Saturday, 5 May 2012

Some further thoughts on Lynne Featherstone and George Orwell

Following my blogpost on Lynne Featherstone's absurd literary gaffe about same-sex marriage, I've received two particuarly observant responses. Ann Farmer, the pro-life author, said:
"Government proposals for same-sex 'marriage', by marginalising those who disagree, do indeed suggest that all will be equal, but that those who agree with the move will be more equal than others. And speaking of Orwell, Ms Featherstone's remark is also redolent of 1984 - a fine example of state-imposed 'doublethink'."
And Fr Brendan Gerard, who served on SPUC's staff as a researcher and writer in the 1990s, said:
"The mere fact there is an "equalities minister" already tells us everything we need to know!"
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Friday, 4 May 2012

Upbeat report from SPUC's pro-life chain at Bath

Below is an upbeat report from Fr Bill, O.S.M., a parish priest and university chaplain in Bath, of SPUC's Pro-Life Chain last weekend in Bath:
"There was a brave SPUC presence in Bath – thirty-five + seven children – silently witnessing on Saturday 28 April along with countless others up and down the land. It rather resonated with the escape on Saturday from house arrest of the Chinese dissident Chen Guangcheng  a self-schooled legal activist who is known for revealing rights abuses under China's one-child policy and has accused officials in Shandong province of forcing 7,000 women into abortions or sterilisations. How quickly abortion moved there from an encouraged action to an obligation enforced by the political power of the State.

SPUC ‘s annual Pro Life Chain Day on Saturday 28 April at 11am to 1.00pm - marking the 44th Anniversary of the implementation of the Abortion Act -  saw SPUC supporters standing with courage at the London Road Junction (where it adjoins Cleveland Bridge) Those witnessing silently were safe from traffic and passers by. The signs ... included a helpline number. Gail Mills, chairman of Bath and Wansdyke SPUC group, was heartened by the presence of a very good number on a rainy morning.

Gail said she had been a little anxious about an imagined 100 opponents who were said to be coming to give 'a drubbing' to the pro-lifers after much incitement in the local paper and radio publicity. In the event only a small opposition group of 12 turned up who tried to oppose ...

Gail expressed grateful thanks to all who supported SPUC with their prayers, time, and encouragement and especially the priests of the Bath Deanery who were supportive of SPUC’s efforts. Gail can be contacted along with the Bath SPUC group on 01225 833224. Be a voice for the voiceless!"
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Thursday, 3 May 2012

Must-read pro-life news-stories, Thu 3 May

Dr Halliday G. Sutherland 
Top stories:

Sheffield pro-lifers hold roadside vigil
Pro-lifers have held a roadside vigil in Sheffield highlighting the truth about abortion. 30 members of SPUC from Sheffield and Rotherham gathered on the approach road to Meadowhall Shopping Centre on Saturday. They formed a chain, standing along the kerbside at intervals holding placards which bring home the reality of abortion. This year's event was arguably the most effective roadside witness ever held in Sheffield. [SPUC, 3 May]

Paralysed man ‘wins’ court battle to end life by having respirator removed
An English court has approved the withdrawal of a respirator sustaining the life of a British motor neurone disease patient. The Court of Protection held that the man had made a valid advance directive under the Mental Capacity Act 2005. Anthony Ozimic of SPUC told LifeSiteNews.com: "It is not unethical for a non-dying patient to refuse futile or disproportionately burdensome medical treatment, as long as their intention is not suicidal. In this case, however, what is being withdrawn is standard care appropriate for the condition, with the intention of ending life based on the person’s quality of life. We warned for years that the Mental Capacity Act is based on the inhuman notion that disabled people’s lives may not be worth living. It is sanitised barbarism.” [LifeSiteNews.com, 2 May]

Other stories:

Abortion
Euthanasia
Sexual ethics
General
  • Obesity and delayed motherhood behind doubling of mums who die in labour, suggests study [Mail, 30 April]
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There's hope for unborn children in the Faroe Islands

Jógvan á Lakjuni and Karsten Hansen
I returned on Tuesday from the Faroe Islands where I was speaking at the weekend at a national meeting of ProVita, a pro-life group established there twenty years ago. The title of my talk was Protect women, men and unborn children from abortion.

On average, there are, 45 abortions annually in the Faroes. In a nation of 50,000 people, that’s 45 unborn children too many. A roughly equivalent number in Britain would be 54,000 abortions annually, or over 1,000 babies killed in the womb each week.
The fertility rate there is between 2.4 and 2.6 live births per woman, significantly higher than other countries in Europe. Prams are very much in evidence in Torshavn, the capital city, and in the other little villages, nestling beside the north Atlantic sea, which I visited. Somehow, this made the annual killing of 45 Faroese babies all the more poignant.

The Faroes is a largely self-governing dependency within the kingdom of Denmark and, although its population is tiny, it has virtually all the characteristics of a nation state, including its own Parliament, Prime Minister and ministers. Unlike Denmark, the Faroe Islands is not part of the European Union. The Faroese Parliament, or Løgting, can be traced back to the first Norse settlement of the Faroes in the year 800.

Hilda Videro and Jógvan á Lakjuni
I was encouraged to find that many of the Faroe Islands’ 33 Members of Parliament oppose abortion. Three Members of Parliament attended my talk. They were Karsten Hansen, the minister of health affairs, Jógvan á Lakjuni, the Speaker of the Parliament, and Dr. Jenis av Rana, a general practitioner as well as being an active Member of Parliament.

I was also encouraged to learn that it's government policy in the Faroe Islands to reduce the incidence of abortion.

My talk focused firstly on the worldwide powerful political forces promoting abortion on demand in every nation of the world, not least Barack Obama, the US president, and Hilary Clinton, the US Secretary of State – who have proclaimed their worldwide pro-abortion policy for all the world to hear. (By the way, our meeting began with a traditional Faroese song of which there are very many. Our song had ten verses to a simple tune in praise of God and the beauty of creation. When the Faroese visit each others' homes it's usual for them to sing. They love singing.)

I told them:
  • that top United Nations officials have called for the policing of nations worldwide to “address the refusal of physicians to perform legal abortions”
  • that the UNFPA's involvement in China’s forced abortion regime is very well-documented
  • that these pro-abortion forces are substantially supported by Denmark which is the fifth largest country donor in the world to the UNFPA
  • that the Faroe Islands has a reputation of championing the best interests of its people, not least in a recent fishing dispute with the European Union and other nations
  • that they should show the same David versus Goliath spirit in defying any pressures to make abortion even more widely available 
I urged this tiny nation to give the world a lead in changing the nature of the abortion debate; to bring about a paradigm shift in the national and global battle for the right to life of unborn children. I explained:
  • that humanity’s consensus, as expressed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other documents, upholds the right to life of unborn children from conception, and that the intentional killing of unborn children runs contrary to international human rights agreements
  • that just as all patients have a right to information about any medical procedure they are considering, this is even more the case with abortion: women and men have the right to information about the development of the baby, the nature of abortion, and its impact on the health of both women and men
  • that abortion is unlike any other procedure in that it involves always killing one person and possibly injuring another, the mother, who is otherwise usually completely healthy
  • that there is not one scientifically proven medical benefit of abortion but hundreds of studies linking it to a range of physical and emotional problems
  • that abortion is strongly associated with domestic violence and the abuse of women*
  • that ambivalence in women who may be considering abortion is common and ambivalence is related to post-abortion distress in the medico-scientific literature*
  • that there is a solid body of evidence showing that when an abortion is undertaken for reasons of foetal abnormality the after-effects can be particularly traumatic - for both women and men*
  • that it’s time to oppose the ideological agenda of Obama/Clinton - who shamefully mislead the public, doctors and politicians worldwide with their mantra that abortion must be safe, legal and rare
  • that Ireland, where there's historically a constitutional ban on abortion has had, over a number of years, either the lowest rate, or amongst the lowest rates of maternal mortality in the world; that Malta, where abortion is prohibited under the criminal code, has a very low maternal mortality rate; that Chile where abortion is illegal has the lowest maternal mortality in the whole of South America
  • that it's time to oppose the ideological agenda of influential bodies around the world like the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists in Britain, who have recently advised doctors in Britain to stress that induced abortion is a safe procedure and that this should be repeatedly emphasised to women
  • that it should be a matter of public policy for government and parliamentarians, a matter of medical ethics for doctors, and a matter of educational policy on the part of ProVita to tell the public and, especially, mothers-to-be the real truth about what abortion involves.
Sofus Gregersen
Whilst in the Faroes Islands Sofus Gregersen, leader of ProVita Faroes, and I visited the Parliament for a meeting with Karsten Hansen, the minister of health affairs, who had attended the ProVita meeting.

We also met Dr. Jenis av Rana, a GP and a Member of Parliament (also at Saturday's ProVita meeting). Dr Jenis av Rana showed us around the historic Parliament building - providing me with another memorable highlight of my visit to this remarkable, beautiful, hospitable, independent nation.

Dr. Jenis av Rana
Dr Rana told us that amongst his patients there were children who might have been aborted. However, instead of saying to their mothers: "Yes, with your problem, I will refer you for an abortion" he would say: "Yes. I can see you have a real problem. Let's see how I can help you."

This is truly enlightened, compassionate and appropriate medical care in the light of the evidence that ambivalence about an abortion decision is common and that ambivalence is related to post-abortion distress.* I really feel there's hope for unborn children in the Faroe Islands.

*For a copy of Abortion and Women's Health compiled by Dr Gregory J Pike of the Southern Cross Bioethics Centre, please email me at johnsmeaton@spuc.org.uk

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Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Congratulations to SPUC's Safe at School for effective campaigning to protect children from sex DVDs

On Monday the SPUC news-summary reported that:
The BBC has promised to review a sex education video it produced, following concerns within government. Nick Gibb, the schools minister, said that "Parents are justifiably worried materials like this are being used in lessons." The BBC Active video was raised to Mr Gibb's attention by Andrea Leadsom MP [Mail, 30 April]. In December last year, Mrs Leadsom helped deliver SPUC's Safe at School petition to the Department for Education [SPUC, 1 December]
SPUC congratulates Andrea Leadsom MP for acting on the concerns of worried parents in her constituency of South Northamptonshire and for pursuing this issue with the minister. Parents in Mrs Leadsom's constituency also contacted SPUC's Safe at School campaign, run by Antonia Tully, last year for support and advice.
Emma Clarke

Antonia addressed a meeting in Northampton organised by parents for other parents. In November Antonia and Emma Clarke (pictured), a mother of three and one of Mrs Leadsom's constituents, met with Mr Gibb, along with Mrs Leadsom, where they showed him some of the graphic sex cartoons which are shown in schools.

In December, at a public meeting in Westminster organised by SPUC, Mrs Clarke spoke out about her worries regarding sex education in schools. She said that her son’s behaviour changed radically for the worse after he was exposed to sex education at school. Mrs Clarke, who also runs a charity for child sex abuse victims, said that sex education puts children in a vulnerable position because the material used is basically paedophilic.

After the meeting, Mrs Leadsom helped present a petition to the Department for Education. The petition, organised by SPUC, was signed by 47,000 people and called for sex DVDs to be banned from UK primary schools :

Andrea Leadsom MP and others delivering SPUC's petition

So congratulations to Antonia and the supporters of SPUC's Safe at School campaign for having a real pro-life impact on this crucial matter of family policy.

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Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Please join the push for one million rosaries for unborn babies

The Saint Michael the Archangel Organisation, based in Memphis, Tennessee, has launched a drive for one million rosaries for unborn babies between this Friday 4 May and this Sunday 6 May, from people all around the world. I urge my fellow Catholics to join this wonderful pro-life campaign and spread the word among their contacts. For more details, please click on the image to the right or visit http://www.saintmichaelthearchangelorganization.org/

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Monday, 30 April 2012

Must-read pro-life news-stories, Mon 30 Apr

Andrea Leadsom MP
Top story:

BBC promises review of explicit sex film for children
The BBC has promised to review a sex education video it produced, following concerns within government. Nick Gibb, the schools minister, said that "Parents are justifiably worried materials like this are being used in lessons." The BBC Active video was raised to Mr Gibb's attention by Andrea Leadsom MP [Mail, 30 April]. In December last year, Mrs Leadsom helped deliver SPUC's Safe at School petition to the Department for Education [SPUC, 1 December]

Other stories:

Abortion
Embryology
Sexual ethics
  • Same-sex marriage backing will cost you seats, prime minister told [Express, 30 April]
  • 300,000 leaflets sent out by Scottish group opposed to same-sex marriage [Scotsman, 30 April]
  • Minority faith leaders launch campaign for religiously-blessed same-sex marriage [Pink Paper, 30 April]
  • Scottish Catholic Education Service says same-sex marriage would ‘undermine teachers’ [Pink News, 30 April]
  • Equalities minister makes absurd literary gaffe about same-sex marriage [John Smeaton, 29 April]
General
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Sunday, 29 April 2012

Equalities minister makes absurd literary gaffe about same-sex marriage

Lynne Featherstone, the British government's Equalities minister who is leading the government's campaign for same-sex marriage, told Parliament recently that:
"Religious people may continue to believe that marriage can be only between a man and a woman. That is not the state’s view. We do not take the Orwellian view that “All animals are equal but some animals are more equal than others”."
Mrs Featherstone has made an absurd gaffe regarding George Orwell's Animal Farm and its relevance to the definition of marriage. The whole point of Animal Farm is a condemnation of arbitrary redefinitions by the state of fundamental norms in order to serve vested interests. This is exactly what Ms Featherstone is guilty of in her proposed rewriting of the centuries-old understanding of marriage in order to serve the vested interests of the homosexual rights lobby.

Just as in Stalin's Russia (the regime Orwell was condeming) people were punished who didn't obey the state's latest ideological diktats, so too is Mrs Featherstone's Britain moving towards punishing people who won't accept the homosexual rights agenda.

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