Ireland lower house passes permissive abortion law 127-31
DUBLIN, July 12, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) - At 12.30 a.m. local time the Irish parliament voted 127-31 in favor of legislation that allows abortion through all nine months of pregnancy where the life of the mother is at risk which notably includes if the mother threatens suicide.
Speaking outside the Dáil today, Clare Molloy of the pro-life group Youth Defence described it as a “dark day for Ireland when the legislature close their ears to the medical evidence, turn their backs on the electorate to which they promised no abortion legislation, and have now legalised the death penalty for innocent unborn children."
“This bill is barbaric,” said Ms. Molloy. "As Labour TD Roisin Shortall has pointed out, it has no term limits. It allows for the direct killing of a physically healthy baby being carried by a physically healthy mother and allows it through all nine months of pregnancy."
She continued, “what kind of politician or doctor approves the killing of a fully formed human being at 22 weeks by lethal injection to the heart. Our leading doctors are opposing this legislation; because, as one if them told the Oireachtas Committee, the Bill legalises the mindless assassination of innocent human beings."
“We know that abortion is not a treatment for suicide, the psychiatrists are blue in the face from telling Enda Kenny that, but yet he chooses to ignore this evidence and says his hands are tied by the Supreme Court decision in the X Case. It is now clear that that decision was fundamentally flawed because we didn’t have the evidence that we now know. Clean out your ears Taoiseach, if a decision is wrong then we shouldn’t follow it. The people are the final courts of appeal in this democracy and 86% of us want a referendum,” Ms. Molloy concluded.
Abuse of such a 'life of the mother' loophole in the law was demonstrated last year in Northern Ireland where abortions performed “to save the mother’s life” are rampant. Recently released data show that there were more abortions sanctioned as a procedure to save a mother’s life in Northern Ireland in the past two years, than in England and Wales combined over a 40-year period.
Pro-life groups strongly condemned the government’s decision to ram through its flawed abortion legislation, labeling it as a “betrayal of unborn children, a betrayal of a party promise and a betrayal of the Irish people.”
Admiration was expressed for the deputies who had put principle before politics to vote No to the bill, while other politicians have been described as 'spineless and amoral' for breaking their pro-life promise.
Niamh Ui Bhriain of the Life Institute said Prime Minister Enda Kenny was acting in an “autocratic and bullying manner and had trampled all over conscience rights by denying a free vote within his party on an issue that was deeply conscientious and on which strong views were held."
She went on to say that the electorate would not forget the vindictive action taken by Mr Kenny in inflicting such harsh sanctions and penalties on those party colleagues who dared to defy his authoritarian whip.
“It disgusts me that the Taoiseach would demand that his party colleagues should vote in favour of this horrific and fundamentally flawed piece of legislation and threaten them with being thrown out of the party if they fail to do so. What kind of a leader is he? What kind of a leader throws a colleague out of the party for doing exactly what they told their electorate they were going to do before election?” Ui Bhriain said.
Only five members of the majority Fine Gael party dared to break ranks and as a result were automatically expelled from the party.
Lucinda Creighton, one of those who voted against the abortion bill, resigned from her position as Ireland’s European Affairs Minister, saying the government broke a commitment to keep Ireland free of abortion.
"It's very disappointing and I would rather that I wasn't here. For me, this is a very important piece of legislation, one which is against a commitment that we made at the last election - a promise had been made, a very fundamental promise - on abortion.
"I just felt that I couldn't remove from that promise that we made at the last election," she told RTE News.
Both the Life Institute and Youth Defence have called for the Bill to be put to the people in a referendum under Article 27 of the Irish Constitution.
The pro-life groups said the huge Rally for Life which attracted 60,000 people last weekend, showed that the pro-life movement was committed and mobilized and would be now open to the new political alternative created by Kenny's abortion bill.
Niamh Uí Bhriain of the Life Institute said at the rally, “If you refuse, Taoiseach (Prime Minister), to let the people vote, then the people will be heard. 100,000 people have already signed the pro-life pledge, 100,000 will seek to build a new political alternative, 100,000 will remember Taoiseach, that if you ram through this law, you are the abortion Taoiseach and Fine Gael is the abortion party, and they will seek an alternative which protects both mother and baby.”
“This is not just about abortion, it’s about democracy and letting the people decide on this hugely important issue. A recent Amárach poll told us that a huge 86 per cent of people supported the right of the people to decide the issue by referendum,” she added.
Former presidential candidate and MEP Dana Rosemary Scallon blasted the government and the prime minister, saying, Enda Kenny’s assertion that he has “a duty and responsibility to legislate” for abortion was “totally unfounded,” and echoed calls for a national referendum on the issue.
"There is no legal or constitutional obligation for Enda Kenny or any other politician to legislate for the deliberate killing of an unborn child and there is no medical evidence to support this radical change to how we treat our mothers and their children," Scallon told the Irish Times.
She said the government must respect “the democratic and constitutional right of the people” to have the final say on the matter by referendum.
Paschal Donohoe, who was appointed Minister of State for European Affairs after Lucinda Creighton resigned from the post, suggested that the contentious abortion legislation be referred to the Supreme Court for a ruling on its constitutionality.
"One of the issues that has infused this debate is this question regarding the exact constitutionality of this bill and I do believe that it is in the interests of all concerned that that should be precisely answered. I would welcome a speedy adjudication on that," Donohoe said, according to an Independant.ie report.
The legislation will now go to the Irish Senate where it is expected to pass. It will then be brought to President Michael D Higgins who will sign it into law.
‘Little miracles’: Mom gives birth to naturally-conceived quintuplets after refusing ‘selective reduction’
AUSTRALIA, February 5, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) -- A 26-year-old Australian mom has given birth to five healthy babies, all conceived naturally, after refusing the doctor’s advice that she must abort three of them in order to give the remaining two a better chance at life.
“After my initial ultrasound I was told I could consider the selection method to give 2 babies the best chance in life,” wrote mom Kim Tucci in a Facebook post last September.
“I watched a YouTube video on the procedure and I cried. I could never do that! Was I selfish for not giving two the chance of 100% survival? All I knew is that I already love them and that every heart beat I heard I connect with them more. For me life starts when a heart starts beating and all I know for sure is that I will do whatever it takes to bring them into this world healthy,” she wrote.
Last Thursday Kim and her husband Vaughn welcomed the five new members into their family — one boy and four girls —increasing the number of their children from 3 to 8. The babies were born at 30 weeks, 10 weeks early, due to insufficient space in Kim’s womb. They weighed on average about 2.5 pounds.
The quintuplets’ story began last March, after Kim and Vaughn had been trying for six months to conceive just one more child for their family. Due to health complications, Kim wondered if she would ever become a mother again.
After what she thought was an extra long cycle, she decided to take a pregnancy test.
“I was feeling tired and a little nauseated and thought I would take a pregnancy test just to get the ‘what if’ out of my head. To my shock and utter excitement it was positive,” she wrote on a Facebook post.
The parents got the shock of their lives when doctors confirmed in an ultrasound examination that there was not one baby, but five.
“After a long wait for the ultrasound we finally went in. The sonographer told me there were multiple gestational sacks, but she could only see a heart beat in two. I was so excited! Twins!”
“I was moved to another machine for a clearer view and had the head doctor come in and double check the findings. She started to count, one, two, three, four, five. Did i hear that correctly? Five? My legs start to shake uncontrollably and all i can do is laugh. The sonographer then told me the term for five is ‘quintuplets,’” Kim wrote.
Even though Kim began to feel stretched to the limit with all those human lives growing inside her, she chose to focus on her babies, and not herself, referring to them as “my five little miracles.”
“It's getting harder as each day passes to push through the pain, every part of my body aches and sleeping is becoming very painful. No amount of pillows are helping support my back and belly. Sometimes I get so upset that I just want to throw my hands up and give in.”
“Sometimes my pelvis becomes so stiff I can barely walk and my hips feel like they are grinding away constantly. I'm finding it hard to eat as I basically have no room left in my stomach, and the way it is positioned it's pushed all the way back with the babies leaning against it.”
“My skin on my belly is so stretched its painful and hot to touch. It literally feels like I have hives! No amount of cream helps relieve the discomfort. I have a lot of stretch marks now. Dealing with such a huge change in my body is hard.”
“Is it all worth it? Yes!!!! I will keep pushing through,” she wrote in one Facebook post days before the babies were born.
The newborns' names are Keith, Ali, Penelope, Tiffany, and Beatrix. They were born at King Edward Memorial Hospital in Subiaco, Western Australia. Mother and babies are reported to be doing well.
UN rights chief tells Catholic countries to legalize abortion over Zika virus: bishops and cardinal react
GENEVA, February 5, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) -- The United Nations, following the lead of international abortion activists, is now urging Latin American countries hit by the mosquito-borne Zika virus to lift restrictions on abortion for pregnant women who have contacted the virus and whose pre-born children may be at risk for birth defects, including having smaller than normal heads.
The UN human rights office said today that it is not enough for South American countries to urge women to postpone pregnancy without also offering them abortion as a final solution.
“How can they ask these women not to become pregnant, but not offer… the possibility to stop their pregnancies?” UN spokeswoman Cecile Pouilly told reporters.
UN human rights chief Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein said that governments should make available contraception and abortion services.
“Laws and policies that restrict (women’s) access to these services must be urgently reviewed in line with human rights obligations in order to ensure the right to health for all in practice,” he said.
But Brazil’s bishops strongly asserted yesterday that efforts should be made to eradicate the virus, not the people who may be infected by it.
The disease is “no justification whatsoever to promote abortion,” they said in a statement, adding that it is not morally acceptable to promote abortion “in the cases of microcephaly, as, unfortunately, some groups are proposing to the Supreme Federal Court, in a total lack of respect for the gift of life.”
Honduras Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga has also come out strongly against the notion of “therapeutic abortions” as a response to the problem. Unlike Brazil where abortion is legal in the case of rape or health of the mother, abortion remains entirely illegal in Honduras.
“We should never talk about ‘therapeutic’ abortion,” the cardinal said in a homily at a February 3 Mass in Suyap. “Therapeutic abortion doesn’t exist. Therapeutic means curing, and abortion cures nothing. It takes innocent lives,” he said.
While the World Health Organization (WHO) declared an international public health emergency February 1 on account of concerns over the virus, critics have pointed out, however, that not one death as resulted from the virus. Even on WHO’s own website the virus is described in mild terms.
“It causes mild fever and rash. Other symptoms include muscle pain, joint pain, headache, pain behind the eyes and conjunctivitis. Zika virus disease is usually mild, with symptoms lasting only a few days,” the website states. “To date, there have been no reported deaths associated with Zika virus,” it added.
Critics suspect that the crisis is being manipulated to advance an anti-human agenda on the pre-born.
“Is Zika, actually, a hideous virus that threatens to spread uncontrollably across the world creating an army of disabled children with tiny heads and low IQ’s? Or might this be a willful misinterpretation of the scarce data to manipulate public opinion and legislatures?” wrote pro-life critic Mei-Li Garcia earlier this week.
“It becomes very clear that the publicity surrounding this story has a very little to do with medicine and a lot to do with a convenient crisis that is being used by those pushing for the legalization of abortion around the world,” she wrote.
Hillary’s litmus test for Supreme Court picks: They must ‘preserve Roe v. Wade’
DERRY, NH, February 5, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) - Hillary Clinton has a litmus test for Supreme Court nominees - several, in fact. At a Democratic event on Wednesday, Clinton unveiled her criteria in selecting a judge for the nation's highest court.
“I do have a litmus test, I have a bunch of litmus tests," she said.
"We’ve got to make sure to preserve Roe v. Wade, not let it be nibbled away or repealed,” she said.
That echoes her recent call to arms speech before Planned Parenthood last month, when she stated that taxpayers must fund abortion-on-demand in order to uphold the "right" of choice.
“We have to preserve marriage equality,” Clinton said, referring to last summer's Obergefell v. Hodges case, a 5-4 ruling that redefined marriage nationwide. “We have to go further to end discrimination against the LGBT community."
Her views differentiate her from the Republican front runners. Ted Cruz has called the court's marriage ruling "fundamentally illegitimate," and Donald Trump told Fox News Sunday this week that he would "be very strong on putting certain judges on the bench that I think maybe could change things." Marco Rubio has said he won't "concede" the issue to the one-vote majority.
All Republican presidential hopefuls say they are pro-life and will defund Planned Parenthood.
Her husband, Bill Clinton, raised the makeup of the Supreme Court early last month in New Hampshire, saying it receives "almost no attention" as a campaign issue.
On Wednesday, Hillary said "the next president could get as many as three appointments. It’s one of the many reasons why we can’t turn the White House over to the Republicans again.”
Clinton said her judicial appointees must also reverse the Citizens United ruling on campaign finance and oppose a recent decision striking down a portion of the 1965 Voting Rights Act. In 2013's Shelby County v. Holder, justices struck down Section 4(b) of the act, which said that certain states and jurisdictions had to obtain permission from the federal government before changing their voting laws.
At one time, most politicians frowned upon any "litmus test" for judicial nominees, emphasizing the independence of the third branch of government. "I don't believe in litmus tests," Jeb Bush told Chuck Todd last November.
But with the rise of an activist judiciary in the middle of the 20th century, constitutionalists have sought to rein in the power of the bench.