Saturday, 27 June 2009

SPUC in high court in Belfast on Monday

SPUC is seeking leave on Monday (29 June) for a judicial review of the Northern Ireland government's guidance on abortion. The high court in Belfast may make its decision known on the same day.

We argue that the Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety's guidance distorts the law and threatens unborn children.

Please pray for a good outcome.

Comments on this blog? Email them to johnsmeaton@spuc.org.uk

Friday, 26 June 2009

Stunning speech on Obama "the Abortion President"

Chris Smith, the pro-life American congressman, delivered a stunning speech at the National Right to Life annual convention held last week. Do read his important address in full, but below are some key extracts.
  • "[Pro-life work is] a selfless expression of love for the disenfranchised and powerless, absolutely based on the core principles of nonviolence and malice towards none—even for those who actually dismember or chemically poison children to death and euphemistically call it choice.
  • "[The pro-life cause is] the greatest human rights struggle on earth.
  • "The bravest of all in [the pro-life] movement are the post-abortive women who are 'silent no more'. Their voice and message of hope must be heard everywhere and especially by post-abortive girls and women who suffer depression and deep emotional scaring.
  • "Mr. Obama has earned the dubious title of the Abortion President. He talks inclusion, but practices exclusion ... [I]n record time has made the White House the wholly owned subsidiary of the abortion lobby ... [H]is administration is aggressively seeking to reverse virtually every modest pro-life law ever enacted or policy promulgated since Roe v. Wade.
  • "The Abortion President is the master of the art of misdirection. From his speeches we hear soothing, pretty, mesmerizing words loftily summoning us to common ground—common burial ground that is. Obama’s talk of common ground is a trap—a snare—for the gullible and for the nominally pro-life who have emerged as the newest enablers ... pushing a few non-controversial pro-life positions like the adoption option all the while seeking to nullify authentic abortion reducing policies—the real common ground—including public funding bans, women’s right to know laws and parental notice statutes. Both the pro-abortion Alan Guttmacher Institute and pro-life advocates actually agree that prohibitions on taxpayer funding for abortion significantly reduce the number of abortions ... Clinton tried to sell common ground. Gore used it as well. And now our Abortion President is presenting it to the nation as if he invented it. It’s a trap.
  • "As a result of Obama's new policy, pro-abortion organizations are now flush with cash and will continue to get hundreds of millions of dollars annually to push abortion around the world, all of it decoupled from pro-life safeguards ... With little fanfare, the Abortion President has stuffed and is in the process of stuffing the federal bureaucracy from top to bottom with some of the most extreme pro-abortionists on the planet.
  • "[A] new, dark chapter in the Global push for unfettered abortion has commenced ... In light of his coordinated attack overseas, we must do a better job of warning nations in Africa and Latin America in Asia and even Europe that the Global War on Abortion is at their doorstep. Then there is the Obama abandonment of women in China ... Despite the fact that the UN Population Fund has actively supported, co-managed, and white-washed the most pervasive crimes against women in human history, President Obama donated $50 million to the UNFPA ... [T]here are the missing girls—about 100 million—victims of sex selection abortions. This gendercide is a direct result of the one child policy ... Population control blames children for bad governance and the misuse and misallocation of resources. If you want to know where that worldview takes us, just look at China.
  • "[The] Abortion President reversed President Bush’s ban on taxpayer-funded embryo-destroying stem cell research ... embryonic stem cells that kill the donor, are highly unstable, have a propensity to morph into tumors and are likely to be rejected by the patient unless strong anti-rejection medicines are administered...
  • "[Y]ou and I have no other option but to fight. We must be disciplined and alert and wise. And we need to redouble our efforts and recruit new activists here and around the world especially among the young. This is no time for quitters or the faint of heart."
Comments on this blog? Email them to johnsmeaton@spuc.org.uk

Thursday, 25 June 2009

Powerful resistance by doctors' leader to assisted suicide push

Professor Steve Field (pictured), chairman of the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP), has offered powerful resistance to the push for assisted suicide. In an article in The Guardian, he writes:
"I do not believe that assisted suicide has a place in the UK. My argument is not based on a religious belief in the sanctity of life but on a strong belief in the ethical basis of medicine, which is my vocation ...

"If we doctors take on the additional role of taking life, while at the same time treating the patient and protecting their life, it would undermine our credibility, undermine the trust between the patient and doctor and adversely affect the doctor-patient relationship ...

"[A]ssisted suicide is not the answer to the ills of our health system.

"My concern is that the NHS could have an incentive to deny treatment to people who may be deemed too costly."
It is refreshing to read Prof. Field's article, as so often the leaders of the medical profession go along with the anti-life tenor in parliament and the media. It's also refreshing to hear that the Swiss government is considering banning or restricting organised suicide assistance, such as Dignitas. Please forward these two stories to members of the House of Lords, who are due (though delayed) to consider amendments on assisted suicide to the government's Coroners and Justice bill - see SPUC's action alert of 6 June.

Comments on this blog? Email them to johnsmeaton@spuc.org.uk

Wednesday, 24 June 2009

Nixon comments highlight abortion-racism connection

According to recently transcribed audio recordings, Richard Nixon, the late former American president, said that abortion was justified if the unborn child had one black and one white parent. The general public is unaware that racist population control was actually the policy of the Nixon administration. Henry Kissinger, Nixon's Secretary of State, was the author of the infamous NSSM 200 (National Security Study Memorandum 200), which recommended that the United States should promote population control in the developing world in order to secure American interests.

Racism has always been connected with support for abortion. In a letter in December 1939, Margaret Sanger, the founder of the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF), said:
"We should hire three or four colored ministers, preferably with social-service backgrounds, and with engaging personalities. The most successful educational approach to the Negro is through a religious appeal. We don't want the word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population, and the minister is the man who can straighten out that idea if it ever occurs to any of their more rebellious members."
Lothrop Stoddard, one of Sanger's deputies, was a famous white supremacist. Marie Stopes, the founder of the birth control movement, said that if she had the power she "would legislate compulsory sterilization ... of half-castes."

Racism is present today in the activities of the abortion industry. The higher abortion rate among black Americans may have eugenic implications. I'm therefore delighted that the Reverend Arnold M Culbreath will be speaking at this year's SPUC national conference in September. Rev Culbreath, a Baptist, who is urban outreach director of Life Issues Institute, runs Protecting Black Life, which takes the pro-life message to the black community.

Richard Nixon's comments highlight the connection between abortion and racism. Of all people, President Obama, son of a black father and a white mother, should take the publication of Richard Nixon's comments as an opportunity to reflect upon his support for the killing of the unborn.

Comments on this blog? Email them to johnsmeaton@spuc.org.uk

Tuesday, 23 June 2009

The euphemisms of euthanasia

I am grateful to Anthony Ozimic, SPUC's communications manager, for his reflections on the news that the Voluntary Euthanasia Society (VES), rebranding itself Dignity in Dying, now claims that does not campaign for euthanasia or suicide. Anthony writes:
Sarah Wootton (pictured), the VES' chief executive, writing in yesterday's Guardian, claims that:

"[W]e campaign for the choice of assisted dying for the terminally ill within strict safeguards. Not euthanasia. Not suicide ... but the choice of assistance to die for those who are suffering, competent to make the decision and are already dying."

In recent years, the VES' strategy has been to narrow its campaigning targets and soft-soap its public face, in order to allay opposition and thereby get some movement towards the legalisation of assisted suicide and euthanasia. That is the real reason why the VES now calls itself Dignity in Dying, not because it no longer supports euthanasia. The VES' name-change mirrors the name-change of the Hemlock Society in America to "Compassion and Choices".

The duplicity of the VES campaign is further seen in their support of Debbie Purdy's legal challenge. Mrs Purdy's stated aim is to find out how likely it is that her husband will be prosecuted if he assists her to travel to Dignitas in Switzerland. The VES claims that she "would like the option of an assisted death should her suffering become unbearable". Mrs Purdy herself is more explicit:

"Since the 1961 Suicide Act was introduced we have legalised homosexuality and abortion without making them compulsory. We need to look at the law on assisted suicide again and think about how that could be legalised too with proper safeguards in place." [AO: my emphasis]

And Mrs Purdy, who has multiple sclerosis, is not dying, as multiple sclerosis is not a terminal illness. So why is the VES - which has declared that "assisting non-terminally ill adults to die is wrong" - supporting her case? The immediate reason is that the VES is using the case as a lever for the legalisation in the UK of assisted suicide and euthanasia, for both terminally-ill and non-terminally ill persons. The truth of this immediate reason is confirmed by the VES' boast that that it was "involved in drafting the Mental Capacity Act 2005", which enshrined in English law euthanasia by neglect of non-dying, non-competent and non-consenting adults.

The deeper reason for the VES's support for Mrs Purdy's case (and for euthanasia generally) is only hinted at by Mrs Purdy's analogy with legal abortion, but made more explicit in the words and person of Sarah Wootton herself. In her Guardian piece Ms Wootton has described the opposition to so-called assisted dying as "the anti-choice lobby". Dig a bit deeper elsewhere and one discovers that, before coming to the VES, Ms Wootton worked for the pro-abortion Family Planning Association (FPA) and was a founding trustee of Abortion Rights.

So now we know exactly where we are - in the dark world of anti-life euphemism, the hall of smoke and mirrors where unborn babies are re-labelled "products of conception" and killing them is called "terminating an unwanted pregnancy".
So I have no hesitation in awarding Ms Wootton our George Orwell prize.

“Political language ... is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind." George Orwell

Comments on this blog? Email them to johnsmeaton@spuc.org.uk

Monday, 22 June 2009

Pro-lifers hold sponsored vigil against TV abortion ads

SPUC members held a vigil outside the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) in London on Friday to show their concern at proposals to advertise abortion on television. Sponsorship for the vigil will go towards SPUC's campaign against the ASA's proposal. Participants were led by Anne Fearon of Crosby, Merseyside, who said:
"SPUC members from all over the country are anxious to have their voice heard. We do not want adverts for abortion services on TV and radio. This would only lead to more abortions, and there are already around 200,000 every year. Women deserve better than abortion. Whilst abortion providers would have plenty of money to pay for advertising, the pro-life groups would not be able to afford to advertise the alternatives to abortion."
Anne was joined by Peter, her husband, and James and Catherine, their twin son and daughter aged 16. SPUC supporters from London and Oxfordshire also took part, as well as members of SPUC staff, including myself.

A full report by Anne of the vigil, as well as photographs, can been seen on the SPUC website here.

During the vigil, Paul Tully, SPUC general secretary, presented SPUC's submission to the authority's consultation on advertising abortion.

Comments on this blog? Email them to johnsmeaton@spuc.org.uk

Catholic organisations should not invite Cherie Blair

Last Thursday the Apostleship of the Sea (AOS), a Catholic charity for seafarers, invited Cherie Blair (pictured) to launch its annual appeal. The AOS' invitation to Mrs Blair is to be lamented, considering that, in the very same week as Mrs Blair launched the AoS appeal, she continued her campaign against Catholic teaching on the culture of life. In an interview in yesterday's Sunday Telegraph, Mrs Blair said:
"[T]hough I like to think of myself as a good Catholic, I couldn't have had the career I had without contraception. The fact is, even in Spain, France and Italy there must be a lot of Catholics who bend the rules."
And in today's Independent newspaper, Mrs Blair endorses ActionAid, a charity which calls for access to abortion.

I will be writing to AoS about their invitation to Mrs Blair to launch their appeal. You may wish to join to me. Please write to: Captain Paul Quinn, O.B.E, National Director, Apostleship of the Sea, by email paulquinn@apostleshipofthesea.org.uk or by post to Herald House, 15 Lambs Passage, Bunhill Row, London, EC1Y 8LE.

Comments on this blog? Email them to johnsmeaton@spuc.org.uk

Sunday, 21 June 2009

The right and duty of parents to protect their children's morality

An excellent letter has been published in this weekend's Catholic Herald, from Edmund Adamus, director of pastoral affairs of the archdiocese of Westminster. The substance of the letter reads:
"[The] legal right [of parents] to withdraw their children from sex education classes where content [i]s at odds with their moral convictions ... is protected under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and defended vigorously in Church teaching.

The similarities are striking between the stealthy undermining of parental authority by the state today (particularly the authority of Christian parents) and the aggressive subversion of the same in National Socialist Germany in the 1930s. In paragraph 39 of the encyclical Mit Brennender Sorge ("With Burning Sorrow") - which left Hitler so beside himself that for three days he did not want to see anyone - Pius XI [JS: pictured] reminds German Catholic parents that "their rights and duties as educators, conferred on them by God, are at present the stake of a campaign pregnant with consequences."

Those rights include what John Paul II called "an unrenounceable duty" of parents to protect their children's morality. In jurisprudence this is a fiduciary principle, which means one must exercise this duty beyond the bare minimum.
Mr Adamus's letter articulates for me why I and other parents are right to object to the cooperation of Catholic Education Service (CES) with the government's plan for compulsory sex education.

Comments on this blog? Email them to johnsmeaton@spuc.org.uk