Pro-Life Times: March 2003
EU compels nations to fund abortion
by Dominic Baster
The European parliament has voted to compel all member states of the
European Union to fund abortion services in the Third World. The
pro-abortion Sandbæk report, which will become a "regulation"
establishing EU overseas aid policy for the next five years, was drawn
up with the help of abortion provider Marie Stopes International. Only
two voted against the report at committee stage, and the whole
parliament adopted the report in Strasbourg on 13th February by a show
of hands. Two pro-life amendments were rejected.
EU regulations take precedence over national law, so all member states
will now be obliged to fund abortion services overseas through their
contributions to the EU's multi-million pound international aid budget.
This includes Ireland, which has a pro-life constitution, as well as
the pro-life accession countries such as Malta and Poland when they
become full EU members.
The regulation mandates the EU to provide money to promote "the
recognition of reproductive and sexual health and rights ... including ...
universal access to a comprehensive range of safe and reliable
reproductive and sexual health care and services". According to the
World Health Organisation's definition, 'reproductive health care
services' include abortion. The main author of the report, Danish MEP
Ulla Sandbæk, admitted this when she told Ireland's Radio Kerry on 19
November 2002 that the new regulation would mean that abortions would
be legally funded by the EU.
Politicians, Church leaders and others in Malta and Poland are among
those to have expressed great concern about the pro-abortion agenda of
the EU. Abortion is expected to play a major part in upcoming referenda
in both countries on whether to join the EU next year. Whereas the
Maltese government negotiated a protocol asserting nationa sovereignty
in the area of abortion legislation as part of its EU accession treaty,
no such provision was negotiated by Poland. In response to concerns
that popular pro-life sentiments could lead to a "no" vote in the
referendum, the Polish government has since requested the addition of a
protocol on abortion to its treaty, but an official at the European
Commission said that this was impossible.
However, even statutory protocols on abortion will not prevent Maltese
or Polish taxpayers from funding abortions through the EU aid budget in
the wake of the Sandbæk report. John Smeaton, SPUC's national director,
said, "I am deeply concerned that a pro-abortion agenda is being
pursued by the EU without proper democratic scrutiny or informed
debate, despite the fact that abortion law is not within the EU's
competence. When as expected the EU's Council of Ministers confirms the
regulations based on the Sandbæk report, the EU will become one of the
foremost promoters of a culture of death around the world."
How much longer will the myth about safer sex be allowed to continue?
Sexually transmitted disease throughout Britain and Northern Ireland
is escalating: a 25% increase recorded last year. Genito-urinary
medicine clinics can barely cope with the tide of infected young
The Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast recently had to stop its
policy of open access as the demand was too great. Their statistics
show that one in seven sexually active under 17-year-olds has
The condom as the great protector is another myth. A World Health
Organisation study showed that the risk of catching HIV was reduced by
regular condom use, but only by 60%. Condoms were even less effective
against bacterial infections, reducing the chance of infection by only
This may be safer, but is it safe enough when dealing with
people's lives? The Family Planning Association now promote "safer sex"
rather than "safe sex", but wouldn't it be more honest to admit that
what they promote is not safe at all?
The challenge to us all is to see when 'experts' are promoting
an agenda of their own, and not to be blinded by the decrees of unjust
A short prayer for pro-lifers to say many times during the day
Catherine Gallagher is a doctor working in disability assessment and
is married to Owen, a GP. They live in Northern Ireland and have 9
"Lord, that we may see".
The shame of red nose day
Comic Relief, the organisers of Red Nose Day, back abortion, in spite
of having told the Catholic bishops that they do not fund, and have
never funded, abortion services or the promotion of abortion.
Comic Relief's contempt for the human rights of unborn children is
matched by their cynical disregard for those who oppose abortion:
telling us one thing, and doing the opposite.
These are the facts:
Comic Relief's publication "Where the Money Went" for July 2000 - June 2001 states that Population Concern received £24,000.
- Population Concern's projects include working for the
implementation of abortion law in Bolivia and the promotion in Nigeria
of "sexual and reproductive health", a term which the World Health
Organization defines as including abortion on demand.
- Population Concern is described by the Scottish Catholic
Media Office as a "major contributor to China's now discredited one
child per couple policy", a policy which has caused countless millions
of compulsory abortions.
Other monies from the charitable donations to Red Nose Day are given to those promoting abortion.
"Only a small percentage of Red Nose Day goes towards
abortions", it may be argued, but this argument holds no water.
Supposing, in the 1940s, only a small percentage of a charity's funds
went towards the killing of Jews and ethnic minorities in concentration
camps, would it be OK for people to give to that charity?
There is only one answer to that question. And there is only one response to Red Nose Day. Boycott it.
For further information contact email@example.com
Morning-after pill link to ectopic pregnancy
by Paul Tully
New evidence has forced the Government to alert
young women to the danger of ectopic pregnancy after taking the
morning-after pill. Sir Liam Donaldson, the Government's Chief Medical
Officer, has sent a communication to all doctors asking them to be
extra vigilant about the morning-after pill. He has also ordered
Schering AG, manufacturers of the drug, to change the wording of
patient information leaflets.
Advocates of the morning-after pill have already admitted that it
kills early embryos by preventing implantation in the womb. Now it
appears that there is also a connection with the deaths of embryos much
later in development as a large proportion of the surviving embryos
implant in the fallopian tubes, causing ectopic pregnancy. This
presents a small but serious risk to the mother's life, as well as a
high risk of sterility.
John Smeaton, SPUC national director said, "This drug should be
removed from the market immediately so that the available data can be
fully assessed. Every day thousands of doses are being given to
"Despite the fact that there has been no proper trial on the
safety of this drug among under16s, it is now the Government's policy
for school nurses to give this drug to school girls as young as 11
without parental consent."
"Bioethical house of horrors" started with IVF says archbishop
by staff reporter
Archbishop Mario Conti of Glasgow has
condemned IVF saying that the "nightmarish journey" which has led to
cloning started with "the British Government's acceptance of in vitro
fertilisation". Cloning, he states, "is simply a logical progression
ever further into this bio-ethical house of horrors"
Professor Robert Winston, a pioneer of IVF, complained that the
Archbishop had damaged the reputation of scientists by suggesting that
the acceptance of IVF had paved the way for cloning. Professor Winston
himself has supported human cloning for research purposes.
In an article, which appeared in the Scottish newspaper the Sunday
Herald, the Archbishop pointed out "that for every child brought to
birth using these techniques, several embryos will have died, been
frozen or destroyed in the process."
Professor Winston responded by saying, "Does not the archbishop
recognise that the highly moral practice of IVF ... has resulted in
around a million new human souls being born worldwide?"
Tiniest humans under attack in Ireland
by Dominic Baster
Pro-lifers in Ireland have expressed concern
about the erosion of respect for the unborn in their country,
especially with regard to the status of the embryo. IVF and the
morning-after pill are already common in Ireland, even though they
entail the deaths of embryos. The Irish Family Planning Association
reported a large rise in demand for the morning-after pill in the
run-up to Christmas, and many embryos are kept in storage at IVF
clinics. The Irish government does not protect the rights of embryos,
and even funds abortion providers overseas. The official Commission on
Assisted Human Reproduction is due to present a report to the health
minister in June on issues including IVF, the storage and disposal of
embryos, and human cloning. Pat Buckley, leader of the pro-life group
NEART, said, "These issues should not even be under discussion because
article 40.3.3 of the Constitution protects all human life, a fact made
even more clear in the Irish-language version of the text. The
Commission claims that the question of whether pre-implantation embryos
enjoy protection under the constitution is yet to be adjudicated upon,
and that the Supreme Court would be likely to rule that the protection
applied only after implantation. However, the Commission concedes that
there would be serious implications for current practice if such
protection did exist, and the Supreme Court has already ruled that the
right to life applies from conception."
News in Brief
· Philippines - The Catholic Bishops of the
Philippines have said that the government should remove all
abortifacient drugs and devices from the market to prevent "silent
abortions" caused by "silent abortifacients". Speaking at the Bishops'
86th plenary assembly, Bishop Teodoro Bacani of Novaliches, asked the
government to prepare a list of drugs which either prevented the
implantation of an embryo in the womb or displaced an embryo after
implantation had taken place.
· Mexico - The US-based Population Research Institute has drawn
attention to the alleged involvement of the United Nations Population
Fund (UNFPA) in coerced abortions in Mexico. The National Population
Council of Mexico receives financial, technical and medical support
from UNFPA. However, Mexico's National Human Rights Commission has
denounced coercion in family planning programmes throughout Mexico.
· USA - A Californian Bishop has said that Catholic
pro-abortion politicians should abstain from receiving Holy Communion.
Referring specifically to California's pro-abortion governor, Gray
Davis, who is a Catholic, Bishop William K Weigand of Sacramento said,
"I have to say clearly that anyone - politician or otherwise - who
thinks it is acceptable for a Catholic to be pro-abortion is in very
· Argentina - A federal judge in Argentina has blocked the
implementation of the government's so-called 'sexual health and
responsible procreation' programme because it would involve the
provision of abortifacients. Judge Cristina Garzón de Lascano ordered
the ministry of health and social action to suspend the programme
following a legal challenge by the Women for Life group, which asserted
that the provision of abortifacient birth control drugs violated the
right to life of the unborn and the right to health of women.
Population control: destroying the world's families
Many people think that population control is necessary to bring
health and wealth to people in developing countries; in other words, if
people don't have so many babies they would be better off. What is
often not understood, by people in this country, is that population
control is frequently brutal and coercive. Population control is rarely
helping people to have the size of family they want, in a way
acceptable to them. It is more likely to be outside agencies imposing
methods of birth control on families that are against their culture and
The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) is the world's most
important population control agency. In a recent White Paper, Douglas
Sylva, director of research at the Catholic Family and Human Rights
Institute in New York, investigates the way in which UNFPA breaches its
own policies and regulations as well as being guilty of potential human
rights violations. Antonia Tully looks at Dr Sylva's findings.
UNFPA was set up in 1969 when hysteria about world over-population was
at its height. Rich countries were terrified that burgeoning
populations were a threat to their security. The United Nations became
convinced that the world's population must be slowed down and stopped.
The UNFPA annual budget is between $250 to $300 million,
depending on the actions of donor nations. The United States, the
United Kingdom, Germany, the Netherlands and Japan have been the
primary donors to UNFPA. Pro-lifers who have paid tax at any time since
1969 will be particularly concerned about the activities of UNFPA.
While UNFPA does support some valuable projects such as
pre-natal and post-natal care, efforts to curb mortality and morbidity
and care for illness associated with reproductive health, these occupy
a fraction of the budget. Dr Sylva presents a horrifying picture of
financial mismanagement by the UNFPA.
In 1998-1999, UNFPA spent $91 million on the purchase of
contraceptives. The UN Board of Auditors investigating this found that
the purchases were made even though they could not find enough
suppliers who could deliver the quantities and quality they required
(money was spent on non-existent goods) and that there was no check of
whether the products met international standards. UNFPA recently
shipped 10 million faulty condoms to Tanzania, which was only
discovered when local officials carried out their own tests. AIDS is
rife in sub-Saharan Africa and UNFPA promotes condoms as a means of
protection against this deadly virus. Whether the policy of condoms
against AIDS is sound or not, UNFPA has failed on its own terms. How
many billions of other condoms distributed by UNFPA over the years may
also have been faulty? This sort of ineptitude endangers the lives of
people in developing countries.
At the beginning of his study Dr Sylva states, "UNFPA supports
abortion and covertly promotes abortion. UNFPA distributes abortion
equipment and abortion drugs throughout the developing world. UNFPA
funnels money into non-governmental organisations (NGOs) that actually
perform abortions." UNFPA itself apparently denies all involvement with
abortion, but Dr Sylva reveals their true colours. One example of the
way in which UNFPA tries to obscure its involvement in abortion is the
use of manual vacuum aspirators (MVAs). An MVA is a multi-purpose piece
of medical equipment, which can be helpful in the treatment of
miscarriages. MVAs thus provide political protection for UNFPA, because
if it is discovered that the machine was used for abortion, UNFPA can
claim it had been misused.
The largest nation of all, China, has been brutalised by the savage
pursuit of a population control policy for over 20 years: the one child
policy. UNFPA played a major role here in providing funds for the
coercive one-child policy and also acting as an informal public
relations agency for the Chinese government. In 1979 UNFPA gave China
$50 million to establish the one-child policy. Basically UNFPA taught
the Chinese State Family Planning Commission how to make the one-child
policy work - collecting information on where fertility needed to
decline more, what contraceptive and abortion quotas to set for
different regions and where women were regularly evading family
planning regulations. At the recommendation of US secretary of state
Colin Powell, the US has now withdrawn all funding to UNFPA, following
a state department investigation into the activities of UNFPA in China.
US law forbids funds going to agencies which support coercive abortion.
Non-governmental organisations (NGOs) are central to UNFPA's mission to
cut the world's population, including the International Planned
Parenthood Federation which calls for the circumvention or outright
breaking of national abortion laws. They perform early abortions called
menstrual regulation and operate abortion clinics and perform abortions
on a massive scale. These are the groups that UNFPA funds and
What should be done? Dr Sylva calls for a full US governmental study of
the activities of UNFPA. Donor countries should withdraw their funding
on the evidence that UNFPA supports coercion. Donor countries should
consider establishing a new medical agency to assist families in the
developing world that is free from the philosophy of population
control. Finally, donor countries should transfer funds to the United
Nations Population Division which provides non ideological statistical
information on population.
For further information email firstname.lastname@example.org
From the desk of Joanna Bogle
From the financial pages
I don't often read the financial pages of newspapers. They make my
eyes glaze over with boredom. But the other day an article arrested my
attention. Words leapt at me from the page: pregnancy, birthrate,
families. Here at the Pro-Life Times office, we react to such words. I
read on. The article (The Daily Telegraph, Jan 2003) was about
pensions. With a staggering one pregnancy in three being terminated in
some parts of Britain, our nation is no longer sustaining itself. Not
enough children are being born to create a future. There won't be
enough money in taxes to pay old-age pensions for today's middle-aged
people, when they reach old age. Even private pension funds, in which
so many have placed so much trust, won't really be sustainable without
an economy to drive them. We face terrible problems - and the
Government knows it. The national debate about pensions, already fairly
anguished, is actually only just beginning. The article, incidentally,
did not seem to think that there was anything that could be done to
stop one child in three from being aborted. It simply pointed out that
people who destroy their offspring can't be looked after by those
offspring later on. Some day, perhaps quite soon, we will be allowed to
discuss whether such killing should be regarded as acceptable, and
whether as a nation and as a community we should stop ourselves from
Dynamite from Rome
If the financial pages of British newspapers have traditionally
been stuffy, then Vatican documents don't exactly have a reputation for
exciting reading either. Theological prose can sometimes be opaque. But
look at the new document out from Rome on Catholics in political life.
It's dynamite. Time's up for RC politicians who support abortion as a
woman's right, saying, "I'm a devout Catholic, and may be personally
opposed to abortion, but I can't impose my views on others". This new
document makes it clear that no Catholic in good standing with the
Church can take this approach any longer. Quoting John Paul 11, it
states that those directly involved in lawmaking have a "grave and
clear obligation to oppose" any law that attacks human life, and that
for Catholic lawmakers "it is impossible to promote such laws or to
vote for them". It also deals with Catholic organisations which take
positions contrary to the teachings of the Church. Get the whole
document and read it for yourself (CTS, 40-46 Harleyford Rd London SE11
New message for young people
The new message about relationships concerns chastity. In
America "abstinence programmes" in schools, encouraging young people to
remain chaste and refrain from sexual activity until a lifelong
marriage commitment, have proved successful. The abortion rate is going
down. Young people are signalling the acceptability of making chaste
choices. What about here? Still some way to go, but find out about the
Challenge Team from Family Education Trust, The Mezzanine, Elizabeth
House, York Street, London SE1. Or, for a more specifically
religious-based message, try the Good Counsel Network 020 7723 1740.
And a good read
A new catalogue plops on to my desk. This comes from a firm in
Wales offering a range of books from four different publishers,
including many titles of interest to all concerned with the pro-life
cause. Privilege of Being a Woman by Alice von Hildebrand, sounds a
good read, while I can thoroughly recommend Ann Farmer's Prophets and
Priests about attempts to impose population control policies on the
poor. Get the whole catalogue: send SAE to St Austin Press, PO Box 28
Tenby SA69 9ZB.
China's women in despair as minister confirms population policy
by staff reporter
Zhang Weiqing, the minister in charge of
China's State Family Planning Commission, has recently insisted that
"family planning work must be a top priority" and that low population
growth must be maintained.
The coercive one-child policy may be taking its toll on women's
lives in the light of China's suicide figures. Suicide is the fifth
most common killer in China and the vast majority of people who take
their own lives are women under 40. For women age 15-34, their
childbearing years, suicide is now the most common form of death. With
two million suicide attempts in China each year and 287,000 deaths,
more than half the world's suicides take place in China. China is
virtually the only country in the world where suicides among women
outnumber those by men. In most other countries, men are 3 to 4 times
as likely to end their own lives as women.
"How can we ignore the connection between the brutality of
China's one-child policy, in which women are dragged from their homes
and their babies killed by abortion, and the utter despair of young
women who kill themselves in such large numbers?", said Mrs Josephine
Guy, from Kentucky, USA. Mrs Guy has travelled into China unaccompanied
by Chinese Government officials and interviewed women subjected to
coercion under China's population policy.
A spokesman for SPUC said, "It looks as though China is
entrenching, rather than liberalising, its population control strategy,
with further tragic consequences."
Aborted baby parts used in eye surgery
by staff reporter
Retinas taken from aborted unborn children
have been used by doctors in California to help patients with eye
problems. The doctors claim to have improved the vision of two people
who have hereditary eye conditions by transplanting tissue from the
retinas of aborted babies.
The operations occurred at the Doheny Eye Institute in Los Angeles on
four patients with advanced retinitis pigmentosa. The results after the
surgery showed that the sight had been improved in half of the cases.
Alan Bird, an expert at the Moorfields Eye Hospital in London, said
that the results of the trial could mean that common eye conditions,
including age-related degeneration, may be treated with transplants of
foetal eye tissue. However, other experts were wary of the operations
and cautioned that the improvements may only be temporary.
Alison Davis, National Coordinator of No Less Human (formerly the SPUC
Handicap Division) said, "It is both tragic and offensive that aborted
babies' body parts should be used as surgical commodities in this way.
It is also tragic that people with degenerative eye conditions are
being manipulated into thinking that the only hope of restoring their
sight lies in cannibalising their fellow human beings. The financial
resources put into this research would be better used in researching
alternative, and ethical, treatments for eye conditions."
Abortion can lead to substance abuse
by Sam Forsdike
A new American study has indicated that women
who have had abortions are more likely to endanger the health of
subsequent unborn children through substance abuse. Published in the
latest edition of the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology,
the results were derived from data collected in the National Pregnancy
and Health Survey.
Dr. David Reardon, one of the co-authors of the report, suggested
that the unaddressed grief and guilt suffered by women who have had
abortions could be the reason why they are less able to abstain from
drugs when they carry their next pregnancy to full term.
The study revealed that women with an abortion history were
twice as likely to use alcohol, five times more likely to use illicit
drugs and ten times more likely to use marijuana than other mothers who
have not had abortions. The effects of such abuse are not only
physically and mentally damaging to the mother but may also cause fatal
results for their unborn child.
Margaret Cuthill, who is the national co-ordinator of British
Victims of Abortion, said that she was not surprised by the findings of
"From our experience we have seen the emotional damage caused
when there has been no help for women who have suffered abortions.
Substance abuse is just one of the coping mechanisms used by women
after abortions. This can be dangerous to the health of a mother's
unborn baby and any of her existing or future children.
Other women who have had an abortion just want to curl up and go to
sleep, some find they are unable to bond with subsequent children and
push them away emotionally, or they may go the other way and try to
compensate by being overprotective. It is essential that there is help
available for women who have had an abortion."