OpinionTue Oct 16, 2012 - 12:09 pm EST
Irish referendum part of a global campaign against the family: John Smeaton
ROME October 16, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Editor’s note: John Smeaton, the head of the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children, one of the largest and most influential pro-life and pro-family organisations in the world, has expressed his grave concerns regarding the proposed amendment to the constitution of the Republic of Ireland in extensive comments provided to LifeSiteNews.com.
Critics say the so-called Children’s Rights Referendum will transfer all authority and responsibility for the raising and education of children from parents to the state, and give the state carte blanche to confiscate children from their natural families on any pretext that a state-employed social worker deems to be for the child’s “best interests.”
Although the state claims to be responding to the revelations of abuse of children in various care institutions, and has expended considerable energy pointing the finger of blame at the Catholic Church who administered some of those institutions, critics have pointed out that it was the state that set them up, funded them and largely failed to oversee them.
But according to Smeaton, the story goes back further than the recent spate of government reports on child abuse would have the public believe. Before even the establishment of the Irish Free State.
Smeaton, a veteran of many international battles against anti-life and anti-family campaigns, gave LSN a thorough examination of the historical context of the situation in Ireland and around the world:
What’s being proposed in Ireland needs to be put into a wider, historical, context.
For well over half a century, there’s been a worldwide war on children, particularly unborn children. This war has been waged by powerful NGOs, United Nations bodies, governments, legislatures and, more recently, by some of the world’s most powerful politicians, including the Clintons and Obama in the US, and Blair, Brown and Cameron in Britain.
In recent decades the war on children has been extended to parents, in particular targeting their role as the primary protectors and educators of their children. The war has also extended into the aggressive promotion of the homosexual agenda which particularly endangers our children.
This state of affairs was reflected in last week’s consensus agreement at the Human Rights Council in Geneva, where the Council welcomed a report from Navenethem Pillay, the UN Human Rights commissioner, which, amongst other things, calls for parental opposition to abortions for their children under the age of consent to be made unlawful. The report also seeks to criminalize health professionals, administrators and NGOS like the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children.
Throughout this war, the vast majority of Catholic Church leaders, representing the world’s largest Christian body, have pronounced Church doctrines from time to time, but they have done virtually nothing to rally the faithful in defence of the countless children killed in the womb, or to protect children targeted for abortions in their schools, or to protect children targeted by the homosexual lobby in adoption laws being passed in so many countries around the world.
Indeed, in England and Wales and in Ireland, pro-abortion policies have been accommodated by Catholic church leaders, as well as homosexual adoption policies in England and Wales. Scottish Catholic leaders, Catholic bishops in the Philippines, and the Holy See delegation at the UN, have proved to be very courageous, honourable exceptions to this general rule and, of course, there are others too. However, as a SPUC member of 35 years standing told me last week: “I have attended Mass thousands of times since I joined SPUC, but I have never once heard a priest preach about abortion”. This cry is heard throughout the world.
In the meantime, during the past 50 years, a pro-life movement has developed which seeks, conscientiously and energetically, to engage on the side of the unborn children in this war and, increasingly, to engage on behalf of parents as the primary educators and protectors of their children. The pro-life movement, internationally and in individual countries, has done and is doing some good work. However, in reality it is a tiny group of people in comparison with the powerful, wealthy bodies and individuals who seek to destroy unborn children, to destroy parental protection for their children and to destroy marriage, the social instition which most protects children, including children in the womb.
I appeal to young people who are joining the pro-life movement today - those at university, those going out to work for the first time and those in their final years at school.
If the pro-life and pro-family movement is to be effective, it must concentrate more than half of its energy in seeking to energise and encourage Church leaders, particularly Catholic Church leaders, to take a lead in the battle to protect unborn children and to uphold parents as their children’s primary protectors and educators. Pro-lifers, young or old, must not be so arrogant as to think we can do it on our own - by dint of our passionate witness and through the strength of our well-informed arguments. And let’s not resort to the false argument promoted by our enemies that church leaders, particularly Catholic church leaders, should not be involved in this war.
Catholic church leaders have the capacity and charism to reach billions of people. The pro-life movement, on its own, can only reach a fraction of that number.
To save humanity, to save Ireland, we need a great campaign for life and for the family led fearlessly by church leaders, in particular the Catholic church. Young people, the future of humanity, must now lead this appeal before we are led further into the abyss in Ireland and elsewhere in the world.
‘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.