Frequently Asked Questions

  • What about abortion in cases of foetal abnormality?

    There has been much media attention concerning the legalisation of abortion in cases of unborn children having life-limiting conditions or other foetal abnormalities. Under ‘ground E’ of the Abortion Act 1967, abortions are permitted at any time up to and including birth if there is a ‘substantial risk’ that the child might be born ‘seriously handicapped’. Some of the most common congenital abnormalities accounting for abortions in England and Wales are ‘trisomies’. The most common trisomies are Down’s syndrome (trisomy 21), Edward’s syndrome (trisomy 18) and Patau syndrome (trisomy 13).[1]

    According to the Bruce Inquiry, a parliamentary Inquiry into Abortion on the Grounds of Disability 2013, there is a strong presumption that parents whose unborn children have been diagnosed with a disability would choose to have them aborted. This has led to subtle or direct pressure being placed on parents who decided not to abort.[2] 

    What is needed for parents and their unborn children who have been diagnosed with a life-limiting condition is perinatal hospice care. This allows for a continuum of supportive care from the time of diagnosis until the child’s death. Parents are able to spend precious time with their children, both while the baby is in the womb, and then for hours, days and sometimes weeks and months and even years after birth. Parents, when given loving support, freedom from abandonment and careful counsel as to clinical expectations, will choose the alternative of perinatal hospice care, however brief that time may be.[3]

    [1] https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/abortion-statistics-for-england-and-wales#documents

    [2] A Parliamentary Inquiry into Abortion on the Grounds of Disability 2013, page 24 and 25. Accessed at http://www.abortionanddisability.org/resources/Abortion-and-Disability-Report-17-7-13.pdf.  

    [3] ‘Perinatal Hospice for the Unborn’: Byron Calhoun, MD and Nathan Hoeldtke, MD. Accessed at http://www.nathhan.com/perihospice.htm.

  • Is abortion legal in Northern Ireland?

    NO! In October 2012, the Attorney General for Northern Ireland - the ‘Guardian of the Law’ - stated very clearly, “...Abortion in Northern Ireland is a criminal offence.”[1]

    The law on abortion in Northern Ireland is governed by sections 58 and 59 of the Offences Against the Person Act 1861 and section 25 of the Criminal Justice Act (NI) 1945. Section 58 states that it is a criminal offence for a woman ‘with child’ to use any means with intent to procure her own ‘miscarriage’, or for anyone else to use any means with intent to procure the woman’s ‘miscarriage’, whether or not she is ‘with child’. Section 25 of the Criminal Justice Act (NI) 1945 prohibits any person, with intent to destroy the life of an unborn child then ‘capable of being born alive’, from doing any wilful act which causes the death of the unborn child. The purpose of these laws is the protection of the unborn child.

    However, those in the abortion industry try to cause confusion by saying “...abortion is legal in certain circumstances in Northern Ireland.”

    This is untrue! A criminal offence cannot be legal in certain circumstances. Rather, a defence may be raised.[2] This defence is not automatic and depends on the circumstances of the act carried out.

    As the Attorney General explained: “an abortion carried out in Northern Ireland may not result in criminal liability if, on a trial for that offence, a jury considers that the person who procured it was a suitably qualified person who believed, and had reasonable grounds for believing, that the continuation of the pregnancy would have created a risk to the life of the mother.”

    A doctor may try to argue that he or she performed an abortion to save the life of the pregnant woman. However, when expert medical evidence is adduced which shows that the death of the child was not required to save the life of the pregnant woman, the doctor should not be able to rely on the defence.[3] 

    Direct abortion (the directly intended termination of pregnancy before viability or the directly intended destruction of the unborn child) is never permitted. The induction of a pre-viable unborn child, that is, a child who cannot survive outside the womb, is a direct abortion. Deliberately inducing an unborn child into an environment where he or she will definitely die is a direct attack on the unborn child.[4] It is specifically prohibited by the Offences Against the Person Act 1861.

    In contrast, in circumstances to save a pregnant woman’s life, a doctor can legally provide essential medical treatment to directly treat a proportionately serious pathological condition, even though that licit treatment may cause the secondary effect of the premature induction of the unborn child.

    [1] Attorney General’s letter to the Justice Committee dated 16th October 2012. Accessed at http://catholiclawyersblog.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/letter-to-paul-givan-mla-re-marie-stopes-dtd-oct-16-2012-2.pdf.    

    [2] Association of Catholic Lawyers in Ireland, ACLI Give Evidence to the Health Committee on Erroneous Abortion Guidelines. Accessed at http://catholiclawyersblog.wordpress.com/2013/07/25/new-abortion-guidance-for-northern-ireland-contain-serious-legal-errors/

    [3] Johanna Higgins, Statement of the Law Against Abortion and Child Destruction in Northern Ireland, Association of Catholic Lawyers in Ireland (ACLI) Publications, pg 4 

    [4] Anthony McCarthy, Pre-Viability Inductions in Vital Conflict Cases: Are they Really Morally Permissible? Accessed at http://www.cmq.org.uk/CMQ/2014/Feb/previability_inductions.html  

  • What about abortion in the case of rape?

    Rape is an horrific act of violence against women. Rape victims need long term compassion and care.

    • Abortion does not ‘unrape’ the mother - it makes her the mother of a dead baby
    • Abortion does not ‘undo” a rape - it kills the child
    • Abortion is a second violation of the raped woman
    • Abortion punishes the innocent child for the crime of the rapist
    • The killing of a child - no matter how that child is conceived - is always wrong

     

    According the research by Dr. David Reardon, author of “Rape, Incest and Abortion: Searching Beyond the Myths”

    - most women who become pregnant out of sexual assault do not want an abortion and are in fact worse-off after an abortion

    [Get more info at: www.savethe1.com]

  • What if a woman's life is in danger?

    Direct abortion (the directly intended termination of pregnancy before viability or the directly intended destruction of the unborn child) is never permitted.[1]

    There are NO medical conditions when the life of a pregnant woman can only be saved by direct abortion.[2]

    Operations, treatments, and medications that have as their direct purpose the cure of a proportionately serious pathological condition of a pregnant woman are permissible when they cannot be safely postponed until the unborn child is viable, even if they will result in the death of the unborn child.[3]

    If through careful treatment of the pregnant woman’s pathological condition the unborn child inadvertently dies or is injured, this is tragic and, if unintentional, is not unethical.

    Please read below three scenarios concerning the cases of pulmonary hypertension, a cancerous uterus, and an ectopic pregnancy to illustrate the moral difference between (1) a direct abortion (the directly intended termination of pregnancy before viability or the directly intended destruction of the unborn child) and (2) an operation, treatment or medication that has as its direct purpose the cure of a proportionately serious pathological condition of a pregnant woman: 

     

    (1)   A direct abortion (the directly intended termination of pregnancy before viability or the directly intended destruction of the unborn child) in the case of pulmonary hypertension:

    A pregnant woman is experiencing problems with one or more of her organs. The doctor recommends the directly intended termination of the pregnancy before viability or the directly intended destruction of the unborn child. This scenario describes a direct abortion. The intervention does not directly address the health problem of the woman, for example, by repairing the organ that is malfunctioning. The intervention may lessen the overall demands placed upon the organ, since the extra demands posed by the pregnancy will be removed, but the removal of the unborn child, whether by the directly intended termination of the pregnancy before viability or the directly intended destruction of the unborn child, does not directly cure the malfunctioning organ.[4]So in the case of pulmonary hypertension, the high blood pressure in the pregnant woman’s lungs is still there after the intervention. It isn’t a curative intervention.[5] It is only permissible to use operations, treatments, and medications that are directly curative for the pathology.

    [1] No. 45 of the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (November 2009). Accessed at http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/human-life-and-dignity/health-care/upload/Ethical-Religious-Directives-Catholic-Health-Care-Services-fifth-edition-2009.pdf  

    [1] Professor Eamon O’Dwyer, Professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at NUI Galway.

    [1] No. 47 of the Ethical and Religious Directive for Catholic Health Care Services, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (November 2009). 

    [1] ‘The Distinction between Direct Abortion and Legitimate Medical Procedures’, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Committee on Doctrine (June 2010). Accessed at http://www.ncpd.org/sites/default/files/direct-abortion-statement2010-06-23.pdf

    [1] Raymond Arroyo, ‘The World Over’: Interview with Bishop Thomas Olmsted and Fr Tad Pacholczyk concerning Abortion Phoenix Case (January 2011). Accessed at http://www.ewtn.com/vondemand/audio/seriessearchprog.asp?pgnu=6&SeriesID=-6892288

     

    (2)   An operation, treatment or medication that has as its direct purpose the cure of a proportionately serious pathological condition of a pregnant woman, in the case of a cancerous uterus and an ectopic pregnancy:

    A CANCEROUS UTERUS:

    A pregnant woman develops cancer in her uterus. The doctor recommends surgery to remove the cancerous uterus as the only way to prevent the spread of the cancer. Removing the uterus will also lead to the death of the unborn child, who cannot survive at this point outside the uterus.[6]

    In this scenario, the surgery directly addresses the health problem of the woman, i.e. the organ that is malfunctioning (the cancerous uterus). The woman’s health benefits directly from the surgery, because of the removal of the cancerous organ.[7]

    AN ECTOPIC PREGNANCY:

    Here the unborn child implants in a place other than the uterus such as the fallopian tube, the ovary or the abdominal cavity. If the unborn child has implanted right at the opening of the fallopian tube to the uterus, sometimes this can be monitored to see if the unborn child will ‘move’ slowly towards the uterus. Usually, though, this is not compatible with life for the unborn child and the unborn child will die and the mother can easily haemorrhage to death.[8]

    In an ectopic pregnancy it is possible to prevent rupture by removing the fallopian tube without intending the unborn child’s death, even though this is foreseen as certain. The reason is that the object of the procedure is the rupture-prone tube and not the unborn child itself. In preventing the rupture by removing the fallopian tube, the surgeon need not intend to disrupt the unborn child’s development, which would amount to wronging the unborn child, because in any case, development has already been disrupted by defective and non-viable implantation of the unborn child outside the uterus. In removing the tube, the surgeon is not depriving the unborn child of a condition that is sufficient for its survival. The object of the procedure is the rupture-prone tube, not the unborn child itself.[9]

    In contrast, treatment of the ectopic pregnancy with methotrexate is the direct killing of the unborn child, and does not cure the woman of the abnormal fallopian tube. That method, therefore, is morally impermissible.[10]

    [6]The Distinction between Direct Abortion and Legitimate Medical Procedures’, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Committee on Doctrine (June 2010).
     

    [7]The Distinction between Direct Abortion and Legitimate Medical Procedures’, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Committee on Doctrine (June 2010).

    [8] Questions and Answers addressed to Medical Team at Priests for Life. Accessed at: http://www.priestsforlife.org/doctors/question-list.aspx?forumID=2

    [9] Matthew O’Brien, ‘Moral Absolutes and the Humpty Dumpty Fallacy’ (June 2011). Accessed at http://www.thepublicdiscourse.com/2011/06/3355/ 

    [10] Questions and Answers addressed to Medical Team at Priests for Life. Accessed at: http://www.priestsforlife.org/doctors/question-list.aspx?forumID=2

  • Can abortion cause breast cancer?

    For years, scientists and doctors have been sounding the alarm about the correlation between abortion and breast cancer. We don’t hear much about this anymore. One reason for that is that the government has shut this down as junk science. Susan G. Komen and Planned Parenthood have refuted this claim, and it seems that the world is listening to the wrong sources.

    Now, a study in China proves beyond a doubt that abortion(s) absolutely increases a woman’s chance to develop breast cancer in her lifetime — and not just by a small margin. A new Chinese meta-analysis study has found a dramatic increase in the risk for breast cancer in women after having an abortion. The risk continues to grow after each subsequent abortion.

    After one abortion, researches have seen that Chinese women had a 44% higher development of breast cancer. After two abortions, breast cancer increased by 76%. After three abortions, breast cancer was increased to 89%.

    From Natural News:

    The new study was published last week in the peer reviewed international journal Cancer Causes and Control and was conducted by Chinese researchers from the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the Tianjin Medical University Cancer Hospital. In the study, the researchers examined 36 articles (two cohort studies and 34 case-control studies) that investigated the associations between abortion and breast cancer.

    Chinese women historically have had lower rates of breast cancer compared to women in western countries such as the United States. However, breast cancer incidences in China have increased at an “alarming rate” over the past two decades – increases which have corresponded with implementation of the Chinese Communist Party’s one-child policy.

    The one-child policy is strictly enforced in China, and pregnant women who already have a child are often forced to undergo abortions. [1]

    The study is being called a “Game Changer” by scientists and doctors. Joel Brind, professor of endocrinology at Baruch College City University of New York, and his peers say that after years of of attempts by special interest groups to discredit these findings, the Chinese study clearly shows the link between abortion and breast cancer.

    More from Natural News:

    The new Chinese research follows closely on the heels of two similar studies published earlier this year. An Indian study published in May reported a six-fold (600%) greater risk of breast cancer among Indian women with a history of induced abortion. A Bangladesh study found that women with a history of induced abortion had a 20-fold (2,000%) increase in the likelihood of developing breast cancer.

    Dr. Brind called the recent findings “of the sort of magnitude that has typified the link between cigarettes and lung cancer.”

    The connection between abortions and breast cancer appears to be linked to hormones and stem cells. According to Dr. Jane Orient, estrogen increases by 2,000% by the end of the first trimester, which increases the vulnerability for some women for estrogen-fueled cancers. However, when pregnancies go to full term, 85% of breast-cancer tissue becomes cancer-resistant due to hormones made by the fetal placenta presence. [1]

    On a personal note, my best friend and sister in Christ went home to be with the Lord last year. She had confided in me that when she was a teen, she became pregnant. She hid this from her mother until she was quite far along. This was in the 1960s. Finally, when her mother was aware of her being pregnant, she forced my friend to have a “back alley” abortion performed. This left my friend sterile.

    She developed breast cancer in her 50’s. The cancer metastasized to her bones, and after horrific suffering, she went home to be Jesus.

    If I can reach one woman who is contemplating abortion with this article, and she keeps her child — I will have helped to save a baby and perhaps even the mother. Hopefully,  many women will read this piece.

    Please share this with your friends and relatives!

    [1] http://www.naturalnews.com/043146_breast_cancer_abortions_increased_risk.html