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Scots Catholic Blog
|Posted on May 24, 2017 at 5:29 AM||comments ()|
A new poll out today (Sunday 21 May) shows that most people (60%) would like to see time limits for abortions reduced, among women the figure is 70%. ComRes interviewed 2,008 British adults online between 12th and 14th May 2017. Data was weighted to be representative of all GB adults.
61% of Scottish respondents opposed any moves towards making it mandatory for doctors to have to participate in abortion procedures against their will, while 51% oppose moves to compel pharmacists to prescribe a pill against their will, if they believe that pill will end the life of an unborn child.
The poll also showed overwhelming support (76%) for the proposal that doctors, should “verify in person that a patient seeking an abortion is not under pressure from a third party to undergo the abortion”. 65% oppose tax-payer money being spent on abortions overseas, while 82% of Scots believe, the law should require a waiting period of five days between an initial consultation with a doctor and an abortion taking place, in order to ensure that the mother has had enough time to consider all of the options available to her.
Responding to the findings, Archbishop Philip Tartaglia, President of the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland said;
“This weekend (20/21 May) in parishes across Scotland a letter from the Catholic Bishops will be read at all Masses, urging voters to engage with our democracy and to remember that human life at every stage of development is precious and must be protected. As we remind our politicians that abortion is always morally unacceptable, it is heartening to see that a majority of our fellow citizens do not support the current abortion laws.”
Archbishop Tartaglia added:
“I welcome the fact that not only is there no demand for time limits to be raised but 70% of women would like to see them reduced, that 82% of Scots would like to see a statutory waiting period introduced after a consultation and before an abortion takes place and that over half of Scottish respondents do not believe that doctors (61%) or pharmacists (51%) should be compelled to participate in abortion procedures.”
“These findings are both sobering and heartening, they undermine the shrill calls of the so-called pro-choice movement that abortion laws should be loosened. They send a powerful message to Scotland’s politicians at a time when the Scottish Parliament has been given control over this legislation and they remind us that the pro-life cause is alive and well in our country.”
The poll results have been released to coincide with the launch of the “Where Do They Stand” website. The site will allow voters, to find out where your local candidates stand on life issues - abortion, assisted suicide and embryo research - by visiting www.wheredotheystand.org.uk
• Only 1% want the abortion time limit raised to birth
• 70% of women would like the current time limit for abortion to be lowered.
• 59% of women would like the abortion time limit lowered to 16 weeks or lower.
• 65% oppose UK taxpayer money being spent on abortions overseas.
• 93% of women want independent abortion counselling introduced.
• 91% of women want a sex-selective abortion ban.
• 79% of general population want a five-day consideration period before abortion.
• 84% of women want improved pregnancy support for women in crisis.
• 76% of population want introduction of doctors verifying women not coerced.
• 70% of parents want introduction of parental consent for girls 15 and under to get abortions.
Results by question
Parental or guardian consent should be required for girls aged 15 or under to undergo an abortion
• 65% general population agree (21% disagree) (“just under ⅔”)
• 70% of parents with children 18 or under in household agree (16% disagree)
• 73% Conservative voters agree (16% disagree)
Doctors should be required by new legislation to verify in person that a patient seeking an abortion is not under pressure from a third party to undergo the abortion
• 76% general population agree (11% disagree)
• 77% females agree (11% disagree)
• 77% 18-24 age agree (12% disagree)
• 81% Conservative voters agree (10% disagree)
In Great Britain the upper time limit for abortion is 24 weeks or approximately six months' gestation. By comparison, in most other EU countries the limit for most abortions is 12 weeks or lower. In light of this difference what do you think the time limit should be in Britain?
• General population
o 1% - It should be extended to birth
o 1% - It should be extended above 24 weeks
o 20% - It should remain at 24 weeks
o 10% - It should be reduced to 20 weeks
o 17% - It should be reduced to 16 weeks
o 21% - It should be reduced to 12 weeks (biggest group)
o 12% - It should be reduced to below 12 weeks
o 1% - It should be extended to birth
o 1% - It should be extended above 24 weeks
o 17% - It should remain at 24 weeks
o 11% - It should be reduced to 20 weeks
o 18% - It should be reduced to 16 weeks
o 24% - It should be reduced to 12 weeks (biggest group)
o 17% - It should be reduced to below 12 weeks
o It should be extended to birth
§ Below 1% - Labour
o It should be reduced to 20 weeks or lower
§ 60% - Conservatives
§ 60% - Labour
§ 65% - Liberal Democrats
• Parents with children 18 or under in household agree
o 69% - It should be reduced to 20 weeks or lower
Where a doctor believes abortion to be the intentional killing of a human being, would you support or oppose the Government making it mandatory for doctors to have to participate in abortion procedures against their will, if they want to remain in their profession?
• 56% general population oppose (22% don’t know, 22% support) “only 1/5 of the population support”
• 61% Scottish oppose (23% don’t know, 15% support)
• 66% of Liberal Democrat voters oppose (19% don’t know, 16% disagree)
In your opinion, would you support or oppose requiring a pharmacist to prescribe a pill against their will, if they believe that pill will end the life of an unborn child?
• 45% oppose (23% don’t know, 32% support)
• 51% Scottish oppose (22% don’t know, 27% support)
Over the past five years, abortion provider Marie Stopes International have been given more than £160 million of taxpayer money to spend overseas, some of which has been used directly to fund abortions. Do you support or oppose tax-payer money going to fund abortions overseas?
• General population
o 65% oppose tax-payer money being spent on abortions overseas (20% support)
§ 46% oppose and feel this money would be better spent back in the UK on other Government priorities
§ 19% oppose and feel this money should be instead spent on other areas of need in developing countries such as basic health care and education
o 79% Conservatives oppose tax-payer money being spent on abortions overseas
In the Netherlands, the law requires a waiting period of five days between an initial consultation with a doctor and an abortion taking place, in order to ensure that the mother has had enough time to consider all of the options available to her. To what extent, if at all, do you agree or disagree that in this respect British law should be brought into line with the Netherlands?
• 79% general population agree (12% disagree)
• 82% Scottish agree (8% disagree)
A woman considering abortion should have a legal right to independent counselling from a source that has no financial interest in her decision.
• 89% general population agree (4% disagree)
• 93% women agree (2% disagree)
Women who want to continue with their pregnancies, but are under financial pressure to have an abortion, should be given more support to help them through their crisis
• 79% general population agree (10% disagree)
• 84% women agree (7% disagree)
• Younger cohorts have highest support
o 18-24 - 84%
o 35-44 - 83%
o 45-54 - 81%
o 55-64 - 74%
o 65+ - 76%
• 86% of parents with children 18 or under in household agree (7% disagree)
• 90% of Labour supporters agree (4% disagree)
Aborting babies because of their gender should be explicitly banned by the law
• 89% general population agree (5% disagree)
• 91% females agree (4% disagree)
• 93% Scottish agree (4% disagree)
ComRes is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules.
This text was taken from the Catholic Parliamentary Office Facebook page.
|Posted on February 7, 2017 at 6:40 AM||comments ()|
During the season of Lent, a number of people will gather outside four hospitals in Scotland in quiet, prayerful vigil to stand up for the inherent dignity and value of human life. The 40 Days for Life vigils will be held outside the grounds of the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in Glasgow, the Royal Infirmaries in Edinburgh and Aberdeen, and Ninewells in Dundee. It is peaceful, it is calm, and there is certainly no aggression or scare tactics adopted, despite what the mainstream media try to portray.
For those who claim that the 40 Days for Life event is anything but peaceful and prayerful, I urge them to attend the event and to see for themselves precisely the manner in which this so called ‘protest’ is undertaken by those involved. There is no desire to harass anyone, and there is certainly no desire to be abusive. It is better to witness first hand the reality of the situation, rather than buy the lies of those who would prefer that this vigil was something that it clearly isn’t.
There will, of course, be times when someone has recently undergone an abortion or suffered a miscarriage and, in coming across the vigil, they experience distress and upset. I don’t think anyone attending the event would feel anything but sympathy and compassion for those in such a situation. The pro-life movement would not be in keeping with its belief that all human life is precious if it did not feel for those who suffer and did not offer them support and consolation. The question is then whether or not, given these instances of distress, the vigil is appropriate. We can put forward a number of arguments for and against, and this will tend to be guided by which side of the abortion debate we sit on. But the reality is this…science is almost entirely settled on the fact that a distinct new human being with their own DNA comes into existence from the moment of conception. This human being is alive and is growing. The baby's brain, spinal cord, heart and other organs begin to form a mere 2/3 weeks following conception. This is why people participate in the 40 Days for Life vigils. They genuinely do not think that it is acceptable for the state to allow for the untimely death of an innocent, defenceless human being at its most vulnerable stage in life.
These vigils are peaceful and the only desire of participants is to see that all human life is given a chance. A chance to be someone: to see their very first sun rise; to feel the first snowflake on their hand; to experience the nervous excitement of that first day in school; to get behind the wheel of their first car; to find the love of their life; to perhaps even have children of their own. They may even be lucky enough to grow old and enjoy the perfect smiles of their grandchildren at Christmas time. This is life and this is what we seek to protect.
Because the state supports the killing of unwanted children in the womb, 8.7 million human beings in the UK never got the chance to experience these simple, yet poignant moments in life. No matter how much we try to deny or distance ourselves from that reality, we can never hide from the truth that abortion extinguishes the life of a beautiful, precious little human being who simply wants to be loved.
The 40 Days for Life is a worldwide movement and it will take place at the four Scottish hospitals throughout Lent from 1 March until 9 April. There will also be official opening and closing events, including one in George Square, Glasgow on 25 February. Click here for full details.
|Posted on January 27, 2017 at 3:44 PM||comments ()|
Today Vice President Mike Pence spoke to hundreds of thousands of pro-life advocates gathered for the annual March for Life on the National Mall. He is the first Vice President to address the March in person. Counselor to the President Kellyanne Conway also spoke at today’s March.
Vice President Pence’s remarks reflected his deep roots in the pro-life movement and the Trump-Pence Administration’s commitments to the right to life cause:
Kellyanne Conway said:
Susan B. Anthony List President Marjorie Dannenfelser, onsite at the March for Life, offered the following comment in response:
|Posted on September 27, 2016 at 10:35 AM||comments ()|
Pope Francis has spoken openly about his support for the Mexican bishops who, along with millions of people, have taken to the streets to protest against the legalisation of same-sex marriage and the serious threat it poses to family life.
The pope said: “I am very happy to associate myself with the bishops of Mexico, in supporting the commitment of the Church and of civil society in favour of the family and of life, which in this time require special pastoral and cultural attention in all the world.”
|Posted on July 8, 2016 at 10:10 AM||comments ()|
Sunday’s Gospel (Luke 10:25-37):
‘There was a lawyer who, to disconcert Jesus, stood up and said to him, ‘Master, what must I do to inherit eternal life?’ He said to him, ‘What is written in the Law? What do you read there?’ He replied, ‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind, and your neighbour as yourself.’ ‘You have answered right,’ said Jesus ‘do this and life is yours.’
But the man was anxious to justify himself and said to Jesus, ‘And who is my neighbour?’ Jesus replied, ‘A man was once on his way down from Jerusalem to Jericho and fell into the hands of brigands; they took all he had, beat him and then made off, leaving him half dead. Now a priest happened to be travelling down the same road, but when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. In the same way a Levite who came to the place saw him, and passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan traveller who came upon him was moved with compassion when he saw him. He went up and bandaged his wounds, pouring oil and wine on them. He then lifted him on to his own mount, carried him to the inn and looked after him. Next day, he took out two denarii and handed them to the innkeeper. “Look after him,” he said “and on my way back I will make good any extra expense you have.” Which of these three, do you think, proved himself a neighbour to the man who fell into the brigands‘ hands?’ ‘The one who took pity on him’ he replied. Jesus said to him, ‘Go, and do the same yourself.’’
Eternal life in Heaven is where we all want to be. And even for those who do not believe, the idea of living in comfortable and joyful surroundings forever is a fantastic thought!
But how do we get there? Well, Jesus gives us two very straightforward commands. He tells us that we must love God with everything we’ve got and we must also love our neighbour. Looks simple on paper doesn’t it? And in a way it is. It is, however, important to avoid oversimplifying these commandments in order to suit our own busy lifestyles and agendas. For example, we can’t simply state that we love God and we love all other people and never follow this up with words and actions to support our claim. If we are going to follow Jesus’ commands we need to act upon them, and act with conviction; a conviction that tells the world: 'this guy really does love God and he really does love other people!'
Jesus’ commandments are a perfect summing up of the Ten Commandments (or Decalogue) given to Moses by God. They are not a watering down of the Ten Commandments and they are certainly not an attempt to abolish and replace the Ten Commandments. What Jesus does is present to us the Ten Commandments in a new way in order to aid our understanding of them. He invites us to rediscover the beauty and truth of God’s perfect law. It is worth remembering that the first three Commandments concern love of God and the other seven concern love of neighbour, hence Christ’s summing up of them by referring to love of God and love of neighbour. This is also why God presented the Commandments to Moses using two tablets of stone rather than one; so as to distinguish between the call to love God and the call to love our neighbour.
In order to obtain eternal life our words and actions must be in keeping with the Ten Commandments. We must respect God’s clear instructions and, in a spirit of humility and love, encourage others to do the same.
The Ten Commandments:
|Posted on June 30, 2016 at 9:42 AM||comments ()|
If only there were more Dr Halliday Sutherlands today. Perhaps he would have the courage to stand up for the rights of those who are under threat from the increasing prevalence of assisted suicide in our world. Perhaps he would have the courage to stand up for the rights of the preborn child under threat of death by abortion.
Dr Halliday Sutherland, born in Glasgow in 1882, was a man who stood up for the people society felt unworthy of life. He lived in a time when the middle and upper classes of Britain fought for the legal right to sterilise the poor and the seemingly unworthy. The rich felt more and more threatened by the higher birth rate among the poorer classes compared to their deteriorating birth rate. They also felt threatened by the seeming prevalence of tuberculosis among the poor. There was even talk of using a lethal chamber at one stage.
According to this article, Sutherland was “appalled by the popularity of eugenics among Britain’s middle and upper classes” and set about fighting for the rights of the vulnerable. He argued with the Professor of Eugenics at London University who claimed that tuberculosis was primarily caused by heredity and argued that the disease be cured by breeding out those considered to be at risk (the poor). In a speech made in 1917, Sutherland called Britain’s eugenists “race breeders with the souls of cattle breeders” and argued that “in preventing disease you are not preserving the weak but conserving the strong.”
Sutherland also decried the actions of a eugenist who, in 1921, began dispensing ‘pro-race’ contraceptives to women in poorer parts of London. Sutherland described this as a social “experiment” that would lead to a “servile state”. He also argued that ‘if ordinary Britons were legally prevented from having children, they would have no societal role other than to work.’
Marie Stopes was also criticised by Sutherland after she revealed her eugenic vision for society in 1921. She revealed details of her “ardent dream” of “human stock represented only by well-formed, desired and well-endowed beautiful men and women.” The dangers of this frightening and callous point of view are obvious.
Halliday Sutherland would be appalled at the direction of travel of western society today. Not only have we cow-towed to the contraceptive mentality, completely ignoring any notion of the true meaning of our sexuality, but we now routinely kill our own preborn children through abortion and threaten the vulnerable with a premature death by way of assisted suicide.
We need more Halliday Sutherlands in our world today. We need more people to stand up for the poor, the marginalised, and the vulnerable. Dr Sutherland was a Catholic and it is important that we as a Church follow his example and be absolutely clear on the wrongs of abortion and assisted suicide. Not only that, but we must also resist the assumption that contraception is a simple and harmless solution that allows people to have sexual relations without the ‘threat’ of new life. As a Catholic people we value life from the very moment it starts right up until its natural conclusion on death. Contraception interrupts the natural process by killing off new life. It also encourages people to use others as objects of desire, their sole purpose being to satisfy their own selfish cravings devoid of the threat of responsibility for a new life.
We have lost the true meaning of the sexual encounter and we have lost the meaning of the value of life. Our world needs to hear that there is an alternative to the throwaway culture of death; an alternative that values all life and that gives the sexual act the respect it truly deserves. Dr Halliday Sutherland would be willing to speak up for these values.
|Posted on May 16, 2016 at 9:01 AM||comments ()|
The Chief Executive of the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) is facing calls to resign after announcing that the organisation supported the removal of the 24 week time limit for abortions in the UK. Cathy Marwick has caused consternation among RCM members, many of whom have signed an online petition seeking to distance themselves from the RCM’s stance. They have also accused her of failing to consult on the issue.
Marwick, who is the chair of the UK’s biggest abortion provider BPAS (British Pregnancy Advisory Service), has not surprisingly been accused of a conflict of interest given her two roles. One midwife from Northern Ireland said: ‘Anyone advocating allowing abortion up to birth, I think is so sad and tragic, but to have my own representative body coming out in support of this extreme view is very disappointing. I know she’s our chief, but there is clearly a conflict of interest. On something as big as this, she should have consulted us.’
Dr Peter Saunders, head of the Christian Medical Fellowship, said: ‘It is bitterly ironic that the RCM, the supposed champion of safe childbirth and antenatal care, should be backing a campaign seeking to legalise the killing of unborn children up until birth. It is even more extraordinary that their chief executive, who also chairs BPAS, should be spearheading this initiative without apparently even consulting her membership. It is an extraordinary abuse of power.’
Democratic Unionist MP, Jim Shannon, has vowed to raise the matter in Parliament this week. He said: ‘I will ask the Secretary of State for Health what discussions he has had, or will have, with the RCM and BPAS. My concern is that scrapping the 24-week cut-off would be absolutely disgraceful. I would have thought the RCM should be protecting unborn life. Its chief executive has this dual position and many people would say you can’t have that.’
It is deeply disturbing that the very people who have for hundreds of years facilitated the safe passage of new life into our world are now being encouraged to compromise that ethos and be prepared to kill off that life. Indeed, medical advances are strongly indicating that the abortion time limit should be reduced as a result of the increased survival rate of babies before the 24 week mark. There is absolutely no indication that the abortion time limit should be increased, never mind scrapped altogether. Any attempt to increase or abolish the 24 week limit flies in the face of scientific and medical fact, and it once again raises the question as to whether the wilful destruction of innocent human life by abortion should be allowed at all.
Our smallest, youngest, most vulnerable children should be safe in the hands of our midwives.
Click here to read the Daily Mail story: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3591935/Midwives-revolt-abortion-feminist-union-chief-backs-bid-axe-time-limit-terminations.html#ixzz48omMcPfP
|Posted on April 7, 2016 at 7:21 AM||comments ()|
The Catholic Bishops of both Scotland and Poland have been busy making a case for the protection of the unborn this week. The Polish Bishops have been pushing for legislative change to bring about a total ban on abortions and they, along with the Polish government, appear to have mustered more than enough support to ensure the law is passed.
Meanwhile, in Scotland, the Catholic Bishops have released their traditional statement ahead of the May election for the Scottish Parliament. In the letter, the Bishops encourage Catholics to vote with Christian values at the forefront of their minds, including the right to life from conception until natural death. This encouragement is timely given that abortion is soon to be devolved to the Scottish Parliament from its current home in Westminster.
Yet the motives of these holy men has been called into question by sceptics and much of the media, as they try to suggest something other than love of life and a desire to protect the most vulnerable is at play. But let’s be frank, while these men are devoutly Catholic and follow the teaching of the Church to the letter, they do not need to reference Church teaching in order to call for the protection of unborn babies. It is something that is imprinted in each and every one of our DNA. No decent, law-abiding citizen of planet earth wants or wills the destruction of other human beings. It’s a basic human quality and one we should be immensely proud of.
The Catholic Bishops of Scotland and Poland are speaking from the heart when they call for all unborn children to have the chance to live. Yes their Church expects, and even demands, them to take this stance, but they do not need the Church to tell them that all human life is intrinsically valuable and worthy of protection. They are not anti-woman and they are not anti-choice. Neither are they religious fanatics. They are simply human beings seeking the protection of the law for other, more vulnerable, human beings.
|Posted on April 1, 2016 at 8:26 AM||comments ()|
A parliamentary question in the House of Lords has revealed a frightening statistic about late-term abortions in the UK. Labour peer Lord Moonie asked the government how many babies had been aborted at 23 weeks or later in the UK in 2014. The government’s response was to confirm that 682 such abortions had been carried out. That’s 13 babies every week.
While abortion at any stage is to be regarded as wrong as it takes away the life of an unborn child, abortions at this late stage - when the baby is fully formed in the womb - is nothing short of deplorable.
Indeed, thanks to medical advances, many babies born at 23 weeks are now able to survive. How then can we allow for a baby at one end of the maternity unit to be given life-saving treatment while a baby at the other end is legally killed? It simply makes no sense.
|Posted on February 29, 2016 at 12:16 PM||comments ()|
As taxpayers we contribute to 91% of all abortions in the UK. Our money is used to assist in the killing of innocent children which in turn causes immeasurable pain and suffering to mothers.
We want our money better spent on helping both women and their babies to live.
Please sign the petition which can be accessed by clicking this link, and spread the word.