rather than vice-versa
            a publicly-professed, legal, partnership does not prevent homosexual couples from breaking up more frequently than married heterosexual couples
            experience with same-sex partnerships/marriage legislation tends to suggest that availability is all, and participation more or less irrelevant to sexual minorities
            same-sex marriage may be the end-game of long-running anti-marriage, anti-family policy typified by Sweden
            same-sex marriage may begin the process of severing marriage from family in otherwise family-friendly societies such as Spain and the Netherlands
same-sex marriage triggers dismemberment of family structures in family-friendly societies.