Hilary White

Abortion-promoters knew about Savita case days before media: Leaked e-mail

Hilary White
Hilary White
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DUBLIN, November 15, 2012, (LifeSiteNews.com) – The death of a young woman in Galway, reportedly from complications of a miscarriage, has abortion-promoters demonstrating in the streets of Dublin, demanding legislation to legalise abortion. Pro-life leaders in Ireland and abroad, however, have slammed the media and abortion campaigners for using the young woman’s tragic death despite the dearth of details about what actually happened. They have also pointed to clear evidence that pro-abortion groups knew about Savita’s case days before it hit the media, and that they were already planning on using the case to further their cause.

Ireland’s leading pro-life group Youth Defence has issued a statement saying that the family of Savita Halappanaver has their deepest sympathies, but that her circumstances do not support the hysterical calls for legalisation of abortion. “This is a tragic loss, and we need to remember that Irish doctors are always obliged to intervene to save the life of a mother - even if that risks the life of her baby.”

Halappanavar, a 31 year-old Indian woman died October 28th of septicaemia, a severe systemic inflammatory infection, after she was admitted to hospital while miscarrying.

Her husband Praveen has told Irish media that his wife died because doctors refused an abortion, and that story has been spread worldwide.

Halappanavar said that doctors determined that his wife was miscarrying within hours of her hospitalization and said that they refused to consider an abortion, saying that Ireland is a “Catholic country.”

The case has created an international media feeding frenzy, with headlines around the world implying that Catholic teaching is responsible for the woman’s death. Front page coverage has appeared in the Guardian, Daily Mail and the Mirror, as well the U.S. and UK editions of The Huffington Post, the CBC and elsewhere.

Niamh Uí Bhriain of the Life Institute called it “outrageous” to suggest that Catholic teaching would prevent proper treatment for a pregnant woman. “Neither the ethos of the Catholic Church nor the pro-life laws of Ireland would prevent any woman from receiving all treatment she requires in order to preserve her life,” she said.

Uí Bhriain added, “Abortion doesn’t cure septicaemia and isn’t a treatment for miscarriage.”

Meanwhile, a leaked e-mail, dated Sunday, November 11, indicates that the Irish Choice Network had been given prior knowledge of the case, days before it hit the media, though by whom is as yet uncertain. The Irish Times did not break the story publicly until November 14th, running the headline, “Woman ‘denied a termination’ dies in hospital”.

The e-mail advised ICN followers that “a major news story in relation to abortion access is going to break in the media early this coming week,” and said the news would be the basis of a prearranged protest calling for abortion outside the Dáil on Wednesday. The e-mail asked members to attend a meeting of the Irish Choice Network when they would have “more definite information around which we can make some collective decisions about how best to proceed.”

“Apologies if this is all a little mysterious, but the reason why I didn’t want to put specific details down by e-mail will probably be clear tomorrow,” it continued.

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The e-mail, Uí Bhriain said, showed clearly that abortion advocates have deliberately exploited the case to start a campaign to have abortion legalised in Ireland. She said that serious questions now needed to be asked. “The media and the HSE [Health Services Executive] now needs to ask why this information seems to have been given in advance to abortion advocates,” she added.

“Was it given to them by the Irish Times, or by someone in the HSE? And if so, why?” she asked. She noted that the Irish Times story was written by Kitty Holland, daughter of leading abortion advocate Eamonn McCann.

“As we await the investigation in to what happened in Galway hospital, we need to know why this private patient information was given to campaigners for legalised abortion in Ireland,” she said.

Uí Bhriain told LifeSiteNews.com that Ireland’s laws already prioritise the life of the mother. Under the current law, doctors who fail to intervene to save a woman’s life are subject to disciplinary action for negligence. “Far from being the pro-life laws putting undue pressure to save the life of the unborn child, they put additional measures to protect the life of the mother,” she said.

At the moment medical details are scant, with the hospital and the government refusing to release details until after an investigation is completed, leaving pro-life groups scrambling to respond to claims that are impossible to verify either way.

“Our hearts are with [Mr. Halappanavar], but an abortion would not have saved her life. The medical council guidelines are incredibly clear, that the doctors must intervene to save a woman’s life, if they don’t they’re guilty of misconduct,” Uí Bhriain added.

Paul Tully, general secretary of the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children said, “What we do know is that miscarriage and infection can be managed by proper medical treatment. Abortion is not medicine - it does not treat or cure any pathology.”

“What is rarely reported are the many cases of women who have died from infection or other causes because of supposedly safe and legal abortions.”

He named Manon Jones, Jessie-Maye Barlow and Emma Beck who all died of complications of abortion in Britain. He pointed to findings of the World Health Organisation that the Republic of Ireland, with some of the strictest pro-life laws in the world, also has the world’s best record in maternal health. By contrast, Great Britain and the United States, with their high abortion rates, have relatively poor maternal health records.

Earlier this year an international group of 140 obstetricians and other physicians meeting in Dublin issued a statement denying that abortion is ever “medically necessary” for women.

Ireland’s Minister for Health, James Reilly, who is not pro-life, has called for calm, saying he does not believe the claims that the doctors told Mr. Halappanavar that abortion was not available because Ireland is a Catholic country. He added that no decisions can be made until a medical investigation is completed.

The country’s General Medical Council guidelines already allow for abortion in “rare” cases when a pregnancy would threaten the mother’s life. The guidance states, “In current obstetrical practice, rare complications can arise where therapeutic intervention (including termination of a pregnancy) is required at a stage when, due to extreme immaturity of the baby, there may be little or no hope of the baby surviving. In these exceptional circumstances, it may be necessary to intervene to terminate the pregnancy to protect the life of the mother, while making every effort to preserve the life of the baby.”

Labour leader and coalition Deputy Prime Minister Eamon Gilmore has not hesitated to use the uproar to again press for legalisation of abortion. Gilmore said this government will not become the seventh to “neglect and ignore” the issue. Labour is the only party in Ireland that has full legalisation of abortion as part of its platform.

The issue has come to a high boil after the European Court of Human Rights issued a ruling in the A,B and C case saying that Ireland must “clarify” under what circumstances abortion could be legal under the current law. While the Court did not say that Ireland must legalise abortion, this has not stopped Gilmore and other abortion activists from insisting that abortion be declared legal. The report on abortion’s legal situation by the government’s expert group, which has been expected imminently for months, was reportedly delivered to the Health Minister on Tuesday and is expected to be published immediately.

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Dr. Miriam Grossman speaks to large audience in Mississauga, Ontario Steve Jalsevac/LifeSite
Lianne Laurence

VIDEO: How DO you to talk to kids about sex? US sex-ed critic gives practical tips

Lianne Laurence
By Lianne Laurence

MISSISSAUGA, ON, August 27, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – Talking to their children about sex is “anxiety provoking to say the least,” for parents, says American sex-ed expert, Dr. Miriam Grossman.

“Some people just can’t even do it, and that’s okay,” the New York-based psychiatrist told the crowd of 1,000 who packed a Mississauga conference hall August 18 to hear her critique of the Ontario Liberal government’s controversial sex-ed curriculum.

After Grossman explained how the Liberal sex-ed curriculum is dangerously flawed and ideologically driven, she used the question-and-answer session to give parents much appreciated and sometimes humorous practical advice on how to teach their children about “the birds and the bees.”

“If you feel you can’t do it, maybe there’s someone else in the family or in the constellation of people that you know you can trust that could do it,” said Grossman, author of “You’re teaching my child WHAT?” and an internationally sought-after speaker on sex education.

A child, adolescent and adult psychiatrist with 12 years’ clinical experience treating students at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) clinic, Grossman said explaining sexuality and procreation to children is “a process,” that “shouldn’t ideally happen all at once. A child is not a miniature adult, and absorbs…new information differently than adults do.”

And parents need to be sure just what their child wants to know.

To illustrate this, Grossman referred to her earlier story about a father who gave his son every detail on human procreation after the boy asked him, “Dad, where do I come from?”

After the father finished, his son replied, “Well, that’s funny, because Johnny told me that he came from Montreal.”

“Try to find out what your child is really getting at, and, don’t give it all at once,” Grossman said. “You start with a little bit at a time…and you know, there’s so many variables here, and people have their own traditions and their own ways of explaining things, and something that might be right for my family might not be right for your family.”

She also advised that, when confronted with a four, five, six or seven-year-old asking about a pregnant woman, or where babies come, a parent can ask, “What a good question that is. What do you think?”

And parents can also legitimately put off the discussion when appropriate, telling the child, “That’s really not something you need to know about right now.”

“Wow, what a novel idea: Telling a child that they could wait until they’re older to discuss that subject,” Grossman said, adding that parents wouldn’t brook a six- or even fifteen-year-old child asking how much money they made or had in the bank. “Excuse me? Not every subject has to be an open book.”

However, the time will come when a child needs to know “about how her body’s going to change, about reproduction, about how a new life is created.”

That time, Grossman advised, is puberty, or “as puberty is beginning,” and this is especially so for girls, who, if unprepared for the surprise onset of menstruation “might think [they’re] dying.”

“The actual nitty-gritty about the birds and the bees and intercourse” can “be told in bits and pieces, or it can be told all at once, if you feel it’s necessary,” she said, adding that it’s beneficial if the parent acknowledges his or her awkwardness, because the child will think: “This must be such an important subject that my mother or my father is sitting there squirming, but he’s doing it anyway. I’m really loved.”

“And the children need to understand that as you grow up, you change a lot, not only physically but emotionally,” Grossman said, “and what may seem odd or disgusting when you’re ten years old, or whatever age, it becomes something very special and beautiful when you’re older and you’ll understand it later. You don’t have to understand it now.”


Know your child and guard your home

But as an essential foundation for this discussion, parents must both know their children and guard their home from the encroachments of a culture that Grossman described as “very, very sexualized” and “really horrible.”

“Children need parents who are loving but are also firm and authoritative,” she asserted.  “They don’t need best friends. They need us to guide them, to know what they’re doing, to be on top of what they’re doing.

So parents need to be aware of whom their child is “hanging around with, and what kind of movies are they watching…what’s going on with your child.”

“You need to know that anyway, even if it’s not about sex education,” she pointed out. “Try and know your child. Every child is different.”

And Grossman emphasized that it is “extremely important to be careful about what your child is exposed to in the home, in terms of television and Internet, obviously.”

Children need to understand that “just like you have garbage you take out of the house, you put it in the garbage bin, it’s dirty, it smells…there are other things that also don’t belong in the house.”

And children learn quickly what is, and is not, permissible inside the home, Grossman said. “Me, I keep kosher…If I go into a store, my kids know from a very young age, we don’t eat that.”

So they are used to the idea of “the world outside and the inside world, of inside your home, and inside your heart as well.”

Parents can also convey this by telling their children that “the world is an upside-down place, and sometimes the most special, holy subjects are…just thrown in the gutter. And that’s a bad thing. In our family, in our tradition, we don’t do that.”

“Sexuality is one of the subjects that in this upside-down world, it is sometimes just in the gutter,” she said. “And so I want you to tell your child to come to me when you have questions, I will give you the straight story about it.”

Grossman herself is “not even sure,” as she stated in her seminar, that sex education should be in the schools: “I believe sex education should be at home for those parents that want to do it.”

She also noted that parents “can make mistakes. We all make lots of mistakes but it’s okay, you can always come back and do it differently,” adding that this is “another wonderful message for your child. You know what, it’s okay to make mistakes, you can always go back and try and fix it.”

Grossman urged parents to visit her Facebook page, website and blog. “I have so much information you can get there that you’ll find useful,” and added that she will be publishing books for children, and has posted her critique of New York City’s sex-ed curriculum, which is similar to Ontario’s.

The parental backlash to that sex-ed curriculum, set to roll out in the province’s publicly funded schools this September, has been “amazing” Grossman noted.

Grossman’s seminar was sponsored by Mississauga-based HOWA Voice of Change along with the Canadian Families Alliance, an umbrella group representing more than 25 associations and 200,000 Ontarians opposed to the curriculum. The report on her devastating critique of the sex-ed curriculum can be found here, and the video here.

Ontario readers may find information and sign up for a September 2 province-wide protests at MPPs offices here. So far, there are protests planned for 92 of Ontario’s 107 constituencies. The parents’ movement seeking removal of the curriculum is urging all concerned citizens to join this special effort to influence individual Ontario legislators.

See related reports:

Ontario’s dangerous sex-ed is indoctrination not science says U.S. psychiatrist to large audience

Videos: US psychiatrist tells parents “stand firm” against dangerous sex-ed

See the LifeSiteNews feature page on the Ontario sex-ed curriculum containing nearly 100 LifeSite articles related to the issue

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Pete Baklinski Pete Baklinski Follow Pete

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Did the pope just endorse a gay children’s book? Of course not, says Vatican

Pete Baklinski Pete Baklinski Follow Pete
By Pete Baklinski

ROME, August 28, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) -- While mainstream media is gushing with news today that Pope Francis allegedly praised a children’s book that promotes gender theory, the Vatican is decrying what they called the "manipulation" of a cordial letter from an official in the Secretariat of State to suggest that the Vatican is promoting teachings contrary to the Gospel.

Italian children’s author Francesca Pardi was reported by The Guardian to have submitted a parcel of children’s books promoting the acceptance of homosexuality and gender theory to Pope Francis in June after Venice’s mayor Luigi Brugnaro publicly banned the author’s newest book, Piccolo Uovo (Little Egg), from children’s schools. The book was criticized by pro-family leaders for promoting non-natural family structures of two men and two women.

In a letter accompanying the books, Pardi wrote: “Many parishes across the country are in this period sullying our name and telling falsehoods about our work which deeply offends us. We have respect for Catholics. ... A lot of Catholics give back the same respect, why can’t we have the whole hierarchy of the church behind us?”

The Guardian is reporting that Pardi has now “found an unlikely supporter in Pope Francis,” who through his staff has responded to the author and is presented as “praising her work.” It quotes the following from a July 9 letter to Pardi from the Vatican.

“His holiness is grateful for the thoughtful gesture and for the feelings which it evoked, hoping for an always more fruitful activity in the service of young generations and the spread of genuine human and Christian values,” wrote Peter B. Wells, a senior official at the Vatican Secretariat of State, in a the letter The Guardian is reporting it has seen.  

While the letter gently calls the author to use her talents to spread “genuine human and Christian values,” The Guardian takes it as the pope’s endorsement of gender theory.

“Pope Francis sends letter praising gay children's book,” the paper’s headline states. “Italian book that explores different family types including same sex was banned by mayor of Venice, but pontiff becomes unlikely supporter,” reads the subtitle.

In a press release that Vatican spokesman Fr. Federico Lombardi sent to LifeSiteNews on Friday, the vice speaker of the Vatican, Ciro Benedettini, made clear that the friendly reply letter to the author in no way approves of attitudes or positions that are contrary to Catholic teaching and the Gospels.

The Vatican's statement also says that in the original letter from the secretariat of state Wells merely "acknowledged receipt" of the materials sent by Pardi, and also made clear that the letter was private and not meant for publication. 

"In no way does a letter from the Secretary of State intend to endorse behaviors and teachings not in keeping with the Gospel," says the statement, decrying the "manipulation" of the letter.

Benedettini said the blessing of the pope at the end of the letter was meant to be for the author herself, and not to affirm positions concerning gender theory that are contrary to the Church's teaching. Using the letter to this end is erroneous, he said.

Pope Francis has strongly condemned the notion of “gender theory” on numerous occasions, saying that it is an “error of the human mind that leads to so much confusion.”

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Lisa Bourne

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Poll suggests most US Catholics wrongly believe Pope Francis backs gay ‘marriage’

Lisa Bourne
By Lisa Bourne

August 28, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) -- A considerable majority of U.S. Catholics are in conflict with Church teaching on abortion and marriage, a new study says, and a startling number of those also believe Pope Francis backs homosexual “marriage.”

Despite Church teachings, Catholics in America also closely parallel the general populace in their support for abortion and homosexual “marriage,” falling short in the Biblical call to be “in the world but not of the world.”

The findings suggest what many Catholics have said is a climate of confusion in the midst of the Francis pontificate. Concerns over that confusion prompted a coalition of pro-family groups to respond with an international petition effort asking the pope to reaffirm Church teaching, drawing more than a half-million signatures.

The survey, conducted by Public Religions Research Institute, found that 60 percent of all U.S. Catholics favor legalized homosexual “marriage,” compared to 55 percent of all Americans. Likewise, 51 percent of Catholics think that abortion should be legal in all or most cases, with 53 percent of the general population holding this view.

The Catholic Church teaches that marriage is a sacramental union between one man and one woman, mirroring Christ and the Church respectively as bridegroom and bride.

The Church also teaches that life begins at conception, that each human life possesses dignity as a child of God and is to be afforded protection, making abortion an intrinsic evil.

Catholics, accounting for 22 percent of adults in the U.S. population, have a favorable view of Pope Francis, the study said, but they are very confused about his take on homosexual “marriage.”

Of the Catholics who back homosexual “marriage,” 49-percent also think the leader of the Catholic Church backs it along with them. Fifteen percent of those Catholics who oppose homosexual “marriage” also mistakenly believe Pope Francis supports it.

Pope Francis has made numerous statements in support of life, marriage and family, but the confusion remains.

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"After Ireland and the U.S. Supreme Court both approved same-sex 'marriage,' a strong reaffirmation of Church teaching could save the sacred institution of marriage, strengthen the family and dispel the lies of the homosexual revolution," TFP Student Action Director John Ritchie stated.  "Young Catholics -- even non-Catholics -- look to the Church as a beacon of morality and stability in our Godless culture, but some of our shepherds have issued confusing statements."

TFP Student Action is a part of the lay Catholic organization American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property, and is part of the alliance behind the Filial Appeal, the petition asking the Holy Father to reinforce Catholic teaching at the Vatican’s upcoming Synod on the Family in October.

Ritchie explained how the confusion was aiding the Church’s enemies, and warned of the potential consequences.

"This prayerful petition asks Pope Francis to clear up the moral confusion that's been spreading against Natural and Divine Law," he said. "If the enemies of the family continue to chip away at holy matrimony, the future of the family and civilization itself will be in even more serious peril."

At press time more than 500,000 signature had been gathered for the appeal, including five cardinals, 117 bishops and hundreds of well-known civic leaders.

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