Friday, 19 December 2008

Deadly agenda for US and the world prepared for Obama presidency

As Barack Obama prepares to become the 44th President of the United States next month it is not just Americans who should be concerned by the inauguration of a man who holds such extreme anti-life views.

Few politicians anywhere espouse policies as extreme as Mr Obama’s. In 2001, when as a member of the Illinois State senate, he repeatedly voted against a law requiring medical personnel to give treatment to babies who survived abortion.

In no sense could the survival of a child after an abortion be considered a threat to his or her mother yet Mr Obama believed helping such a baby to live would undermine the legal right to abortion. Explaining his opposition to the Illinois Born Alive Infant Protection Act he said:

"...whenever we define a pre-viable fetus as a person that is protected by the equal protection clause or the other elements in the Constitution, what we're really saying is, in fact, that they are persons that are entitled to the kinds of protections that would be provided to a – child, a 9-month-old – child that was delivered to term. …

"I mean, it – it would essentially bar abortions, because the equal protection clause does not allow somebody to kill a child, and if this is a child, then this would be an anti-abortion statute..."

Although he sought to avoid the issue of abortion once he had secured his party's nomination, the abortion industry has not forgotten that he told them "...the first thing I’d do as president is, is sign the Freedom of Choice Act."

While the US Supreme Court's ruling in Roe v Wade made legal efforts to limit abortion virtually impossible, a number of regulations have been successful in gradually reducing the abortions figures in recent years. The Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA) would remove these. It could end the bar on the the use of tax-payer's money to provide abortions, dispense with waiting periods and inform consent requirements and as well as parental notification laws of States where clinics are prevented from carrying out secret abortions to underage girls.

An insight into the radical agenda influencing the incoming US government is provided by “Advancing Reproductive Rights and Health in a New Administration,” a memorandum signed by 60 or so pro-abortion organisations, including International Planned Parenthood Federation, the biggest promoter of abortion in the world, and a group which calls itself Catholics for Choice.

Despite its publication by the Obama-Biden transition team on the President-elect official website, it is unlikely that such a detailed and wide-ranging paper was intended to be seen by the public. It is so precise in its demands that it even contains draft wording of executive orders the abortion industry wants Mr Obama to sign within the first 100 days of his presidency. It also lists abortion advocates suitable for government jobs and the names of those the abortion lobby would like to see appointed as judges to federal courts.

Amongst its demands is coverage in any tax-payer-subsidised national health care programme. Such a programme would almost certainly compel all major hospitals, including Catholic hospitals to provide abortions. Other proposals made in the 55-page document include:
  • a dramatic increase in the funding for birth control clinics from its present $300 million to $700 million in the next financial year;
  • allocation of $50 million on "comprehensive" sex-education promoting abortion and abortifacients birth control, while stripping abstinence-only sex-education programmes of all funding;
  • $20 million to be spent on teenage pregnancy programmes;
  • $10 million for the promotion of the morning-after pill;
  • removal of budgetary restrictions on abortion in the federal sector, such as military facilities and prisons;
  • "reinvigoration” of the National Task Force on Violence against healthcare providers, code for getting tough on pro-life opposition at abortion facilities;
  • the appointment of only pro-abortion judges and officials;
  • re-establish liasion between women's groups and the White House; and
  • a review the Federal Refusal Rule proposed last August aimed at protecting medical personnel who object to involvement in abortion.
This last point is crucial since more and more doctors and medical staff want nothing to do with abortion. The abortion lobby realises that legalised abortion is of limited value if doctors are not available to perform the opperation. For its own survival, the abortion industry must ensure that doctors with a conscientious objection to abortion must be legally compelled to facilitate them.

In the international arena the authors of the memorandum want Mr Obama to:
  • allocate $1 billion in funding for birth control and abortion programmes;
  • give $65 million to the UNFPA, which is complicit in coercive abortion through its involvement in China’s coercive one-child policy;
  • “reclaim” US leadership in the field of women's health in developing nations by providing $900 million for maternal mortality action, including action against so-called unsafe abortion - a public relations spin for pressuring governments of poor nations to legalise abortion;
  • meet the Bush administration's spending plans on HIV/AIDS programmes but integrate birth control programmes with AIDS prevention schemes (Bush’s pledge not to support programmes which do not oppose prostitution should, however, be revised)
  • issue new guidance on USAID policy so that it can fund programmes involving abortion.
And finally, the memorandum calls on Mr Obama to press for US ratification of the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women or CEDAW treaty. The CEDAW implementation committee is notorious for its attempts to bully countries into liberalising their abortion laws. It has repeatedly called upon the UK government to impose the Abortion Act upon the people of Northern Ireland. Ratification of the CEDAW treaty will be an early warning that the US is ready to use its wealth and considerable influence to pursue the goal of making access to abortion a human right. Although the CEDAW treaty does not mention abortion, its reference to "reproductive rights" is constantly, albeit wrongly, interpreted by the CEDAW committee to include the right to legal access to abortion.

If Barack Obama complies with each of these demands the effects will be felt for a generation not just in the US but across the globe. As I wrote recently the world is facing a time of unprecedented danger. This danger is intensified when leading world figures such as Tony Blair, (who refuses to repudiate, since his reception into the Catholic Church, the anti-life laws and policies he supported and promoted as prime minister and as a Member of Parliament) and Cherie Blair (who has a long track record of supporting anti-life groups and anti-family causes which she has failed to disown) appear to be manipulating the Catholic Church, which is the largest organization worldwide with a mission to defend human life and the family.

Wednesday, 17 December 2008

Join the pro-life resistance by supporting SPUC's White Flower appeal

Every January (in England and Wales) many Catholic churches have for thirty years held SPUC's White Flower appeal, when the Society explains the importance of pro-life issues, details SPUC's work and appeals for your financial help and personal support. It is particulary important for Catholics to support the White Flower Appeal this coming January in the light of intensified attacks by the culture of death not only upon life itself, but also upon pro-lifers who speak out without equivocation, not least those seeking to uphold or exercise a conscientious objection to abortion.

I think particularly of teachers and parents "whose lives are made difficult"* as a result of government policy to provide children under the age of 16 with access to abortion, without parental knowledge or consent, including in Catholic schools.

In the face of another (but by no means unrelated) culture of death, viz., Nazism, in 1937 Pope Pius XI issued the encyclical Mit brennender sorge ("With burning sorrow"). In it the Pope exposed the Nazis'
"[s]ecret and open measures of intimidation, the threat of economic and civic disabilities, [which] bear on the loyalty of certain classes of Catholic functionaries, a pressure which violates every human right and dignity."
He expressed his compassion for Catholics persecuted for opposing the anti-life Nazi state, who "have often to face the tragic trial...of being hurt in [their] professional and social life", and commended them for their "heroisms in moral life". He warned that:
"The resulting dereliction [by Nazism] of the eternal principles of an objective morality, which educates conscience and ennobles every department and organization of life, is a sin against the destiny of a nation, a sin whose bitter fruit will poison future generations."
Far from bowing to the state, he called upon Catholics to "counter these erroneous developments [Nazism] with an uncompromising No from the very outset".

This year 2008 marked the 65th anniversary of the trial and execution of the leaders of the White Rose Society, a group of Christian students at Munich University who, with the moral support of courageous Christian shepherds, resisted Nazism. These students read the famous 1941 sermon by Clemens August von Galen, Catholic bishop of Munster, against the Nazi euthanasia programme. One of the group, Hans Scholl, stated in the spring of 1942: “Finally someone has the courage to speak”. Bishop Galen's protest prompted and encouraged Hans Scholl and fellow student Alexander Schmorell to write their own anti-Nazi leaflets in June-July 1942. Bishop von Galen was hailed as "The Lion of Munster" for his resistance to Nazism, was honoured after the war by being made a cardinal and was beatified (declared "Blessed") in 2005 by another German pro-life church leader, Pope Benedict.

The students took a white rose as their symbol, to represent purity and innocence in the face of evil. Pictured here is Hans Scholl (left), Sophie Scholl (centre), and Christoph Probst (right) with a white flower between them. (The 2005 film 'Sophie Scholl - The Last Days' has won many awards.) SPUC adopted the same symbol for both our organisation and our annual appeal.

So please help SPUC build an heroic resistance to today's culture of death by supporting SPUC's White Flower Appeal. You can help in a number of ways: speaking to local Catholic parish priests about holding an appeal at their church (if they aren’t already doing so), supporting our parish organisers by handing out appeal materials and collecting donations, or reading the appeal talk or bidding prayers. Contact me at johnsmeaton@spuc.org.uk for more information.

*A phrase from Pope John Paul II's prayer in Evangelium Vitae, 105

Guardian censors comments criticising eugenicist Peter Singer

Peter Singer, the world's most prominent anti-life philosopher, has written an article in today's Guardian on the subject of AIDS in South Africa. Singer's argument is that Thabo Mbeki, the former South African president, is responsible for the deaths of thousands of South Africans because of his policy on the cause of AIDS and on the use of anti-retroviral drugs.

An hour or so ago I was informed that in the online version of Singer's article, one commentator named "ContraSign" left the following comment at 10:25am:
"Whatever the rights and wrongs of Mbeki and AIDS, Peter Singer, who supports infanticide and euthanasia, is no person to lecture anyone about saving human lives. The death toll from Singer's eugen(i)cist ideas would dwarf any death toll attributable to Mbeki."
A few minutes later, ContraSign's comment was replaced with the message:
"This comment has been removed by a moderator. Replies may also be deleted."
ContraSign then posted the following comment at 10:49:
"Why has the moderator deleted my comment questioning Peter Singer's locus standi in a debate about saving human lives, based on his well-documented support for eugenics and the likely consequences of it? If my comment was unacceptable, why is stevehill's comment on the Pope acceptable?"
(ContraSign was referring to another, uncensored comment which claimed that the Pope, like Mbeki, is also responsible for hundreds of thousands of deaths, because the Catholic Church prohibits the use of condoms, including within marriage where one spouse is HIV-positive.)

Soon after, ContraSign's complaint was again replaced with the message:
"This comment has been removed by a moderator. Replies may also be deleted."
What a tragedy it is that the Guardian only seems interested in saving lives on politically fashionable issues like AIDS, important though that is - whereas the plight of disabled people threatened by Singer's ideas is hushed up.

Please support ContraSign, and the right of people to challenge Peter Singer's credibility on the subject of saving human lives, by emailing a complaint to userhelp@guardian.co.uk