Saturday, 5 July 2008
Scottish Cardinal's new "Cry of alarm" on abortion amendments must be heard by other religious leaders
Friday, 4 July 2008
…Not quite so sobering as the spring 2008 issue of Progressio’s own publication Interact, in which a development worker working with Progressio’s partner La Dignas writes of her desire to make a documentary about ‘the serious consequences of the total criminalisation of abortion’ in El Salvador.
Not only is Progressio being promoted among worshippers at St George’s Cathedral, Southwark, it is listed in the Catholic Directory under “International/Third World Catholic Agencies”. Catholics have a right to expect agencies that claim any connection with the Catholic Church to uphold the Church’s teachings on sexuality and the sanctity of life. Agencies that fail to do so have no place looking for support in a Catholic cathedral.
Thursday, 3 July 2008
The amendments attempt to remove safeguards on abortion, such as a second doctor's signature and specified medical grounds on all early and mid-term abortions. The amendments would also allow abortion providers to use nurses and midwives to perform abortions instead of doctors and allow abortions to be performed in a wider range of health care centres. SPUC has posted an analysis of the effect of the two main pro-abortion amendments here.
Anthony Ozimic, SPUC political secretary, has commented today: "These amendments are trying to say that abortion is no different to other medical procedures. But it is vastly different. The pro-abortion MPs insist that abortion is a woman's right to choose but there is no right, either in law or in ethics, for patients to demand a medical procedure with no medical benefit, let alone one which kills another human being, and may harm themselves.
"There is no legal requirement for abortion providers to offer counselling or tell women about alternatives to abortion. These amendments promote the abortion providers' 'conveyor belt' approach which denies women the opportunity to consider fully the gravity and possible consequences of an abortion. It will leave many women vulnerable to pressure and even coercion to have an abortion they don't want.
"An increasing proportion of doctors are refusing to be complicit in abortion, many for ethical reasons. Removing restrictions on abortion will place considerable pressure upon medical staff with a conscientious objection to abortion. Nurses and midwives should not be pressured to become abortion practitioners. Dumping abortion work on nurses and midwives will also put women's lives at risk, as they are not equipped to deal with emergencies that will arise during an abortion.
"It is expected that some MPs will also table amendments to restrict abortions in certain ways. If this happens MPs must be wary not to get embroiled in a trade-off, agreeing to sacrifice some babies in order to help others. SPUC therefore urges MPs with pro-life sympathies not to promote amendments on abortion, as Parliament's pro-abortion majority may well use the Report stage as the opportunity for a new settlement on abortion which will lead to more, not fewer, deaths of unborn children."
Cardinal Keith O'Brien, archbishop of St Andrews and Edinburgh, has written to all MPs, also urging them to vote against the pro-abortion amendments. The full text of his letter can be read below:
My dear Member of Parliament
As you may know, I recently had the opportunity of visiting the Houses of Parliament, of celebrating Mass and preaching in St Mary Undercroft, and of hosting a reception in the Scotland Office. This visit had been pre-arranged, but occurred shortly after the debate on the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill. This is a Bill, as you will be very much aware, which deals with extremely sensitive and controversial issues.
You will be aware also of the opposition I have expressed on behalf of my Church and many others to specific aspects of the bill specifically around inter-species embryos, abortion, saviour siblings and the role of fathers. These have been dealt with in Committee stage albeit not favourably from my perspective.
I wish now, however, to ask you to consider seriously any proposals at Report stage which would make early abortion more readily available. We already have a shamefully high level of abortions in the UK which continues to climb. This cannot be good for anyone involved in the whole process and I ask you respectfully to vote against measures which would exacerbate the situation.
I know that there is still no date set for the Report stage of the Bill. I am aware, however, that amendments have been put down to allow abortion on request up to 24 weeks gestation, with approval needed from one doctor only and a further amendment to allow nurses and midwives to perform abortions. These amendments do reflect very sadly on our society at this present time.
I would hate to think that as I myself grow older, I will look back at the passage of the legislation and ask myself whether or not I did everything possible to fight for the right to life of the unborn. Consequently, I am asking you to seriously use your conscience at this time and let that be your guide as to how you will vote in the short time which lies ahead concerning this Bill.
You are in my thoughts and prayers.
Yours sincerely in Christ
+ Keith Patrick Cardinal O’Brien
Archbishop of St Andrews and Edinburgh
Monday, 30 June 2008
Siobhan experienced 50 seconds of freefall and then descended the rest of the way by parachute for eight minutes. Though admitting to terror before the jump, afterwards she wanted to do it again.
Siobhan writes: "I think it is vital that society understands and appreciates the sanctity of every human life whether it is a developing child in the womb or somebody approaching the end of their life. When I graduate and become a doctor I am hoping to be able to use my skills to help save lives. I think abortion is never the answer and hope that one day, as a doctor, I will be able to help women to make the right decision."
Two years ago, Siobhan, of
Recommended Standards for Sexual Health, a government-endorsed document, has intensified pressure on doctors and nurses and is putting more unborn babies at risk from abortion. The document demands access, without hesitation or delay, to abortion and to "morning-after birth control". These are drugs and devices which may cause an early abortion only days after conception.
The document steps up pressure on health professionals to provide these so-called services which promote the killing of unborn children. It also includes a thinly-veiled warning of severe punitive action against health care professionals who break a strict code of secrecy concerning abortions for children under 16.
SPUC recently also criticised Recommended Standards for Sexual Health for being part of government policy to fast-track abortions. Figures for
Anne Fearon, Siobhan's mum, left, has written a vivid and witty account of the day. Our website has a page with more about the event and details of how to sponsor the jumpers.