Hilary White

Abortion does not decrease suicidal thoughts, Irish health experts agree

Hilary White
Hilary White

DUBLIN, February 18, 2013, (LifeSiteNews.com) – Pro-life groups in Ireland have launched a public information campaign to alert the public to the danger of introducing legislation to allow abortion based on the threat of suicide. Meanwhile, the Committee on Health and Children on abortion and suicide heard unanimous testimony from experts that abortion cannot be considered a legitimate treatment for suicidal ideation among depressed pregnant women.

All of the experts in maternal health care, including obstetricians and psychiatrists, agreed that abortion was not a treatment for suicidal thoughts.

Dr. Sam Coulter Smith of the Rotunda Maternity Hospital told the committee that he had never seen any cases where abortion was “the only solution” for a pregnant woman expressing suicidal intentions. The head of St. Patrick's University Hospital, Ireland's leading psychiatric hospital, said that there is “no evidence either in literature or from the work of St. Patrick's University Hospital that indicates that termination of pregnancy is an effective treatment for any mental health disorder or difficulty.”

Dr. John Sheehan, Consultant Perinatal Psychiatrist at the Rotunda, said he had never seen any clinical situation in which “termination of pregnancy has been the treatment for a suicidal woman.”

“The notion of carrying out an emergency termination is completely obsolete in respect of a person who is extremely suicidal,” he added. It would not be wise in such a situation “to make a decision that is permanent and irrevocable,” he said.

The Irish government is proposing to allow “limited” abortion in cases where the mother is threatening suicide. The government’s move follows decades of pressure from the abortion lobby, which forced a crack in the law with the notorious X Case in 1992. In X vs. the Attorney General, the Supreme Court ruled that the 14 year-old girl should be allowed to abort her child conceived in rape, because she had allegedly threatened suicide if she could not. This was interpreted as granting a right to abortion if the mother’s life is “at risk” because of pregnancy, “including the risk of suicide.”

In 2010, the European Court of Human Rights ruled that the Irish government was obliged to “clarify” under what conditions abortion was allowed. This ruling was taken by abortion lobbyists and some in the coalition government as a pretext for bringing forward abortion legislation late last year.

Niamh Uí Bhriain of the Life Institute said that the governing Fine Gael party could not now ignore the evidence given at hearings which had shown “beyond all doubt” that abortion was not a treatment for suicidal intentions.

“This was the sort of evidence that parliamentary committees rarely hear - universal agreement amongst leading experts that abortion is not a treatment for suicidal depression, “ she said. “How can Fine Gael now try to pull the wool over the public's eyes or ignore the evidence.”

The campaign by the Life Institute highlights evidence that there have been no cases in which a woman had died by suicide in Ireland because abortion was not available.

“That's why this campaign really needs to be huge,” Uí Bhriain said. “It’s putting public pressure on Fine Gael to remove suicide grounds from the legislation.”

“We’re also emphasising that providing clarity for doctors does not permit the government to introduce the direct and intentional killing of the unborn child,” she said.

Dr. Seán Ó Domhnaill, a Consultant Psychiatrist, has said that the connection between abortion and suicide has been entirely manufactured for political purposes. In his own experience, he said, quite the opposite is true. Ó Domhnaill described his first assessment case in his practice, a 19 year-old girl with a major depressive disorder who had taken “a significant overdose in an attempt to end her life.” The girl, he said, had developed the depression following an abortion in the UK.

“She told me that she had been pressured by her parents and her boyfriend into having an abortion. As I attempted to assist her to gain some perspective on her mental state and the likelihood of recovery from a depressive illness brought on by her sense of loss, she asked me, ‘Can you tell me that I haven’t killed my own baby? Can you tell me that I can undo what I have done? Can you tell me how to bring my baby back?’”

The Irish constitution guarantees the right to life of the unborn, saying, “The State acknowledges the right to life of the unborn and, with due regard to the equal right to life of the mother, guarantees in its laws to respect, and, as far as practicable, by its laws to defend and vindicate that right.”

John Bruton, a Irish Prime Minister from 1994 to 1997, wrote in an op ed in the Irish Times last Friday, “The underlying idea behind putting human rights in the Constitution is to ensure that they cannot be easily reduced just because a (possibly temporary) majority in public or parliamentary opinion wants to do that to meet a popular demand.”

“A risk that someone might unilaterally end their life is not equal to a certainty of the ending of another person’s life by the actions of that person or of another,” Bruton continued. “That, in simple terms, is the difficulty with legislation that says that a threat or an idea of suicide is a ground for ending the life of a constitutionally recognised third party, an unborn child.”

“A law that took away a right to life of that unborn child before the right in question could be exercised independently could hardly be interpreted as ‘defending and vindicating’ the same right, as the Constitution requires.”

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BREAKING: Planned Parenthood shooting suspect surrenders, is in custody: police

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By John Jalsevac

Nov. 27, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) - Five hours after a single male shooter reportedly opened fire at a Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood, chatter on police radio is indicating that the suspect has now been "detained."

"We have our suspect and he says he is alone," said police on the police radio channel. 

Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers also confirmed via Twitter shortly after 7:00 pm EST that the suspect was in custody.

The news comes almost exactly an hour after the start of a 6:00 pm. press conference in which Lt. Catherine Buckley had confirmed that a single shooter was still at large, and had exchanged gunfire with police moments before.

According to Lt. Buckley, four, and possibly five police officers have been shot since the first 911 call was received at 11:38 am local time today. An unknown number of civilians have also been shot.

Although initial reports had suggested that the shooting began outside the Planned Parenthood, possibly outside a nearby bank, Lt. Buckley said that in fact the incident began at the Planned Parenthood itself.

She said that the suspect had also brought unknown "items" with him to the Planned Parenthood. 

Pro-life groups have started responding to the news, urging caution in jumping to conclusions about the motivations of the shooter, while also condemning the use of violence in promoting the pro-life cause. 

"Information is very sketchy about the currently active shooting situation in Colorado Springs," said Pavone. "The Planned Parenthood was the address given in the initial call to the police, but we still do not know what connection, if any, the shooting has to do with Planned Parenthood or abortion.

"As leaders in the pro-life movement, we call for calm and pray for a peaceful resolution of this situation."

Troy Newman of Operation Rescue and Rev. Patrick J. Mahoney, Director of the Christian Defense Coalition, also issued statements.

"Operation Rescue unequivocally deplores and denounces all violence at abortion clinics and has a long history of working through peaceful channels to advocate on behalf of women and their babies," said Newman. "We express deep concern for everyone involved and are praying for the safety of those at the Planned Parenthood office and for law enforcement personnel. We pray this tragic situation can be quickly resolved without further injury to anyone."

"Although we don't know the reasons for the shooting near the Planned Parenthood in Colorado Springs today, the pro-life movement is praying for the safety of all involved and as a movement we have always unequivocally condemned all forms of violence at abortion clinics. We must continually as a nation stand against violence on all levels," said Rev. Patrick J. Mahoney, Director of the Christian Defense Coalition, based in Washington, D.C.


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Rubio says SCOTUS didn’t ‘settle’ marriage issue: ‘God’s rules always win’

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By Dustin Siggins

WASHINGTON, D.C., November 27, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) -- Surging GOP presidential candidate Sen. Marco Rubio, R-FL, says that "God's law" trumps the U.S. Supreme Court’s Obergefell decision imposing same-sex “marriage” nationwide.

The senator also told Christian Broadcast Network's David Brody that the Supreme Court's redefinition of marriage is not "settled," but instead "current law."

“No law is settled,” said Rubio. “Roe v. Wade is current law, but it doesn’t mean that we don’t continue to aspire to fix it, because we think it’s wrong.”

“If you live in a society where the government creates an avenue and a way for you to peacefully change the law, then you’re called to participate in that process to try to change it,” he explained, and "the proper place for that to be defined is at the state level, where marriage has always been regulated — not by the Supreme Court and not by the federal government.”

However, when laws conflict with religious beliefs, "God's rules always win," said Rubio.

“In essence, if we are ever ordered by a government authority to personally violate and sin — violate God’s law and sin — if we’re ordered to stop preaching the Gospel, if we’re ordered to perform a same-sex marriage as someone presiding over it, we are called to ignore that,” Rubio expounded. “We cannot abide by that because government is compelling us to sin.”

“I continue to believe that marriage law should be between one man and one woman," said the senator, who earlier in the fall was backed by billionaire GOP donor and same-sex "marriage" supporter Paul Singer.

Singer, who also backs looser immigration laws and a strong U.S.-Israel alliance, has long pushed for the GOP to change its position on marriage in part due to the sexual orientation of his son.

Despite Singer's support, Rubio's marriage stance has largely been consistent. He told Brody earlier in the year that "there isn't such a right" to same-sex "marriage."

"You have to have a ridiculous reading of the U.S. Constitution to reach the conclusion that people have a right to marry someone of the same sex."

Rubio also said religious liberty should be defended against LGBT activists he says "want to stigmatize, they want to ostracize anyone who disagrees with them as haters."

"I believe, as do a significant percentage of Americans, that the institution of marriage, an institution that existed before government, that existed before laws, that institution should remain in our laws recognized as the union of one man and one woman," he said.

Rubio also hired social conservative leader Eric Teetsel as his director of faith outreach this month.

However, things have not been entirely smooth for Rubio on marriage. Social conservatives were concerned when the executive director of the LGBT-focused Log Cabin Republicans told Reuters in the spring that the Catholic senator is "not as adamantly opposed to all things LGBT as some of his statements suggest."

The LGBT activist group had meetings with Rubio's office "going back some time," though the senator himself never attended those meetings. Rubio has publicly said that he would attend the homosexual "wedding" of a gay loved one, and also that he believed "that sexual preference is something that people are born with," as opposed to being a choice.

Additionally, days after the Supreme Court redefined marriage, Rubio said that he disagreed with the decision but that "we live in a republic and must abide by the law."

"I believe that marriage, as the key to strong family life, is the most important institution in our society and should be between one man and one woman," he said. "People who disagree with the traditional definition of marriage have the right to change their state laws. That is the right of our people, not the right of the unelected judges or justices of the Supreme Court. This decision short-circuits the political process that has been underway on the state level for years.

Rubio also said at the time that "it must be a priority of the next president to nominate judges and justices committed to applying the Constitution as written and originally understood…"

“I firmly believe the question of same sex marriage is a question of the definition of an institution, not the dignity of a human being. Every American has the right to pursue happiness as they see fit. Not every American has to agree on every issue, but all of us do have to share our country. A large number of Americans will continue to believe in traditional marriage, and a large number of Americans will be pleased with the Court’s decision today. In the years ahead, it is my hope that each side will respect the dignity of the other.”

The Florida senator said in July that he opposed a constitutional marriage amendment to the U.S. Constitution to leave marriage up to the states because that would involve the federal government in state marriage policies.

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Former The View star Sherri Shepherd and then-husband Lamar Sally in 2010 s_bukley / Shutterstock.com
Steve Weatherbe

Court orders Sherri Shepherd to pay child support for surrogate son she abandoned

Steve Weatherbe
By Steve Weatherbe

November 27, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) -- Sherri Shepherd, a Hollywood celebrity who co-hosted the popular talk show The View for seven years, has lost a maternity suit launched by her ex-husband Lamar Sally, forcing her to pay him alimony and child support for their one-year surrogate son LJ. The decision follows an unseemly fight which pro-life blogger Cassy Fiano says has exposed how surrogacy results in “commodifying” the unborn.

Shepherd, a co-host of the View from 2007 to 2014, met Sally, a screenwriter, in 2010 and they married a year later. Because her eggs were not viable, they arranged a surrogate mother in Pennsylvania to bear them a baby conceived in vitro using Sally’s sperm and a donated egg.

But the marriage soured in mid-term about the time Shepherd lost her job with The View. According to one tabloid explanation, she was worried he would contribute little to parenting responsibilities.  Sally filed for separation in 2014, Shepherd filed for divorce a few days, then Sally sued for sole custody, then alimony and child support.

Earlier this year she told PEOPLE she had gone along with the surrogacy to prevent the breakup of the marriage and had not really wanted the child.

Shepherd, an avowed Christian who once denied evolution on The View and a successful comic actor on Broadway, TV, and in film since the mid-90s, didn’t want anything to do with LJ, as Lamar named the boy, who after all carried none of her genes. She refused to be at bedside for the birth, and refused to let her name be put on the birth certificate and to shoulder any responsibility for LJ’s support.

But in April the Pennsylvania Court of Common Pleas, and now the state’s Superior Court, ruled that Shepherd’s name must go on the birth certificate and she must pay Sally alimony and child support.

“The ultimate outcome is that this baby has two parents and the parents are Lamar Sally and Sherri Shepherd,” Shepherd’s lawyer Tiffany Palmer said.

As for the father, Sally told PEOPLE, “I'm glad it's finally over. I'm glad the judges saw through all the lies that she put out there, and the negative media attention. If she won't be there for L.J. emotionally, I'll be parent enough for the both of us.”

But Shepherd said, “I am appealing the ruling that happened,” though in the meantime, Sally will “get his settlement every month. There’s nothing I can do.”

Commented Fiano in Live Action News, “What’s so sickening about this case is that this little boy, whose life was created in a test tube, was treated as nothing more than a commodity…Saying that you don’t want a baby but will engineer one to get something you want is horrific.” As for trying to get out from child support payments now that the marriage had failed, that was “despicable.”

Fiano went on to characterize the Shepherd-Sally affair as a “notable example” of commodification of children, and “by no means an anomaly.” She cited a British report than over the past five years 123 babies conceived in vitro were callously aborted when they turned out to have Down Syndrome.

“When we’re not ready for babies, we have an abortion,” she added. “But then when we decide we are ready we manufacture them in a laboratory and destroy any extras. Children exist when we want them to exist, to fill the holes in us that we want them to fill, instead of being independent lives with their own inherent value and dignity.”

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