Jeanne Smits, Paris correspondent

Parisian pro-lifers don clown garb and unite in massive ‘flashmob’ against euthanasia

Jeanne Smits, Paris correspondent
By Jeanne Smits
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March 26, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) - A pro-life event made the national news on French television Saturday evening when “Alliance Vita” organized a giant flashmob against euthanasia on the “Parvis des droits de l’homme” (“Human Rights Square”) at the Trocadéro in Paris. Seven hundred people, young and old, holding red hearts with the slogan “Caring, not killing,” filled the esplanade facing the Eiffel Tower and danced to the sounds of Paul McCartney’s Live and Let Die.

The secret of the demonstration was carefully kept, with friends calling trusted friends to join the mystery event that was scheduled to coincide with a public demonstration in favor of euthanasia organized by the “Association for the right to death with dignity” (ADMD). Hundreds showed up on Saturday morning in time to don clown’s paint, a red nose and white coverings reminiscent of body bags before the press arrived at 12:15.

Participants danced in perfect coordination, turning to show the other side of their paper hearts bearing the words: “Solidarity with those who are the most fragile,” after which they lay on the ground to symbolize victims of euthanasia.

Why clowns? Because the pro-euthanasia event was being held in the famous Parisian “Cirque d’Hiver,” the covered “winter circus,” where well-loved troupes have held their shows in the cold season since 1852. Organizers of the protest said that it symbolized all the venue’s sad clowns who love life and children’s laughter joining together to warn the public about the evil of so-called “mercy killing.”

Red-nosed clowns are also familiar figures in French hospitals where volunteers dress up to visit children’s wards to cheer, help and console gravely ill little patients.

“Alliance Vita’s” president is Dr. Xavier Mirabel, an oncologist and father of a child with Down’s syndrome who has played a major role in helping pass a law in 2002 that prohibits gaining direct compensation for “wrongful birth” in France. During the rally at the Trocadéro on Saturday, he called on the French people resist euthanasia, a practice in which doctors and health care workers no longer perform their proper role of giving care, support and consolation to the aged and the suffering.

The originality of the demonstration made for wide media attention: none of the national and regional press reported on the “mainstream” pro-euthanasia rally without referring to the pro-life counter-event.

“Alliance Vita” is holding a fifty-city tour in France from March 5th to May 4th, during which the association’s permanent members are holding talks, conferences and debates to inform the population about the temptation of euthanasia.

Caroline Roux, who coordinates “Alliance Vita’s” hotlines and supportive websites for crisis pregnancies and questions surrounding the end of life, told LifeSiteNews that the initiative is proving successful.

The so-called “Tour de France” and its Parisian highlight are being held at the same time as the official presidential campaign, which moved into high gear at the beginning of the month in the leadup to the two rounds of voting on April 22nd and May 6th.

While “Alliance Vita” claims no political or religious affiliation, it has clearly taken a stand against socialist candidate François Hollande’s 21st proposition that seriously or terminally ill patients who are suffering unbearably in mind or body should be allowed to ask for “medical help to end their life with dignity.” Hollande has claimed that this would not amount to euthanasia or to decriminalizing mercy killing, a claim that has been rejected by “Alliance vita.”

As things stand a new official bid to make euthanasia legal has been registered with the French Senate whose liberal majority can be counted on to favor anti-life measures. If the left takes over the presidency and the National Assembly in the upcoming elections, legalization of euthanasia could follow quite soon.

In the wake of the ADMD’s rally on Saturday, two more presidential candidates have effectively proclaimed their support for euthanasia or assisted suicide: the leftist Jean-Luc Mélenchon and the ecologist Eva Joly. They were both present at the Cirque d’Hiver, as was Bertrand Delanoë, the socialist mayor of Paris who made his coming-out as a homosexual on French television in 1998.

Nicolas Sarkozy, Marine Le Pen and François Bayrou have made their opposition to euthanasia known, judging the current law (“loi Leonetti”) to be sufficient. The “loi Leonetti” favors palliative care and makes a distinction between deliberate killing and acts that alleviate suffering at the risk of hastening death but without aiming for it. However, it does allow withdrawal of food or feeding tubes in view of obtaining death for patients who are gravely ill and without hope of recovery.

For more photos of the protest on the French blog of Jeanne Smits, click here.


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Michelle Kaufman, New Zealand Correspondent

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Abortion group targets pro-life doctors, nurses with new website: New Zealand

Michelle Kaufman, New Zealand Correspondent
By Michelle Kaufman

Pro-life health practitioners and crisis pregnancy centres in New Zealand are the target of a new website designed to intimidate those who choose not to refer for abortion or prescribe contraception.

The website, My Decision, is created by the Abortion Law Reform Association of New Zealand (ALRANZ). 

The site lists health practitioners and crisis pregnancy centres which they believe women should avoid.  The incomplete list includes the names of individuals or organisations, the region and town, and whether they are a doctor, nurse or other provider. 

Women are asked to submit their stories of “hostile or unhelpful health professionals.”  The stories are non-identifying and can be edited for length or clarity.  At the time of writing only two stories had been posted.

In an earlier blog post, ALRANZ mentioned that the new website, which was still under construction at the time, is “aimed at shining the light on ‘conscientious objectors’… who deny people the reproductive healthcare they want or need.”

Right to Life NZ says they believe the site is “denigrating the good name and reputations of health professionals who believe that abortion is a harmful choice.”

Click "like" if you are PRO-LIFE!

Under New Zealand law, health practitioners can object to providing reproductive health services according to their conscience.  However, there is one caveat – they “must inform the person who requests the service that he or she can obtain the service from another health practitioner or from a family planning clinic.”

 “Sonscientious objection is a fundamental right and one that must be preserved if we are to continue to live in a free and civil society,” said Chris O’Brien, Vice President of Right to Life NZ. “We risk tyranny if this right is taken away.”

“There are very good doctors that appear on that website” said Dame Colleen Bayer, whose Dunedin Family Life Crisis Pregnancy Centre is also named.  “These doctors speak truthfully and have real care and concern for their patients.  Women do themselves a disservice to discount them based on this information.”

The resource section on the My Decision website links to ALRANZ, Family Planning (an affiliate of International Planned Parenthood Federation and an abortion provider), and the website Abortion Services in New Zealand. 

The Abortion Services website is sponsored by ISTAR Ltd, a registered Charitable Trust which is the sole importer of mifepristone into New Zealand.  ISTAR also provides Manual Vacuum Aspiration equipment for early surgical abortions.

ALRANZ, was instrumental in the writing of the Greens abortion policy, which was unveiled earlier this year.  That policy aims to take abortion out of the Crimes Act making it more accessible.  The policy also targets health professionals who may conscientiously object to ensure they refer patients on to a “neutral practitioner”.

More information about freedom of conscience in healthcare 


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The government is proposing allowing the killing of pre-born babies suspected of being disabled and those conceived through rape or incest.
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Northern Ireland considers allowing killing disabled unborn babies: pro-lifers condemn

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By Thaddeus Baklinski

Northern Ireland’s leading pro-life group, Precious Life, has condemned this week's announcement by Justice Minister David Ford that a consultation on changing the abortion law will be "ready by autumn." The government is considering allowing the killing of pre-born babies suspected of being disabled and those conceived through rape or incest.

“Abortion is a serious criminal offence in Northern Ireland,” said the director of Precious Life, Bernadette Smyth. “The law here protects unborn babies, and David Ford as Minister for Justice must ensure that all children are legally protected."

Last December, Ford revealed he would be undertaking a consultation to consider changes to the law after he heard the stories of two women, who complained that they had not been allowed to abort their babies who had been diagnosed with anencephaly. Instead, they said, they had traveled to Britain for abortions.

Abortion was refused under Northern Ireland’s laws because the diagnosis of anencephaly for the child poses no medical threat to the mother.

Click "like" if you are PRO-LIFE!

On Monday Ford told the BBC that the Department of Justice would bring forward its consultation paper on changing Northern Ireland's abortion laws by the fall.

However, Smyth warned that “the core ethical principle which must underpin this discussion is that every child deserves the right to life regardless of how short their life may be, and regardless of the circumstances of their conception."

She vowed that Precious Life will launch a public campaign in support of the life of all unborn babies.

“We all feel enormous sympathy for parents in these traumatic and distressing cases," Precious Life stressed in a statement. "But parents in these difficult situations deserve much more than our sympathy – they need a professional support system in place, which will provide them with help, support and resources.

"Precious Life are resolved to work towards a solution that loves and protects both mother and baby. Once again we call on the Health Minister to immediately establish perinatal hospice services for parents who have received a poor or difficult prenatal diagnosis for their baby,” said Smyth.

 

Contact:

Justice Minister David Ford
Department of Justice
Stormont Estate
Belfast, Northern Ireland
BT4 3SG
Phone:(028) 9076 3000
Email: via website (http://www.dojni.gov.uk/contact-us.htm)


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80% of parents who have an unborn child with spina bifida choose abortion. But Chad Judice (pictured with Eli) knows that life is worth it.
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Abortion? No way. Dad says son with spina bifida is a ‘gift’ to the family.

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By Dustin Siggins

What is the most pro-life, pro-God influence in your life? According to Catholic author and speaker Chad Judice, his five-year old, disabled son has been a tremendous source of happiness and faith for even the hardest of hearts.

In an op-ed published in The New York Post, Judice writes that when he and his wife found out their unborn son Elijah had spina bifida, they were offered the option of abortion. While they chose life, it didn't stop them from fearing the worst for their careers, eldest child, and Eli.

"That evening...Ashley cried as she read to me from the literature we’d been given," writes Judice. "It said 80 percent of parents who receive a spina bifida diagnosis choose abortion."

"And it told us that our son might have learning disabilities and be paralyzed from the waist down, unable to ever walk."

According to WemMD.com, the two most common forms of spina bifida have few, if any effects, on those who have them. However, the most rare and most aggressive form of the disability can result in significant problems for life:

  • Little or no feeling in their legs, feet, or arms, so they may not be able to move those parts of the body.
  • Bladder or bowel problems, such as leaking urine or having a hard time passing stools.
  • Fluid buildup in the brain (hydrocephalus). Even when it is treated, this may cause seizures, learning problems, or vision problems.
  • A curve in their spine, such as scoliosis.

Eli's form of spina bifida was severe, but -- as it turned out -- manageable, writes Judice. Despite surgeries and "medical challenges," he was out of the hospital within thirty days, though seizures and surgeries would continue to challenge the family. At five-and-a-half, he is entering kindergarten, learning to walk with modern technology, and "his intelligence is at or above average, and he's very talkative."

But perhaps the greatest miracle of all, Judice says, is the effect Eli has had on those who are outside of the family. His story has helped "some pregnant mothers...to reject abortion," and "rekindle the dormant faith of some...drawing them into a life with more room for God and family."

One of those rekindled Christians was a man who, after years in prison, prayed for Eli "as he recited The Lord's Prayer." According to Judice, "it was the first time he’d prayed in 30 years."

Since Eli's birth, Judice has written two books about his son and their family. "Waiting for Eli: A Father's Journey from Fear to Faith" was the first, and has received praise from Father Frank Pavone of Priests for Life. According to Pavone, it is "an inspiring story of faith, hope, love, and the power of prayer."

"The world judges the value of human life by physical perfection, but God sees things differently. To Him, we are perfectly lovable in our imperfection. Uplifting in its reverence for human life in its most fragile stages, WAITING FOR ELI will encourage pro-life activists everywhere, from the most seasoned to the newly initiated."

Also unstinting in praise was the Chair of the Committee for Pro-Life Activities, Archbishop Daniel Cardinal Dinardo, who writes for Judice's website that the book "chronicles [Judice's] spiritual journey from fear of one’s personal limitations to self-abandonment to the divine mercy of God’s providence."

The second book, "Eli's Reach: On the Value of Human Life and the Power of Prayer," received the "Best Book by Small Publisher" award in 2013 by the Catholic Press Association.

"I think of Eli as God’s special gift to my family," Judice wrote in the Post. "And as I share about him, Eli’s story softens hearts and brings people to a greater appreciation of the beauty and sacredness of life."


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