Tuesday, December 18, 2007

'Catholics for a Free Choice' plan UK campaign


From CFNews: The following letter has been published in the Catholic Herald (Dec 14, 2007)

Sir - The YouGov poll claiming that 43 per cent of' Catholics' support abortion (Leading article, November 30) was conducted by Catholics for a Free Choice (CFFC) in mid-November. As we suspect. CFFC also funded it, and CFFC's Jon O'Brien recently presented the results to MPs at Westminster.

I attended the Marie Scopes Global Safe Abortion conference in London on October 23-24 and am therefore in conscience bound to contextualise and shed light upon this poll - as upon CFFC's wider promotion of its 'abortion rights' strategy. The poll forms what is the first of a longer onslaught being prepared against the Catholic Church by CFFC in Britain. It is a clear attempt to manipulate Catholic opinion and influence decision-makers.

During the conference Jon O'Brien spoke of his '10 commandments' for overcoming opposition to abortion rights. One of these is 'better advocacy is the antidote to the opposition'.

O'Brien also publicly commented that 'many Catholics use contraceptives, have abortions, support choice. Catholic voters are for choice ... public opinion says they support choice. This is important for policy makers; it is key to forming public policy. It happened in Portugal. It will happen in Ireland. Many bishops support condoms policy, not the pro- life policy, e.g Cardinal Martini, so, this is the beginning of change in the institutional Church.'

More importantly, I attended a presentation by Media Measurement, consisting of an analysis of abortion in the media between February and September, a so-called 'independent' study commissioned by Marie Stopes International. The presenter began by saying that in the eight-month period of the study, Cardinal O'Brien speaking out against abortion received 226 media 'hits', whereas CFFC's O'Brien received only five such 'hits'. The presenter commented that 'had the cardinal been launching a new product, it would have been a huge success because the UK's adult population had three opportunities per day in various media to hear the cardinal's comments'. The response of Ann Furedi, chief executive of BPAS, to this was, 'Why would the cardinal have anything notable to say?', and 'We will have to quieten the cardinal!' Thus the poll also claimed that Catholics believe that 'Catholic bishops should stay out of abortion politics'.

My perspective is this: CFFC's poll and other attempts to keep 'abortion rights' in the British media is a purely reactive strategy - reactive to Catholic truth. I have also recently learnt that CFFC is rooting down in Britain in the medium term to advise abortion activists on influencing policy makers. Including MPs perhaps?

This means that right-believing Catholics must not only keep defending the truth of infallible Catholic teaching, but must be more proactive and media-savvy in doing so.

Another key fact I noted at the conference, which helps us to understand CFFC's strategy, is that abortion activists now speak of moving the debate in favour of abortion from one of 'reproductive choice' to one of 'reproductive justice'. They aim to make 'pro-choice' arguments redundant. Thus we may expect to hear arguments that pro-life groups countering abortion rights will be accused of denying women 'justice' and 'equality'.
Yours faithfully, (Name and address supplied) 1410.9

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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