Friday, 29 June 2012

Forced abortion in China: how it works

The May edition of The Economist magazine has a fascinating insight into how China's system of forced abortion is managed, entitled: "Suppressing dissent: The emperor does know" and subtitled "How the system rewards repression, in the name of maintaining stability". The article says: 
"[U]nder the Communist Party’s system of cadre evaluations, local officials are graded on the basis of a series of internal targets that have little to do with the rule of law. The targets are meant for internal use, but local governments have sometimes published them on websites, and foreign scholars have also seen copies. The most important measures are maintaining social stability, achieving economic growth and, in many areas, enforcing population controls. Cadres sign contracts that spell out their responsibilities. Failure to meet targets can end a cadre’s career. Fulfilling them, even if it means trampling laws to do so, can mean career advancement and financial bonuses."
The Economist's insight confirms what SPUC pointed out ten years ago almost to the day:
"Chinese officials [have] admitted that even they themselves are often coerced to meet birth control quotas ... The system of punishments for local political and family planning leaders who fail to fulfill their state-assigned targets is still official policy." 
It is important for anyone concerned with the brutal anti-life nature of the one-child policy to read The Economist's article to understand how the system is enforced. What the strongly pro-abortion Economist doesn't point out, however, is that the China Family Planning Association, the state-run body responsible for ensuring the policy's implementation, is a member of the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF), the world's largest pro-abortion organisation (see section 27 of SPUC's 2005 submission to the House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee). The UK government and other Western governments give millions of pounds annually to IPPF.

from the SPUC Director's blog 16/5/12

Thursday, 28 June 2012

SPUC letter of reply to the British Humanist Society et al

Just in case you missed it the first time, below is the letter of reply from SPUC addressed to the British Humanist Association and others, regarding claims made against the SPUC school presentation given in schools throughout the UK.

SPUC's letter, authored by our education manager Anthony McCarthy, says: "SPUC has made no claim that cannot be supported by the current evidence ... Unlike yourselves, we have offered an abundance of serious evidence on the issues we talk about, and have avoided the ill-informed and sweeping statements made by the abortion industry and some of its less critical supporters." SPUC Reply to BHA et al

Monday, 25 June 2012

Don Ritchie: ‘The Angel of the Gap’

I recently read a story reported by a major television news station that took me by complete surprise for its’ life affirming message and the inspiration and simplicity of the man about whom it was written: 86 year-old Don Ritchie, who had recently died in Sydney. 

Don lived in the Sydney bayside area of Watson’s Bay, close to a place called ‘The Gap’, a high cliff overlooking the Pacific Ocean, infamous for the hundreds of people who have ended their lives by throwing themselves from it. 

Don, a former navy seaman and ironically, life insurance salesman, had lived in Watson’s Bay his whole life and over the years became a local hero after one day deciding to do something about the disturbing numbers of people committing suicide on his doorstep.

He began patrolling the paths around the Gap in order to coax the desperate away from danger, sometimes even forcibly removing them from the edge.  He would talk to them, trying to calm them down by offering help and inviting them into his home for tea.  Don never knew how many people he helped, but Watson’s Bay locals believe it may have been up to 160 people.  Numbers aside, Don did something we can all do, every single day.  His total conviction in the absolute value of human life and his generosity of heart allowed him to give hope to those most in need of it.

He urged people to never be afraid to speak up.  In an interview from a few years ago, Don said, “you can’t live here and just watch them kill themselves. Well, I can’t”; “always remember the power of a simple smile, a helping hand, a listening ear and a kind word.”

In a world that says it’s okay to end the life of a child in the womb, where the elderly and the vulnerable are targeted through assisted suicide and euthanasia and where the disabled are shamelessly removed from society through eugenic abortion, Don did what he knew to be right and fought for the lives of those who couldn’t or didn’t want to fight for themselves.

When Don’s wife Moya asked him what he said to people contemplating suicide, he said, “I go over and sell them life.”

This is exactly what we need to do too.  

Friday, 22 June 2012

Charter of the Rights of the Family

Readers will be aware that SPUC has been campaigning to uphold marriage. SPUC has a position paper, and a background paper. There has also been several posts about this issue on the SPUC Director's blog, including a recently signed joint letter that was published in The Sunday Telegraph. Another post detailed the recent attempt by the pro-LGBT lobby at the European Parliament, which successfully and covertly carried a resolution that included support for same-sex civil partnerships and same-sex marriage. We also had a post on this blog about why SPUC defends traditional marriage, and another on the sad effect abortion had on one couple's marriage. recently, we had a post on this blog about the UN Doha Declaration on the Family. As a follow up, here is the Charter of the Rights of the Family.

Amongst the many excellent points contained the this charter, are the following taken from the Preamble: 
  • The family is based on marriage, that intimate union of life in complementarity between a man and a woman which is constituted in the freely contracted and publicly expressed indissoluble bond of matrimony and is open to the transmission of life.
  • marriage is the natural institution to which the mission of transmitting life is exclusively entrusted.
  • The family, a natural society, exists prior to the State or any other community, and possesses inherent rights which are inalienable
Charter of the Rights of the Family

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

H. G. Wells and the intellectual origins of Eugenics

H. G. Wells (1866-1946)
During the first half of the twentieth century many prominent figures promoted the ideology of eugenics. H. G. Wells, best known for futuristic novels such as The Time Machine and The War of the Worlds, provides a good example of how the various trends in contemporary thought, many already discussed in this series, could prepare the mind for the acceptance of eugenics.

H. G. Wells was born in Bromley in Kent on 21st September 1866. He was educated at the Normal School of Science, at South Kensington, by Thomas Huxley, the influential disciple of Charles Darwin. In early adulthood Wells rejected Christianity and, like Sir Francis Galton, embraced Darwinism almost as a substitute religion. Later in life Wells was to write that Darwinism had brought many of his generation to ‘the realisation that life is a conflict between superior and inferior types’.[1] He believed that the salvation of the human race lay in scientific progress which would ultimately give mankind the tools to establish a rationally ordered utopia that Wells called the ‘New Republic’.
Wells set out a detailed prediction of the future in his 1902 work Anticipations. In this book he professed disgust at the prevailing ‘really very horrible morality’ that led ‘benevolent persons’ to try to help large families that could not support themselves. He wrote that ‘from the point of view of social physiology’ such families appear a ‘horrible and criminal thing.’[2] Like Sir Francis Galton he believed that the ‘quality’ of the human race was declining; ‘the average of humanity’ he wrote ‘has positively fallen.’[3] For those who are seen ‘increasing and multiplying through sheer incontinence and stupidity, the men of the New Republic will have little pity and less benevolence.’[4]

Wells’ views on population control owe much to Thomas Malthus whom he described as ‘one of those cardinal figures in intellectual history’.[5] He considered that ‘probably no more shattering book than the Essay on Population has ever been, or ever will be, written.’[6] It made ‘as clear as daylight that all forms of social reconstruction… must be either futile or insincere or both, until the problems of human increase were manfully faced.’[7] He suggests that Malthus influenced the development of Darwin’s theory of evolution and awakened ‘that train of thought that found expression and demonstration at last in the theory of natural selection.’[8] To Wells it had ‘become apparent that whole masses of human population are, as a whole, inferior in their claim upon the future’.[9]

In common with many other population controllers Wells considered that it was the uneducated and impoverished majority that was the problem and his own social class that was the solution. Wells believed that a future utopia would have to be ruled by a well educated, scientifically literate population. What, he asks, was the future of ‘those swarms of black, and brown, and dirty-white, and yellow people, who do not come into the new needs of efficiency?’  ‘Well’, he declared ‘the world is a world, not a charitable institution, and I take it they will have to go. The whole tenor and meaning of the world, as I see it, is that they have to go. So far as they fail to develop… it is their portion to die out and disappear.’[10]
In the ‘New Republic’, ‘the ethical system which will dominate the world state, will be shaped primarily to favour the procreation of what is fine and efficient and beautiful in humanity—beautiful and strong bodies, clear and powerful minds, and a growing body of knowledge—and to check the procreation of base and servile types, of fear-driven and cowardly souls, of all that is mean and ugly and bestial in the souls, bodies, or habits of men.’[11]

Wells prophesied that ‘the method that must in some cases still be called in… is death…the merciful obliteration of weak and silly and pointless things’.[12] With great foresight he also predicted modern attitudes towards euthanasia and assisted suicide, writing that in the future men ‘will naturally regard the modest suicide of the incurably melancholy, or diseased or helpless persons as a high and courageous act of duty rather than a crime.’[13] He asserted that ‘this euthanasia of the weak and sensual, is possible. On the principles that will probably animate the predominant classes of the new time, it will be permissible, and I have little or no doubt that in the future it will be planned and achieved.’[14]

When we read such predictions we can only come to the conclusion that in our own times we are witnessing the systematic implementation of theories that have existed in a highly developed form for more than a century. It is important for us to possess a clear understanding of the intellectual roots of the crisis in which we find ourselves. In Wells, and many of his contemporaries, we see firstly a Darwinism which reduces man to the status of an animal and places the weak in perpetual competition against the strong. Secondly we can identify a Malthusianism which identifies new human life as a threat to the already born and which tranforms the majority of the population into the source not of national health but of social disorder. Finally, we see a conviction that the history of mankind is necessarily an evolution to a more perfect state, and that this will be achieved largely through scientific progress. These three factors combined with the general loss of a moral framework in our post-Christian age have brought us to our current predicament where nearly six hundred unborn children are killed every day in this country alone and where the elderly and disabled are increasingly treated as a burden to be eliminated rather than persons whose dignity requires loving care.

H. G. Wells died on 13th August 1946 despairing at the future of mankind. He had lived to see many of the policies of the ‘New Republic’ actually applied by the National Socialists in Germany. Ideological principles in which he had so long trusted had in fact brought his own civilisation to the brink of destruction. In his last work Mind at the End of its Tether, he declared his conviction that the human race had now played out its purpose and would soon come to an end.

Our world of self-delusion…will perish amidst its evasions and fatuities. It is like a convoy lost in darkness on an unknown rocky coast, with quarrelling pirates in the chartroom and savages clambering up the sides of the ships to plunder and do evil as the whim may take them…And this, its last expiring thrust, is to demonstrate that the door closes upon us for evermore.

There is no way out or round or through.

H. G. Wells' final lesson to us is that the culture of death will end in despair.


[1] H. G. Wells, A Modern Utopia, Ch. 10
[2] H.G. Wells, Anticipations of the Reaction of Mechanical and Scientific Progress upon Human Life and Thought (2nd Edition,1902), p306 -307
[3] Ibid
[4] Ibid, p297
[5] Ibid, p288
[6] Ibid
[7] Ibid
[8] Ibid, p289
[9] Ibid
[10] Ibid, p317
[11] Ibid, p298
[12] Ibid, p299
[13] Ibid, p300
[14] Ibid, p308
[15] H. G. Wells, The Mind at the End of its Tether
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