Sunday, 9 July 2017
Janice Turner ("We need to be one nation on abortion abortion law", Juy 1) trots out all the hard cases where an emotional response of sympathy for the woman's plight is secured. Perhaps it is worth repeating the old adage that hard cases make bad law. Moreover, women can be deeply psychologically scarred by abortion and there is no quick fix for that.
In essence the issue is simple: are we hell-bent on killing unborn babies? And if so, can we still call ourselves a civilised society? The answer to the first question seems to be in the affirmative and to the second in the negative. People of faith and of no faith know that, given a chance, the embryo or foetus will become a baby. It is a chance that they don't get from the abortionists. Members of the pro-choice lobby would never be able to make any choice if they had not been allowed to be born
THE REV JOSEPH WALSH
St Andrews Cathedral, Glasgow"
Thank you for your leadership, Father.
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Monday, 20 March 2017
I want to begin by giving you my definition of the pro-life movement. I would define the pro-life movement as follows: “People of good will who adhere to the natural law written on their hearts and who organize themselves in one way or another to work to uphold both in law and in the consciences of mankind the value and inviolability of every human life” Amongst such people of good will, I would include, in particular, in my definition, in particular, faithful Catholics and faithful Catholic Church leaders. My reason for my singling out faithful Catholics and faithful Catholic leaders is as follows:
As I said in my address on same-sex marriage to the Cleveland Right to Life Convention two years ago, over the past forty to fifty years in Britain and throughout the world, the pro-life movement has had some important achievements, it has saved many lives and it has protected the welfare of countless mothers and fathers. However, the most notable achievement of the pro-life movement is that we exist. Yes, pro-life organizations have enjoyed successes and saved lives. But, brutally realistically, we’re tiny – compared with the overwhelming reach of the culture of death. Our international pro-life and pro-family movement cannot defeat the culture of death on our own –as the experience of so many countries all too eloquently and tragically testify, as, one after another, they succumb to pressure from the most powerful countries in the world to make abortion lawful for one spurious or unjust reason or another.
Pro-life organizations, our families and the wider community need urgently to be reinforced by the prophetic and unequivocal voices of Catholic Church officials, bishops and priests throughout the world preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ – for three reasons: firstly, because without Christ we cannot do anything; secondly, because the full Gospel message about the truth and meaning of human sexuality and the sanctity of human life, teaching which is also part of the natural law written on all human hearts, is, as St Pope John Paul II put it in his encyclical Evangelium Vitae, “the source of invincible hope and true joy for every period of history” and priests and bishops, through the sacrament of ordination to the priesthood and episcopacy, have a God-given charism to proclaim that full Gospel message, a charism recognized by the faithful and by many in the secular world too. The sheep recognize true shepherds. Thirdly, the intimate connection between the truth and meaning of human sexuality and the sanctity of human life is nowhere more fully spelled out than in Catholic teaching – and all people of good will are capable of understanding that intimate connection.
Therefore, the two top strategic objectives of the pro-life movement must be, firstly, to proclaim uncompromisingly the moral law on the sanctity of human life and on the truth and meaning of human sexuality and, secondly, to encourage and to assist bishops and priests who are prepared to act on their Christ-given mandate to lead mankind in that uncompromising proclamation.
The reason why bishops are especially needed in the proclamation of this Gospel, is that they, above all, are ordained for that role by Christ. As Pope John Paul II put it in Evangelium Vitae, number 82:
“Faced with so many opposing points of view, and a widespread rejection of sound doctrine concerning human life, we can feel that Paul's entreaty to Timothy is also addressed to us: ‘Preach the word, be urgent in season and out of season, convince, rebuke, and exhort, be unfailing in patience and in teaching’ (2 Tim 4:2). Pope John Paul II continues: “This exhortation should resound with special force in the hearts of those members of the Church who directly share, in different ways, in her mission as ‘teacher’ of the truth. May it resound above all for us who are Bishops: we are the first ones called to be untiring preachers of the Gospel of Life. We are also entrusted with the task of ensuring that the doctrine which is once again being set forth in this Encyclical is faithfully handed on in its integrity. We must use appropriate means to defend the faithful from all teaching which is contrary to it.”
To my good pro-life colleagues who argue that we should keep churches and, in particular, the Catholic Church, out of the pro-life battle, I respectfully put the question: “Have you truly understood our problem?”
Firstly, the destruction of human lives experienced during the past half century as a result of abortion alone is completely unprecedented in recorded human history.
Secondly, many of the moral principles by which people have lived throughout virtually the whole of recorded human history are being systematically outlawed by the legislatures of powerful nations and unjust laws are being all but imposed on less powerful nations and States worldwide, as Obianuju Ekeocha of Culture of Life Africa made clear in her stunning address yesterday. Think of the moral law that parents are the primary educators of their children; or of moral laws governing sexual behaviour; or of the increasingly successful efforts, in relation to the sanctity of human life, to outlaw medical professionals’ conscientious objection to abortion and euthanasia.
Thirdly, those same moral laws are being rejected in ordinary families worldwide, and the code of morality by which the overwhelming majority of people have lived throughout the history of Christendom is being transformed, including within our own Catholic communities and families, especially on matters relating to the sanctity of human life and sexual ethics: Think, for example, of the widespread acceptance amongst our Catholic families of cohabitation, of the acceptance or refusal to criticise homosexual relationships, of the acceptance of birth control including abortifacient birth control, of the acceptance of legalised abortion in certain circumstances, of the acceptance of explicit sex education in schools, and of in vitro fertilisation and euthanasia.
There is no way, humanly speaking, that pro-life groups on our own can reverse or move on from this great paradigm shift in our culture and from the culture of death in which our children live and breathe. Pro-life groups urgently require uncompromising moral leadership and teaching authority and all kinds of human and spiritual resources far greater than our own. This is a time of great hope for America and for the world. You have a president who appears to be absolutely committed to appointing judges to the Supreme Court who will overturn Roe v Wade. What a tragic, historic error it will be for America and for the world if pro-life leaders and church leaders do not use this miraculous moment to proclaim in their statements and policies support for State-wide legislation which seeks to defend, equally, the sanctity and dignity of every human life conceived, whatever the circumstances. My reading of President Donald Trump is that he hasn’t exactly been fainthearted in proclaiming his various policies, whatever anyone may think of this policy or of that policy – and as far as I know, he’s not believed by some to be a plaster-cast saint. Now that President Trump has put himself out there for unborn children and for their mothers, this is not the time for pro-lifers and church leaders to be fainthearted in the war against abortion in proclaiming the moral law and the full truth about the sanctity of human life.
However, there’s a problem. The very body which by divine gift possesses that power of moral leadership and teaching authority to proclaim this message, the Catholic Church, is currently experiencing an unprecedented crisis of faith itself which is resulting in terrifying confusion on even the most fundamental Catholic doctrines – such as the Real Presence, the sanctity of life and sexual ethics.
Arguably our top priority, therefore in the war against abortion, is to work to dispel this apparently almost overwhelming crisis of faith – including amongst the Church’s most senior pastors – and the resultant moral confusion which obscures the Church’s beautiful teaching even more.
No less a person than St Pope John Paul II declared this to be a top priority – in Evangelium Vitae, number 95, when he said:
“We need to begin with the renewal of a culture of life within Christian communities themselves. Too often it happens that believers, even those who take an active part in the life of the Church, end up by separating their Christian faith from its ethical requirements concerning life, and thus fall into moral subjectivism and certain objectionable ways of acting. With great openness and courage, we need to question how widespread is the culture of life today among individual Christians, families, groups and communities in our Dioceses.”
What Pope John Paul II is clearly saying here is that we are living at a time in history when we need to question what is happening in the Church courageously, openly, and with love, including the need, clearly, to correct our pastors.
In raising our concerns regarding our pastors, of necessity sometimes publicly, we are fulfilling our duty as clearly laid out in the Code of Canon Law, which states:
“According to the knowledge, competence, and prestige which they possess, they [the Christian faithful] have the right and even at times the duty to manifest to the sacred pastors their opinion on matters which pertain to the good of the Church and to make their opinion known to the rest of the Christian faithful, without prejudice to the integrity of faith and morals, with reverence toward their pastors, and attentive to common advantage and the dignity of persons.” (Canon 212 §3)
In charity, as I say, we need to correct our pastors, including, at this particular time in history, our Holy Father, with reverence and with attention to common advantage and the dignity of persons.
On 1st September 2016, in a message to mark the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation, Pope Francis has said that he was “gratified” by the Sustainable Development goals. These goals call on member states to “ensure universal access to sexual and reproductive health” by 2030. The term “sexual and reproductive health”, as generally defined, includes access to contraception, including abortifacient methods, and, often, other forms of abortion. In a message entitled “For the celebration of the world day of prayer for the care of creation” Pope Francis stated that he was “gratified that in September 2015 the nations of the world adopted the Sustainable Development Goals, and that, in December 2015, they approved the Paris Agreement on climate change”.
The United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals, agreed by nation states in September 2015, consist of 17 goals and 169 targets, which will determine the direction of international aid and action until 2030. These goals were endorsed by the Paris Agreement on climate change.
The Sustainable Development Goals call on member states to: “ensure universal access to sexual and reproductive health care services, including for family planning, information and education, and the integration of reproductive health into national strategies and programs” (Goal 3 Target 7)
In addition, the Vatican has recently published a sex education programme to be used in educational institutions. This programme appeared after Pope Francis’s blunt call for sex education in his Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia. The Vatican programme is appalling and plays straight into the hands of the pro-abortion lobby who are using sex education programmes worldwide to introduce our children and our grandchildren to the culture of death and to entrench abortion on demand for another generation.
I want therefore to move straight on to the matter of the sex education lobby because the war against abortion not only depends on the unambiguous proclamation of the full Gospel message on the sanctity of human life and its implications, it also depends on our building an ever clearer understanding of how the culture of death develops its reign of darkness in the world.
In particular, we need to understand that, through the sex education lobby, our pro-abortion opponents are seeking to darken the consciences of the young generation on matters relating to the sanctity of human life. They are doing this through the classroom and through a worldwide effort to destroy people’s understanding of Catholic teaching and of the natural law, also embodied in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, on parents as the primary educators of their children.
For example, in 2011, at the Commission on the Status of Women at the UN in New York, the International Planned Parenthood Federation, the Population Council and other pro-abortion groups held a meeting to launch worldwide a massive programme of so-called comprehensive sex education entitled: “It’s All One Curriculum". The curriculum shows itself to be nakedly polemical rather than educational. It states:
“People can support or join movements for social change at the global level. For example: ...youth-led networks for sexual and reproductive rights and services." (p.231)
“Reproductive rights and services” is defined by IPPF and by western governments worldwide as including the right to abortion and contraception – unrestricted by the values or the faith of the teacher, and unrestricted by parents. Note carefully that international powers are not only opposing parents as the primary educators, they are seeking to manipulate young people so that young people see themselves as the educators of their parents.
And on page 61 of their curriculum guidelines they advise educators: “Certain social movements promote greater equality and dignity within marriage. These include: movements to legalize same-sex marriage"
In the same document, International Planned Parenthood Federation tell teachers of young children that sexual self-abuse is a human right. They say:
“Sexuality may be expressed by oneself ... Sexuality — expressed alone...can be a source of pleasure and meaning in life. (p.84) “ ... Masturbation is an important way that people learn about their bodies and sexuality ... Masturbation is a safe sexual behavior. It is neither physically nor mentally harmful." (p.99)]
And in a thinly-veiled warning to teachers that they must not obstruct children’s so-called sexual rights but that they must obstruct parents as the primary educators of their children, IPPF states on Page 81 of “It’s All One Curriculum”: "An educator’s own values should not interfere with teaching about sexuality ... Use respectful terms...particularly in regard to same-sex attraction, sexually active girls, and young people who do not conform to conventional gender norms ... Teachers must...respect their confidentiality."
The battle over the lives and consciences of our children and grandchildren is well advanced and, tragically, our opponents have the support of many bishops and bishops’ conferences throughout the world as well as high level Vatican support in their efforts to undermine parents as the primary educators of their children worldwide, as I will continue to explain.
In November 2015 a workshop was organised by the Pontifical Academy of Sciences which discussed how to “use children as agents of change” in pursuing sustainable development and the environmental agenda. One of the participants was Jeffrey Sachs, who has played a leading role at Vatican conferences and workshops on these matters no less than ten times in the last few years.
Jeffrey Sachs headed the Sustainable Solutions Network, which was involved in the process of drafting the Sustainable Development Goals which call for increased access to abortion and contraception worldwide, under the guise of calling for “universal access to sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights”.
Jeffrey Sachs has made a plea for legalizing abortion as a cost-effective way to eliminate “unwanted children” when contraception fails in his 2008 book Commonwealth: Economics for a Crowded Planet.
The Pontifical Academy of Sciences’ workshop explicitly cited the papal encyclical Laudato Si, as the basis for its work and in truth such efforts seem to be endorsed by the encyclical in paragraphs 13 and in paragraphs 209-215.
I repeat: the subject of the Vatican Workshop last November was “using children as agents of change” in pursuing sustainable development and the environmental agenda – an agenda which puts access to abortion and contraception as a top priority to be implemented by nations worldwide.
Laudato Si makes no reference to parents as the primary educators of their children. I foresee that using children as agents of change in pursuing sustainable development and the environmental agenda will very soon become a required part of school curricula throughout the world. Have no doubt that the worldwide population control powers-that-be, led by people like Jeffrey Sachs, will make their influence well and truly felt in shaping those school curricula.
We are seeing exactly the same pattern here as I noted in the International Planned Parenthood Federation’s sex education programme It’s All One Curriculum in which teachers are guided to manipulate young people in order that young people see themselves as the educators of their parents on making abortion and contraception freely available.
It is also gravely disturbing that the Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia contains a subsection bluntly entitled “The Need for Sex Education”, which is found in the chapter entitled “Towards the Better Education of Children”. It is of similarly grave concern that neither this subsection nor the wider chapter makes any reference to the role of parents in the provision of sex education; rather reference is made only to “educational institutions”. The clear implication is that sex education is something to be carried out by “educational institutions” and not by parents.
A brief reference to the general rights of parents as primary educators of their children can be found in Amoris Laetitia but it is more than one hundred pages earlier, in an unrelated chapter, and makes no reference there to sex education. It is difficult to find a good reason to explain why this affirmation was not included in the twenty pages specifically about education, and particularly why such reference was excluded from the section on the “The Need for Sex Education”, given that it is in precisely this area that parental rights are both so endangered and yet so vital.
Tragically, all too many bishops and bishops’ conferences around the world have allowed or encouraged sex education programmes in Catholic schools which are designed to prepare young people for both access and use of the reproductive health industry.
The approach adopted in Amoris Laetitia is already having devastating consequences on real parents and children. Parents, I hear, were told by the diocese of Nashville, Tennessee that they could not withdraw their children from a pornographic and morally corrupting sex education programme in their Catholic school. The diocese turned to the “imperatives ... reflected in Pope Francis’ recent exhortation Amoris Laetitia” to provide grounds on which to defend their “presenting” what they call “a clear, accurate explanation of human sexuality in the context of theology class”.
There is in fact an urgent need today to reassert that sex education is, as Pope John Paul II taught in Familiaris Consortio, “a basic right and duty of parents” that “must always be carried out under their attentive guidance, whether at home or in educational centres chosen and controlled by them.”
The pro-life movement, in its task of upholding the sanctity of human life in the consciences of mankind, must unite in mobilizing parents in defence of their children and in defence of their role as primary educators of their children. The Society for the Protection of Unborn Children in the UK is seeking to mobilise parents to defend their role as their children’s primary educators through our Safe at School project – which works by directly alerting parents and encouraging them to check what is being taught in their local schools. We are also doing so through our work in Voice of the Family, an international coalition of 26 pro-life and pro-family groups, lending our practical support to courageous church pastors, bishops and cardinals of the church, who are prepared, like His Eminence Cardinal Burke, to follow Christ and the injunction of St Paul regarding unity: “One Lord, one faith, one baptism” (Ephesians, 4:5)
What else must the pro-life movement do to succeed in the war against abortion. My dear pro-life friends, we must be radical. We must get to the roots of the worldwide culture of death catastrophe we are experiencing.
I believe that the pro-life movement need urgently to study the empirical evidence which shows that one of the greatest catalysts of the culture of death has been the abandonment of the natural law relating to human sexuality and sexual ethics.
In her book, Adam and Eve after the Pill – Paradoxes of the Sexual Revolution, Mary Eberstadt, research fellow at the Hoover Institution, describes the teaching of Pope Paul VI in Humanae Vitae on the regulation of birth, published on July 25, 1968, as “perhaps the most unfashionable, unwanted, and ubiquitously deplored moral teaching on earth”. She then goes on to show that the teaching of Humanae Vitae is in fact the “most thoroughly vindicated” moral teaching on earth “by the accumulation of secular, empirical, post-revolutionary fact”. In this connection, Mary Eberstadt cites Nobel-Prize winning economist George Akerlof. In a 1996 article in the Quarterly Journal of Economics, Akerlof explains “why the sexual revolution, contrary to common prediction …[has] led to an increase in illegitimacy and abortion”. Mary Eberstadt in Adam and Eve and the Pill also says: “The years since Humanae Vitae have … vindicated the encyclical’s fear that government would use the new contraceptive technology coercively”.
In Humanae Vitae Pope Paul VI prophesied that coercive birth control by governments would result from couples’ decisions in the privacy of their married lives to separate the procreative and unitive dimensions of the marriage act. When we consider the fulfilment of this papal prophecy, our minds naturally turn to China or to India or to other countries whose cruel policies are well known throughout the world. However, we should also think of our own countries: nations in which our pro-life movement has taken root – in the West, in Eastern Europe and elsewhere. Once again, I refer to anti-life sex education programmes which seek to eliminate the role of parents as the primary educators and protectors of their children? These programmes are intended to be a form of coercion on our families, funded and backed by our governments, and also tragically backed by all too many Catholic bishops in various parts of the world, including I am sorry to say in England and Wales, and they are resulting in schoolchildren being given access to contraception and abortion including without the knowledge of their parents.
One of the world’s leading advocates of abortion, contraception and mass sterilization, Paul Ehrlich, was even invited to speak at the Vatican last month at yet another scandalous event held by the Pontifical Academies of Science and Social Science.
After two billion abortions and rising, the greatest slaughter in recorded human history, it is necessary that our pro-life groups, church leaders and priests urgently review the extent to which the separation of the procreative and unitive dimensions of the sexual act has been a catalyst for the culture of death which is advancing in every nation on earth:
This separation of the procreative and unitive dimensions of the sexual act is advancing the culture of death through contraceptive drugs and devices which, other than barrier methods, according to the manufacturers, include very early abortion in their modes of action;
This separation of the procreative and unitive dimensions of the sexual act is advancing the culture of death through in-vitro fertilisation, which involves the instrumentalisation of the human embryo and the destruction or loss of up to 23 human embryos for every one baby born alive;
This separation of the procreative and unitive dimensions of the sexual act is advancing the culture of death through same-sex marriage which, amongst many other things, makes it virtually impossible for pro-life movements to oppose in-vitro fertilisation without being seen as the enemy of those with homosexual inclinations who demand the right to a child through IVF procedures; and
This separation of the procreative and unitive dimensions of the sexual act is advancing the culture of death through sex education, so relentlessly promoted by powerful western nations, and by tax-funded non-governmental organisations, and, tragically and increasingly, by the surrender of the leadership of the Catholic Church – a surrender which is so completely devastating for our families.
The war against abortion, and in order to achieve lasting success for our pro-life political campaign, must be built on rock, on the natural law, a law which is written on the hearts of every man and woman, and a law which is confirmed by Catholic teaching and which binds human beings of all faiths and none.
Church leaders, local priests, Cleveland Right to Life and my group, SPUC, and our many fellow pro-life groups worldwide need also urgently to review the consequences of the abandonment of the natural law in relation to legislative campaigns and law-making. Indeed, I appeal to US pro-life leaders and church leaders radically to review strategic approaches to legislative campaigns and law-making. Given the scale of the catastrophe we are experiencing, in terms of the number of lives destroyed this past 50 years, the greatest catastrophe in the recorded history of humanity, we urgently do need to consider whether the more or less universal policy pursued by pro-life groups of campaigning for laws which expressly permit the killing of certain unborn children needs to be completely abandoned: for example laws which expressly permit unborn children to be killed in the case of rape, or disability, or before the human heart begins to beat.
Unjust laws which expressly permit the killing of babies for any reason contain the seeds of their own destruction. Neither the American people nor lawmakers will be convinced about the inviolability and sanctity of every human life if our witness to that is inconsistent.
In Evangelium Vitae, Pope John Paul II reminded the faithful that a law which permits the killing of certain unborn children is not a law at all. It’s an unjust law which, in the words of St Thomas Aquinas “ceases to be a law and becomes instead an act of violence” . Pope John Paul II, in this connection, cites the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith and its 1974 Declaration on Procured Abortion which states: “In the case of an intrinsically unjust law, such as a law permitting abortion or euthanasia, it is therefore never licit to obey it, or to "take part in a propaganda campaign in favour of such a law, or vote for it" .
The meaning of this statement quoted in Evangelium Vitae, number 73, is 100% clear, and yet pro-life leaders, myself included in the past, have backed legislative changes which of themselves expressly permit abortion in certain circumstances on the basis that such legislative changes are an improvement on an existing law and will save lives. Campaigns for legislative changes of this kind send the message to friends and opponents alike that abortion can be the right thing to do. Is it not likely that one of the reasons why the evil of abortion is so overwhelmingly accepted in particular circumstances by our fellow citizens, including our fellow Catholics, is that pro-life groups have almost universally been prepared to accept legalised abortion ourselves in certain circumstances?
Many of us have justified our campaigns in support of unjust laws by quoting the very next paragraph of Evangelium Vitae, number 73, where Pope John Paul II famously wrote: “A particular problem of conscience can arise in cases where a legislative vote would be decisive for the passage of a more restrictive law, aimed at limiting the number of authorized abortions, in place of a more permissive law already passed or ready to be voted on … In a case like the one just mentioned, when it is not possible to overturn or completely abrogate a pro-abortion law, an elected official, whose absolute personal opposition to procured abortion was well known, could licitly support proposals aimed at limiting the harm done by such a law and at lessening its negative consequences at the level of general opinion and public morality. This does not in fact represent an illicit cooperation with an unjust law, but rather a legitimate and proper attempt to limit its evil aspects.”
For over two decades perhaps the majority of pro-life and church leaders have interpreted this paragraph as meaning that politicians may vote for, and campaigners may campaign for, laws which of themselves expressly permit abortions. But this is contrary to reason. In the paragraph immediately preceding this one, Pope John Paul II wrote: “In the case of an intrinsically unjust law, such as a law permitting abortion or euthanasia, it is … never licit to obey it, or to "take part in a propaganda campaign in favour of such a law, or vote for it".
According to Aristotle, in his Metaphysics, “the principle (or law) of non-contradiction is the firmest.” Aristotle says that “without the principle of non-contradiction we could not know anything that we do know” . On the basis of the principle of non-contradiction, therefore, it’s not possible for this statement to mean both that one can vote for an unjust law and, at the same time, that one cannot vote for an unjust law – on the basis of one’s motives in doing so or for any other reason.
In other words, pro-life leaders and philosophers need to stop tying themselves up in knots trying to work out what Pope John Paul II meant when he wrote about limiting the harm of existing legislation; instead, we should simply recognise and follow the unchanging and unchangeable truth taught by the Catholic Church that an unjust law ceases to be a law at all and becomes instead an act of violence for which it’s never permissible to campaign or to vote.
Imagine a member of a national legislature putting forward legislation to stop the killing of white children and doing so in a legal form expressly permitting the killing of black children. It would clearly be wrong to vote for such a law and to campaign for such a law, however many lives, allegedly, such a law might save.
I believe that the pro-life movement throughout the world should take careful note of the Stop Abortion Citizens’ initiative in Poland which was supported by nearly half a million Polish citizens and sought to make abortion in Poland completely unlawful.
In launching their initiative Ordo Iuris and their pro-life allies were seeking to implement Article Three of the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights which upholds the right to life.
Article Two of the UNDHR states “Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.” And Article Six states: “Everyone has the right to recognition everywhere as a person before the law.” After the tragic experience of the Second World War and Nazi Germany, the drafters of the Universal Declaration wanted to ensure that legislators could never again treat a particular group of people as “non-persons”, such as unborn children.
The right to life of unborn children is also upheld in the 1959 Declaration on the Rights of the Child and in the 1989 Convention on the Rights of the Child which states in its preamble: “Bearing in mind that, as indicated in the Declaration of the Rights of the Child, "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".
Currently Poland permits abortion in certain circumstances. The logical outcome of legalised abortion in certain circumstances is that abortion becomes available in all or any circumstances. The only thing which really protects society's weakest, most vulnerable human beings, are moral absolutes. Once legislators accept that it's OK directly to kill an innocent child in the womb, the defence against killing any unborn child is torn away.
What is being done in Poland by Ordo Iuris and their pro-life allies is to make the idea of stopping abortion completely in Poland completely normal - because it really is normal not to kill children. What Poland is doing, in its strongly pro-life culture, we must work towards doing in Britain, in America, in Ireland and everywhere.
The aim of the pro-life movement and Catholic Church and other Christian leaders must be openly to campaign for the end all abortion not only in our statements, but also in the legislative policies which we support.
Ordo Iuris with their Stop Abortion Initiative has done what virtually no-one in 50 years of the pro-life movement has done. They have put before the world legislative proposals and a vision, a realistic vision based on the moral law written on human hearts, in which every single human life is guaranteed his or her right to life by law. It’s a vision which future generations will take for granted. Future generations will look back at what is happening today with horror and utter disbelief.
Now is the time for the US pro-life movement and church leaders to rethink their strategies which expressly exclude certain babies for protection. I am thrilled that Cleveland Right to Life and your fellow pro-life groups in your newly-launched Right to Life Action Coalition of Ohio have seized this historic moment for America, with a president apparently committed to appointing pro-life judges to the Supreme Court, and you have decided to pursue the war against abortion with no exceptions and with no compromise. You have decided to build your legislative strategy to defend unborn children on the rock of the natural laws and not the shifting sands of political deal making. I am reminded of the words of our Saviour, Jesus Christ, in the Gospel of St Matthew Chapter 7, verses 24 – 27:
“Every one therefore that heareth these my words, and doth them, shalle be likened to a wise man built his house upon a rock.
“And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and they beat upon that house, and it fell not, for it was founded on a rock.
And every one that heareth these my words and doth them not, shall be like a foolish man that built his house upon the sand.
And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and they beat upon that house, and it fell, and great was the fall thereof”
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Sunday, 15 January 2017
His publication 'What's Wrong with Abortion' was what convinced me personally in 1973 that defending the lives of unborn children was the greatest human rights struggle of the 20th century.
I know that all of SPUC's supporters will join me in thanking and congratulating Professor Scarisbrick on his incomparable work for unborn children and their mothers. For over 45 years through the work of Life, Professor Jack Scarisbrick has built a compassionate and life-saving network of support for mothers facing hardship during pregnancy. His work has been a jewel in the crown of the pro-life movement in Britain.
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