Saturday, 8 August 2009

Beware of the UNFPA's overtures: Urgent appeal to world's religious leaders

This blogpost is an urgent appeal to religious leaders of all denominations to beware of the obviously dangerous overtures being made to them by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and its executive director, Thoraya Ahmed Obaid - and my thanks to the ever-vigilant Marie S. Smith, Director of Parliamentary Network for Critical Issues for drawing this development to my attention.

Earlier this week, like King Herod telling the three wise men that he wanted to worship the child Jesus, Thoraya Ahmed Obaid (foreground, right) told a "round table" group of faith-based organizations, that the UNFPA was aware of "the profound moral authority that religious leaders have" and of "the fact that religious organizations are the older social service providers humankind has known".

Ms Obaid went on to speak about how between 30 and 60 per cent of basic healthcare services in the developing world are provided by religous organization, according to the UN World Health Organization (WHO), "while the World Bank has found that in some instances, health and education services offered by the religious organizations are better than those of governments".

According to Ms Obaid, areas "ripe for cooperation" between UNFPA and religous groups "include HIV/AIDS, women’s empowerment, maternal health, migration, humanitarian relief, reproductive health and gender-based violence".

I must point that that is the very same Thoraya Ahmed Obaid who in 2001, as the new executive director of UNFPA, said that in the previous twenty years, China had seen notable achievements made in population control by implementing the family planning policy: the notorious, well-documented, forced abortion policy in which UNFPA has been deeply involved for over thirty years.

This is the same UNFPA which ten months ago signed a memorandum of understand with Islamic Relief in order to work together to ensure that "more women and men have access to reproductive healthcare information and services, including during times of emergency … " – which entails the promotion of abortion on demand, even in the desperately unsafe environment of refugee camps.

This is the same UNFPA which in 1979, the very year that China introduced its brutal one-child policy, signed a "Memorandum of Understanding" with the Chinese government.

This is the same UNFPA which in 1983, the year commonly regarded as the worst year for coercion, gave one of its first two Population Awards to the minister-in-charge of China’s State Family Planning Commission. (The other award that year was given to Indira Gandhi, the Indian prime minister, whose government enforced compulsory birth control including sterilisation.)

This is the same UNFPA which in 1991, under its then executive director, Nafis Sadik, said: "China has every reason to feel proud of and pleased with its remarkable achievements made in its family planning policy and control of its population growth.” (Xinhua, 11 April 1991)

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Friday, 7 August 2009

The implications of the Debbie Purdy case are profoundly disturbing

Paul Tully, SPUC's general secretary (pictured below), worked with the Society's lawyers on our intervention in the Debbie Purdy case. He explains here the disturbing implications of the law lords' judgment last week.

Several commentators, including Dominic Lawson and Baroness Finlay, have suggested that the euthanasia lobby are being unduly enthusiastic about the Lords decision in the Purdy case. They suggest that the outcome is not so bad from a pro-life perspective. But is this so?

The Law Lords have said that Ms Purdy should get her way in as much as she wants the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) to issue an “offence specific” policy on when he will or won’t prosecute people for helping others to commit suicide. So is this such a bad outcome?

SPUC, as the only intervening party in the Purdy case, is well positioned to comment. I think the outcome is bad, because it may mean that those assisting suicide will know how to avoid prosecution for doing so. Not only those who take relatives abroad but also those who want to help others kill themselves here in England and Wales will be bolder. But I’m also concerned because of the thinking that underlies the judgement.

In SPUC’s submission to the House of Lords, one of the major arguments we made was this. That, if ending one’s life is part of the “right to privacy” (known as “Article 8” in human rights law), then it has to be weighed against the right to life (“Article 2”). And our submission pointed out the legal arguments why the right to life should always outweigh the right to privacy in this sense.

In contrast, when you read the Lords judgment, there is extended commentary on the right to privacy but barely a mention of the right to life. Lord Hope (who wrote the main body of the judgment) spends 13 paragraphs explaining his approach to the right to privacy, but not one about the right to life.

Lord Brown ignores the right to life of the suicide victim - and seems to think that Article 2 is there to protect others - not those wishing to end their lives. He says: “In short, as it seems to me, there will on occasion be situations where, ... it would be possible to regard the conduct of the aider and abettor as altruistic rather than criminal, conduct rather to be understood out of respect for an intending suicide’s rights under article 8 than discouraged so as to safeguard the right to life of others under article 2."

Another Law Lord, Baroness Hale, also implied that the point of article 2 was "protecting the rights of others" i.e. others apart from the person intending to commit suicide.

They say nothing of balancing 8 against 2. They talk as if, having decided that a would-be suicide's right to privacy is engaged, their article 2 rights have evaporated. Like the Bland judgment in the House of Lords in 1993, this judgment shows how little regard England’s highest court has for the right to life.

The immediate upshot of the judgment will be a document from the DPP, and he has moved quickly to say that it will not apply only to suicides abroad. The wider implications are even more profoundly disturbing.

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Thursday, 6 August 2009

Black American minister reviews Obama's first 200 days

The Reverend Arnold Culbreath is a Christian minister, a black American, and a national pro-life educator. He runs Protecting Black Life and will be speaking at SPUC's national conference in Derbyshire, 4th - 6th September, 2009. If you're interested in hearing him and other major international speakers, you will find the programme and booking form here.

In his emailed newsletter dated yesterday, Rev Culbreath provides a powerful critical analysis of Barack Obama's first 200 days as president. In particular, he looks at the way in which the black community has suffered under his presidency. He observes: "Abortion continues to remain the leading cause of death in the African American community. Every day in the U.S., approximately 1,200 black babies die by abortion. Every month in the U.S., approximately 35,000 black babies die by abortion. Every year in the U.S., approximately 425,000 black babies die by abortion. In fact, over 14 million innocent pre-born black babies have died by abortion, since 1973. Abortion has significantly contributed to African Americans no longer being the largest minority in the US.

"Furthermore, our research shows that 62.5% (that's approximately 2 out of every 3) of Planned Parenthood's facilities, our nation's largest abortion chain, are strategically located in black communities, continuing to carry out Margaret Sanger's original agenda to exterminate Blacks, according to details contained in her "Negro Project." One would think that an African American President's first order of business would be to move quickly to protect the lives of precious, innocent pre-born Black babies, as well as shielding their families from the all too often long-term physical and emotional aftermath of abortion. But such has not been the case."

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Wednesday, 5 August 2009

Courageous Irish politician speaks out against assisted suicide

Congratulations to Dan Neville TD (pictured right), the Fine Gael Spokesman on Mental Health, who has represented Limerick West constituency in Dail Eireann (the House of Representatives in the Parliament of Ireland) since 1997. He speaks out fearlessly and clearly today on assisted suicide in the Irish Examiner , following last week's dangerous judgment in London.

Last Thursday the House of Lords judicial committee (also known as the Law Lords), Britain's highest court, ruled in favour of Debbie Purdy's assisted suicide legal challenge.

Dan Neville, the President of the Irish Association of Suicidology, pointed out:

" ... travelling for suicide 'has never been tested in Irish law'.

"[He] expressed concern about the introduction of such laws in Britain. 'It has been expected for the past 10 years that Britain would make such a move because of developments in Europe,' he said.

"He fears similar laws will eventually be introduced here because 'western society is so homogenous and we tend to follow what is happening in the rest of the world'.

Mr Neville said: 'If we do introduce it, there will be a move towards questioning who is dispensable in society and who is not. Will older people become disposable or people with severe mental disabilities?'

He said: 'There is also concern about pressurised euthanasia. People may feel they are a burden on their families or those who care for them and might be under psychological pressure to end their lives.'

'The sanctity of life is paramount and any interference with it, apart from being unethical, is dangerous,' he said.

One person who I know would be pleased with Mr Neville's stand is Mrs Betty Gibson (pictured left), who for nearly thirty years has led the pro-life battle in Northern Ireland for the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children. Those who know me will know that I can pay no higher tribute to Mr Neville for his intervention, by mentioning the pleasure it would give Betty, who died yesterday. She was the dearest friend that the unborn in Ireland could have - deeply loved by Albert her husband, her children and her grandchildren. She was my own dear friend and a friend to countless others, including many who are alive today and who never knew her. On behalf of SPUC's National Council and SPUC's executive committee in Northern Ireland, I send love and deepest sympathy to Albert Gibson and to all his family. May she rest in peace!

And thank you again, Mr Neville.



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Vigil takes place next Wednesday at Marie Stopes abortion facility Maidstone

Helpers of God's Precious Infants is a Catholic, international pro-life group founded by Msgr. Philip Reilly under the direction of Bishop Thomas Daily of New York. Its main apostolate is prayer vigils at abortion facilities. To date, 5, Cardinals and over 100 Bishops worldwide participate including Bishop Thomas McMahon Brentwood, Bishop John Hine, Southwark, Bishop Arthur Roche, Leeds.

The spirituality is one of solidarity with Jesus in the person of the forgotten poor: “Whatever you do for the least of these my brethren, you do for me.” Matt.25:40.

The next vigil at Marie Stopes abortion facility, Brewer Street, Maidstone, Kent ME14 1RV,will be held on Wednesday, 19th August 2009, from St. Francis Church, Week Street, Maidstone, Kent. It will be led by Fr Timothy Finigan. The event enjoys full police co-operation.

At 12.30 p.m. there will be Mass at St. Francis's Church; at 1.00 p.m., there will be a prayerful and peaceful procession with an image of Our Lady of Guadalupe to Marie Stopes Abortion Centre. At 2.15 p.m. there will be a return procession and the day will conclude with a blessing and refreshments in the parish centre.

Directions: Connex South East runs a direct line from Victoria to Maidstone East Station, which is directly opposite St. Francis Church. By Road: The M20 – come off at Junction 6. Follow signs to Town Centre then to Maidstone East Station. There is a car park at the station and also 2 car parks in Brewer Street and 1 in Wheeler Street, both of which are accessed by Lower Boxley Well Road. The shaded areas on the map are pedestrian areas only.


For further information contact: The Helpers of God's Precious Infants, P.O. Box 26601, London, N14 7WH Telephone: 020 8252 3109
E-mail: info@hgpi.co.uk Web: www.hgpi.co.uk




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Tuesday, 4 August 2009

International pro-abortion politician and campaigner wins US Presidential Medal of Freedom

Mary Robinson (pictured), the pro-abortion campaigner, lawyer, and politician, and Ireland's first female president, is one of 16 recipients of Barack Obama's 2009 Presidential Medal of Freedom, America's highest civilian honour.

The White House says of the 16 recipients: "Each saw an imperfect world and set about improving it, often overcoming great obstacles along the way."

Mary Robinson's citation reads: "Mary Robinson was the first female President of Ireland and former United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. Since 2002, she has been the President of Realizing Rights: The Ethical Globalization Initiative."

The website "Realising Rights: The Ethical Globalization Initiative" carries a Guardian newspaper biographical article about Mary Robinson under the insulting headline "Hail Mary". It states: " ... you have to start with the fact that this is the woman who, at 24, became the youngest-ever member of the Irish Senate. For years, as a practising lawyer, she fought deeply unpopular battles: legalising abortion and contraception, decriminalising divorce and homosexuality, both of which she took all the way to the European Court of Human Rights ... "

In 2007, Mary Robinson was honorary co-chairman of the Women Deliver Conference in London, which had the stated objective of of addressing Millennium Development Goal 5 to reduce maternal mortality and morbidity. Afterwards, a pro-women coalition of 14 international organizations complained that the dominance of a pro-abortion agenda resulted in the conference failing to achieve its objective, stating:

"Regrettably, the conference agenda was so preoccupied with promoting the ideology and practice of abortion that the genuine healthcare needs of women and children were virtually ignored in the plenary sessions and overwhelmed in the panel discussions."

Mary Robinson is also a signatory to the infamous Yogyakarta principles which, amongst other things, called on States to "ensure that all sexual and reproductive health, education, prevention, care and treatment programmes and services respect the diversity of sexual orientations and gender identities, and are equally available to all without discrimination"; according to the World Health Organisation's definition "sexual and reproductive health" services includes the provision of abortion on demand.

"A brief commentary on the Yogyakarta Principles" by Jakob Cornides a lawyer and writer on human rights, explains that the Yogyakarta Principles were adopted in 2007 by a self-styled ‘International Panel of Experts in International Human Rights Law and on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity’.

An abstract summarising Mr Cornides' paper warns: "While the comments presented in [Mr Cornides'] paper mainly concern the substance of the Yogyakarta Principles, it should be noted that the way in which these Principles came into being provides even greater reason for concern: this is a deliberate attempt to manipulate our understanding of ‘Human Rights’ in order to promote the self-serving social agenda of a small cluster of vociferous and politically well-connected advocacy groups.

No wonder she appealed to President Barack Obama who, through his anti-life/anti-family agenda is seeking to undermine, worldwide, the law upholding the sanctity of human life and the family, founded on the marriage of a man and a woman, as leading scholar Monsignor Michel Schooyans pointed out during a recent Vatican conference.


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Sunday, 2 August 2009

Is Obama trying to mislead Pope Benedict on abortion?

Just over a week after Barack Obama met the Pope (July 10), and reportedly promised to reduce abortions, the New York Times informed us that an Obama administration official was refusing to rule out the possibility that taxpayers' money would be used to pay for abortions under proposed health care legislation. (I have frequently posted on the ways in which President Obama is following IPPF orders in promoting abortion at home and overseas - including forced abortion in China. His commitment to such policies does not appear, thus far, to be diminishing since his visit to the Pope last month. )

Citizens of the UK, where 89% of abortions carried out are funded by the Government, will have little difficulty in giving credence to Douglas Johnston's prediction - legislative director of the US's National Right to Life Committee - that tax-funded abortions "would result in the greatest expansion of abortion since Roe v. Wade," the 1973 US Supreme Court decision that established a constitutional right to abortion.

Here's an extract of what Peter R. Orszag, the White House budget director, said on Fox News, on July 19, nine days after his boss met Pope Benedict:
WALLACE: Are you prepared to say that in a government public- funded, taxpayer-funded public health insurance plan that no taxpayer money will go to pay for abortions?

ORSZAG: I think that that will wind up being part of the debate. I am not prepared to say explicitly that right now. It’s obviously a controversial issue, and it’s one of the questions that is playing out in this debate.

WALLACE: So you’re not prepared to rule out...

ORSZAG: I’m not prepared to rule it out.



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