Hilary White

Government will act ‘speedily’ to legalize abortion: Irish Labour Party

Hilary White
Hilary White
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DUBLIN, November 26, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The media-generated uproar over the death of Savita Halappanavar in a hospital in Galway has emboldened Labour Party coalition members to push for legalization of abortion on what they believe to be a wave of public support. The government will act “speedily” to “implement a new legal framework” allowing “limited abortion,” said Brendan Howlin, the Labour Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform.

Echoing other Labour Party TDs, Howlin said that this government would not be the seventh in Ireland to “fail to act” on the 1992 Supreme Court judgment on the X case. The X case found that despite Ireland’s constitutional protections for the unborn, abortion was lawful if the mother’s life was threatened, “including by the threat of suicide.”

However, the uproar over abortion in Ireland has been ongoing since the 2010 decision of the European Court of Human Rights in the A, B & C case, which said that the country needs to “clarify” under what circumstances abortion is legal. In response to this ruling, the government appointed an “expert group” to examine the law and make recommendations.

Labour have been using the death of Savita Halappanavar in the last week to push for abortion “in a really distasteful way,” Niamh Ui Bhriain, head of The Life Institute, told LifeSiteNews.com this morning. “They think they will enjoy a groundswell of support because of the work of the media. They’re pushing for this so fast because they’re hoping that public opinion has shifted.”

“They see this as the best opportunity they’re going to have.”

The strongly pro-abortion Irish media “went into overdrive” after the death of Mrs. Halappanavar, said Ui Bhriain, “whipping up an hysteria which tried to make people believe that Ireland’s pro-life laws caused the death of this young woman.”

A new website tracking the Savita case and it’s developments is to be launched today along with a video highlighting the truth in the matter and the manipulation around it.  (this article continues after the video below)

However, the coalition government, split between Labour and Fine Gael, is said to be in a state of turmoil over the issue, with backbenchers and senior TDs vowing that abortion will never be legalized in Ireland. Labour is the only party in Irish politics that has ever advocated abortion legalization openly as policy.

The Irish Times reports that Labour party backbenchers will be “under pressure” from the party to vote for former Socialist TD Clare Daly’s revamped abortion Bill this Wednesday. The Times quoted Labour Senator Ivana Bacik saying, “It will be difficult to oppose Clare Daly’s Bill without some statement of intent to legislate.”

Minister Howlin told the state broadcaster RTE, “We have an expert group now to tell us in very considered detail how [to legislate on abortion] and I have no doubt that this Government will act very speedily in a measured, calm way to provide for that instruction from Supreme Court.”

The report by the government-appointed expert group on abortion will be brought to Cabinet tomorrow and is set to be made officially public next week. In sections that have already been leaked, however, the report presents several options for dealing with the legal situation on abortion, while prioritizing legislation that would legalize “limited abortion.” It recommends an appeal process for women who have been refused abortions and that the minister of health create centers for “terminations” to be committed.

Pro-life advocates have responded, however, saying that nowhere did the ECHR decision say that the country must institute legal abortion, which remains a criminal offense. The country’s constitution, which can only be changed through a general referendum, protects unborn life “from conception” as a human right. Moreover, pro-life groups have expressed grave concerns over the government’s expert group, arguing that the group was “stacked” with pro-abortion members.

Ui Bhriain said that the appearance of public support for abortion in the wake of Halappanavar’s death is dubious and is likely to be short lived “when the facts come out and the pro-life message is reinforced.” Polls have consistently shown that abortion remains unpopular in Irish society, pushing abortion lobbyists to use the “back door” method of court cases, rather than legislation. 

The Life Institute and Youth Defence, the country’s leading pro-life organizations, are launching a “focused” public information campaign that will emphasize the fact that the constitution does not allow the country to be governed by foreign authorities.

“We will make it clear that abortion cannot be imposed by the European Court of Human Rights, or by the expert group’s report,” she said. “That will stop this rush to legislation.”

“What we want is to make it clear to the Irish people that they have a constitutional right to a voice in serious matters,” she said. “The options given by the expert group seem to be entirely in favour of abortion, but it doesn’t offer the option of a referendum to give the people their democratic right to have a voice.”

“What is in this report should not be the deciding factor for the decision.” The campaign, she hopes, will alert the public to the danger of allowing the court to “foist abortion” on Ireland. “They’re already in charge of the economy; do we want them in charge of every aspect of our lives and laws?”

She added, “Labour is claiming that the [ECHR] ruling is binding, but the fact is it’s not binding. According to the constitution, it’s the Irish people who are sovereign.”

If the Prime Minister, she added, considers the European court to “have more power than the Irish people, then he is in direct contravention of the constitution”.

Ui Bhriain lambasted the media for its coverage of the Savita Halappanavar affair, saying they have slandered the reputation of Ireland, which was rated as one of the best countries in the world for maternal care.

“They’ve made Ireland out to be this backward country and destroyed our international reputation, when in fact, the UK, the US and especially India lag far behind Ireland in maternal care.”

Irish law and medical practice guidelines do not prevent doctors from taking any action intended to save the mother’s life, even in the “rare” cases where pregnancy is a threat to life. This includes the pre-term delivery of a child. 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.”

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For Hillary Clinton, abortion access trumps religious liberty

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By Dustin Siggins

WASHINGTON, D.C., May 1, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) -- For Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton, apparently abortion trumps religious liberty.

It may have gotten bipartisan support in the House of Representatives last night, but a spokesperson for the Democratic Party's leading presidential candidate says a resolution protecting religious liberty in the District of Columbia "overrule[s] the democratic process" and hurts women.

The vote, which saw three Democrats join the GOP majority and 13 Republicans stand with Democrats, was meant to protect pro-life and religious organizations in the District from the Reproductive Health Non-Discrimination Act (RHNDA).

RHNDA was signed by the mayor of the District of Columbia, Muriel Bowser, in January, and makes it illegal for any employer, including religious and pro-life organizations, to use a person's belief or actions about abortion in employment considerations. It also requires employers to provide abortion coverage.

The resolution now goes to the Senate, where it is expected to fail due to the Senate being on recess. Under existing federal law, the measure has 30 legislative days to be disapproved by Congress and President Obama. If this does not happen, it becomes law.

The 30-day window ends on Saturday. President Obama promised a veto of the resolution on Thursday, even though RHNDA was opposed by former District mayor Vincent Gray. According to Gray, while he "applaud[s] the goals of this legislation," the former mayor believes RHNDA could violate the U.S. Constitution's guarantee of equal treatment under the law.

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The statement by the Clinton campaign left no doubt that she stood with Obama and a majority of Democratic legislators. Spokeswoman Jennifer Palmieri told CNN, "Hillary Clinton has fought for women and families and their right to access the full range of reproductive health care without interference from politicians or employers."

"Hillary will fight to make it easier, not more difficult, for women and families to get ahead and ensure that women are not discriminated against for personal medical decisions."

The remarks come a week after Clinton took criticism for saying that "religious beliefs" critical of "reproductive rights" must "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,” she told the Women in the World Summit on April 23.

“Rights have to exist in practice, not just on paper," said Clinton in her speech. "Laws have to be backed up with resources, and political will."

“Deep-seated cultural codes, religious beliefs, and structural biases have to be changed,” said the candidate.

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Social conservatives may be funding the destruction of marriage: corporate watchdog

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By Dustin Siggins

May 1, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) -- With over $55 million in annual revenue, the Human Rights Campaign may be America's most powerful LGBT activist group. And according to a conservative corporate watchdog, that's in part because social conservatives are funding it.

"Conservatives would be surprised to know that many of the dollars they spend every day are helping fund an agenda that seeks to destroy traditional marriage and undermine religious freedoms," said 2nd Vote National Outreach Director Robert Kuykendall. "Even when they purchase a beverage from a company like Coca-cola or Starbucks, their dollar is going to support HRC's liberal agenda to redefine marriage."

Less than 18 months old, 2nd Vote has graded hundreds of corporations on six issues -- corporate welfare, the environment, education, support for the Second Amendment, abortion, and as of two weeks ago, same-sex "marriage." Using their "scoring" system, 2nd Vote ranks corporations on their direct or indirect involvement with these hot-button public policy and cultural issues.

And according to them, some of America's favorite corporations are making the radical HRC agenda possible.

"HRC is the largest LGBT lobbying organization in the United States with reported revenues of over $55 million," Kuykendall told LifeSiteNews. "The redefinition of marriage and the undermining of religious freedom are major components of HRC’s policy agenda. To fund their policy goals, HRC has enlisted the help of many major corporations that we do business with every day to help fund. Over a third of the contributions received by HRC are listed as 'Corporate/Foundation Grants.'" 

Why should conservatives care about corporate donors to HRC? Kuykendall says the organization is both politically influential and publicly deceptive. "Last election cycle, HRC spent around a million dollars on electioneering activities and in support of liberal candidates willing to push their legislative agenda. HRC is responsible for spreading much of the misinformation regarding [Religious Freedom Restoration Act] laws and has also mischaracterized the protections provided by these laws."

"HRC organized a massive grassroots campaign in support of the legal battle to overturn state laws protecting marriage and influence the Supreme Court’s decision in Obergefell v. Hodges," said Kuykendall.

Marriage isn't the only issue on which conservatives may be at odds with HRC's corporate backers. "2nd Vote’s research into other issues such as life, the environment, and the 2nd Amendment shows that many of the companies supporting HRC have taken liberal stands on other issues as well,” he said. “For example, Apple, Citigroup, Microsoft, and Coca-Cola are Platinum Partners, the highest level of HRC’s National Corporate Partners, that have also funded the liberal Center for American Progress [CAP]."

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"Bank of America, Google, Goldman Sachs, Starbucks, PepsiCo, and Morgan Stanley are also HRC Corporate Partners that have funded CAP. Furthermore, all of these companies signed the amicus brief asking the Supreme Court to overturn state marriage laws."

In Indiana, the state's religious liberty law was modified because of corporate pressure led by Tim Cook, Apple's gay CEO. Kuykendall says conservatives should not give up, though he acknowledges that "for too long, conservatives have let liberals and groups like HRC bully companies into not just going along with their agenda, but actively funding and promoting it."

"However, conservatives have also proven their ability to mobilize and use their dollars in support of traditional values as we’ve seen through the fundraising campaigns for the pizza parlor and wedding cake makers who have been attacked by liberals for their beliefs. Conservatives need to turn the tables on the left, and groups like HRC, and motivate companies to stop funding the liberal agenda through the power of their shopping habits."

Only nine companies have ranks of "five" or "four" on 2nd Vote's ranking system, indicating a pro-marriage perspective. They are outnumbered more than 10 to 1 by organizations that support redefining marriage.

Concerned citizens can download the app on 2nd Vote's website. The full list of corporation scores can be found here.

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Fr. Mark Hodges

First graders exposed to book about transgender boy—without parental notification

Fr. Mark Hodges
By Fr. Mark Hodges

KITTERY POINT, ME, May 1, 2015, (LifeSiteNews.com) – Parents at one Maine school are upset that children as young as six were exposed to a book promoting transgender issues, in the name of "acceptance."

Parents were not only not consulted, they were never even notified of their children's exposure to transgenderism.

Horace Mitchell Primary School read the book I Am Jazz to first-grade students. The book is about a boy who identifies as a girl from the age of two, "with a boy's body and a girl's brain." He eventually finds a doctor who tells his parents, "Jazz is transgender."

Parents began to inquire about what was being taught at Horace Mitchell Primary after children came home with questions about their own sex and wondering if they, too, might be transgender.

One mother, upset that teachers would broach the subject of transgenderism with her little boy, said the primary school ignored her complaint. "I feel like my thoughts, feelings and beliefs were completely ignored...My right as a parent to allow or not allow this discussion with my child was taken from me," she told Hannity.com.

"When I spoke with the principal he was very cold about it," the mother continued. "It's amazing how thoughtless the school has been with this whole thing."

Only after Sean Hannity made national inquiries did Horace Mitchell Primary School suggest that teachers should have told parents ahead of time.

Allyn Hutton, the superintendent of the local district, said she supported reading the book but admitted that parents should have been given advance warning about the subject matter. "We have a practice of – if a topic is considered sensitive – parents should be informed. In this situation, that didn't happen," she said. "We understand that toleration is tolerating people of all opinions."

Horace Mitchell Primary School sent an e-mail, after the fact, to concerned parents, including a link to a blog post of the school's guidance counselor, explaining their motivation was "cultivating respect."

"Some may think primary school students are too young to worry about addressing issues surrounding gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) students. Not so, experts say,” the school's guidance counselor wrote. “It’s never too early to begin teaching children about respecting differences."

Homosexual activists say they support the teaching of transgenderism to first-graders, with or without parental notification. "The staff of Mitchell School is...shedding a light on [LGBTQ] issues,” said a column in Gay Star News.

The LGBT puublication goes even further, advocating homosexual propaganda be commonplace in elementary schools across the country. "LGBTQ issues should never be classified as a 'sensitive subject,' [because] there is nothing sensitive about the way we are born. Blonde hair, brown hair, gay, straight or somewhere in-between."

Brian Camenker of MassResistance commented on the infiltration of homosexual propaganda in children's schools. "We deal with parents and teachers a lot, and the idea that teachers would do this is unconscionable. It's like the people that promote this stuff are evil. It's demonic. You can't imagine adults that would do this to other people's children, and do it with such anger, and such vitrol.”

Camenker emphasized that this is “not an isolated incident with just one, rogue teacher. This happens because the whole administrative hierarchy buys into it.”

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“The new generation of educators is very, very frightening,” he said.

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