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26 years ago, I had an abortion here in Melbourne. Even back then, it was quite easy to obtain an abortion. I told the abortionist I was about to buy a business so I couldn't have the baby. That was enough reason for the abortionist to classify my reason for the abortion as ‘mental health’. The business deal fell through a few weeks after the abortion. The irony of this didn’t dawn on me until many years later. I sacrificed my baby’s life for a business that never eventuated. There were no 'sidewalk' counsellors back then. 26 years later, I have suffered indescribable psychological trauma as a result of that abortion.

I remember being a happy child. I had simple joys then. Some toys, some sweets, my playmates, a VHS tape of The Sound of Music, my beloved dog and my doting parents made me feel the luckiest kid on earth. But an experience suddenly burst my happy bubble when I was about nine years old. It was the 16th of January, a big feast in our small town is being celebrated. It was Sto. Nino’s fiesta (Feast of the Child Jesus). I remember being glad because there were no classes that day. Therefore I was allowed to watch The Sound of Music even if it wasn’t Friday.  

World-renowned speaker, Jason Evert, was in Melbourne this week for a series of talks on the true nature of love. Jason has spoken to more than one million people about the virtue of chastity and has been a keynote speaker at five World Youth Days. He has written several books, including “Theology of the Body for Teens” and “How to Find Your Soulmate Without Losing Your Soul,” and has studied counselling and theology at the Franciscan University of Steubenville. It was my great pleasure to meet him and ask him a few questions about how a return to chastity can put the brakes on the abortion culture.

This is a paper I presented recently at an evening considering issues around euthanasia and assisted dying: Euthanasia Paper May 2018. It presents reasons why changing the law in these areas is not a good idea in the interests of society at large and the vulnerable sick and elderly in particular.

Monday, 07 May 2018 06:26

Save the 8th! Interview with Richard Casey

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By now, many of you will be familiar with the massive Save the 8th! campaign, mounted by Ireland's pro-life community. Abortion is currently illegal in Ireland, except under very few circumstances. On May 25th, a referendum will be held in Ireland to determine whether or not to repeal the constitution's 8th Amendment, adopted in 1983: protection of the unborn child. The mainstream media has, on the whole, supported the pro-abortion side, concentrating on the fact that many Irish women travel to England in order to procure abortions. However, this 'need' to travel simply shows that Irish women have been sold the same lie that is being spread around the world: a mistimed pregnancy will ruin women's lives.

Some commentators - even Christian ones - place children such as Alfie Evans firmly in the category of 'hopeless cases with unrealistic parents.' Bu as stated in my own article on the subject, Medical Tyranny and Parental Authority, this case is more about undermining parental authority than about whether or not Alfie's life could have been saved, or even extended had it been managed differently. For every high-profile case like Alfie's there are many unknown ones in existence around us, with parents left to wonder exactly where, along the way, they lost control over their children's medical care. - Ed.

Tuesday, 01 May 2018 08:41

No Common Ground Between Good and Evil

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Richard Grant writes that giving a prominent abortionist a platform at a pro-life conference is a grave disservice to the cause of the unborn. As covered in a previous article, the presence of Leah Torres, famous for her callous 'cord-cutting' tweet, at the Abortion Rethink conference sparked horror and confusion among the pro-life community. Advocates for her appearance claimed that there is always a chance for her conversion, and surprisingly, Dr. Torres said in a recent interview that she no longer performs abortions. But - unsurprisingly - she still vehemently maintains her pro-abortion position, leaving us to wonder if her employer, Planned Parenthood of Utah, thought her tweet gave the public a little too accurate an insight into the true nature of abortion. Richard weighs in on the scandal.

Friday, 27 April 2018 10:17

Medical Tyranny and Parental Authority

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It seems that most of the globe has been holding its breath in anticipation of the outcome of baby Alfie's case. Articles and updates have been shared tens of thousands of times, with some social media commenters writing that they couldn't sleep for worry about the little boy. Young mothers, friends of mine, have been crying and praying for Alfie and his family, knowing how they would feel in a similar situation. This morning, we have the news that Alfie will be returning home with his parents; a statement read by his father, praising the Alder Hey hospital, has been likened to a hostage note. As a parent, the most worrying aspect of the Alfie Evans case is that I may one day be in a position where I won't be able to make decisions about my children.

Saturday, 14 April 2018 09:43

5 Medical Reasons to Avoid Contraceptive Devices

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All sources used in this article are either medical or secular, so there can be no accusation of a pro-life bias. Abortion providers and advocates are very eager these days to push Long-Acting Reversible Contraceptives (or LARCS) onto their patients. There have been more than a few studies on their use and uptake, with an abundance of advice for practitioners on how to increase their sales. It's been of particular interest to me, to note that abortion providers are very keen to fit women with LARCS right after an abortion.

Tuesday, 03 April 2018 21:20

The King Family and the Sanctity of Human Life

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Today marks the 50th anniversary of the death of Martin Luther King. The quote in the image accompanying this post is taken from King's "Letter From a Birmingham Jail."  Written in 1963, its sentiments still apply today to a range of evils that threaten to overwhelm the West: gender mainstreaming, political corruption, same-sex 'marriage', abortion. The following testimony is taken from the book, "King Rules", written by MLK's niece, Alveda King. The book is subtitled, 'Ten truths for you, your family, and our nation to prosper.' Alveda King is now a prominent pro-life activist, and assures those who would appropriate the legacy of MLK to promote abortion, that he was undoubtedly pro-life. The following extract describes Alveda's own tragic experience with abortion, and the pro-life philosophy that pervaded the King household. Note that the after-effects of abortion, as suffered by Alveda King, are similar to those experienced by many post-abortive women.  

Abortionist Leah Torres is no stranger to controversy. She has a huge following on twitter and actively advocates for abortion, while educating - according to her personal brand of science - on the dangers of pregnancy. Last week, she drew heavy criticism from within and without the pro-life community for her comments about her abortion technique: "You know babies can't scream, right? I transect the cord first so there's really no opportunity. If they're even far enough along to have a larynx." Although like many others, I concluded that Torres was referring to the vocal cords, she says she was actually referring to the umbilical cord. [See Dave Pellowe's article and interview with Leah Torres here.] And, while umbilical cord transection is a technique that is sometimes used for second-trimester abortions, it has mixed outcomes for mothers. In any case, it seems irrelevant which cord is being cut: umbilical, vocal or spinal; for the abortionist, they all lead to the result they're after: a dead baby.  

[As a practising Catholic, it was interesting to read this account by Rissa Hann of her experience at the 2016 Day of the Unborn Child. For those who may not be aware, this annual pro-life event is held in the Sydney CBD on the Feast of the Annunciation, and it is unashamedly Catholic. I've added pictures from this year's event, but have left Rissa's text unchanged - Kathy.]  

Friday, 16 March 2018 15:58

Thought Police thwarted in the ACT

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Three Canberra men were recently acquitted of the charge of violating an abortuary exclusion-zone. Kerry Mellor, John Popplewell, and Ken Clancy, have witnessed outside the Marie Stopes facility for many years. After a protest-free exclusion-zone was introduced in 2016, they continued to engage in quiet, personal prayer, which they believed did not constitute a protest. The prosecution had argued that praying constituted 'a protest, by any means', although a security guard who was called as a witness conceded that the men's prayer was silent.

Before exclusion-zones were introduced, the Melbourne Helpers of God's Precious Infants were able to help many women choose life for their children. On average, one mother and her baby were saved from abortion every month. That number has dwindled significantly, thanks to the totalitarian "Safe-Access Zones". But Richard Grant explains how God continues to provide for vulnerable mothers and their preborn children:  

Wednesday, 07 March 2018 22:49

Dear Gina, You're Helping Women Kill Their Babies

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Buzzfeed's Gina Rushton recently published an article which attempted to discredit the work of pro-lifers in Perth. [Click here to read the article]. As well as providing the entertainment value that pro-aborts derive from mocking the pro-life community, the article added fuel to the fire of those pushing for exclusion-zones. As covered in other articles on this site, eg this one, there is a global movement by abortion providers to try to shut down prayerful witness outside abortion facilities. Without exception, this movement relies on a false premise for its momentum: the lie that pro-lifers 'harass' and 'intimidate' women. An integral part of this lie is the idea that pro-lifers tell nothing but falsehoods, while abortion providers tell nothing but the truth. And the media plays a very large part in promulgating these lies.  

 [This article first appeared on Dave Pellowe's website, Pellowe Talk, and is reproduced here with kind permission of the author.]   This video was recorded yesterday at Sydney University O Week. While the students of LifeChoice Sydney engaged in legal and peaceful dialogue with people both for and against abortion, pro-abortion-choice protesters abused and insulted them. Rebecca Gosper has a degree in human science and is the director of Life Choice Australia, an activist group in five different Australian University campuses aiming to positively influence culture for the sanctity of life. She joined me to discuss the science, data and logic these students are willfully ignorant of.

Friday, 23 February 2018 21:20

"There is More to Life than What We See"

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This testimony was written in 2015 by my friend Natalie, and describes her experience with terminal cancer. While so many these days are encouraged to end their lives for the flimsiest of reasons, Natalie’s story shows that life can always be meaningful, even when there is suffering involved. This weekend marks an important anniversary for me. It is the ninth anniversary of my diagnosis of terminal lung cancer. I had been sick for several months, with severe back pain and a bad dry cough and vomiting, but many trips to the doctor had failed to provide an explanation. Finally it got to the point where I could barely walk from my pharmacy to the car park.

Friday, 23 February 2018 09:02

The Major Parties Flash Their Abortion Credentials

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[With the Tasmanian elections to be held in just over a week, voters are doing their due diligence in order to make a moral choice at the polls. That task is quite difficult, given that abortion is part of the platform of two major parties, and permanently pencilled-in by the third.

Monday, 19 February 2018 16:27

Adoption Versus Surrogacy

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Many people arguing for the moral and social legitimacy of surrogacy will rather recklessly throw out the issue of adoption, believing that the two are quite similar things. But the truth is, they could not be more different. This is especially noticeable when we focus the discussion on children and their wellbeing. The main difference certainly involves the children themselves. In adoption there is a need for children to be looked after, so substitute parents are brought in to look after them. In surrogacy there are no children involved – at first. They are deliberately created, or manufactured, to satisfy adult desires. As one relinquishing mother put it, “In adoption, a family sought a child in need of a family. In surrogacy, you are creating children for adults’ needs.” Moreover, in adoption legislation, the interests of the child are clearly paramount, something which is not the case in surrogacy. As one bioethicist puts it:

Adoption standards and practice have been constantly revised and refined in the light of new understandings developing in the field. . . . It is illegal to take a consent to adoption prior to the birth of the child, for the reason that a woman cannot be expected to make a lifelong decision for herself and her baby in the vacuum of the non-existence of the child.
As Kevin Andrews has remarked: “Adoption is a community response to the necessitous circumstances of a child already conceived and born, which differs markedly to the circumstances of a child conceived and born for the purpose of transfer to another couple”. Ethicist Leon Kass says this: “We practice adoption because there are abandoned children who need good homes. We do not, and would not, encourage people deliberately to generate children for others to adopt.” Or as Maggie Gallagher has put it:
Surrogate contracts and adoptions are not comparable. Adoption is the fulfilment, not the negation, of parental responsibility. Especially in a country where abortion is cheap and easy, when a woman gives her baby up for adoption she has thereby acknowledged her obligations to her child. Almost always, adoption is part of a conscious attempt to do what is best for the child. The surrogate mother does not admit she has any special obligations to her child; she does not admit that it is hers. The child cannot obligate her, she obligates it: It is a product, conceived for sale and use.
David Blankenhorn also adds his voice to the fundamental nature of adoption:
Adoption is a wonderfully pro-child act. Adults respond to a child’s loss with altruistic, healing love. . . . Adoption does not deny but in fact presupposes the importance of natural parents. For this reason, despite all the good it does, adoption is ultimately a derivative and compensatory institution. It is not a stand-alone good, primarily because its existence depends upon prior human loss.
Natural parents of course largely disappear in surrogacy arrangements. Ethicist David VanDrunen discusses the differences found between adoption and surrogacy. He speaks about the moral question we must face as to “whether we ought intentionally to create situations in which biological links between generations are attenuated, confused, or even ruptured. In essence, third-part-parenthood arrangements intentionally create adoption scenarios.” But this is how they differ. Adoption, he says, is “a charitable act that rescues abandoned and orphaned children.” He continues:
Surely it is a charitable act – precisely because we recognise these children’s tragic circumstances. In an ordinary adoption situation the adoptive parents are responding to a child’s tragic situation and seeking to bring good out of it. In a third-party-parent arrangement, however, the parents are creating a child’s tragic situation, a situation in which he will be taken away from his birth mother or be raised by someone other than his biological mother or father.
And Jessica Kerns, a product of surrogacy, whom I mention above, also explains why we are dealing with apples and oranges here:
It really is the buying and selling of babies, and the commodification of women’s bodies. There’s a huge difference between the adoption world and the donor-conceived world. [The] institution [of adoption] was not … created for the parents, to give them a kid. It was created for the opposite, to put children in a home, because they’re here already and we’re responding to a catastrophe. Donor-conceived [children], we’re creating them with the intent of separating them from their biology, and you know … it’s vastly different.
Bioethicist John Ling offers us the big picture on all this, and is well worth quoting from here. He says:
Should we view surrogacy not only as the commissioning mother wanting a child, but also as the surrogate mother – and in law, she is the legal mother – not wanting her child? She has deliberately embarked on a pregnancy with the clear intention that she will abandon her baby. The birth of any child is surrounded by a spectrum of emotions, perhaps none stronger than that of the mother’s love for the child she has carried and delivered. The surrogate knowingly sets out to ignore these natural instincts. Furthermore, can a commissioning mother develop this maternal love without the psychological and physical springs of this bonding, namely, pregnancy and childbirth? Surrogacy is not like adoption. The great difference is that adoption seeks to enhance the love for, and security of, the child. Surrogacy has the long-term, premeditated intention of just the opposite. It should be shunned.
One lobby group, Them Before Us, is quite concerned about this and the other new reproductive technologies. Katy Faust reminds us once more what the core issue is here. It is all about the child. The interests of the child should always be paramount here. As she says in an article highlighting the differences between surrogacy and adoption:
Them Before Us supports adoption, when it is properly understood. Adoption must always be viewed as a child-centric institution, not simply as a means for adults to have children. No adult – heterosexual, homosexual, or single – has a “right” to adopt. Rather, every child has a right to parents. In adoption, the intended parents are not the clients. The child is the client.

Not content with killing babies, traumatising parents and harvesting body parts, abortion providers are always looking at new strategies to inhibit the work of the pro-life community or to bolster their income. For of course, every baby saved from abortion means a slimmer pay-packet for the abortionist and his staff. In Australia, that could mean a loss of around $600 for a first-trimester abortion and up to $7700 for a late-term abortion. So it's little wonder that abortionists are eager to have special laws created in order to get women to keep those appointments. One example is the profusion of bubble-zone laws that have sprung up in recent years. In a western liberal democracy, we should be very concerned when the government enacts laws that target one specific group of people. Laws should be created solely to target behaviour, not groups or organisations. But exclusion-zone laws in the US, Canada, the UK and Australia do just that. 

It never ceases to amaze me that comments such as "keep your legs closed" or "keep it in your pants" still pop up under articles about abortion in this day and age. Last week's article by Richard Grant about Tanya Plibersek, and her calls for uniform laws to make abortion more readily available, attracted many comments like this. Obviously, I can see the hypocrisy and share the outrage of our readers, but honestly, can't we come up with more constructive comments that express the reality of the situation, and not just one crudely-worded aspect related to unplanned pregnancies? [The same goes for such comments as "They (abortion advocates) should be aborted" or calls for 'retrospective' abortions.]

Wednesday, 07 February 2018 22:18

"Do You Really Want to Do This?"

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With bubble-zones in two Australian states and two territories, and abortion advocates lobbying for their introduction in other states, it’s important to realise just how many babies are saved through the intervention of sidewalk counsellors. This story is about one such baby, named Ava. Ava’s mama, Nancy, suffered for many years after her two abortions. She wasn't told there could be side-effects, such as severe emotional disturbances or subsequent miscarriages. Nancy is now a very strong advocate for life and is active on social media exposing abortion and encouraging mothers to choose life. 

Heaven help Australia's unborn children if the Labor Party wins government and Tanya Plibersek becomes Deputy Prime Minister. For in her article "Patchwork abortion laws a lottery for women", Tanya equates the brutal slaying of an unborn child by abortion to medical treatment for a hip replacement or a broken bone. Moreover, in a classic example of Orwellian doublespeak, Tanya stated that "it seems tragic that a woman would bring a child into the world for no reason other than she couldn't afford to have a termination". By these words, Tanya is portraying a God-given "good" {the bringing a child into the world) as an "evil" while portraying a satanic "evil" (the extermination of a child in his or her mother's womb) as a "good".

I have often sought to make the case for concerns about surrogacy. It is problematic on so many levels. Like the other Assisted Reproductive Technologies, our scientific and technological abilities to do things are outstripping and outpacing our moral reflection on them. And in the process, plenty of harm is being done.

Monday, 29 January 2018 20:49

More Terrific Abortion Wins

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It goes without saying that until every single baby is safe and secure in his or her own mother’s womb, we pro-lifers have a lot of work to do. But I for one am quite happy to celebrate the various wins we are having along the way. And in the US at least we keep seeing a number of victories which should encourage us all. The indicators of a pro-life surge there are many. For example, abortion mills continue to close down, which is always a good thing. Sure, new ones may spring up, but last year closures led the way.