Friday, 8 March 2013

Northern Ireland pro-lifers ready to respond to abortion guidelines

SPUC, which twice forced the Northern Ireland Department of Health to withdraw misleading guidelines on the Province’s abortion law, has said it will not hesitate to go back to court if that is the only way it can ensure that unborn children receive the full protection provided under Northern Ireland law.

SPUC was responding to today’s news that Edwin Poots, the health minister, has circulated draft guidelines to the Northern Ireland Executive. They are expected to be published by the end of March. The guidelines will then be the subject of a 16-week public consultation.

Liam Gibson, SPUC's development officer, told the media earlier today:

“When abortion advocates first called for guidelines for doctors in 2001, they argued that it was necessary because the law was unclear. After 10 years of litigation over guidelines, no-one can claim that any more. The law is perfectly clear. Abortion is presumptively illegal and remains a criminal offence. 

"The Attorney General plainly spelt this out, by explaining that an abortion carried out in Northern Ireland MAY not result in criminal liability if, at a trial, a jury considers that the person who procured it was suitably qualified and had reasonable grounds for believing that the continuation of the pregnancy would have created a risk to the life of the mother. Abortion of children because they are disabled is always unlawful.


The requirement for doctors to record the reason for authorising an abortion is definitely welcome. The pro-life movement has repeatedly warned that until doctors are made accountable for their decisions there will always be a risk of illegal abortions taking place in secret.

We will be looking very closely at the draft guidelines and will be encouraging our supporters to take part in the consultation process."
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Russian Orthodox Church issues powerful statement against same-sex marriage move in UK

The Russian Orthodox Church, via its Moscow Patriarchate, has issued the powerful statement below (read in full below) against the move for same-sex marriage in the UK and elsewhere. I wish particularly to highlight this passage:
"In the countries which have embarked on the path of a radical revision of traditional family ethics, this process has resulted in a demographic crisis which is growing from year to year. The revision of fundamental norms of family law on which the human community has been built for centuries and which are preserved as before in the moral code of major world religions is a path leading to the self-liquidation of whole nations."
That is one of the reasons why SPUC as a pro-life organisation campaigns against same-sex marriage.

Do also read my recent blog: "Russian parliament and British government move in opposite directions on sexualisation of children". SPUC has forged close links with Russian pro-lifers, including Russian Orthodox clergy in the UK and Russia itself.

Statement by Communication Service of Moscow Patriarchate Department for External Church Relations on recent changes in family laws in France and Great Britain

5.03.2013
Same-sex unions have continued to be legalized in Europe. Recently, respective bills have been approved by the lower chambers of the French and British parliaments. It was done not only in defiance of the opinion of a part of deputies but also against the background of mass protest manifestations of citizens.

These legislative steps show that a revolution is taking place in the European societies’ understanding of marriage as such. The legal recognition of homosexual unions and their equating to marriage is a revolution is the sphere of legislative norms regulating family relations including the norms concerning taxation, education, healthcare, upbringing of children, etc.

The legalization of same-sex unions is another step towards an attempt to give an absolutely new meaning to marriage and the family directly opposite to the Christian one. Basically, this process involves connivance at individualism and hedonism on the scale of society and state and ultimately on the scale of the whole humanity.

In the countries which have embarked on the path of a radical revision of traditional family ethics, this process has resulted in a demographic crisis which is growing from year to year. The revision of fundamental norms of family law on which the human community has been built for centuries and which are preserved as before in the moral code of major world religions is a path leading to the self-liquidation of whole nations.

The legislative norm allowing homosexual unions to adopt and raise children appear especially dangerous. Evidently, these children will develop a view of parents, family and moral and social values completely different from the traditional ones. All this will contribute to further obliteration of differences between the sexes and subsequently to forcing out from public conscience the image of woman as mother, wife and guardian of the household. The final rejection of the idea that man and woman have special vocations and complement each other in family life threatens with destructive consequences for both the individual and society.

The Russian Orthodox Church preserves and defends the primary Christian understanding of marriage and family, sanctifies marital relations in the church Sacrament and asserts the importance of marriage for the wellbeing and development of society as a whole.

Our Church expresses her solidarity with Christians, adherents to other religions and those proponents of non-religious worldviews who have preserved the traditional understanding of marriage as union of man and woman and come out against the attempts to use a radical legal reform to impose on the whole society a different understanding of marriage unprecedented in human history.

Aware of the danger of these processes, we believe it important to develop dialogue with all the public forces, both religious and non-religious, who support the traditional ideas of family values. This criterion is one of the most important ones in the Russian Orthodox Church’s choice of partners in inter-Christian and interreligious dialogues.

DECR Communication Service
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Thursday, 7 March 2013

Watch this inspiring video calling youth to pro-life activism

One of SPUC's young team has produced an inspiring video calling young people to pro-life activism. Do watch this video either below or on SPUC's channel on YouTube and share it with your contacts.



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Must-read pro-life news-stories, Thu 7 March

Top stories:

Same-sex 'marriage' has negative effects, shows latest evidence
The experience of legalising marriage for same-sex couples in Europe and North America shows that such legalisation has negative effects for real marriage and for families, shows latest evidence. The evidence was presented to the House of Commons committee examining the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill, in a written submission by Dr Patricia Morgan, the British family policy researcher, on behalf of SPUC. The submission can be read in full at www.spuc.org.uk/campaigns/ssmsub20130301 [SPUC, 2 March]

New abortion law in Northern Ireland reflects alarm about Marie Stopes
New legislation on abortion introduced to the Northern Ireland Assembly is a response to the level of public concern aroused by the arrival in Northern Ireland of Marie Stopes International (MSI). The opening of the MSI abortion facility in Belfast in October last year left the Assembly with no choice but to address the threat posed by abortion businesses determined to defy the existing law. [SPUC, 27 February]

Northern Ireland abortion court-case shows abortion-lobby desperate, says SPUC
SPUC, which twice forced the Northern Ireland Department of Health to withdraw misleading guidance on the Province’s abortion law, has said that abortion advocates are becoming increasingly frustrated at the lack of success they have had in winning support for their agenda. SPUC made its remarks as an application for a judicial review brought by the Family Planning Association of Northern Ireland was beginning in the High Court in Belfast. [SPUC, 27 February]

Other stories:

Abortion
Embryology
  • IVF wiped out my life savings and left me a mess, says TV star Lisa Faulkner [Mail, 6 March]
Euthanasia
  • Pensioner placed on Liverpool Care Pathway without family's permission dies after 8 days without food or water [Mail, 6 March]
Sexual ethics
  • Read this excellent analysis of the same-sex marriage debate [John Smeaton, 7 March]
  • Finland rejects same-sex marriage Bill [Christian Institute, 7 March]
  • Ruling upheld that Scottish Catholic charity must accept adoption applications from gay couples [Pink News, 6 March]
  • SPUC quoted in this story: The Bitter Pill: UK’s Tablet calls for Church to abandon fight against ‘gay marriage’ [LifeSiteNews.com, 5 March] Anthony Ozimic, SPUC's communications manager, said: “One of the most practical tributes that Catholics in the UK can pay to Pope-emeritus Benedict would be to eliminate The Tablet from Catholic life. The Tablet is a tool of ‘the dictatorship of relativism’ which Pope Benedict condemned so forcefully. It has given succour to many of the lobbies which constitute the culture of death.” Related blog: The Tablet tells the Catholic Church to surrender [John Smeaton, 1 March]
  • Poland: Deputies strike down three civil partnership bills [Pink News, 1 March]
General
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Read this excellent analysis of the same-sex marriage debate

Matthew McCusker, one of SPUC's youth bloggers, has written an excellent analysis of the same-sex marriage debate, entitled  "Is the true nature of marriage self-evident?"

Matthew's analysis starts by posing the problem that:
"[I]t is becoming increasingly clear that our society no longer possesses a clear definition of marriage ... How has our society come to be divided into two such irreconcilable factions, with one group holding as self-evident something which is now incomprehensible to the other?"
Matthew continues:
"To help answer this question I wish to consider the matter in the light of the philosophy of St Thomas Aquinas. This is primarily a philosophical question and I hope that the following discussion will be of interest to people of all religious backgrounds and none."
He concludes by stating:
"It is only when the true meaning of marriage is fully understood that it will once again become self-evident to all that two men or two women can never enter into the specific kind of union that marriage involves."
Do read Matthew's insightful blog-post in full.

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