Saturday, 28 January 2012


A quick browse around the blogsites has revealed some pro-life news stories of interest...

Firstly, something positive and heartening!  The signs of the times are not all bad.  Fr Tim Finnigan at The Hermeneutic of Continuity reports on a new fundamental law passed in Hungary which protects the institution of marriage (defined as being between a man and a woman) and the family as bedrocks of society and also protects the life of a foetus from conception.  See his blog post which also links to his source, a report from C-Fam.  Of course there has been opposition, for example from Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, claiming that the protection of unborn life undermines women's reproductive health rights...

More worringly, John Smeaton of SPUC reports on measures to thwart the work of pro-life pregnancy counsellors.  His post centres around a system of voluntary registration for counsellors which is under consideration by a cross-party group of MPs and which would require advice centres to "meet minimum standards" and use "appropriately trained counsellors".  This sounds well and good, but in practice, who would decide what constituted appropriate training and minimum standards?  John Smeaton claims that it is likely to be the Department of Health with advice from pro-abortion counsellors.  The MPs are divided over the issue of whether such counsellors would be obliged to declare any ethical stance, such as holding pro-life views, with Nadine Dorries holding that no-one should be able to offer crisis pregnancy counselling who had "any agenda whatsoever, be it religious or financial".  There is also the issue of advertising by commercial post-conception advice centres, about which a new regulatory code has just been released (more on this in another post) which would require pro-life advisers - should they be able to afford to advertise at all - to declare that they do not offer or refer for abortions.  Abortion-providing advice centres on the other hand are under no obligation to state that they do offer abortions.

Well worth attending
Finally for this round-up, SPUC (as Fr Finnigan also reports) are holding a Conference on Maternal Health on 20 March in Regent Hall, London which sounds excellent.  It deals face-on with of one of the biggest arguments (or rather, fallacies) of pro-abortionists: that abortions are necessary to save women's lives, particularly in the developing world.  Fiorella Nash wrote an excellent blog post for SPUC back last September refuting this argument.  Do have a read if you haven't already.


  1. Quick comment on the Basic Law in Hungary - I haven't read huge mounts about it but from reading the FT, Economist etc there are a lot of very real worries about its attacks on democratic institutions and human and religious rights. I think we should be very careful about seeing it as a good thing......

  2. Thanks Judith - shall have to look into it more but my point would be that protecting the definition of marriage as being between a man and a woman, respecting and promoting family life and acknowledging the rights of the human person even when unborn, are amongst the foundational principles for establishing just social and fiscal law.

  3. All true - but what is happening in Hungary is apparently generally not good in tems of democracy. Current government is putting in place laws that will apparently make it very hard to get them out of government and giving themselves control of the judiciary. Tens of thousands of Hungarians have been out on the streets protesting. Fr Finnigan's post makes it sound as if people are objecting to their family policies, and I don't think that's the main issue.

  4. I must admit I didn't read it like that; I thought he and the C-Fam report were alluding to the objections of organisations like Amnesty International specifically with regard to reproductive rights, and not to the protest of Hungarians on the streets. I should probably have phrased my own post better, to make it clear that I was celebrating specifically the fact that a national government has recognised traditional marriage, the importance of family and the rights of the unborn child, and that I was not praising the law as a whole which I do not know enough about to comment on. Thanks for making the clarification Judith.