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Tuesday, 31 May 2011

'Pro-life' government appointments - very good news.

It is very good news to learn that ‘Life’ has been invited by the government to join its ‘Expert Advisory Group on Sexual Health’, and also that ‘Life’ and other pro traditional-family organisations are included as founder members of the government’s new ‘Sex and Relationships Education Council’. Warmest congratulations to, and prayers for, these pro-life and pro-family organisations, and indeed all those engaged in the pro-life cause.

                  LIFE - in safe hands           

Whilst investigating this good news, I found myself on an unfamiliar web-site entitled ‘’, which describes itself as a ‘political blog for progressives’, and ‘Britain’s no.1 left-wing blog’.
The date was May 25th and there was a post by Dianne Abbott, Labour MP (Hackney North and Stoke Newington), the shadow Health Minister, with the somewhat dire heading:-
       ‘Government leaning dangerously towards anti-abortion groups’.

The tenor and intent of the article was immediately obvious, for in the words of Dianne Abbott:-

"We must not underestimate the chilling news that the government has appointed anti-abortion group ‘Life’ to their expert advisory group on sexual health. This appointment, coupled with the retraction of an invite to the British Pregnancy Advisory Service, one of the UK’s leading abortion providers, signals a dangerous move"

"This news has broken in the same week that Michael Gove, Secretary of State for Education, pledged his support for the newly-formed ‘Sex and Relationships Education Council’ whose founding members include a deadly medley of abstinence promoters and anti-abortionists, including Life, Silver RingThing, and the Family Education Trust."

     Dianne Abbott, Labour MP (Shadow Health Minister)

Then followed somewhat wild allegations, some would say lies, but judge for yourself:-
"Life has perpetrated many scare stories …. anti-abortionists, including members of Life, can be seen on a daily basis outside the UK’s abortion clinics, shouting abuse at women going inside, and displaying grotesque posters of mutilated foetuses of an advanced gestation. They have no qualms about totally distorting the reality of abortions ……." (what hypocrisy! – my quote)

The article is fulsome in its praise for the previous members of the Department of Health ‘Sexual Health Forum’, which  "until now included some of the UK’s best sexual health professionals, experts in their field who have a track record of delivering and commissioning the highest levels of care."

'A track record of delivering and commissioning the highest levels of care'?
The reality is that in 2010 alone, in England and Wales, there were 189,574 abortions, i.e. 539 every day, 1 abortion every 3 minutes; representing a 10% increase in abortions over the last decade.
More than 20,000 women under 21 years of age, had a 2nd abortion, and 16,000 abortions were on girls under 18 years of age.
The record of ‘Sexually Transmitted Infections’ (STIs) show 100% increase between the years 1991-2001, viz. from 669,000 to 1,332,000, the vast majority of cases being young people. I believe that over the past decade these figures have multiplied.

In the light of these ever worsening statistics, each case a personal human tragedy, the truth speaks for itself. Previous government’s pro-abortion, anti-parent and anti-family legislation, urged on by the ‘experts’ from BPAS, the Brook Institute, and the Family Planning Association, with government promoted sex-education for children as young as six, and young adolescents ‘educated’ in the facts of immoral and un-natural sexual practices, has been an unmitigated moral and social disaster.

We humbly thank God for the pro-life organisations and individuals, who have fought incessantly for so many years against the ‘death brigades’ of abortion, euthanasia, and similar evils. The war is not yet won, but at last the value of life and the family has a recognised place on the political agenda, with its own experienced and dedicated standard-bearers, ensuring and promoting  pro-life and pro-family ideals in our secular, confused, and suffering society.

In one of several comments on ‘Life’, Dianne Abbott has this to say:-
"Life’s response to birth control is encompassed in a single word, abstinence, and we all know how unsuccessful those programmes have been in the USA, resulting in higher rates of teenage pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections than in groups using normal, modern, 21st century methods of family planning."

"And we all know how unsuccessful those programmes have been in the USA"...(but do we?).  From the study of numerous websites dealing with this question, it is clear that there is no definitive answer to this question. Different commentators hold opposing views, some genuine but others no-doubt influenced by prejudice or their own agenda. There is no evidence to support Dianne Abbott’s supposition, but there is evidence that the ‘abstinence’ programme enjoyed a measurable degree of success, and is still doing so. Her unsubstantiated and rash conclusion appears unsupported by any credible evidence.

Sadly, Dianne Abbott appears blind to the real tragedy of abortion, which above all is the killing of the defenceless, unborn child. She also seems unable or unwilling to admit the failure of past government’s ‘condoms-cure for all’ philosophy.

She concludes on a defiant note:-
            "We will monitor and oppose any attempts by the government to erode or undermine this country’s sexual health professionalism and expertise, and I have called for Life’s appointment to the sexual health forum to be retracted."

It is always a sobering thought to reflect, that one day, we must stand before the throne of God to give an account of our lives. But how will those who have spent their lives promoting and encouraging the killing of the unborn child, explain themselves? From the moment of conception, every human life is unique, with individual body and soul, created by God in His own image and likeness.


The following day, an article by humanist Jennie Bristow, British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS), appeared on the same website. She writes:-

            "We at BPAS have no objection to LIFE campaigning against abortion, and no problem with engaging in discussion about what is appropriate pregnancy counselling."

"Our interest is in supporting women’s choice. Life’s interest, on the other hand, is in opposing abortion – a position that necessarily skews any attempt to engage with a sexual health strategy that very clearly sees a role for abortion as a part of
family planning."

        Jennie Bristow - editor BPAS Journal 'Abortion Review'

When abortion was legalised, it was never intended as part of a ‘family planning’ strategy. Over the years, the sanctity of life has been de-valued and cheapened; secularism, materialism, and humanism, has so deadened the social conscience, that now, as Jennie Bristow admits, abortion is regarded as just another part of the ‘family planning’ armoury, with no regard for the human rights of the unborn child, human rights which are still written into the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights.

 In her article Jennie Bristow criticises Nadine Dorries MP, who recently proposed a series of initiatives in the House of Commons, designed to protect the rights of pregnant women and the unborn child in Britain. She dismisses the value of sexual abstinence, pregnancy counselling, and a woman’s ‘right to know’ laws, which have "plagued many states in the USA for a few years now, where it is a tried and tested tactic for social conservatives to dress themselves up as advocates for women, expressing concern about abortion harming health, and women being denied support for other options".

She considers that such initiatives in Britain will have limited effect, primarily because abortion has been enshrined in national law and policies, with 96% of abortions funded by the NHS, and 59% carried out by BPAS, Marie Stopes International, and like ‘charities’.

As part of the ‘Big Society’ agenda, she considers that organisations with a ‘vested interest in curbing abortion rights’ may have increased impact on the service provided, with opponents of abortion seeking to put ‘politically motivated and clinically unethical hurdles’ in the way of women seeking abortion.
She then concludes:-  "That is why we need to continue talking loudly about abortion, and providing it proudly"

Her remarks clearly show the contempt for the pro-life cause, so evident in  public statements of the pro-choice, pro-abortion lobby.
 A ‘vested interest’ in curbing abortion rights’? Well yes, if by ‘vested interest’ is meant the protection of the unborn.
If by ‘politically motivated and clinically unethical hurdles’,is meant the establishment in law of a woman’s right to choose the fate of her unborn child without coercion, and with full knowledge of the issues involved, with time to reflect and seek help, with the well-being of mother and her unborn child paramount; yes, this is what Nadine Dorries seeks to achieve.

     Nadine Dorries, Conservative MP

‘Political motivation or clinically unethical practices’ is perhaps a more accurate description of the methodology of the  pro-abortion lobby!

Some final questions that beg an answer :-
            a) Why are 96% of today's abortions funded by the NHS, compared with 47% in the years before 1990? Was the motive behind this increase based on politically 'ideological' grounds, and if so, is there any  reason now why this figure could not be substantially reduced?
            b) What is the actual cost involved?
            c) Why should taxpayers who are opposed to ‘legalised abortions’ on moral grounds, be obliged to finance them?
           d) Could not some scheme be arranged whereby such objectors could opt for their money to go to alternative medical needs?

As with Dianne Abbott MP, Jennie Bristow seems blind to the inhumanity of legalised abortion, with no mention of the killing of the unborn child, no mention of the proven connection between abortion and major cancers, and no mention of the proven psychological damage suffered by so many women and indeed men, as a result of abortion. Not to mention the ‘brutalisation’ of our 'social' conscience, with the ‘normalisation’ of abortion surely a contributory factor in the increasingly violent and immoral society of which we are all part.

We pray for all those working for the pro-life cause, in whatever capacity, to the glory of God and His Creation, and for the good of mankind; we pray that God will bless their work, themselves and their families.
We pray also for the conversion of those in the pro-abortion, anti-life lobby, that their minds and hearts will
recognise and respond to God's love and the sanctity of life.

         Our Lady of Victories, pray for us.

Sunday, 1 May 2011

'Poems' by Betty L.Robertson - gentle simplicity and integrity

Some years ago from a book-shop in Devon, I acquired a second-hand book of poems by Betty L.Robertson, published in the early 1930s by Whitby, Light, and Lane Ltd, Printers, of Bridgwater.
Every so often, when in contemplative mood, I browse through this little book, never failing to be moved by these poems.  This little known and clearly sensitive lady, who so obviously loved God’s natural world, also suffered deep personal sorrow from the loss of a loved one, yet never failed to proclaim through her poetry, her ultimate trust and faith in God, the source of all love.

Here is a small selection of her poems:-

From a Hunted Deer         
Did you men know the anguish of my mind,
Could you but hear the thumping in my breast,
Or see the tears of pain which drive one blind,
Or feel the sharp strained pain across the chest.

Did you but know how when so close to death
The aching legs go slower as they run,
And comes a hard, cold stab with every breath,
A scorching dryness of the thirsty tongue.

Ah! Then indeed you’d know what real fear was,
The terror of a deer hunted by hounds,
All wildly mad with hunger, and as us
You’d feel them tear the flesh, with leaps and bounds.

What have we done to meet this shameful end?
That you men revel in our banishment?
What have we done so greatly to offend?
Almighty knows that we are innocent.

Because we’re dumb think you we feel no pain?
We are not cowards, tho’ God knows we are wild.
Think you we do not grieve when we have seen
This sudden ending of a mate, or child?

But you rejoice to see us sweat and bleed,
Dying on the ground He made for living things,
And you are proud of having done this deed,
And what is more, you call it “sport of kings”.
                                                 September 1926


O man where is your soul?
This hedge so beautiful,
Those twigs so brown,
These leaves which held the dew,
Those splendid ferns which grew,
Are all cut down.

Tidy you say? Ah yes
But wild unrulyness
Is nature’s charm.
Those tender buds were such
That fairies would not touch,
Lest they might harm.

Lighter! And what of light?
The willows were so slight,
The moss so green.
Why angels fear to tread
Across that violet bed
Where you have been.

It is your job, you say?
To chop this hedge away?
‘Twas beautiful,
Those gentle joys spring planned,
Die ‘neath your ruthless hand.
Where is your soul?

The Moth

Flickering is the candlelight,
Wavering, for the breeze is slight,
Out of the sleeping summer night
Flies a moth.

Out of the lane where flowers grow,
Darting towards the candle glow,
Fluttering wings, as white as snow
Has the moth.

Little moth, go back to the lane,
See, I’ve opened the window pane,
Fly back to the darkness again
Little moth.
                                   August 1929

Sing On, Sweet Bird

Sing on, sweet bird, the day has nigh
Come to a close, the dark’ning sky
Hangs low, night sounds are heard.
Time is so short, and life so dear
Fades as the daylight, for how near
Is Heaven to earth, sweet bird?

Sing on, sweet bird, nor heed the night,
Thy soul is seeking for some height
Where other souls have gone.
This aching heart which is my own,
Finds comfort in thy powers alone,
Sing on, sweet bird, sing on.

Sing on, sweet bird, and never cease,
The darkness brings a tranquil peace,
One star shines through above.
Across the hill the wind’s soft breath
Whispers to us “there is no death,
And God alone is love”.

And finally – possibly my favourite from this little known and gracious lady;


What should they know of life, these little ones?
Who weep, and then forget why they were sad,
Who crown their lives with golden dreams, ambitions,
And never doubt that they will come to pass.
What should they know of life?  Its sordidness
To children is a thing of nothingness.
The earth to them was made for work and play,
With new found joys in every endless day.
What should they fear from life, these little ones?

What should they know of love, these little ones?
Who worship from the depth of heart and soul
More faithfully than older ones can tell,
A simple toy, battered or torn, or broken.
And from the angels comes the love for mother,
Kept sacredly aloof from any other,
A love, deep rooted in the little heart,
That nought, not even death, could wrench apart.
What should they fear from love, these little ones?

What should they know of death, these little ones?
Death, fearful in its great uncertainty,
A promised peaceful sleep, yet how we tremble
To leave this world of ours, and walk with God.
But children do not doubt, Heaven must lie
Beyond the twinkling stars, the tranquil sky,
For mother said that dark was safe as light,
And Jesus watches thro’ the longest night.
What should they fear from death, these little ones?