Hilary White

Abortion on demand up to 12 weeks, ‘extend abortion into Northern Ireland’: ‘pro-life’ MP Dorries

Hilary White
Hilary White
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LONDON, November 6, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The UK’s abortion law needs to be “reformed” by lowering the gestational age limit to 20 from 24 weeks, by extending abortion into Northern Ireland and creating abortion on demand as a right up to 12 weeks, says an MP often characterized as “pro-life” by the media establishment.

Nadine Dorries, a Conservative Party backbench MP who has turned lowering the gestational age limit into her own campaign, secured a debate last week in the House of Commons for 90 minutes in which she laid out her plan to “reform” the 1967 Abortion Act.

Dorries said, “Everyone knows that in this country abortion is obtained on demand by whoever wants it, whenever they want it. I am pro-choice, and I believe that, up until 12 weeks, that should be the case.”

“I am delighted that more than 90% of abortions in this country take place before 12 weeks.”

“As the mother of three young adult daughters, I am a strong believer in a woman’s right to choose. Never, ever would I want to see a return to the bad old days of backstreet abortionists, or restricted access to early abortion.”

John Smeaton, head of the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children, said that Dorries’ comments reveal that she is a “radical” pro-abortion campaigner whose ideas are confused at best. Smeaton commented that the debate “served to show the dangers inherent in the campaign to reduce the upper time for social abortions.”

Lowering the gestational age limit by amending the Abortion Act will do nothing to save unborn children, SPUC maintains, although it may act to salve the guilt of waffling legislators and the undecided public.

Dorries said in the House that her campaign would exclude “babies with foetal abnormalities or, sadly, disabilities.” She commented, “That is a discussion to be held, as I have said, between parents and doctors.”

SPUC has steadfastly opposed gestational legislation, saying that it not only gives away fundamental ground by saying that selected children can be legally killed based on their age, but that it leaves the legal situation vulnerable to opportunistic amendments by pro-abortion MPs.

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A similar outcome was seen in 1990 when Lord David Alton brought forward a bill to lower the age limit from the previous 28 weeks to 24. Abortion campaigners in Parliament used the opportunity to sweep away legal protections for unborn children suspected of having disabilities, who can now be legally killed up to the time of full gestation. Dorries’ proposal to revisit the issue will, SPUC said, reinforce the “current discrimination against disabled babies, allowing them to be aborted up to birth.”

Dorries’ proposal to extend abortion into Northern Ireland, a goal that has long been dear Parliament’s core of hardened abortion lobbyists like Dianne Abbott, has shocked pro-life advocates in the province. Dorries heartily approved the establishment of the illegal Marie Stopes abortion facility in Belfast, which has created an uproar in recent days.

“I believe the law on abortion should be equal in all parts of the Union,” Dorries told the House of Commons. “There needs to be parity across the board.”

She was particularly pleased that it was Marie Stopes moving into Northern Ireland: “If any abortion provider is to come to Northern Ireland, Marie Stopes is probably the best bet.”

Dorries’ claim that Marie Stopes “has no political ideology and is concerned only for the health of the woman,” and that “it operates in a professional manner,” was received with incredulity by Bernadette Smyth, head of Northern Ireland’s leading pro-life lobby group. Smyth told LifeSiteNews.com called Dorries’ proposal “very dangerous” and said she is “not a pro-life MP” who “needs to butt out of Northern Ireland.”

Smyth confirmed to LSN that the Attorney General for Northern Ireland and the Justice Committee are investigating Marie Stopes for illegal activities. She observed that Marie Stopes is one of the largest and most effective abortion lobbying groups in the world, whose favorite method is to “break the law to change the law.”

In July this year, the abortion giant had their activities permanently “suspended” in Zambia for aborting children illegally there. In that country, Marie Stopes made precisely the same claim as in Northern Ireland, that it would act “within the legal framework.” But Northern Province Permanent Secretary, Emmanuel Mwamba, said the group had conducted hundreds of early term “medical” or chemical abortions in contravention of the law, “based on social reasons, social conditions or performed abortions on the mere basis that the pregnancy was unwanted.”

Smyth said that the response of the public to the Belfast Marie Stopes facility has been strongly negative. “People of Northern Ireland,” she said, “are rising even stronger than before. Outrage is rising all over.” She observed that thus far, no customers have had the proffered early chemical abortions at the Belfast facility, saying that it is clear the purpose of the facility is purely political, “to make it look as though there is a demand”.

“It is probably the only abortion facility in the world that doesn’t do abortions, because no one here wants them.”

With few exceptions, pro-life people in Britain have “uniformly” rejected the call for lowered age limits, Smyth said. Instead there is “universal agreement that abortion must be abolished outright.” To change the law to include a lower age limit, she said, would make abortion a right to be regulated. “As it is, abortion is still covered under the criminal code, which is where it belongs.”

Smyth said that Precious Life has written to MPs asking that Dorries “never be given a platform again” in Parliament for her plans.

Smyth said she believes Marie Stopes is working closely with other abortion advocate groups, including the Irish Family Planning Association, who has launched another court case, set to be heard on January 22nd, the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, alleging that Northern Ireland has failed to issue clear “termination of pregnancy guidelines”.

Speaking against Dorries was Jim Shannon, a DUP MP from Northern Ireland, who said, “I believe in human rights. I believe in the most basic of human rights, the right to life, so I am against abortion. I believe that the strong have a duty to protect the weak and the vulnerable.”

Shannon pointed to statistics showing that Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic, with their very restrictive laws on abortion, have some of the lowest rates of maternal death and mortality in the world.  “The UK mainland, with its more liberal abortion law, has a higher rate of maternal deaths. That speaks volumes, and it is clear that restricted abortion to save the mother’s life, which we have in Northern Ireland, works well to save both mother and child.”

“If there was the option of bringing in Northern Ireland’s abortion laws, I would be pleading with everyone in this House to do just that,” he added. “Although I cannot today change the law in England and Wales, I speak for those babies who feel the pain of being ripped from their mother’s womb. This must stop today.”

Smyth said her sources in the House of Commons say that it is unlikely that Dorries’ proposal will succeed. “She’s exhausted all the avenues they said and there is no will in Parliament for that motion to be put forward,” she said.

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Newsbusters Staff

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Disney ABC embraces X-rated anti-Christian bigot Dan Savage in new prime time show

Newsbusters Staff
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March 30, 2015 (NewsBusters.org) -- Media Research Center (MRC) and Family Research Council (FRC) are launching a joint national campaign to educate the public about a Disney ABC sitcom pilot based on the life of bigoted activist Dan Savage. MRC and FRC contacted Ben Sherwood, president of Disney/ABC Television Group, more than two weeks ago urging him to put a stop to this atrocity but received no response. [Read the full letter]

A perusal of Dan Savage’s work reveals a career built on advocating violence — even murder — and spewing hatred against people of faith. Savage has spared no one with whom he disagrees from his vitriolic hate speech. Despite his extremism, vulgarity, and unabashed encouragement of dangerous sexual practices, Disney ABC is moving forward with this show, disgustingly titled “Family of the Year.”

Media Research Center President Brent Bozell reacts:

“Disney ABC’s decision to effectively advance Dan Savage’s calls for violence against conservatives and his extremist attacks against people of faith, particularly evangelicals and Catholics, is appalling and outrageous. If hate speech were a crime, this man would be charged with a felony. Disney ABC giving Dan Savage a platform for his anti-religious bigotry is mind-boggling and their silence is deafening.

“By creating a pilot based on the life of this hatemonger and bringing him on as a producer, Disney ABC is sending a signal that they endorse Dan Savage’s wish that a man be murdered. He has stated, ‘Carl Romanelli should be dragged behind a pickup truck until there’s nothing left but the rope.’ ABC knows this. We told them explicitly.

“If the production of ‘Family of the Year’ is allowed to continue, not just Christians but all people of goodwill can only surmise that the company Walt Disney created is endorsing violence.”

Family Research Council President Tony Perkins reacts:

“Does ABC really want to produce a pilot show based on a vile bully like Dan Savage?  Do Dan Savage’s over-the top-obscenity, intimidation of teenagers and even violent rhetoric reflect the values of Disney?  Partnering with Dan Savage and endorsing his x-rated message will be abandoning the wholesome values that have attracted millions of families to Walt Disney.”

Dan Savage has made numerous comments about conservatives, evangelicals, and Catholics that offend basic standards of decency. They include:

  • Proclaiming that he sometimes thinks about “f****ing the shit out of” Senator Rick Santorum

  • Calling for Christians at a high school conference to “ignore the bull**** in the Bible”

  • Saying that “the only thing that stands between my d*** and Brad Pitt’s mouth is a piece of paper” when expressing his feelings on Pope Benedict’s opposition to gay marriage

  • Promoting marital infidelity

  • Saying “Carl Romanelli should be dragged behind a pickup truck until there’s nothing left but the rope.”

  • Telling Bill Maher that he wished Republicans “were all f***ing dead”

  • Telling Dr. Ben Carson to “suck my d***. Name the time and place and I’ll bring my d*** and a camera crew and you can s*** me off and win the argument.”

Reprinted with permission from Newsbusters

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Jacqueline Harvey

Ending the end-of-life impasse: Texas is poised to ban doctor-imposed death by starvation

Jacqueline Harvey
By Jacqueline Harvey

AUSTIN, Texas, March 30, 2015 (TexasInsider.org)  After five consecutive sessions of bitter battles over end-of-life bills, the Texas Legislature is finally poised to pass the first reform to the Texas Advance Directives Act (TADA) in 12 years. An issue that created uncanny adversaries out of natural allies, and equally odd bedfellows, has finally found common ground in H.B. 3074 by State Rep. Drew Springer.  

H.B. 3074 simply prohibits doctor-imposed euthanasia by starvation and dehydration.

Since H.B. 3074 includes only those provisions and language that all major organizations are on record as having deemed acceptable in previous legislative sessions, there is finally hope of ending the end-of-life impasse in the Texas Capitol.

Many would be surprised to learn that Texas law allows physicians to forcibly remove a feeding tube against the will of the patient and their family. In fact, there is a greater legal penalty for failing to feed or water an animal than for a hospital to deny a human being food and water through a tube.

This is because there is no penalty whatsoever for a healthcare provider who wishes to deny artificially-administered nutrition and hydration (AANH). According to Texas Health and Safety Code, “every living dumb creature” is legally entitled access to suitable food and water.

Denying an animal food and water, like in this January case in San Antonio, is punishable by civil fines up to $10,000 and criminal penalties up to two years in jail per offense. Yet Texas law allows health care providers to forcibly deny food and water from human beings – what they would not be able to legally do to their housecat. And healthcare providers are immune from civil and criminal penalties for denial of food and water to human beings as long as they follow the current statutory process which is sorely lacking in safeguards.

Therefore, while it is surprising that Texas has the only state law that explicitly mentions food and water delivered artificially for the purpose of completely permitting its forced denial (the other six states mention AANH explicitly for the opposite purpose, to limit or prohibit its refusal), it is not at all surprising that the issue of protecting a patient’s right to food and water is perhaps the one point of consensus across all major stakeholders.

H.B. 3074 is the first TADA reform bill to include only this provision that is agreed upon across all major players in previous legislative sessions.

There are irreconcilable ideological differences between two major right-to-life organizations that should supposedly be like-minded: Texas Alliance for Life and Texas Right to Life. Each faction (along with their respective allies) have previously sponsored broad and ambitious bills to either preserve but reform the current law (Texas Alliance for Life’s position) or overturn it altogether as Texas Right to Life aims to do.

Prior to H.B. 3074, bills filed by major advocacy organizations have often included AANH, but also a host of other provisions that were so contentious and unacceptable to other organizations that each bill ultimately died, and this mutually-agreed-upon and vital reform always died along with it.

2011 & 2013 Legislative Sessions present prime example

This 2011 media report shows the clear consensus on need for legislation to simply address the need to protect patients’ rights to food and water:

“Hughes [bill sponsor for Texas Right to Life] has widespread support for one of his bill’s goals: making food and water a necessary part of treatment and not something that can be discontinued, unless providing it would harm the patient.”

Nonetheless, in 2013, both organizations and their allies filed complicated, contentious opposing bills, both of which would have protected a patient’s right to food and water but each bill also included provisions the rival group saw as contrary to their goals. Both bills were ultimately defeated and neither group was able to achieve protections for patients at risk of forced starvation and dehydration – a mutual goal that could have been met through a third, narrow bill like H.B. 3074.

H.B. 3074 finally focuses on what unites the organizations involved rather than what divides them, since these differences have resulted in a 12 year standoff with no progress whatsoever.

H.B. 3074 is progress that is pre-negotiated and pre-approved.

It is not a fertile springboard for negotiations on an area of mutual agreement. Rather it is the culmination of years of previous negotiations on bills that all came too late, either due to the complexnature of rival bills, the controversy involved, or even both.

On the contrary, H.B. 3074 is not just simply an area of agreement; moreover, it is has already been negotiated. It should not be stymied by disagreements on language, since Texas Alliance for Life and Texas Right to Life (along with their allies) were able to agree on language in 2007 with C.S.S.B. 439. C.S.S.B. 439 reads that, unlike the status quo that places no legal conditions on when food and water may be withdrawn, it would be permitted for those in a terminal condition if,

“reasonable medical evidence indicates the provision of artificial nutrition and hydration may hasten the patient’s death or seriously exacerbate other major medical problems and the risk of serious medical pain or discomfort that cannot be alleviated based on reasonable medical judgment outweighs the benefit of continued artificial nutrition and hydration.”

This language is strikingly similar to H.B. 3074 which states, “except that artificially administered nutrition and hydration must be provided unless, based on reasonable medical judgment, providingartificially administered nutrition and hydration would:

  1. Hasten the patient’s death;
  2. Seriously exacerbate other major medical problems not outweighed by the benefit of the provision of the treatment;
  3. Result in substantial irremediable physical pain, suffering, or discomfort not outweighed by the benefit of the provision of the treatment;
  4. Be medically ineffective; or
  5. Be contrary to the patient’s clearly stated desire not to receive artificially administered nutrition or hydration.”

With minimal exceptions (the explicit mention of the word terminal, the issue of medical effectiveness and the patient’s right to refuse), the language is virtually identical, and in 2007 Texas Right to Life affirmed this language as clarifying that “ANH can only be withdrawn if the risk of providing ANH is greater than the benefit of continuing it.”

Texas Right to Life would support the language in H.B. 3074 that already has Texas Alliance for Life’s endorsement. Any reconciliation on the minor differences in language would therefore be minimal and could be made by either side, but ultimately, both sides and their allies would gain a huge victory – the first victory in 12 years on this vital issue.

It seems that the Texas Advance Directive Act, even among its sympathizers, has something for everyone to oppose.

The passage of H.B. 3074 and the legal restoration of rights to feeding tubes for Texas patients will not begin to satisfy critics of the Texas Advance Directives Act who desire much greater changes to the law and will assuredly continue to pursue them. H.B. 3074 in no way marks the end for healthcare reform, but perhaps a shift from the belief that anything short of sweeping changes is an endorsement of the status quo.

Rather, we can look at H.B. 3074 as breaking a barrier and indicating larger changes are possible.

And if nothing else, by passing H.B. 3074 introduced by State Rep. Drew Springer, we afford human beings in Texas the same legal access to food and water that we give to our horses. What is cruel to do to an animal remains legal to do to humans in Texas if organizations continue to insist on the whole of their agenda rather than agreeing to smaller bills like H.B. 3074.

The question is, can twelve years of bad blood and bickering be set aside for even this most noble of causes?

Reprinted from TexasInsider.org with the author's permission. 

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Only 3 Days Left!
John-Henry Westen John-Henry Westen Follow John-Henry

Only 3 Days Left!

John-Henry Westen John-Henry Westen Follow John-Henry
By John-Henry Westen

I can’t believe how quickly our annual Spring campaign has flown by. Now,with only 3 days remaining, we still have $96,000 left to raise to meet our absolute minimum goal.

That’s why I must challenge you to stop everything, right now, and make a donation of whatever amount you can afford to support the pro-life and pro-family investigative reporting of LifeSite!

I simply cannot overemphasize how important your donation, no matter how large or small, is to the continued existence of LifeSite. 

For 17 years, we have relied almost exclusively on the donations of our growing army of everyday readers like you: readers who are tired of the anti-life and anti-family bias of the mainstream media, and who are looking for a different kind of news agency.

We at LifeSite have always striven to be that news agency, and your ever-faithful support has encouraged us to forge ahead fearlessly in this mission to promote the Culture of Life through investigative news reporting.

You will find our donation page is incredibly simple and easy to use. Making your donation will take less than two minutes, and then you can get back to the pressing duties scheduled for your day. But those two minutes means the world to us!

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The Benham Brothers are only one of many, many pro-life and family leaders, media personalities, politicians, and activists around the world who rely on LifeSite on a daily basis!

Since our humble beginnings in the late 90s, LifeSite has gone from a small non-profit to an international force in the battle for life and family, read by over 5 million people every month

This is thanks only to the leaders, activists, and ordinary readers just like you who have recognized the importance truth plays in turning the tides of the Culture.

I want to thank the many readers who helped bring us within striking distance of our minimum goal with their donations over the weekend. 

But though we have made great strides in the past few days, we still need many more donations if we are going to have any hope of making it all the way by April 1st.

In these final, anxious days of our quarterly campaigns, I am always tempted to give in to fear, imagining what will happen if we don’t reach our goal.

In these moments, however, I instead turn to prayer, remembering that God in his providence has never yet let us down. With His help we have always been given precisely what we need to carry on!

You can also donate by phone or mail. We would love to hear from you!

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