Saturday, 25 April 2009

Mrs Clinton praises eugenicist birth control promoter

Mrs Hillary Clinton has confirmed that, when her government speaks of reproductive health, that term includes access to abortion. The US secretary of state was talking to the House of Representatives' foreign affairs committee. She also praised Margaret Sanger (1879-1966), the birth-control advocate. Representative Christopher Smith pointed out in the committee that Ms Sanger had been a eugenicist and asked Mrs Clinton to confirm that the Obama administration would promote abortion overseas. Her replies suggested that it would.

Mr Smith later said: "It is evident that Mrs Clinton and President Obama want to force the tragedy of abortion upon women around the world especially and including in countries where democratically elected leaders want to continue to protect their unborn children. There are other ways in which both mother and baby are protected, cared for and helped - with food, nutrition, clean water and life-affirming healthcare. Secretary Clinton's inability to see this will mean more babies will die and more women will suffer the consequence of abortion as a result of US foreign policy overseas."

Mrs Clinton recently received an award named after Ms Sanger from Planned Parenthood.

Friday, 24 April 2009

Bishop concerned at human cloning claim

A doctor in Kentucky claims to have implanted cloned human embryos in four women. Dr Panayiotis Zavos (right) says none of the 11 embryos survived, but he reportedly intends to enable a cloned child to be born. Rt Rev Patrick O'Donoghue, the Catholic Bishop of Lancaster, calls the reports disturbing and the alleged activities repugnant. He writes that cloning: "creates a dislocation in the human family; it removes the begetting of children from its true context – the fruit of mutual self-giving in marriage – and turns human children into a manufactured product."

The bishop says that it is mistaken both to support embryo research and to think it can be controlled. Such research involves killing humans and, once it is allowed, demand for embryos soars. He adds: "Some doctors and scientists have condemned Dr Zavos for breaching the widely accepted ban on transferring cloned embryos to the womb. But those who support destructive embryo research while criticising Dr Zavos are laying themselves open to a charge of hypocrisy."

UN racism meeting avoids abortion issue

A current United Nations meeting on racism will not include any pro-abortion language in its final declaration, SPUC lobbyists report. We have had two people at the Durban Review Conference in Geneva and their brief has been to ensure that the so-called outcome document would not be revised at the last minute to include wording which promoted abortion.

SPUC's Peter Smith writes from Switzerland: "At many UN conferences, regardless of the subject matter, there is wording put into the outcome document to promote abortion. That has not happened here and this is good news for pro-lifers."

The conference, which ends today, has been reviewing progress since the 2001 World Conference Against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance.

Hormonal birth control advertised on television

Last night, British commercial television broadcast an advertisement for hormonal birth control pills. Since I'm in Canada speaking at a pro-life conference, I didn't see it, but someone who did tells me that it was an animated cartoon with music, which portrayed a woman whose contraception had failed and who gets Levonelle One Step from a pharmacist. This powerful drug is sometimes called the morning-after pill and a caption on the screen during the ad pointed out that it was not 100% effective.

Colleagues who've been speaking to the media about this move have been at pains to point out that these pills are not just contraceptive in their effect. Publicity from the manufacturer persistently describes them as contraceptive, as does the product's website. Advertising and marketing are supposedly regulated, with manufacturers being told not to make misleading claims. Some ads are infuriating with all their disclaimers and "terms and conditions apply". Nevertheless, the makers of Levonelle can call their product a contraceptive even though their own literature describes how it may also prevent the implantation of the early embryo – thus causing an early abortion.

Regulators and lawmakers can be fierce in restricting what is said in advertising about alcohol and cigarettes because of the damage those things can do to people. By contrast, morning-after pills, which can lead to the death of innocent humans, are now being promoted like aspirin or indigestion cures. Abortion providers want to advertise on TV too and, rather than sending them away with a flea in their ear, the regulators are patiently holding a consultation on the proposal.

Thursday, 23 April 2009

The biology of the theology of the body

A mother of six who has been helping women and men wounded by abortion since 1984 will next month be talking about how human sexuality, ordained by God in its physiology, explains why men and women fall in love and bond to each other. Vicki Thorn, founder and executive of National Office of Post Abortion Healing and Reconciliation and Project Rachel, will give a presentation entitled The Biology of The Theology of The Body. Details of the talks are:
  • Tuesday 12 May, 6:30 pm to 9 pm, Pastoral Affairs Department, Diocese of Westminster, Vaughan House, 46 Francis Street, London, SW1P 1QN, (020) 7931 6064, cathmacgillivray@rcdow.org.uk, admission £5
  • Wednesday 13 May, 7:30 pm, The Cardinal Winning Pro-Life Initiative, 104 Albert Road, Crosshill, Glasgow, G42 8DR, (0141) 433 2680, gospeloflifesisters@googlemail.com, admission free
  • Thursday 14 May, 8 pm (Mass and AGM from 7 pm), Luton Good Counsel, Our Lady Help of Christians Parish Hall, Castle Street, Luton, LU1 3AG , (01582) 411155, lgcluton@yahoo.co.uk
There is a poster about the events on the web.

Wednesday, 22 April 2009

Withdraw flawed abortion guidelines or face judicial review, says SPUC Northern Ireland

SPUC Northern Ireland is calling on Mr Michael McGimpsey MLA (pictured), Northern Ireland’s health minister, to withdraw the flawed guidelines on abortion issued by his department last month, and to have the matter looked at again by the Province’s devolved government.

We're saying that the department’s advice to doctors is so seriously flawed that it is in breach of the law and is warning that doctors who approve abortions on the basis on the guidelines could risk prosecution. In a letter setting out our concerns, we're telling the minister that, if he doesn’t act immediately to address the issue, SPUC will have no choice but to seek a judicial review of the guidance.

Betty Gibson, SPUC’s chairwoman in Northern Ireland, says: “Despite the claims that this guidance won’t change the abortion law in Northern Ireland, it will radically alter clinical practice and undermine the statutory protection for children before birth. The approach adopted by the department regards abortion as just another medical service with administrative arrangements in each health trust area for the referral of women to designated hospitals where abortions are carried out as a matter of routine. In reality there is never any medical justification for deliberately killing a child before he or she is born. That’s why abortion is a criminal offence in Northern Ireland and not a medical procedure.

“We don’t believe the Executive has been presented with all the facts of this matter so we are hoping that Mr McGimpsey will give his fellow ministers the opportunity to examine our concerns and the legal advice we have been given. I hope he will be reasonable and seek to avoid the unnecessary delay and expense of a judicial review. He should, however, be in no doubt of how serious this situation is. Women deserve better than abortion and we will do whatever is necessary to maintain Northern Ireland’s legal protection for women and unborn children."

Tuesday, 21 April 2009

Alert public to TV abortion ads consultation by ordering SPUC's new flyer

The Society for the Protection of Unborn Children has launched a leafleting campaign "Help Keep Abortion Ads Off Our Televisions". We're calling on the public to respond to the public consultation on this matter. The leaflet is pictured right.

Abortion promoters want to advertise on TV and may be allowed to do so by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA). A public consultation is being held and ends on 19th June.

There's no time to lose in alerting the general public and calling on them to respond to this consultation. Please order leaflets now - to give out door-to-door, on the high street, and, with the permission of the clergy, at local churches. Write to me directly to order a quantity - 50, 100, 250 etc - which you are confident you are able to distribute. Write to me at johnsmeaton@spuc.org.uk

TV abortion advertising threatens to further commercialise the killing of unborn children. It would completely disregard the adverse effect of abortion on women's health. Agencies with a financial interest in abortion will be in a position to buy expensive broadcast advertising, whereas groups which provide objective information about abortion and its impact on women's health will be unlikely to afford to advertise.

Bishop Patrick O'Donoghue, the bishop of Lancaster, calls the possibility of TV abortion advertising "another hammer blow to the sanctity of human life in this country" and Archbishop Nichols, the incoming Archbishop of Westminster has said "Advertisements should be truthful and tasteful. I doubt that any intended adverts about abortion would be fully truthful and tell the whole truth of the effects of abortion in a woman's life". He urges people to respond to the consultation.

Monday, 20 April 2009

Sarah Palin is not "pro-choice", she's a human being


I feel sure that most people will admire Sarah Palin's beautifully honest account of how she felt and what she thought when she first discovered she was expecting her son Trig, who has down's syndrome. For a fleeting moment, Sarah Palin, the former Republican vice-presidential candidate said, she considered her "options" - in other words, she considered abortion.

She said: "'I had to ask myself, 'Was I going to walk the walk or was I just going to talk the talk'".

As David O'Steen, executive director of the US National Right to Life Committee, told the Washington Post: "I think every one of us, every human being, has had it go through their mind, the possibility of an act they know is wrong - and then rejected."

Elizabeth Shipp, a US pro-abortion campaigner, is reported as saying: "If I didn't know any better, I'd say governor Palin sounds remarkably pro-choice."

No, Elizabeth. Sarah Palin is not "pro-choice", she's a human being. As Alison Davis, the leader of No Less Human, a disability rights group which campaigns against abortion and other anti-life practices, put it to me today: "I greatly admire Sarah Palin and now I admire her all the more for her honesty. Abortion is permitted in the US for any reason throughout the nine months of pregnancy, so it's no wonder that mothers-to-be under pressure might consider it, even fleetingly. Laws which permit the killing of the unborn put mothers-to-be under inhuman pressure when they are most vulnerable - and that's one of the many reasons why they must be changed."

Sunday, 19 April 2009

Anglican bishop visits SPUC branch


Rt Rev Dr Peter Forster, Anglican Bishop of Chester, spoke recently to the annual meeting of SPUC's Ellesmere Port and Neston branch, which was held at St Winefride’s Catholic church, Neston, Cheshire. Judy Howard, branch secretary, tells me that members were especially pleased that the bishop was prepared to visit them in the week before Easter. She adds: "It is so encouraging that someone of his stature should have become a patron of SPUC Evangelicals and a member of SPUC. He is not afraid to speak out against abortion and the damage it is doing to family life."

Judy is pictured above, second from the right, with the bishop. Next to her are Margaret Unsworth, branch chairman, and Robin Haig, SPUC's national chairman. Also pictured is Anne Fearon, chairman of SPUC Merseyside.