Sunday, April 15, 2007

Catholic MPs' poor showing

Briefing. This private-member's bill, to keep parents informed of their children's use of contraception and abortion, was never likely to pass, but it is worth noting the appalling attitude of Catholic MPs.

From CFNews: Of forty-four Catholic Labour MPs, only four voted with the pro-life lobby in support of the 'Contraception and Abortion (Parental Information) Bill'. Their votes were more than countered by five Catholic Labour MPs who voted against it. Many of the others - thirty-six - conveniently abstained.

The Bill - introduced under the Ten-Minute Rule procedure - required practitioners to inform parents or guardians before giving contraceptives or abortion to under-age girls (fifteen and below). The Bill was voted down - but pro-life MPs are determined to re-introduce it.

In a statement, Phyllis Bowman of Right To Life said: 'There is an abundance of evidence to show that parental involvement reduces very considerably conceptions, abortions and sexually transmitted diseases among teenagers. The Bill would have helped to counter the Government's Teenage Pregnancy Strategy - which it must be said has resulted in enormous increases in sexually transmitted diseases among teenagers. These have now reached epidemic proportions.

'Labour, however, were determined to defeat the Bill and it is a tragedy that so many Catholic MPs opted out. Labour Ushers could be heard calling on Labour MPs 'Vote against the Tory Bill... Vote against the Tory Bill...'

'The Ushers knew as well as we did that it was not a Tory Bill. Four of the sponsors were Labour MPs but, in the event, only six Labour MPs - six of the most courageous of our fighters - ignored colleagues and voted with the pro-life lobby. They were led by Jim Dobbin, an indefatigable fighter. In addition to the four Catholic Labour MPs - the pro-life lobby was supported by David Drew, an Anglican, and David Taylor.

'Labour sources told us that numbers of the Labour MPs passing through the 'No' lobby did not even seem to know what they were voting against.

'One of the most significant factors is that later 32 of those Labour Catholics, who abstained from voting on the Parental Information Bill. were there to vote in the Trident Debate.

'In all there are sixty eight Catholic MPs of whom almost two-thirds (44) are Labour - over three times as many MPs as have the Conservatives with fourteen - and not one of whom voted against the Bill.

'It is important to remember that some MPs would have had prior engagements and usually front-bench MPs do not vote on a Ten-Minute Rule Bill so it was reasonable that Catholic Members of the Government abstained. On the other hand it was noticeable that some of the leading Conservative Front Benchers supported the Bill, including William Hague and Liam Fox.

'One of the great problems is that since the death of Cardinal Heenan, the Catholic Bishops of England & Wales have never grasped the nettle so far as the political campaign against abortion is concerned - unlike the Scottish Bishops to whom most pro-lifers have always looked (and still look) for a lead.. The result is that many Labour Catholic MPs do not feel any real concern on the issue - particularly when they come under pressure from colleagues …,'

'This year marks the fortieth anniversary of the passing of the Abortion Act - and Catholics should pray that the Bishops will take on board the political importance of the abortion issue as well as supporting the caring aspects. The late Cardinal Winning always achieved both.'

'On the day the Bill was debated an Early Day Motion (EDM) was tabled which highlights the fact that in 2005 the numbers of under-age children (fifteen and below) rose to 7,462, clinics in sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) in England reported 2,221 cases of STDs in patients aged 13 - 15 years, figures that exclude those cases diagnosed by doctors and family planning clinics. Moreover, even the less dangerous forms of STDs can damage young people for life and leave girls infertile. In addition, it is important to note that in the UK 13 under-age girls were reported to have syphilis in 2005. The figures for UK conceptions, abortions and STDs in teenagers are by far the highest in Western Europe. In addition, UNICEF recently reported that nearly 40 per cent of underage children (15 and below) in the UK are sexually active - once again far higher than any other country in Western Europe …' {RTL]

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Pope Leo XIII's Prayer to St Michael

Holy Michael, Archangel, defend us in the day of battle. Be our safeguard against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray, and do thou, Prince of the Heavenly Host, by the power of God, thrust down to Hell Satan, and all wicked spirits who wander through the world for the ruin of souls. Amen