Niamh Ui Bhriain

20 years after Ireland’s X case, pro-aborts target ‘jewel in the crown’ of the pro-life movement

Niamh Ui Bhriain
By Niamh Ui Bhriain
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February 7, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) - It was a Planned Parenthood lawyer, Julie Kay, who described Ireland as “the jewel in the crown” of the pro-life movement. Little wonder then, that the international abortion industry, understanding the global significance of Ireland’s ban on abortion, are pouring their vast resources into plans to see abortion legalised here.

For the Irish affiliates to Planned Parenthood, 2012 also has a special significance. This year is the twentieth anniversary of the “X” case, sometimes called Ireland’s Roe v. Wade, where a rape victim’s case was used to challenge Ireland’s pro-life laws.

Exploiting rape victims was a tried and tested formula, and it had brought about legalised abortion in a great many jurisdictions. For Ireland’s abortion campaigners, and their international allies, the case was not about protecting rape victims, but about a desire to have Catholic Ireland as just another notch on their belt.

Twenty years ago it seemed that they had succeeded. The Irish Supreme Court turned the intention of the pro-life amendment which had been inserted into Ireland’s constitution on its head. Its ruling in “X” could have legalised abortion on demand, since the grounds the Court accepted as a test - the threat of suicide - are so subjective as to be wide open to abuse.

Now, or so the abortion industry thought, all they needed was for the government to legislate. The then Taoiseach (Prime Minister) certainly told the Dáíl (Parliament) that legislation could be forthcoming. But, despite the near-apoplectic hysteria of the media, and the savaging of Ireland’s pro-life laws by powerful international organisations, the momentum for that legislation stalled.

It stalled because it was made evident to the government - and to every successive government since - that legalising abortion was opposed by the majority of the people. Ignoring the people, then, would have serious political consequences, and nothing matters more to politicians than keeping their seats. The pro-life movement got organised, Youth Defence brought it new energy and a new focus, there were enormous pro-life marches rejecting the X case ruling, and the majority of people rallied in favour of protecting unborn children.

Keeping the public informed, aware and engaged has been the major focus of pro-life activities in Ireland. Focusing on the humanity of the child, the reality of abortion and the enormous damage caused by abortion to women, has meant that for most Irish people, legalised abortion is just a step too far.

Pro-abortion campaigners have also been badly exposed at times - even if the parochial Irish media do their utmost to cover up such revelations. Five years after “X” came the “C” case, where a young girl had been brutally raped and then taken into care to protect her from the man who had assaulted her. The Health Board insisted that C had threatened suicide if she was denied an abortion, and, cheered on by campaigners purporting to be acting for the rape victim, brought the girl to Britain where her unborn child was killed. But three years ago the rape victim spoke out, revealing that she had never threatened suicide, and that she had not even been told that her baby was to be aborted. It was a shocking and heartbreaking testimony which should have led to an inquiry, but since it didn’t suit the abortion agenda it was largely ignored. 

However, the pro-life amendment was left badly damaged by the Supreme Court ruling in X, and threats to Ireland’s pro-life laws have intensified enormously in the past few years in particular. The abortion network has realised it will not get public support for abortion-on-demand and is now focusing on cracking open the door so that the floodgates can follow.

Planned Parenthood has brought a raft of cases against Ireland to the European and the EU courts; we’ve had international bodies like Human Rights Watch attack our pro-life stance; recently the UN was used to demand that Ireland legalises abortion; and US billionaire, Chuck Feeney, sponsored a major push for abortion in 2011. We can see a concerted campaign which hopes to culminate in foisting abortion on Ireland in the year of the twentieth anniversary of the X case.

They will concentrate on insisting that abortion is a “life-saving” medical treatment, despite all the evidence to the contrary. In fact, the United Nations has now repeatedly shown that Ireland, without recourse to abortion, is the safest place in the world for a mother to have a baby. But the truth doesn’t matter much to abortion campaigners, who hope to drown out the facts by dint of sheer volume and noisy scaremongering. 

This week the Irish media are full of angry articles from these leading pro-aborts, bewailing the lack of political action and demanding legalised abortion. The government has set up an “expert group” to look at the issue, but that is already under criticism because several of those appointed have been previously involved in abortion advocacy or in a push for embryo research. In fact, a lawyer who worked on the X case has been included on the panel, hardly an indicator of independence. 

2012 will be a battle for hearts and minds, and to protect mothers and babies from legalised exploitation and destruction. For twenty years Ireland denied Abortion Inc. the legal authority to open abortion clinics in this country. It is my fervent hope that we will do so for as long as it takes until abortion ends.

Niamh Ui Bhriain is the head of Ireland’s Life Institute, the country’s leading research and lobby organization focused on life and family issues.

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Lisa Bourne

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Pressure mounts as Catholic Relief Services fails to act on VP in gay ‘marriage’

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By Lisa Bourne
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Rick Estridge, Catholic Relief Services' Vice President of Overseas Finance, is in a same-sex "marriage," public records show. Twitter

BALTIMORE, MD, April 24, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) -- Nearly a week after news broke that a Catholic Relief Services vice president had contracted a homosexual “marriage” while also publicly promoting homosexuality on social media in conflict with Church teaching, the US Bishops international relief agency has taken no apparent steps to address the matter and is also not talking.

CRS Vice President of Overseas Finance Rick Estridge entered into a homosexual “marriage” in Maryland the same month in 2013 that he was promoted by CRS to vice president, public records show.

Despite repeated efforts at a response, CRS has not acknowledged LifeSiteNews’ inquiries during the week. And the agency told ChurchMilitant.com Thursday that no action had been taken beyond discussion of the situation and CRS would have no further comment.

"Nothing has changed,” CRS Senior Manager for Communications Tom said. “No further statement will be made."

LifeSiteNews first contacted CRS for a response prior to the April 20 release of the report and did not receive a reply, however Estridge’s Facebook and LinkeIn profiles were then removed just prior to the report’s release.

CRS also did not acknowledge LifeSiteNews’ follow-up inquiry later in the week.

“Having an executive who publicly celebrates a moral abomination shows the ineffectiveness of CRS' Catholic identity training,” Lepanto Institute President Michael Hichborn told LifeSiteNews. “How many others who hate Catholic moral teaching work at CRS?”

CRS did admit it was aware Estridge was in a “same-sex civil marriage” to Catholic News Agency (CNA) Monday afternoon, and confirmed he was VP of Overseas Finance and had been with CRS for 16 years.

“At this point we are in deliberations on this matter,” Price told CNA that day.

ChurchMilitant.com also reported that according to its sources, it was a well-known fact at CRS headquarters in Baltimore that Estridge was in a homosexual “marriage.” 

“There is no way CRS didn't know one of its executives entered into a mock-marriage until we broke the story,” Hichborn said. “The implication is clear; CRS top brass had no problem with having an executive so deliberately flouting Catholic moral teaching.”

“The big question is,” Hichborn continued, “what other morally repugnant matters is CRS comfortable with?”

While the wait continues for the Bishops’ relief organization to address the matter, those behind the report and other critics of prior instances of CRS involvement in programs and groups that violate Church principles continue to call for a thorough and independent review of the agency programs and personnel.

“How long should it take to call an employee into your office, tell him that his behavior is incompatible with the mission of the organization, and ask for his resignation?” asked Population Research Institute President Steven Mosher. “About thirty minutes, I would say.”

“The Catholic identity of CRS is at stake,” Hichborn stated. “If CRS does nothing, then there is no way faithful Catholics can trust the integrity of CRS's programs or desire to make its Catholicity preeminent.” 

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Thousands of marriage activists gathered in D.C. June 19, 2014 for the 2nd March for Marriage. Dustin Siggins / LifeSiteNews.com
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Watch the March for Marriage online—only at LifeSiteNews

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WASHINGTON, D.C., April 24, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) -- At noon on Saturday, the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) and dozens of cosponsors, coalition partners, and speakers will launch the third annual March for Marriage. Thousands of people are expected to take place in this important event to show the support real marriage has among the American people.

As the sole media sponsor of the March, LifeSiteNews is proud to exclusively livestream the March. Click here to see the rally at noon Eastern Time near the U.S. Capitol, and the March to the Supreme Court at 1:00 Eastern Time.

And don't forget to pray that God's Will is done on Tuesday, when the Supreme Court hears arguments about marriage!

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Hillary Clinton: ‘Religious beliefs’ against abortion ‘have to be changed’

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By Ben Johnson

NEW YORK CITY, April 24, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Speaking to an influential gathering in New York City on Thursday, Hillary Clinton declared that “religious beliefs” that condemn "reproductive rights," “have to be changed.”

“Yes, we've cut the maternal mortality rate in half, but far too many women are still denied critical access to reproductive health,” Hillary told the Women in the World Summit yesterday.

Liberal politicians use “reproductive health” as a blanket term that includes abortion. However, Hillary's reference echoes National Organization for Women (NOW) president Terry O’Neill's op-ed from last May that called abortion “an essential measure to prevent the heartbreak of infant mortality.”

The Democratic presidential hopeful added that governments should throw the power of state coercion behind the effort to redefine traditional religious dogmas.

“Rights have to exist in practice, not just on paper. Laws have to be backed up with resources, and political will,” she said. “Deep-seated cultural codes, religious beliefs, and structural biases have to be changed.”

The line received rousing applause at the feminist conference, hosted in Manhattan's Lincoln Center by Tina Brown.

She also cited religious-based objections to the HHS mandate, funding Planned Parenthood, and the homosexual and transgender agenda as obstacles that the government must defeat.

“America moves ahead when all women are guaranteed the right to make their own health care choices, not when those choices are taken away by an employer like Hobby Lobby,” she said. The Supreme Court ruled last year that closely held corporations had the right to opt out of the provision of ObamaCare requiring them to provide abortion-inducing drugs, contraceptives, and sterilization to employees with no co-pay – a mandate that violates the teachings of the Catholic Church and other Christian bodies.

Clinton lamented that “there are those who offer themselves as leaders...who would defund the country's leading provider of family planning,” Planned Parenthood, “and want to let health insurance companies once again charge women just because of our gender.”

“We move forward when gay and transgender women are embraced...not fired from good jobs because of who they love or who they are,” she added.

It is not the first time the former first lady had said that liberal social policies should displace religious views. In a December 2011 speech in Geneva, then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said perhaps the “most challenging issue arises when people cite religious or cultural values as a reason to violate or not to protect the human rights of LGBT citizens.” These objections, she said, are “not unlike the justification offered for violent practices towards women like honor killings, widow burning, or female genital mutilation.”

While opinions on homosexuality are “still evolving,” in time “we came to learn that no [religious] practice or tradition trumps the human rights that belong to all of us.”

Her views, if outside the American political mainstream, have been supported by the United Nations. The UN Population Fund stated in its 2012 annual report that religious objections to abortion-inducing drugs had to be overcome. According to the UNFPA report, “‘duty-bearers’ (governments and others)” have a responsibility to assure that all forms of contraception – including sterilization and abortion-inducing ‘emergency contraception’ – are viewed as acceptable – “But if they are not acceptable for cultural, religious or other reasons, they will not be used.”

Two years later, the United Nations' Committee on the Rights of the Child instructed the Vatican last February that the Catholic Church should amend canon law “relating to abortion with a view to identifying circumstances under which access to abortion services may be permitted.”

At Thursday's speech, Hillary called the legal, state-enforced implementation of feminist politics “the great unfinished business of the 21st century,” which must be accomplished “not just for women but for everyone — and not just in far away countries but right here in the United States.”

“These are not just women's fights. These have to be America's fights and the world's fights,” she said. “There's still much to be done in our own country, much more to be done around the world, but I'm confident and optimistic that if we get to work, we will get it done together.”

American critics called Clinton's suggestion that a nation founded upon freedom of religion begin using state force to change religious practices unprecedented.

“Never before have we seen a presidential candidate be this bold about directly confronting the Catholic Church's teachings on abortion,” said Bill Donohue of the Catholic League.

“In one sense, this shows just how extreme the pro-abortion caucus actually is,” Ed Morrissey writes at HotAir.com. “Running for president on the basis of promising to use the power of government to change 'deep seated cultural codes [and] religious beliefs' might be the most honest progressive slogan in history.”

He hoped that, now that she had called for governments to change religious doctrines, “voters will now see the real Hillary Clinton, the one who dismisses their faith just the same as Obama did, and this time publicly rather than in a private fundraiser.”

Donohue asked Hillary “to take the next step and tell us exactly what she plans to do about delivering on her pledge. Not only would practicing Catholics like to know, so would Evangelicals, Orthodox Jews, Muslims, and all those who value life from conception to natural death.”

You may watch Hillary's speech below.

Her comments on religion begin at approximately 9:00. 

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