Hilary White

Reporter who broke Savita story admits: there may have been no request for a ‘termination’

Hilary White
Hilary White
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DUBLIN, December 3, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Kitty Holland, the Irish Times reporter who broke the story about the death of Savita Halappanavar that launched a global crusade against Ireland’s pro-life laws, has admitted that the story of Mrs. Halappanavar asking for an abortion may have been a little bit “muddled” in the retelling, and there may have been no such request after all.

In an interview this weekend on Newstalk 106, Holland appeared flustered and defensive, deflecting blame for the uproar onto Mrs. Halappanavar’s husband, Praveen. When radio interviewer Marc Coleman of Newstalk 106, asked her, “You’re satisfied that he did request a termination?” Holland responded, “Oh, I’m not satisfied of anything.”

“I’m satisfied of what he told me,” she said, “but I await as much as anyone else the inquiry and the findings. I can’t tell for certain. Who knows what will come out in that inquiry? They may come back and say she came in with a disease she caught from something outside the hospital before she even arrived in, and there was no request for termination.”

Covering, Holland added, “One may even wonder are requests for terminations recorded at all in Irish maternity hospitals.”

Asked about discrepancies in the reports on the timeline of Mrs. Halappanavar’s care – particularly when, exactly, she started receiving antibiotics after her admittance to hospital – Holland replied, “All one can surmise is that his recollection of events is…the actual timeline… may be a little muddled.” She said that “at one point” Mr. Halappanavar told her that she was only given painkillers, and never received any antibiotics.

Holland later told the state broadcaster RTE that her coverage in the Irish Times “never suggested” that an abortion might have saved Mrs. Halappanavar’s life.

Coleman also queried Holland about discrepancies in her Times report compared to her later reporting in the Observer. After her initial article in the Irish Times on November 14th, Holland three days later wrote in the Observer the disclaimer, “The fact that Savita had been refused a termination was a factor in her death has yet to be established”.

Coleman asked her why that sentence was included in the Observer but not in her original article for the Times. Holland responded, stammering, “Well, I suppose throughout the original article …umm… I mean it was quoting the concerns of the husband, Praveen. And, at no point … I mean … there was … you know it was hinted at in the headline, which obviously I didn’t write. You know, ‘refused a termination’ was in quotes. Umm, but you know I was reporting the concerns of the husband, and what he said he was concerned about and what he said happened in the hospital.

“Whereas my piece in the Observer was a more kind of background piece from my point of view, so it was obviously important for me to say quite explicitly that, you know, it has not been established that a lack of access to a termination…”

Coleman also mentioned to Holland that there are a lot of concerns about the “contrast” between the November 14th report and her later reporting. “It did travel around the world very quickly, the assumption that this woman had died precisely because of a lack of termination,” he said.

“Well, I mean, what I wrote were the concerns of the husband,” she responded, “and I suppose what readers took … decided to infer from that is … what the concerns were of the husband and what he stated happened from his recollection of events in the hospital.”

“The fact that a healthy… as far as we know… healthy 31 year-old woman who was 17 weeks pregnant entered a hospital in 21st century Ireland and was dead a week later is a tragic story anyway, and would have been a big story anyway. A maternal death is very rare.”

She continued to reiterate that she was reporting “the husband’s recollection or take on the events, and the concerns that he was wanting to talk about that took it off around the world.”

Coleman noted that hospital records of Mrs. Halappanavar’s care contain notes of requests for “tea and toast and many other things, but they contain no request for a termination.”

“Again we only have Praveen and his solicitor’s take on what was in or not in the notes,” Holland responded. “So, we’re relying all the time on their take on what happened.”

“I don’t know. That’s a huge gap and if that is the case … that a termination was requested and Praveen says there were witnesses to these requests, that will all come out in the inquiry,” Holland said. If the inquiry finds there are no notes recording the Halappanavars’ request for an abortion, “it’s obviously a huge gap”.

Click “like” if you want to end abortion!

Within hours of the publication online of the Times report, the worldwide media responded with a frenzy of coverage, running sensationalistic headlines blaming Ireland’s pro-life laws for her death. Since then, abortion campaigners around the globe have concentrated their forces on demanding that the Irish Republic, one of a tiny handful of western nations that still protects unborn children in the womb, institute legalized abortion on demand.

The hospital and the government have launched investigations, but Mrs. Halappanavar’s husband and family have refused to allow Savita’s medical records to be made public. He has now announced that he intends to sue the Irish government in the European Court of Human Rights after Irish Health Minister refused his demand for a public inquiry.

Pro-life advocates in Ireland, who have been fighting the mainstream media’s misrepresentation of the case and its use by the international abortion lobby, have called Holland’s admission “extraordinary”. Niamh Ui Bhriain, head of the Life Institute, called the affair “the most cynical and deplorable exploitation of a tragedy that I have ever witnessed in my lifetime”.

She noted that Holland was careful during her interview to emphasize that the facts were not known and that it was not certain that an abortion may not have requested.

“Yet no such caution was exercised in her original Irish Times report where it was suggested to the world that an Irish hospital had allowed a mother to die because a Catholic ethos supposedly wouldn’t allow an abortion,” Ui Bhriain told LifeSiteNews.com.

“Journalists have a responsibility to ensure that the reader understands when matters are factual and when they are uncorroborated. Yet the Irish Times tossed that responsibility aside in order to force abortion into the centre of this tragic case concerning a miscarriage and septicaemia.”

“As leading medical experts have pointed this case had very little to do with abortion, yet the headlines around the world became more lurid by the moment,” she added.

Ui Bhriain noted that in her Observer article, Holland “clearly understood the global importance of the story”.

“That makes the sensationalist headline and the reporting in the previous article in the Irish Times reprehensible in my view,” she said.

Ui Bhriain has previously blasted the media coverage for besmirching Ireland’s good reputation. A recent report from the World Health Organisation said the country has the second highest rating for maternal health in the world, with its pro-life laws intact.

Meanwhile, RTE reports that Ireland’s Minister for Transport, Leo Varadkar, has said that legislation that proposes to legalize abortion could turn out to be unconstitutional and may result in a referendum. Although the government has no plans for a referendum, he said that one may be unavoidable. Ireland’s pro-life law is embedded in the Constitution, which can only be changed through a public plebiscite. Pro-abortion advocates have long attempted to bypass this outcome by working to change the law through court cases, particularly that of the A,B and C case at the European Court of Human Rights.

Listen to the full interview here (starts at 33:20)

To express concerns to the Irish offices of the National Union of Journalists:
[email protected]

To express concerns to the Irish Times
http://www.irishtimes.com/about/contact/
[email protected]

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Lisa Bourne

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

Lisa Bourne
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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