Saturday, 5 February 2011

Don't let China's president get away with denial of its forced abortion policy

President Hu with US president Obama
Last month Hu Jintao, the Chinese president, made a state visit to the United States. LifeSiteNews.com reports that during the visit, a congresswoman urged China to end its forced abortion policy. Mr Hu responded by saying that such a policy does not exist. Steven Mosher, president of the pro-life organisation the Population Research Institute (PRI), described Mr Hu's denial as a "bald-faced lie". Also, in a recent PRI briefing, Mr Mosher said that abortion centres which he visited in China last year were very similar to the nightmarish abortion centres run by Dr Kermit Gosnell, the arrest Pennsylvania abortionist.

Mr Hu's denial is easily exploded by even just a few references (see SPUC's 2004 parliamentary submission):
  • In 1979 Chinese Vice-Premier Chen Muhua described the one-child policy as: "A policy of encouragement and punishment for maternity, with encouragement as the main feature, will be implemented. Parents having one child will be encouraged, and strict measures will be enforced to control the birth of two or more babies."
  • The 1992 Law of the People's Republic of China on the Protection of Women's Rights and the Interests of Women says: "When a wife terminates gestation as required by the family planning programme, her husband may not apply for a divorce within six months after the operation" (article 42)
  • the 2001 forced abortion drive in Huaiji county, Guangdong
  • the 2002 Law on Population and Birth Planning says: "Citizens . . . are also duty-bound undergo family planning as provided for in the law." (article 17) in order to "uphold a single-child policy for married couples" (article 18)
  • the 2009 forced abortion drive in Guangzhou. Reuters quotes Zhang Minan, a law professor at Guangzhou's Sun Yat-sen University and an expert on the issue, saying:"'They (the authorities) do have the right (to force abortions) ... "
  • the testimony of the victims: e.g. Mao Hengfeng, Zhang Linla
Both the UK and US governments bankroll China's population control programme tens of millions of pounds worth of annual funding for pro-abortion organisations working closely with the Communist regime: the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) and Marie Stopes International (MSI).

Readers should write to the Chinese embassy to call for an end to China's population control programme, citing the evidence of forced abortion as a regular part of the programme:
Ambassador Liu Xiaoming
Embassy of the People's Republic of China
49 Portland Place , London W1B 1JL
political@chinese-embassy.org.uk

Friday, 4 February 2011

High court reserves judgment in 'bedroom abortion' case

The High Court in London today reserved its judgment on a push to allow so-called 'bedroom abortions'. SPUC was represented before the court.

The British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS), one of the UK's largest abortion providers and promoters, asked the court to rule that under the Abortion Act women may take drugs designed to cause an abortion at home, rather than in hospital. At present the drugs, which must be prescribed by a doctor, have to be administered in a hospital or a registered clinic.

Mr Justice Supperstone reserved the judgment until a later date.

Paul Tully, SPUC's general secretary, submitted evidence on behalf of SPUC and was at the High Court in London. Commenting after the hearing, he said:
"One of the main concerns with the practice of ‘bedroom abortion’ is about safety. It is well established that drug-induced abortion has a high rate of incomplete abortion and other immediate complications like haemorrhage. These are serious safety concerns.

“Equally worrying to us are the impact the case could have on nurses. We asked the court to note that if BPAS’s wish is granted, it could seriously undermine the right of nurses not to take part in abortions. BPAS argued that administering abortion drugs is not ‘treatment’ for an abortion (so it can be done anywhere). If the court accepted that argument, those nurses who object to abortion could lose the statutory right to refuse to give abortion drugs.

“BPAS argued that taking abortion drugs at home is safe, and should therefore be permitted. However, it displayed a disturbing lack of knowledge about the way abortion drugs work. For example, it asserted that the second drug used in the typical two-stage chemical abortion process, will not cause an abortion when used on its own. This is incorrect. Either of the drugs can cause an abortion. They are used together to try to reduce the number of incomplete abortions and severe side effects.”
Commenting on the case, Katherine Hampton of SPUC added:
“Every abortion destroys a baby and hurts a mother: if BPAS wins this case, women may think there is a ‘safe’ route to abortion. That could lead to more abortions, and more dead babies and more suffering for women. The significance of this case is important internationally too, as chemical abortions are widely promoted in poorer countries, and any move to widen the practice here may adversely affect unborn babies and women around the world."
Some facts about RU486 and misoprostol:
  • The woman is directly involved in the abortion by having to take the pills herself.
  • The nature of the drug means that the woman must live with her abortion over the course of a number of days. The president of Roussel Uclaf, the original makers of RU486, said “The woman must live with this for a full week. This is an appalling psychological ordeal”. (Edouard Sakiz, chairman, Roussel-Uclaf, August 1990)
  • The woman may abort at home and suffer the distress of seeing the expelled embryo/foetus, which she is required to keep and return to the hospital or clinic to help determine if the abortion is complete. If BPAS's challenge is successful, women taking misoprostol would go into labour at home. This can be very distressing as labour, usually associated with child-birth, now becomes associated with the delivery of a dead child.
  • Use of RU486/misoprostol may cause any of the following: haemorrhage requiring blood transfusion, severe pain requiring strong pain killers, incomplete abortion, rupture of the uterus, vaginal bleeding, abdominal cramping, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, headache, muscle weakness, dizziness, flushing, chills, backache, difficulty in breathing, chest pain, palpitations, rise in temperature and fall in blood pressure. The number and diverse nature of the side effects of RU486/misoprostol point to the fact that these are powerful chemicals.
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Thursday, 3 February 2011

Bedroom abortions case to continue tomorrow at High Court in London

The High Court hearing into bedroom abortions, which began last Friday (28 January), will continue tomorrow, Friday 4 February, at 10:30a.m. SPUC is being represented by legal counsel at the hearing. It is expected that oral submissions will be completed in the afternoon, after which the judge will consider his ruling. The High Court challenge has been launched by the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS), one of Britain’s main abortion providers. BPAS is seeking to widen the scope for using the drug misoprostol, used in conjunction with another drug, RU486, to cause abortions. BPAS uses the drugs to poison the uterine environment and kill unborn children. Allowing misoprostol to be taken at home will increase the numbers of women delivering their dead child at home.

Paul Tully, SPUC's general secretary, will be at the High Court and available for comment. He can be contacted by mobile on (0)7939 178719. SPUC's communications department can be contacted on (0)7939 177683 or (020) 7820 3129.

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Parents to hear about sex ed in primary schools at public meeting

Extracts from a controversial sex education programme will be screened at a public meeting being held in Worksop, Notts., to alert parents to the dangers of explicit sex education.

The programme under scrutiny is “Living and Growing”, produced by Channel 4. Used by Worksop primary schools as a resource to teach sex and relationships education (SRE), “Living and Growing” includes a cartoon of sexual intercourse, showing girls how to locate their clitoris and telling them that it feels nice when you touch it. This material is for children of seven to nine years of age.

Antonia Tully, the organiser of SPUC's Safe at School campaign, will advise parents that primary schools are under no legal obligation to deliver SRE, nor are they compelled to take advice from local authorities in their choice of programme for SRE. Antonia will speak at a public meeting organised by SPUC in Worksop on Wednesday 9 February, 7.30 pm, at The Crossing Church and Centre, Newcastle Street, Worksop.

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Watch this stunning pro-life speech by the late US president Ronald Reagan

This Sunday marks the 100th birthday of Ronald Reagan, the late US president, and 20 January was the 30th anniversary of his inauguration as president. Mr Reagan is the only US president to have a written a pro-life book, entitled "Abortion and the Conscience of the Nation". SPUC's colleagues at the Population Research Institute (PRI) in Virginia have described it as "[o]ne of the best books ever written on abortion". Jack Willke, the great American pro-life leader, has told me that as president Mr Reagan did whatever the pro-life movement asked of him.

I am therefore delighted that the Personhood USA campaign has created a video featuring a stunning speech by Mr Reagan. Do watch the video below or on YouTube, and share it with your contacts.



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Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Legalising assisted suicide would make the elderly even more exposed to abuse

In the last 48 hours there have been two reports of the shocking level of abuse of vulnerable people in Britain today:
  1. Researchers from the University of Manchester's centre for social ethics and policy found that at least 400, and maybe up to 1,200, more people died than would have been expected at Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust, according to investigations in 2009 and 2010. The research highlighted the fact that patients were abandoned without food, drink or medication.
  2. The Daily Mail found that between 2005 and 2009 in England and Wales, 667 care home residents died of dehydration and 157 died of malnutrition.
I am sure that an anti-life mentality has contributed to the death-toll. The British government, parliament, courts and medical establishment have all undermined protection for the sick, elderly and disabled through:
These changes, combined with the influence of pro-euthanasia advocates in academia and the media, has contributed to a mentality which acquiesces in neglecting certain categories of people to death. With this mentality so prevalent in law, policy and opinion, it would be highly dangerous for parliament to legislate in favour of assisted suicide. Such legislation, however seemingly water-tight any safeguards might appear, will create an even wider scope for abuse to go undetected. Human nature being what it is, abusers will exploit any lowering of protection by testing and breaking the limits of that protection. This generation owes it to its parents and grandparents to hold the line against the culture of death.

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Tuesday, 1 February 2011

South Africa's Catholic bishops are wrong to laud Nelson Mandela

The South African Catholic Bishops' Conference last week issued a statement of support for Nelson Mandela, the former South African president, following reports that he had been hospitalised. The statement said:
"Former President Mandela means different things to different people. To his family he is a veritable Patriarch who stands for and is an example of the virtues of a truly great and loving Father, who cares for all near and dear to him.

To the Nation, he is a great and inspiring leader, a true icon of the...reconciliation which we still need urgently.

To the international community, he is a unique African and global statesman who rose above personal, tribal, race and party interests in order to lead the South African nation through a difficult transition from apartheid to Demomcracy."
I am disturbed by this glowing tribute to Mr Mandela, in the light of his record on pro-life/pro-family issues (see below). It is absolutely vital that Catholic leaders do not allow themselves to become respecters of persons, swept away by personality cults. Catholic leaders have a duty to stand up to public figures with  anti-life and anti-family records, however praiseworthy their record may be on other issues. The sanctity of human life and the dignity of the family are the foundation and guarantee of all other human rights.

Nelson Mandela and abortion

Mr Mandela has been quoted as saying on abortion: "Women have the right to decide what they want to do with their bodies." In 1996, Mandela signed into law the Choice on Termination of Pregnancy Bill, which permits abortion on demand. SPUC's pro-life colleagues in South Africa tells us that the bill was introduced into the South African parliament by Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, Mr Mandela's health minister. In addition, the wording of the new South African constitution, signed by Mr Mandela in 1996, had made the legalisation of abortion on demand a mere formality. Mr Mandela's African National Congress (ANC) has a strong ideological committment to abortion, with the ANC Women's League strongly behind the legalisation of abortion on demand. The ANC has for decades been in a close political and electoral alliance with the South African Communist Party (SACP) (Mr Mandela pictured with SACP leader Joe Slovo) which also has a strong ideological committment to abortion.

Nelson Mandela and homosexuality*

The 1996 Constitution signed by Mr Mandela made South Africa the first country to forbid so-called discrimination on the grounds of "sexual orientation”. Homosexualist activists have honoured Mr Mandela for this provision.

Nelson Mandela and condoms

Mr Mandela is well-known for his activism regarding HIV/AIDS, through which he has many times promoted the use of condoms.

Nelson Mandela and "The Elders"
Mr Mandela is one of "The Elders", a group of retired international public figures dominated by leading international advocates of abortion, homosexuality and population control.


* The late Pope John Paul II, the great pro-life champion, taught (Evangelium Vitae, 1995, para.97) it is an illusion to think that we can build a true culture of human life if we do not offer adolescents and young adults an authentic education in sexuality, and in love, and the whole of life according to their true meaning and in their close interconnection.

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Monday, 31 January 2011

New study shows that artificial birth control doesn't reduce abortions, pregnancies or infections among minors

David Paton, professor of industrial economics at Nottingham University Business School, has co-authored a new study into the free provision of morning-after pills via pharmacies. Dr Paton told today's Telegraph:
“We find that offering the morning-after pill free of charge didn’t have the intended effect of cutting teenage pregnancies but did have the unfortunate side of effect of increasing sexually transmitted infections. By focusing on sexually transmitted infections, it allows us to test whether there is an impact on sexual risk-taking, and that seems to be the implication.”
And as Dr Paton says in the study itself:
"Empirical studies to date suggest that schemes to increase access to [morning-after pills] have failed to result in observable decreases in unwanted pregnancy or abortion rates ... [O]n average, the presence of a pharmacy [morning-after pill] scheme in a local authority is associated with an increase in the rate of STI diagnoses amongst teenagers of about 5%. The equivalent figure for U16s is even larger at 12%."
Time and again we see how the culture of death does young people a grave disservice, telling them that:
  • losing their virginity before marriage is inevitable
  • sex using artificial birth control is consequence-free; and
  • abortion is always there as a back-up.
As a result the UK has stubbornly highest rates of teenage pregnancy, teenage sexually-transmitted infection and teenage abortion.

Dr Paton has provided a reliable basis upon which David Cameron's government can safely throw the Labour government's Teenage Pregnancy Strategy - which emphasised increased morning-after pills access (personally endorsed by Tony Blair*) - into the dustbin of history marked "Failed".

*foreword, Teenage Pregnancy Report, Social Exclusion Unit, 1999.

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