Welcome to The Pro Life Campaign Blogspot

Thank you for visiting our blog. We want this to be a rich and informative discussion forum and look forward to your participation. You can visit our website at www.prolifecampaign.ie or email us on info@prolifecampaign.ie

Monday, May 30, 2011

Pro Life Campaign invited to make formal presentations at United Nations Universal Periodic Review meetings.


The Pro Life Campaign made formal presentations highlighting Ireland’s record of safeguarding pregnant women and unborn children’s lives at meetings in Cork and Sligo organised by the Department of Justice and Equality this week.

The series of meetings were hosted by the Irish government in a bid to get the views of members of the public on Ireland’s human rights record and were held throughout Ireland to help inform the submission that the government will be making to the United Nations Human Rights Council in July of this year outlining Ireland’s performance on human rights issues.

The Pro Life Campaign was recently granted special NGO consultative status by the United Nations meaning that the Campaign can formally contribute to the work programmes and goals of the United Nations and make oral and written interventions on issues of concern.   The Pro Life Campaign made a written submission to the United Nations Human Rights Council on the abortion issue earlier this year.

Speaking after the formal presentation on behalf of the Pro Life Campaign in Sligo, Anne Maree Quinn of the Campaign said ‘Ireland’s standard of care for pregnant women and their unborn children is second to none.  This is borne out by the World Health Organisation figures which consistently find that Ireland, without abortion is the safest place in the world for pregnant women*.  Additionally, public opinion is constant in supporting the protection of our most vulnerable, the unborn child, whilst safeguarding women’s access to all necessary medical treatment during pregnancy’**
She said “The Pro Life Campaign urges the government to ensure that Ireland’s position of safeguarding women and unborn children in pregnancy is maintained and offers Ireland as an example to the other member states of the United Nations as a country respectful of all human life, born and unborn.”


* Report on Maternal Mortality, World Health Organisation, UNICEF, UNFPA (2007-2010)
**Red C opinion poll February 2011

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Pro Life Campaign says downward trend is “very encouraging”

The latest Irish abortion figures released today by the British Department of Health* show a further reduction in the number of Irish women travelling to Britain for abortions.

In 2010, 4,402 Irish women travelled to Britain for abortions, down from 4,422 for the previous year. It is the ninth consecutive year that Irish abortions have declined after more than a decade of upward trends. It marks a 34% decline since the high of 6,673 Irish abortions in 2001.

Responding to the latest figures, Dr Ruth Cullen of the Pro-Life Campaign said:

The Pro-Life Campaign welcomes the continued downward trend in abortions.

It has been suggested that the reduction in abortions may be as a result of more Irish women traveling to countries other than England for abortions. This is purely anecdotal as there is no statistical evidence to back up these claims. In fact, the official figures for countries like Holland have shown a drop in recent years of abortions on foreign nationals.

Over the past nine years, there has been a 34% decline in Irish abortions. It is an extremely encouraging trend and should be welcomed by everyone on both sides of the abortion debate. For years, abortion advocates claimed that an upward trend in abortions was inevitable. These claims have now proven to be false.

Legalised abortion totally ignores the humanity and rights of the unborn child as well as the latest peer reviewed medical research highlighting the long-term negative effects of abortion on women.

Ireland’s abortion rate is now 4.4 per 1,000 female residents aged 15-44 where England’s is 17.5.

*Statistical Bulletin, Summary Abortion Statistics, England and Wales: 2010 (24/05/11)

Friday, May 6, 2011

Lord David Alton corresponds with Your Rights Right Now ‘endorsing’ organisations

The Your Rights Right Now group has made a submission to the UN Human Rights Council which calls for abortion to be made available in Ireland.

Some Irish organisations had put their name to this submission and have been reported as ‘endorsing’ the Submission.    Since the Pro Life Campaign and others have raised this issue, a number of organisations have completely withdrawn their endorsements of the submission. However others have sought to defend their inclusion as an ‘endorsing’ organisation on the basis that the report included a disclaimer and that the Your Rights Right Now submission merely calls for ‘clarification’ of the abortion law rather than legalisation of abortion.

Many people have corresponded with the various organisations to challenge these points, one of whom is a member of the House of Lords and long-time advocate for the unborn Lord David Alton of Liverpool.

In response to the contention that the Your Rights Right Now submission did not in fact promote abortion, Lord Alton quotes the paragraph of the report itself which said “By restricting abortion, the State disproportionately interferes with women’s rights to health, privacy, life, freedom from inhuman or degrading treatment and non-discrimination” and he states “Here is not the place to debate the truth of this statement which I believe to be groundless and profoundly ideological. I quote it merely to illustrate the position of Your Rights Now draftsmen with regard to abortion. Restricting the killing of another human being is here described as an “interference” – a far from neutral statement. I feel, therefore, that it is reasonable to assert that any attempt to claim that Your Rights Now is anything other than a pro-abortion institution is disingenuous”  

Regarding the recommendation in the Your Rights Right Now Submission to  “immediately repeal the 1861 Offences Against the Persons Act”, Lord Alton states “This is the Act which still forms the basis upon which abortion remains illegal in Ireland. Repealing it removes restrictions on abortion. To those who argue that Your Rights Right Now calls for clarification as opposed to legalisation of abortion I would pose a question as to what they feel the abolition of legal restrictions on abortion would achieve if not permissible abortion?”

In response to the contention that the disclaimer at the start of the Your Rights Right Now report is sufficient to justify the ‘endorsements’ by Irish organisations of the submission, Lord Alton says “..an endorsement (as I have always understood it) denotes support. Certainly, the strong claim in the Your Rights Now website that “more than 100 organisations have already signed up to the report” surely indicates that said organisations are pleased with its contents.    He also says “In the absence of a clarification as to which parts of the report reflect the policies of which group, endorsees ought to be alert to the fact that their approval of the report as a whole implies support for its radically pro abortion stance”

He continues  “To take an analogy, I highly doubt that, if this report contained a line recommending that we reinstitute slavery or the death penalty, organisations would feel they could be proximate to such reprehensible practices, even if the document were otherwise a wonderful reflection of that organisation’s policies”

You can read the full text of Lord David Alton’s excellent correspondence with Your Rights Right Now groups here.
Thanks to his intervention and that of a significant number of people throughout Ireland emailing and telephoning the ‘endorsing’ organisations, the Your Rights Right Now report has been seriously undermined.  We expect that organisations will continue to withdraw their support of the submission over coming days and weeks.

You can view the organisations that have withdrawn their support of the Your Rights Right Now report and download the report here