10,000 pro-lifers rally in Dublin amidst heated abortion debate
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
Phone: 01-6194020 / 4021 / 4043
To send a message to Justice Minister Alan Shatter
YouTube rally video
Texas AG to Target: Show me how you’ll protect women and kids from criminals
AUSTIN, Texas, May 5, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – The latest backlash Target received as a result of its transgender bathroom policy was a letter from Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton asking the company to provide its safety policies to protect women and children from “those who would use the cover of Target’s restroom policy for nefarious purposes.”
“Target, of course, is free to choose such a policy for its Texas stores,” Paxton wrote in a letter to Target CEO Brian Cornell. He noted the possibility of the Texas Legislature addressing the issue in the future, but said, “regardless of whether Texas legislates on this topic, it is possible that allowing men in women’s restrooms could lead to criminal and otherwise unwanted activity.”
“As chief lawyer and law enforcement officer for the State of Texas, I ask that you provide the full text of Target’s safety policies regarding the protection of women and children from those who would use the cover of Target’s restroom policy for nefarious purposes,” Paxton continued.
More than 1.1 million people have pledged to boycott Target over its new policy allowing men to access women’s bathrooms. Opponents of the policy worry that it puts women and children at risk by emboldening predators, who may now freely enter women’s restrooms.
Target’s new policy is “inclusive,” the company claims, and they say “everyone…deserves to be protected from discrimination, and treated equally.”
“Texans statewide can no longer be silent on the issue of protecting the safety of women and children,” Texas Values President and Attorney Jonathan Saenz said in a statement Wednesday urging Texans to boycott Target. This is the first time in its history the pro-family group has called for a boycott.
“We need all Texans to understand that Target is using this radical change in their store policy to try convince people that our laws should be changed in this dangerous direction as well,” said Saena. “Our goal with this boycott is for Target to change its dangerous new policy, to raise awareness of the real threats to safety that these policies bring and to help businesses and lawmakers understand the significant opposition to such measures that is growing daily… Texans all across our state must join this Boycott Target effort before someone gets hurt.”
On Tuesday a male allegedly filmed an underage girl at a Frisco, Texas, Target fitting room. Police are searching for the man.
There have been numerous incidents of male predators across North America accessing women’s facilities and citing transgender policies as allowing them to do so.
Christians, America has reached a crisis point. Are you ready to take up this challenge?
May 5, 2016 (Albert Mohler) -- For nearly two and a half centuries, Americans have enjoyed the enormous privilege and responsibility of forming our own government—a privilege rarely experienced throughout most of human history. For most of history, humanity has struggled with the question of how to respond to a government that was essentially forced upon them. But Americans have often struggled with a very different reality; how do we rightly respond to the government that we choose?
To put all of this in historical perspective, the Framers of the American experiment understood that a representative democracy built on the principle of limited government would require certain virtues of its citizens. These would include a restraint of passions and an upholding of traditional moral virtues, without which democracy would not be possible. As the idea of limited government implies, the citizenry would be required to carry out the social responsibilities of the community without the intrusion of government and, thus, citizens would be expected to have the moral integrity necessary for such an arrangement. The Framers of the American Republic also agreed that it would be impossible to have a representative democracy and a limited government if the people did not elect leaders who embodied the virtues of the citizenry while also respecting and protecting society’s pre-political institutions: marriage and family, the church, and the local community.
Thus, the idea of a limited government requires that society uphold and pursue the health of its most basic institutions. When a civil society is weak, government becomes strong. When the family breaks down, government grows stronger. When the essential institutions of society are no longer respected, government demands that respect for itself. That is a recipe for tyranny.
Much of this was essentially affirmed until the early decades of the 20th century when progressivists began promoting an agenda that fundamentally redefined the role of the federal government in public life. By the middle of the 20th century, the Democratic Party had essentially embraced this progressivist agenda, becoming committed to an increasingly powerful government—a government whose powers exceeded those enumerated in the Constitution. At the same time, the Democratic Party also began advocating for a basic redefinition of the morality that shaped the common culture. By and large, however, the Republican Party continued to maintain a commitment to the vision of America’s founders, advocating for a traditional understanding of morality while also upholding the principle of limited government.
By the 1980s, the two parties represented two very different worldviews and two very different visions of American government. For decades, each party has acted rather predictably and in ways that accord with their fundamental principles. All of that, however, has now changed.
The 2016 presidential campaign has developed in an entirely unpredictable manner and, in many respects, represents a crisis in American democracy. This crisis is not limited to either party. Bernie Sanders, the Independent senator from Vermont, has won several stunning victories in the primary season over presumed Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. While it is still extremely likely that Clinton will become the Democratic nominee, Sanders support among voters represents a populist flirtation with Democratic Socialism. This pattern is something few Democrats could have imagined just one year ago. What this foray into Democratic Socialism represents, then, is a radical adjustment of the Democratic Party’s basic economic principles. Thus, even if Hillary Clinton becomes the nominee, the process will likely drag her even further to the left, eventually redefining the Democratic Party before our very eyes.
But if it is remarkable to see what is happening in the Democratic Party, it is absolutely shocking to see what is happening among Republicans. Traditionally, the Republican Party has established its reputation by standing for the principles advocated by the American Founders—limited government upheld by the health of society’s primary institutions such as marriage, family, and community. Yet Donald Trump, the presumptive nominee for the Republican Party, represents virtually everything the Republican Party has typically defined itself over against. Clearly, both political parties are now redefining themselves. What is not clear is where each party will ultimately end up. What is also not clear is whether the American experiment can survive such radical political change.
As already noted, the American experiment in limited government requires that the citizenry and those who hold public office honor certain moral virtues and respect the institutions that are crucial for a society to rightly function. Yet, we now find ourselves in a situation where the three leading candidates for president show little to no respect for such institutions in their articulations of public policy.
This fundamental redefinition of the American political landscape requires Christians to think carefully about their political responsibility. Make no mistake; we cannot avoid that responsibility. Even refusing to vote is itself a vote because it privileges those who do vote and increases the value of each ballot. In truth, we bear a political responsibility that cannot be dismissed or delegated to others. Every Christian must be ready to responsibly steward his or her vote at the polls.
To put the matter bluntly, we are now confronted with the reality that, in November, Hillary Clinton will likely be the Democratic nominee and Donald Trump the Republican nominee. This poses a significant problem for many Christians who believe they cannot, in good conscience, vote for either candidate. As a result, Christians are going to need a lot of careful political reflection in order to steward their vote and their political responsibility in this election cycle.
Headlines from around the world tell us that other representative democracies are at a similar moment of redefinition. Political turmoil now marks the United Kingdom and also nations like France and other key American allies. Perhaps democracy itself is now facing a crucial hour of decision and a crucial season of testing. It is no exaggeration to say that democracy is being tested around the world; it is certainly being tested here at home. Yet if this is a moment of testing for democracy, it is also a crucial moment for Christian witness. This election cycle is going to be a particular test for American Christians—and we are about to find out if Christians are up to this challenge.
Reprinted with permission from Albert Mohler.
‘Sick and twisted’: Scientists keep embryos alive outside womb up to 13 days for experimentation
May 5, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – Two teams of scientists have announced that they have been able to keep human embryos alive outside the womb for 13 days for the purpose of conducting scientific experiments. Some call the announcement the onset of a “Brave New World,” while others are petitioning lawmakers to lift sanctions that would keep scientists from experimenting on newly conceived babies even longer.
Researchers from Cambridge University, King's College, and Rockefeller University said in two separate reports that they stopped at 13 days only to avoid violating an internationally accepted law. At least 12 nations restrict the amount of time a newly conceived child may be kept alive in a laboratory to 14 days, the point at which scientists believe “individuality” begins.
The newest development allows scientists to observe newly conceived human beings after the point at which implantation in the womb would have occurred.
Professor Magdalena Zernicka-Goetz, one of the studies' lead researchers, said her team's breakthrough could advance embryonic stem cell research and “can improve IVF success.”
Some scientists have called on the international community to extend the amount of time such experimentation can take place.
“If restrictions such as the 14-day rule are viewed as moral truths, such cynicism would be warranted,” three experts – Insoo Hyun, Amy Wilkerson, and Josephine Johnston – wrote in a commentary published yesterday in Nature magazine. “But when they are understood to be tools designed to strike a balance between enabling research and maintaining public trust, it becomes clear that, as circumstances and attitudes evolve, limits can be legitimately recalibrated.”
Pro-life experts said the experimentation destroys human life and could lead to grave ethical dilemmas by extending the research.
“No human being should be used for lethal experimentation, no matter their age or stage of development,” said Dr. David Prentice, a professor of molecular genetics and an Advisory Board Member for the Midwest Stem Cell Therapy Center. “The 14-day rule is itself arbitrary, and does not assuage those who believe life begins at the moment of sperm-egg fusion. Moreover, allowing experiments on human embryos beyond 14 days post-fertilization risks the lives of untold more human beings, because it further encourages creation and destruction for research purposes.”
Kristan Hawkins, president of Students for Life of America, called the experimentation “sick and twisted.”
“Science has undeniably proven that a new human life, with unrepeatable DNA, begins at conception,” she said. “There is no reason for experimentation on that human life and science itself should not be heralding thae fact that a tiny human being can survive now for two weeks outside of the womb, all for the sole purpose of experimentation.”
Dr. Prentice noted that embryonic stem cell research “has yielded no benefit thus far,” leading even its most vocal advocates, such as Michael J. Fox, to admit it has not lived up to its promise.
“If this research does not stop at 14 days, where does it stop?” asked Prentice. “This is a risky step which could encourage further eugenic attitudes and actions.”
Dr. Prentice encouraged Congress “to have a full and open debate on the issue of human embryo research before the research community moves further without oversight.”