Hilary White

10,000 pro-lifers rally in Dublin amidst heated abortion debate

Hilary White
Hilary White
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DUBLIN, December 5, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Over 10,000 gathered outside Ireland’s parliament this week to demand that Prime Minister Enda Kenny keep his campaign promise of 2011 not to bring legalized abortion into the Republic. The crowd included five Catholic bishops, and was organized by a united effort of all of Ireland’s pro-life organizations.

The thousands, chanting “Keep your promise!”, packed Molesworth Street in central Dublin, holding placards urging the government to protect both mother and baby. The crowd was addressed by Niamh Ui Bhrian and Dr. Sean O’Domhnaill of the Life Institute, and Caroline Simons of the Pro-Life Campaign, who said that the politicians would face a massive public backlash if they attempted to overturn the country’s constitutional protections for the unborn.

After several weeks of misinformation in the mainstream media over the death of Savita Halappanavar, Ui Bhrian said, “Clarity is now coming back to the debate following the hysteria whipped up by abortion campaigners after Savita’s tragic death.”

“The pro-life majority will want to ensure that Fine Gael does not move to legislate on the X case.”

Pro-Life Campaign legal adviser, Caroline Simons, said, “The way in which the debate is being stage-managed and railroaded through the Dail is deeply disturbing and undemocratic.”

“Women deserve better than this. So do unborn babies,” she added. The rally, she said, sent a message that “there is nothing liberal or compassionate about abortion.”

The Life Institute is preparing to follow the rally with a massive, nationwide campaign that includes getting 1.4 million leaflets into every household in the country warning that Kenny and the Coalition are preparing to “open the door” to abortion on demand, and that promises of “limitations” are nonsense.

“Everybody in the country is going to get a message. Kenny is going to get the message,” Ui Bhrian told LifeSiteNews.com. 

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The rally was held in response to threats by the coalition government to bring forward legislation to allow abortion. Since the ruling in 2010 by the European Court of Human Rights on the A,B& C case, Irish politicians are said to have been in a state of chaos over abortion, with pressure from the global abortion lobby on one side, particularly at the European Union, and a public that opposes liberalization of the law on the other. Although the ECHR ruling specifically said that the country is not under an obligation to legalize abortion, this has not stopped abortion lobbyists in the Dail, largely from Labour Party coalition partners, from insisting that the government legislate to allow abortion in “limited” circumstances. The media’s treatment of the death of Savita Halappanavar has only increased the pressure, leading to promises to bring in legislation before Christmas.

In the Dail, James Reilly, Minister for Health, spoke of the coalition’s “firm commitment to implement the judgment of the European Court of Human Rights in the A, B and C v Ireland case and bring the required legal clarity to the issue of lawful abortion in Ireland.”

But, he said “that does not mean abortion on demand.” “We must protect the life of the pregnant mother and yet vindicate the right of the unborn child.”

Simons and other pro-life leaders are adamant, however, that the government’s promises of “limited” abortion are meaningless. “Once the principle is conceded that every human life has an inherent unrepeatable value, there is no going back. What has happened in other countries proves that there is no such thing as restrictive abortion,” Simons said.

“In Britain, abortion was introduced on narrow grounds, but is now legal up to birth. Babies who survive the abortion procedure and can breathe unaided are simply left to die. Just last week it was reported in Canada that 491 babies who survived abortion between 2000 and 2009 were left in a corner to die after receiving no medical care or attention.

“That is the true barbaric picture of legalised abortion,” she said.

Niamh Ui Bhrian told LSN that the rally was just the start of a campaign to reverse the work of the media propagandists. “For the last three weeks people have had this non-stop propaganda,” saying that the pro-life laws threaten women’s lives, that they need legalised abortion to be safe. This, she said, is “absurd” given the rating of Ireland by the World Health Organisation as number two in the world for maternal health with those laws in place.

Pro-life people are fed up with the propaganda, she said, “they needed to come out in massive numbers and tell the government to keep their promise.

“They said, ‘Don’t you dare rush this through before Christmas’. It’s the people who are sovereign, the people who make the decision, not the European court and not the abortion lobbying media.”

“And getting ten thousand on a Tuesday afternoon in December is going to send a message,” she added. “Traffic was stopped and the streets were filled.” Politicians are in a state of panic, she said, and are “speaking out of both sides of their mouths.”

“What the pro-life movement needs to do is make the government realise that once people know that all the pro abortion hysteria isn’t true they are going to be clamouring against any threat to Ireland’s pro-life laws.”

The government is “rushing to get make a decision to abortion before Christmas to take advantage of the hysteria and confusion raised by the media’s duplicitous and manipulative coverage of the Savita case.”


To send a message to Prime Minister Enda Kenny
Taoiseach’s Private Office
e-mail:taoiseach@taoiseach.gov.ie
Phone: 01-6194020 / 4021 / 4043
Fax:    01-6764048

To send a message to Justice Minister Alan Shatter
alan.shatter@oireachtas.ie

YouTube rally video

 


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Quebec groups launch court challenge to euthanasia bill

LifeSiteNews staff
By LifeSiteNews staff

As announced when the Quebec legislature adopted Bill 52, An Act respecting end-of-life care, the citizen movement Living with Dignity and the Physicians’ Alliance against Euthanasia, representing together over 650 physicians and 17,000 citizens, filed a lawsuit before the Superior Court of Quebec in the District of Montreal on Thursday.

The lawsuit requests that the Court declare invalid all the provisions of the Act that deal with “medical aid in dying”, a term the groups say is a euphemism for euthanasia. This Act not only allows certain patients to demand that a physician provoke their death, but also grants physicians the right to cause the death of these patients by the administration of a lethal substance.

The two organizations are challenging the constitutionality of those provisions in the Act which are aimed at decriminalizing euthanasia under the euphemism “medical aid in dying”. Euthanasia constitutes a culpable homicide under Canada’s Criminal Code, and the organizations maintain that it is at the core of the exclusive federal legislative power in relation to criminal law and Quebec therefore does not have the power to adopt these provisions.

The organizations also say the impugned provisions unjustifiably infringe the rights to life and to security of patients guaranteed by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the Quebec Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms. They further infringe the right to the safeguard of the dignity of the person, which is also protected by the Quebec Charter.

In view of the gravity of the situation and the urgent need to protect all vulnerable persons in Quebec, they are requesting an accelerated management of the case in order to obtain a judgment before the Act is expected to come into force on December 10, 2015.


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Colorado baker appeals gvmt ‘re-education’ order

LifeSiteNews staff
By LifeSiteNews staff

A Colorado cake artist who declined to use his creative talents to promote and endorse a same-sex ceremony appealed a May 30 order from the Colorado Civil Rights Commission to the Colorado Court of Appeals Wednesday.

The commission’s order requires cake artist Jack Phillips and his staff at Masterpiece Cakeshop to create cakes for same-sex celebrations, forces him to re-educate his staff that Colorado’s Anti-Discrimination Act means that artists must endorse all views, compels him to implement new policies to comply with the commission’s order, and requires him to file quarterly “compliance” reports for two years. The reports must include the number of patrons declined a wedding cake or any other product and state the reason for doing so to ensure he has fully eliminated his religious beliefs from his business.

“Americans should not be forced by the government – or by another citizen – to endorse or promote ideas with which they disagree,” said the cake artist’s lead counsel Nicolle Martin, an attorney allied with Alliance Defending Freedom. “This is not about the people who asked for a cake; it’s about the message the cake communicates. Just as Jack doesn’t create baked works of art for other events with which he disagrees, he doesn’t create cake art for same-sex ceremonies regardless of who walks in the door to place the order.”

“In America, we don’t force artists to create expression that is contrary to their convictions,” added Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Legal Counsel Jeremy Tedesco. “A paint artist who identifies as homosexual shouldn’t be intimidated into creating a painting that celebrates one-man, one-woman marriage. A pro-life photographer shouldn’t be forced to work a pro-abortion rally. And Christian cake artists shouldn’t be punished for declining to participate in a same-sex ceremony or promote its message.”

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In July 2012, Charlie Craig and David Mullins asked Jack Phillips, owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop, to make a wedding cake to celebrate their same-sex ceremony. In an exchange lasting about 30 seconds, Phillips politely declined, explaining that he would gladly make them any other type of baked item they wanted but that he could not make a cake promoting a same-sex ceremony because of his faith. Craig and Mullins, now represented by the American Civil Liberties Union, immediately left the shop and later filed a complaint with the Colorado Civil Rights Division. The case now goes to the Colorado Court of Appeals as Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Craig.

“Jack, and other cake artists like him – such as those seen on TV shows like ‘Ace of Cakes’ and ‘Cake Boss’ – prepare unique creations that are inherently expressive,” Tedesco explained. “Jack invests many hours in the wedding cake creative process, which includes meeting the clients, designing and sketching the cake, and then baking, sculpting, and decorating it. The ACLU calls Jack a mere ‘retail service provider,’ but, in fact, he is an artist who uses his talents and abilities to create expression that the First Amendment fully protects."

Celebrity cake artists have written publicly about their art and the significant expressive work that goes into the artistic design process for wedding cakes.


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Prisoner of conscience Mary Wagner appeals her conviction

Tony Gosgnach
By Tony Gosgnach

TORONTO -- As promised, Mary Wagner has, through her counsel Dr. Charles Lugosi, filed a formal notice of appeal on numerous points regarding her recent, almost two-year-long court case that ended on June 12.

Justice Fergus O’Donnell of the Ontario Court of Justice rejected every application made by the defence – including for access to abortion center records, public funding, standing for a constitutional challenge and for expert witnesses to be heard – before he found Wagner guilty and sentenced her to five months in jail on a charge of mischief and four months on four counts of failing to comply with probation orders.

He further levied two years of probation, with terms that she stay at least 100 metres away from any abortion site. However, because Wagner had spent a greater time in jail than the sentence, she was freed immediately. She had been arrested at the “Women’s Care Clinic” abortion site on Lawrence Avenue West in Toronto on August 15, 2012 after attempting to speak to abortion-bound women there. She then spent the duration of the trial in prison for refusing to sign bail conditions requiring her to stay away from abortion sites.

Wagner is using the matter as a test case to challenge the current definition of a human being in Canadian law – that is, that a human being is legally recognized as such only after he or she has fully emerged from the birth canal in a breathing state.

Wagner’s notice states the appeal is regarding:

  • Her conviction and sentence on a single count of mischief (interference with property),
  • Her conviction and sentence on four counts of breach of probation,
  • The order denying public funding,
  • The order denying the disclosure of third-party records,
  • The order denying the admission of evidence from experts on the applicant’s constitutional challenge concerning the constitutional validity of Section 223 of the Criminal Code,
  • The order denying the admission of evidence from experts concerning the construction of Section 37 of the Criminal Code,
  • The probation order denying Wagner her constitutional rights to freedom of speech, freedom of expression, freedom of conscience and freedom of religion on all public sidewalks and public areas within 100 metres of places where abortions are committed,
  • And each conviction and sentence and all orders and rulings made by O’Donnell.

In the notice of appeal, Lugosi cites numerous points on which O’Donnell erred:

  • He denied Wagner her constitutional right to make full answer and defence.
  • He denied Wagner her right to rely on Section 37 of the Criminal Code, which permits “everyone” to come to the third-party defence and rescue of any human being (in this case, the preborn) facing imminent assault.
  • He decided the factual basis of Wagner’s constitutional arguments was a waste of the court’s time and that no purpose would have been served by having an evidentiary hearing on her Charter application because, in the current state of Canadian law, it had no possibility of success.
  • He misapplied case law and prejudged the case, “giving rise to a reasonable apprehension of bias and impeding the legal evolution of the law to adapt to new circumstances, knowledge and changed societal values and morals.”
  • He accepted the Crown’s submission that it is beyond the jurisdiction of the courts to question the jurisdiction of Parliament legally to define “human being” in any manner Parliament sees fit.
  • He ruled Section 223 of the Criminal Code is not beyond the powers of Section 52 of the Constitution Act, 1982.
  • He ruled Section 223 of the Criminal Code does not violate the Preamble to, as well as Sections 7, 11(d), 15 and 26, of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
  • He denied Wagner standing to raise a constitutional challenge to the validity of Section 223 of the Criminal Code.
  • He ruled that Section 223 of the Criminal Code applied generally throughout the entire Criminal Code and used it to deny unborn human beings the benefit of equal protection as born human beings under Section 37 of the Criminal Code.
  • He denied the production and disclosure of third-party records in the possession of the “Women’s Care Clinic” abortion site, although the records were required to prove Wagner was justified in using reasonable force in the form of oral and written words to try to persuade pregnant mothers from killing their unborn children by abortion.
  • He denied Wagner the defence of Section 37 of the Criminal Code by ruling unborn children did not come within the scope of human beings eligible to be protected by a third party.
  • He ruled Wagner did not come within the scope of Section 37 because she was found to be non-violent (in that she did not use physical force).
  • He ruled the unborn children Wagner was trying to rescue were not under her protection.
  • He denied Wagner the common-law defences of necessity and the rescue of third parties in need of protection.
  • He denied Wagner public funding to make full answer and defence for a constitutional test case of great public importance and national significance.
  • He imposed an unconstitutional sentence upon Wagner by, in effect, imposing an injunction as a condition of probation, contrary to her constitutional rights of free speech, freedom of expression, freedom of conscience and freedom of religion.

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Among the orders Lugosi is seeking are:

  • That an appeal be allowed against conviction on all counts and that a verdict of acquittal be entered on all counts,
  • That Section 223 of the Criminal Code be found unconstitutional  and contrary to Section 52 of the Constitution Act, 1982, as well as the unwritten constitution of Canada,
  • That the sentence be declared unconstitutional and contrary to Section 52 of the Constitution Act, 1982, and the unwritten constitution of Canada or that a new trial be conducted, with Wagner permitted to make full answer and defence, be given standing to make a constitutional attack on Section 223 of the Criminal Code, with the admission of expert witnesses,
  • That the Women’s Care Clinic abortion site be made to produce third-party records pertaining to patients seen on August 15, 2012 (when Wagner entered the site),
  • And that there be public funding for two defence counsels at any retrial and for any appeal related to the case.

No date has yet been established for a decision on the appeal or hearings.

A defence fund for Wagner’s case is still raising money. Details on how to contribute to it can be found here.


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