Friday, 29 November 2013

Save the Children's sad record of support for abortion and contraception including abortifacients

Save the Children is an international charity, founded in 1919 in Britain, which promotes children's rights and provides humanitarian relief.

In 2012 Save the Children published a report entitled: "Every woman's right: how family planning saves children's lives." The report was produced in the run-up to the London Summit on Family Planning, co-hosted by the Melinda Gates Foundation and the UK's Department for International Development (DFiD), with strong backing from the world's leading providers and promoters of abortion. This summit sought to fundraise money to spend promoting contraceptives, including abortifacient drugs and devices, among the poorest in the developing world. This summit also gave rise to population control themes, along the lines of there being "too many" people e.g. poor people in the developing world. SPUC responded to this dangerous report with a series of researched press releases:
In a letter dated 23 March 2011, David Mepham, then Save the Children's director of policy, wrote: "We do not have a formal policy on abortion. Save the Children does not provide abortions in any of its programmes. However, we believe that there are circumstances when a woman must have the right to seek a safe abortion, for example when a pregnancy would risk her health. ... We do promote the use of and access to contraception including the morning after pill." SPUC comments:
  • Abortion is never safe and there are no circumstances in which abortion is necessary for women's health.
  • According to their manufacturers, hormonal contraceptives such as morning-after pills can act abortifaciently (i.e. cause an abortion), by preventing newly-conceived embryonic children from implanting in the womb of his or her mother. Therefore Save the Children can be said to facilitate and provide abortions if and when a hormonal contraceptive provided by them acts abortifaciently.
A 17 September 2010 Save The Children blogpost on pregnancy in Liberia read: "Most adolescent pregnancies are unwanted and are more likely to end in induced unsafe abortions. The attitudes of parents and that of service providers in the public sector who are not willing to provide services to teenagers compounds their plight."

A 29 November 2010 Save the Children blogpost read: "Save the Children is aiming to pilot a reproductive health education programme in Vietnam, to help teenagers make informed decisions, feel proud of who they are and protect themselves from sexually transmitted infections and unplanned pregnancies."

A 5 January 2011 Save the Children blogpost read: "empowerment and rights are essential if women are able to control their fertility. No amount of services or "contraception education" will make a difference unless women’s legal and social status is changed. The UK is also to be congratulated for its strong stand on safe abortion, a controversial topic which needs powerful champions. We are pleased that girls’ education status is seen as vital to improving rights."

A 22 February 2012 Save the Children blogpost on Malawi perpetuates the pro-abortion narrative about the need for liberalised abortion laws to supposedly reduce dangerous back-street abortion. The press release also reveals that Save the Children runs a youth project in Malawi which includes sexual and reproductive health (sex education and contraception) to youth as human rights.

Save the Children's "An Equal Start" report, 2011, includes the pro-abortion narrative about campaigning for liberal abortion laws in order to prevent mothers dying from dangerous back-street abortions. The report also criticises Peru’s 1997 Health Law because it "criminalises abortion"
Save the Children's "Charting the Future: Empowering girls to prevent early pregnancy" report,  2012, perpetuates the pro-abortion narrative that large numbers of women are having dangerous back-street abortions because of restrictive abortion laws and social attitudes. The report also says that "Greater effort needs to be made to make girls and healthcare providers aware of emergency contraception" .

SPUC also had an in-depth entry on Save the Children in SPUC's 2006 charities bulletin which showed that Save the Children has taken clear pro-abortion and population control positions.

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Tuesday, 26 November 2013

My comment on Pope Francis's apostolic exhortation Evangelii Gaudium

In "Evangelii Gaudium" (also see my blogpost earlier today) Pope Francis calls for a bold self-examination by Catholics of how consistent are their lives with the Gospel and with the Church's mission. This need was identified by Pope John Paul II in the context of the Gospel of Life, when he taught in Evangelium Vitae 95:
"With great openness and courage, we need to question how widespread is the culture of life today among individual Christians, families, groups and communities in our Dioceses."
In September, Pope Francis told Catholic doctors that promoting the sanctity of human life is
"a commitment of the New Evangelization".
So it is incumbent upon Catholics to both believe and spread those messages which are contingent on the Gospel of Life, such as the injustice of all abortions, the wrongness of euthanasia, and what Pope John Paul II called
"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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Another excellent pro-life/pro-family Gospel reflection from "Our Faith on Sunday"

On 12 November I blogged about the excellent Gospel reflection on true and false marriage featured in the previous weekend's "Our Faith on Sunday" Mass sheets used in many Catholic parishes, published by The Catholic Printing Company of Farnworth. So I'm delighted to read another equally excellent pro-life/pro-family Gospel reflection in the latest "Our Faith on Sunday. It reads (my emphases in bold):
"We can call Christ 'King' for two reasons. First, because as God, He created us. Secondly because as man, He redeemed us. The gospel shows Him 'buying back' the good thief from his past life, and even assuring him of his place in paradise after death.

To earthly kings and other earthly authorities, we owe a real but limited allegiance. To our Lord, Creator and Redeemer, our allegiance must be total. There is no aspect of our lives about which we may say to Him, 'Here, you may not enter'. If we are Christians, our desire must be that all our actions, thoughts and words should be worthy of Him.

What is true of Christians taken individually is also true of them united in society. Society, too, owes an allegiance to Christ the King. It is only by acknowledging His law and His rights that a society can be healthy.

If we know that Christ is King, we must certainly begin by asking Him to reign in our own lives. But we shouldn't stop there. We should also ask Him to reign in our society. We should pray for the repeal of unjust and immoral 'laws' about marriage and abortion. We should speak the truth about these things, even when it is unpopular. And we must pray that holy Church., where Christ reigns on earth, may be helped by earthly rulers who recognise their duties towards the King of kings."
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BREAKING NEWS Pope Francis's new document addresses abortion, family, marriage

A few minutes ago, the Vatican released the text of Evangelii Gaudium ("The Joy of the Gospel"), an Apostolic Exhortation by Pope Francis. Below are sections of the document which address pro-life and pro-family issues:
66. The family is experiencing a profound cultural crisis, as are all communities and social bonds. In the case of the family, the weakening of these bonds is particularly serious because the family is the fundamental cell of society, where we learn to live with others despite our differences and to belong to one another; it is also the place where parents pass on the faith to their children. Marriage now tends to be viewed as a form of mere emotional satisfaction that can be constructed in any way or modified at will. But the indispensible contribution of marriage to society transcends the feelings and momentary needs of the couple. As the French bishops have taught, it is not born “of loving sentiment, ephemeral by definition, but from the depth of the obligation assumed by the spouses who accept to enter a total communion of life”.[60]

[60] CONFÉRENCE DES ÉVÊQUES DE FRANCE, Conseil Famille et Société, Élargir le mariage aux personnes de même sexe? Ouvrons le débat! (28 September 2012).

...

213. Among the vulnerable for whom the Church wishes to care with particular love and concern are unborn children, the most defenceless and innocent among us. Nowadays efforts are made to deny them their human dignity and to do with them whatever one pleases, taking their lives and passing laws preventing anyone from standing in the way of this. Frequently, as a way of ridiculing the Church’s effort to defend their lives, attempts are made to present her position as ideological, obscurantist and conservative. Yet this defence of unborn life is closely linked to the defence of each and every other human right. It involves the conviction that a human being is always sacred and inviolable, in any situation and at every stage of development. Human beings are ends in themselves and never a means of resolving other problems. Once this conviction disappears, so do solid and lasting foundations for the defence of human rights, which would always be subject to the passing whims of the powers that be. Reason alone is sufficient to recognize the inviolable value of each single human life, but if we also look at the issue from the standpoint of faith, “every violation of the personal dignity of the human being cries out in vengeance to God and is an offence against the creator of the individual”.[176]

214. Precisely because this involves the internal consistency of our message about the value of the human person, the Church cannot be expected to change her position on this question. I want to be completely honest in this regard. This is not something subject to alleged reforms or “modernizations”. It is not “progressive” to try to resolve problems by eliminating a human life. On the other hand, it is also true that we have done little to adequately accompany women in very difficult situations, where abortion appears as a quick solution to their profound anguish, especially when the life developing within them is the result of rape or a situation of extreme poverty. Who can remain unmoved before such painful situations?

[176] JOHN PAUL II, Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Christifideles Laici (30 December 1988), 37: AAS 81 (1989), 461.

...

242 ... Evangelization is attentive to scientific advances and wishes to shed on them the light of faith and the natural law so that they will remain respectful of the centrality and supreme value of the human person at every stage of life."
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Monday, 25 November 2013

New attack on unborn babies in Ireland

Top stories:

New attack on unborn babies in Ireland [Pat Buckley, 20 November]

URGENT Ask European Parliament committee to vote against anti-life/anti-family report
Today and tomorrow morning, members of the European Parliament's Women's Rights and Gender Equality Committee (otherwise known as FEMM) will attempt to resurrect the Estrela report, a radical anti-life and anti-family report sent back to the FEMM committee by the European Parliament's plenary session exactly a month ago - see http://spuc-director.blogspot.co.uk/2013/10/breaking-news-pro-life-victory-as.html See SPUC's action alert of 16 October to know why the report is bad and therefore must be rejected: http://www.spuc.org.uk/campaigns/alerts/2013/1016 Tomorrow morning (Tuesday 26 November) the FEMM committee will vote on whether to approve the report and send it forward again to the next month's European Parliament's plenary session. Please email as many members of the FEMM committee as possible to urge them to vote against the Estrela report. > Read more and act now

Other stories:

Abortion
Embryology and stem cell research
Euthanasia
Population
  • No siblings: A side-effect of China's one-child policy [BBC, 22 November] SPUC comment: Readers should note that this BBC report is wrong when it states that the one-child policy will now be relaxed. For the facts, read: Reports of a more lax one-child policy in China 'misleading' [CNA, 15 November]
Sexual ethics
General
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URGENT Ask European Parliament committee to vote against anti-life/anti-family report

Today and tomorrow morning, members of the European Parliament's Women's Rights and Gender Equality Committee (otherwise known as FEMM) will attempt to resurrect the Estrela report, a radical anti-life and anti-family report sent back to the FEMM committee by the European Parliament's plenary session exactly a month ago - see http://spuc-director.blogspot.co.uk/2013/10/breaking-news-pro-life-victory-as.html See SPUC's action alert of 16 October to know why the report is bad and therefore must be rejected: http://www.spuc.org.uk/campaigns/alerts/2013/1016

Tomorrow morning (Tuesday 26 November) the FEMM committee will vote on whether to approve the report and send it forward again to the next month's European Parliament's plenary session. Please email as many members of the FEMM committee as possible to urge them to vote against the Estrela report. Below, full members are listed first, with UK members at the top. The second list is of substitute-members, again with UK members listed at the top.
Please remember to forward any replies you receive from MEPs to SPUC's political department, either by email to political@spuc.org.uk or by post to SPUC HQ.

The European Parliament's Women's Rights and Gender Equality Committee (otherwise known as FEMM):

Full members:
Substitutes:
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