Saturday, 12 March 2011

David Attenborough's speech shows why pro-lifers should support Humanae Vitae

Sir David Attenborough, the famous naturalist, gave a speech yesterday promoting population control. He said:
"Stop population increase – stop the escalator – and we have some chance of reaching the top – that is to say a decent life for all.
...
In my view all countries should develop a population policy – some 70 countries already have them in one form or another – and give it priority. The essential common factor is to make family planning and other reproductive health services freely available to every one and empower and encourage them to use it – though of course without any kind of coercion.
...
If you belong to a Church – and especially if you are a Catholic because its doctrine on contraception is a major factor in this problem – suggest they consider the ethical issues involved."
To my mind it is clear that Sir David's speech shows why pro-lifers should support the Catholic Church's prohibition on contraception. In Humanae Vitae, Pope Paul VI wrote:
"[C]areful consideration should be given to the danger of this power passing into the hands of those public authorities who care little for the precepts of the moral law. Who will blame a government which in its attempt to resolve the problems affecting an entire country resorts to the same measures as are regarded as lawful by married people in the solution of a particular family difficulty? Who will prevent public authorities from favoring those contraceptive methods which they consider more effective? Should they regard this as necessary, they may even impose their use on everyone."
In other words, once it's regarded as good that individual couples should have access to contraception, and necessary that humans reduce their numbers, then the imposition of population control becomes inevitable. China and Vietnam already have long-standing forced abortion programmes, and India and Peru have had forced sterilisation programmes in the recent past.

The high incidence of abortion around the world, whether voluntary or forced abortion, has been created and fuelled by the contraceptive mentality, which thinks that children are usually a burden to be avoided. If the Catholic Church worldwide - the world's largest religious denomination, comprising at least one in seven of the world's population - were to concede that contraception (or even those prophylactics which impede conception e.g. condoms) were licit, then both abortion and mandatory population control would become irreversible worldwide.

That is why pro-lifers should fall four-square behind Humanae Vitae, and why the undermining of Humanae Vitae by Catholic bishops, by high-profile Catholics such as Tony & Cherie Blair, and by Catholic publications such as The Tablet, is of grave concern even to secular pro-life groups such as SPUC.

And so it is very interesting to read, reproduced in this weekend's Tablet, this Tablet report from exactly 50 years ago today:
"The cardinals and archbishops of France, who assembled in Paris last week for their annual spring meeting, published when it was over a statement on the subject of birth control ... They made it equally clear that the Church condemns the artificial prevention of births by the use of contraceptives, as she also condemns sterilisation and abortion ... The unnatural limitation of births, they went on, is not the remedy for overpopulation and hunger; the remedy lies in the provision of more and better housing, and of all that is necessary for the normal development of family life."
P.S. You can find resources to rebut Sir David's bogus arguments for population control listed in my blog of 9 February.

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Friday, 11 March 2011

This afternoon's must-read pro-life news-stories, Friday 11 March

Abortion
Population
General
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This morning's must-read pro-life news-stories, Friday 11 March

Chen Guangcheng
Abortion
Embryology
Population
Sexual ethics
General
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Thursday, 10 March 2011

This afternoon's must-read pro-life news-stories, Thursday 10 March

Abortion
Embryology
Population
Sexual ethics
General
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Pope Benedict says that life and family come before the environment

Pope Benedict, in a message to Brazil's bishops yesterday, said:
"[T]he first ecology to be defended is 'human ecology'. This is to say that, without a clear defence of human life from conception until natural death; without a defence of the family founded on marriage between a man and a woman...we will never be able to speak of authentic protection of the environment."
Yesterday's message echoes Pope Benedict's address to the diplomatic corps in January last year, in which he said:
"If we wish to build true peace, how can we separate, or even set at odds, the protection of the environment and the protection of human life, including the life of the unborn? It is in man’s respect for himself that his sense of responsibility for creation is shown. As Saint Thomas Aquinas has taught, man represents all that is most noble in the universe (cf. Summa Theologiae, I, q. 29, a. 3)."
It also echoes his opening address of his visit to Australia in 2008, in which he said:
"The concerns for non-violence, sustainable development, justice and peace, and care for our environment are of vital importance for humanity. They cannot, however, be understood apart from a profound reflection upon the innate dignity of every human life from conception to natural death: a dignity conferred by God himself and thus inviolable."
Pope Benedict is clearly calling upon Catholic groups and individuals who campaign on environmental issues (especially those ones who ignore or even actively undermine life and family, e.g. the Catholic bishops' conference of England and Wales, CAFOD, Progressio, Caritas, The Tablet, Tony Blair) to reject the "seamless garment" error, so well debunked in September 2009 by Cardinal Burke, who said:
"The moral questions pertaining to the safeguarding and fostering of human life are all related to one another but they are not of the same weight. To use the image of the garment, they are not all of the same cloth."
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This morning's must-read pro-life news-stories, Thursday 10 March

Oxford professor Julian Savulescu
Abortion
Embryology
Euthanasia
Sexual ethics
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Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Cherie Blair is a danger for women and unborn children in the developing world

The Telegraph reports that Cherie Blair:
"has been asked by Ed Miliband, the Labour leader, to examine how the United Kingdom can help women in poor countries get involved in business and public life ... Westminster insiders suggested that the appointment could be a first step towards becoming a peer ... Three years ago, [she] set up the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women ... "Mrs Blair said that ... '[T]here are so many barriers faced by women and girls in the developing world that they are often unable to participate in economic or political life and struggle to get access to health care...'."
Mrs Blair's new role, and the possibility of a peerage, poses a fresh danger for women and unborn children in the developing world.

Mrs Blair is notorious for claiming that her career success would not have been possible if not for contraception. Also, in December 2009 she claimed that:
"Controlling our fertility has been one of the key reasons why women have been able to progress".
On her website, in the section "About this site", Mrs Blair writes:
"This website is dedicated to the issues that concern me, to helping improve the position of women throughout the world by sharing information and by safeguarding and promoting human rights. At the heart of the website is the Women of the World section."
On a page in the Women of the World section, Mrs Blair says:
"The [United Nations] Convention [on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) ... is the only human rights treaty which affirms the reproductive rights of women".
"Reproductive rights" is a term commonly used to include abortion on demand.

The page ends by linking to the CEDAW committee, which is responsible for monitoring the implementation of the CEDAW convention. The CEDAW committee uses the CEDAW convention to bully countries into allowing abortion, even though the convention doesn't mention abortion. The CEDAW committee issued a report calling upon the UK government to decriminalise abortion in Northern Ireland.

In July 2003, Mrs Blair endorsed the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF), the world’s leading promoter and provider of abortion, by hosting a private reception at 10 Downing Street (the prime minister’s residence) for IPPF’s “Lust for Life” fundraising campaign. At the annual Labour party conference in September 2005, Mrs Blair celebrated the 75th anniversary of the Family Planning Association (fpa), the UK branch of IPPF, helping to cut a special birthday cake (and pictured here jokingly offering a condom to the camera-man.) Both IPPF and FPA endorsed the failed campaign to remove the Holy See from the United Nations.

Cherie Blair has tried disingenuously to distance herself from abortion. Pro-lifers, especially Catholics, should be under no illusions about her and her husband Tony and their continuing campaign to undermine the right to life, and the dignity of the family upon which the protection of the right to life depends. As a report in The Daily Mail last week said so well, Tony Blair is a "morally dispossessed" collaborator with those who have little respect for the sanctity of human life - and the same can be said of Cherie Blair. I will be watching her closely in her new role.

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Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Book now to hear leading expert on the dangers of school-based sex education

Dr Miriam Grossman, a leading American child psychiatrist who opposes prevailing ideas about sex education, will be speaking in London in early May. The first of her talks will be alongside Professor David Paton, the UK's leading expert on the statistics of teenage pregnancy. Do try to attend one of her talks to arm yourself with the arguments you need to defend our children from the dangers of school-based sex education. Full details and an online booking form are available on the Anglican Mainstream blog.

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Monday, 7 March 2011

Here's the message I gave to the Austrian pro-life movement

Last month I visited Austria at the invitation of Human Life International in Austria. I was extremely impressed with the resourcefulness and strength of the Austrian pro-lifers. During my visit I was interviewed by Gloria TV, an exciting Catholic media apostolate which is speaks out forthrightly in defence of the sanctity of human life. Below are two videos of that interview and the key messages from each.

From the video "The pro-life movement is strong and growing":


  • Since I joined the pro-life movement in the 1970s there has been greater acceptance of abortion in the Church, among ordinary churchgoers, and even amongst the bishops.
  • The pro-life movement is growing, with well-organised and well-informed people.
  • Cardinal Burke said we can be full of hope, because the pro-life movement exists.
  • The pro-life movement in Britain and Northern Ireland has stopped the extension of the Abortion Act to Northern Ireland.
  • We have resisted repeated attempts to legalise euthanasia, although sadly there is the growing practice of euthanasia by neglect.
  • We have had considerable success in the European institutions e.g. regarding conscientious objection in medicine, as a result of well-informed, well-organised lobbying.
  • We have developed a pro-life community in Britain which has a lot of experience and a lot of committment to lobbying.
  • I have hope – absolutely – that abortion will one day be illegal, because there are tens of thousands of men and women in Britain who are just and are committed to truth.
  • I truly believe that we will completely destroy legal abortion.
  • Poland is a good example of how a pro-abortion culture can be turned around.
  • In the meantime, thousands upon thousands of unborn children are being saved by pro-life work.
From the video "The church and abortion"


  • I say quite openly: the Catholic Bishops of England and Wales cooperate with the British government in providing access to abortion to children in schools. When they do this the bishops are acting not as pastors but as junior politicians.
  • IPPF is trying to exercise influence throughout the world, including on the Vatican. I think there is a great battle between good and evil at the Vatican. At the moment evil has the upper hand throughout the world, including within our Church.
  • Let’s say the government passed a law to allow the killing of one priest every year. Do you not think that, when you went to church, you would hear frequent calls to protest vigorously about this? Do you think it would be excused on the grounds that the government has good policies on overseas aid or other issues? There is no difference in God’s eyes between a Catholic priest and an unborn child.
  • The Church is forgetting that the unborn children is Her neighbour, so it’s like the parable of the neighbour who walks by on the other side of the street. Yet it is the worst catastrophe in terms of mass killing in the history of the world. So how can it not be the greatest issue that the Church has to face?
  • We must be strong, we must pray, we must continue the heroic work. We must complain to priests and bishops when they are silent. We need to be peaceful resistance leaders.
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