Friday, 20 April 2012

Midwives launch appeal in defence of conscience rights

Two Glasgow midwives who were told in February that they had to supervise abortions, regardless of their conscientious objection, have launched an appeal against the decision. The judge in the Scottish Court of Session told the midwives, Mary Doogan and Connie Wood, both labour ward sisters, that the conscience clause in the Abortion Act would exempt them from hands-on involvement in abortions, but as senior midwives they had to accept management instructions to oversee abortions performed by other midwives on the labour ward.

A small but increasing number of abortions are being transferred to labour wards in line with national policies against disability. Screening and offering abortion for disabled babies is regarded as a cost-effective measure, and hospitals are encouraged to offer tests for disability. 

The costs of Glasgow midwives' legal action are being underwritten by SPUC. People wishing to make donations towards the midwives' legal costs should telephone SPUC on +44 (0)20 7091 7091.

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Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Kerbside vigils against abortion to be held throughout UK

Pro-life campaigners in over 50 towns and cities in the UK will this month give silent witness to unborn babies killed in the 44 years since the implementation of the Abortion Act, as well as to the hurt caused to women by abortion.

On Saturday 28 April (some locations Sat 21 April, see below), supporters of the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC) will form chains, standing along the kerbside at intervals holding placards which bring home the reality of abortion. The event is known as the Pro-life Chains and will be held from 11am to 1pm (times differ for some locations, see below).

The Abortion Act 1967 came into effect on 27 April 1968. Since then well over seven-and-a-half million unborn children have been killed through registered abortion in Britain. This figure does not include abortions which may be caused by birth control drugs and devices. Nor does it include the number of embryos destroyed or discarded during and after in-vitro fertilisation (IVF).

Abortion is increasingly under the national spotlight, following revelations about unethical practices in the abortion industry and a rise in pro-life vigils.

The full list of locations for the event is listed below. Media outlets are welcome to send a reporter and/or photographer to cover the event. Media and supporters interested in the event should contact Tony Mullett, the event's national organiser on (01772) 258580 or at SPUC's communications department can be contacted on (0)7939 177683 or (020) 7820 3129 or
Chains will take place at the following towns on Saturday 28 April from 11am to 1pm unless otherwise stated:
  • Ashton-under-Lyne
  • Balsall Common
  • Banff
  • Bath
  • Bedford - 12 noon to 1.30 pm
  • Bideford
  • Blackpool
  • Brecon
  • Brighton
  • Bristol
  • Cardiff
  • Carnforth
  • Cheltenham
  • Chester
  • Chorley
  • Congleton
  • Crosby
  • Eccles
  • Edgbaston
  • Edinburgh
  • Enniskillen - 12noon to 2pm
  • Erdington
  • Farnham
  • Godalming
  • Guildford
  • Hammersmith
  • Handsworth
  • Huddersfield
  • Hull
  • Lincoln
  • Llanelli
  • Loughborough - Sat 21 April
  • Narborough
  • Newcastle under Lyme
  • Newcastle upon Tyne
  • Nottingham - Sat 21 April, 10am to 12noon
  • Paignton
  • Peterborough
  • Plymouth
  • Preston
  • Reading
  • Sale
  • Salisbury
  • Sheffield
  • Stevenage
  • Stockton-on-Tees
  • Swansea
  • Telford
  • Truro
  • Uxbridge
  • Vale of Glamorgan
  • Wavertree
  • Worthing
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Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Must-read pro-life news-stories, Tue 17 April

Eugenics was the theme of the 1997 film Gattaca
Top stories:

Morning-after pill to be delivered by courier in London
A London medical practice is to deliver morning-after pills by courier. Women wanting the pills will fill out an online form, to be assessed by a doctor, and the pills will be delivered within two hours. Norman Wells of the Family Education Trust condemned the plan, saying: “[Y]oung people have been lulled into a false sense of security ... and become exposed to an increased risk of sexually transmitted infections” by easy access to morning-after pills. [Evening Standard, 16 April]

Parents can have a duty to use IVF, say bioethicists
Two American bioethicists have argued that some parents have a moral obligation to use IVF and embryo testing to create only disease-free children. In a piece in The American Journal of Bioethics, Janet Malek of East Carolina University and Judith F. Daar of Whittier Law School in California, support "a duty on IVF-reproducing parents to maximize the well-being of their future offspring by all reasonable means". [BioEdge, 13 April] Anthony Ozimic of SPUC said: "This is just the latest version of the age-old barbarism of eugenics, stretching from the exposing of disabled infants in ancient Greece to the Nazi euthanasia programme. We must not be weak in condeming it simply because it appears in an academic journal."

Other stories:

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Monday, 16 April 2012

Must-read pro-life news-stories, Mon 16 April

Top stories:

UK clinic to offer ovarian tissue freezing for first time in UK
A London clinic plans to offer ovarian tissue freezing for the first time in the UK. The procedure involves removing part of one ovary, freezing it and then re-implanting it at a later date. It is being proposed for both medical and social reasons. [Telegraph, 16 April] Pro-life commentators have objected to procedure as contrary to nature.

Huge increase in assisted suicide cases in Oregon and Switzerland
There has been a huge increase in assisted suicide in Oregon and Switzerland, says a UK doctor. Peter Saunders, head of the Christian Medical Fellowship (CMF), said that the latest figures suggest that since 1998 assisted suicides have risen by 450% in Oregon and by 700% in Switzerland. Dr Saunders argues that such increases are an inevitable result of legal approval of assisted suicide. [Peter Saunders, 15 April]

US group to fund abortion training for British medical students
An American pro-abortion group is to fund placements at British abortion centres for British medical students. The placements, funded by Medical Students For Choice (MSFC) will last for two weeks. Anthony Ozimic of SPUC told The Guardian newspaper: "This reflects the desperation of the abortion industry to recruit enough interest among medical students. It's been the case for many years that there have been fewer and fewer students and doctors willing to be involved. That's partly due to an increased awareness of the unethical nature of abortion." [Guardian, 6 April]

Other stories:

Sexual ethics
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Sunday, 15 April 2012

Young Maltese pro-life leaders were given strength by SPUC youth conference

Last month I reported on SPUC's very successful international youth conference. I am delighted that I am still receiving positive feedback from some of the young delegates who were present at the conference.

One such example is Charlene, a young lady from Malta who attended our conference. Charlene told me:
"Regarding the conference, Marlene and I felt that it was both educational and fun. The chosen topics were immensely interesting and the speakers were really good. They managed to present their arguments in a truly appealing way ... we felt that this conference gave us the strength to combat those who are in favour of abortion. Without any doubt, it was also a very encouraging experience."
A follow up email confirmed that these young people are already engaged in effective work to combat the culture of death and to promote a culture of life.
"At the moment in Malta we are discussing IVF. Members of Parliament will soon be voting upon a bill which would legalise IVF and this might include embryo freezing. IVF has been practised in private clinics for the last 20 years in Malta by two practitioners. IVF is not illegal in Malta, there just is no law regulating it. We'll see how things develop! I'm attaching a poster which +9STUDENTI has been distributing around University."
The poster that Charlene sent to me is the picture that you see in the top right-hand corner of this post. They also have a website: +9STUDENTI. If you open the website with certain internet browsers, for example Google Chrome, you will be offered an instantaneous translation.

However there is one article on the website which is written in English and it contains an encouraging vision of the commitment of these young people to defending and promoting life. The article reads:
"What’s +9STUDENTI’s mission about?

I could sum it up by saying that we’re there to group together, organize and direct the pro-life voice amongst our post-secondary and tertiary students, recognizing in them the future of our Nation and our (hopefully pro-life) culture. We’re there to inform, form, seek out and embrace pro-life students and we’re most eager to get on board those that actually want to contribute in one way or another to promote a pro-life culture amongst our students. 'Pro-life' for us means that we’re there to assert and defend the value of life from conception till natural death across a variety of academic disciplines. We’re there to campaign so that students become a national force for life, allowing for a greater awareness of the value of our own life and of every innocent human life.

While we’re there for life and against all the threats that it could face, our name is also emblematic of the focus of our mission. As Maltese and Europeans, we face seemingly overwhelming political and cultural trends and expect abortion, and/or the disregard for human life at its most delicate pre-birth stages, to be boiled up by the political sorcerers of our age who are laying the groundwork for the victory of death through the abuse of worthy notions such as freedom, personhood, rights and dignity.

We expect the growth of an initially subtle and then potentially aggressive movement campaigning against life through the banners of choice and individual determinism, fostering a disregard for the biological realities of human life and sophistries aimed at favouring death and an egoistic and egotistical individualist culture which starts with oneself and ends with oneself.

+9STUDENTI recognizes the above and more, and is there to oppose these coming deadly trends. We’re there to group together and prepare students for the coming work ahead. As founder and President of +9STUDENTI I call on all pro-life post-secondary and tertiary students (please note that +9STUDENTI is not exclusively for University students) to get in contact with us and lend a helping hand. No help is too little, so if you believe in it, fight for it!"
It is fantastic that these young Maltese students are doing everything in their power to defend life. I hope that SPUC can continue to be of assistance to and continue to promote such courageous pro-life leadership.

Charlene and I at the youth conference in March
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