Hilary White

Abortion-promoters knew about Savita case days before media: Leaked e-mail

Hilary White
Hilary White
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DUBLIN, November 15, 2012, (LifeSiteNews.com) – The death of a young woman in Galway, reportedly from complications of a miscarriage, has abortion-promoters demonstrating in the streets of Dublin, demanding legislation to legalise abortion. Pro-life leaders in Ireland and abroad, however, have slammed the media and abortion campaigners for using the young woman’s tragic death despite the dearth of details about what actually happened. They have also pointed to clear evidence that pro-abortion groups knew about Savita’s case days before it hit the media, and that they were already planning on using the case to further their cause.

Ireland’s leading pro-life group Youth Defence has issued a statement saying that the family of Savita Halappanaver has their deepest sympathies, but that her circumstances do not support the hysterical calls for legalisation of abortion. “This is a tragic loss, and we need to remember that Irish doctors are always obliged to intervene to save the life of a mother - even if that risks the life of her baby.”

Halappanavar, a 31 year-old Indian woman died October 28th of septicaemia, a severe systemic inflammatory infection, after she was admitted to hospital while miscarrying.

Her husband Praveen has told Irish media that his wife died because doctors refused an abortion, and that story has been spread worldwide.

Halappanavar said that doctors determined that his wife was miscarrying within hours of her hospitalization and said that they refused to consider an abortion, saying that Ireland is a “Catholic country.”

The case has created an international media feeding frenzy, with headlines around the world implying that Catholic teaching is responsible for the woman’s death. Front page coverage has appeared in the Guardian, Daily Mail and the Mirror, as well the U.S. and UK editions of The Huffington Post, the CBC and elsewhere.

Niamh Uí Bhriain of the Life Institute called it “outrageous” to suggest that Catholic teaching would prevent proper treatment for a pregnant woman. “Neither the ethos of the Catholic Church nor the pro-life laws of Ireland would prevent any woman from receiving all treatment she requires in order to preserve her life,” she said.

Uí Bhriain added, “Abortion doesn’t cure septicaemia and isn’t a treatment for miscarriage.”

Meanwhile, a leaked e-mail, dated Sunday, November 11, indicates that the Irish Choice Network had been given prior knowledge of the case, days before it hit the media, though by whom is as yet uncertain. The Irish Times did not break the story publicly until November 14th, running the headline, “Woman ‘denied a termination’ dies in hospital”.

The e-mail advised ICN followers that “a major news story in relation to abortion access is going to break in the media early this coming week,” and said the news would be the basis of a prearranged protest calling for abortion outside the Dáil on Wednesday. The e-mail asked members to attend a meeting of the Irish Choice Network when they would have “more definite information around which we can make some collective decisions about how best to proceed.”

“Apologies if this is all a little mysterious, but the reason why I didn’t want to put specific details down by e-mail will probably be clear tomorrow,” it continued.

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The e-mail, Uí Bhriain said, showed clearly that abortion advocates have deliberately exploited the case to start a campaign to have abortion legalised in Ireland. She said that serious questions now needed to be asked. “The media and the HSE [Health Services Executive] now needs to ask why this information seems to have been given in advance to abortion advocates,” she added.

“Was it given to them by the Irish Times, or by someone in the HSE? And if so, why?” she asked. She noted that the Irish Times story was written by Kitty Holland, daughter of leading abortion advocate Eamonn McCann.

“As we await the investigation in to what happened in Galway hospital, we need to know why this private patient information was given to campaigners for legalised abortion in Ireland,” she said.

Uí Bhriain told LifeSiteNews.com that Ireland’s laws already prioritise the life of the mother. Under the current law, doctors who fail to intervene to save a woman’s life are subject to disciplinary action for negligence. “Far from being the pro-life laws putting undue pressure to save the life of the unborn child, they put additional measures to protect the life of the mother,” she said.

At the moment medical details are scant, with the hospital and the government refusing to release details until after an investigation is completed, leaving pro-life groups scrambling to respond to claims that are impossible to verify either way.

“Our hearts are with [Mr. Halappanavar], but an abortion would not have saved her life. The medical council guidelines are incredibly clear, that the doctors must intervene to save a woman’s life, if they don’t they’re guilty of misconduct,” Uí Bhriain added.

Paul Tully, general secretary of the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children said, “What we do know is that miscarriage and infection can be managed by proper medical treatment. Abortion is not medicine - it does not treat or cure any pathology.”

“What is rarely reported are the many cases of women who have died from infection or other causes because of supposedly safe and legal abortions.”

He named Manon Jones, Jessie-Maye Barlow and Emma Beck who all died of complications of abortion in Britain. He pointed to findings of the World Health Organisation that the Republic of Ireland, with some of the strictest pro-life laws in the world, also has the world’s best record in maternal health. By contrast, Great Britain and the United States, with their high abortion rates, have relatively poor maternal health records.

Earlier this year an international group of 140 obstetricians and other physicians meeting in Dublin issued a statement denying that abortion is ever “medically necessary” for women.

Ireland’s Minister for Health, James Reilly, who is not pro-life, has called for calm, saying he does not believe the claims that the doctors told Mr. Halappanavar that abortion was not available because Ireland is a Catholic country. He added that no decisions can be made until a medical investigation is completed.

The country’s General Medical Council guidelines already allow for abortion in “rare” cases when a pregnancy would threaten the mother’s life. The guidance states, “In current obstetrical practice, rare complications can arise where therapeutic intervention (including termination of a pregnancy) is required at a stage when, due to extreme immaturity of the baby, there may be little or no hope of the baby surviving. In these exceptional circumstances, it may be necessary to intervene to terminate the pregnancy to protect the life of the mother, while making every effort to preserve the life of the baby.”

Labour leader and coalition Deputy Prime Minister Eamon Gilmore has not hesitated to use the uproar to again press for legalisation of abortion. Gilmore said this government will not become the seventh to “neglect and ignore” the issue. Labour is the only party in Ireland that has full legalisation of abortion as part of its platform.

The issue has come to a high boil after the European Court of Human Rights issued a ruling in the A,B and C case saying that Ireland must “clarify” under what circumstances abortion could be legal under the current law. While the Court did not say that Ireland must legalise abortion, this has not stopped Gilmore and other abortion activists from insisting that abortion be declared legal. The report on abortion’s legal situation by the government’s expert group, which has been expected imminently for months, was reportedly delivered to the Health Minister on Tuesday and is expected to be published immediately.

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Dustin Siggins Dustin Siggins Follow Dustin

PBS defends decision to air pro-abortion documentary ‘After Tiller’

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By Dustin Siggins

Under pressure for showing the pro-abortion documentary "After Tiller" on Labor Day, PBS' "POV" affiliate has defended the decision in response to an inquiry from LifeSiteNews.

The producers of the film say their goal with the documentary, which tells the stories of four late-term abortion doctors after the killing of infamous late-term abortionist George Tiller, is to "change public perception of third-trimester abortion providers by building a movement dedicated to supporting their right to work with a special focus on maintaining their safety.” 

POV told LifeSiteNews, "We do believe that 'After Tiller' adds another dimension to an issue that is being debated widely." Asked if POV will show a pro-life documentary, the organization said that it "does not have any other films currently scheduled on this issue. POV received almost 1000 film submissions each year through our annual call for entries and we welcome the opportunity to consider films with a range of points of view."

When asked whether POV was concerned about alienating its viewership -- since PBS received more than $400 million in federal tax dollars in 2012 and half of Americans identify as pro-life -- POV said, "The filmmakers would like the film to add to the discussion around these issues. Abortion is already a legal procedure."

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"This is an issue that people feel passionately about and will have a passionate response to. We are hopeful that the majority of people can see it for what it is, another lens on a very difficult issue." 

In addition to the documentary, POV has written materials for community leaders and teachers to share. A cursory examination of the 29-page document, which is available publicly, appears to include links to outside sources that defend Roe v. Wade, an examination of the constitutional right to privacy, and "a good explanation of the link between abortion law and the right to privacy," among other information.

Likewise, seven clips recommended for student viewing -- grades 11 and beyond -- include scenes where couples choose abortion because the children are disabled. Another shows pro-life advocates outside a doctor's child's school, and a third is described as showing "why [one of the film's doctors] chose to offer abortion services and includes descriptions of what can happen when abortion is illegal or unavailable, including stories of women who injured themselves when they tried to terminate their own pregnancies and children who were abused because they were unwanted."

Another clip "includes footage of protesters, as well as news coverage of a hearing in the Nebraska State Legislature in which abortion opponents make reference to the idea that a fetus feels pain." The clip's description fails to note that it is a scientifically proven fact that unborn children can feel pain.

The documentary is set to air on PBS at 10 p.m. Eastern on Labor Day.

Kirsten Andersen contributed to this article.

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Pete Baklinski Pete Baklinski Follow Pete

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He defended ‘real’ marriage, and then was beheaded for it

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By Pete Baklinski

A Christian man was executed during the night by a high-profile ruler after making an uncompromising defense of real marriage.

The Christian, who was renowned for his holiness, had told the ruler in public that his relationship with his partner was “against the law” of God. The Christian’s words enraged the ruler’s partner who successfully plotted to have him permanently silenced.

John the Baptist was first imprisoned before he was beheaded. The Catholic Church honors him today, August 29, as a martyr and saint.

While John’s death happened a little less than 2,000 years ago, his heroic stance for real marriage is more pertinent today than ever before.

According to the Gospel of Mark, the ruler Herod had ‘married’ his brother’s wife Herodias. When John told Herod with complete frankness, “It is against the law for you to have your brother’s wife,” Herodias became “furious” with him to the point of wanting him killed for his intolerance, bullying, and hate-speech.

Herodias found her opportunity to silence John by having her daughter please Herod during a dance at a party. Herod offered the girl anything she wanted. The daughter turned to her mother for advice, and Herodias said to ask for John’s head on a platter.

Those who fight for real marriage today can learn three important lessons from John’s example.

  1. Those proudly living in ungodly and unnatural relationships — often referred to in today’s sociopolitical sphere as ‘marriage’ — will despise those who tell them what they are doing is wrong. Real marriage defenders must expect opposition to their message from the highest levels.
  2. Despite facing opposition, John was not afraid to defend God’s plan for marriage in the public square, even holding a secular ruler accountable to this plan. John, following the third book of the Hebrew Bible (Leviticus 20:21), held that a man marrying the wife of his brother was an act of “impurity” and therefore abhorrent to God. Real marriage defenders must boldly proclaim today that God is the author of marriage, an institution he created to be a life-long union between one man and one woman from which children arise and in which they are best nurtured. Marriage can be nothing more, nothing less.
  3. John did not compromise on the truth of marriage as revealed by God, even to the point of suffering imprisonment and death for his unpopular position. Real marriage defenders must never compromise on the truth of marriage, even if the government, corporate North America, and the entire secular education system says otherwise. They must learn to recognize the new “Herodias” of today who despises those raising a voice against her lifestyle. They must stand their ground no matter what may come, no matter what the cost.

John the Baptist was not intolerant or a bigot, he simply lived the word of God without compromise, speaking the word of truth when it was needed, knowing that God’s way is always the best way. Were John alive today, he would be at the forefront of the grassroots movement opposing the social and political agenda to remake marriage in the image of man.

Click "like" if you want to defend true marriage.

If he were alive today he might speak simple but eloquent words such as, “It is against God’s law for two men or two women to be together as a husband and wife in marriage. Marriage can only be between a man and a woman.” 

He would most likely be hated. He would be ridiculed. He would surely have the human rights tribunals throwing the book at him. But he would be speaking the truth and have God as his ally. 

The time may not be far off when those who defend real marriage, like John, will be presented with the choice of following Caesar or making the ultimate sacrifice. May God grant his faithful the grace to persevere in whatever might come. St. John the Baptist, pray for us!

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The Wunderlich family Mike Donnelly / Home School Legal Defence Association
Thaddeus Baklinski Thaddeus Baklinski Follow Thaddeus

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German homeschoolers regain custody of children, vow to stay and fight for freedom

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By Thaddeus Baklinski

One year to the day since a team of 20 social workers, police officers, and special agents stormed a homeschooling family’s residence near Darmstadt, Germany, and forcibly removed all four of the family’s children, aged 7 to 14, a state appeals court has returned custody of the children to their parents.

The reason given for the removal was that parents Dirk and Petra Wunderlich continued to homeschool their children in defiance of a German ban on home education.

The children were returned three weeks after being taken, following an international outcry spearheaded by the Home School Legal Defense Association.

However, a lower court imposed the condition on the parents that their children were required to attend state schools in order for them to be released, and took legal custody of the children in order to prevent the family from leaving the country.

In a decision that was still highly critical of the parents and of homeschooling, the appeals court decided that the action of the lower court in putting the children in the custody of the state was “disproportional” and ordered complete custody returned to the parents, according to a statement by the HSLDA.

The Wunderlichs, who began homeschooling again when the court signaled it would rule this way, said they were very pleased with the result, but noted that the court’s harsh words about homeschooling indicated that their battle was far from over.

“We have won custody and we are glad about that,” Dirk said.

“The court said that taking our children away was not proportionate—only because the authorities should apply very high fines and criminal prosecution instead. But this decision upholds the absurd idea that homeschooling is child endangerment and an abuse of parental authority.”

The Wunderlichs are now free to emigrate to another country where homeschooling is legal, if they choose, but they said they intend to remain in Germany and work for educational freedom.

“While we no longer fear that our children will be taken away as long as we are living in Hessen, it can still happen to other people in Germany,” Dirk said. “Now we fear crushing fines up to $75,000 and jail. This should not be tolerated in a civilized country.”

Petra Wunderlich said, "We could not do this without the help of HSLDA,” but cautioned that, “No family can fight the powerful German state—it is too much, too expensive."

"If it were not for HSLDA and their support, I am afraid our children would still be in state custody. We are so grateful and thank all homeschoolers who have helped us by helping HSLDA.”

HSLDA’s Director for Global Outreach, Michael Donnelly, said he welcomed the ruling but was concerned about the court’s troubling language.

“We welcome this ruling that overturns what was an outrageous abuse of judicial power,” he said.

“The lower court decision to take away legal custody of the children essentially imprisoned the Wunderlich family in Germany. But this decision does not go far enough. The court has only grudgingly given back custody and has further signaled to local authorities that they should still go after the Wunderlichs with criminal charges or fines.”

Donnelly pointed out that such behavior in a democratic country is problematic.

“Imprisonment and fines for homeschooling are outside the bounds of what free societies that respect fundamental human rights should tolerate,” he explained.

“Freedom and fundamental human rights norms demand respect for parental decision making in education. Germany’s state and national policies that permit banning home education must be changed.

"Such policies from a leading European democracy not only threaten the rights of tens of thousands of German families but establish a dangerous example that other countries may be tempted to follow,” Donnelly warned.

HSLDA Chairman Michael Farris said that acting on behalf of the Wunderlichs was an important stand for freedom.

“The Wunderlichs are a good and decent family whose basic human rights were violated and are still threatened,” Farris said.

“Their fight is our fight," Farris stressed, "and we will continue to support those who stand against German policy banning homeschooling that violates international legal norms. Free people cannot tolerate such oppression and we will do whatever we can to fight for families like the Wunderlichs both here in the United States and abroad. We must stand up to this kind of persecution where it occurs or we risk seeing own freedom weakened.”

Visit the HSLDA website dedicated to helping the Wunderlich family and other German homeschoolers here.

Contact the German embassy in the U.S. here.

Contact the German embassy in Canada here.

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