Thaddeus Baklinski

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Ireland lower house passes permissive abortion law 127-31

Thaddeus Baklinski
Thaddeus Baklinski

DUBLIN, July 12, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) - At 12.30 a.m. local time the Irish parliament voted 127-31 in favor of legislation that allows abortion through all nine months of pregnancy where the life of the mother is at risk which notably includes if the mother threatens suicide. 

Speaking outside the Dáil today, Clare Molloy of the pro-life group Youth Defence described it as a “dark day for Ireland when the legislature close their ears to the medical evidence, turn their backs on the electorate to which they promised no abortion legislation, and have now legalised the death penalty for innocent unborn children."

“This bill is barbaric,” said Ms. Molloy. "As Labour TD Roisin Shortall has pointed out, it has no term limits. It allows for the direct killing of a physically healthy baby being carried by a physically healthy mother and allows it through all nine months of pregnancy."

She continued, “what kind of politician or doctor approves the killing of a fully formed human being at 22 weeks by lethal injection to the heart. Our leading doctors are opposing this legislation; because, as one if them told the Oireachtas Committee, the Bill legalises the mindless assassination of innocent human beings."

“We know that abortion is not a treatment for suicide, the psychiatrists are blue in the face from telling Enda Kenny that, but yet he chooses to ignore this evidence and says his hands are tied by the Supreme Court decision in the X Case. It  is now clear that that decision was fundamentally flawed because we didn’t have the evidence that we now know. Clean out your ears Taoiseach, if a decision is wrong then we shouldn’t follow it. The people are the final courts of appeal in this democracy and 86% of us want a referendum,” Ms. Molloy concluded.

Abuse of such a 'life of the mother' loophole in the law was demonstrated last year in Northern Ireland where abortions performed “to save the mother’s life” are rampant.  Recently released data show that there were more abortions sanctioned as a procedure to save a mother’s life in Northern Ireland in the past two years, than in England and Wales combined over a 40-year period.

Pro-life groups strongly condemned the government’s decision to ram through its flawed abortion legislation, labeling it as a “betrayal of unborn children, a betrayal of a party promise and a betrayal of the Irish people.”

Admiration was expressed for the deputies who had put principle before politics to vote No to the bill, while other politicians have been described as 'spineless and amoral' for breaking their pro-life promise.

Niamh Ui Bhriain of the Life Institute said Prime Minister Enda Kenny was acting in an “autocratic and bullying manner and had trampled all over conscience rights by denying a free vote within his party on an issue that was deeply conscientious and on which strong views were held."

She went on to say that the electorate would not forget the vindictive action taken by Mr Kenny in inflicting such harsh sanctions and penalties on those party colleagues who dared to defy his authoritarian whip.

“It disgusts me that the Taoiseach would demand that his party colleagues should vote in favour of this horrific and fundamentally flawed piece of legislation and threaten them with being thrown out of the party if they fail to do so. What kind of a leader is he? What kind of a leader throws a colleague out of the party for doing exactly what they told their electorate they were going to do before election?” Ui Bhriain said.

Only five members of the majority Fine Gael party dared to break ranks and as a result were automatically expelled from the party.

Lucinda Creighton, one of those who voted against the abortion bill, resigned from her position as Ireland’s European Affairs Minister, saying the government broke a commitment to keep Ireland free of abortion.

"It's very disappointing and I would rather that I wasn't here. For me, this is a very important piece of legislation, one which is against a commitment that we made at the last election - a promise had been made, a very fundamental promise - on abortion.

"I just felt that I couldn't remove from that promise that we made at the last election," she told RTE News.

Both the Life Institute and Youth Defence have called for the Bill to be put to the people in a referendum under Article 27 of the Irish Constitution.

The pro-life groups said the huge Rally for Life which attracted 60,000 people last weekend, showed that the pro-life movement was committed and mobilized and would be now open to the new political alternative created by Kenny's abortion bill.

Niamh Uí Bhriain of the Life Institute said at the rally, “If you refuse, Taoiseach (Prime Minister), to let the people vote, then the people will be heard. 100,000 people have already signed the pro-life pledge, 100,000 will seek to build a new political alternative, 100,000 will remember Taoiseach, that if you ram through this law, you are the abortion Taoiseach and Fine Gael is the abortion party, and they will seek an alternative which protects both mother and baby.”

“This is not just about abortion, it’s about democracy and letting the people decide on this hugely important issue. A recent Amárach poll told us that a huge 86 per cent of people supported the right of the people to decide the issue by referendum,” she added.

Former presidential candidate and MEP Dana Rosemary Scallon blasted the government and the prime minister, saying, Enda Kenny’s assertion that he has “a duty and responsibility to legislate” for abortion was “totally unfounded,” and echoed calls for a national referendum on the issue. 

"There is no legal or constitutional obligation for Enda Kenny or any other politician to legislate for the deliberate killing of an unborn child and there is no medical evidence to support this radical change to how we treat our mothers and their children," Scallon told the Irish Times.

She said the government must respect “the democratic and constitutional right of the people” to have the final say on the matter by referendum.

Paschal Donohoe, who was appointed Minister of State for European Affairs after Lucinda Creighton resigned from the post, suggested that the contentious abortion legislation be referred to the Supreme Court for a ruling on its constitutionality.

"One of the issues that has infused this debate is this question regarding the exact constitutionality of this bill and I do believe that it is in the interests of all concerned that that should be precisely answered. I would welcome a speedy adjudication on that," Donohoe said, according to an Independant.ie report.

The legislation will now go to the Irish Senate where it is expected to pass. It will then be brought to President Michael D Higgins who will sign it into law.


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Thaddeus Baklinski Thaddeus Baklinski Follow Thaddeus

African researchers warn early sexual activity increases risk of cancers

Thaddeus Baklinski Thaddeus Baklinski Follow Thaddeus
By Thaddeus Baklinski

A report on rising cancer rates in Africa delivered at a conference in Namibia last week warned that oral contraceptives and engaging in sexual activity from a young age lead to an increased risk of breast and reproductive system cancers.

Researchers presented the "2014 Integrated Africa Cancer Fact Sheet & Summary Score Card" during the 8th Stop Cervical, Breast and Prostate Cancer in Africa (SCCA) conference, held in Windhoek, Namibia from July 20 to 22, noted that cancer is a growing health problem in many developing countries and that breast and cervical cancer are the most common forms affecting African women.

The report said that sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) play a major role in reproductive system cancers and that young girls who engage in sexual activity risk getting, among other STDs, the human papilloma virus (HPV), some strains of which are linked to cervical cancer.

The report said although HPV infections are common in healthy women, they are usually fought off by the body’s immune system, with no discernible symptoms or health consequences.

The Cancer Association of South Africa points out that of the scores of HPV types, 14 of the more than 40 sexually transmitted varieties are considered "high risk" for causing serious illness, while two, HPV-16 and HPV-18, are linked to cervical cancer.

“Long-term use of oral contraceptives is also associated with increased risk [of cancer], and women living with HIV-AIDS are at increased risk of cervical cancer,” the report said.

Dr. Thandeka Mazibuko, a South African oncologist, told the conference attendees that when an 18-year-old is diagnosed with cervical cancer, “this means sex is an important activity in her life and she indulged from a young age.”

Mazibuko said the standard treatment for cancer of the cervix is seven weeks of radiation therapy.

“After the treatment they cannot have sex with their husbands or partners. They cannot bear children because everything has been closed up. Some may still have the womb but radiation makes them infertile,” Mazibuko said, according to a report in The Namibian.

Statistics from the Cancer Association of Namibia show that cases of cervical cancer have risen from 129 in 2005 to 266 in 2012.

The SCCA Conference theme was, "Moving forward to end Cervical Cancer by 2030: Universal Access to Cervical Cancer Prevention."

In his keynote address, host and Namibian President Hifikepunye Lucas Pohamba urged African countries to help each other to expand and modernize health care delivery in the continent.

"Within the context of the post-2015 Development Agenda and sustainable development goals, the provision of adequate health care to African women and children must be re-emphasized," said the president, according to AllAfrica.

The Namibian leader urged mothers to breastfeed their children for at least six months as a measure to prevent breast cancer.


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Allow ‘lethal injection’ for poor to save on palliative care: Lithuanian health minister

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By Hilary White

Euthanasia is a solution for terminally ill poor people who cannot afford palliative care and who do not want to “see their families agonize” over their suffering, Lithuania’s health minister said last week.

In an interview on national television, Minister Rimantė Šalaševičiūtė added that the Belgian law on child euthanasia ought to be “taken into account” as well. 

Šalaševičiūtė told TV3 News that Lithuania, a country whose population is 77 percent Catholic, is not a welfare state and cannot guarantee quality palliative care for all those in need of it. The solution, therefore, would be “lethal injection.”

“It is time to think through euthanasia in these patients and allow them to make a decision: to live or die,” she said.

Direct euthanasia remains illegal in the Balkan state, but activists tried to bring it to the table in 2012. A motion to drop the planned bill was passed in the Parliament in March that year in a vote of 75 to 14. Since then the country has undergone a change in government in which the far-left Social Democrats have formed the largest voting bloc.

Šalaševičiūtė is a member of Parliament for the Social Democrats, the party originally established in the late 19th century – re-formed in the late 1980s – from Marxist principles and now affiliated with the international Party of European Socialists and Socialist International.

Fr. Andrius Narbekovas, a prominent priest, lecturer, physician, bioethicist, and member of the government’s bioethics committee, called the suggestion “satanic,” according to Delfi.lt. He issued a statement saying it is the purpose of the Ministry of Health to “protect the health and life, instead of looking for ways to take away life.”

“We understand that people who are sick are in need of funds. But a society that declares itself democratic, should very clearly understand that we have to take care of the sick, not kill them,” he said.


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Islamists in Mosul mark Christian homes with an Arabic "N" for Nazarene.
Gualberto Garcia Jones, J.D.

We must open wide our doors to Iraq’s Christians

Gualberto Garcia Jones, J.D.
By Gualberto Garcia Jones J.D.

On July 18, the largest Christian community in Iraq, the Chaldean Catholics of Mosul, were given a grotesque ultimatum: leave your ancestral home, convert to Islam, or die.

All but forgotten by the 1.2 billion Catholics of the world, these last Christians who still speak Jesus’ native tongue of Aramaic and live in the land of Abraham and Jonah are being wiped out before our very eyes.

As a way of issuing a thinly-veiled threat, reminiscent of the Nazi persecution of the Jews, the Arabic letter “N” (for Nazarean) has been painted on the outside of the homes of all known Christians in Mosul.

These threats, issued by the fanatical Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) known for its bloodthirsty rampage of executions, have been taken very seriously by the several hundred thousand Christians in Mosul who have left with little more than the clothes they were wearing. 

At least most of these Christians were able to flee and find temporary protection among the Kurds in their semi-autonomous region.  However the Kurds do not have the resources to defend or shelter the Chaldean Christians for much longer.

On Monday, during an interview on Fox News, Republican U.S. Rep. Frank Wolf, who recently joined with 54 other members of the House of Representatives in a letter to President Obama asking him to act to protect these communities, stated that while Iraqi President Maliki had sent military flights to Mosul to evacuate Shiite Muslims, the US has done nothing to protect the Chaldean Christians.  Rep. Wolf also stated emphatically that President Obama has done “almost nothing” about the genocide taking place.

The silence from the White House is deafening.  But the lack of leadership from the hierarchy of the Catholic Church in America has been shocking as well.

Nevertheless, the plight of these Iraqi Christians is beginning to be taken seriously.   This is due in large part to the heroic efforts of local Iraqi religious leaders like Chaldean Patriarch Sako, who has gone on a whirlwind tour of the world to alert us all of the plight of these Iraqi Christians.  In a statement demonstrating his character, he told the Christians of Iraq last week, “We are your shepherds, and with our full responsibility towards you we will stay with you to the end, will not leave you, whatever the sacrifices.”

Before the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq was launched there were approximately 1.5 to 2 million Christians living in Iraq.  Today, there are believed to be less than 200,000.  The numbers speak for themselves.

Now that the world is beginning to be aware of the genocide in Northern Iraq, many of us ask ourselves: what can we do?  As citizens and as Christians blessed to live in nations with relative peace and security, what can we do?

The answer is quite simple and unexpected.  Demand that our government and church pull its head out of the sand and follow France. Yes, France.  

Yesterday, in a heroic gesture of Christian solidarity that would make Joan of Arc proud, the government of France opened wide its doors to the persecuted Iraqi Christians.  

”France is outraged by these abuses that it condemns with the utmost firmness," Laurent Fabius, France's foreign minister, and Bernard Cazeneuve, France's interior minister, said in a joint statement on Monday.

"The ultimatum given to these communities in Mosul by ISIS is the latest tragic example of the terrible threat that jihadist groups in Iraq, but also in Syria and elsewhere, pose to these populations that are historically an integral part of this region," they added. "We are ready, if they wish, to facilitate their asylum on our soil.  We are in constant contact with local and national authorities to ensure everything is done to protect them.”

The French statement drives home three crucial elements that every government, especially the United States, should communicate immediately:

  1. Recognize the genocide and name the perpetrators and victims.

  2. Officially condemn what is happening in the strongest terms.

  3. Offer a solution that includes cooperation with local authorities but which leads by making solid commitments such as offering asylum or other forms of protection.

With regard to the Church, we should look to the Chaldean Patriarch and the Iraqi bishops who shared their expectations explicitly in an open letter to “all people of conscience in Iraq and around the world” to take “practical actions to assure our people, not merely expressions of condemnation.”  Noticeably, the last section of the letter from the Iraqi bishops, before a final prayer to God, is an expression of thanks to the Kurdish government, which has welcomed them not just with “expressions” of goodwill but, like France, with a sacrificial hospitality.

On Friday, July 25, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops did issue a statement, but unfortunately it lacked much in terms of leadership or solutions.  We should encourage our bishops to do better than that, be bolder and stronger for our persecuted brothers and sisters, name names and offer concrete sacrificial aid. In a word, be more like the French.

In 1553, Rome welcomed the Chaldean church into the fold of the Catholic Church.  Nearly 500 years later, Catholic Americans must find ways to welcome these persecuted people into our country, into our churches, and into our own homes if need be.

I say, I am with you St. Joan of Arc.   I am with you, France.  I am with you, Chaldeans!

Gualberto Garcia Jones is the Executive Director of the International Human Rights Group, a non-profit organization based in Washington, DC, that seeks to advance the fundamental rights to life, the natural family, and religious liberty through international law and international relations. 


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