Monday, September 30, 2013

Russian Federation under pressure from Member States and NGO’s at the Human Rights Council in Geneva, on abortion and on laws enacted to protect children from homosexual propaganda.

Geneva: The Human Rights Council on Friday 20th September, considered the report (A/HRC/24/14), of the outcome of the Universal Periodic Review of the Russian Federation which took place in late April and early May.

The process known as the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) permits other Member States and a variety of organizations to make recommendations regarding a country’s human rights record.  Of a total of 231 recommendations, Russia accepted 48 completely, accepted 15 in part and rejected 68 others.
It was notable that among the many recommendations made to Russia there was considerable pressure from other Member States to relax its regional and proposed Federal laws on homosexuality. These recommendations were firmly rejected by Russia.
The pressure on Russia came from 9 EU Member States, two South American Member States along with Canada and Australia. The following recommendation from Belgium gives the tenor of the recommendations, which were made by 13 Member States.
140.88. Rescind regional laws and regulations which favour and tolerate discrimination based on sexual orientation, and refrain from adopting similar laws at the federal level, as well as take measures to prevent the arbitrary use of existing regulations against LGBT rights, including their rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly (Belgium);
This recommendation referred to a bill before the Russian Parliament at the time (subsequently approved), aimed at protecting children and family life in Russia by banning homosexual propaganda and is similar to one previously passed by the government of St. Petersburg and other regional bodies. The new law imposes fines of up to $170 on individuals, $1,700 on public officials, and $17,000, on organizations, for exposing minors to propaganda advocating a homosexual lifestyle.
The rejection of these recommendations created an immediate ripple according to the UPR newsletter No. 39 (see link) which says:
The precedent of Russia is one of the most challenging threats to the UPR since its inception in 2008 as it is opening the door for other States to delete all recommendations they perceive as being politically orientated. Legal dispositions of the UPR do not provide for any opportunity for the States under review to remove recommendations. 
Following presentation of the report to the Human Rights Council a number of Member States intervened and a variety of non-governmental organizations made recommendations.
There was limited time in the meeting for some member states to make oral statements; most of them, with the exception of the United Kingdom were encouraging to Russia.

Some NGO’s were given time to make short oral statements before the formal adoption of the outcome report for Russia. The tone of these interventions was much more strident as non-governmental organizations lambasted Russia for its new restrictive laws on Homosexual propaganda and Freedom of assembly.

NGO Speakers included the Centre for Reproduction Rights (CRR), Human Rights Watch, Action Canada for Population and Development, International Lesbian and Gay Association (ILGA), the International Federation of Human Rights Leagues, Amnesty International, the International Commission of Jurists, Reporters without Borders and Freedom House Foundation.

The center for Reproductive Rights congratulated Russia on its acceptance of Slovenia’s recommendation to put in place comprehensive and evidence-based sexual and reproductive health education programs urging Russia to make this a mandatory part of the school curriculum.

The following examples are indicative of the NGO comments

Human Rights Watch said they regretted the fact that Russia had rejected the recommendations to repeal the regional laws banning “homosexual propaganda” in 11 Russian regions as well as what was then a similar federal draft law but which on June 29th had been signed into federal law by President Putin, banning exposing children to “propaganda of nontraditional sexual relationships.”

Action Canada for Population and Development, speaking on behalf of ASTRA Network, complained that Russia has poor access to what they term ‘women’s reproductive rights’ in which they include abortion access. 
'Women's reproductive rights are restricted in Russia, especially in regard to access to modern contraception and family planning services. Access to contraception is limited by a lack of comprehensive information and subsidization from the state budget. […]

The government has still not amended the laws that introduced mandatory waiting periods for women who want to undergo abortions. These waiting periods put women in situations of serious vulnerability and critically limit their access to timely reproductive health services. […] 
In the final analysis Georgy Matyushkin, speaking on behalf of the Russian Federation, accepted only those recommendations, the content and wording of which, was supported by the Russian Government and which could be implemented in practice.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Catholic Mater Hospital to comply with new abortion law

The Journal reported Wednesday, September 25th, that Dublin’s Mater Hospital has issued a statement to say it will comply with the laws provided for the in the new Protection of Life During Pregnancy Act 2013. If anyone was in any doubt about the implications of the new law on abortion and how it will be implemented this statement by Mater Hospital should ring warning bells.

The Journal article reads;

Following ‘careful consideration’ of the new legislation, the hospital said its priority is to be at the “frontier of compassion, concern and clinical care for all our patients”.
“Having regard to that duty the hospital will comply with the law as provided for in the act,” it concluded in the brief note.
The article continues, (C) concerns had been raised last month when one of the members of the hospital’s board of governors and board of directors told the Irish Times that the Mater could not comply with the laws.
“The Mater can’t carry out abortions because it goes against its ethos,” Fr Kevin Doran said. “I would be very concerned that the Minister [for Health, James Reilly] sees fit to make it impossible for hospitals to have their own ethos.”
The Mater is one of 25 ‘appropriate institutions’ named in the act where legal terminations can take place when a woman’s life is in jeopardy.
Meanwhile, the Department of Health has said the Act has still not commenced.

So what happened? What has caused this change of heart?  One has to ask, did Minister for Health James Reilly or one of his minions, see fit, as Fr Kevin Doran feared, to make it impossible for this Catholic Hospital, and by extension every Catholic Hospital, to have their own ethos?

This actually begs further questions. Are we now living in a dictatorship and a very anti Catholic one at that? Are we entering into a new phase of penal laws, this time not imposed by a foreign power but by our own people?

I have news for James Reilly and for Taoiseach Enda Kenny. Our sons and daughters are precious human beings, our own flesh and blood. We will not permit you to take their lives for any reason let alone the imposition of an ideology or the dictates of our European masters. We will not bow down to your tyranny, we will resist in every possible, lawful, way and ‘we shall overcome some day’. We will work to change your unjust laws but we shall do so justly. Truth always prevails in the end

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Misleading article refers to a so called 'post-fertilisation contraceptive'

The Daily Mail recently published an article saying that according to researchers women should be offered a so called ‘after-sex contraceptive pill’ that they claim could ‘prevent pregnancy’ up to a month later.
According to the article researchers are urging drug companies to develop a version of the Pill that would disrupt a pregnancy after the egg and sperm had joined to create an embryo.

In plain language, this is not contraception, it is abortion.
Once fertilization has taken place a new embryo exists and any substance used to end the life of that new human being can and should be termed an abortifacient.

Neither are these headlines based on any new drugs, or even research. Instead they focus on a controversial opinion piece calling for research to be carried out into what the researchers falsely term ‘a post-fertilisation contraceptive'.
The controversial opinion piece was published in a pro abortion journal ‘the Journal of Family Planning and Reproductive Health Care’.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

New Irish Referendums on Seanad abolition and creation of a new Court of Appeal

I have grave concerns about the implications of the two referendums the Irish Government have arranged to be held on October 4th, in relation the abolition of the Seanad (Senate) and the creation of a new Court of appeal.
I am reprinting below a copy of a news release I received from Nora Bennis
Dear Friends of Life and the Family,
Our worst fears about the consequence of a yes vote in the upcoming two referenda appear to be confirmed by Michael McDowell (former Attorney General) in his article in the Sunday Independent of 22/9/13.  The two referenda are intrinsically linked.

He states a yes vote will “amend the terms of Article 29 [of our Constitution] to give the Dail sole power WITHOUT HOLDING ANY REFERENDUM to surrender our EU veto on corporate tax AND ALL OTHER MATTERS WHERE NOW WE HOLD A VETO….”   The Lisbon Treaty Guarantees gave Ireland a veto on Taxation certainly.  But it also gave us a veto on two other matters – on the Right to Life, Family and Education, and on Security and Defence.   The guarantee on the Right to Life, Family and Education states:

Nothing in the Treaty of Lisbon attributing legal status to the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union or in the provisions of that Treaty in the area of Freedom, Security and Justice, affects in any way, the scope and applicability of the protection of the right to life in Article 40.3.1, 40.3.2 and 40.3.3, the protection of the Family in Article 41, and the protection of the rights in respect of education in Articles 42, 44.2.4 and 44.2.5 provided by the Constitution of Ireland.

If these referenda are passed, the Dail will have sole power, without going to the people in a Referendum, to legislate in the matter of Life, Family and Education.  Enda obviously knew what he was doing when he pushed through his abortion legislation.  He anticipated a yes vote in the upcoming referenda, which would make it impossible for pro-lifers to win any Constitutional challenge to this legislation.

Vivienne Reding, EU Commissioner for Justice, Fundamental Rights and Citizenship, has made it quite clear that she wants to enforce respect for the Charter of Fundamental Rights on all EU member states, and she has been working hard to have member states put a “mechanism” in place which will make this possible.

I have now no doubt that the two referenda being put to the Irish people on October 4th, are part of that “mechanism”.  Once again, our politicians have bowed down to their EU masters.
Nora Bennis

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Back to the Basics: The Main Message on Life and Family at the United Nations

New York, Thursday, September 19th: Alliance Defending Freedom and Incluyendo Mexico joined forces, at the United Nations to highlight alternative approaches to achieve key Millennium Development Goals. The main message, presented by the speakers, Alan Sears President, CEO, and General Counsel of Alliance defending Freedom, Dr. Elard Koch from Chile, Mark Regnerus of the Austin Institute and Guatemala’s First Lady Rosa Leal de Perez, was: Let’s get back to basics to improve education, maternal health, infant mortality, and poverty rates.

“The Universal Declaration of Human Rights affirms that each person has inherent dignity and possesses fundamental universal rights,” said Alliance Defending Freedom President, CEO, and General Counsel Alan Sears. “If we remember and live by this, then the United Nations can truly live out its mission and achieve its Millennium Development Goals of peace and unity among nations.”

The event titled, “Life and Family: A Real Approach to the Millennium Development Goals” focused on four of the eight UN Millennium Development Goals, or MDGs. They can be attained if basic human rights—on which the United Nations was founded—are protected. In sum, strengthening family bonds and respecting life can positively affect these four goals: education, maternal health, infant mortality, and poverty rates.

First Lady of Guatemala, Rosa Leal de Perez, gave the opening remarks and emphasized Guatemala’s commitment to support strengthening the family and protecting sanctity of life.

Director of the MELISA Institute, Dr. Elard Koch, provided solid scientific evidence based on several studies in Chile and Mexico that prove the correlation between higher education and improved maternal health. He also dispelled the erroneous assertion that infant mortality rate drops when abortion is legalized. In fact, throughout different countries, abortion increases up to 10 percent when abortion is legal.

Similarly, Professor of the Austin Institute, Mark Regnerus, discussed the importance of focusing on the family to improve education levels. “We tend to underestimate how much people benefit educationally, economically, and socially from living in stable families,” he concluded.

“Our call to action today is to move toward a brighter future and achieve the MDGs by ‘getting back to the basics,” added Sears. “As we do, we will rediscover and mirror the founding purposes of the United Nations and the enactment of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
For more information, including media resources and full playback of the event, please visit:

For media requests, please contact: Sylvia Franco Garcia, and 305-915-4945.

Monday, September 23, 2013


Vatican Information Services, reports that Pope Francis met with members of the International Federation of Catholic Medical Associations and Catholic Gynaecologists on Friday last September 20th, and spoke of the current paradoxical situation of the medical profession. “On one hand we see progress in the field of medicine, thanks to the work of scientists who passionately and unreservedly dedicate themselves to the search for new cures. On the other hand, however, we also encounter the risk that doctors lose sight of their identity in the service of life”. He referred to the Encyclical Caritas in Veritate to explain that this paradoxical situation is seen also in the fact that, “while new rights are attributed to or indeed almost presumed by the individual, life is not always protected as the primary value and the primordial right of every human being. 

The ultimate aim of medicine remains the defence and promotion of life”. Faced with this contradictory situation, the Pope renewed the Church's appeal to the conscience of all healthcare professionals and volunteers, especially gynaecologists. “Yours is a singular vocation and mission, which necessitates study, conscience and humanity”, he said.

Again, Francis spoke of the “throwaway culture” that leads to the elimination of human beings, especially those who are physically and socially weakest. “Our response to this mentality is a 'yes' to life, decisive and without hesitation. 'The first right of the human person is his life. He has other goods and some are precious, but this one is fundamental – the condition for all the others'”.

Reiterating that in recent times, human life in its entirety has become a priority for the Magisterium of the Church, the Pope emphasised that “goods have a price and can be sold, but people have dignity, they are worth more than goods and have no price”.

Francis asked those present to “bear witness to and disseminate this 'culture of life' … remind all, through actions and words, that in all its phases and at any age, life is always sacred and always of quality. And not as a matter of faith, but of reason and science! There is no human life more sacred than another, just as there exists no human life qualitatively more meaningful than another”.

Friday, September 20, 2013

New Pro-Family, Austrialian Minister for Social Affairs

The Howard Centre for Family, Religion, & Society, parent organization of the
World Congress of Families reports, that the newly appointed Australian Minister for Social Services, Kevin Andrews has been a long time advocate of the importance of the natural family based on marriage and has recently written an article for its publication ‘The Family In America’

Mr. Andrews is a long-time member of the Australian government, first serving as a member of the House of Representatives for the division of Menzies in 1991.  On September 16, Andrews was named the Minister of Social Services in the new conservative, pro-family Abbott government.  In this role, he will administer a number of areas formerly covered by the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services, and Indigenous Affairs, and will be responsible for what an Abbott press release calls “the largest area of expenditure and payments in the Budget.” Andrews was actively involved in World Congress of Families VII: Happy Families, Healthy Economy, chaired by Mary Louise Fowler of the Australian Family Association, held in Sydney, Australia, May 15-18 of 2013.  He and his wife, Margaret, also addressed World Congress of Families I (Prague 1997), II (Geneva 1999), and V (Amsterdam, 2009).   A long-time WCF leader, he was profiled in the April 2010 World Congress of Families News.  Andrews also serves as a special World Congress of Families International Ambassador for the natural family.

The summer issue of The Family in America was titled “Family Policy Lessons from Other Lands,” and in it, Mr. Andrews laid forth his comprehensive “National Family Policy Proposal,” adapted from his new book, Maybe ‘I Do’ – Modern Marriage and the Pursuit of Happiness (Ballan: Connor Court, 2012).  His proposals are based upon two principles: “First, public policy should protect and foster marriage and family; and, secondly, wherever possible, public policy should utilize the family and community organizations, rather than displacing them.”  To support such a policy, Mr. Andrews puts forth four policy goals:
  • “Nations should have an explicit marriage and family policy.” 
  • “They should seek to maintain at least a replacement birthrate.”
  • “National policy should proclaim the ideal of marital permanence and affirm marriage as the optimal environment for the raising of children.”
  • “The policy should value family stability and reinforce personal and intergenerational responsibility.”

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Overpopulation Is Not the Problem

In a rare departure from the perceived status quo the New York Times has published a critique on the so-called conventional wisdom that tells us that the earth is over populated and that unless we reduce population we are headed for disaster.
The following opinion piece, by Erle C. Ellis who is an associate professor of geography and environmental systems at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, and a visiting associate professor at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design, appeared in the NY Times on September 9th  
BALTIMORE — MANY scientists believe that by transforming the earth’s natural landscapes, we are undermining the very life support systems that sustain us. Like bacteria in a petri dish, our exploding numbers are reaching the limits of a finite planet, with dire consequences. Disaster looms as humans exceed the earth’s natural carrying capacity. Clearly, this could not be sustainable.

This is nonsense. Even today, I hear some of my scientific colleagues repeat these and similar claims — often unchallenged. And once, I too believed them. Yet these claims demonstrate a profound misunderstanding of the ecology of human systems. The conditions that sustain humanity are not natural and never have been. Since prehistory, human populations have used technologies and engineered ecosystems to sustain populations well beyond the capabilities of unaltered “natural” ecosystems.

The evidence from archaeology is clear. Our predecessors in the genus Homo used social hunting strategies and tools of stone and fire to extract more sustenance from landscapes than would otherwise be possible. And, of course, Homo sapiens went much further, learning over generations, once their preferred big game became rare or extinct, to make use of a far broader spectrum of species. They did this by extracting more nutrients from these species by cooking and grinding them, by propagating the most useful species and by burning woodlands to enhance hunting and foraging success.

Even before the last ice age had ended, thousands of years before agriculture, hunter-gatherer societies were well established across the earth and depended increasingly on sophisticated technological strategies to sustain growing populations in landscapes long ago transformed by their ancestors.

The planet’s carrying capacity for prehistoric human hunter-gatherers was probably no more than 100 million. But without their Paleolithic technologies and ways of life, the number would be far less — perhaps a few tens of millions. The rise of agriculture enabled even greater population growth requiring ever more intensive land-use practices to gain more sustenance from the same old land. At their peak, those agricultural systems might have sustained as many as three billion people in poverty on near-vegetarian diets.

The world population is now estimated at 7.2 billion. But with current industrial technologies, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations has estimated that the more than nine billion people expected by 2050 as the population nears its peak could be supported as long as necessary investments in infrastructure and conducive trade, anti-poverty and food security policies are in place. Who knows what will be possible with the technologies of the future? The important message from these rough numbers should be clear. There really is no such thing as a human carrying capacity. We are nothing at all like bacteria in a petri dish.

Why is it that highly trained natural scientists don’t understand this? My experience is likely to be illustrative. Trained as a biologist, I learned the classic mathematics of population growth — that populations must have their limits and must ultimately reach a balance with their environments. Not to think so would be to misunderstand physics: there is only one earth, of course!

It was only after years of research into the ecology of agriculture in China that I reached the point where my observations forced me to see beyond my biologists’s blinders. Unable to explain how populations grew for millenniums while increasing the productivity of the same land, I discovered the agricultural economist Ester Boserup, the antidote to the demographer and economist Thomas Malthus and his theory that population growth tends to outrun the food supply. Her theories of population growth as a driver of land productivity explained the data I was gathering in ways that Malthus could never do. While remaining an ecologist, I became a fellow traveler with those who directly study long-term human-environment relationships — archaeologists, geographers, environmental historians and agricultural economists.

The science of human sustenance is inherently a social science. Neither physics nor chemistry nor even biology is adequate to understand how it has been possible for one species to reshape both its own future and the destiny of an entire planet. This is the science of the Anthropocene. The idea that humans must live within the natural environmental limits of our planet denies the realities of our entire history, and most likely the future. Humans are niche creators. We transform ecosystems to sustain ourselves. This is what we do and have always done. Our planet’s human-carrying capacity emerges from the capabilities of our social systems and our technologies more than from any environmental limits.

Two hundred thousand years ago we started down this path. The planet will never be the same. It is time for all of us to wake up to the limits we really face: the social and technological systems that sustain us need improvement.

There is no environmental reason for people to go hungry now or in the future. There is no need to use any more land to sustain humanity — increasing land productivity using existing technologies can boost global supplies and even leave more land for nature — a goal that is both more popular and more possible than ever.

The only limits to creating a planet that future generations will be proud of are our imaginations and our social systems. In moving toward a better Anthropocene, the environment will be what we make it.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Advocates push for global decriminalization of abortion at UN side panel meeting in Geneva and ignore the right to life enshrined in U.N. documents

Geneva; Tuesday Sept 18th at the 24th session of UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, the Kingdom of the Netherlands and the Permanent Mission of Finland hosted a side event, urging the global decriminalization and legalization of abortion. The official title of the event was, “Decriminalization of Abortion: A human rights imperative.” The meeting was also addressed by representatives from both the Human Rights Council and the World Health Organization together with representatives from two international non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that advocate abortion on demand.

During her presentation Krystyna Kacpura from Poland representing the pro-abortion ASTRA network bewailed the fact that recent developments from Macedonia, Poland and Lithuania show that these countries are turning away from abortion which she falsely claimed is a serious threat to women’s right to health. Poland, she said has one of the most restrictive anti-abortion laws in the world but is still seriously considering the introduction of further limitations.
Kacpura bemoaned the fact that the law, as she sees it, is even harsher in reality than on paper, in that it punishes service providers and pro-abortion counselors and allows for conscientious objection of medical personnel and even hospitals. She conceded however that women themselves do not face any charges.
Kacpura claimed that abortion is actually a very simple and safe procedure and that the only way to make abortion hazardous for women is to criminalize it.
Despite evidence to the contrary from Chile and Poland Kacpura claimed that ‘highly restrictive abortion laws do not generate lower abortion rates’.

It is ironic that a side event like this would take place at the United Nations during the Human Rights Council bearing in mind that the Convention on the Rights of the Child in its preamble asserts that, “The child by reason of his physical and mental immaturity, needs special safeguards and care, including appropriate legal protection, before as well as after birth” and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights tells us in  Article 3, “Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.” The Universal Declaration also tells us that, “Recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world.”

 Kacpura’s presentation unintentionally confirmed that many European countries are turning away from the dangerous and deadly practice of abortion on demand but it is clear that officials in international organizations are still are not willing to respect national sovereignty and that they continually ignore the mounting scientific evidence revealing how abortion hurts women.

Globally, more studies are verifying that abortion not only destroys an unborn child but also hurts women. Induced abortion poses both short- and long-term risks to the physical health of women. It can also seriously affect mental health. These risks are exacerbated when abortion is legalized or promoted in countries with poor maternal health care.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Failure to prosecute doctors for sex selection abortions in the UK causes outrage

We reported last week on the failure of the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) in the UK to prosecute abortionists who broke the law by carrying out sex selection abortions. Dr Peter Saunders in a new article says, ‘if the CPS won’t do its job then concerned citizens will step in. The CPS was giving the message that people wanting sex-selective abortions should come to Britain and that if the law is not upheld it will be increasingly flouted by unscrupulous people.’

It has not been an easy two weeks for Keir Starmer (pictured), the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).
When it emerged on 4 September that the Crown Prosecution Service, which he heads, would not be bringing charges against two doctors who had been caught authorising abortions purely on grounds of gender, the outrage was immediate.

Within hours the Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said that sex selection abortions were ‘completely unacceptable’ and called for the Attorney General Dominic Grieve to seek an ‘urgent clarification’ about the decision.

The following day Lord Macdonald, the former DPP, described the decision as ‘very dubious’ and amounted to letting doctors ‘avoid criminal action’ because of their professional status - undermining the basic principle that ‘everyone is equal under the law’.

The CPS then made the situation worse by arguing that it was down to doctors to ‘interpret the law’ and that they had ‘wide discretion’ to assess whether a termination is legal or not. Although there was enough evidence to bring a prosecution it was not in the public interest to do so, they claimed. The matter was more appropriately a matter for the General Medical Council (GMC).

This led the GMC to distance itself from the CPS’s decision, insisting that, as a professional regulator, it should not be seen as a ‘substitute’ for the criminal justice system and is not there to ‘punish doctors’.

Emily Thornberry, Labour shadow attorney general, then wrote to the DPP to request an urgent review of the decision. She cut right to the heart of the issues at stake (full text here):

‘The GMC is a regulator and cannot bring criminal proceedings. The provisions of the Abortion Act 1967 are crystal clear. The conduct of abortions for reasons not stated in that Act is a criminal offence, not just a regulatory one. To decide not prosecute because a regulator can hear the matter instead is to disapply the law and undermine the will of Parliament.’

David Burrowes, a Tory member of the all-party parliamentary Pro-Life Group, then raised the issue in the Commons. He said: ‘There is urgent need for a statement to clarify whether the restrictions on choice in the Abortion Act are now meaningless.’

This led to the Prime Minister expressing concern in response to a parliamentary question from Tory MP Nadine Dorries.

Mr Cameron praised The Daily Telegraph for highlighting ‘this important case’ and said it was ‘absolutely right’ that the doctors could face ‘professional’ consequences.

This weekend 50 MPs supported the Health Secretary’s call for the matter to be urgently investigated.

In a letter to the Daily Telegraph they called the decision a ‘step back in the fight for gender equality’ and accused the DPP of usurping parliament’s role:

‘The decision by the CPS could lead to the conclusion that gender-specific abortion is merely a matter of professional misconduct rather than illegal. This is clearly unconstitutional as it is for Parliament to legislate to change the law, and it has occurred without recourse to Parliament. Safeguards in the 1967 Abortion Act need to be properly applied and enforced. Doctors are not above the law and the General Medical Council cannot be a substitute for the courts.’

Other critics have accused the DPP of ‘double standards’ over abortion laws and operating a policy ‘worthy of Alice in Wonderland’.

Last Friday the Christian Legal Centre said it was preparing for a private prosecution against the two doctors.

‘We are preparing for a private prosecution or judicial review, but we may do both,’ said chief executive Andrea Williams. ‘We will not let the matter go.’

I was asked to comment and said to the Telegraph that if the CPS won’t do its job then concerned citizens will step in. The CPS was giving the message that people wanting sex-selective abortions should come to Britain and that if the law is not upheld it will be increasingly flouted by unscrupulous people.

By failing to act the DPP has signalled that Britain is open for business as far as sex selection abortions are concerned.

I can’t ever recall any issue related to abortion uniting those across the political spectrum in the way this has done. It has brought prolife activists and prochoice feminist factions together in an extraordinary way resulting in Keir Starmer attracting the wrath of all sides.

Now all the heat is on the DPP to explain fully why he has not upheld the will of parliament. We are all waiting.

Monday, September 16, 2013


Vatican Information Service (VIS) reports that Pope Francis sent a message to participants in the 47th Social Week for Italian Catholics, which will be held from 12 - 15 September in Turin, to commend their choice of the theme “The Family: Hope and Future for Italian Society” and for linking the family with these two concepts. The Pope also commented that for the Christian community, the family is “a path for generations through which faith, love and fundamental moral values are transmitted, as well as concrete solidarity, hard work, patience, and also plans, hope, and future. All of this - which the Christian community lives in the light of faith, hope and charity - it has never kept to herself, but every day it becomes leaven in the dough of society, for the greater common good.”
The tradition of the Social Weeks began in 1907 and one of its promoters was the blessed Giuseppe Toniolo. This will in fact be the first Week convened since his beatification on 28 April 2012. The Weeks are proposed as high profile cultural and ecclesiastical initiatives which aim to face and, if possible, anticipate the at times radical challenges posed by the evolution of society.

“Hope and future”, writes the Pope, “presuppose memory. The memory of the elderly gives us the support we need to continue on our path. The future of society ... is rooted in the elderly and the young: the latter because they have the strength and youth to carry history forward, and the former because they are the source of living memory. A population that does not take care of the elderly and of children and the young has no future, because it abuses both its memory and its promise”.
“As the Church, we offer a concept of the family rooted in the Book of Genesis, of the unity in the difference between man and woman, and the fruitfulness of this complementarity, and we recognise it as an asset for all, as the first natural society. … The family understood in this way remains the first and principle building block of society and of an economy on a human scale. … The consequences, positive or negative, of decisions of a principally cultural or political nature in relation to the family touch upon the various areas of the life of a society and a country”.

In his message, Pope Francis reiterated that we cannot ignore the suffering of many families caused by a lack of employment, housing problems, the fractures that may develop within a family or a marriage, and “the violence that unfortunately lurks and does damage inside our homes”. However at the same time, he concluded, we must remember the “simple, but beautiful and courageous witness given by many families, who experience matrimony and parenthood with joy, illuminated and supported by the grace of the Lord, without fear of facing the moments of the cross that, lived in union with the Lord, do not obstruct the path of love, but rather make it stronger and more complete”.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Following criticism of abortion law Finland's Interior Minister meets with MCCL GO

Finland’s Interior Minister sparked uproar in Finland in July by sharply criticizing the country’s liberal abortion laws. In a speech to a Lutheran missions gathering in Kankaanpää in southwestern Finland, Interior Minister Päivi Räsänen lamented that animals have more protection in Finland than unborn human babies.
In her speech she highlighted the fact that Finland and Sweden are the only two western European countries that do not allow health care workers the right to refuse to participate in an abortion. Dr. Rasanen also noted that Finnish law provides that animals must be slaughtered painlessly, but unborn human beings have no protections from the excruciating pain of an abortion.

Citing Acts 5:29, she also noted that one may face situations “… where we must weigh our actions, whether we are ready to go against public opinion, peer pressure and even law if these contradict the Word of God.” The archbishop and two bishops of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland (CoF) wasted no time in declaring that she does not speak for that Church.

In a July 12 letter to the Finnish paper HBL (Huvudstadsbladet), Räsänen  clarified her position, writing, “In my own case, as a doctor, I have had to consider the relationship between abortion law and my own convictions. However, one can avoid performing an abortion, and, with this the closure of a small human life, by resigning from his post.”

“Nor,” Räsänen  continued, “… have I called for breaking the law, but instead sought to bring about a change in the law which would allow a conscience protection for health care professionals so that they would not be forced to abort a pregnancy.”

Following her groundbreaking speech, which brought severe criticism from many of her colleagues, the Director of Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life Global Outreach (MCCL GO)Scott Fischbach recently met with Dr. Rasanen in the Finnish Parliament House. The two leaders discussed abortion in Finland and Minnesota as well as fetal pain and the detrimental effects of abortion on women’s health.
In a statement issued following the meeting Fischbach said.
“It is a real honor to meet with the Interior Minister of Finland today. Her courage to speak out for the unborn from the highest levels of government is very noble. Igniting a national conversation about abortion and keeping the human rights cause of life in front of the people is a tremendous victory!”
According to an MCCL GO statement nearly a quarter of all Minnesotans can trace Finnish ancestry in their heritage and 23 percent are Lutherans in faith.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Human Rights Council side event on ‘Preventable Child Mortality and Morbidity and Human Rights’

The World Health Organisation recently issued a study on ‘mortality among children under five years of age as a human rights concern’ and the Human Rights Council will, during its current 24th session, debate a resolution on the issue. In this context an important side event on ‘Preventable Child Mortality and Morbidity and Human Rights’, took place on Tuesday 10 th September.

Ms Bernadette Daelmans of the World Health Organisation (WHO) presented an outline of the WHO report on under 5 mortality and told the meeting that Just under 7 million under-five children died in 2011; nearly 800 children every hour but that this represented substantial progress towards achieving MDG4 in that about 14 000 fewer children died every day in 2011 than in 1990, the baseline year for measuring progress. Ms Daelmans told the meeting that globally, under-five mortality has decreased by 41%, from an estimated rate of 87 deaths per 1000 live births in 1990 to 51 deaths per 1000 live births in 2011. This decline translates into an average annual decrease in child mortality of 2.5%, which remains insufficient to achieve the MDG4 target of reducing under-five mortality rates by two-thirds between 1990 and 2015. Numbers of under-five deaths have declined from nearly 12 million in 1990 to 6.9 million in 2011.

Ambassador Yvette Stevens of Sierra Leone told the meeting that significant progress has been made in her country resulting in under 5 mortality being reduced by 50 %.  The improvement according to Ambassador Stevens related to improvement in Public health issues such as access to medicines, clean water and hospital delivery of newborn babies.

Dr David Olayemi explained that there are 6 geopoitical zones in Nigeria and that conditions vary in the different zones. He told the meeting that malnutrition is a major health and development issue that contributes to as much as 53% of the under 5 mortality.

Professor Paul Hunt of the University of Essex told the meeting the UN had done an incredible job in drafting and agreeing a large number of International human rights instruments but that the right to health needed to be mainstreamed. He also called for technical guidance to help in the mainstreaming. He said technical guidance on child mortality would be a terrific way forward but it is a two way street and the various actors needed to listen to one another.

Following the formal presentations when the chairman opened the floor for questions. The panel were thanked for their contributions and reminded that the preamble of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) tells us that the Child by reason of his mental and physical immaturity, needs special safeguards and care, including appropriate legal protection, before as well as after birth which raised some critical questions.

1.     Why is the largest and most vulnerable group of children, the approximately 45 million unborn babies who are slaughtered every year, ignored when preventable child mortality is under discussion?  Surely, they were told, this is contrary to the provisions of the CRC and in point of fact represents a double standard.

2.     The panel were also asked to explain how legislating for abortion improves child mortality the whole point of which is to terminate babies’ lives resulting in a direct increase in child mortality? In this context the panel were asked if this is not also contrary to the whole concept of prevention of child mortality.

The chair on hearing the questions decided to wait for a number of additional questions, before any answers were attempted, by the panel and a number of questions ensued on issues such as communicative and non communicative diseases.

The two questions remained unanswered except for a reference by the WHO representative, who referred to the problem of maternal mortality instead of dealing with the issues raised.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

UK Crown Prosecution Service double standards on abortion prosecutions

Sex selection abortion is common in India and China but this phenomenon also exists in western countries including the UK. We reported in early 2012 on a Daily Telegraph article relating to two sting operations, which had established that female feticide is also practiced in UK abortion clinics.  We reported at the time that Andrew Lansley, the Health Secretary had passed a dossier of the alleged malpractice at the clinics in question to the police and the General Medical Council.

The Telegraph reported last week, under the banner "Gender abortions: criminal charges not in 'public interest' says CPS", that despite the overwhelming evidence the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) have decided not to take action and that it would not be in the public interest to do so.
This decision clearly shows that there is a double standard in the implementation of the law in the UK when it comes to abortion.
Paul Tully of the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC)  in a statement said,
The announcement by the Crown Prosecution Service that it is not going to charge doctors for offering ‘sex-selection’ abortion smacks of a politically influenced decision.

There is little appetite in the pro-life movement for vindictive prosecution of doctors or others who kill babies, but we should expect the rule of law to be upheld, fairly and justly.
Dr Peter Saunders, chief executive of the Christian Medical Fellowship, who was among those who complained to police, said: “We seem to have a situation where, at the whim of the CPS, procedures that are clearly laid out in the Abortion Act can be completely disregarded by doctors and the NHS.

“That seems to put doctors above the law and raises questions about the CPS upholding the will of Parliament.

“We seem to have doctors being allowed to reinterpret the law with apparent impunity — it is quite extraordinary.”

On the other hand the CPS is very quick to take criminal proceedings against pro-life demonstrators as has been reported  by the Telegraph on Monday Sept 9th

Monday, September 9, 2013

Spanish government poised to change abortion law; Report

Associated Press reported last week that Spain's Justice Minister says the conservative government will present by the end of October its proposed changes to the country's abortion law, with the amendments expected to introduce new restrictions on pregnancy terminations.

See Star Tribune article.

Alberto Ruiz-Gallardon said in a recent interview with Radio Nacional de Espana the alterations "will be in line with the Popular Party's longstanding position" on abortion, though he did not elaborate.

The Popular Party has long sided with the Catholic Church on moral and social issues, and fought the previous Socialist government's 2010 abortion law scrapping restrictions up to the 14th week of pregnancy.

Changing that law was one of the Popular Party's main election promises in a 2011 ballot that brought it to power. Its parliamentary majority enables it to pass legislation despite other parties' opposition.

Over 250,000 people signed a petition last year seeking to repeal the country's liberal abortion law that replaced the 1985 one, following reports that abortion levels had dramatically increased ever since that legislation was approved.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Premature baby found abandoned in garbage behind New Jersey apartment block report on a sad case of a premature baby found abandoned and left to die in the garbage disposal area behind an apartment building in Jersey City, New Jersey. 

The baby, according to the report, was rushed to the Jersey City medical centre and is reported to be in a stable condition and gaining weight.

The report reads as follows,
A new born baby is lucky to be alive after it was abandoned and left inside a garbage bag dumped behind a Jersey City apartment building, officials said.

Police were dispatched to a 5-story apartment building on Kensington Avenue around 3 p.m. to a report of an abandoned baby boy who was found in a garbage container, Hudson County Assistant Prosecutor Gene Rubino said.

The baby was rushed to be treated at the Jersey City Medical Center, said Rubino, adding that its condition at this time is unknown.

No additional information was release as officials with the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office Special Victims Unit and Jersey City Police are continuing their investigation.

The building supervisor, Arturo Rivas, who called the police said he was told of the find by three teenage boys who were playing in the building’s courtyard and heard the baby crying.

Rivas’s wife, Rebecca Womers, said she rushed to retrieve the child after the teenage boys ran up to their apartment and said “We hear something crying, we see something moving.”

“I opened the bag from the bottom and it still had the umbilical cord attached,” she said.

Womers said she cleaned the baby and noticed its chest was moving as she waited for Emergency Medical Service personnel to arrive on the scene.

She said no one in the apartment building that she knows of was pregnant and said she has no idea who could have left the baby in the trash.

Rivas said he usually kicks the teenage boys out of the courtyard but today he said “thank God they were back there.” 
This is a particularly sad case since New Jersey is one of the States that actually has a safe haven law known as the ‘Safe Haven Infant Protection Act’, which allows for anonymous Drop-Off For Unwanted Infants.
The Safe Haven Infant Protection Act allows an individual to give up an unwanted infant safely, legally and anonymously. The parents — or someone acting on their behalf — can bring a baby less than 30 days old to any hospital emergency room or police station. The Division of Child Protection and Permanency will take the child into custody and place the infant in a foster or pre-adoptive home

Thursday, September 5, 2013

CSO figures show fall in births for first three months of year

According to a report in, Ireland’s Central Statistics Office (CSO) figures show fall in births for first three months of 2013.
The number of babies born in the first quarter of the year was down 9% from the same time in 2012, official figures have revealed.

The Central Statistics Office (CSO) showed a total 17,563 births were registered in January, February and March – down from 19,313 in the first quarter of last year.

The figures indicated an annual birth rate of 15.3 births per 1,000 people - down from 16.9 in the first quarter of 2012.

Geographically, the highest birth rate was recorded in Fingal, at 19.6 births per 1,000 people, while Donegal had the lowest at 11.4 per 1,000.

The CSO Vital Statistics First Quarter 2013 report also revealed that 36.5% of all births were registered outside of marriage.

Of those 6,406 births, 3,685 were to parents living together but not married.

More than half the babies born in Limerick City were born to unmarried parents, while Leitrim recorded the lowest portion of babies born outside of marriage.

While fewer births were recorded across Ireland in the first quarter of 2013 compared with the same time last year, the number of deaths increased.

Some 8,347 deaths were registered in the first three months of the year – up 4.6% from the same period in 2012.

The new figures represent a death rate of 7.3 per 1,000 people.