Hilary White, Rome Correspondent

UK spending £1 million per week on repeat abortions

Hilary White, Rome Correspondent
Hilary White, Rome Correspondent
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LONDON, May 16, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) – At an average of £1000 each, repeat abortions are costing the National Health Service up to £1 million a week. Using 2010 abortion statistics available from a Department of Health report, the Daily Mail has stirred the waters of the abortion debate, saying that some women have had as many as nine abortions, all paid for by the taxpayer.

The Mail notes that repeat abortions are particularly numerous in London, with half the abortions in the borough of Croydon being repeats, the highest rate in the country. Of the total of 189,574 “terminations” in England and Wales in 2010, 64,445 or 34 percent were on women who had already had a previous abortion.

The Society for the Protection of Unborn Children responded saying that the issue goes deeper than the money spent, and that the fault lies with the Abortion Act 1967, which is “wide open to abuse.”

The high incidence of repeat abortions, particularly among minority women, said Paul Tully, general secretary of SPUC, is an indication that abortion may be used for racist or eugenic purposes.

Tully commented that the figures “suggest that in many areas abortion is being used unlawfully to try to cut the birth-rate among minority and low-income groups more likely to claim benefits.”

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Citing recent revelations that the British abortion industry is turning a blind eye to the use of abortion to eliminate girl babies, Tully added, “Our belief is that the Sexual Health Team at the Department of Health is continuing to tell doctors and hospitals to provide abortion on demand, and that they are telling abortion providers that there is no political appetite to take action against them for breaking the law.

“There is no evidence of any change in policy by the major private abortion clinics, which have lucrative contracts to do NHS abortions. They are doing no fewer illegal abortions than hitherto. The legal grounds for abortion are not fulfilled in 99% of cases.”

The Mail quoted Josephine Quintavalle from the Pro-Life Alliance, saying the numbers are “extraordinary”. “Abortion is an unpleasant and harrowing experience for women and to hear it is happening repeatedly makes your hair stand on end. These figures show that sadly, abortion is being seen by many as a form of contraception.”

The Mail article featured one woman, Lucy Lanelly, who said she had her first abortion at 12, and who subsequently had four more by the time she was 18.

“I’ve blanked out my abortions and I have too much self-respect to go through all that again,” Lanelly said.

The NHS responded to the report with an attempt to downplay the numbers on their website by criticizing the Mail for failing to give “information on women’s reasons or motivations for seeking an abortion”.

“The ‘abortion as contraception’ claim appears to be an interpretation of the data provided by campaign groups and abortion legislation critics,” the statement says. “Also, the data suggest that only a tiny fraction of abortions were in women who have had seven or more previous abortions – 85 procedures out of the 189,574 performed in 2010.”

Quintavalle told the Mail that the moral climate in Britain is of total acceptance, so the logic follows that there should be no limits on the numbers of abortion as there are no limits on the reasons for them. “Is this surprising when we live in a society which says it’s all right to have an abortion once? If it’s fine once, why not two, three or four times?”

The pro-abortion campaign group European Pro-Choice Network agreed, slamming the Mail for daring to question women’s motives and further criticizing the health care system for failing to make contraceptives more available. 

Writing on the group’s website, Verena Buschmann accused the Mail of “warping” the numbers and quoting pro-life sources. She goes even further with the coverage by the Daily Telegraph, accusing that paper of being both “conservative” and clandestinely pro-life, portraying abortion-minded women as being “bent on convincing the country that women are wily sluts who want to get dozens of abortions so they can sleep around.”

Buschmann wrote, “Is it problematic that the NHS is spending that much money on abortions? Yes, because that means women are having trouble accessing the contraception they need to protect themselves from unplanned pregnancy.”

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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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