Getting Started

Freedom from or Freedom for abortion.

It strikes me that there are only two stances in relation to the abortion question.

a) Those who say we should be free to choose abortion and
b) Those who say we should be free to live in a world without it.

Those who say that it should be available in limited circumstances would presumably never force someone
to have an abortion. Rather it should be the individuals choice in the difficult circumstances.

a)Each individual should be able to choose what to do with their own bodies. We could suggest that people, if they object to abortion, should avoid it. But their personal objections should not impose on another's personal freedoms to choose as they please.

b)On the other hand we can recognise the humanity and dignity of the unborn in utero (in the womb) and that to acknowledge abortion as a legitimate procedure undermines the freedom of the unborn. Essentially, that abortion is not really a choice we are free to make.

It seems to be a matter of Autonomy of the Mother Vs. Autonomy of the baby.

At what stage does human life begin?

Monday, October 8, 2012

New "Choose Life" Video

Take a look at this great video which takes account of a wide variety of people with different backrounds and how they view abortion.

Friday, April 20, 2012

University Students Challenge National Student Body on Abortion

Questioning the Union of Students of Ireland position on Abortion

The Union of Students of Ireland (hereafter USI) has for some time advanced the worthy cause of women’s rights. However the USI’s current position on abortion neither advances the cause of women nor does it represent the views of Irish students. The USI describes on its website, under the heading “Gender Equality Campaigns”, its position as follows:

To fight for full reproductive justice for women in Ireland In Ireland, inequality is still rife against women. In no other area is this more evident that [sic] in the area of sexual and reproductive rights. Over 5000 women per year are exported to England and Europe in order to access safe and legal abortion, women experiencing crisis pregnancies are often subjected to rogue agencies who use methods of torture and abuse to direct women’s [sic] decision making and girls in crisis situations [sic] cannot avail of the morning after pill over the counter. The USI Gender Equality Campaign believes that a woman is entitled to have full decision making power over her reproductive system and to this end we campaign against the current system which discriminates against and endangers the lives of women.

While equality and personal freedom of women is certainly something which should be of onsideration to the USI, we contend that the promotion of an agenda which supports abortion is not representative of the views of students whom they represent nor is it in the best interests of the students of Ireland.

Recent national polls show strong support for legal protection of unborn life.[1] Of the most recent poll, people in the age bracket 18-24, of which students would make up a large part, 85% favoured legal protection of the unborn. This figure is higher than the national average.[2]

Apart from the fact that the current stance of the USI does not represent the opinions of the students, its statements regarding abortion are inaccurate. The quotation above which reports that over “5000 women per year are exported to England and Europe…” is inaccurate and would appear to reduce the women travelling to a “product.” In fact the number is closer to 4000 and has reduced each year since 2001.[3] Furthermore there is no evidence to suggest that access to abortion is safer for pregnant women. On the contrary this country, where abortion is illegal, is the safest country in the world in which to be pregnant.[4]

Aside from the unwillingness of the USI to acknowledge the dignity of the unborn child, the principal offence committed by the USI is their failure to recognise the enormous amount of psychological and emotional trauma experienced by a large number of women who have had abortions. Surely knowledge of this information is in the best interests of the student body. A recent study in the British Journal of Psychiatry, which drew together a large number of studies which discussed the psychological effects of abortion, found that women who had had abortions
were 81% more likely to experience mental health problems than those who did not.[5] This study took into account many highly reputable studies included the Fergusson Study which was carried out over a period of 25 years.

Following this we request that the USI take the following actions:

1. Remove the inaccurate and insensitive description of its abortion campaign from its website.
2. Cease campaigning on the issue of abortion, since it neither represents nor is in the best interests of the students in this country.
3. Provide information to students about the possible negative consequences of abortion.

In order for the USI to be considered truly representative of those whom its claims to represent these changes must be implemented. We look forward to action in this regard.

-Written with the support of the all societies present at annual meeting of Pro-Life Societies,
March 31st 2012, Maynooth, Co Kildare.

[1] Millward, Brown, Lansdowne poll, September 2011. Excluding those who answered “Don’t know,” 78% favoured protection and 22% did not.
[2]Those who don’t know or had no option are excluded from this figure.
[3] Cf. Johstons Abortion Archive, Historical Abortion Statistics, “Ireland,” actual
figures are closer to 20% less.
[4] Report on Maternal Mortality, UN, UNFPA, World Health Organisation 2010.
[5] Priscilla K. Coleman, Abortion and mental health: quantitative synthesis and analysis of research, published 1995–2009 BJP September 2011

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Expert Group "A great opportunity to reaffirm the dignity of human life."

Pro Life Campaign Says Expert Group on Abortion Presents Opportunity to Clarify Key Ethical DistinctionsThe establishment by the Government of the Expert Group on abortion presents an opportunity to clarify important ethical distinctions in this area, the Pro Life Campaign (PLC) has said.The Government this evening announced the members of the 14-member group from the medical, legal and nursing professions, in response to the A, B and C v. Ireland ruling on abortion from the European Court of Human Rights in 2010. The Expert Group will be chaired by Mr Justice Seán Ryan and has to report back to Government within six months with options on how to implement the judgment of the European Court.In a statement responding to the announcement, spokesperson for the Pro Life Campaign, Dr Ruth Cullen said:“The establishment of the expert group presents a genuine opportunity to re-affirm the ethical distinction between necessary medical interventions in pregnancy and induced abortion, which intentionally targets the life of the baby.“Pro-choice activists are falsely claiming that Ireland is obliged to introduce abortion following the European Court of Human Rights decision. In reality, the court recognised the right of the Irish people to decide on the issue.“It is also of critical importance that the new expert group take account of the latest peer-reviewed research, published in leading periodicals, which highlights the negative psychological effects of abortion for many women.”EndsThe Composition of Expert Group on Abortion is as follows;The Group will be chaired by Mr. Justice Seán Ryan and consist of thirteen other members;Dr Peter Boylan, Consultant Obstetrician and GynaecologistDr Mary Holohan, Consultant Obstetrician and GynaecologistDr Imelda Ryan, Psychiatrist,Dr Ailish Ni Riain, General PractitionerDr Mark Walsh, General PractitionerMs Christine O’Rourke, Office of the Attorney GeneralMs Mary O’Toole, Senior CounselMs Joanelle O’Cleirigh, SolicitorMs Denise Kirwin, SolicitorDr. Deirdre Madden, Medical CouncilDr Maura Pidgeon, An Bord AltranaisDr Tony Holohan, Chief Medical Officer, Department of HealthMr Bernard Carey, Assistant Secretary, Department of Health

For original article see:

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The Scandal of Genderside

The reality has been known for years now, though the Western media have generally resisted any direct coverage of the horror. That changed this week when The Economist published its stunning cover story -- "Gendercide -- What Happened to 100 Million Baby Girls?"

View Full ImageIn many nations of the world, there is an all-out war on baby girls. In 1990, economist Amartya Sen estimated that 100 million baby girls were missing -- sacrificed by parents who desired a son. Two decades later, multiple millions of missing baby girls must be added to that total, victims of abortion, infanticide, or fatal neglect.

The murder of girls is especially common in China and northern India, where a preference for sons produces a situation that is nothing less than critical for baby girls. In these regions, there are 120 baby boys born for every 100 baby girls. As The Economist explains, "Nature dictates that slightly more males are born than females to offset boys' greater susceptibility to infant disease. But nothing on this scale."

In its lead editorial, the magazine gets right to the essential point: "It is no exaggeration to call this gendercide. Women are missing in their millions--aborted, killed, neglected to death."

In its detailed and extensive investigative report, the magazine opens its article with chilling force. A baby girl is born in China's Shandong province. Chinese writer Xinran Xue, present for the birth, then hears a man's voice respond to the sight of the newborn baby girl. "Useless thing," he cried in disappointment. The witness then heard a plop in the slops pail. "To my absolute horror, I saw a tiny foot poking out of the pail. The midwife must have dropped that tiny baby alive into the slops pail!" When she tried to intervene she was restrained by police. An older woman simply explained to her, "Doing a baby girl is not a big thing around here."

The numbers of dead and missing baby girls is astounding. In some Chinese provinces, there are more than 130 baby boys for every 100 baby girls. The culture places a premium value on sons, and girls are considered an economic drain. A Hindu saying conveys this prejudice: "Raising a daughter is like watering your neighbor's garden."

Midwives even charge more for the birth of a baby boy. But the preference for a boy rises with both economic power and the number of children born to a couple. The imbalance of boys to girls is no accident -- it reflects a prejudice that runs throughout the societies where the abortion and killing of baby girls is considered both understandable and routine.

Add to this the widespread availability of ultrasound imaging services. Even though the governments of China and India have officially declared sex-selection abortions to be illegal, they persist by the millions. (And, interestingly, the magazine notes that Sweden actually legalized sex-selection abortions in 2009.)

This sentence from the investigative report is particularly horrifying: "In one hospital in Punjab, in northern India, the only girls born after a round of ultrasound scans had been mistakenly identified as boys, or else had a male twin."

In other words, even as the spread of ultrasound technology has greatly aided the pro-life movement by making the humanity of the unborn baby visible and undeniable, among those determined to give birth only to baby boys, in millions of cases the same technology has meant a death warrant for a baby girl in the womb.

There are multiple factors that lead to the preference for boys over girls. In China, the government's draconian "one child only" policy has led to both forced abortions and an effective death sentence for baby girls when a couple is determined that, if their children are to be so drastically limited, they will insist on having a son. As the magazine explains, "For millions of couples, the answer is: abort the daughter, try for a son."

Originally from:

Friday, July 16, 2010

Thoughts on freedom

Our trusty online dictionary defines freedom as follows:

free·dom (frē′dəm)


1.the state or quality of being free; esp.,
a.exemption or liberation from the control of some other person or some arbitrary power; liberty; independence
b.exemption from arbitrary restrictions on a specified civil right; civil or political liberty: freedom of speech
c.exemption or immunity from a specified obligation, discomfort, etc.: freedom from want
d.exemption or release from imprisonment
e.a being able to act, move, use, etc. without hindrance or restraint: to have the freedom of the house
f.a being able of itself to choose or determine action freely: freedom of the will
g.ease of movement or performance; facility
h.a being free from the usual rules, patterns, etc.
i.frankness or easiness of manner; sometimes, an excessive frankness or familiarity

Does anything seem missing from these definitions?
Let me suggest otherwise by way of example.

An alcoholic goes into a bar and sits down.
Let us assume that if he begins to drink he will not stop until he is thrown out/drunk or out of money.

My question is, does the alcoholic have a free choice?
If he chooses to take a drink he is giving in to his alcoholic addiction which inhibits his freedom. If he chooses not to buy a drink he opposes his addiction and exercises his free will not to drink.
But as I am sure you can see he only has one choice which is free and in that case is he really free? It is hardly a choice at all if there is only one option.

I suggest that our definition of freedom is what is at fault. Freedom is not to be able to choose as we please rather it is the ability to choose what we ought to choose; a freedom for excellence.

If as a child we are put into a room with a piano to practice our simple pieces, we are free to practice or not to practice. This is a real choice we can make. We can choose to work hard and become better or smash the piano with a hammer and never practice again.

If we choose to work hard at our piano we become more free because we are now able to play more complicated pieces, improvise and even compose. But if we do not practice we inhibit what we can become. When we make our initial choice it is free but it is a choice to end our freedom (not to practice) or enhance our freedom(practice).

How is this related to my blog? I am not quite sure.

I would love to hear your thoughts on my thoughts. I am sure it has some implications for the freedom 'from' or freedom 'for' debate but I suspect it will just confuse the debate mightily.

Friday, June 11, 2010

UN Leadership in Disarray as Scientific Dispute Shatters Consensus on Maternal Health

Further evidence which undermines the access to abortion=better maternal health arguement.

By Susan Yoshihara, Ph.D.

(NEW YORK – C-FAM) Deep divisions with top United Nations (UN) officials and abortion activists on one side and maternal health researchers on the other became public this week during the Women Deliver 2 conference in Washington DC. The dispute threatens to derail hopes of raising $30B for family planning at international development conferences in the coming months. These include the Group of Eight summit this month and the UN High Level Millennium Development Goals (MDG) Review in September.

The medical journal The Lancet published a study in April refuting UN research claiming 500,000+ annual maternal deaths has remained unchanged for decades. The new study put the figure at 342,900 with 60,000 of those from HIV/AIDS, and said the number has been declining since 1980.

World Health Organization (WHO) executive director Margaret Chan told journalist Christiane Amanpour that legal abortion was a key factor in reducing maternal deaths, but the Lancet study she referred to never mentioned abortion. Thoraya Obaid, director of the UN Population Fund (UNFPA), said the UN's own report on maternal health would be published in September and show similar trends. But WHO's top statistician Ties Boerma said the UN report would likely not be published until 2011, and when pressed stated cryptically that one could expect it to have similar findings if it were to use the same data.

For full story see