News Roundup

Court hears woman ‘forced into abortion’ by abusive husband

A woman who became pregnant after marrying an Irish man was forced by her “violent and abusive” husband to have the baby aborted in a Manchester clinic, the High Court was told on Friday. The woman is originally from Africa and is under threat of deportation now that her marriage to the Irish man has been dissolved. The court was told the man was particularly abusive after the woman became pregnant. He put extreme pressure on her to terminate the pregnancy. “He had arranged everything from the flight ticket to the clinic procedure because I wanted to keep my baby and had categorically refused to have an abortion,” the woman said in a sworn statement. The woman said her husband continued to be hostile about it and threatened to end their relationship and have her immigration status cancelled. Her father in law was also abusive to her and often called her “a black bitch.” The court was told that following the woman’s abortion her mental health suffered and the marriage was dissolved. She returned to her home country to recover with the help of her family and came back to Ireland later through Northern Ireland.

Canadian PM urged to lobby Varadkar for Ireland ‘to be seen as the modern country that it is’ on abortion

A Canadian pro-abortion group has called on the Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, to lobby his Irish counterpart, Leo Varadkar, during an official visit by the Taoiseach to Canada. “With the Irish Prime Minister coming to Canada, there is a really great opportunity to talk about women’s rights, reproductive rights and access to abortion,” said Meghan Doherty, global policy and advocacy officer at Action Canada for Sexual Health and Rights. “The [Canadian] Prime Minister’s stance … could be quite persuasive with the Irish government to encourage them to be progressive, to respect women’s rights and to be seen as the modern country that it is.”
The Pro Life Campaign in Ireland responded by shining a light on Canada’s own abortion record which it described as barbaric and grotesque. Spokesperson Dr Ruth Cullen said she was surprised that abortion campaigners are using the Taoiseach’s trip to Canada to try and drum up support for abortion in Ireland “given Canada’s particularly grotesque abortion laws”.
“Canada in effect provides no legal protection for unborn babies throughout the entire nine months of pregnancy”. She continued: “Official Canadian figures show that over a ten year period starting in 2000, 491 babies who survived botched abortions were abandoned by medical staff and left to die alone in the corners of hospitals. These figures reveal the chilling and truly barbaric reality of legalised abortion. It’s a bit much the way Ireland’s pro-life laws are constantly attacked with little or no criticism or debate on what happens in other countries. Implied in the criticism of Ireland is that countries like Canada offer an example to the world when it comes to abortion legislation. An incredible 1 in 5 pregnancies in Canada end in abortion and there is no legal protection for unborn babies, right up to birth. “If an issue is going to be made of Ireland’s abortion laws in the coming days, then the inconvenient truth about Canada’s abortion law must also be front and centre of any discussion.”

Court refuses to overturn Northern Ireland’s laws on marriage

The High Court in Belfast yesterday refused to make same-sex marriage legal in the jurisdiction.  Mr Justice O’Hara said: “It’s not the role of a judge to decide social policy, that is for the Executive and the Assembly under our Constitution.”  Two gay couples took the case and argued that the refusal to legislate for same-sex marriage breaches their entitlement to family life and marriage under the European Convention on Human Rights. In the proceedings, Northern Ireland was described as “a blot on the map” seen by the rest of the world as backward-looking and divided. The judge however said the challenge was going against all recent European case law. “Put simply, the Strasbourg court has not recognised any right to same-sex marriage,” said Mr Justice O’Hara. In a separate case, the judge also ruled there was no discrimination in the North’s refusal to recognise same-sex marriages from elsewhere in the UK, treating them instead as civil partnerships. He said: “The Strasbourg court has held that same-sex marriage is not even a (European) Convention right. While it’s open to government and parliament to provide for it, they are not obliged to do so and whether they do so is a matter for them, not the courts.” He added: “The judgment I have to reach is not based on social policy, but on the law.”


Staff at Australian broadcaster receive ‘trauma toolkit’ to deal with distress from same-sex marriage debate

ABC, the Australian version of the BBC, has offered staff a counselling hotline and “trauma toolkit” to help distressed employees during the country’s upcoming same-sex marriage postal plebiscitein November. Managers have been provided with strict guidelines on how to spot a staff member who is suffering from trauma, including what is called ‘vicarious trauma’: “The potential for vicarious trauma (also known as secondary trauma, compassion fatigue and burnout) is high when we feel ­connected to events occurring,” the document said. “Vicarious traumatisation means that we connect with the vulnerability of the situation and may be emotionally engaged with the story or event because of this.” Those affected by a potentially traumatic event (PTE) are enocuraged to seek help: “Over 65 Peer Support Leaders are available across the ABC and provide a listening ear to anyone who needs to discuss a PTE”.

Some politicians have sharply criticised the move. “I want to know where the Christian helpline is, particularly after the ABC themselves broadcast outrageous slurs against those who go to church, incorrectly claiming they were more likely to engage in domestic violence,” Senator Matthew Canavan told The Australian yesterday. “They have no authority in these debates to be taking the moral high ground when they have been some of the worst perpetrators of prejudice and bigotry in the last few months.” Liberal senator Eric Abetz said it showed the “gross and deliberate bias” of the taxpayer-funded broad­caster, “highlighted by the clear assumption that only one side of the debate might be dealt with inappropriately”.

“There is no offer of counselling and assistance for those that might be vilified and attacked for holding a view opposed to the ABC’s groupthink in favour of changing the definition of marriage,” Senator Abetz said.


As protestant bigotry fades, a new ‘progressive’ bigotry rises, says Scottish Archbishop

The Archbishop of Glasgow, Philip Tartaglia, has said that although old-fashioned Protestant bigotry may have faded, more “sophisticated” forms of discrimination have taken its place. Speaking to a convocation of priests in Philadelphia, he said: “Atheists and secularists in the 1960s and 1970s were content to ignore or mock the Catholic Church, but today many see her as the single most formidable threat to their notions of justice and equality, particularly when it comes to matters of human sexuality. If the Church dissents from today’s new rulebook for the human person – and she must – then she should expect rough treatment.”

He said the hostility came from a “new ‘religious’ consensus” formed from a “combination of scepticism, consumer appetite and political intolerance”. “It masks itself with progressive vocabulary, but its targets tend to be practising Christians.”


Syrian Archbishop says West has ‘betrayed’ Middle East Christians

The West has failed to do enough to protect Christian minorities in the Middle East, the Syriac Catholic Patriarch has said. “I can tell you, we’ve been not only abandoned by the Western countries, but even we have been betrayed,” Patriarch Ignace Joseph III Younan told The Southern Cross, newspaper of the Diocese of San Diego.

“We Christians in the Middle East … are the indigenous communities of these countries,” Patriarch Younan said, noting that it was in this region that Christianity was born. “We’ve been there for millennia and we have been always persecuted. And now … our very survival is at stake.” Regrettably, Patriarch Younan said, Western leaders have succumbed to “pandering” and utilizing “politically correct language” in their dealings with the Middle East. He said that, unless the United States and European nations demonstrate that they have the political will to speak honestly with the region’s leaders, helping them to create “a civilized constitution” and insisting that they separate religion and politics, “there is no hope for the future.”


Courts to decide on same-sex marriage in Northern Ireland tomorrow

The High Court in Belfast will decide tomorrow if same-sex marriages will be recognised in the North for the first time ever. A trio of cases are being adjudicated that cover two separate issues. One is whether same-sex marriages from elsewhere in the UK should be regarded as such in the North. Under current law, they are treated as civil partnerships. Secondly, the Court must decide whether marriage laws in the North itself might be redefined so that same-sex marriage would be made legally available. The cases have been under consideration for almost two years by Mr. Justice O’Hara and are being dealt with at the same time because of the close nature of the issues.


Reports of elimination of Downs in Iceland ‘conceals an awful truth’

A recent report from CBS News in the US that Down Syndrome births have been “almost eliminated” in Iceland revealed an awful truth behind that reality. Far from Iceland having found a cure for the condition, or a means of treating it in utero, instead they have simply been clinically efficient in screening for the disease and aborting those children found with Downs. Close to 100% of women in Iceland who received that diagnosis aborted their unborn babies. However, another dark truth revealed that some Down Syndrome births still occur because the prenatal testing is not entirely accurate.  “Babies with Down syndrome are still being born in Iceland,” said Hulda Hjartardottir, head of the Prenatal Diagnosis Unit at Landspitali University Hospital. “Some of them were low risk in our screening test, so we didn’t find them in our screening.”

CBS faced a backlash for its reporting with actress Patricia Heaton tweeting, “Iceland isn’t actually eliminating Down Syndrome. They’re just killing everybody that has it. Big difference.”


Nearly 400 botched abortions in two months at UK’s Marie Stopes clinics

A health watchdog has revealed extremely serious failings at Marie Stopes abortion clinics in the UK. The Care Quality Commission report showed there were 373 botched abortions in January and February of this year alone and, in another three month period, 11 women had to be rushed to hospitals for emergency treatment after suffering complications. The report is more bad news for the abortion provider who was forced to suspend abortions for minors and vulnerable women last year after a previous inspection detailed over 2600 serious incidents in 2015. Marie Stopes International (MSI) carries out 70,000 abortions a year in the UK with 60,000 of them paid for by the National Health Service. Dr Peter Saunders, chief executive of the Christian Medical Fellowship, said: “It is disgraceful that this business, which performs a third of Britain’s abortions… has continued to fail to meet basic standards of care.” Lord Alton of Liverpool, a cross-bench peer and a pro-life campaigner, said: “As this is the second time MSI have been brought to book for failing, the Government should cease giving them taxpayers’ money.”

Former EU Council President challenges Pope Francis on Euthanasia

Former EU Council President, Herman Von Rumpuy, has tweeted out a challenge to Pope Francis’ ruling that Catholic hospitals in Belgium cease involvement in euthanasia. Von Rumpuy sits on the board of the Brothers of Charity whose hospitals decided to offer euthanasia to its patients this year. The move was opposed by the worldwide head of the Brothers of Charity, Br. Rene Stockman, who has been supported by the Bishops of Belgium and the Vatican. The Vatican, with the personal approval of the Pope, issued an ultimatum to the Brothers in Belgium to reverse their Euthanasia policy by the end of August or face sanctions under canon law. However, Von Rumpuy sent out a tweet Sunday that reads, “The time of ‘Roma locuta causa finita’ is long past.” The Latin phrase, which means “Rome has spoken, the cause is finished”, is used to indicate that the Pope has the final say on matters of faith and morals, and once he has issued a decision, then the matter is settled. By his tweet, Von Rumpuy seems to imply that the Pope’s directive will not be accepted as the final word on whether the Brothers’ of charity should cease euthanising patients in their hospitals.
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