Sunday, June 30, 2013

Ireland - don't cave to the pro-abortions

The abortion debate is raging in Ireland where the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Bill is being debated in the Irish Parliament. This change to Ireland's laws would include a clause that would allow abortion if a woman is suicidal.

I recently spent a month on this beautiful green island which has always been a safe haven for the unborn. So much so, that the Irish have written protection for pre-born children into their constitution.

I followed the debate, which was well documented in the Irish Times. There were articles and letters pretty much daily in the Times during my stay there.

Here are a few noteworthy quotes from letter writers in the Irish Times:
"...During my five years post-graduate training in obstetrics and gynaecology in England, my chiefs regularly reminded me that pregnant women did not commit suicide. This was borne out in my subsequent career. As a consultant obstetrician/gynecologist...with responsibility for almost 100,000 confinements, I didn't encounter a single case of suicide - Eamon O'Dwyer, Prof Emeritus of Gynaecology&Obstetrics, Galway."

"...Senator Fidelma Healy Eames described abortion as a "Miedieval solution to crisis pregnancy"". (from an article in the Times)

"...The "Clarity" emerging already is that it will give very little "protection" to the unborn so that sooner or later abortion will be easily available. Accordingly, it should be named for what it really is "The introduction of Abortion Bill", or better, the "Irish Holocaust Bill." - Richard O'Connor (Fr), Prof of Theology, Angelicum University, Rome Italy

"...This bill fails to hold doctors accountable for how they interpret and practice it, especially the suicide provisions which inevitable leave room for subjective if the bill is passed, and some doctors authorize termination for women whose risk of suicide could have been managed by other treatments, how would anyone know about it? How would these doctors be held to account? - Dr. Ruth Foley Dublin."

But there was support for the amendment as well. Even Canada's Prima Donna for abortion rights, Joyce Arthur, attached her name to a pro-choice letter supporting this change that will open the floodgates to abortion on demand in Ireland. For any reason or for no reason, for the full nine months of pregnancy. Just like in Canada.

Pro-choice signatories:
Dr MARY FAVIER, Dr MARK MURPHY & Dr PEADAR O’GRADY Doctors for Choice Ireland; CLAIRE FOGARTY, Nurses and Midwives for Choice Ireland; AMELIA REID & ROBERT OBARA, Medical Students for Choice Ireland; JANE FISHER, Director, Ante-natal Results and Choices London; Dr CLARE GERADA, Chairman, Royal College of General Practitioners; Dr WENDY CHAVKIN, Global Doctors For Choice, New York; MARGE BERER, Editor, Reproductive Health Matters London; Prof VERONICA O’KEANE, Trinity College Dublin; Prof WENDY SAVAGE, Doctors for a Woman’s Choice on Abortion, London; JOYCE ARTHUR, Executive Director, Abortion Rights Coalition Canada; CASEY BURCHELL, Committee Member, Reproductive Choice Australia; LESLIE CANNOLD, President, ProChoice Victoria; JENNY EJLAK, President, ProChoice Tasmania; CAIT CALCUTT & KATE MARSH, Children by Choice, Australia; Dr MORGAN HEALY & ALISON McCULLOCH, Abortion Law Reform Association New Zealand, C/o Parnell Square East, Dublin 1. (emphasis added)

Thank God the same day that letter was published in the Times, a whole whack of doctors wrote their own letter in opposition to the proposed changes. Thankfully a lot of doctors in Ireland are against abortion. In fact notice that of the above signatories for abortion, very few of them are Irish doctors, and many are from organizations from other countries like England, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Tasmania. All of whom, have no business in Ireland's affairs anyway.

Pro-life signatories:
Dr ANN BARRY, GP, Dublin; Dr ANNE KENNEDY, GP, Mayo; Dr ANNE RYAN, GP, Kildare; ANNE-MARIE LEECH, GP, Wexford; Dr BRIDGET O’BRIEN, GP, Kerry; CLIODHNA DONNELLY, Palliative Care, Galway; Dr CRISTINA BORDINC, GP, Wexford; Dr DANIEL PURCELL, GP, Kildare; Prof DAVID RYAN, Maxillo-Facial Surgeon, Dublin; Dr DEIRDRE GLEESON, Occupational Health Physician /GP, Kildare; Prof EAMONN O’DWYER, Obstetrician Gynaecologist, Galway; Dr EILEEN REILLY, Obstetrician Gynaecologist, Galway; Dr EOGHAN DE FAOITE, NCHD, Dublin; Dr FELIM T DONNELLY, GP, Galway; Dr GEORGE FULLER, GP, Cork; Dr HELEN T O’BRIEN, GP, Dublin; Dr JAMES SHEEHAN, Orthopaedic Surgeon, Galway; Dr JANINA LYONS, GP, Dublin; Dr JOHN C KEHOE, GP, Kildare; Dr JOHN KEHOE SNR, GP, Kildare; Dr JOHN MONAGHAN, Obstetrician Gynaecologist, Galway; Dr JONATHAN JACOB, GP, Carlow; Dr JUDE McSHARRY, GP, Sligo; Dr MAIRE MIRIUM DUGGAN, Obstetrician Gynaecologist, Dublin; Dr MAIRE Nic GHEARAILT, GP, Wicklow; Dr MAIREAD MacCONNAILL, GP, Cork; Dr MARIE THERESE McKENNA, GP, Donegal; Dr MARIE TWOMEY, Palliative Care, Dublin; Dr MARY P CARROLL, Radiologist, Donegal; Dr MAUREEN BRENNAN, GP, Dublin; Dr MAURICE FAHY, GP, Kerry; Dr MICHAEL SALTER, GP Wicklow; Dr MIRIUM HOGAN, GP, Kilkenny; Dr MURROGH BIRMINGHAM, GP, Donegal; Dr MYLES MONAGHAN, Anaesthetics Trainee, Dublin; Dr OLIVE PIERSE, GP, Kerry; Dr ORLA HALPENNY, GP, Dublin; Dr PASCHAL O’DEA, GP, Carlow; Dr PATRICIA O’TOOLE, GP, Carlow; Dr PATRICK KELLY, GP Trainee, Waterford; Dr PATRICK McSHARRY, GP, Sligo; Dr PAULINE BURKE, Public Health, Limerick; Dr PAULINE KANE, GP, Dublin; Dr PETER QUINN, GP, Cork; Dr PHIL BOYLE, Fertility Specialist, Galway; Dr PHILLIP AHERNE, GP, Kildare; Dr RAVI KUMAR, GP, Wexford; Dr RITA O’CONNOR, General Medicine, Clare; Dr SEAMUS KENNEDY, GP, Mayo; Dr SEAN O’DOMHNAILL, Psychiatrist, Kildare; Dr SINEAD KELLY, Palliative Care, Dublin; Dr SUSAN DEACON-KING, GP, Kildare; Dr TREVOR HAYES, Obstetrician Gynaecologist, Kilkenny; Dr URSULA NUSGEN, Microbiologist, Dublin; Dr WILLIAM P FOX, GP, Westmeath; Dr WILLIAM PURCELL, GP, C/o Doctors for Life Ireland, Millennium Park, Naas, Co Kildare.

But will these pro-life doctors stand a chance against the onslaught of the outside pro-abortion advocacy groups like Arthur's? Because that's a lot of world meddling into Ireland's safe haven for babies. And how much money are these interlopers pouring into Ireland anyway? That interference could well help eradicate Irish fetal protection.

Ireland watch out. Do not let the pro-abortions fool you. Do not let the likes of Joyce Arthur fool you. Once you open the doors to abortion on demand in your beautiful country you could end up like Canada. Don't let it happen. Keep your country safe for pre-born children.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Banning late-term abortions

A very good analysis here by Josh Brahm on why it makes sense to support incremental abortion legislation.

Brahm begins with this:
"A lot of people have asked me about Georgia Right to Life’s response to the 20-week abortion ban. In case you didn’t know, they made national news by asking the pro-life legislators of Georgia to vote against the pro-life bill when a rape and incest exception was added, a necessary condition of getting it passed in the House according to members of Congress, congressional staffers, and members of the pro-life lobby."

His article is an educational piece that provides some very important political reasons why an incremental strategy has a better chance at working:
"I have some common ground with absolutists that only support perfect pro-life bills that would ban 100% of abortions. I agree that we do not want to communicate to pro-choice people that we only care about babies that feel pain, are a certain age, and are not conceived in rape. However I disagree that most forms of incremental legislation actually send that message. I think most people know how politics works."

I’m aware that The West Wing and House of Cards are not documentaries, but I know that there is some truth in the way they portray what goes on behind the scenes of getting a piece of legislation passed, because they line up with the testimonies of real people that have spent years doing exactly that. It’s not all Mr. Smith Goes to Washington where you have your principled ideas and you draft your perfect piece of legislation and then fight to keep it perfect and then the president signs it. Sadly, in the real world of politics, as Erick Erickson wrote at RedState on this topic, an “all or nothing approach will continue to lead to nothing.”

As long as the majority of our country continues to be morally confused about abortion, pro-life legislation will need to be incremental as we continue to educate our society about the humanity of the unborn, and we will attempt to save as many as we can every step of the way until every baby is safe in her mother’s womb.

I don’t think pro-choice people are at all confused by incremental legislation, because what’s implicit in these bills is that we want to save all, but we know we can’t right now, so we’re going to save the most we can, and go from there. We’re not going to give up after banning abortions after 20-weeks just like the abolitionists didn’t give up after passing the Foreign Slave Trade Bill of 1806. (More on that later.)

This is the point where people accuse me of being a utilitarian. Let me clarify my argument. I’m not saying that we should do evil that good may come. My argument is that when we pass incremental bills that will have a positive impact for the unborn, we are not actually doing evil. We are doing a good thing.

I’m not saying “We’ll kill one baby if you let another 99 go.” It’s more like if in a World War II Japanese POW camp, the Japanese soldier tells a prisoner, “We’ll let you go, and you can either take two with you and we’ll kill the other eight, or you can go alone and we’ll kill all ten.” It seems like some pro-life absolutists would say that by taking the two you’re implicitly saying it’s okay to kill the other eight. “As long as you give me these two, THEN you can kill the POW’s.” Not at all! We value life, and we’re trying to save as much as we can, every step of the way. As my brother Timothy Brahm explains, “It isn’t utilitarian to seek a good result. Good results aren’t evil. Seeking good results with evil means is evil.”

A real world example of this comes from William Wilberforce. It continues to amaze me that absolutists try to claim Wilberforce as a non-compromiser. The worst example is when a pro-life leader actually told me that Wilberforce may have compromised during his work in the abolition movement, but then regretted that later. As far as I know, there is just as much evidence for that as there is evidence of Darwin recanting on his death bed. (Spoiler alert: that didn’t happen either.)

For a full explanation of how Wilberforce used prudence in his abolitionist work, read Clarke Forsythe’s Politics for the Greatest Good: The Case for Prudence in the Public Square. He has a whole chapter on Wilberforce. But even if you’ve only seen the movie Amazing Grace, you know that Wilberforce was not an absolutist. (I’m aware that Amazing Grace is not a documentary and that the director probably took certain liberties with this scene. But the fact that Wilberforce purposefully kept his team silent during the debate of Foreign Slave Trade Bill of 1806 and that some pro-slavery people  did not fight the bill because of that is historically accurate.) Yes, Wilberforce attempted to pass full abolition bills often, but he also would spend years at a time not trying to pass any because of a war going on. He also supported incremental anti-slavery bills and was wise enough to keep silent during the debate of the Foreign Slave Trade Bill of 1806, shrewdly tricking the pro-slavery members of parliament into thinking that this wasn’t a significant win for abolition. Any non-compromising absolutist is forced to tack onto the end of that bill, “if you don’t sell slaves to certain nations, THEN you can sell the slave.” Nonsense. It was a huge win that helped lead to ultimate abolition.

Here’s the question: do you think it’s more important to make an impact or to make a statement? I’d rather make an impact, and I reject the notion that passing a bill with a rape exception tacked onto it at the last minute sends a message to pro-choice people that we don’t care about the babies conceived in rape that are sometimes killed in abortions. They know we want to make all abortions illegal, and that makes them furious. But passing a bill that bans abortions after 20-weeks because CLEARLY those babies can feel pain would be the most significant legal pro-life victory since the Supreme Court passed the Gonzales vs. Carhart decision, upholding a ban on partial-birth abortions."

Otto Von Bismarck said in 1867 that "Politics is the art of the possible."

Canada should ban late-term abortions. That is possible. We know for a fact that there are Canadians who would support such a ban--people who would not call themselves pro-life. What exactly then, are we waiting for?

Sunday, June 23, 2013

How Bill Gates will save the world

Well well well. I learned something new today. Not only is Bill Gates "investing" in population control, but so did his father:

And this from Lawrence Solomon in the Financial Post: Rubber Ducky Award: Bill Gates

"The Rubber Ducky Award for Returning to the True Path goes to Bill Gates, who in his youth strayed from the family business – population control and reproductive health – to start something called Microsoft. Eventually, his mother convinced him he was wasting his time playing with bits and bytes when he could be making a real difference in people’s lives.

“The issue that really grabbed me as urgent were issues related to population, reproductive health,” Gates explained in a PBS interview on why he left Microsoft. Gates is inspired by his parents’ volunteerism– his father headed Planned Parenthood.

To avert environmental catastrophe from overpopulation — a centuries-old science alarm — Gates plans to reduce the global population by 10% to 15%, or about one billion people through reforms including reproductive health (abortion) and “the Death Panel.” “You’re not supposed to have that discussion,” he says but “is spending a million dollars on that last three months of life for that patient, would it be better not to lay off those 10 teachers?”"

If that kind of "volunteerism" doesn't send a chill down your spine, nothing will.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Legal euthanasia: will anyone be safe?

Natalie Sonnen from LifeCanada speaks to Mark Sutcliffe on CFRA about Quebec's recent tabling of Bill 52 which would provide "medical aid to die". The podcast is the one for June 14 with Natalie's name on it.

She tells us that people in Belgium and the Netherlands are killed without their consent by both nurses and doctors. A frightening reality.

Alex Schadenberg of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition tells us that the Quebec bill is in fact euthanasia, and not assisted suicide, like they would have us believe:
"On June 12, the Quebec national assembly introduced Bill 52: An Act respecting end-of-life care to legalize euthanasia in Quebec. Euthanasia is an action or omission that is directly and intentionally done to cause the death of another person, to eliminate suffering. Euthanasia is a form of homicide.

Yes, Bill 52 legalizes euthanasia, even though media reports and other groups continue to refer to it as assisted suicide."

See what else Schadenberg tells us about Belgium, quoting research from both the Canadian and British Medical Journals:
"A study that was published in the CMAJ(June 2010) examining the responses to questionnaires by nurses regarding their experience with euthanasia in Belgium found that even though the Belgian euthanasia law does not permit nurses to assist death, 14 nurses admitted to doing so and two of those nurses admitted that they did it without consulting a physician. Clearly these acts are outside of the legal parameters of the Belgian euthanasia law. The data found that usually the patient was in the hospital and over the age of 80.

A second study that was published by the BMJ(Nov 2010) examining data by Belgian doctors to questionnaires, found that 47% of all assisted deaths were not reported. The data also indicated that the legal requirement to consult a second physician was only done 73% of the time when the assisted death was reported and only 12% of the time when the assisted death was not reported. Unreported assisted deaths usually involved patients who were in the hospital and over the age of 80.

A third study was published in the CMAJ(June 2010) examining the responses by doctors in the Flanders region of Belgium to questionnaires found that 32% of the assisted deaths were done without explicit request. This study found that 91% of these assisted deaths were done to people who were unable to request an assisted death. Usually the patient was in the hospital and over the age of 80."

It only took 19 years for abortion to become a free for all in Canada when in 1988, the Supreme Court struck down our 1969 abortion law. We went from abortion being illegal, to being fully legal without restriction. If Quebec legalizes euthanasia, which province will be next and how long will it take the whole country to accept the practice?

And will it stop there? What about euthanizing younger people?

Read these ominous words from the Vancouver Sun:
"Claude Leblond, president of the provincial order of social workers and family therapists, said the bill is a major step forward.

"It took women years to get recognition for their fundamental right to terminate an unwanted pregnancy," he said. "When acquired, the right to seek medical aid in dying will be a comparable victory." [Killing people is a "victory"?]

He said while only requests by adults will now be considered, the day may come when the wishes of children will also have to be taken into account." [Euthanizing children?]

If we legalize euthanasia, the gap between who is safe from intentional killing and who is not safe, will only narrow. From abortion and infanticide (Peter Singer already advocates this) at the beginning of life--to euthanasia at the end of life, and maybe even children.

All it takes is 19 years.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Social Conservatives and Stephen Harper

Mike Schouten: Memo to Harper — the abortion issue isn’t going away

Schouten says:
"His actions [Harper's], especially regarding Motion 408, have caused division within his own party. Approximately one quarter of Mr. Harper’s voting base are social conservatives and adamantly pro-life. These are the folks who have been the foot soldiers in the Conservatives’ rise to success. If Harper will not allow even a discussion to take place on this issue — if he prefers to kowtow to Canada’s most militant feminists (none of whom are ever going to vote for him anyway — then he will isolate many of his supporters. Why should these people continue to work for his party, or even show up to vote for it?

In fact, political pundits are openly opining that a new leadership race in the Conservative party could well happen before 2015 — partly because of this issue. In response to CCBR’s project, long-time politico and former PMO Chief of Staff Norman Spector commented on Twitter: “Why Stephen Harper won’t be running in 2015.”

Maybe it's time for the Conservative Party to call for a leadership race. If they don't, the party may very well lose its Social Conservative votes, which as Schouten points out, is at least a quarter of the party. I suggest the party pay attention to the abortion issue. If they don't, they do so at their own peril. It's their call.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Command and control by the Great Helmsman

John Ivison's article in today's National Post is a must read. Ivison discusses the current implosion going on within the Conservative Caucus.

I've cut and pasted some of his comments.  

"...Senior figures in the Conservative movement are warning that unless Stephen Harper moves his House Leader, Peter Van Loan, and the Government Whip, Gordon O’Connor, more MPs will follow the unlikely rebel, Brent Rathgeber, out of the caucus door.

The changes must be accompanied by reforms to the way the Prime Minister’s Office treats backbenchers, according to one former Cabinet minister. And the Prime Minister needs to draw into his inner circle people who are prepared to tell him things he may not want to hear.

...This is not a battle over ideology or policy. Rather, according to both current and former members of caucus, the backbench is a cauldron of seething resentment because of sheer, bloody mismanagement – “a growing, dictatorial ‘PMO knows best’ attitude.”

...But they [Private Member's Bills] have an importance beyond their success rate because they help push the public agenda – they sometimes find their way into subsequent government legislation; they can encourage government departments to adjust their behaviour; and, they offer the oxygen of publicity for interest groups.

As such they are guarded jealously by MPs. It is considered “unparliamentary” for the House, far less the MP’s own party to amend legislation without the approval of the sponsoring MP.

Members can be told before caucus that their party doesn’t support the proposed legislation and, if they persist, that the leadership will urge its backbenchers to vote against it. But a number of Conservative MPs say they are mortified at the unprecedented step of malleable Conservatives in the Ethics Committee amending Mr. Rathgeber’s bill against his wishes.

The finger of blame has been pointed squarely at Peter Van Loan, described by one Conservative as “the most reviled member of caucus.”. The finger of blame has been pointed squarely at Mr. O’Connor, a former brigadier-general used to his orders being obeyed without question, and Mr. Van Loan, described by one Conservative as “the most reviled member of caucus.” But they are merely the enablers of a command and control structure where the word is written by the Great Helmsman and interpreted by the cadre of youthful Blue Guards in his office.

For Conservatives who joined a party founded on “the supremacy of democratic parliamentary institutions,” recent developments have proven shocking.

...The caucus is not feeling the love from the Prime Minister, who now seems to believe a good number of his MPs are on his enemies list because they won’t give him their unconditional support in all circumstances.

...Mr. Harper doesn’t like being pushed into anything but such a course of action would send the message that if the party is going to go over the cliff, he intends to be in the driving seat, Thelma and Louise-style.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Respect for human life as a societal value

Dr. Margaret Somerville comments on Dr. Henry Morgentaler's death. Dr. Somerville gets to the heart of what I believe will be the inevitable failure of the pro-choice philosophy with these comments:
"Pro-choice advocates argue that abortion is an entirely personal decision to be made by a woman in consultation with her physician; that the fetus is not a “person”, who should be legally protected, but is just a “bunch of cells that is part of the woman’s body, which she has the right to control”; and that any woman who does not want an abortion is not forced to have one. These justifications are all at the level of the individual woman who wants an abortion.

But having no legal restrictions on abortion affects more than just the individual woman — or, indeed, the individual unborn child who is aborted. It damages the value of respect for human life in general, at the societal level. Respect for life has two limbs: it must be upheld, not only, with respect to each individual human life, important as that is, but also, with regard to respect for human life in general, as a societal value.

Even if we ignore the failure to respect the individual unborn child’s life, abortion, especially taxpayer funded abortion-on-demand, contravenes respect for human life in general. Consequently, there is something profoundly disordered and deeply tragic about celebrating abortion, as some pro-choice people want us to do. And celebrating Morgentaler’s contribution to changing Canadian society necessarily entails celebrating abortion."

Contrast Dr. Somerville's thoughts with those of Joyce Arthur, who doesn't think a pro-life philosophy "deserves equal time or respect in Canada" and that a pro-life viewpoint is "profoundly mistaken, cruel and undemocratic". Arthur wonders why the "mainstream media continues to give space to these fanatics." There's more of course, there always is with the pro-abortions. You can read it for yourself if you find yourself really bored with nothing else to do. Or you could read a good book.

Sentiments like Ms. Arthur's tell us that the pro-abortions are worried their abortion philosophy may be in jeopardy as weneedaLAW astutely points out. Because there are many of us who don't celebrate abortion and never will.

It's only a matter of time Joyce, only a matter of time.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Stephen Harper must face the Children

CCBR's campaign, Face the Children, has just released its fourth post card to constituents in MP Parm Gill's riding. The previous three MPs were Stephen Harper, Michelle Rempel and Bal Gosal.

When the campaign was first launched, the Calgary Sun's Michale Platt didn't seem too pleased with the campaign:
Anti-abortion advocates use repulsive tactics to get message across in Prime Minister Stephen Harper's Calgary riding.

His article used words like "upsetting", "despicable", "disgusting" and "repulsive" in describing the campaign and people's reactions to it. Well yea--isn't that like stating the obvious? Abortion is upsetting, despicable, disgusting and repulsive.

Everyone knows that the euphemistic word "choice" doesn't convey the actual choice being made: the choice to kill an innocent human life. These postcards convey this truth. If people are upset with the pictures, they should ask themselves, why are they upset?

Mr. Harper refuses to enact legislation to limit abortion in any way in this country. He also denies us the forum to even have an abortion debate--in our Parliament. And many other MPs, like those being targeted in this campaign, sing from the same song book.

So the postcards depict the abortion debate--that we can't have--in a graphic and truthful way. If we can't debate abortion in Parliament, then we must debate it elsewhere. That is what CCBR is doing: bringing the debate to the people.

Mr. Harper has the power to do something about abortion in Canada. But he won't. So he and the other MPs will have to face the children they won't protect.

(CCBR's FAQ on the campaign)


Sunday, June 2, 2013

Henry Morgentaler

Brian Lilley's thoughts on the recent death of Henry Morgentaler (see full video below). Lilley says:
"Henry Morgentaler was not a great man, he was a mistaken man. He brought great evil to this country."

...while Heather Mallick is worried about women being "frozen in shock" and crying on their keyboard.

Oh dear. My keyboard is dry.