News Roundup

UK woman dies of sepsis directly linked to her abortion

An inquest in Blackpool into the death of a 31-year-old woman has found that she died from a sepsis infection after undergoing an abortion.

Sarah Dunn, died at Blackpool Victoria Hospital on 11th April 2020 almost four weeks after having the abortion.

After feeling unwell in the days following the procedure, the mother of five approached her GP several times over the course of two weeks. On 10th April, she was taken by ambulance to Victoria Hospital’s A&E department and died the following day from the sepsis infection.

A spokesperson for the Pro-life Campaign said her death is far from the first case of its kind in England where a woman lost her life due to an infection directly related to the abortion procedure. “The lack of media interest in her case and similar cases is unconscionable, in contrast to say the round the clock media coverage of the Savita Halappanavar case that was used to foist abortion on Ireland. Savita died as a result of mismanaged sepsis during her care and not as a result of being denied an abortion as the media falsely and repeatedly claimed,” she said.


Surrogate baby abandoned in Ukraine by Italian couple

The one-year-old daughter of an Italian couple, who was born in Ukraine through a commercial surrogacy arrangement, but later abandoned, has arrived in Italy to be adopted by a new family.

The Italian couple had gone to Ukraine in August 2020 to fulfill their desire to have a child through a surrogate mother. After receiving the child, however, the couple entrusted it to a babysitter and returned to Italy. For a while, the couple wrote to the nanny, asking for news and sending money; but then they disappeared.

In time, the nanny contacted the Italian consulate, and the police authorities arranged for the baby to be taken to Italy to be adopted.

Italian MEP, Simona Baldassarre, said it is a chilling story of a little girl “assembled, stored, bought and abandoned”.

“It is clear to everyone how dehumanising the abomination of the rented womb is. ‘Love is Love’, ‘love is enough’, shouts those who promote this aberrant practice. Here is the result, an innocent being who, like a much desired toy, later finds himself abandoned in a box”.


Scottish Government refuse to back abortion exclusion zones

A national ban on protests outside abortion clinics is not an option, according to the public health minister of the Scottish Government.

The SNP’s Maree Todd said in a Holyrood debate that the rights of protesters who gathered outside clinics also had to be considered, even though ‘some’ women feel intimidated.

“Women should have access to healthcare free from stigma. However, any action taken must be proportionate and balance the rights of the women accessing healthcare services and those protesting peacefully and expressing their views,” she said.

“The Scottish Government is determined to find a way forward but doesn’t consider blanket buffer zones the solution. The precedent here in the UK is that its best dealt with at a local level. Our view is that bye laws are the fastest way to address the problem. The principle of protected spaces is one this Government supports.”

Meanwhile, a pro-choice group tweeted to say that the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities released legal advice on Nov 12th confirming that local councils cannot use byelaws to implement buffer zones.


Sinn Fein ‘exclusion zone’ bill attacked in Seanad

Independent Senators have slammed Sinn Féin’s proposal to ban pro-life gatherings outside of medical facilities administering abortion, asserting that such legislation is “unconstitutional” and “unnecessary.”

During a debate on Wednesday, Senator Sharon Keogan said that the legislation “may be the first time a bill has sought to criminalise the act of praying.”

She added that there was “more than a whiff of anti-Christian sentiment” about the Bill.

“The right to protest and assembly cannot be limited to what one wants. The law must treat all equally,” she concluded.

Senator Ronan Mullen asserted that the proposed legislation was “not constitutional” or “legally necessary.”

The Senator continued: “Article 40 of the Constitution “guarantees liberty for the exercise … subject to public order and morality … of the citizens to assemble”. This Bill would target the constitutional freedom of assembly of a specific group of people.

“None of this is permissible under the Constitution because everybody has the right to assemble peacefully and make their point.

He added: “I am afraid this legislation ultimately seeks to demonise people who want to offer positive alternatives to abortion. It is an attempt to deny there is a legitimate human rights argument in favour of protecting the unborn baby as well as a mother’s health and well-being. That counter narrative will always be there as long as abortion is legal in this country.”


UN delegates push Ireland to widen access to abortion

Delegates representing a number of European countries have increased pressure on Ireland to further liberalise its already radical abortion regime. On Wednesday, Ireland was appearing before the UN Human Right Council for its latest ‘periodic’ review.

At the meeting, the Austrian representative recommended that Ireland “ensure that the three-year review of the Health (Regulation of Termination of Pregnancy) Act 2018 is comprehensive and directed at providing a human rights-compliant framework for abortion, including by identifying and eliminating barriers impacting marginalized groups”.

A representative from Denmark recommended the Government “ensure that the three-year review of the Termination of Pregnancy Act focuses on ways to expand access to voluntary termination of pregnancy, both in law and in practice”.

The Iceland representative recommended that Ireland “expand access to abortion and repeal the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Act”; and the Swiss representative recommended the establishment of “a plan of action to guarantee accessibility and availability of risk-free abortion services”.

While not making a specific recommendation in this regard, Egypt expressed concern about the legal changes relating to abortion “affecting the protection of the right to life”, and recommended Ireland “strengthen policies to support the family as the basic and natural unit of society”.


A true pluralism includes Catholic schools, says Archbishop

The Catholic Archbishop of Dublin Dermot Farrell has defended the Church’s role in the boards of management of State-funded schools, saying a true plurality of patronage in education “needs to ensure parental choice while enabling all patrons, including Catholic patrons, to be true to their own ethos and characteristic spirit”.

He remarked how Catholic schools were valued across the world “because of, and not despite, their Catholic ethos”.

A great strength of faith-based schools “has been their rootedness in local communities. Those who do not share our faith come to our schools because they know that at their heart there is the acceptance of values motivated by our faith – values that present a specific vision or view of human life. Furthermore, inter-religious and inter-belief dialogue is at the heart of the Catholic school enterprise,” he said.

The Catholic school provided “academically excellent education; it provides faith-based formation that allows each student to develop a moral foundation on which to stand for the rest their lives and, it gives a vision and hope beyond the limits of value-free education,” he said.


Money not the main reason why Americans miss out on marriage

Money is not the main reason Americans who desire marriage remain single, according to a recent survey by the Institute for Family Studies and the Wheatley Institute.

A survey of single Americans ages 55 or younger who desire marriage found that “it is hard to find the right person to marry” (58%) and “not ready for the commitment” (33%) are the top two reasons cited.

In contrast, only about a quarter of unmarried adults chose economic reasons, such as “can’t afford a wedding” or “don’t have a good job.”

The top two reasons for singleness are the same for those who make $100K+ a year as for those whose income falls below $50K.

Income does make a difference in a few areas: Nearly 3 in 10 lower-income unmarried adults cited “Can’t afford a wedding” as one reason they are single. Lower-income singles are also more likely than singles with higher income to cite lacking a good job as a reason for not being married (23% vs. 15%). On the other hand, higher-income singles are much more likely than their counterparts with lower incomes to cite working too much as a reason. A third of higher income singles said that they are “too focused on work to get married,” compared with 17% of lower-income singles.

The so-called “marriage penalty” also plays a much more significant role among lower income adults who are not married.


Submissions sought on Ireland’s report to UN Children’s Committee

A public consultation on a draft of Ireland’s next State report under the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) will continue until 5pm on Friday 12th November.

Ireland is due to submit its combined fifth and sixth State report to the Committee on the Rights of the Child in February 2022, with an oral hearing before the committee provisionally scheduled for the second half of 2022 in Geneva.

The draft combined fifth and sixth State report responds to a list of issues report provided by the UN committee in November 2020 and the government is welcoming comments until the end of this week.

Written submissions on the State Report are invited from interested parties and can be submitted to the Department at the following email address: [email protected]


China shuts down Christian school in Beijing

Chinese authorities have closed a popular Christian school in Beijing, leaving the academic lives of more than 100 children in disarray. It is part of a growing crackdown on religion in China.

Officials of Tongzhou district in Beijing shut down Golden Reed Kindergarten & Primary School Learning Center in September following an order to vacate the property and close the school, reported China Aid, a rights group led by Chinese exiles documenting human rights abuses and promoting religious freedom in China.

More than 100 mostly Christian students, including those with special needs like autism, studied in the school established by Golden Lampstand Church, an evangelical house church.


Couple sues IVF clinic over baby mix-up

A woman and her husband are suing a fertility clinic in the US they say implanted a stranger’s embryo, lawyers have said.

The case resembles one before the Irish Courts in 2016 when a couple returned from abroad where they had picked up a child born through an IVF and surrogacy arrangement only to discover that the father didn’t have a genetic connection to the child, when he attempted to assert his paternity.

In the US case, when Daphna and Alexander Cardinale first saw their newborn daughter, conceived through IVF, they noticed the baby girl had jet-black hair and a much darker complexion than anyone in their family.

A DNA test several months later revealed the girl born in September 2019 was not related to either of them, and they had been raising another couple’s child.

Lawyers in Los Angeles say two laboratories connected by one doctor switched the embryos of two entirely separate couples and implanted them in the wrong mothers.

The couples eventually met and worked through the courts to gain custody of their genetic children.

Alexander Cardinale called the mix-up “heartbreaking”.

“Losing the birth child you know, for the genetic child that you don’t know yet… a truly impossible nightmare.”