Friday, 21 September 2012

Julia Gillard, Australian PM, helps defeat same-sex marriage legislation

I am very encouraged to receive the following report from Fr John Fleming, SPUC's bioethical consultant and a corresponding member of the Pontifical Academy for Life, a priest working in Adelaide, South Australia. He tells me:
A concerted and determined push give legal recognition to same sex marriages on an equal basis to natural heterosexual marriage has failed in the Parliament of the Commonwealth of Australia.

Proponents of change have introduced three separate Bills, two in the Senate and one in the House of Representatives.

Prior to the last federal election the Australian Labor Party (ALP) and the Liberal/National Party coalition parties gave an undertaking to the Australian Christian Lobby not to introduce legislation to legalise same-sex marriage.

However, that commitment was subsequently partially overturned by the National Conference of the ALP. The compromise was that ALP parliamentary representatives were free to introduce such legislation as private members and that parliamentary members of the ALP could vote according to their “conscience” (ie personal opinion).

The Australian Parliament was then confronted with three such Bills, two introduced by members of the ALP, and the third by the Greens.

The Liberal/National coalition kept their pre-election promise in full and voted against the legislation. The Prime Minister, Ms Julia Gillard (pictured above), also kept her word as did quite a number of other ALP members.

The decidedly and predominantly pro-"marriage equality" media urged on the movement for change, and shifts in public opinion on this issue was almost certainly driven by the overwhelmingly favourable publicity for "gay marriage".

When only one side of an argument is repeatedly and favourably presented, and opponents as regularly depicted as troglodytes and bigots, public opinion is bound to be influenced.

In the event, two of the same-sex marriage bills have been debated and overwhelmingly rejected in the Australian Parliaments.

In the House of Representatives (the lower house) the private member's bill put up by Labor's Stephen Jones, was defeated 98 votes to 42.

In the Senate, the private member's bill sponsored by Labor backbenchers Trish Crossin, Carol Brown and Gavin Marshall was defeated 41 votes to 26.

The other bill to legalise same-sex marriage is being sponsored by Greens' senator Sarah Hanson-Young. That bill will now be left on the table until Senator Hanson-Young decides that there is now enough support in parliament for it to pass.

But before opponents of legalised same-sex marriage begin to celebrate, the fact is that the gay lobby is determined to win in the end. The ground has been well and truly prepared by the political class, aided and abetted by the usual suspects from the elites. The Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Report, Same Sex: Same Entitlements (2008) provided the political opportunity for widespread reform to equalise the standing of homosexuals and their relationships with heterosexual de facto relationships.

The Rudd government (ALP) passed the following acts:

1. Same-Sex Relationships (Equal Treatment in Commonwealth Laws) Acts 2008 on superannuation and general law reform;
2. Family Law Amendment (De Facto Financial Matters and Other Measures) Act 2008;
3. The Evidence Amendment Act 2008.

The combined effect of these Acts significantly changed the legal status of same-sex couples, recognising them on an equal footing to de facto couples in areas as diverse as taxation law, social security law, immigration and superannuation.

Since then systems to allow same-sex couples to register their relationships have been put in place in South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria, the Australian Capital Territory and New South Wales.

Where adoption is concerned same-sex relationships are being increasingly recognised in this field.

The pressure to legalise same-sex marriages in Australia will continue unabated for the foreseeable future, despite the significant political setback of the last seven days where the Australian Parliament overwhelmingly rejected two such attempts. At this point it is far too early to proclaim that the homosexual lobby juggernaut has been finally stalled and overcome.
Last November, SPUC's national council launched a campaign against the Westminster government's proposals for same-sex marriage. Marriage as an institution protects children, both born and unborn. Statistics show that unborn children are much safer within marriage than outside marriage. For more information see SPUC's position paper and background paper on same-sex marriage.  Please do everything you can to support SPUC's Britain-wide lobby of Members of Parliament on marriage.

Although, as Fr Fleming makes clear, the war to defend marriage is far from over, Australia's experience shows that it can be done. Marriage can be defended in political forums.  And we must work as never before to defeat the British government's and the Scottish government's proposals.  45 years ago, SPUC was established, the first pro-life group to be set up in the world, to oppose the legalization of the direct killing of unborn children.  45 years on, we are fighting to defend the social institution which most protects unborn children: marriage - the permanent, exclusive union of one man and one woman. Future generations depend on what you and I decide to do today to defend marriage.

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Wednesday, 19 September 2012

UN High Commissioner seeks to criminalize opposition to abortion provision - worldwide action needed now

Navanethem Pillay (pictured right), the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, who was recently re-appointed for two years, has made a shocking start to her new two-year period of office.

Under the guise of publishing "technical guidance" promoting maternal health, Ms Pillay has issued a report seeking to make effective opposition to abortion provision unlawful on the part of parents; and to criminalize health professionals, administrators and non-governmental organizations (NGOs, like SPUC) who seek to oppose abortion provision - including abortion provision to children under the age of consent.

Pat Buckley, SPUC's lobbyist at the Human Rights Council at Geneva, is now working flat out to warn country delegates about the serious dangers posed by Navanethem Pillay's report, entitled in full "Technical guidance on the application of a human rights-based approach to the implementation of policies and programmes to reduce preventable maternal morbidity and mortality".

Please contact your MP and your MEP (in Britain and Northern Ireland) or your political/parliamentary representatives in whichever country you live - especially political representatives who are pro-life -  and warn your church leaders, about Ms Pillay's shocking report. Please act now.

Pat Buckley sent me the following comments/analysis this morning:
"This technical guidance report purports to be about reducing maternal mortality and morbidity. However the main thrust of the document instead of focusing on issues central to the reduction of maternal mortality, contains a thinly disguised pro-abortion agenda.

"The guidance report includes, amongst other things, attacks on:
  • parental rights
  • freedom of conscience
  • and freedom of speech.
It contains 87 references to 'sexual and reproductive health', 27 of which also refer to 'sexual and reproductive health rights'. These are terms which are misused by powerful governments and politicians, like Barack Obama and Hilary Clinton, and UN bodies, to promote abortion on demand throughout the world.

"There are two references to comprehensive sexuality education and various references to goods and services in the context of sexual and reproductive health.

"The report identifies 'rights holders'and 'duty bearers' and stipulates the obligations of the duty bearers. Such obligations include the removal of all barriers to sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services including abortion, abortifacients and contraceptives, which are defined as 'fundamental rights'.

"The technical guidance report in paragraph 22 stipulates that States should act against so called interference by third parties including NGO’s if they object to the agenda set out in the document.

"It also stipulates that States should enforce laws and policies and that 'States may be held responsible for private acts if they fail to act with due diligence to prevent, investigate and punish violations of rights'.

"The technical guidance doesn’t simply call on States to take action, it makes States liable if they do not act against anyone or anything seen as a barrier to the implementation of the sexual and reproductive health agenda set out in the document which as we saw includes abortion, explicit sex education for minors and paragraph 30 attacks laws that ban abortion, laws that uphold conscientious objection and laws that would allow for parental notification before providing contraception or abortion to children, as well as other issues.

"In other words" Pat Buckley, SPUC's Human Rights Council lobbyist, warns, "Ms Pillay is seeking to make effective opposition to abortion provision unlawful on the part of parents; and to criminalize health professionals, administrators and NGOs (like SPUC) who seek to oppose abortion provision - including abortion provision to children under the age of consent."
Pat Buckley continues:
"According to Ms Pillay's report, laws and policies that impede access to sexual and reproductive health services must be changed, including laws criminalizing certain services only needed by women; laws and policies allowing conscientious objection of a provider to hinder women’s access to a full range of services; and laws imposing third-party authorization for access to services by women and girls.

"The technical guidance calls for Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE) in schools and for a budget to be available for dealing with teenage pregnancies through the education system in addition to budgets in the health system. The report footnotes the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, (UNESCO) International technical guidance on sexuality education"
Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE)

CSE is a highly controversial, rights-based approach to sex education that encompasses much more than simply teaching children and youth about sexual intercourse and human reproduction.

CSE programmes can be disguised under a variety of different names such as sexual and reproductive health counseling, information or services; HIV education; life skills programs; sex- education; sexual education; sexuality education; Social Personal and Health Education (SPHE) etc.

Common Components of CSE Programmes
  • They claim access to CSE is a human right
  • They encourage acceptance and exploration of diverse sexual orientation and gender identities,
  • They promote the use of condoms,
  • They promote abortion as acceptable, safe and without consequences,
  • They encourage youth to advocate for sexual rights
  • They teach youth without parental knowledge or consent under the guise of confidentiality or privacy rights
  • They promote sexual pleasure as a right and necessary for sexual health,
  • They promote masturbation as healthy and normal
  • They teach children and youth they are sexual from birth
  • They encourage anal and oral sex and peer to peer sexuality education
In 2009 UNESCO in partnership with UNICEF, UNFPA, WHO and UNAIDS published controversial International Guidelines on Sexuality Education which suggest among other things, teaching five-year-old children that they can touch their body parts for sexual pleasure.

After a number of UN Member States complained, UNESCO released a new publication called the International Technical Guidance on Sexuality Education, which was not quite as controversial as their original guidelines although many of the objectionable publications were still footnoted.

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Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Mitochondrial transfer produces clones and GM babies

SPUC has criticised the launch of a consultation on mitochondrial transfer as a sham, arguing that these techniques mean the production of genetically manipulated babies, who will in some cases be clones of earlier IVF embryos.

Anthony McCarthy, SPUC's education and publications manager, said: "Over the past 20 years, proponents of human embryo experimentation have repeatedly claimed that such research offered the promise - and perhaps the only hope - of finding treatments for serious diseases. The public has been repeatedly misled.

"There are profound moral objections to the exploitation of human embryos - each one a member of the human family, used as a laboratory animal and then unceremoniously discarded. Yet the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) has sanctioned the exploitation of millions of the tiniest humans, to no discernible benefit.

"The original assurances that IVF would not lead to cloning or genetic engineering of embryos are now being set aside, as the HFEA launches another consultation apparently designed to convince the public that such manipulations are benign.

“Mitochondrial transfer research is the thin end of the wedge. It is the biotech industry's excuse to create a genetically manipulated baby - in some cases a clone of an original IVF embryo who is killed to create it. Once germ-line engineering is accepted for mitochondrial disease it will then be pushed for other purposes. This is clearly the "game plan" that the biotech industry and the HFEA are working to, and the consultation exercise is going to make no difference to their objectives."

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Monday, 17 September 2012

SPUC challenges Department of Health in wake of mysterious abortion case

The Society for the Protection of Unborn Children has challenged the department of health following the verdict in the mysterious case of Sarah Catt. Mrs Catt was convicted of aborting her unborn baby at nearly full term, and sentenced to eight years in prison.

According to reports, the sentencing judge, Mr Justice Cooke, said that Sarah Catt "had robbed the baby of the life it was about to have and said the seriousness of the crime lay between manslaughter and murder."

Commenting on the case, Paul Tully, SPUC's general secretary, said: "Abortion at any stage of pregnancy remains a serious crime, as the courts have recognised in this case. Mrs Catt's mental state before the delivery of her child is unfathomable, and her state now is a cause for deep concern.

"The penalty imposed should send a salutory message to the department of health and the Sexual Health Team in particular, which works to promote abortion. Abortion remains illegal at any stage of pregnancy unless the requirements of the Abortion Act 1967 are fulfilled. The grounds of the Act apply in few, if any, of the 500-600 abortions performed by doctors every day in Britain.

"The department of health has worked incessantly since the 1967 Act was passed to maximise the provision of abortion. Earlier this year Professor Sally Davies, the Chief Medical Officer, issued a circular re-stating the need to observce the statutory requirements. But officials in the department along with the RCOG and others, continue to show total disregard for unborn children and the law, and instead promote a 'crime between manslaughter and murder', to quote Mr Justice Cooke," concluded Mr Tully.

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