Friday, 16 December 2011

MEPs issue death penalty for unborn babies with HIV

SPUC supporters and regular readers of this blog will remember that we recently urged our supporters to contact their MEPs and ask them to vote against the motion in the European Parliament on abortion and HIV/AIDS. The motion was riddled with anti-life and anti-family content.

Daniel Blackman, who researches international affairs for SPUC, has written a report on the outcome of the vote on the motion.

EU passes motion promoting abortion under the banner of HIV/AIDS prevention, by Daniel Blackman

On 1 December 2011 MEPs debated and voted on the controversial motion entitled “on the EU response to HIV/AIDS in the EU and neighbouring countries.” The motion was put forward by Françoise Grossetête on behalf of the PPE Group; Nessa Childers on behalf of the S&D Group; Antonyia Parvanova on behalf of the ALDE Group; Satu Hassi on behalf of the Verts/ALE Group; Marina Yannakoudakis on behalf of the ECR Group; Marisa Matias on behalf of the GUE/NGL Group; and Oreste Rossi on behalf of the EFD Group. The date selected for the final vote was strategic, 1 December being world AIDS day.

The original motion was itself harmful for people already living with HIV/AIDS, and for those whose lifestyles put them in the high risk group for contracting HIV. Amongst other things, the motion strongly favoured the “condom first” approach of the UN, EU, and WHO. Some of the worst sections included:
AA. whereas it is crucial to advocate strengthening and expanding policy and programming in the area of links between sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) and HIV so that HIV/AIDS prevention programmes are integrated into SRHR programmes and HIV/AIDS prevention becomes an integral part of sexual and reproductive health care.

14. Calls upon the Member States to ensure that all National AIDS programs and strategies develop strong linkages between sexual and reproductive health and HIV services.
15. Notes that prevention measures should explicitly include adequate information and sex education, access to protection means, such as male and female condoms, and strengthening the rights and autonomy of women in sexual relationships.

22. Calls on the Commission and Council to ensure access to quality comprehensive sexual and reproductive health services, information, and supplies. This should consist of, among others, confidential and voluntary counselling, testing and treatment for HIV and all sexually transmitted infections; prevention of unintended pregnancies; equitable and affordable access to contraceptives, including access to emergency contraception; safe and legal abortion, including post-abortion care; care and treatment to prevent vertical transmission of HIV, including of partners and children.
It is clear that the scientific evidence, the epidemiological studies and the voices of experts like Dr. Edward C. Green and Professor David Paton on the ineffectiveness of current condom-first anti-life approaches, really don’t matter in the face of political expediency and aggressive anti-life ideology. The motion became much worse following the submission and acceptance of amendments to the motion. These motions were put forward by many of the original proposers of the motion listed above, and other MEPs like Sophia in't Veld, Michael Cashman, and Corinne Lepage, well-known for their aggressive promotion of contraception, abortion, and destructive behaviours and lifestyles.

Prolife MEPs and NGOs worked together, calling for split and separate votes on some of the most controversial sections, hoping that they would be exposed and voted out of the motion. However, even without the most anti-life amendments, the document as a whole would have remained unacceptable. SPUC encouraged constituents to contact their MEPs about the most dangerous sections and the harmful content likely to remain, which meant that a clear vote against the motion as a whole was required. People living with HIV/AIDS do need particular medical and pastoral support, but this motion fails these people and acts as a Trojan horse for the agendas of pro-abortion MEPs and lobby groups.

On the day, all of the anti-life pro-abortion sections received overwhelming support from MEPs, including the vast majority of the PPE (Christian Democrat) MEPs. Every vote on anti-life sections was lost by a wide margin. Section 22, which includes an explicit promotion of abortion, received 6 separate roll-call votes. Every single one was sadly lost. The fifth roll-call vote dealt specifically with the reference to abortion. Only 206 MEPs voted against abortion i.e. they used their vote to defend unborn babies. They were:

ALDE: Aylward, Gallagher, Harkin, Takkula
ECR: Bielan, Cymański, Czarnecki, Deva, Helmer, Kamiński, Karim, Kirkhope, Kowal, Kurski, Legutko, McClarkin, Migalski, Piotrowski, Poręba, Szymański, Tannock, Wojciechowski, Włosowicz, Ziobro
EFD: Belder, Borghezio, Fontana, Morganti, Rossi, Scottà, Speroni, Terho, Tzavela, Vanhecke
NI: Claeys, Dodds, Gollnisch, Hartong, Kovács, Le Pen Marine, Madlener, Mölzer, Obermayr, Stassen, Stoyanov Dimitar, Zijlstra
PPE: Abad, Allam, Andrikienė, Angelilli, Antonescu, Antoniozzi, Arias Echeverría, Ayuso, Baldassarre, Balz, Bartolozzi, Bastos, Bauer, Becker, Belet, Berlato, Bodu, Bonsignore, Borys, Brok, Busuttil, Böge, Băsescu, Březina, Cancian, Carvalho, Casa, Casini, Caspary, Coelho, Comi, Daul, De Mita, Delvaux, Deutsch, Deß, Dorfmann, Díaz de Mera García Consuegra, Estaràs Ferragut, Feio, Ferber, Fernandes, Fidanza, Fraga Estévez, Gahler, García-Margallo y Marfil, Gardini, Gauzès, Glattfelder, Grzyb, Gyürk, Gál, Gáll-Pelcz, Handzlik, Hankiss, Herranz García, Hibner, Higgins, Hohlmeier, Iacolino, Jahr, Jazłowiecka, Jeggle, Jędrzejewska, Kalinowski, Karas, Kasoulides, Kastler, Kelam, Kelly, Klaß, Koch, Kozłowski, Kuhn, Köstinger, La Via, Landsbergis, Langen, Lehne, Liese, Lisek, Lope Fontagné, Mann, Matera, Mato Adrover, Matula, Mauro, Mayer, Mayor Oreja, McGuinness, Melo, Mikolášik, Millán Mon, Mitchell, Morkūnaitė-Mikulėnienė, Mészáros, Neynsky, Niculescu, Niebler, Olbrycht, Oomen-Ruijten, Pack, Pallone, Papastamkos, Patrão Neves, Pieper, Pirker, Posselt, Protasiewicz, Proust, Pöttering, Quisthoudt-Rowohl, Rangel, Reul, Rivellini, Roithová, Rübig, Salafranca Sánchez-Neyra, Saryusz-Wolski, Saudargas, Schnellhardt, Schnieber-Jastram, Schwab, Scurria, Seeber, Siekierski, Silvestris, Sommer, Sonik, Stolojan, Stoyanov Emil, Surján, Szájer, Sógor, Teixeira, Thun und Hohenstein, Thyssen, Tőkés, Ulmer, Ungureanu, Vaidere, Verheyen, Vidal-Quadras, Weber Manfred, Weisgerber, Wieland, Winkler Hermann, Wortmann-Kool, Zalewski, Zanicchi, Zeller, Zwiefka, de Grandes Pascual, de Lange, del Castillo Vera, van de Camp, Áder, Őry, Šťastný
S&D: Prodi

Section 22 makes the link between pregnant mothers with HIV/AIDS, their babies, and the “solution” to mother-child HIV transmission by killing the child before he or she is born. The majority of MEPs are clearly not content with killing the disabled; they are now seeking out sick babies.

In the final vote, 454 MEPs voted in favour of this barbaric resolution, a small but stalwart 86 voted against it, and 44 abstained. The MEPs who voted against were:

ALDE: Aylward, Gallagher
ECR: Bielan, Cymański, Czarnecki, Deva, Helmer, Kamiński, Kowal, Kurski, Legutko, Migalski, Piotrowski, Poręba, Szymański, Tomaševski, Wojciechowski, Ziobro
EFD: Agnew, Andreasen, Belder, Bufton, Clark, Fontana, Speroni
GUE/NGL: Angourakis, Toussas
NI: Claeys, Gollnisch, Hartong, Kovács, Madlener, Mölzer, Obermayr, Zijlstra
PPE: Allam, Antoniozzi, Arias Echeverría, Ayuso, Bartolozzi, Borys, Brok, Busuttil, Březina, Cancian, Casa, Casini, Deß, Díaz de Mera García Consuegra, Ferber, Fidanza, Fraga Estévez, Gardini, Grzyb, Handzlik, Hibner, Kalinowski, Kastler, Kelam, Kelly, Klaß, Koch, Kozłowski, Mato Adrover, Mauro, Mayor Oreja, Millán Mon, Olbrycht, Pieper, Posselt, Protasiewicz, Pöttering, Roithová, Salafranca Sánchez-Neyra, Saryusz-Wolski, Saudargas, Sommer, Sonik, Surján, Vidal-Quadras, Zalewski, Zeller, Zwiefka, de Grandes Pascual, del Castillo Vera, Šťastný

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Thursday, 15 December 2011

Dutch pro-lifers say: campaign for abortion abolition, not stricter rules

The annual Dutch March for Life took place on Saturday 10 December to commemorate the passing of the Pregnancy Termination Law, passed on 18 December 1980, which allows for abortion on demand in Holland up to the 24th week of pregnancy.

It is estimated that 1,400 people took part in the march, which is almost double last year's attendance.

The event was organised by the pro-life group Cry for Life. Dr Bert P. Dorenbos, President of Cry for Life and the chief organiser of the march, said:
"We're not going for stricter rules, but we are called to advocate the abolition of abortion."
Dr Dorenbos’s comment is particularly applicable to the UK and misguided parliamentary moves, e.g. trying to lower the 24-week upper time-limit on most social abortions.

It is greatly encouraging to see the development of a vibrant and active movement for life in the Netherlands.

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Wednesday, 14 December 2011

SPUC supporters use Christmas celebrations to reach out to those hurt by abortion

The tree "Have a Heart for unborn babies". The model of an unborn child can be seen  in the middle of the red floral heart.

I often receive emails from supporters doing fantastic work in defence of life. I am always greatly encouraged when visiting SPUC branches in various parts of the country. I thought I would share an a message I received from Frances Levett, of SPUC Melton Mowbray.
Dear John,
I'm forwarding the photo of our Christmas tree which we entered in this year's Christmas Tree Festival at St. Mary's C of E church, Melton Mowbray. We always enter a decorated tree in this large festival which is attended by several thousand people. This year we chose the theme "Have a Heart for Unborn Babies" and decorated it by hanging hearts on it: some bauble hearts and some red card ones with facts about an unborn baby's heart written on them. We put a poinsettia floral heart at the base, with a model of an unborn baby lying among the flowers. We also invited people who had lost a baby to abortion to write a message to their child on a blank card heart and hang it on the tree.
We found 24 messages on the tree at the end of the festival, most of them addressed to the baby by name, showing the pain and suffering caused by abortion. "4th Christmas without you. Still miss you", and the heartbreaking "I'm sorry. Lots of love, Mummy." We have received several comments to the effect that this was the best tree we have ever submitted. A social worker from Leicester who works with adoption let us know she thought it was very moving and helpful to people. I must give thanks to Rachel and John Cousen, Isobel Steele, Alastair Street and Frances Levett for their ideas and work.
It strikes me that this is a simple and thought provoking initiative which could easily be replicated in other parts of the country.

It also strikes me that this extraordinary response in one English town to the simple Christmas tree initiative of our local branch gives the lie to the recent study purporting to show that abortion doesn't harm mental health.

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Today's must-read pro-life news-stories, Wed 14 Dec

Vince Cable: Malthus was wrong
Top stories:

Sing for the unborn this December
The Good Counsel Network, a pro-life organisation which assists women in crisis pregnancies, are carol singing at London tube stations next week (19, 21 and 22 December) to raise money for their life-saving work. Please go along and join them one evening if you can. If you're not comfortable singing then they always need help collecting money too. For more information and to let them know if you plan to join them please contact Conor on 0207 723 1740. [John Smeaton, 11 December]

SPUC Council passes resolution to defend marriage
SPUC's national council, which is SPUC's policy-making body, elected by its grassroots volunteers, last month passed the following resolution to defend marriage: "That the Council of SPUC, noting the various proposals currently being made by the present Government and others in regard to the status and standing of marriage and its consequent effect upon family life; and further noting the higher proportionate incidence of abortion in unmarried women compared to married women, resolves to do its utmost to fight for the retention of the traditional understanding of marriage in the history, culture and law of the United Kingdom, namely the exclusive union of one man with one woman for life; and accordingly instructs its officers and executive committee to conduct a major campaign to this end, to co-operate with other persons and societies in so doing and specifically to target the Government's consultation period starting in March, 2012, in regard to (so-called) same sex marriage." [John Smeaton, 8 December]

Other stories:

  • UK pro-abortion lobbyist celebrates Christmas morning-after pill promotion as "Jingle Pills indeed"! [BMJ, 12 December] SPUC slams it as "sick trivialisation" [Twitter, 13 December] Lobbyist also claimed: "[I]t's sex [pro-lifers are] against". SPUC comment: What an absurd claim, when in fact many pro-lifers have large families. [Twitter, 13 December
  • UK pro-abortion group holds Christmas carols concert in Anglican church [FPA, 13 December] SPUC comment: Did they dare to sing the famous Coventry Carol with its line: "children young, to slay"? [Twitter, 13 December
  • SPUC challenges review which denies abortions harms mental health [Guardian, 9 November] Detailed SPUC comment [SPUC, 9 November]
Sexual ethics
  • March for Life to be held in Budapest, Hungary, 28 December [Pat Buckley, 13 December]
  • Pope at Guadalupe Mass: Defend life from conception to natural end, protect family in its genuine form [VIS, 13 December]
  • Holy See praises bilateral relations with Chile including pro-life & pro-family mutual interests [VIS, 13 December]

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Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Doctors wanted to starve disabled son of Irish pro-life politician

On 30 November Anthony Ozimic, SPUC's communications manager, took part in a debate at University College Cork (UCC), Ireland, on assisted suicide (slides from Anthony's speech), organised by the UCC Law Society. Anthony was quoted in The Irish Times report on the debate:
"[E]uthanasia [i]s underpinned by a pessimism about the value of life and the ability of society to respond adequately to the sick and the vulnerable."
Speaking (pictured) alongside Anthony was Kathy Sinnott, the Irish disability rights campaigner, SPUC supporter and former member of the European Parliament (MEP). Anthony and Kathy have spoken together before at UCC, to Students for Life there.

Also featuring in the debate were:
  • Tom Curran, European coordinator of Exit International, the pro-euthanasia and suicide organisation headed by Dr Philip Nitschke;
  • Dr. Kieran Doran, senior lecturer in healthcare ethics, UCC;
  • Dr. Adam McAuley, senior lecturer in medical and international human rights law, University College Dublin (UCD). 
The debate was chaired by Dr Deirdre Madden, senior lecturer in law, UCC.

Mrs Sinnott began her speech (full text) by challenging the students to confront the fundamental questions of what it means to be a human person and what is the true nature of death:
"I would suggest to you that before approaching the question of natural death or euthanasia it is important to find out the truth about ourselves as the human person.

In doing so you will go a long way to answering another question important to this discussion: what is death?"
Mrs Sinnott spoke powerfully on a number of issues, including the attempts of hospital staff in Dublin to deprive her son Jamie of a feeding programme, based on their assessment of his quality of life:
"My first [experience of euthanasia and it's advocates] was a personal encounter which concerned my son Jamie, who is profoundly disabled. Following a severe reaction to a flu jab, his health seriously deteriorated. By the time he, a young man taller than I, had been reduced to 65lbs, he was spending a lot of time in hospital in Dublin.

However he was not being treated. I knew that he needed to be fully scoped and put on a feeding program; both were standard procedures that would have been performed on someone without a disability long before they got to this stage.

Through persistence, I got half the test done and based on this the consultant told me and repeated three times that if we did not get Jamie on a feeding program that he would die. I thanked him and said that we would do whatever it took to make a success of the feeding program. I was delighted that at long last, Jamie could start to get well.

But a half hour later, the consultant, two younger doctors and a nurse, came to the ward where I was waiting for Jamie to come back from the test. They sat down around me with an atmosphere of concern and told me that they had been talking and that they had decided not to put Jamie on a feeding program. They said his quality of life was poor.
I got Jamie out of there as fast as I could and brought him back to Cork, where he was fully tested and put on a program of elemental feeding. Today Jamie weighs 8 stone, he no longer needs a wheelchair instead he walks the country roads every day. He is not longer miserable he takes an active part in his life and sometimes even smiles.

Thank you Cork University Hospital Prof Quigley and team. And an Irish Constitution and High Court that recognized his worth and therefore his rights."
This is yet another example of the success of the euthanasia lobby in exporting the practice of euthanasia by neglect - see my blog-posts earlier today and on 2 December about this practice in the UK.

In his own speech Anthony Ozimic highlighted  the comment made in 1984 by Helga Kuhse, the international euthanasia advocate and leader, which perhaps most concisely encapsulates the widespread radicalism of the euthanasia movement:
"If we can get people to accept the removal of all treatment and care, especially the removal of food and fluids they will see what a painful way this is to die and then, in the patient's best interests, they will accept the lethal injection "
Mrs Sinnott said in her speech that her time working in the European Parliament revealed the truth behind the myth that there are 'extreme' and 'mainstream' branches of the euthanasia lobby. I made this very point recently when pointing out that Dr Philip Nitschke is not the extreme wing of the pro-death lobby, but rather the unacceptable face of a lobby wishing to appear moderate in the promotion of their radical pro-death agenda. Mrs Sinnott explained that she had attended a conference organised by the liberal democrat group at the European Parliament, in which the organisers made clear that their objective was free, easy and open access to euthanasia, voluntary and involuntary - although they cautioned that it is important in the beginning to always talk of assisted suicide and to downplay euthanasia.

Mrs Sinnott also relayed the experiences of a friend of hers with ten years' experience confronting death as a hospice nurse. Her friend informed her that her experience suggests that an initial fear or rejection of death, the desire to confess and the desire to travel are so common as to be almost universal traits among dying patients.

Mrs Sinnott's speech concluded with her own reflections on death:
"What I have discovered from those who know death well, those who have had a personal encounter and those who are facing into it convinces me that death is both a unique and very important personal event and a stage, a normal developmental stage of human life."
Dying is a natural, normal part of life which comes to us all. Assisted suicide and euthanasia are violations of that natural process, which should be respected as an integral part of our lives.

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Read this letter on the Liverpool Care Pathway

On 2 December I blogged about a Telegraph report on the Liverpool Care Pathway. In response to that report, Veronica Stabbins, a lady from Windsor, has given powerful testimony to the pro-euthanasia reality of the Pathway in a letter published yesterday - please read it below (you will need to scroll down the page, as it's about one-third down down the page). As I said on 2 December, I urge readers to check whether the Pathway is being operated in hospitals, hospices or care homes where you live. If so, please write to the management there and draw their attention courteously to the concerns which continue to be expressed about the Pathway.

Telegraph, letters, 12 December 2011
One-way path to death

SIR – My family had some experience of the Liverpool Care Pathway (report December 1) last year.
My mother, aged 99 and living in a nursing home, was taken as an emergency to a hospital A & E department with acute respiratory distress. My brother and I arrived soon after. The doctor told us there was no help for her and that she would probably only live for about two hours.

Obviously unwell, but responsive, she was transferred to a stark room and her saline drip taken down. A nurse wanted to remove her oxygen mask, but she insisted on keeping it, as it helped her breathing.

Another nurse was about to give her an injection of morphine, but I challenged this as my mother was not complaining of pain. The nurse said it was normal protocol.

In answer to our questions, we were told that Mother had been placed on the “care pathway of the dying” and that she would not be given any food or water but would have regular sedation.

We asked if she could be transferred to a private ward to be more comfortable in her final hours. This was arranged promptly. Her physician confirmed she was indeed terminally ill and no medication would be appropriate, only care. To everyone’s surprise, she began to improve and after a week could take sips of water and food.

Mother lived for a year, visited daily by family and friends. The highlight of her “extra” year was her 100th birthday, when she entertained 40 people to a tea party.

She would not have lived that extra year, had she been denied water and sedated in hospital last year.

Veronica Stabbins
Windsor, Berkshire
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Sunday, 11 December 2011

Sing for the unborn this December

The Good Counsel Network, a fantastic pro-life organisation which assists women in crisis pregnancies, are carol singing to raise money for their life-saving work. They say:
The Good Counsel Network organise Carol singing in Tube stations in Central London every year to raise money to help save more childrens lives, and to bring Jesus to people in the streets. This is always very popular with all of the commuters and lots of fun for all who come and sing or rattle a bucket if you are not able to sing . This years dates are:
Singing starts at 4.30pm and finishes approx 8pm on all dates and we go for a drink in local pub or restaurant afterwards.
Monday 19th December at Piccadilly Circus Tube Station (Meet at main ticket office
Wednesday 21st December at Green Park Tube Station (Meet inside the barriers of the main ticket hall)
Thursday 22nd December at Waterloo Tube Station (Details of where to meet coming soon)
Please go along and join them one evening if you can. If you're not comfortable singing then they always need help collecting money too. For more information and to let them know if you plan to join them please contact Conor on 0207 723 1740

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