Document Sample
					Solas                                             Ireland’s pro-life magazine
                                                              February 2007
                                                                Vol 15 No 1


                                                           Welcome to the

                                                           66th edition of Solas!
                                                                 ttending the March for Life in Washing-
                                                                 ton last month was a great experience for both myself
                                                                 and the other YD members who travelled to join in the
                                                           week of pro-life activities and meet with other pro-lifers.

              from the
                                                           Some of the greatest leaders in the pro-life world were present;
                                                           Joe Scheidler, Pat Mahoney, Fr Frank Pavone and others who
                                                           have achieved so much against the odds. What was remarkable

                                                           however, was that of the thousands of people we met, most
                                                           seemed to already know and admire YD’s work. Some were
                                                           using our Just the Facts schools programme; or employing YD
                                                           websites in pro-life pregnancy counselling; some were joining a
                                                           youth pro-life group who had learned strategy from YD or copied

             in this issue
                                                           materials. It was a great affirmation of the work we do together
                                                           here in Ireland.

    Protecting the Embryo              3
                                                           But this trip was also a warning to all of us as to what will hap-
    Dear Minister                      4                   pen in Ireland if we don’t give our all to the pro-life cause.
    Actively Pro-Life                  6                   Despite the best efforts of so many brave and good people in
    Putting the Family First           8                   the US, they have seen firsthand when abortion becomes legal
    State-Sponsored Murder            10                   it produces a mindset that is very difficult to reverse. Here in the
    March for Life                    11                   Life House we have a year of pro-life and family projects

    Medics Statement                  12                   planned which will bring Ireland closer to the Culture of Life.
    YD DVD                            13                   Let’s do all we can to support that work. God Bless,
    Bella the Movie                   16

‘We need to be like Youth Defence’
        aving heard that Labour Youth      that “something had to be
        and others were organising a       done,” as YD were “running
        campaign to rejuvenate efforts     the show” on college campus-
to legalise abortion in Ireland, YD        es.
members thought they would see
what the pro-aborts were up to. We’re      The plans discussed at the
happy to report that the meetings,         meeting did show how despi-
despite considerable effort and            cable these people would be.
resources spent on their organisation,     They want to find a doctor who
were poorly attended and exposed a         would perform an abortion in
lack of coherent strategy. The motley      Ireland, and/or to use an asy-
crew of far-left extremists were being     lum seeker who could not trav-
urged on by the familiar faces advo-       el to campaign for the right to
cating ‘abortions-for-all’, including      have abortions performed in
Labour candidate, Ivana Bacik.             this jurisdiction. As Eoghan de
                                           Faoite pointed out afterwards,
The first meeting, which was open to       the pro-death cause has no
the public, was attended by a paltry 40    support amongst ordinary peo-
people. Those attending were most          ple, but its allies in media and
anxious about responding to the effec-     political circles mean pro-lifers
tiveness of YD in particular, and said     had to work hard to defend life.                 Labour’s Ivana Bacik

Page 2                                                                                SOLAS February 2007 Vol 15 No 1
Protecting the Embryo
                                                                               Eoghan De Faoite
Article 40.3.3 of The Irish Constitu-       lished in July 1996 where it states that    bition on abortion. Because there
tion reads:                                 definition is needed as to when the         have not been any court cases to date
“The State acknowledges the right to        “unborn” acquires the protection of the     regarding whether the unborn are pro-
life of the unborn and, with due regard     law”. Justice McGovern goes on to           tected pre or post implantation, previ-
to the equal right to life of the mother,   state that one can look at the history      ous judgments regarding the term
guarantees in its laws to respect, and,     or background to the amendment of           unborn will, of course, have only con-
as far as practicable, by its laws to       the Constitution which resulted in Arti-    sidered the term in the context of the
defend and vindicate that right.”           cle 40.3.3 being adopted by the Irish       prohibition on abortion. The Courts
                                            people.                                     were not previously asked to consider
Mr. Justice McGovern delivered his                                                      the term in the context of whether it
High Court judgment deciding the fate       Justice McGovern looks at various           covers pre or post implanted
of the frozen embryos, currently            judgments where the term “unborn”           embryos. As this is the first case on
stored in the Sims Clinic in Rathgar,       was considered, including many that         this point, how could there be any
on 15th November 2006. The judg-            referred to life being protected from       prior court interpretations on it? There
ment was bitterly disappointing, prin-      conception. He says that the term has       is no logical inference that the Court
cipally for its decision that the term      always been considered in the context       cannot, or should not, interpret the
unborn only referred to a foetus or a       of “termination of pregnancy,” and          term in any other context. Indeed in
fertilised egg implanted in the womb.       concludes that the Courts have              making his decision, Justice McGov-
It is a somewhat illogical judgment,        declared that the Eighth Amendment          ern manages to conveniently ignore
with various propositions being con-        to the Constitution giving rise to the      the previous excerpts that he quotes
sidered, but totally illogical conclu-      wording in Article 40.3.3 was for the       from judgments which refer to life
sions reached.                              purpose of making secure the prohibi-       being protected from conception!
                                            tion on abortion, (and nothing more).
The judgment begins by quoting Arti-        This is ridiculous. The Courts have         He further concludes that to infer that
cle 40.3.3, the Eighth Amendment to         made no such declaration, the fact          it was in the mind of the people that
the Constitution inserted by the peo-       that the only time the Courts have had      “unborn” included embryos outside
ple in 1983. In his judgment, Justice       to consider the Eighth Amendment to         the womb or embryos in-vitro would
McGovern states that the term unborn        date is in the context of the prohibition   be to completely ignore the circum-
is not defined and quotes the Consti-       on abortion is not a declaration that                             cont’d on page 14
tutional Review Group report pub-           the term is only relevant to the prohi-

   15,000 people (mostly young)
     marched against abortion
     through Paris in January

SOLAS February 2007 Vol 15 No 1                                                                                      Page 3
Dear Minister...
                                                                          Maria Mac Meanmain
          ith a looming referendum         protect children, but at present the      rightly) to intervene in family life when
          to     undermine       Irish     Irish Constitution provides ample pro-    parents are failing their children. This
          parental rights, members         tection for our children and we can       article refers to “the natural and impre-
of the Mother & Child Campaign             see no valid reason to change it, other   scriptible rights of the child”.
met Brian Lenihan, TD, Minister for        than to comply with the demands of
Children, to put parents’ concerns         agencies external to the family, and      A    HIERARCHY       OF     PROTECTION
and views to him. The Minister told        indeed, outside of the country.           ALREADY EXISTS
us that we were the only group rep-                                                  At present Bunreacht na hÉireann
resenting parents that he had met -        Our objections to such a referendum       provides a three-tier protection for
indicative of the disregard this gov-      can be summarised as follows:             children. Firstly, children have the
ernment has for the family.                                                          same personal rights as every other
                                           IT   IS   BASED   ON A   FALSE PREMISE    citizen in the state, i.e. to be held
We put the following to Minister           The whole impetus for the campaign        equal before the law, to be free to
Lenihan:                                   so far has been based on a falsehood      express their opinion, and to be safe
                                           that children are ignored by the con-     from attack. Secondly, recognising the
The Mother & Child Campaign                stitution. The Barnardos billboard, for   special vulnerability of children, the
(M&CC) have serious reservations           example, asks the question, “Can you      Constitution naturally hands the
about the proposed referendum to           stand for a constitution that ignores     responsibility of guarding these rights
weaken parental rights as affirmed by      children?” This is simply deceitful.      to parents. Then, and only as a last
Articles 41 and 42 of Bunreacht na         Article 42 of Bunreacht na hÉireann       resort, does the Constitution oblige
hÉireann. This referendum is being         specifically mentions the child and       the State to intervene where parents
trumpeted as a necessary measure to        Article 42.5 obliges the State (quite     fail their children. This is the perfect
                                                                                               order and any shift in this bal-
                                                                                               ance is dangerous for chil-
                                                                                               dren. It certainly will not ben-
                                                                                               efit children. It will, however,
                                                                                               empower the state and exter-
                                                                                               nal agencies to interfere
                                                                                               where parents have not
                                                                                               failed in their duty to children.

                                                                                              Justice Hardiman pointed to
                                                                                              this danger in his recent judg-
                                                                                              ment of the “Baby Anne”
                                                                                              case, when he said that the
                                                                                              Constitution does not favour
                                                                                              parents over children but
                                                                                              rather favours parents over
                                                                                              the State when it comes to
                                                                                              protecting children. The
                                                                                              learned Judge also correctly
                                                                                              pointed out that, ‘A presump-
                                                                                              tive view that children should
                                                                                              be nurtured by their parents
                                                                                              is, in my view, itself a child
                                                                                              centred one. The alternative
                                                                                              view, calling itself “child cen-
                                                                                              tred” because it is prepared
     Maria with baby Ava at the Christmas Vigil                                               more easily to dispense with
                                                                                              the rights and duties of par-

Page 4                                                                               SOLAS February 2007 Vol 15 No 1
ents, must guard against the possibil-     This is not a good thing. Children in       that all children need
ity that in real individual cases it may   care are far more likely to become          to be protected from
become merely a proxy for the views        homeless, addicted to drugs, involved       their parents, and that
of social workers or other third par-      in prostitution and engage in anti-         the State and other
ties.’                                     social behaviour. The current Consti-       agencies        should
                                           tutional position that the State should     decide the 'best interest' and 'welfare'
CONSEQUENCES        OF   UNDERMINING       intervene only when families fail fol-      of children makes for infinite amounts
PARENTAL AND FAMILY RIGHTS                 lows best practice and common               of steady cash inflows in their quest to
Various agencies, who have set them-       sense. To change the balance will           replace parents with third parties in
selves up as the defenders of chil-        merely result in more children being        rearing children. Unlike parents, who
dren's rights, complain that, under        abused by the state through being           make many sacrifices to provide and
present circumstances, a child can         robbed of loving and caring parents.        care for their children without any
only be removed from its parents in                                                    financial compensation, those work-
exceptional cases. This is only right      WHO IS BEHIND THE CAMPAIGN?                 ing in and directing 'child-care' agen-
and proper! The Children's Ombuds-         No public clamour exists to undermine       cies are amply rewarded.
man has stated that the State should       parental rights. Instead, the impetus is

                                                                             In Galway recently protesting against abortion

be allowed to intervene where there        being manufactured by agencies              Neither do they seem to have the best
are “concerns” for children. This is not   funded by the government. So the            interest of children at heart. Barnar-
acceptable. Children should only be        government is paying a lobby to call        dos, for example, were ”unapologetic”
removed from parental care where           for changes that the government             about seeking to exclude full-time
there is proven neglect or abuse as        themselves support. It’s a very cynical     mothers from any financial assistance
the potential for damage to the child      exercise. There is no popular demand        from the 2006 Budget.
being removed from the parents is too      for any change to the Constitution.
great. There is ample evidence avail-      The demand is coming from those             The Children's Rights Alliance, funded
able to show that taking children into     with a commercial interest in children      by the taxpayer to undermine parents,
care unnecessarily is in itself an         and those who want to gain control of       have admitted that while this may
abuse. A child who is taken away from      families and children. Many of these        make no difference to child protection,
a home where they feel loved and           have received millions in government        it will lead to more children in care.
secure is more likely to develop           funding for years, yet they claim prob-     This is not a good thing for the rea-
detached feelings, have difficulties       lems with child neglect and abuse is        sons I have already pointed out. Most
forming close relationships, and may       growing.                                    tellingly perhaps is a recent assertion
ultimately develop traits of an anti-                                                  by a spokesperson for the ISPCC in
social personality disorder.               There are two possibilities here. First-    Nov 2005, who stated that profession-
                                           ly, these agencies are incompetent.         al child care workers, rather than par-
It has been admitted that this amend-      Secondly, they are in the business of       ents, knew what was best for children.
ment, should it pass, will lead to an      damaged children. The evidence
increase in children in care.              inclines us to believe the latter. Claims                           cont’d on page 7

SOLAS February 2007 Vol 15 No 1                                                                                      Page 5
Actively Pro-Life

                                                                                           Maria Scanlan

         ur weekly street sessions and        rain, praying as each person draws           It is essential to be there; it is literally
         work outside Marie Stopes            near that they will not approach the         a matter of life or death. Only by our
         abortion referral clinic contin-     door of this clinic, that one really feels   prayers and God's mercy will those
ue in this cold and wet weather. At           the proximity of the abortion industry.      unborn babies who pass us by in their
times, this work can be difficult as you      Being there is more upsetting than           mothers’ wombs will one day live the
come across extraordinary apathy              any other experience, knowing that           life that was always intended for them.
and indifference to the rights of the         the unborn baby's life is considered to      Please work with us to ensure that
most vulnerable.                              be nothing more than a blob of cells.        these babies will be given the right to
                                                                                           life and that we will never allow chil-
When outside Marie Stopes, the clinic         We are encouraged by the work of             dren to be brutally ripped apart in this
which is responsible for the most             Bernie Smyth and Precious Life, who          country in the name of choice.
abortion referrals in the country, one        through their daily presence outside
feels the nearness of the brutal reality      abortion referral clinics have closed        YD have a continuous presence out-
of abortion. Talking to people on the         seven clinics in Northern Ireland.           side Marie Stopes. Our members

                                                                                    Eoghan giving a multimedia presentation to
                                                                                   pupils in a South Dublin School in December

street about the rights of the unborn         When people protest to Bernie that           include students, nurses and teach-
child, and how abortion rips an inno-         they pray for babies who are about to        ers who are unable to devote full time
cent baby to pieces, doesn't compare          die, she replies that when someone is        to this vital work. We would really wel-
with being outside an actual clinic           dying they deserve, and are entitled         come any volunteers willing to give
where women and often very young              to, the presence of the priest to pray       time, even an hour per month, to pray
girls pass in, sometimes accompa-             at their bedside - surely these inno-        outside the clinic to defend unborn life
nied by older women, maybe their              cent babies deserve the same dignity.        in this way.
mothers. Sometimes they refuse to
talk or even to take literature. It is both   Staff at the clinic are anything but wel-    On occasions when a baby is saved it
chilling and frightening to be there          coming to our presence; at the vigil         is the very best place to be in the
knowing that you may be the only one          before Christmas, and often even             world, but it can be hard. Saying that,
to speak on behalf of the unborn child        when there are only two or three girls       nothing compares to the joy of know-
within them, who is being afforded            praying quietly outside, they call the       ing that a baby's life is being saved.
absolutely no rights.                         Gardaí, claiming falsely that we are         Please pray that through our work we
                                              intimidating those who enter.                may touch the hearts and minds of
It is when standing in the cold and                                                        those we meet.

Page 6                                                                                     SOLAS February 2007 Vol 15 No 1
                      cont’d from page 7
                                             the provisions are positivist in nature,    posal,      one which
                                             which is an approach to human rights        would remove the
                                             that is not in keeping with the natural     safeguards put in
Parents. Parents love their children.
                                             law philosophy, values and tradition        place to protect par-
They gain no financial reward for
                                             upon which Ireland's Constitution, its      ents and children from
doing so. Indeed they make many
                                             laws, and its recognition of human          the permanent harm which may be
sacrifices to provide for them. The
                                             rights, are based.                          inflicted by the State. We would like to
State is incapable of loving children
                                                                                         know what influence homosexual and
but may have an interest in controlling
                                             If there is a conflict between provi-       lesbian lobbyists - who are seeking to
how they are raised or what values
                                             sions of the CRC and the Irish Consti-      have same-sex adoption legalised -
are passed onto them. This proposed
                                             tution, it is the Constitution that must    have had on the Minister in this
referendum pits the State and other
                                             prevail. International instruments that     regard? Will the Minister give assur-
agencies with a commercial interest in
                                             are in conflict with the Constitution       ances that children may not, now or in
children's welfare against the natural
                                             cannot operate within this jurisdiction,    the future, be adopted by same-sex
guardians of children. Children need
                                             nor judicial or other attention be given    unions who cannot provide the loving,
their parents; no State institution can
                                             to them. Indeed, it is incumbent upon       secure environment that children
give them the love they need. But
                                             the Government not to ratify on behalf      need?
instead of investing in families this
                                             of the State, anything which contra-
government seems bent on attacking
                                             venes the Constitution, to which the        CONCLUSION
                                             State is subject. If there is a conflict,   In conclusion, proposals to dilute
                                             the question is, why was it signed and      parental and family rights will merely
                                             ratified in full on behalf of the State?    rob children of their rights to have par-
This referendum came on the heels of
                                             What was the democratic basis of its        ents. These proposals are not about
the wrist-slapping this government
                                             ratification by Ireland - there was no      giving children rights but about giving
received from the UN because The
                                             widespread consultation and approval        the State power. When the State
Convention on the Rights of the Child
                                             by the Irish people.                        exercised undue power previously in
(CRC) had not been adopted in Ire-
                                                                                         this country to seize children from
land. We would remind the Minister
                                             M&CC notes that, according to               their parents, those children were
that he is answerable to the people of
                                             reports in The Irish Times and else-        lumped in industrial schools where
Ireland, not some outside unelected
                                             where, the government is planning to        they suffered dreadful neglect and
                                             amend the Constitution to allow any         abuse. Now the State wants to place
                                             child to be adopted, whatever the           our children in another form of State
What is the philosophical/ideological
                                             marital status of their parents. We         Institution. It’s up to parents to stop
basis of this UN instrument? Many of
                                             consider this to be an outrageous pro-      them.

    Barnardos CEO, Fergus Finlay, former adviser to the Labour Party, who
  receive millions every year from the tax payer to alleviate child poverty. But
   Barnados claim the problem is getting worse. So what are they doing with
  the millions they receive? Spending it on propaganda for their referendum?

SOLAS February 2007 Vol 15 No 1                                                                                        Page 7
Putting the Family First

                                                                                    Niamh Uí Bhrian

    f you've done everything right for     them, relying on the complexity of the    who had never before made their
    your family in Ireland, expect to be   tax system to confuse the punters.        voices heard. We used a leaflet,
    in turn, ignored, discriminated        The fact that every sort of advocacy      booklets, press ads and a website to
against and attacked by the State. If,     group under the sun - from left-wing      make the facts known and to encour-
like the majority of people, you've pro-   lesbians to bogus children's rights       age families to lobby the Minister for
vided your children with the stability     groups - are lavishly funded is hidden    Family and Social Affairs, Séamus
and security of a family based on mar-     in the impenetrable shifting of monies    Brennan, demanding that childcare
riage, and if one of you have given up     from one department and State body        payments be made to all families, and
a well-paid job to make sure your chil-    to another, before landing up in the      not just those already enjoying the
dren are properly cared for, then          bank accounts of anti-family organisa-    benefit of two incomes.
you're one of those families that this     tions.
government loves to punish.                                                          Parents responded in such huge
                                           In October 2005, Junior Minister          numbers that Séamus Brennan's
Sounds crazy? It is, unfortunately, the    Frank Fahey attended a report launch      office ran for cover, asking us at one
sorry truth. In fact, if you work night    for the National Women's Council and      point to defer calls to the Minister for
and day to earn a decent wage to           promised that the forthcoming Budget      Finance's office! Following an inten-
support a large or growing family, the     would give further tax breaks to dou-     sive nationwide campaign, an
Minister for Finance will make sure        ble-income families to cover the costs    Taoiseach, Bertie Ahern, stood up in
you pay the price - up to €6,238 in        of childcare, while completely exclud-    the Dáil to announce that full-time
additional taxes every year under the      ing full-time mothers who had such        mothers would not suffer further in
disgraceful system of tax individuali-     ridiculous notions about loving and       this budget. To the outrage of femi-
sation.                                    caring for their own children.            nists and the nastier sort of journalist
                                                                                     - Brenda Power for example - the gov-
Most families are unaware that they        In response, the M&CC launched the        ernment granted a universal payment
suffer this discrimination, and the gov-   Family First project, which informed      to all families.
ernment is in no rush to explain it to     and motivated thousands of parents

                                                                          Members of Mother & Child and Family First
                                                                          Campaigns when they went to see Minister
                                                                                 Séamus Brennan recently

Page 8                                                                               SOLAS February 2007 Vol 15 No 1
What the Family First had started               mercial nursery care.                       mothers opt to
begun to gather speed. As Budget                                                            become full-time
2007 was being decided last Novem-              The evidence showing that day-              parents or work
ber, we sent a further submission to            care is damaging to young children          reduced hours and
Séamus Brennan and asked for a                  is now overwhelming, with experts           that only one-in-
meeting. Having formed the National             in other jurisdictions expressing           four women return to full-time work
Family Alliance, 17 of us met with the          serious concern and calling for a           once they have a family.
Minister and argued the following:              renewed debate on national policy
                                                in regard to childcare. That debate      o Since State policy actively discour-
o The family is deserving of support            - one where the views of parents           ages having and rearing children, it
  and protection because the family             are heard, and the
  based on marriage is the key factor           evidence is objec-
  in making a stable, secure and                tively examined - is
  strong society. The findings of liter-        overdue in Ireland.
  ally hundreds of longitudinal stud-
  ies have confirmed that children              The fact remains
  fare better when raised by both               that depriving chil-
  their biological parents within the           dren of loving one-
  structure of the married family.              to-one parental
                                                care causes long-
   But in Ireland, it is precisely the          term behavioural
   married families - who are provid-           and developmen-
   ing Irish society, and the State,            tal problems. The
   with stability and security - that suf-      cost of inflicting
   fer discrimination, financial penal-         this damage on a
   ties and a lack of State support.            significant pro-
                                                portion of the
   Organisations representing the tra-          nation's children
   ditional married family receive no           is incalculable
   State funding; full-time mothers             for those chil-
   are denied support which would               dren, for society
   allow them to network, respond               and for the tax-
   and advocate; and no provision is            payer.
   made for programmes which
   emphasise the importance of mar-          o Yet, since 2000 it
   riage or of raising children.                is the family
                                                with just one
o In finalising the 2006 Budget the             wage - those         Family First Booklet wh
                                                                                             ich was widely distribute
                                                                                                                       d last year
   Fianna Fáil/PD coalition decided to          doing the very
   listen to parents and did not dis-           best they can
   criminate against single-income              for their children - who are being          is little wonder that birth
   families when allocating payments            penalised. Tax individualisation            rates and fertility rates in Ireland
   to cover the cost of caring for chil-        forces the one-wage family to pay           continue to fall and are now below
   dren. An Irish Times/MRBI poll in            an additional tax of up to €6,238           replacement level. As the 2005
   the weeks following that Budget              every year. This punitive tax, in           report of the EU Commission -
   found that satisfaction with the             effect, cancels out the assistance          Confronting Demographic Change:
   Coalition's handling of childcare            that Child Benefit gives to many            A New Solidarity between the Gen-
   rose by 8%.                                  single-income families.                     erations - confirmed, immigration
                                                                                            can no longer be relied on to miti-
o Yet government policy remains firm-        o A poll taken by the Irish Examiner           gate the impact of our failure to
   ly in favour of providing more child-        in November 2005 showed that the            maintain a natural growth in popu-
   care places for mothers forced out           majority of Irish parents see full-         lation. While immigration may be
   to work, while allocating the enor-          time parenting as the ideal child-          currently boosting the Irish popula-
   mous sum of a billion Euro to those          care arrangement. The poll also
   in the business of providing com-            found that the majority of new                                    cont’d on page 15

SOLAS February 2007 Vol 15 No 1                                                                                         Page 9
State-funded Murder

                                                                              Linda Ní Ghormáin

       he Health Service Executive        for an abortion on the grounds that         er, the deaths of these babies and the
       (HSE) has again been using         she was suicidal. She subsequently          trauma inflicted on these young girls
       taxpayers' monies to fund the      suffered severe depression and was,         would appear to be insufficient. Fine
murder of Irish babies abroad. It was     in fact, suicidal after she had the abor-   Gael have pounced on this latest
confirmed in December that a girl,        tion.                                       state funded murder to call for abor-
under the age of 17, in the care of the                                               tion in Ireland. Health spokesman Dr
State, was taken out of the country for   Pro-life campaigners have tried tire-       Liam Twomey stated: “ It is an obvi-
an abortion and that a court order was    lessly since then to make the health        ous hypocrisy that we would not allow
secured to kill the baby.                 boards accountable for their actions        abortion in this country, yet pay for
                                          and to desist from this practice. The       girls in State care to travel abroad for
This is not the first time the health     State’s response has been the arrest        one….if Fine Gael gets into Govern-
boards have facilitated the procure-      of Donal O'Driscoll and Colm                ment we will look at this area as a pri-
ment of abortions abroad. Two             Callanan, at a pro life protest against     ority.”
teenagers were brought to Britain         the Midlands Health Board in Tullam-
between the 2002 referendum and           ore last year. This did not deter them.     The Labour Party also repeated their
March 2003. The HSE also paid for a       For pro-abortion campaigners howev-         now incredibly tiresome demand for
girl to travel for an                                                                                      legislation
abortion in 2005. It                                                                                       based on the
begs the question                                                                                          1992 ‘X’ case,
of how young girls                                                                                         despite the fact
who are supposed-                                                                                          that abortion
ly in the “care” of                                                                                        referenda
the      HSE      are                                                                                      since       then
repeatedly finding                                                                                         have made it
themselves in crisis                                                                                       clear that the
pregnancy situa-                                                                                           wishes of the
tions, and in partic-                                                                                      majority of the
ular,      becoming                                                                                        Irish public is to
pregnant through                                                                                           keep Ireland
rape.                                                                                                      abortion free.

Their willingness to                                                                                         It is now time
rush girls off to                                                                                            for the State to
Britain for abortions                                                                                        realise      the
suggests a reckless                                                                                          same and to
and quite frankly,                                                                                           honour       the
profoundly disturb-                                                                                          wishes of the
ing attempt to recti-                                                                                        Irish people ,
fy their own short-                                                                                          ceasing to use
comings as carers.                                                                                           their taxpayers
Surely they should                                                                                           money to fund
have         learned                                                                                         abortions
something from the                                                                                           abroad.
C case in which a
14-year-old girl, a
victim of rape, was
taken into care by
the     State     and     Eadaoin and Cormac at the Christmas
brought to England          Vigil at the Marie Stopes Centre

Page 10                                                                               SOLAS February 2007 Vol 15 No 1
March for Life
                                                                                              Justin Bell
      anuary has been a whirlwind for      Here is how I break it down. First, it is   an end in itself. We cannot go and say
      me, with two recent weekend          great to gather in celebration and          we punched our pro-life card for the
      trips: one to Washington D.C.        defence of life. Of course it is horrific   year, just as it would be suspect to
and the next to Dakota. One to my          that we are reminded of the date of         only make our obligation on Sunday
nation's capital and, at this time of      legalised abortion. We hope for the         and say we are living our Catholic
year, to my nation's icebox. Different     day it is criminalised. Yet, if this is     faith. Actually, a consistent prayer life
trips but connected by those who love      someday soon, we could just as easi-        and receiving the sacraments should
and defend life.                           ly gather again to protest against the      be equalled by active pro-life work.
                                           plague of contraception and educate         There are a huge variety of ways we
One prominent pro-lifer hit the mark       folks on the beauty of God's plan of        can be involved.
when he said in Washington that it is      sexuality in marriage. If contraception
a shame that we had to be there. And       ended, we could gather to build up the      Finally, the youth are taking over the
he is right - it is a shame in the USA     traditional family against attacks.         March and it is great! Young universi-
that we have had over 34 years of          What it all comes down to is our own        ty students gathered on Saturday,
legalised abortion.                        relationship with Jesus in His Catholic     27th January in front of a closed (for
                                           Church, and the spread of his saving        the day) abortion clinic in Fargo, ND to
At the same time I felt that weekend,      message. This is not my original            pray the rosary and Divine Mercy
in a sense, was a celebration of life. I   thought, but a truth that is apparent.      chaplet. This was with a temperature
met up with friends from different         The Son of God connects people              that was -20C and a wind blowing that
FOCUS teams, students who went on          because He is the Way, the Truth, and       made it -31C! Yes, my country has
my pro-life mission trip to Ireland last   the Life.                                   great people, young and old, who are
summer, friends from Youth Defence                                                     excited to be alive and defend life. So
who made it over, parents of a great       The second point I wish to illustrate is    does yours! Let's give the glory to God
friend of mine, etc.                       that going to the March for Life is not     and seek His grace in the battle.

                                                         YD member Carolyn with Senator Brownback. The Senator has been
                                                         steadfast in his opposition to unethical embryonic stem cell research

SOLAS February 2007 Vol 15 No 1                                                                                      Page 11
Medic’s Statement
AN   IMPORTANT STATEMENT HAS                There is now strong evidence that          website an official statement that
BEEN ISSUED BY PSYCHIATRISTS                women who choose abortion subse-           denied a link between abortion and
AND OBSTETRICIANS AND GYNAE-                quently suffer from higher rates of        psychological harm.(2)
COLOGISTS DRAWING ATTENTION                 depression, self-harm and psychiatric
TO   THE    PSYCHOLOGICAL          ILL      hospitalisation than those who carry       This, together with the findings of
EFFECTS OF ABORTION.         WE   HAVE      their babies to term. Factors associat-    other recent major studies and
REPRINTED IT IN FULL FOR YOUR               ed with a negative psychological out-      reviews, means that women having
INFORMATION:                                come include low social class, finan-      abortions can no longer be said to
                                            cial problems, poor support from           have a low risk of suffering from psy-
STATEMENT ON PSYCHOLOGICAL                  close relationships, smoking, nega-        chiatric conditions like depression.
CONSEQUENCES OF ABORTION                    tive religious or cultural attitudes to
                                            abortion, previous psychiatric history     The RCOG Sep 2004 guidance on
Since 27 October 1967, more than six        or mood disturbance, abortion for          abortion, which predates this latest
million abortions have been per-            foetal abnormality and serious med-        research, plays down a link between
formed in Britain, over 95% on              ical complications.                        abortion and psychological harm:
grounds of safeguarding the physical
                                            This evidence has been strengthened        'Some studies suggest that rates of
or mental health of the mother or
                                            by the findings of a large longitudinal,   psychiatric illness or self-harm are
existing children. Of these the vast
                                            methodologically robust study from         higher among women who have had
majority have been performed in the
                                            New Zealand published in the Journal       an abortion compared with women
belief that abortion safeguards the
                                            of Child Psychology and Psychiatry in      who give birth and to nonpregnant
mental health of women with
                                            January 2006.(1) This demonstrated         women of similar age. It must be
unplanned pregnancies.
                                            that women who had abortions had           borne in mind that these findings do
                                            twice the level of mental health prob-     not imply a causal association and
As specialists in Psychiatry and
                                            lems and three times the risk of major     may reflect continuation of pre-exist-
Obstetrics and Gynaecology, we
                                            depressive illness as those who had        ing conditions.'(3)
would like to draw attention to the
strengthening evidence that there are       either given birth or never been preg-
                                                                                       Similarly, the RCP, in a 1993 state-
psychological ill effects after abortion,   nant. This research has set a new
                                                                                       ment, which does not appear to have
and call upon both the Royal College        landmark, showing that even those
                                                                                       been subsequently revised, has stat-
of Psychiatrists (RCP) and the Royal        without any past mental health prob-
                                                                                       ed: The RCP finds that the risks to
College of Obstetricians and Gynae-         lems are also at risk. As a conse-
                                                                                       psychological health from the termi-
cologists (RCOG) to revise their guid-      quence the American Psychological
                                                                                       nation of pregnancy in the first
ance that currently plays down a link.      Association has withdrawn from their
                                                                                                          cont’d on next page

                                                                   Carolyn and Rebecca met with Dr Alveda King, niece of
                                                                        Martin Luther King, during the March for LIfe

Page 12                                                                                SOLAS February 2007 Vol 15 No 1
                                                                                Eoghan de Faoite
         uring 15 years of pro-life com-   cation has never been as important as        activities, and comprehensive and up-
         municating, we have always        it is today, YD's first release of 2007 is   to-date information on the situation in
         realised the importance of        an electrifying new promotional DVD          Ireland, this inspiring documentary-
spreading the pro-life message using       which shows the activities and pro-          style DVD leaves you ultra-motivated
as many different media and formats        jects of YD in an exciting, engaging         and asking yourself just what you can
as possible. As the leading source of      and motivating manner. Aptly titled          do to assist YD in the day-to-day bat-
pro-life information in Ireland today,     'Keeping Ireland Abortion Free', this        tle to save unborn children.
Youth Defence (YD) has long recog-         twenty-minute DVD explores the               To receive your free copy of the DVD
nised that in order to reach a wider       many facets of YD's pro-life efforts.        you can contact Prue at the Life
audience with the truth about abor-        Incorporating interviews with mem-           House on 01 8730463 or email her on
tion, we must constantly strive to         bers, news footage of YD's many    
achieve original and novel marketing

Hundreds of thousands of Irish people
read our leaflets, postcards, posters,
brochures, articles and reports every
year and our annual Roadshows,
Conferences and College Tours are
another primary means of bringing the
message of life to the public. But in
this age of technological advances we
also recognise the need to be as con-
temporary as possible, and we
achieve this by designing and main-
taining the most innovative and excit-
ing pro-life websites, producing CDs
and videos, and developing our com-
puter-based programs for both prima-
ry and secondary students.

Understanding that visual communi-

trimester are much less than the risks     fessionals counselling women with            and Gynaecologist, Bridgend
associated with proceeding with a          unplanned pregnancy if the RCP and           E SHARPE, Consultant in General Adult
pregnancy which is clearly harming         RCOG were to update their guidance           A SIMS, Past President Royal College of
the mother's mental health. There is       to reflect accurately the latest evi-        Psychiatrists
no evidence in such cases of an            dence. We would also encourage the           P SIMS, Consultant Gynaecologist, Hexham
                                                                                        J SMITHIES, Consultant Psychiatrist, Hamp-
increased risk of major psychiatric dis-   government to ensure that future
order or of long-lasting psychological     abortion notifications clearly distin-       G STIRRAT, Emeritus Professor of Obstet-
distress.(4)                               guish between physical and mental            rics & Gynaecology, Bristol
                                           health grounds for abortion, and that        A TRELOAR, Consultant Psychiatrist, Lon-
Both these sets of guidance from                                                        don
                                           better post-abortion care is more
Royal Colleges appear to be out of         readily accessible.                          (1) Fergusson DM, Horwood LJ, Ridder EM. Abor-
step with the latest evidence and now                                                   tion in young women and subsequent mental
require revision. Women considering
                                                                                        health. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychia-
                                           R BALFOUR, Emeritus Consultant Obstetri-
                                                                                        try 2006 Jan;47(1):16-24
an abortion have a right to know that      cian and Gynaecologist, Bridgend             (2)
                                           P CASEY, Professor of Psychiatry, UCD
that there may be long-term adverse        M FOYLE, Consultant Psychiatrist, London     (3)
psychological effects. It would there-     L GUINNESS, Consultant Psychiatrist, Sur-
fore help doctors and other health pro-    rey                                          (4) RCPSych. Psychiatric Indications for Abortion.
                                           T LEWIS, Emeritus Consultant Obstetrician    Press Release (1 July 1994)

SOLAS February 2007 Vol 15 No 1                                                                                         Page 13
                                                                                   At the March for Life in Washington, DC
                                                                                              in January 2007

                                           vant in a case where one is arguing for      do just that in determining that “the
                     cont’d from page 3
                                           protection for something that is not         three frozen embryos are not
stances in which the amendment             explicitly protected. The term unborn        unborn”……
arose. Firstly, how does he know what      at its simplest is all-inclusive rather
the intention of the people was in 1983    than exclusive, and without evidence         There was much speculation as to
- nothing in his judgment indicates        that something is to be specifically         what would happen after this judg-
how he does. Secondly, the wording         excluded from the term, it is reason-        ment, particularly with the mother of
of the 1983 amendment does not refer       able to conclude that it does, by            the embryos leaving it quite late to
to the protection of the unborn exclu-     nature, cover all the unborn. The prac-      decide whether to appeal. Mary Har-
sively from abortion. Thirdly, the word-   tical difficulties that may flow from        ney rowed in straight away, stating
ing does not limit protection of the       such an interpretation is not a problem      that she had instructed her depart-
unborn in the womb (the 2002 abor-         for the people but one for the legisla-      ment to prepare legislation on IVF.
tion amendment would have had the          ture, if it has legalised or allowed prac-   Most political commentators felt it
effect of doing so, but it was thankful-   tices operate that are in fact unconsti-     would be hugely unlikely for anything
ly defeated).                              tutional. This is, I think, an important     to happen prior to the election.
                                           factor (and perhaps a fundamental
I do not understand why historical         reason) for this judgment. The positive      In any event, the judgment goes onto
context or the intention of the amend-     obligation on the State by its laws to       the long list of pending Supreme Court
ment has to be considered in inter-        defend and vindicate the right to life of    Appeals, where the current waiting
preting a sentence: “The State             the unborn could merit another article       time is approximately a year. In Capi-
acknowledges the right to life of the      in itself.                                   tal Radio Productions v Radio 2000,
unborn”. There is a simple logical                                                      the Supreme Court held that it had an
interpretation that flows from this        A further blaring inconsistency occurs       obligation to give priority to any matter
statement, and that is that the State      later in the judgment, and is one that,      that required urgent attention, such as
acknowledges the rights of all those       in effect, nullifies his own judgment.       family law matters or habeas corpus
not yet born. Previous judgments in        This is when Justice McGovern goes           applications. It said there could be cri-
this area have arisen primarily in rela-   on to conclude that “It is not for the       sis situations which required the Court
tion to the second half of the amend-      Courts to decide whether the word            to drop everything and attend to the
ment and the interpretation of the bal-    “unborn” should include embryos in-          matter. Whether forces push this case
ance of the right to life of the mother    vitro. This is a matter for the Oireach-     higher up the list, we will have to wait
with that of her child. However, there     tas, or for the people, in the event that    and see, but again, it would appear
is no such difficulty in the present       a Constitutional Amendment is put            that this is highly unlikely to happen
case. Historical context may be rele-      before them.” And then he goes on to         prior to the election in May.

Page 14                                                                                 SOLAS February 2007 Vol 15 No 1
                                                 and ageing population cannot sup-         At the end of the meeting
                      cont’d from page 9
                                                 port it. The Minister himself has         we asked the Minister
   tion, immigrants are also following           already warned of mandatory pay-          that funding be given to
   current birth and fertility trends -          ments to pensions schemes and             establish a National
   adding to our future pensions bur-            the OECD has asserted that Irish          Office for Families which would pro-
   den, without providing sufficient             people should consider working            vide advice and support for families
   taxpayers to meet that burden.                until they are 85 years of age.           and full-time parents, and undertake
                                                                                           research into families' needs and the
o As our culture, driven by State poli-      o Much has been made of the decline           continuing fall in fertility rates.
  cy, becomes less inclined towards            in social capital which has impact-
  families and children, our fertility         ed on communities, social net-              We also proposed that a review of
  rates will continue to fall. The effect      works and neighbourliness. How-             services currently being offered to
  on our growth rates and our ability          ever, in the hierarchy of values            families be undertaken, and an analy-
  to meet our future liabilities may           subscribed to by successive gov-            sis of the evolution of State policy in
  quickly become devastating. Last             ernments, the primary value is the          other jurisdictions be examined. We
  month, the German Federal Statis-            creation of a strong economy, not a         said that it was also necessary to
  tics Office said that the problem of         strong community. Pushing moth-             develop programmes to support mar-
  its shrinking and aging population           ers out to work creates time-poor           riage, families, full-time parents and
  was 'irreversible'. As we will dis-          families with a subsequent decline          the rearing of children.
  cover, unless the State takes                in active participation in society.
  immediate action, a cultural shift                                                       We're taking this fight to end discrimi-
  away from marriage and children is         o Two-thirds of mothers - as well as          nation against the family all the way.
  not easy to reverse.                          some fathers - are at home part-           It's time families fought for their rights
                                                time or full-time, and the number of       and won.
o Ireland's pensions burden will                mothers working in the home rises
  become crippling when a shrinking             as their families grow.

                             Youth Defence meets organising Bishop of World Youth Day
   Most Rev Anthony Fisher OP, DD, is a friar of the Order of Preachers ('Dominicans') and Titular Bishop of Buruni. Members
   of YD received an invitation to present their report, 'No Exceptions' to Rev Fisher just last month as he visited Ireland from
                          Australia. Here Prue discusses the contents of the report with Bishop Fisher.

SOLAS February 2007 Vol 15 No 1                                                                                            Page 15
                                           Bella - the Movie
                                                        hat kind of film could boast to have
                                                        saved tiny babies before it was even
                                                        officially released? Alejandro Gomez
                                           Monteverde’s new feature-length movie ‘Bella’ can claim just
                                           that. ‘Bella’, starring Mexican heartthrob Eduardo Verastegui
                                           and the Emmy award winning Tammy Blanchard, is set to be the
                                           pro-life film of the decade. Sensitively detailing the moving story
                                           of the decisions a young unmarried woman faces when faced
                                           with an unexpected pregnancy, the film’s poignant portrayal of
                                           her eventual decision will leave viewers speechless.

                                           Set for release later this year, this remarkable film has already
                                           swept the pool at the Toronto International Film Festival of 2006,
                                           winning the People’s Choice Award, a prestigious title which
                                           often precedes an Oscar win. More importantly, during some of
             Linda                         the pre-release screenings throughout America, this film has
                                           reportedly already changed the minds of several women con-
Solas     is published five times yearly   sidering abortions. And with its superior cinematography, superb
          by Solas Publications            casting and strong Christian messages, there is no reason to
          60a Capel Street, Dublin 1       suppose it will not continue to be highly influential in encourag-
          T: 353 1 873 0465                ing women to nurture that which is most precious.
          F: 353 1 873 0464
                                           Alejandro Gomez Monteverde, who also co-wrote the original
                                           screenplay with Patrick Million, masterfully directs a feature with
                                           strong pro-life and spiritual messages. Fast-paced and alter-
                                           nately saddening, triumphant and inspiring, the storyline is also
                                           one of victory against overwhelming odds. Set over the course
                                           of a day in the lives of two young New Yorkers, Jose and Nina,
                                           this film promises to be a very powerful yet subtle tool in edu-
                                           cating our youth that abortion is never an answer, and that there
                                           is always hope for a woman in even the most challenging of cir-

Page 16                                                                SOLAS February 2007 Vol 15 No 1

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