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A majority of Americans are pessimistic about the state of moral values in the United States, according to a new Gallup poll. Seventy-two percent say moral values in the country as a whole are getting worse, while 44pc rate the current state of moral values as poor.
Fianna Fáil leader Micheal Martin has claimed that the Government's proposed abortion legislation is "consistent with a pro-life position" and believes that his party should support it. However he admitted that there were many within his party who disagreed, and did not clearly rule out a free vote on the issue.
Allegations of poor quality care and mistreatment of children made against two creches in Co. Dublin are being investigated by the Gardai and the HSE. A further creche is the subject solely of a HSE investigation.
A Labour TD has admitted that abortion is not a treatment for suicidal ideation or suicidal intent. Speaking on Tuesday during the Health Committee's hearings on the Bill, Ciara Conway, the Deputy Chair of the committee said that everyone was agreed that abortion was not a treatment for suicide.
A former Government advisor has slammed Senator John Crown for an “illiberal and sectarian” article in last weekend's Sunday Independent. Writing in the Irish Catholic, Gerry Howlin accused Senator Crown, who suggested that those who opposed to the Government's abortion legislation should be required to take an oath of allegiance to the Constitution, of displaying “astonishing ignorance”.
The Government's proposed abortion legislation is “incompatible with the core values of human rights” because it allows the deliberate and intentional destruction of innocent human life, Professor William Binchy has said.
The Government's proposed abortion Bill risks normalising suicide among young men, a leading mental health professional has warned. The inclusion of a suicide clause in the legislation could cost more lives than it saved by “normalising” it, Prof Kevin Malone said at the second day of the Oireachtas health committee’s hearing on the proposed abortion Bill.
A bid to protect the right of religious schools not to teach that same-sex marriage and opposite marriage are equivalent has been rejected by the House of Commons. The bid was one of a number voted on yesterday during a debate on the British government’s same-sex marriage bill.
The leading organisation fighting the redefinition of marriage in the US is set to sue the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), accusing it of leaking its tax details to a political rival. The move comes amid controversy after it emerged that the IRS, which is the US Government's tax gathering arm, was targeting conservative groups who advocate for more limited government.
Christianity in Britain could be facing a collapse with new figures suggesting it is declining 50 per cent faster than previously thought, The Daily Telegraph reports. An analysis of the 2011 census shows that a decade of mass immigration helped mask the scale of decline in Christian affiliation among the British-born population – while driving a dramatic increase in Islam, particularly among the young.
One of the country’s leading obstetricians has said he has seen no evidence that abortion can help a suicidal pregnant woman and that creates a moral dilemma for doctors. Speaking on Newstalk this morning, the Master of the Rotunda, Dr Sam Coulter Smith, said: "We as doctors are required to practice evidence based intervention, evidence based medicine.
Scientists and bioethicists have expressed serious concerns about the ethical implications of a new technique that uses and destroys cloned embryos to harvest stem cells for experimentation. Professor Martin Clynes, director of the National Institute for Cellular Biotechnology at Dublin City University, said that the new technique, which involves the transfer of a donor cell to an egg cell whose nucleus has been removed, creating a human embryo, has“probably” not gotten over the ethical issues involved with so-called therapeutic cloning, the Irish Times reports.
The Catholic Archbishop of Dublin, Dr Diarmuid Martin, has warned that the Government's abortion legislation will give the unborn child whose mother was deemed to be suicidal “less protection than is guaranteed in liberal abortion laws in other countries”.
The European Court of Human Rights has ruled that guidelines in place in Switzerland which restrict access to 'suicide' drugs are insufficiently clear and are in breach of Article 8 of the European Convention of Human Rights. However, the court did not rule that there is a right to assisted suicide in the Convention.
A coalition of groups opposed to the legalisation of same-sex marriage in France have come together to stand up for the freedom of conscience of religious individuals and institutions who could find themselves the target of ‘anti-discrimination’ legislation.
Philadelphia abortionist, Dr Kermit Gosnell, has been found guilty of three counts of first degree murder after it was found he killed babies after they had been delivered alive. He was also found guilty of conspiracy to perform abortions past Pennsylvania's 24-week legal threshold.
Young families have been the hardest hit by the recession, according to new research from a leading think-tank. The study by the the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) shows that households where the adults are under the age of 45 are being hit hardest by unemployment, mortgage arrears and negative equity.
The Irish launch of ‘The Global Charter of Conscience’ took place in Dublin yesterday. The purpose of the charter is to find a way of letting people of different beliefs co-exist in society and have their conscience rights curtailed to the smallest extent possible. Christian writer and speaker Os Guinness launched the document. The event was hosted by the Evangelical Alliance.
Pro-life groups in the US have described the decision by a prominent US Catholic university to invite Taoiseach Enda Kenny to receive an honourary degree and speak at their graduation ceremony as “unconscionable” in light of the Government's proposed abortion Bill. “After our painful experience for the past 40 years, we know what legal abortion will do to Ireland,” Kristan Hawkins, president of Students for Life of America told Catholic News Agency in the US.
Up to 40pc of staff working in a State child protection and welfare bureau have not been vetted by gardai, and HSE staff in one local area did not always notify the gardai of cases of suspected physical, sexual abuse or neglect of a child, according to a new report. The review, carried out by the Health Information and Quality Authority, Hiqa, inspected child protection services in the Carlow/Kilkenny area found that delays in reporting suspect cases of abuse and neglect potentially hindered investigations and presented a risk to children, the Irish Times reports.
The Government's proposed abortion legislation has been slammed as “gravely immoral” and Catholics cannot leave their faith “outside the room” when considering these matters, the Coadjutor Archbishop of Armagh, Eamon Martin, has said. In remarks at the closing of the Novena in the parish of Saint Patrick, Roden Place, Dundalk, Archbishop Martin said the government's proposal “strikes at the very heart of our faith and belief because it directly targets human life which is sacred and a gift from God”.
The Constitutional Convention has submitted its second report to the Government. It recommends amending, rather than deleting, Article 41.2 of the Constitution, which currently refers to women in the home. The report reflected the recommendation of the Convention's meeting in February that the article be made gender neutral to include other carers in the home, and beyond the home.
RTE's Morning Ireland programme this morning issued a clarification accepting that a prominent New Zealand psychiatrist was not unhappy about how his research was cited by The Iona Institute. On Tuesday, presenter Cathal McCoille interviewed Professor David Fergusson about the way in which his research had been cited by pro life groups.
Education Minister Ruiari Quinn (pictured) has sparked fears of a further cut to Child Benefit after he indicated he would spend the money saved on free pre-school places. According to The Irish Independent, Mr Quinn's comments raising the prospect of further cuts have caused anger within the Coalition.
David Cameron’s insistence on redefining marriage and his refusal to date to grant a tax break to married couples cost the Tories seats in last week's local elections, Conservative activists have claimed. Conservative Grassroots, a network of senior Tory party members, have said that the Prime Minister's commitment to legalising same-sex marriage is harming the Conservative Party’s electoral chances, the Daily Telegraph reports.
A prominent legal academic has said that a requirement in the Government's proposed abortion legislation that hospitals must carry out abortions regardless of their religious ethos may not be in accord with the Irish Constitution. Professor Gerry Whyte of Trinity College Dublin, a leading expert in Constitutional law, said that Head 12 of the Government's Protection of Life During Pregnancy Bill 2013 may not be compatible with Article 44.2.5 of the Constitution.
Draft legislation currently being considered by the Oireachtas is set to remove some of the legal obstacles facing grandparents who wish to have access to their grandchildren where the children's parents split up. The legislation is also set to broaden the definition of a grandparent to take account of situations where parents may have had children from different partners.
Legalising same-sex marriage would corrupt the natural setting for rearing children by a mother and a father, the Catholic Archbishop of Miami has said. Speaking at the Red Mass for the Miami Catholic Lawyers Guild, Archbishop Thomas Wenski, said that such a move would further spread “moral relativism,” which he added was one of the signs that democracy is “on its way to totalitarianism”.
An increasing number of women are attempting “amateur abortions” at home, the Irish Family Planning Association (IFPA) has claimed. Dr Caitríona Henchion, medical director for the IFPA, at a press conference to discuss the Government's proposed abortion legislation, said that one of their Dublin clinics had seen three such women in the first three months of this year, the Irish Times reports.
The Government's proposed abortion Bill would be “a dramatic and morally unacceptable change to Irish law”, the Catholic bishops have said. In a statement responding to the Government's publication of the Heads of the Protection of Life during Pregnancy Bill 2013 this week, the bishops said that it would “make the direct and intentional killing of unborn children lawful in Ireland”.
Fianna Fáil has delayed taking a decision on whether to support the Government's proposed abortion legislation after a meeting of the parliamentary party yesterday. Reports suggest that the party leadership wished to see the party support the legislation, but that a majority of the party opposed this option.
The Pro Life Campaign (PLC) has slammed the Government for “systematically ignoring all of the expert psychiatric evidence presented at the recent Oireachtas hearings on abortion”. In a statement following the Government's publication of the heads of an abortion Bill on Tuesday night, it said that the Oireachtas had heard “unanimous expert evidence that abortion is not a treatment for suicidal ideation”.
Eleven medical experts have rejected the suggestion made by Dr Peter Boylan that the death of Savita Halappanavar was probably caused by current Irish law. In a letter in yesterday's papers, the consultants, including Professors John Bonnar, Eamon O'Dwyer and Stephen Cusack, said that Dr Boylan's view was a personal one, “not an expert one”.
Long promised plans to give a modest tax break to married couples could be published by November, according to sources close to Prime Minister David Cameron. Mr Cameron has promised yet again that he would recognise marriage in the tax system before the general election in 2015 on the campaign trail last week, the Daily Mail reports.
The Supreme Court has said that there is no constitutional right to assisted suicide. In a ruling yesterday, the court rejected an appeal by a woman with multiple sclerosis against a High Court judgement from earlier this year which had said that assisted suicide was not a right under the Constitution.
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