Helping Christians to make a difference
Dealing with current Issues
Helping Christian families to make a difference
Some articles on the issues we deal with – how to defend marriage from a ‘Christian worldview’ perspective, abortion and its consequences and suicide being pushed as ‘palliative care’…
On the Issues Nov 2015
1. Upholding marriage in the public square
Bill Berends, Director of the Kuyper Centre for Christian Worldview Studies, has written an enlightening article about how to defend marriage in the public square…
As we face a debate on marriage in Australia it is vital that we engage in all of the areas outlined by Bill.
He begins, “Recently it was my privilege to speak at the RTC Preaching Conference on the Lordship of Christ in the Public Square. Here I pointed out that in the public square we can defend Christian values with reference to God’s general revelation. The Reformers taught that God speaks to us in “two books”, creation and the Bible (see Psalm 19). Because creation has been touched by sin and decay it is easily open to misinterpretation. It should therefore be studied in light of the Bible (Calvin likened the Bible to a pair of spectacles, which helps correct the misperceptions that can arise when nature is studied unaided). While creation does not tell us about God’s answer to sin in Christ, it does help those without Scripture to know how God wants them to live (see Rom. 2:14, 15). As Christian we can appeal to this knowledge when we argue for Christian values in the public square…
Here are some arguments upholding marriage as traditionally understood …”
The arguments Bill presents are:
1. Marriage has thousands of years of history. This is confirmed by:
2. Marriage is universal. This is confirmed by:
3. Marriage is necessary for societal health. This is confirmed by:
4. Changing the definition of marriage will lead to more extreme demands.
Read all the arguments in full… Upholding Marriage in the Public Square, 13/10/2015.
2. Abortion – married mothers, abortion pill, China’s two-child policy
2.1 Married women having abortions
Despite the legalisation of abortion in Victoria, it seems that it still carries a stigma for those contemplating abortion. Last month, a reporter told the stories of two married women who had abortions to limit the size of their families as neither felt they could cope with an additional child. The writer provides statistics about the number of women over 30, including those who are married, who have abortions.
The responses by doctors can be incredibly significant. When ‘Lisa’ was exploring her responses to finding out she was pregnant, she reported, "I said to the doctor that maybe this surprise pregnancy is like a present. She said, 'No, only a baby that you want is a gift'."
Lisa went ahead and had an abortion, forgetting her comment about the baby being a ‘present’ – and now says she doesn’t regret her decision.
For Agnes, with three children, finding out she was pregnant led to a decision to abort her baby. The article notes, “Half a year on, Agnes is still devastated. "We have three beautiful kids and they all look the same. I could picture what this baby would have looked like. It really haunts me."
The article provides a helpful response from, "Anne Neville, director of Melbourne's Open Doors Counselling, has worked for 25 years with women who have had abortions. She says it's often the potential third child that upsets the family balance. "We get caught up in the idea of having two children to replace ourselves. A larger family often throws people off." Neville says that some older women who have abortions regret it and may go on to have more children; others are initially fine but feel the loss years later.”
Article: Married women and mums also have the right to choose, Daily Life, 13/10/2015.
2.2 Abortion RU 486 – is it ever ‘safe’?
Last week we reported on the medical protocol that has been developed to ‘reverse’ the effects of the abortion drug RU 486 – specifically if a woman regrets her decision after talking the first of the two drugs, mifepristone, there is a medical therapy that can reverse the abortion (55% of cases in the USA have been successful). For more on that procedure, see Australian Mifepristone Reversal.
So it was disappointing to find out, through a reader sending it to me, that Focus on the Family (USA) has published a booklet titled ‘Abortion Pill’. The booklet is written for the girl who is pregnant and is considering an abortion – it is subtle in that it outlines the procedure for having a medical abortion, and warns of some of the risk factors – however, in the end, it provides advice on how to make sure your medical abortion is ‘safe’ if you decide to have one. There is a small section by a doctor that affirms there is a life inside your body when you are pregnant but the booklet doesn’t oppose abortion.
The booklet is undoubtedly written to a pregnant girl – and the focus is quite different to other pro-life pages on the Focus on the Family website – their page on ‘Chemical abortion’ is quite forthright about what happens and the risks – see here.
Pulpit and Pen have written a review, expressing concern about the Focus on the Family booklet ‘Abortion Pill’.
Focus on the Family booklet: Abortion Pill
Analysis by Pulpit and Pen: Focus on the Family gives tips on how to get safe abortion
2.3 China – two-child policy will NOT end forced abortion or gendercide
For many years, China has had a ‘one-child’ policy to try and limit population growth. The result was that baby girls were often aborted or killed, since families often chose to have a boy who would look after them in old age.
Last month the Chinese government announced a change from ‘one child’ to ‘two child’ policy.
LifeNews reports, “Characterizing this latest modification as “abandoning” the One-Child Policy is misleading. A two-child policy will not end any of the human rights abuses caused by the One Child Policy, including forced abortion, involuntary sterilization or the sex-selective abortion of baby girls.
“The reason given for this adjustment is entirely demographic: “to balance population development and address the challenge of an aging population.” The adjustment is a tacit admission that continuation of the one-child policy will lead to economic and demographic disaster. The policy was originally instituted for economic reasons. It is ironic that through this very policy, China has written its own economic death sentence….”
LifeNews notes that the government did not mention ‘human rights’ – they write, “The problem with the one-child policy is not the number of children “allowed.” Rather, it is the fact that the CCP is telling women how many children they can have and then enforcing that limit through forced abortion and forced sterilization. There is no guarantee that the CCP will cease their appalling methods of enforcement. Women will still have to obtain a government-issued birth permit, for the first and second child, or they may be subject to forced abortion. It will still be illegal for an unmarried woman to have a child. Regardless of the number of children allowed, women who get pregnant without permission will still be dragged out of their homes, strapped down to tables, and forced to abort babies that they want. . .”
Article: China’s New Two-Child Policy Will Not End Forced Abortion or Gendercide, LifeNews, 30/10/2015.
3. Suicide versus palliative care
We have been endorsing palliative care, which provides support and assistance to those who are dying. The following article by Wesley Smith, in National Review, highlights the problems that arise when palliative care practitioners start promoting ‘assisted suicide’…
Wesley Smith begins,
“Well, this is shameful. Palliative care isn’t the same thing at all as assisting suicide. Yet, the Journal of Palliative Care has an article by assisted suicide promoters on the “clinical criteria” for a doctor prescribing poison to a patient.
Talk about mutating hospice into hemlock!
And get this, the article, by three prominent academic bioethicists, promotes what I call “validated suicide.”
It usually is a good idea for family members or friends to be with the patient at the time of ingestion to provide comfort. Indeed, a gathering of family and friends can be a rich experience for all.
No, it is a very bad idea. As I noted here, agreeing to attend such gatherings send an unintentional but insidious message:
Supporting another’s self-destruction is not a compassionate—or morally neutral—act. To the contrary, attending a suicide sends an unintentional but clear message to the suicidal person: Yes, your life is no longer worth living; you are a burden; you are better off dead (and we’re better off with you dead, too). . . ."
Article: Pushing validated suicide in palliative care journal, National Review, 9/11/2015.
27 Nov 2015
Read our latest News Update - news from the past fortnight, including the Victorian parliament passing the ‘safe access around abortion facilities’ Bill, Tas discrimination, politics, Islam and more…
The Paris meetings on climate change, known as COP 21, are scheduled to go ahead next week, despite the recent Islamic terrorist attacks. The meetings – and negotiations - last for TWO weeks – from 30 November to 11 December 2015.
This Briefing provides background on the UNFCCC, the Paris talks, and Australia’s position – and invites you to write to our three political leaders who will attend – to ask them to NOT SIGN the treaty!
What is COP 21?
(And UNFCCC and Kyoto…)
COP stands for Conference of Parties – and it is the 21st session of COP. These meetings are organised by the United Nations – in particular, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
The ‘United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change’ is a TREATY and now a section of the United Nations.
According to the UNFCCC,
“In 1992, countries joined an international treaty, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), to cooperatively consider what they could do to limit average global temperature increases and the resulting climate change, and to cope with whatever impacts were, by then, inevitable.”
In December 1997, the KYOTO PROTOCOL was adopted and “entered into force on 16 February 2005”. This treaty imposed “internationally binding emission reduction targets”, with actual targets for reduction of CO2 and greenhouse gases on the countries that signed it (see UNFCCC page on ‘Kyoto Protocol’).
Countries were invited to ‘sign up’ to the treaty. Australia only signed the Kyoto Protocol after Kevin Rudd became Prime Minister in December 2007. In fact it was the first official act of Mr Rudd’s government (source).
The COP 21 meetings in Paris – and a ‘new global treaty’
The COP 21 event lasts for TWO weeks, and an estimated 40,000 people will be attending the COP 21 meetings and associated events!
The formal documents, speeches and events relating to COP 21 are posted online here.
A new global treaty on ‘climate change’
The UNFCCC is proposing a new global treaty on ‘climate change’. The Kyoto Protocol is running out, with the ‘second commitment period’ finishing in December 2020.
The UNFCC believes that the Kyoto Protocol is just the FIRST step.
“The Kyoto Protocol is seen as an important first step towards a truly global emission reduction regime that will stabilize GHG emissions, and can provide the architecture for the future international agreement on climate change.”
The UNFCCC refers to a Working Group that met in Durban – in essence the UNFCCC wants a NEW treaty agreed to at the Paris COP 21 meetings in order to have a legally binding agreement on emissions implemented by 2020:
“legal instrument or agreed outcome with legal force at the twenty-first session of the Conference of the Parties and for it to come into effect and be implemented from 2020.”
(see UNFCCC page on ‘Kyoto Protocol’).
Australia’s position – then and now
When John Howard was Prime Minister, the Coalition government did not support the signing of the Kyoto Protocol, believing that it impinged on our sovereignty. Under Tony Abbott’s leadership, Australia didn’t ‘officially’ support the CO2-climate change / global warming mantra. The Coalition did adopt some ‘direct action’ measures, but acted to remove the ‘carbon tax’ imposed by the previous Labor government.
However, things have changed.
Malcolm Turnbull has long supported the ‘global warming’ notion. In fact, their difference in view on ‘global warming’ was the primary motivation behind the election of Tony Abbott as Liberal leader, replacing Malcolm Turnbull, in December 2009 (info here).
Greg Hunt, the Minister for the Environment, who will attend the Paris talks, said in a speech this week at the National Press Club (25/11/2015) that it is “a deeply personal goal and commitment, as well as a national objective" to achieve an agreement on ‘climate change’ at the Paris talks.
If you had any doubts about the new Coalition government’s position, consider this:
Mr Hunt said,
“Climate change is NOT a matter of belief, it IS a matter of science. Inaction is simply not an option, and we all know this.”
He spoke about acting to limit the temperature increase to under 2 degrees.
The SMH noted the change, stating, “The speech marks the latest sign in the government's turnaround on commitment to climate action under the leadership of Malcolm Turnbull, who will also attend the Paris talks along with Mr Hunt and Foreign Minister Julie Bishop.”
Our political leaders at COP 21 in Paris
Three government Ministers will be attending the Paris COP 21 talks. PM Malcolm Turnbull is attending – Greg Hunt is attending the FIRST week – and Julie Bishop is attending the SECOND week (when final decisions get made!)
So it remains to be seen what our leaders will do…
Will they sign the proposed Treaty that will affirm ‘global warming’ and commit our nation to reduce CO2 emissions even more?
Signing the treaty will impact on our national sovereignty and commit us to a course of action dictated by UN officials rather than our own parliament.
If you want to read more, read Rowan Dean’s article commenting on Christopher Monckton’s speech about the impact an international climate change treaty will have on sovereign nations – at the end of the article he comments on the possible actions of Mr Turnbull and Ms Bishop… click here.
Please contact the Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull; Hon Greg Hunt, the Minister for the Environment and Hon Julie Bishop, Foreign Minister.
Ask them not to sign any proposed treaty in the PARIS climate talks as it will reduce our national sovereignty…
Hon Malcolm Turnbull - https://www.pm.gov.au/contact-your-pm
24 Nov 2015
Some people are speaking openly and forthrightly about the nature of Islam itself and the need to be discerning about who is saying what.
Today, Peter Costello published a very forthright article about the problems of Islam. He criticised the platitudes of political leaders who say ‘This has nothing to do with Islam’.
Recently Waleed Aly, the ‘Islamic spokesman’ and darling of the ABC, Channel 10 and The Age, made a call for us all – Muslim and non-Muslims – to be ‘united in love’.
Mark Durie responded to Waleed that we need TRUTH as well as love.
Bernard Gaynor pointed out that Waleed wants us all to be ‘united’ but NOT to talk about the passages in the Koran or the basis of the actions. . .
23 Nov 2015
The use of the abortion pill, known as RU 486, is increasing in Australia, and around the world. Even GPs have been trained to administer the two drugs that are used that make up a ‘medical abortion’ (info). We recently reported that the Tabbot Foundation had been set up to provide the RU 486 drugs IN AUSTRALIA – sending them by POST after an initial PHONE CALL!
Of course, often medical problems result from the use of the drugs, with the woman needing to attend a hospital or doctor to receive emergency medical help.
Another situation that has arisen from the administration of the RU 486 ‘medical abortions’ is that some women REGRET taking the first abortion drug ( Mifepristone) and seek help from a doctor or pro-life counselling centre to see if they can REVERSE the effect of the drug and stop the abortion taking place.
The GOOD NEWS is that it can be reversed – so long as appropriate action is taken quickly enough.
Real Choices, a group in Australia that provides “professional education and training around reproductive health issues including unintended pregnancy and assisted reproductive technologies, particularly for the health and welfare professions and individuals working in the volunteer sector”, led by Debbie Garratt, a registered nurse, has a page on their website titled, “Reverse Medical Abortion”.
The webpage states,
“If you have taken Mifepristone (the first drug given in medical abortion) in the last 24 hours, reversal may still be possible for you. In the United States, there is currently about a 55% success rate for women to successfully continue a pregnancy and have a healthy baby.
We can find a physician to help you with the progesterone protocol, but it is very important that you act quickly for greatest chance of success. We can provide your doctor with the protocol and follow up requirements. The treatment involved inserting a progesterone pessary into your vagina each day during the entire first trimester of pregnancy and having ultrasound to determine foetal heartbeat. . .”
They link to a website in the USA called Abortion Pill Reversal which explains the procedure and protocols involved.
For a good article about the US program, which says they have almost 300 doctors world-wide to help women that call their 24/7 hotline, see:
Doctor Saves 213 Babies After the Abortion Has Already Started, Wait Until You See How, Life News, 4/11/2015.
“A North Carolina doctor is saving unborn babies and giving their mothers hope that they can reverse a nearly fatal mistake. Dr. Matthew Harrison has helped 213 mothers reverse the effects of their chemical abortions and saved their babies’ lives by using a new abortion pill reversal technology, Fox 46 in Charlotte, North Carolina, reported. . .”
Real help in Australia – Australian Mifepristone Reversal
Real Choices has recently announced that they are launching “Australian Mifepristone Reversal” which will provide support, medical assistance and a protocol for reversing the effect of RU 486. Debbie writes, “Before we can begin making this option known to women, we must recruit enough medical practitioners around Australia prepared to offer the service. We now have the finalised protocol and patient information and consents ready to go as well as a 3 year business plan and we are ready to begin recruitment….”
They plan to develop a ‘network of medical practitioners to make available progesterone therapy to women seeking reversal of mifepristone after commencing a medical termination of pregnancy’, to ‘develop an evidence base to support the use of progesterone in mifepristone reversal’ and ‘better understand the experiences of women who seek mifepristone reversal’. They are also inviting financial support to assist in establishing the service which they hope to have operational 24 hours a day.
If you are a medical professional (a doctor - or a nurse who could support a woman undergoing the reversal), or involved in pregnancy counselling, please contact Debbie at Real Choices for more information if you would like to be involved.
A new website has been set up - http://mifepristone.org.au/
For the rest of us…
If you’re not a medical professional, it’s important to know that a medical abortion can be reversed if action is taken quickly enough. You might like to support Real Choices as they establish this important service.
As Debbie writes, the reversal of the medical abortion provides hope to women.
Debbie recently wrote,
“In the past 8 weeks, we have been contacted by 4 women desperately seeking reversal of a medical abortion. This may not seem like many, however in that time, we have not marketed or promoted this service anywhere at all. In fact at the time the first 2 contacted us we hadn't even made our final decision to launch Australian Mifepristone Reversal. It was these contacts that affirmed for us that this is a service women are calling for, and are entitled to access.
Many women feel highly ambivalent about abortion decisions, with large numbers going ahead with a procedure feeling like they have no other choice. For women beginning a medical abortion, there is a time period between taking the first drug, mifepristone, and before taking the second one, that reality hits and they can experience immediate and serious remorse and often panic.
If there are 4 women able to find us when we haven't even marketed the service, how many more must there be who go home and sit in their desperation believing there is nothing they can do?”