Desperate Democrats?

A new fragrance

Is there no end to the arrogance, the blind arrogance, of the promotors of abortion here in the United States? But it is not only their arrogance which astounds, or their apparently wilful blindness. It is their determination to blatantly hoodwink and deceive.

But deceit has always been at the heart of abortion. The deceit stretches from the denial of the simple truth that a life is a life is a life, all the way to the litany of deceits which gave this country the Roe v Wade judgement and the media manipulation of events surrounding the tragic death of Savita Halapanaver which brought Ireland into this evil empire

In many ways this new wave of deceit has something of the flavour of desperation about it. As they see the increasing momentum of the swing away from their cause among moderate voters, the majority of whom now do not want the extreme provisions of abortion up to birth – and even beyond – they are now telling bare-faced lies to push their case.

As the body of scientific evidence mounts, destroying the lie that the the child in the womb is no more than a clump of cells, and as the rational and emotional recognition of that lie increases, their desperation grows.

Their latest fiction goes well beyond the category of fake news, so far beyond it that one wonders what kind of malaise must be affecting the deductive mental processes of those advancing it. And it seems to be an infectious disorder.

Lawrence Tribe is a Harvard law professor. He has tweeted the following “warning” to his followers:

White Supremacists oppose abortion because they fear it’ll reduce the number of white infants and thus contribute to what they fear as non-white “replacement.” Never underestimate the way these issues and agendas are linked. This turns “intersectionality” on its head.

Whatever about ‘intersectionality”, one is really left wondering where his head is.

Ignoring the fake categorisation of all conservative-leaning Americans with the ugly “white supremacy” label, this is a patently absurd reading of the real demographics of the US.

Obianuju Ekeocha and others took him to task on Twitter and he began to protest about being misread. That added to the mystification and deepened our concerns about his capacity to make any judgement.

Ekeocha tweeted in response:

In 2015,NYC pregnancy outcomes statistics showed👉🏾23,116 black babies were born while 25,698 were aborted.

More killed than born.

A black baby is 2.7 times more likely to be aborted than a white baby.

But don’t let facts get in the way of your pre-packaged narrative😏

However, their name is legion, and in support of Tribe, Marissa Brostoff in a Washington Post column last week came in behind him with the view that “antiabortion politics” can provide “cover for white nationalist sentiments.”

William McGurn sees a wider strategy behind this bizarre linking of the pro-life movement to a repulsive minority ideology. It is all about Trump and the next general election here.

Writing in the Wall Street Journal this week he suggests that their strategy may be something different – instead of blindness, what thy have is 20/20 vision. They think that by tarring pro-lifers with white nationalism they will distract attention from the agenda the Democrats have rallied around as they head into 2020. That agenda would include federally funded abortion on demand up to the moment of birth—and even after birth, if necessary.

But, he says, the pro-life proposition is nothing if not simple: Human life begins at conception, and every human life is equal in dignity and worth. Whatever else it might be, it is incompatible with white supremacism. Perhaps, he suggests, that’s why so many African-Americans, especially African-American women, have been leaders in the pro-life cause.

Mildred Jefferson, the first African-American woman to graduate from Harvard Medical School, was a founding member of the National Right to Life Committee. Kay James, now president of the Heritage Foundation, founded Black Americans for Life. Before he ran for the Democratic presidential nomination in 1984, Jesse Jackson spoke of abortion as “genocide.”

Black pro-lifers, alas, are treated as if they don’t exist. Quick example: How many outlets even reported the National Day of Mourning that concluded this past Saturday with a prayer service in Birmingham, Ala., for all the black lives lost to abortion? One of its leaders was Alveda King, a niece of Martin Luther King. Another was Catherine Davis of the Restoration Project, who notes that the estimated 20 million black abortions since Roe v. Wade in 1973 are more than the entire African-American population in 1960.

But facts don’t matter these days; narratives do, even when they are absurd. So when Ms. Brostoff went looking for a living example of white supremacy hiding behind a pro-life mask, she found author J.D. Vance. If Mr. Vance is a white nationalist, he sure stinks at it: As he noted on Twitter , he has a “bi-racial family and non-white son,” and he wrote a book, “Hillbilly Elegy,” chronicling not white superiority but white dysfunction.

By contrast, who was it who said frankly that the Supreme Court legalized abortion in part because it was concerned about “growth in populations that we do not want too many of?”

Ruth Bader Ginsburg has tried to walk back her remark because of its plainly eugenic implications. But that’s the point. Eugenics have been used to justify abortion from the start. It wasn’t Mr. Vance who worried the “more rebellious members” of the black community might start thinking “we want to exterminate the Negro population.” It was Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger, speaking of the Negro Project—a campaign to get African-Americans to have fewer children.

I think that what McGurn is talking about with Gerard to RBG is referenced here.

Contrary to this twisted pseudo-liberal narrative, McGurn points out how close the pro-abortionists are to the hard-core white supremacists. He cites a post on AltRight.com, where someone writing under the name Aylmer Fisher warns against “the pro-life temptation,” because abortion helps weed out “the least intelligent and responsible members of society,” who are disproportionately “Black, Hispanic and poor.”

Ditto, he says, for Richard Spencer, the white nationalist who in May 2017 led protesters carrying torches and shouting “you will not replace us” after the Charlottesville, Va., City Council voted to remove a statue of Robert E. Lee from a downtown park. Unlike pro-lifers, who want to be “radically dysgenic, egalitarian, multi-racial human rights thumpers,” Spencer says, “we want to be eugenic in the deepest sense of the word.”

Whether this is driven by a desperation bred of wilful blindness in the face of a rising sun of truth – the incontrovertible truth that the child in its mothers womb is a living human being sharing the beating of its mother’s heart until its own can begin to sustain it – or a callous and lying political strategy or a strategy, surely this will fail.

Why? Because, as McGurn says, calling a spade as spade:

Against these white nationalists stand the pro-lifers, and not just on behalf of African-American babies. They also speak for the unborn child with Down syndrome, for the child conceived in rape or incest, for the unplanned pregnancy that will undeniably crimp any career plans a mother might have if she carries the baby to term. These are all hard cases, and the clarity of the pro-life proposition—the insistence that each of these lives is no less precious than any other human life—can make for a difficult political sell.

But no pro-lifer ever said life is easy. We say life is beautiful.

Medical misadventure verdict in Savita inquest

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The jury in the Savita Halappanavar inquest in Galway, Ireland, today returned a medical misadventure verdict based on systems failures and deficiencies in the medical management of Ms Halappanavar. Among the nine recommendations the jury made was that the Irish Medical Council should draw up clearer Guidelines.

Commenting on the inquest verdict, Dr Berry Kiely of the Pro Life Campaign said:

“We welcome all the recommendations from the inquest, including the call for Guidelines providing clarity for doctors in relation to medical interventions for women in pregnancy, which may result in the unintended loss of the baby,” she said.

Dr Kiely described as “little short of shameless” the manner in which those seeking the introduction of abortion legislation based on the X case ruling have exploited the tragic death of Savita Halappanavar all along, claiming that the failure to bring in such legislation was what led to Ms Halappanavar’s death.

“It is now clear from the facts presented at the inquest,” Dr Kiely stated, “that a number of what the inquest terms ‘systems failures’ and communications shortcomings significantly delayed the moment at which the medical team recognised the seriousness of her condition and carried out the appropriate medical intervention.”

“It is disturbing,” she said, “that those calling for abortion legislation never point out that no medical evidence whatsoever was heard in the X case.”

“The recent Oireachtas hearings, however, heard unanimous and authoritative evidence that abortion is not a treatment for suicidal ideation. Not only that, but the international evidence shows that legislation based on mental health and suicide grounds has invariably led to abortion virtually on demand.”

Dr Kiely acknowledged how difficult and upsetting the experience of the Inquest must have been for Savita’s husband, Praveen Halappanavar. “I hope that the manner in which the Inquest was conducted has brought clarity to the events which led to the tragic death of his wife,” she said.

Blind and shameless collusion in abortion news coverage

We are of course rejoicing at the success of the phenomenal pro-life demonstration in Dublin on Saturday. It was achieved in the face of what one could only describe as a media blackout of the event in the weeks leading up to it. It must surely have given both the conscientious and the crowd-following public representatives something to think about. The conscientious will have had their convictions reinforced by the platform speakers who sent out loud and clear statements and illustrations of the crime that the killing of the unborn is. For the populist crowd-followers it gave evidence that pro-life people power is on the move and for them this is a chilling signal that their cosy parliamentary seats might also be on the move.

More than 25,000 people from all over the country gathered in Merrion Square to protest at the coalition government’s proposal to legislate for abortion within the jurisdiction of the Irish Republic. Abortion is currently prohibited under the terms of a constitutional amendment passed overwhelmingly by the people 30 years ago. An estimated 150 pro-abortion demonstrators presented themselves at the venue as well.

But we are also once again confronted with the story-within-a-story. The story of the shameless bias of the media which spells out one fact over all others: the majority of those in the positions of influence in the media in this country are openly and unapologetically campaigning for the pro-abortion cause.

If anyone needed confirmation that there is collusion between the Irish media – orchestrated, one suspects, from behind the closed doors of sub-editing rooms – and the international press one has only to scan the reports of the Vigil in the newspapers over the following days. It did not make the front page of a single broadsheet on Monday. The Irish Times reported on it without the slightest allusion to its significance. Even RTE managed to rise to using the term “game-changer” in its Saturday evening report. That this surprised us speaks for itself. Can you imagine what we would have been reading and listening to had such numbers turned out for a pro-abortion rally? Try. You won’t find it very taxing.

How did Independent Newspapers report this the following day? The opening paragraph of a report attributed to Sarah Stack and the Press Association was this:

PROTESTERS for and against abortion have staged separate rallies in Dublin as each side step up their campaigning. The Pro-Life Campaign urged people to stand up for “the right of the unborn child” at its Unite for Life Vigil but were (sic) accused of going against legislation that would save the lives of women. Note that “right of the unborn child” in inverted commas.

The Government, we were reminded, has committed to legislate and introduce regulations to allow abortion if there is a real and substantial risk to a woman’s life, including the threat of suicide.

The report then entered even-handed mode when Pro-life spokeswoman Caroline Simons’ words were reported. She told the crowd, the biggest Dublin has seen for a decade or more, that the Government’s argument that abortion is needed to treat threatened suicide in pregnancy was demolished at the hearings on abortion held in the parliament over a week ago.

“The psychiatrists who addressed the hearings were unanimous that abortion is not a treatment for suicidal ideation”, Simons said. “But there is evidence that abortion increases the risk of future mental health problems for a significant number of women.

“The facts are simple. Where a pregnant woman’s life is at risk, Irish law and current Irish medical practice allows doctors to intervene to ensure women receive whatever treatments are necessary to safeguard their lives, even where this unavoidably results in the death of the baby.”

But that was as even-handed as it was going to get. Separately, Stack then told us, – without mentioning the number protesting – that pro-choice campaigners staged a counter-demonstration nearby and said pro-life groups are protesting against the introduction of legislation that would save the lives of women living in Ireland.

“They’re protesting against legislation that the majority have voted for in a referendum. They’re protesting against a supreme court decision. They’re protesting directly against what the ECHR (European Court of Human Rights) says Ireland needs to do to protect the human rights of pregnant women,” a spokesperson for this group complained about the 25, 000.

Then came the red-herring inbthevform of a report of a two-day-old story about the opening of an inquest into the death of Indian dentist Savita Halappanavar on October 28 after she suffered a miscarriage. The international media has – with the help of its Irish fellow-travellers – sat in judgement on this and has decreed that Savita died because she was refused an abortion. On the information currently available there is absolutely no basis whatsoever for that conclusion.

Stack’s report then goes over the background to that case – all in the context of the demonstration in Dublin. No mention is made of the multiple statements made by gynaecologists, and by speakers at yesterday’s demonstration, that there is no evidence that an abortion need ever be resorted to as a solution to a complication which might arise in pregnancy.

Stack then proceeded to report on the formation of a new pro-choice group, Abortion Rights Campaign, being established in the country.

She reported that Clare Daly TD said the campaign is not a sprint but a marathon. “We’re here for the long haul,” she said. “In the meantime, we want the immediate introduction of legislation for the right to safe, legal abortion when a woman’s life is at risk, including from suicide.

“We also want the simplest, broadest legislation that includes the right to abortion in the case of fatal foetal abnormality. We will keep the pressure on until we get this.”

She did not say what everyone knows, that the pro-abortion campaign wants abortion on demand, and knows that prime minister Enda Kenny’s “restrictive” legislative proposal is the best way to get it.

The entire report devoted about 150 words to the demonstration by 25,000 people while the cause being promoted by the pro-choice group got the lion’s share of attention with over twice that. Shameless. Admittedly another report, seen online, by two reporters from the group’s newsroom did carry more of the content of what was said at the demonstration. But it was not much more and it also laboured the Halappanavar case which in the end of the day may have nothing at all to do with abortion and be revealed as a sad case of a woman dying from the effects of an infection.

For some serious coverage of the demonstration a more balanced report can be read here. See this short YouTube video for an atmospheric snapshot of the event.

All this is happening in Ireland while conscientious Americans are mourning the more than 55 milion lives sacrificed on the twin altars of, on the one hand, false compassion, and on the other of selfishness and self-indulgence. This is the toll of lives taken over the 40 years since the US Supreme Court conceded the right to life of the unborn in Roe V Wade.

Enda Kenny, the Irish prime minister, keeps telling his people that he is not entering the same road as this. He offers no plausible reasons for this assertion, no reasons at all in fact, but instead moans about receiving abusive letters among which are some which suggest that he is “worse than Herod” who slaughtered the Holy Innocents. Well, he may not be worse than Herod. But if he presides over the passing of legislation which will lead to the intentional killing of babies in the womb, even one baby in the womb, then he will bear responsibility for that act and will join a significant number of public representatives who are running Herod a close scond. Is there any other moral reasoning which will deny that? These babies are the new Holy Innocents.

The US picture is truly horrendous. Since that fateful decision by nine men on the Supreme Court in 1973, there have been approximately 55,772,015 abortions that have destroyed the lives of unborn children. Looked at another way, that is 1,392,500 abortions each and every year, 116,191 abortions each and every month in all 50 states. The math breaks down to 26,813 abortions each and every week nationwide. And every day, that’s 3,820 abortions.

Almost 4,000 children have died in America from abortions each and every day since.

The counter-culture pendulum

In the 1960s Simone de Beauvoir was at the heart of the counter-culture of that age. As the Pope reminded us in his pre-Christmas address she advanced the then-radical view that one is not born a woman, but one becomes so – that sex was no longer an element of nature but a social role people chose for themselves. Her theory applied quid pro quo to men. She, with her boyfriend, Jean-Paul Sartre, were the icons of the sexual revolution.

Fifty years later who is the leader of the new counter-culture in the West? Pope Benedict XVI is the answer. In a half-century the cultural pendulum has swung so far in the direction of Simone de Beauvoir’s view that we can now look at a routine questionnaire from an agency as commonplace as Stockport Council in Manchester and find a question asking “Is your gender identity the same as the gender you were assigned with at birth?”

In the 1950s and ‘60s the killing of babies in the womb was a crime, an offence against the person in the legislation of most Western countries. A map of the world then, showing where a child in the womb was considered to be a human being, is a radically different one form a similar map today. The international uproar reflected in media across the globe in the aftermath of the death of Savita Halappavanar in an Irish hospital last November – where it was alleged, without any reliable evidence, that she died because she was refused an abortion – was an astounding snapshot of the cultural and moral change which has taken place. With a total disregard for the facts of the case – and for the truth that Ireland’s maternity hospitals are among the safest places in the world for both mothers and children –  the country was branded a pariah among the nations for its refusal to buy into a culture which legislates for the wanton destruction of human life in the womb. But ever there now, its PC-conscious political establishment seems determined to go with the flow and succumb to the concerted pressure for the international media, the UN, the EU – and Hilary Clinton.

Add to this the gradual acceptance of homosexual activity as just one more mode of sexual expression, along with the knock-on effect this is having on definitions of family and marriage, and you see that the social and cultural conventions of Western society have experienced a seismic shift. And who stands firm in the face of this? The Catholic Church and its moral leaders of the past 50 years – Pope Pau VI whose encyclical Humanae Vitae affirmed the anthropologically and moral foundations of its teaching on the nature and purpose of human sexuality; Pope John Paul II whose 27 years of tireless teaching and pastoral activity reaffirmed and developed the culture of life; and now Pope Benedict XVI whom only the blind – and there are multitudes of them – will not acknowledge as the leading public intellectual of our time.

All of them have done so in the face of near constant opposition from the spokespersons of the new conventional wisdom. Furthermore, Pope Benedict now does so in the face of triumphant cries of victory from the forces opposing this teaching. It might seem that the scheme laid out by Mammon for a new post-paradise world in John Milton’ Paradise Lost has come to pass as the Masters of this world seek to turn the desert of relativism into some kind of Heaven.

As he our darkness, cannot we his Light
Imitate when we please? This Desart soile
Wants not her hidden lustre;
Nor want we skill or Art, from whence to raise
Magnificence; and what can Heav’n shew more?

But Pope Benedict is having none of it. He knows that those “Gemms and Gold” are disastrous illusions.  Recognising that at the heart of the new rebellion against God there is fundamentally a rebellion against man himself, he focused in that pre-Christmas address on the fear of commitment to anyone other than “self” in the modern world. Rhetorically he asked questions about the human capacity to make a commitment or to avoid commitment which today is at the very heart of the cultural and moral divide in the West and which have has so much bearing on the threatened destruction of marriage and the family.

“Can one bind oneself for a lifetime?” He asked. “Does this correspond to man’s nature? Does it not contradict his freedom and the scope of his self-realization? Does man become himself by living for himself alone and only entering into relationships with others when he can break them off again at any time? Is lifelong commitment antithetical to freedom? Is commitment also worth suffering for?

“Man’s refusal to make any commitment – which is becoming increasingly widespread as a result of a false understanding of freedom and self-realization as well as the desire to escape suffering – means that man remains closed in on himself and keeps his “I” ultimately for himself, without really rising above it. Yet only in self-giving does man find himself, and only by opening himself to the other, to others, to children, to the family, only by letting himself be changed through suffering, does he discover the breadth of his humanity. When such commitment is repudiated, the key figures of human existence likewise vanish: father, mother, child – essential elements of the experience of being human are lost.”

“In the fight for the family, the very notion of being – of what being human really means – is being called into question,” the Pope said in his address . “The question of the family … is the question of what it means to be a man, and what it is necessary to do to be true men,” he said.

The craziness of gender theory, craziness of the kind exemplified in the thinking of those Stockport councillors, is central to the craziness which is seeking to redefine marriage. But it is a mere by- product of the attempt to redefine human nature itself.

The Pope spoke of the “falseness” of gender theories and drew on the wisdom of France’s chief Rabbi, Gilles Bernheim, who has spoken out against gay marriage. “Bernheim”, he said, “has shown in a very detailed and profoundly moving study that the attack we are currently experiencing on the true structure of the family, made up of father, mother, and child, goes much deeper.”

The Pope supports Bernheim’s thesis that up to  now we regarded a false understanding of the nature of human freedom as one cause of the crisis of the family, but that it is now becoming clear that the very notion of being – of what being human really means – is being called into question. For him this is exemplified in de Beauvoir’s infamous dictum: “one is not born a woman, one becomes so” (on ne naît pas femme, on le devient).

These words, outrageous when they were uttered and seen as such by the vast majority, are now no longer so. Anything professed to the contrary is now done so at one’s peril. To get evidence of that all you have to do is to survey the international media uproar in response to the Pope’s address.

De Beauvoir’s dictum has laid “the foundation for what is put forward today under the term “gender” as a new philosophy of sexuality,” the Pope said.  “According to this philosophy, sex is no longer a given element of nature that man has to accept and personally make sense of: it is a social role that we choose for ourselves, while in the past it was chosen for us by society.

“The profound falsehood of this theory and of the anthropological revolution contained within it is obvious. People dispute the idea that they have a nature, given by their bodily identity, that serves as a defining element of the human being. They deny their nature and decide that it is not something previously given to them, but that they make it for themselves…”

“The manipulation of nature, which we deplore today where our environment is concerned, now becomes man’s fundamental choice where he himself is concerned. From now on there is only the abstract human being, who chooses for himself what his nature is to be. Man and woman in their created state as complementary versions of what it means to be human are disputed. But if there is no pre-ordained duality of man and woman in creation, then neither is the family any longer a reality established by creation.

“Likewise, the child has lost the place he had occupied hitherto and the dignity pertaining to him. Bernheim shows that now, perforce, from being a subject of rights, the child has become an object to which people have a right and which they have a right to obtain. When the freedom to be creative becomes the freedom to create oneself, then necessarily the Maker himself is denied and ultimately man too is stripped of his dignity as a creature of God, as the image of God at the core of his being. The defence of the family is about man himself. And it becomes clear that when God is denied, human dignity also disappears. Whoever defends God is defending man.”

France’s parliament is to debate the government-backed “marriage for all” bill early next year. With President Francois Hollande’s Socialists enjoying a strong majority, the bill is expected to pass despite opposition from the right and religious groups. In Britain the Conservative Party is getting itself tied up in knots over the issue as it leads Parliament into a vote on the which with unquestioned backing across the house it will inevitably win. The Administration in the US is driving the country in the same direction while in Ireland the political establishment has clearly bought into the same political consensus.

Meanwhile the Catholic Church, now truly counter-cultural, stands firmly by its teaching on the right to life, on human sexuality generally, on marriage and the family. It did so two thousand years ago, it has had to do so many times in the intervening centuries and it now has to do so again. That it might find itself doing so in a wilderness, surrounded by Mammon’s false “Heaven” on earth, will not deter it. That again would be nothing new.

Irish abortion story begins to unravel

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While the Irish Government – an unhappy coalition of a socialist pro-abortion party and a traditionally conservative party – staggers under the onslaught of international media-driven opprobrium for its prolife constitution and laws, the story which generated this frenzy is now beginning to unravel.

Kitty Holland, the Irish Times journalist who broke the story of Savita Halappananvar’s tragic death, now says that the story may be ‘muddled’ and that it may be found that there was ‘no request for a termination’.

In an interview with the Irish journalist Marc Coleman on an independent radio station, Newstalk 106, Holland was asked why she said, in a story in the London Observer  newspaper four days after her Irish Times story, that “the fact that Savita had been refused a termination was a factor in her death has yet to be established”, when she omitted that caution from the Irish Times story that provoked the world reaction to Savita’s death.

Coleman then quizzed her on crucial discrepancies in her and other Irish Times reporting as to when Savita was started on antibiotics in Galway University Hospital where she died on October 24th last.

She then said: “All one can surmise is that his (Savita’s husband Praveen) recollection of events — the actual timeline and days — may be a little muddled… we only have Praveen and his solicitor’s take on what was in or not in the notes ….we’re relying all the time on their take on what happened… ”

Of course, the solicitor is a red herring. His recollection can only be of what Praveen told him after the event. This is single-source journalism of the most critical kind.

“Oh, I’m not satisfied of anything. I’m satisfied of what he told me, but I await as much as anyone else the inquiry and the findings. I can’t tell for certain — who knows what will come out in that inquiry? They may come back and say she came in with a disease she caught from something outside the hospital before she even arrived in, and there was no request for termination.., ” Holland told Coleman.

Meanwhile the political bandwagon of the pro-abortion activists in Ireland is rolling on and the Government-in-conflict is preparing to pass judgement on a biased report presented to it by an expert group, consisting of people who proved to be essentially pro-abortion in their views, with possibly one exception.  The group was set up to study the demands made on Ireland by the European Court of Human Rights to clarify the legal position of any woman in Ireland who might request an abortion in that jurisdiction. This was not a demand to legislate for abortion but every option presented to the Government by the group has ended up providing for just that.

The death of Savita and the exploitation of its treatment by Kitty Holland in the Irish Times has fed into this scenario creating something of a “perfect storm” threatening Ireland’s existing pro-life legislation. Against the background of the hysteria created by the alleged circumstances of Savita’s death the Government is now planning to publish its legislative proposals by December 20.

The media in Ireland has played a very ambiguous – at best – role in this with both the Irish Times and the national broadcaster, Radio Telefis Eireann (RTE), outraging pro-life readers and listeners and adding one more element to the creation of this storm. This weekend a national opinion poll was published by one of the newspapers, the Sunday Business Post.

This was reported on RTE over the weekend as indicating that 85 percent of the sample of 1000 wished to see legislation passed on a basis of the notorious ‘X Case’, an Irish Supreme Court judgement  20 years ago which, if legislated for, would essentially give Ireland abortion on demand. The poll was completely misread by the broadcaster.

Following the publication of the poll, Ireland’s Pro-Life Campaign pointed out its flawed and confusing nature, arguing that a distinction needs to be made between medical treatment for the mother, which may result in the death of an unborn child, and abortion in circumstances where there is no threat to the mother’s life.

Up to 85% said they would favour abortion laws in line with the ‘X-Case’ ruling where the life of the woman is at risk, including suicide, while 63% favour excluding threat of suicide as grounds for abortion, the PLC pointed out.

Cora Sherlock, Deputy Chairperson of the Pro-Life Campaign, said the poll results are not reliable.

Ms Sherlock said: “I think it’s very clear that there is no basis for using this poll to claim that there is any sort of majority of people who want abortion legislation in Ireland, because the contradictions that are coming through in the poll are just too evident.

“It is too unreliable, there is a clear contradiction there, some people want legislation for X and some people want a referendum to amend X.”

Tomorrow the pro-life activists throughout Ireland are planning to converge on Dublin to demand that the Irish government resists the pressure, both national and international, to introduce what would be, in effect, abortion on demand within the jurisdiction of the Irish Republic. The abortion Act of 1967, which brought abortion on demand in Great Britain, does not apply in Northern Ireland which is also part of the UK.

More half-truth deceit?

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Ireland’s maternal mortality rate is twice as high as has been previously reported, new figures show.

Does this not give the impression that previously reported figures failed to report what they should have reported?

Irish Health.com tells us this on its Newsletter and does so with a very clear agenda – to promote the rush to abortion legislation in Ireland on the back of Savita Halappanavar’s death. But that story, as any honest reader knows, is not as simple as Irish Health.com’s editor, Niall Hunter, pretends. In a posted response to a reader who complained about his story, Hunter shows clearly where he is coming from – and where he wants to take us.

Rarely, he says, has a single health story so captivated the country as the tragic death of Savita Halappanavar. Having dodged the issue for 20 years, now the Dáil must act to legislate so that no more women should have to suffer as Savita did…

Neither are the statistics he uses in his story as straightforward as he, with sleight of hand, suggests they are.

He bases his story on the first report from the recently-established Maternal Death Enquiry – MDE – Ireland. That report, he says, shows that our maternal death rate is 8 per 100,000 births, compared with 4 per 100,000 reported by the Central Statistics Office (CSO).

A truthful presentation of this information would have said that on one set of criteria, statistics show what the CSO tells us; on a different set of criteria we get the MDE figure. Take your pick and argue the case for your chosen criteria – but do not say bluntly that the figure in question is twice as high as has been previously reported. That is – at best – a half-truth. At worst it is a deliberate attempt to deceive and mislead.

The MDE Ireland report, he tells us, which uses wider criteria for defining maternal death than that used by the CSO, found that in the years 2009 to 2011 inclusive, 25 mothers who attended maternity hospitals with their pregnancies died. Am I being over-suspicious in thinking that he is slipping this clause in under the radar: which uses wider criteria for defining maternal death than that used by the CSO? Given his agenda, I don’t think so.

The Irish report, he explains, adopted the more comprehensive British classification system for determining maternal death, and collated detailed data on mortality from hospitals. It classified two of the deaths in the period as being due to suicide. We are not told anything about those suicides or whether or not they were related directly to the pregnancies. This suggests more programming in favour of the forthcoming debate in which some will be trying to include threats of suicide as a pretext for signing off for abortions. More comprehensive”.  Does that always mean more accurate and informative?

We live in dangerous times when agencies claiming the respectability which Irish Health.com claims peddle this kind of propaganda.

Voices crying in the wilderness of misinformation

In view of the continuing and unrelenting barrage of international media misinformation surrounding the sad death of Savita Halappanavar in Ireland – which the whole world must now know about – this view in Canada’s National Post, along with a useful post on a blog elsewhere, deserves further circulation.

The National Post comment is from Stephanie Gray, executive director of the Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform  and author of A Physician’s Guide to Discussing Abortion. It covers some of the same ground – but in more detail – covered on November 23, 2012 by J.C. von Krempach, J.D in his Turtle Bay and Beyond blog.

Von Krempach observes how the world-wide pro-abortion warriors jumped on a story that may very well now crash around their ears – if there were any honest campers left in the world’s media organisations.

For the international abortion lo
bby, the whole story was just too convenient to be true: at the very moment when the Irish government is discussing controversial plans to liberalize abortion, a pregnant woman dies in an Irish hospital because she was denied an abortion that would have saved her life.

But what are the facts?

It now appears that the young woman did not die of a complication related to pregnancy. Her autopsy has revealed that she died of blood poisoning and E. coli ESBL, an antibiotic-resistant strain of the bacterium. E. coli ESBL has recently spread throughout the U.K., causing urinary tract infections which can develop into blood poisoning.

Once again, the abortion lobby has erected a monument to its own disingenuity, he comments.

Stephanie Gray in the National Post points out that the tragic deaths of Savita and her pre-born daughter Prasa  really make no case for legal abortion. She says that those across the world who say it does are overlooking an important piece of information recently reported in The Irish Times and The Guardian: an autopsy revealed that Halappanavar died of septicaemia “documented ante-mortem” and E.coli ESBL.

Countless news reports are only talking about the septicaemia (i.e., blood poisoning), but few are discussing E.coli ESBL, which, incidentally enough, can lead to, you guessed it, septicaemia. Just what is E. coli ESBL? An antibiotic-resistant bacteria (not to be confused with regular strains of E. coli that cause food poisoning) that is associated with urinary tract infections (UTI). This strain of E. coli has been spreading in the UK  and last year two babies died in nearby Wales because of it. The presence of E. coli ESBL is particularly problematic if Halappanavar was given antibiotics to fight an infection that was resistant to those very antibiotics.

According to the Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy, E. coli is one of the most common organisms to cause a UTI and complicated UTIs are frequently associated with pregnancy. They write, “The likelihood of treatment failure and serious complications, particularly the development of antimicrobial resistance, is more common in CUTI [complicated urinary tract infection].”

So instead of jumping to the conclusions that Halappanavar needed an abortion and that Ireland needs to legalize the killing of the youngest of its kind, the reasonable approach would be to get to the bottom of what Halappanavar’s condition was and examine how it was, or was not, responded to. We have yet to hear from the hospital and the medical professionals involved as to what precisely happened, but with this report of her dying from E. coli ESBL one wonders how killing Halappanavar’s baby Prasa would have killed the E. coli.

Is it possible that E. coli ESBL ascended her vagina and entered her uterus via the dilated cervix? Yes, that’s possible. But it’s also possible that her cervix dilated (thus initiating a miscarriage) because E. coli ESBL ascended her urinary tract and caused an infection in her kidneys, which can lead to uterine contractions, and if not treated, to cervical change.

So the infection could have been elsewhere in her body besides the uterus. Even if it was in the latter (a condition known as chorioamnionitis) then it is an ethical course of action to induce labour to eliminate this pathological and lethal condition (the presence of infected membranes) from her uterus. But that act itself wouldn’t have eliminated the E. coli ESBL if it actually originated in the urinary tract, which, if resistant to interventions like antibiotics, could have lead to the septicaemia.

And yet, The Toronto Star would have you believe “There’s a very simple reason why Savita died. It’s because she wasn’t listened to.” On the contrary, much more needs to be known about how she died. But what we do know is that jumping to the conclusion that abortion should be legalized in Ireland overlooks the underlying medical condition and makes the dangerous assumption that we need to kill one person to save another.

Ireland ‘contra mundum’

Today, MercatorNet carried this review of the events surrounding and following from the death of Savita Halappanavar.

Ireland contra mundum – or more accurately, mundus contra Hiberniam – seems to be the burden of shrill, not to say lurid headlines circling the globe since Wednesday of last week, when the story broke about the tragic death of a pregnant Indian woman in a Galway hospital on October 28.

But the facts surrounding this sad case and the international media’s reading of them are disturbingly out of synch. The Irish Times set the agenda for interpretation when it broke the story under the headline, “Woman ‘denied a termination’ dies in hospital”. The story being run around the world is not the sad story about an unfortunate woman’s death resulting from septicaemia caused by a miscarriage. It is a story about Ireland’s resistance to legislation allowing abortion and – in the commentariat’s view –why that resistance must now be abandoned.

What is disturbing about all this is the flight from reason and truth in the service of a propaganda campaign by Ireland’s – and the whole world’s — pro-abortion activists. Many of the facts surrounding the case are not at all clear, but one thing is certain: this tragic case is not the result of Ireland’s law protecting the unborn child. At issue is medical practice in a particular Irish hospital and whether or not the medical team involved in this case did everything they could do to save this woman’s life, as they were obliged to do by Irish law and the ethics of their profession.

Read more here.

A frightening flight from truth and reason

In this morning’s array of reports and comments on the ongoing controversey about the sad death of Savita Halappanavar only one voice seemed to be crying out with any degree of sanity in the wilderness of misinformation spreading around the globe on the matter. That was Tim Stanley’s in his Daily Telegraph blog. Sitting on the fence on the question of abortion he wrote:

This post is neither for nor against legalised abortion – it’s simply about laying out the facts of a very tragic story.

On October 21, Savita Halappanavar visited Galway University Hospital, Ireland The 31-year-old dentist was 17 weeks pregnant and suffering terrible back pain. Savita was told that she was having a miscarriage, so she requested an abortion. The doctors denied her request because they said that they detected a foetal heartbeat and that Irish law ruled out a termination. Savita’s pain continued for three days and she eventually died of septicaemia.

Inevitably, this awful story has prompted demands for a rethink of Ireland’s abortion laws. That’s understandable and will almost certainly happen. Ireland has been liberalising for decades; Irishness and Catholic conservatism are no longer as synonymous as they once were. The European Court of Human Rights 2010 ruling on abortion gives Taoiseach Enda Kenny good legal grounds for a review of the law, and Kenny has branded himself as a critic of the privileged status of Catholicism in Ireland. Change will probably come.

But some would dispute whether or not Savita’s death is an appropriate catalyst for that change. In Ireland, it actually is legal to induce a birth when a mother’s life is at risk. Eilís Mulroy notes the following:

The decision to induce labour early would be fully in compliance with the law and the current guidelines set out for doctors by the Irish Medical Council. Those guidelines allow interventions to treat women where necessary, even if that treatment indirectly results in the death to the baby. If they aren’t being followed, laws about abortion won’t change that. The issue then becomes about medical protocols being followed in hospitals and not about the absence of legal abortion in Ireland.

Because Savita’s case is under investigation, Mulroy asks questions but, wisely, avoids inferring answers: why, in this instance, did the hospital not induce (as it could and should) and is its decision not to induce reflective of a wider institutional failure?

It is possible that new legislation is necessary to clarify the existing medical consensus. But it does not logically follow that Ireland needs a total rethink of its entire approach to abortion that brings it in line with Europe’s essentially pro-choice culture. Aside from the specific medical case for abortion in Savita’s situation, inducing labour to save her life would not necessarily have conflicted with Catholic moral teaching, either. In 1951, Pope Pius XII explicitly ruled that such a procedure “can be lawful.” If it is true, as the Halappanavar family claims, that the Galway doctors said they would not provide a termination because “this is a Catholic country”, then they got their theology unforgivably wrong.

Savita Halappanavar’s death demands investigation and answers. Aside from giving justice to her family, the implications of any investigation for the wider abortion debate are so wide-ranging that it is crucial that we get the facts unbiased and 100 per cent accurate. Alas, such objectivity is not always applied when it comes to media reporting of the Irish and/or Catholic approach to abortion. Indeed, much of it is misleading and unhelpful.

What is frightening about all this is the flight from reason and truth. Many of the facts surrounding the case are not at all clear but one is clear and that is that this is not about abortion at all. It is about medical practice in a particular Irish hospital and whether or not the medical team involved in this case did everything they could do to save this woman’s life which they were obliged to do by law and the ethics of their profession. Is no one interested in the truth anymore – either in Ireland and across the globe?