Our Lady of the Wayside

Our Lady of the Wayside
Protect Expectant Mothers and Their Babies


Monday 31 May 2010

Mary's Prayers

Why pray the rosary outside abortuaries?...‘You’d be a lot more effective if you dropped using the pictures of the Virgin Mary and didn’t, you know,...move those beads around in your hand’
the lady said and gave me a sympathetic look.

I was standing outside a central London abortuary with a large poster of Our Lady of Guadalupe at my side, and white rosary beads in my hands. It was an unusually quiet day at the clinic, and no one had gone in during the past 45 minutes.
I gave her a friendly smile in return, and said, ‘thank you for your thought on the matter’.

I said ‘thank you’ because I could see that this blond lady had made this comment with good intentions.
‘Well, we’re Catholics, we believe that we’re invoking the Virgin Mary’s help.’
She sighed silently and said, ‘But how?...why do you need to get the Virgin’s help?...’
‘We have two choices when we are here, either we pray, which for us as Catholics includes seeking the Virgin Mary’s intercession, or we do not pray.' I said, and she raised her eyebrow but listened carefully.
I continued, ‘We’ve chosen to pray for the pregnant women, because we believe that even if we make no contact with them, that winning support from Heaven for them is important. Also, a lot of the pregnant ladies ask for a rosary to put in their purse or wear around their necks. When we do get to speak to them, some of them are Catholics and recognise the prayers, others know that by praying for them we mean well, and then others are delighted to have someone to offer them practical help.’

I showed her our leaflets and explained how we can help women.

‘Here’s a leaflet for you.’ I said, and she exclaimed ‘No, no, I’m not pregnant! I’m pushing sixty, I’m past my time for all that.’
‘Oh yes, but if you know of anyone who is pregnant and going through a bad patch, you might like to give it to them.’
‘Oh yeah, I suppose that’s an idea. It’s just that a lot of my friends have come to places just like this for terminations, and they’ve spent the rest of their lives mulling over what might have been had they kept it.’ She sighed heavily.

‘I just wonder if they would have stopped to talk to you had they seen the picture of the Virgin Mary.’

She opened up and told me the situations that her friends had been in, and how twenty, thirty, even forty years later she still was comforting them after their abortions. ‘They needed care, and none of us knew what to do...’
‘Well our praying here is a sign that we care. We may not know what’s going on in their lives until we speak with them, but praying here is a way of caring for everyone involved, primarily the pregnant lady, because the Virgin Mary herself was perplexed on finding out that she was pregnant. And we back up our prayers with action, we give appropriate help.’
I had to be very gentle at this next point, and delicately explained how we help girls who are going through the same predicaments as her friends were going through in the 70's and 80's.
‘Yeah, I grant you that’s impressive...you do the good works bit as well. And the praying - you’re doing what you believe in – I respect that - really I do.’
‘When I leave here, I’ll light a candle for you and say some for you.’ I replied.
To my surprise, she gave a bright smile to this, and said ‘thank you, I’m not religious, but that’s awfully kind of you.’
Monsignor Reilly always encourages pro-lifers outside the clinics to use ‘the intercessory power of the Mother of God’, that we cannot fight this battle alone, but need dynamic spiritual weaponry.
Mary O Regan

Saturday 29 May 2010

Absorbing Mum and Dad's Values

"When the news comes on at night, mum makes me go to my room. I’m not allowed to hear about the X girl. I heard mum say that the X girl should'a gone to England and not told anyone"
said a girl that I was at school with.

We were both seven, it was 1992, and the case of the girl called ‘X’ was storming the country. ‘X’ was a fourteen year old girl, pregnant (the father of her best friend was the baby's father)and while the Irish courts deliberated on whether they would give her leave to have an abortion in England, the story of X was splattered all over the newspapers and was the cause célèbre of Irish television. (Details of the court proceedings are available here: http://www.bailii.org/ie/cases/IESC/1992/1.html)
For us seven year olds it was like a hurricane cloud jostling above our heads – we didn’t identify with it – but I do believe that the attitudes our parents took towards the X case informed our consciences on abortion.
In total confusion, I asked my own mother ‘Well why they can’t let her go to England and have a holiday?’
‘She won’t be going to England for a holiday. She’s going to England because they want her to have an abortion’ said mum with such a grief-stricken, sorrowful voice that made me feel like someone was dying, even remembering this conversation has the power to make me numb. Then I was shown pictures of babies in the womb, and fully convinced of the personhood of the unborn from looking at the pictures I asked, ‘Well! I know! Why can’t they take the baby out now, and put him in another mummy?’ It was explained to me that in each pregnancy, there is a cord that links each baby with his mother. That you can’t take a foetus out without breaking this cord (the baby’s lifeline) and thus ending the life of the baby.
When the Supreme Court lifted the injunction preventing ‘X’ and her family from travelling to England, and ‘X’ did go to London, I did overhear a lot of discussion concerning what abortion would be performed. Books got left open, I saw a picture of the head of a foetus and there were heated phone calls where I heard my parents explain their position on why ‘X’ and her baby deserved better than abortion. This may not be the most advised way of educating a child on the reality of abortion – namely because it carries the risk of traumatising the child to the point where they might avoid all discussion of pro-life issues. But I do remember making a clear decision for myself – those who pushed the abortion debate had vested interests - I thought ‘they keep saying she’s a child and it’s dangerous for her to have her baby, but then if as they say, she’s a child, why is she being pushed through an operation?’
In contrast to the parents of my peers, mine didn’t accept that abortion should be viewed as an option in ‘The X Case’, instead they educated us as to the reality of abortion and why X’s unborn child was getting the full blame. I remember my parents spending long hours sitting with my two older brothers arguing against the pro-choice rhetoric that they had heard in school (yes – Catholic schools) and in the newspapers. If Hilary Clinton’s maxim ‘never waste a good crisis’ was put to the test, then perhaps how well my parents did is exemplified in that my two older brothers got involved in pro-life marches during the X case and one of them stood up to a pro-abortion teacher. All of this I absorbed in between looking up from my Polly Pocket dolls and learning to write my address. It was ironic that years later the girl who was at school with me, whose parents were in favour of ‘X’ going to England became pro-abortion.
It could be said that we took opposite directions - scarily in line with our parents' examples.

Mary O'Regan

Friday 28 May 2010

Why I Pray Outside Abortuaries.

Left: One of our volunteers, Sr Chinedum Nwadike HFSN prays and counsels outside a Central London abortuary
I first came to pray outside abortuaries a few years ago when I went on a procession with the 'Helpers of God's Precious Infants', who as many pro-lifers know are a group of pro-life people dedicated to defending and upholding the dignity of human life. Their mission is to save the lives of unborn children via the spiritual conversion of their mothers. I was praying with the Helpers who do a regular monthly vigil at different abortion clinics around London and I had been going on the monthly vigil for a couple of months when one of the pavement counsellors approached me and asked me if I was able to do the counselling (normally one or two people counsel and the others pray, I had just been praying so far). I did not feel comfortable at that time to start doing the counselling, as I had not done any kind of counselling before and so I did not actually start the counselling on that day.
At a vigil later on in the year I was approached again by a pavement counsellor who told me he would stay by my side and give me some training so at that point I felt that God was calling me to help with this work for Him. I had seen the 'Counsellor Training video' regarding the pavement counselling by Monsignor Reilly who leads the vigils in America and they are very successful at saving many unborn children, through God's intervention, with their prayers and sacrifices.

I was a little nervous to start off with, but having someone who was used to it there to help me at my side made me feel better and I knew I needed to put my trust in God. I didn't get to say much that day to many passers-by probably due to my nerves but I managed to hand out some of our centre leaflets to offer help to the mums.
It was after this time that I thought about counselling at the nearest abortuary, weekly, which was about 25 minutes drive from where I live. At first I was not sure if I would get the time due to a busy family life, and I was often away, but the thoughts kept coming into my head that God needed me there so I decided I would make time on a Saturday morning, for a couple of hours, to help.

The first day I turned up I was very nervous as there was nobody else there when I arrived and so I asked Our Lady to help me. After a few minutes another counsellor turned up and the people who were helping by praying the rosary. With the leaflets to hand out to the people and with the prayers being said, and my experience working at the Good Counsel Network Centre, I managed to get through it ok.
I pray outside the abortuaries on a weekly basis because I want be there for God, for the mothers and their babies. I want to do what I can to help God to save the lives of the unborn, to reach out to the mothers and fathers and offer them help and also to offer my being there to God. I want to help the mothers and babies in need through prayer and sacrifice in this spiritual battle. Whatever the outcome, I trust in God that our sacrifice and prayers will be of great value toward saving lives of the unborn and for the conversion of the mums and dads who have chosen to abort their babies.
The people who pray at the same abortuary for many years revealed to me that one of the counsellors who prayed there regularly had only just left to live abroad and his last week there as a pavement counsellor was the week before I came.

Lorraine Coyne

Thursday 27 May 2010

A Golden Opportunity

Our new Tabernacle before and after refurbishment.

For a number of years now in The Good Counsel Network's Chapel we have been having regular Mass, Adoration and Benediction for the women we see and for the end of abortion and all threats against the sanctity of life. A number of priests have pointed out that our Tabernacle is too small. One priest very kindly gave us a larger old Tabernacle that needed to be re-gilded outside and in, because it had become very tarnished. This has now been done and will be fitted shortly. The overall cost will be a little more than £1,000 (far cheaper than a new tabernacle of this sort, which would cost over £6,000). If you would like to donate towards this expense, to honour Our Lord, help in the spiritual battle against abortion or perhaps just to make an offering in memory of a loved one for example, please send cheques made payable to “The Guild of Our Lady of Good Counsel” to P.O. Box. 46679, London, NW9 8ZT England, or via our website http://www.goodcounselnetwork.com/).
Stuart McCullough

Wednesday 26 May 2010

Urgent Accommodation Request - Save A Life With Your Spare Room!

A young woman who is under a lot of pressure to have an abortion urgently needs accommodation in West London. If you, or anyone you know, can offer accommodation for anything from 1 month to 12 months, please get in touch with me on 0207 723 1740. Good Counsel will take full responsibility for this woman and will guarantee that she will move on at the agreed time.

Clare McCullough

Why I am Pro-Life 2

My path to the truth and to informing clients of the truth was far from easy, or straightforward. I still had difficulty in understanding why barrier methods of contraception were wrong. I looked at the needs of families, particularly the children and the women, many of whom were in violent, emotionally abusive, dysfunctional relationships and suffering great material poverty. I worried a lot, often torn between my conscience and my desire to help women. But I thank God for the group where I always had the opportunity to discuss, to seek advice and to pray.
I know now that I did not pray enough, did not trust in God enough and was arrogant enough for some time to think that I knew better than Church teaching . Gradually I saw clearly why the teaching of the Church, not only on abortion but on artificial contraception, is so right, so wise. If only I, we, listened always and complied with that teaching what a better place our world would be, how many of our social ills would never have occurred!
I also learned during this period about babies who are conceived artificially via for example invitro fertilisation, artificial insemination etc. where, again, the act of love is separated from life. I understand why this is very much against the teaching of the church and due to the destruction of extra unwanted babies which have been fertilised in the process, these fertility 'treatments' often involve aborting babies.
At the same time I discovered how difficult it is to adopt a small baby, due to the shortage of babies put up for adoption in this country. Babies are either aborted or kept, and usually the small number of children put up for adoption are those taken into care, due for example to parents neglect of their children due to alcohol or drug abuse.
I have often thought that if aliens visited the earth, they would consider us human beings to be completely mad. On the one hand we have hundreds of women killing their babies at all stages of pregnancy every day of the week. On the other we see women who try (mostly unsuccessfully) many artificial means of conceiving a child, or we have couples who are desperate to adopt a baby, but there are not enough babies available for that to happen. This happens because we flout God’s law by breaking the fifth commandment; 'Thou shalt not kill.'
We are children of God, and like all children we need proper rules and boundaries in order to be happy. If we break God’s law we do evil, both to ourselves and to others, evil for which we must suffer the consequences.
Many women thought, and think, that the right to artificial contraception and the right to choose whether to let their babies live or die has liberated them. But there is much evidence to show it has done exactly the opposite and I have seen this evidence for myself during the thirty plus years I have worked with families.
I have talked to teenage girls and young women many of whom have embarked in sexual relationships, not because they wanted to, but because they felt pressurised by their peers, the boyfriends who coerced them, and the pressure to conform to what is now seen as the norm in our society. Many women are afraid to say no because they have a boyfriend who threatens to leave them if they do not comply with their demand for sex. Contraception allows our society to see and use sex as a commodity which is separated from responsibility, commitment, the gift of life and true love. So much of the time it is coarsened, not looked on as sacred and a gift of God but is used for instant gratification and pleasure without responsibility. If life occurs as a result of this it is so often seen as an inconvenience, a failure of contraception, where no one is responsible least of all the father of the expected baby. It is left to the woman to deal with, her problem, as evidenced by millions of women who are rejected and kill their babies, and the millions of women who are lone parents struggling to bring children up without any support from the fathers of these children. Most women will tell you they have not chosen to be alone with their children
Where is their freedom? Where is their liberation.?
Most modern women with children are expected to do it all and most certainly are not able to have it all! The easy availability of abortion and contraception has helped socialise the modern male into the view that it is his right to have sex, but, if a baby is conceived the woman is responsible. Many men having decided it is nothing to do with them either force the woman to have an abortion or leave the relationship.
What has happened to the woman’s choice, freedom, liberation?
The woman has to deal with the consequences, the man can go off and form a new relationship whenever he wants.
The twin evils of abortion and contraception are clear violations of Gods laws. The evidence of the chaos and evil they have caused and continue to cause in our world, in the breakdown of our society is there for all to see if we want to see it.
If all men and women endeavoured to remain chaste, to have sex only within marriage, to be open to life, what a different society we would have, what different lives our children would lead. Life would be so much more like heaven on earth for all of us.
Ronni O'Gara

Tuesday 25 May 2010

Why I am Pro-Life

There are many reasons why I am pro-life, some of which I will outline in my blog today and tomorrow.

I learned from my parents, and subsequently at school that God created the world and everything in it, that all of God’s creation must be valued and respected, but that human beings have a special place and function in this creation. Humans are of a higher order than the rest of creation because each one is created as a unique person, in the image and likeness of God, with a unique immortal soul which is to live for all eternity. I learned that each human being was created by God to know Him, love Him, serve Him and to be happy with Him for all eternity.
I did not know about abortion or contraception, as far as I remember, until I began my general nurse training. I became aware from study of anatomy and physiology and the church’s teaching that human life begins when the ovum is fertilised by the sperm. I decided that I would never do anything to help end a baby’s life.
The first time I had to make a decision regarding the protection of life was when, as part of my training, I was required to work in general theatre. I knew clearly from the fifth commandment, “Thou shall not kill” that abortion was murder and that if I helped it would be a mortal sin. I went to the hospital matron and explained that I would not work in general theatre where I would be required to participate in all surgery including abortion. I was allowed to work in a theatre which only dealt with ear nose and throat surgery.
The next time I had to confront this issue was during my midwifery training. The use of contraception was discussed routinely with new mothers by midwives, at some stage during the first two weeks following the baby’s birth.
As a student midwife I learned, and therefore thought I knew, how different forms of contraception worked, e.g. the coil or intrauterine device caused the fertilised ovum to be aborted and I was very clear that this was murder and that I could never advise or encourage anything which would cause a baby’s death.

I learned that were barriers to life for example the cap and the condom and I was taught that the various forms of pills worked also as a barrier to life by making the environment in the cervix or within the womb such that fertilisation could not take place. I was very shocked some years later to learn that contraceptive pills also cause abortion by not allowing the fertilised ovum to embed and grow in the uterus.
I thought that the forms of contraception which did not cause abortion were the lesser of two evils. I took the view that since most of the people I saw were already using contraception, that if I told them how the forms of contraception worked, they would be less likely to use the ones that caused abortions and thus there would be less abortion. I fully understood and agreed with the teaching of the Catholic Church that the sexual act should only take place within marriage. But I did not understand, as I now do, the teaching of the Church that the sexual act within marriage must always be open to life, but that couples can comply with that teaching while practising natural family planning in a responsible way. I practised as a midwife for a very short time and went on to train and practice as a district nursing sister, where I never had to deal with the subject.
Two years later I trained as a health visitor and, again, working with young families I was confronted by the subject of abortion and contraception. I saw the difficulties many families faced and decided for myself that the teaching of the church on contraception (of the type which did not cause abortions) was unrealistic. I resolved to avoid the matter as much as I could by not doing Family Planning training. However, in order to fulfil the requirements of my job, I compromised by informing clients of the existence of the family planning clinic. I later realised this was very wrong of me. At that time I thought I was truly pro-life.
Then my husband introduced me to a group where there were weekly talks from Catholic lawyers, priests, doctors, nurses etc. on the teaching of the church regarding many subjects, including abortion and contraception. I gradually learned and understood why all forms of contraception are wrong and against God’s laws. It was only then I began to learn what being pro-life really meant. I began to seek advice from the group and I did a Natural Family Planning course so that I was better equipped to teach families how to be open to life and yet able to control the size of their families so that they conceived the number of children that in conscience they could provide for spiritually, emotionally, psychologically and materially. Most couples had already used contraception and were adamantly not interested in natural family planning. Some were quite hostile. Health professionals and the public have been brainwashed into thinking natural family planning doesn’t work despite all the research which shows that not only does it work, but that statistically it is safer and much more effective at planning when to have babies than artificial contraception. Ironically it is used in the health service to help infertile couples to conceive! Of course there is much money to be made in the performance of abortions and in the sale of contraceptives. Couples who practice natural family planning learn how their bodies work, how to use that knowledge to plan their babies and how to truly love one another. The only cost involved is that incurred in teaching it. Once learned it is learned forever, no costs no profit for anyone!...Continues tomorrow

Ronni O' Gara

Monday 24 May 2010

Support Today's Vigil, However You Can.

Please support our peaceful, prayerful Vigil today at Marie Stopes central London abortuary from 11am-1pm, see yesterday's post for full details. If you can't come you can support us with your prayers, sacrifices, fasting or offering up your sufferings. Please pray for the women going for abortions today, for the abortuary staff and that the advert due to be aired tonight won't be shown tonight or throughout the month of June, the month of the Sacred Heart, as Marie Stopes had planned.
If you haven't already done so please contact Jeremy Hunt MP, the Secretary of
State for Culture, Media and Sport, who has the power to stop this ad through his powers related to Ofcom. Contact him and ask him to prevent the ad from being shown. His department's telephone Number is: 02072216000 and his department's email is : enquiries@culture.gov.uk. See john smeatons blog for details: http://spuc-director.blogspot.com
Our Lady Help of Christians, Pray for us!

Saturday 22 May 2010

Prayer and Witness at Marie Stopes on Monday

On Monday 24th May from 11.00am-1.00pm we will be holding a peaceful, prayerful pro-life Vigil, following the method of Monsignor Reilly of the Helpers of God's Precious Infants at the Central London abortuary of Marie Stopes. This is to offer help to women going for abortions and to pray for them also. It is also a form of 'symbolic action' against the planned TV advert which Marie Stopes hope to show on Monday night.
Please attend and support this if you can.
The address is: Marie Stopes House
108 Whitfield Street
Nearest tubes are Warren St Station and Goodge St Station.
Frank Duff, the founder of the Legion of Mary, believed in 'symbolic action'. Symbolic action was a way of responding to any evil that you could not see any means of overcoming, and he applied it particularly to sinful situations in his society that were tolerated because people did not know how to fight them, e.g. Prostitution. The idea was that while praying about the problem, you would also take one action against it, even something tiny, which showed Our Lady that you were committed to ending this evil and willing to work towards it, but just awaited her directions. In Frank Duff's case, the initial attempt, a visit by a pair of Legionaries to a house in Dublin's red-light district, with the aim of inviting all the girls in it on a specially tailored retreat, resulted in the transformation of that area and of the lives of hundreds of prostitutes over the next 5 years. What success might Our Lady grant us if we applied this principle to the fight against abortion, and then followed-on taking each new little step Our Blessed Lady showed us?
Learn more about Symbolic Action in Frank Duff's book 'Miracles on Tap'.
Clare McCullough

Send us Labourers O Lord

I met Paulina a little while ago. She had gone for an abortion having approached several organisations for help in her pregnancy, but finding none. She went to an 'abortion clinic' as they like to call them. A briefer than brief consultation was done and, hey presto, she was given the first part of the 'abortion pill' (it is actually several pills given over two stages). No blood tests were done, despite the risks of the pill, no questions were asked.
Outside the abortuary a volunteer was giving out our help leaflets. Unfortunately she arrived just after Paulina. Paulina stopped to speak to her on her way home, desolate at her loss and inconsolable that she had missed the offer of help.
Then began her nightmares; her son appeared to her as a young boy, drowning or trapped in deadly situations from which she couldn't rescue him. She would wake screaming, crying, sweating. She felt like her existence was pointless.
Worse was to come, she found she had an infection and though at a return visit to the abortuary they said she was fine, she eventually ended up in hospital where they found she was severely anaaemic and something else was wrong. Did she have an ectopic pregnancy? Was it a cyst? Ne, eventually they decided it was 'retained products of conception' or baby parts inside her. This time a surgical abortion followed to remove her dead baby's remains.
Eventually she came back to see us, remembering the kindness she had received from to of our workers that she had met. She was so low she said 'I am not suicidal because I feel I am already dead.'
Friendship, advice and time have helped Paulina to heal, but the real turning points have been Confession and a Requiem Mass for her son. She is now passionately pro-life and determined to live a good life from this point on.
Please pray for her as she still suffers a lot physically and psychologically and pray for all those women going for an abortion who never get an offer of help or support to keep their babies because 'The labourers are few.'
Clare McCullough

Friday 21 May 2010

David and the Armour of God

Everyone knows that David, barely more than a child, defeated Goliath with a handful of stones.
But as a young Deacon reminded us recently, the other thing that is extraordinary about his success is that he pointedly refused to put on the armour of this world and to use the tools of this world in his battle. Instead his armour and his tools were his total faith in God.
Today join us in fasting and prayer - God's reccomended armour and weapons - to defeat the Goliath of abortion.
If you get this message too late in the day please fast whenever you get it and pray that abortion will not be advertised on TV in the UK.
Stuart and Clare McCullough

Thursday 20 May 2010

Some kinds of demons... Part 2 URGENT UPDATE

You have probably heard by now that Marie Stopes (MS) the abortion providers will be airing an abortion advert on Channel 4 on Monday 24th May, Feast of Our Lady Help of Christians.

Despite a public consultation last year which ended with a decision not to allow abortion advertising, Channel 4 and MS claim that the ban does not apply to this advert as they are a 'charity' and do not make a profit from their services.

SPUC has replied to some of these claims here http://spuc-director.blogspot.com/

Where has our society sunk to when the mass slaughter of innocent human beings has become something to promote during a break in our light entertainment? Nations are being annihilated as Our Lady of Fatima warned and we cannot just shake our heads and say "Tut, tut!". The vulnerable young women watching this advert deserve better.


In solidarity with millions of unborn babies who have been aborted, with millions of women who have been hurt by abortion and with the approximately two hundred thousand babies threatened by abortion in England and Wales this year, we can pray and fast to stop this advert being aired.

It is worth repeating Our Lord's own words, 'And He said to them; This kind (of demon) can go out with nothing but prayer and fasting'. Do we REALLY believe him?

Other groups are considering legal challenges, which we support, and we can support them particularly with our fasting and prayer. Good Counsel had already promoted a national day of prayer and fasting on Friday 21st May. Now we are asking you to join this fast day particular for the intention of preventing this tv advertising campaign and any future such plans.

Secondly, you can pass on a link to this blog to all your friends and encourage them to join you.

Since it is such an urgent cause, we are asking people to really do their best to fast as well as they can and to participate in some extra prayer. Maybe to say an extra Rosary, a whole Rosary, attend Mass or spend some time in Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament.

There is Mass in our London Centre on Friday at 11.30am followed by a Holy Hour. If you wish to attend, please come to the side door or phone us for details if you don't know where we are; contact Gabrielle: 02077231740

Finally, watch this space for details of a peaceful, prayerful vigil at Marie Stopes on Monday.

Wednesday 19 May 2010

Some kinds of demons

And He said to them; This kind (of demon) can go out by nothing but prayer and fasting. Gospel of Mark 9:29.

Since the 5th July 2008 The Good Counsel Network has organised monthly National days of prayer and fasting for life, the first was to prevent the passing of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill. Although the bill was passed some of the more damaging anti-life amendments were not added to it, including an attack on pro-life counselling and the extension to Northern Ireland of the Abortion Act. There had also been 40 days of Prayer and Fasting in Northern Ireland to ensure that this law was not extended. This only confirmed what we already knew; it is clear from the work that we do at Good Counsel Network, advising women who are strongly set on abortion, that the struggle to end abortion is a spiritual struggle and not merely one of practical concerns or politics.

Friday the 21st May is the next National Day of Prayer and Fasting for Life, it is the vigil of St Rita, a patroness of hopeless cases. Please join us in fasting. You could fast from all food except bread and water for the day or fast from a particular food or luxury, e.g. chocolate, alcohol, cigarettes or tv. Fast from whatever you can given your state of health etc, but make sure that it is something that involves a sacrifice to yourself. We are asking people to say a Rosary (or an extra Rosary if you say it daily already). You could also offer an extra effort such as going to Mass, or an extra Mass, on the day, or going to Adoration.

And the people of Nineveh believed in God; they proclaimed a fast and put on sackcloth, from the greatest to the least...God saw their efforts to renounce their evil ways. And God relented about the disaster which He had threatened to bring on them, and He did not bring it. Jonah 3:5,10.

For more information and a printable poster click here. Or if you have problems with this link go to http://www.goodcounselnetwork.com/ and find the Days of Prayer and Fasting page.

Stuart McCullough

No-one Knows the Effects of Our Prayers

The experience of praying outside an Abortion "clinic" can be very difficult or can be very encouraging. I have stood at Bedford Square, outside of BPAS's Abortion centre quietly saying my rosary for the souls of the babies and their Mothers who would be passing through the doors, which I was standing opposite to, on my own.
I have also stood outside Mattock Lane Abortuary in Ealing when the vigil was led by Monsignor Reilly where he was joined by more than 100 people.
I did not know if we had been successful in saving even one life on either of these days.
It can be discouraging to see women, young and old, sometimes with boyfriends, one after another going into the clinic. But I always remember when this happens, no one knows what effect my prayers and those around me have on each of those Mothers. No one knows what effect our witness has. No one knows what the sacrifice of taking one, or maybe two, or even more hours of our day to try to offer these women an alternative to killing their baby by offering the real support they need.
I remember that it is not my humble efforts that will change the mind of the women walking past me who are in such desperate circumstances, but God using me as His instrument to reach these women.
Let us take courage in the knowledge that God is working through us and remember that we have to take a leap of faith for God to be able to use us.
If you would like to come and pray, the Helpers of God's Precious infants have numerous vigils at London clinics please look at www.hgpi.co.uk for more information. Also, The Good Counsel Network organise a vigil at Bedford Square in Central London every Wednesday from 11am -1pm and often have extra ones during the week. Please go to http://www.goodcounselnetwork.com/ and sign up to get updates about when and where future vigils will be held.

Conor Carroll

Tuesday 18 May 2010

Quick Father, Check Your Porch!

A young lady phoned us recently and asked for an appointment. We offered her a time and a day but she said she could not come at that time because she was going for an abortion that day. However, she said that she had really wanted to speak to someone beforehand if possible. We juggled our schedule and were able to see her later that day. She told us she had seen a poster in the porch of her local Catholic Church which said “Pregnant, Worried?” and which also had our phone number on it.

When he found she was pregnant, her boyfriend of 5 months informed her that she would have to get an abortion, as he had no intention of marrying her. His family back home were currently looking for a wife for him. She had first seen our phone number before realising she was pregnant. Having now booked an abortion under pressure from him and against her own wishes, she then decided to go back to her parish, make a note of our phone number and call us. By the Grace of God she has gladly accepted our offer of help and is now planning to keep her baby.
Every year thousands of women who go to Mass regularly also sadly go for abortions. It is vitally important that every Catholic Church’s porch has posters, leaflets and other contact details for women facing a difficult pregnancy. The parish newsletter should also have pro-life telephone numbers and websites (02077231740 http://www.goodcounselnetwork.com/ ). If your parish does not have posters, leaflets etc. please contact us and we will provide them. One Parish Priest in North London, unbeknown to himself, saved a Baby's life with a poster and four drawing pins!

Stuart McCullough

Monday 17 May 2010

Can Pro-Life Politics Rest Now Until the Next Election?

What is the aftermath of the Election? We now have David Cameron as our Prime Minister and a Liberal/Conservative coalition in power. We now have many new Members of Parliament some of whom, hopefully, will have similar moral values to ourselves. Perhaps this will make some small difference to the laws which are passed in this country, but what now?
Do we now forget about politics for another 4-5 years? Or until the next local elections? Leave things down to the politicians, the majority of whom are far from pro-life, to make decisions on our behalf?
Now politics should be as important an issue as it was during the election campaign for those of us who are pro-life. Now we must find the most pro-life candidate for our local area and do everything we can up until the next election to put them in a position where they have a real chance to be elected. They will be more than willing to point you in the right direction for doing this. We must also try to convince our sitting MP that he/she should be pro-life, show them that there is a strong movement in his constituency that is pro-life.
If you already have an MP who is Pro-life then you must do all you can to support them. Show them that there is support for their very noble convictions and give them the courage to stick by them when it matters in Parliament. Write and thank them when they witness for life. Show them how important their vote on life issues is to you.
Conor Carroll

Saturday 15 May 2010

What A Precious Gift!

Giving life and protecting life is a virtuous act. Christ exemplified this by His death on the cross. He died that He may give life to the world and it is that life that you and me are enjoying today. Any act aimed at giving life or protecting life is a wonderful adventure. It is a Divine act.

Gianna was thrown out by her boy friend when she was found pregnant. Gianna felt that terminating the pregnancy was the only way to retain their friendship. She booked an appointment for the termination of her pregnancy, but something stopped her from going in for it. She got re-scheduled for another appointment which she eventually kept to. On reaching the abortuary, she found a group of people praying. This touched her in such a way that when she was approached for counselling she could not resist listening to the reasons to give her baby a chance to live. This decision resulted in the loss of her accommodation and, eventually, her relationship. Consequently, a lot of confusion set up in her life.

But she Providentially found solace at the Good Counsel Network, where she was taken by the people she met at the abortuary. The Good Counsel Network is a Pro-Life Charitable Organisation in the Catholic Church that lives exactly by the work she professes to do. This Network gives holistic care to women with crisis pregnancies. The Network gladly offers to protect mothers and the baby - in the womb and after it's birth. The Network is an ideal Pro-Life group, both in words and in deeds. Gianna came under the care of this Network. As time went on, Gianna, as well as her boyfriend, were tested to have ‘AS’ genotype (making them at risk of having a child with Sickle-Cell Anaemia). A new pressure was mounted on her to terminate the baby, for fear the baby may be born with Sickle-Cell. Her tension became stronger than the one she had during the first trimester of her pregnancy. She was encouraged by the Network and the Nuns* to keep the child, and to trust in God who has the power to change every situation for the better; also, to talk to the baby in the womb always, that all will be well.

At the end of her pregnancy, she gave birth to a handsome healthy baby boy who was tested, after three months of his birth, to be ‘AA’ (free of sickle-cell); to God be greater glory and honour, Amen!

Gianna, with tears of joy, brought the baby to the Nuns to announce the good news and exclaimed: “WHAT A PRECIOUS GIFT I WOULD HAVE LOST!”

So many lives have been lost in this way. Ignorance, lack of a good sense of values, and more painfully, lack of love and respect for life, and lack of a belief in God, have cost a lot of innocent lives. This is very heart-breaking. Any charitable organisation that promotes life like the Good Counsel Network, or my own Religious Order, The Holy Family Sisters of the Needy, has to be encouraged and supported. We are all created by God in His own image and likeness, therefore, the right to live must be respected! It is God who gives life and, therefore, He is the only one who equally has the right to take life. It is an obligation to every created being to work towards protecting every life created by God. Let us appreciate our life, and God who gives it, by ourselves becoming protectors of every life.

Sr Mary Joseph Ogbuokiri HFSN

* The Nuns are the Holy Family Sisters of the Needy, a Nigerian order of Religious Sisters with a particular charism of pro-life work, of which the author, Sr Mary Joseph, is one. These Sisters run Good Counsel's Home for Expectant and New Mothers and their babies.

Friday 14 May 2010

Many Modern Day 'Alfie's' Continue to Use and Abuse Women and Children

The old 60's flick, 'Alfie' (re-made in 2004 with Jude Law in Michael Caine's old role) has a storyline that is still played out many times every day in contemporary life. Alfie, a young Cockney bloke revels in the sexual revolution’s mores of ‘freedom’ and promiscuity. He has an affair with an older married woman, when her husband, ill with TB, is in a sanatorium. The married woman’s pregnancy is conspicuous; she decides to have an abortion because if her pregnancy is discovered, it will be known that she has been unfaithful to her husband. Alfie will arrange an abortion for her - and then forsake her.

Organising a friend to mind her children, and without telling anyone, she trudges to London, find Alfie’s flatand meets an eccentric man in a trench coat who warns that an abortion cannot be undone. Alfie starts to snarl that the abortion must go ahead; otherwise he will have to face the husband’s anger.

I have met ordinary people who are in the very same predicament that the fictional characters in the film faced. Emily was one such lady who had been having an affair with a Catholic man for seven years. Over seven years, she had had two abortions to ‘cover up’ for their affair. On each occasion, her ‘boyfriend’ Matthew, said the baby was ok with him, but if she didn’t abort, well his wife would beat her up! He would stand by, and let it happen. Emily took the abortion pill the first time and found it harrowing, she said,

‘You were just waiting for the baby to come out, and when he did come out, he was so trampled that he looked like a baby who had died in a mouse trap. The second time round, I insisted on having surgery. I didn’t see anything.’

She described how, after each abortion, she became more dependent on Matthew. She would cry for weeks on end, and needed his comfort and him telling her that she had done the right thing when she aborted his babies. She believed him when he said ‘when the time’s right, I’ll leave my wife for you.’

The third time that she became pregnant; she told Matthew firmly that she would not have a third abortion. His response was to leave her completely alone; he stopped taking her calls and did a disappearing act. Oh but just like before, it was OK for her to have the baby, but he wouldn’t help with finances, and his wife might get a bit rough... She remained set on having the baby, until the lead-up to Christmas when everyone seemed to be having such a good time, except her. Her friends pushed her towards having the abortion,

‘Why don’t you get it over with before Christmas? And anyway, do you want the child of a married man? You’re having an affair, you need an abortion.’

Rushing for her appointment at the abortuary, she bumped into an Irish gentleman who was praying the Rosary – a Catholic prayer. She stopped to talk to him, and told him that her boyfriend was a Catholic but had practically speaking, motivated her towards an abortion, because of his refusal to help her in any way. The man told her of the support she could receive at The Good Counsel Network, and that she could get an appointment very quickly. Thankfully she chose to get in touch and seek support to continue her pregnancy.

Mary O'Regan

Thursday 13 May 2010

Evidence of Answered Prayers, In The Flesh!

It's not always easy to see the results of our work straight away and therefore our faith is one thing that we must keep in mind at all times and never lose. A couple of incidents over the past few years have made me realise how God works in mysterious ways through our prayers, our work, fasting and our faith in Him. There have been times when I've wondered about the pregnant women who I've met outside the abortuary when giving them our leaflets, or those I've spoken to on the phone and whom I've asked people to pray for, but then they have not turned up for their appointments at our Centre.

There have been a couple of incidents when the women coming out of the clinics have told me they had not gone through with the abortion but that they would need help, but then they did not get in contact with our centre, and for some reason I had not got a chance to speak to them for long or get their contact numbers. So there's always that wondering what happened to the women and their babies in those cases. Wondering whether they have told the truth or whether they changed their minds again and gone ahead with an abortion.

We may never know the answers in this life. However, I noticed that a few women had come to our centre just by finding our leaflets on the street, or left in a church, or by friends or kind doctors or nurses that had given them information about us. We can be sure that this is God’s intervention through our prayers and sacrifices, that these are the people God has touched with His Graces and led them to get the help that they need instead of going for an abortion.

I was praying at the weekly vigil outside the abortion clinic recently when a young women passing stopped and came up to me with her young daughter.

“I came here to have an abortion over three years ago” she told me.

“I noticed there were people praying outside the clinic. I could not go in. This is my daughter and thank God I did not have the abortion that day” she told me with a smile.

“Thank God” I replied smiling at them both.

It has really taught me not to doubt and never to lose faith even when we don’t immediately see the results.

Lorraine Coyne

Wednesday 12 May 2010

How I Came To Work For The Good Counsel Network

I came to work for the Good Counsel Network about 6 years ago.

Up to 12 years ago, unfortunately, I had been a lapsed Catholic since my late teens. I always believed in God but I had not been to Mass or confession in many years and did not really think it mattered as long as I believed in Him. My parents and a couple of my sisters were good practicing Catholics and they had been praying for me and my other two sisters who were lapsed. They would often give me prayer books including 'The Divine Mercy Handbook' and prayer cards. I didn't really take much notice I put them away in a draw and forgot about them.

There came a time in my life when I was very unhappy. My family knew I was troubled and kept praying for me. I decided to start going to church again when I was at my lowest. Two of my sisters invited me to go to a 'prayer house' not long after I had been to confession and started going back to church. At the prayer house I was listening to some speakers and they were strongly against abortion. I felt that the Holy Spirit was talking through them and that Jesus was calling everybody there to do something to help him and calling us to conversion.

During the talks I felt that I wanted to offer reparation to Jesus, I felt I had been very selfish for most of my life and blind to the truth and now the veil was being lifted from my eyes. Now I wanted to answer that call from God in some way and help others in need.

But what was it that God was calling me to do? As I left the prayer room that day I was not fully sure but it became evident within the next 20 minutes.

I picked up some leaflets and a booklet on the way out. One of them was from 'The Good Counsel Network' and the other was a booklet about abortion. When I read the articles in the booklet I was very sad for the aborted babies and I wanted to do something to help and to stop it happening. It was at that moment I realised God was calling me to fight against abortion. I had a full time cushy job at the time in beautiful modern building, just minutes from my home. I didn't want to carry on with that work; they were working alongside the pharmaceutical companies and testing new drugs around the world, including contraceptives. People were polite and friendly there but nobody even spoke about God there and it was like He didn't exist. That hurt me and it hurt me a lot. I didn't want that anymore, I wanted to be able to pray and be with people who loved God and work for Him instead. I had a strong urge to do this.

When I got home I wrote to the Good Counsel Network telling them that I would love to work with them. It was the week before they opened the new centre that I started work with them. I know that Jesus healed me since I started going back to Mass and receiving Him in the Holy Eucharist. I know that the prayers of my family brought me back to God and that He had answered them. I can honestly say I'm more content and a lot happier these days.

Lorraine Coyne

Tuesday 11 May 2010


Correction. The blog titled 'The Truth About Empty Arms' was incorrectly attributed to Stuart McCullough, but was actually written by Ronni O'Gara.

Our Lady of Lourdes and St Michaels, Uxbridge

Recently, I went out along the A40 to Uxbridge on behalf of The Good Counsel Network to make an appeal. We were very warmly welcomed by Fr Nicholas Schofield, the recently appointed parish priest, and by all of the parish, some of whom already knew of our work.

The Church is one of beauty, originally built in the 1930, and bears the three stroke mark of its architect on every wooden item in the church. The Masses were celebrated beautifully and with great reverence, which I am sure helps the parishioners to come spiritually closer to God every time they are there.

It was a very productive weekend where we managed to successfully raise money for our work as well as to encourage the faithful to get involved in our work. This is largely due to the volunteers who gave up their time, once again, to help us fight for the lives of unborn children. Without our volunteers we could not continue to function as we currently do.

If you could spare time, either during the week or at the weekend, we need you. Even if it is just for a couple of hours. Everyone has to attend Mass on a Sunday so why not go to a different parish one week, attend Mass there and then help us at the end of Mass.

If you would like to find out more about Volunteering for the Good Counsel Network please call now on 0207 723 1740 and speak to Conor or email on info@goodcounselnetwork.freeserve.co.uk

You can also find an outline of the areas of London we are doing church collections in and the dates on our Website http://www.goodcounselnetwork.com/ see the Events page.

I look forward to hearing from you!!!

Conor Carroll

Monday 10 May 2010

Not So Subtle Pressure to Abort

We met Naomi just after Christmas, she was 17, had finished school early, and worked in a café. Her boyfriend was ten years older than her, and had had two children with another woman. When Naomi found out that she had got pregnant during Christmas, she confided in her boyfriend’s mother, Liz who told her,

‘Oh what a pity…it’s not the right time. You don’t want to put Tom under too much pressure? I know what he’s like, he might not stay with you if things…get too much. Look, let me make some arrangements for you.’

I’m always suspicious when the boyfriend’s mother makes all the arrangements for his girlfriend…to have an abortion. I’m doubly suspicious when the boyfriend’s mother won’t give the pregnant mother any details of what the abortion will be like, but says flippantly, like Liz did,

‘Everything will be fine. It’ll all work out for the best. You just come with me for an appointment at this clinic, at this time.'

Something nagged at Naomi. The fact that her own parents would be against her having an abortion…in secret…worried her. And Liz was just ‘a bit too smooth’, wanting to pay for any expenses, and saying to Naomi,

‘Just make sure you go through with the whole thing…you’re doing the right thing. There’s nothing to worry about. There’s no risks with legal abortion.’

That was without Naomi having ever said that she wanted the abortion. When I spoke with Naomi, I asked her if anyone had discussed the baby - her baby - with her.

‘No. I’m the only one who calls it a baby. I don’t think my boyfriend likes this. He’s had two kids already, and says that since I've got none, that I don’t know a thing about babies.’

She explained that she was terrified of having her first child, but that she wished her boyfriend supported her - if he did she wouldn’t even think about the abortion. Naomi had heard that there was a link between infertility and abortion, but wasn’t sure because her boyfriend’s mother kept assuring her that, ‘There's no risks whatsoever. But be sure to go back on the Pill when you have it done.’

I told her yes, research did demonstrate that there was a link between abortion and future difficulties with having children. I also mentioned that some women we have met are unable to have a child after an abortion, but instead have several miscarriages.
‘Well if this is the only kid that I may have, then I don’t want to get an abortion’ she said.

Her boyfriend’s mother was not so collected when Naomi broached the subject of her new decision to keep her baby with her.

‘What’s all this talk about a baby? An abortion is what you need!’
‘Whatever!' Naomi replied. 'But a baby is what I have.’
Mary O' Regan

Saturday 8 May 2010

A Woman's Right To Choose?

"We'll talk when you've had the abortion. Not done it yet? Didn't take you as a coward!"
read some texts that Josephine's boyfriend sent her.
He wouldn't take calls, but when eventually she got through to him at work, he said
"I won't sign. You won't get a penny from me!"
To make matters worse, her boyfriend was hoarding valuable books belonging to her that are worth thousands of pounds. ‘
"When you're finished at the clinic, I've no problem giving the books back." he said.

Josephine then told her flatmates that she was 11 weeks pregnant. The atmosphere changed from warm to freezing point.
"You can't stay here when you're like that." said a flat-mate as she brandished an arm towards Josephine.
One male flat-mated started going into her room to threaten her,
"You can't abuse our generosity by having a sprog and keeping it here."
In a bid to force her to move out, they stole her food and physically intimidated her when she was in the kitchen.

Little by little, Josephine started to think about having the abortion. She'd get her boyfriend back, and wouldn't have to scour London looking for a place where a baby was welcome. Her flat-mate told her that her debilitating morning sickness would disappear if she had the abortion.
Josephine, has no religion, and didn't know any arguments against abortion. She asked her Catholic friend Anne if she could advise her on having an abortion. Anne explained that as a Catholic she was against abortion. Anne asked Josephine if she had gone anywhere for help with keeping the baby. Anne gave Josephine the number of The Good Counsel Network, and Josephine made an appointment.

Josephine cried through hours of her session with us, where she was able to express her grief at her boyfriend's cruelty. That week, he had got a new girlfriend, because as he told Josephine,
"I don't need a pregnant girlfriend."

It was very hard for Josephine to accept that the bullying from her boyfriend and flat-mates was wrong and that she was not deserving of this humiliation because she was pregnant. Josephine explained how sick she was, getting up early to vomit and being very tired most of the day. We discussed how Josephine's own mum had been sick when pregnant. A big fear of Josephine's was that when she would rear the child, that the child would ask, "Where's my daddy? Will I grow up to be like my daddy?" Josephine said, "I'll never be a good mother because I'm going to have a baby that will never have a father."

Through careful education about the baby's development; showing her that he could even squint and furrow his forehead, Josephine learned that she was already a mother to an unborn baby, and that she was already being a good mother by eating well and resting more. Also, that the baby was not less of a baby because his daddy was not being honourable. We discussed, that yes, the baby may never know his father, but that this was better than depriving him of his life, as Josephine herself said.

Josephine has become firm in her decision to keep the baby. She has received continued emotional support from us, and has got help with accommodation and finances. She has decided to avoid negative influences that only hurt her anyway, and made her think about abortion. She decided not to text or ring the baby's father until she had the strength to do so.
Mary O' Regan

Friday 7 May 2010

Help To Save One More Life in Whatever Way You Can

There is a piece in the film 'Schindler's List' where Oscar Schindler is leaving the factory which he owned with his wife. As he leaves he sheds tears over the number of jews that he could have saved for the cost of the few possessions that he still had. The factory he ran during World War II used large amounts of conscript jewish labour. He did whatever he could to rescue as many of the jews as he could.

We are all in a similar situation today, over 700 babies will be aborted in England and Wales today. They are all there just waiting for us to save’them. Whether you spend an hour in Eucharistic Adoration or say an extra Rosary or Fast, (be it a Fast from some food or depriving yourself of something else the loss of which you would actually notice) or whether you spend time praying outside an Abortuary it all helps.

Volunteering in the Good Counsel centre in London is another obvious way to help, whether you can help with accounts, secretarial work, sorting baby clothes, attending Adoration in our Chapel or even just folding leaflets. All of these small tasks go to make up our life-saving work. Without Prayer our success rate would be diminished so if you cannot come to our office to not feel downhearted for you still are a vital cog in Our Lady's Pro-life machine.
Stuart McCullough

Thursday 6 May 2010

The Truth About Empty Arms

'Pro abortion groups applied pressure to the world's leading medical journal to suppress a report into maternal death rates, it has been claimed.'The Catholic Herald, 23 April 2010.
When I read the article from which the above quote was taken, I could not help but think of the many women we see (at Good Counsel) for whom the truth has been suppressed in so many ways.

The majority of women we see find themselves pregnant due to the failure of the contraception they are using. The first untruth they believe is that using contraception will ensure that they will not become pregnant. Another untruth not only they, but millions of women, believe is that the use of contraception liberates them to be as sexually active as they wish without having to suffer any consequences. This is why they are often so shocked; something they thought was infallible-their contraceptive, has let them down. They, therefore, initially panic and think they cannot cope with, and cannot be responsible for, the resulting pregnancy.

Another untruth is that the problem can be quickly got rid of by abortion and that the woman can go on to lead normal lives. Anyone undergoing any medical procedure is supposed to give their informed consent to the procedure they are having. Despite this, many women tell us they had no idea of the development of the baby they were about to kill, the abortion procedure itself or the possible long term serious effects on their own psychological, physical and emotional health.

In our culture of quick solutions, and self-realisation and self-fulfilment, those who are in a position to offer alternatives to abortion do not do so. Abortion is offered as the only solution to a young woman in a state of distress and panic, frequently exacerbated by pressure from, or abandonment by the baby's father.

I see women after they have given birth who have learned the truth, been brave enough to trust in God's Providence and given life to their babies.

These women often cry with relief and joy, that they did have courage, that there are people who can help, that abortion is not the only alternative, but most of all that they have their babies. I have asked many of them, months later, if they have any regrets. I have never had a 'Yes'. In spite of the difficult lives they sometimes have to lead, their babies are very precious to them. I cannot help but think at times of all of those other women with empty arms, suffering the after affects of abortion who were not given the truth.

Ronni O'Gara

Wednesday 5 May 2010

My daughter, how I miss her so...regardless of the circumstances of her conception

Abortion in the case of rape? Even if you know it's still always wrong, its one of those horrible questions to deal with. Worse again, some pro-lifers find it so hard to deal with, that they either accept abortion in the case of rape, or say it's an irrelevant question because it only affects small numbers, when compared to abortions done for "social reasons".

But of course it's not that simple.

The woman who has been so abused through rape, deserves our protection, and needs us to fight for her baby and for her health and well-being even when she is too traumatised, too disgusted and too hurt to do so herself.

In case you don't know how to answer this question when it comes up, here's a quote that might help:

"I, having lived through rape, and also having raised a child 'conceived in rape,' feel personally assaulted and insulted every time I hear that abortion should be legal because of rape and incest. I feel that we're being used by pro-abortionists to further the abortion issue, even though we've not been asked to tell our side." (Kathleen DeZeeuw, victim of rape).

Or, the words of another victim, Jackie Bakker, who reports: "I soon discovered that the aftermath of my abortion continued a long time after the memory of my rape had faded. I felt empty and horrible. Nobody told me about the pain I would feel deep within causing nightmares and deep depressions. They had all told me that after the abortion I could continue my life as if nothing had happened."

Finally, a read of these heartbreaking words of Edith Young, a 12-year-old victim of incest impregnated by her stepfather should inspire us all with a passion to protect rape victims and their children. She writes twenty-five years after the abortion of her child: "Throughout the years I have been depressed, suicidal, furious, outraged, lonely, and have felt a sense of loss... The abortion which was to 'be in my best interest' just has not been. As far as I can tell, it only 'saved their reputations,' 'solved their problems,' and 'allowed their lives to go merrily on.'... My daughter, how I miss her so. I miss her regardless of the reason for her conception."

For more information read the excellent article which these quotes are taken from at http://www.afterabortion.org/rape.html

If you are suffering after an abortion call us on 020 7723 1740 or visit our website at http://www.goodcounselnetwork.com/ and see the "suffering after an abortion" page for more help options.
Clare McCullough

Tuesday 4 May 2010

Abortion is the Issue in Every Election

A chap from the local labour party knocked on my door a few evenings ago, and asked me to vote for him in the forthcoming local elections. Twenty seconds into his patter I stopped him and asked,
"Where do you stand on Abortion?"
He started to mutter something about it not being relevant in local elections, but went on to say that he was from Tipperary so it was a difficult issue but that generally he supported Abortion and a woman's 'right to choose'.
I told him at that point I would, of course, not be voting for him as I didn't really care too much what his views were on any subject if did not believe in the right to life of unborn babies.
We went on to discuss why he has lapsed from the Church as well as other issues and then parted on good terms. He is now fully aware that is Abortion is relevant in every election and in fact all the time.
Having read Fr Pavone's article (on this blog yesterday) "You Wouldn't Even Ask" explaining why we can never vote for a pro-abortion politician no matter how good his other policies may be, it was very simple for me to deal with this candidate.
As we approach the forthcoming local and general elections it is important that we each individually make pro-life issues a deciding factor in how we vote. We need to make all of our politicians aware that we will decide on this issue and this issue alone. They will then have to take this issue more seriously.
Please pray for the conversion of England, Scotland and Wales as this is really the only way to end Abortion in these countries.
Changing some of the politicians along the way would be a good thing but changing hearts and minds with God's Grace will win the day. For details of where your candidates stand on this issue please see below.

Stuart McCullough

Contact SPUC for a questionnaire for any prospective election candidates

To see how your MP has voted on Life Issues in the past

For Pro-Life Information on the election

Monday 3 May 2010

General Election: Are We A One Issue People?

There is a lot of mixed opinion about what we should consider before deciding who to vote for. But I believe that if we looked at any mass killing of human beings other than abortion where hundreds of thousands of lives were being taken every year, such as in Nazi Germany for example, no-one (retrospectively at least) would say "We can't just vote on that one issue"!*@ Until abortion is ended, no other issue can compare with the huge and wholesale slaughter that deprives my unborn neighbour of his right to life, her right to own property, his right to work, her right to be educated, his right to have food on her table, his right to freedom. All rights are pointless if we do not have a right to be born! Fr Frank Pavone illustrates this perfectly in the following article, from his website, which is so good I am including it in this blog in full.
If we don't believe abortion is a big enough issue to be worth casting our vote on, how on earth do we imagine that any parliamentary candidate is going to? Read on...
by Clare McCullough

The following article was taken from the Priests for Life website www.priestsforlife.org

You Wouldn’t Even Ask….
By Fr. Frank Pavone

If a candidate who supported terrorism asked for your vote, would you say, "I disagree with you on terrorism, but where do you stand on other issues?

"I doubt it.

In fact, if a terrorism sympathizer presented him/herself for your vote, you would immediately know that such a position disqualifies the candidate for public office -- no matter how good he or she may be on other issues. The horror of terrorism dwarfs whatever good might be found in the candidate's plan for housing, education, or health care. Regarding those plans, you wouldn't even ask.

So why do so many people say, "This candidate favors legal abortion. I disagree. But I'm voting for this person because she has good ideas about health care (or some other issue).

"Such a position makes no sense whatsoever, unless one is completely blind to the violence of abortion. That, of course, is the problem. But we need only see what abortion looks like, or read descriptions from the abortionists themselves, and the evidence is clear. (USA Today refused to sell me space for an ad that quoted abortionists describing their work because the readers would be traumatized just by the words!)

Abortion is no less violent than terrorism. Any candidate who says abortion should be kept legal disqualifies him/herself from public service. We need look no further, we need pay no attention to what that candidate says on other issues. Support for abortion is enough for us to decide not to vote for such a person.

Pope John Paul II put it this way: "Above all, the common outcry, which is justly made on behalf of human rights -- for example, the right to health, to home, to work, to family, to culture -- is false and illusory if the right to life, the most basic and fundamental right and the condition for all other personal rights, is not defended with maximum determination" (Christifideles Laici, 1988).

False and illusory. Those are strong and clear words that call for our further reflection.

"I stand for adequate and comprehensive health care." So far, so good. But as soon as you say that a procedure that tears the arms off of little babies is part of "health care," then your understanding of the term "health care" is obviously quite different from the actual meaning of the words. In short, you lose credibility. Your claim to health care is "illusory." It sounds good, but is in fact destructive, because it masks an act of violence.

"My plan for adequate housing will succeed." Fine. But what are houses for, if not for people to live in them? If you allow the killing of the children who would otherwise live in those houses, how am I supposed to get excited by your housing project?

It's easy to get confused by all the arguments in an election year. But if you start by asking where candidates stand on abortion, you can eliminate a lot of other questions you needn't even ask.

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Saturday 1 May 2010

A Horrible Anniversary Gives Way To A Joyful First Birthday

It was a Sunday morning when I got a phone call from Bernadette, a young mother I knew well who had been receiving lots of help from our centre. She was crying down the phone.

“What’s the matter” I asked afraid that there was something wrong with the baby.

She could not get the words out and I was very worried something had happened to her child. “Its a year ago today” she blurted out.

Suddenly I realised that it was a year ago that day when I had first met her outside the abortuary.

Thankfully she now had a beautiful little baby boy and had come to our centre for help instead of having the abortion that day. So what on earth could be the matter?

“ I feel so ashamed, so bad” she told me “ I went to the abortion clinic a year ago this day, I’ve been awake all night just looking at my son”.

I knew how precious he was to her and the guilt she was feeling about that day.

I remembered when I met Bernadette outside the clinic. I knew from the moment I first started talking to her that she was in a real desperate situation. She told me she had been feeling very sick with her pregnancy and had lost her job because of it. Her landlord had told her that she had to leave the house by Monday morning because she had no money to pay the rent. Her boyfriend had told her to go and have the abortion, and that there was little he could do to help her. Alone and helpless with no one to turn to for help reluctantly she made her way to the abortuary.

When I met her, I spoke to her about God and she told me she believed and agreed abortion was wrong. I told her about the help at our centre and immediately she phoned her boyfriend and I heard her telling him “I can't do this, abortion is wrong, it’s a life, its our child”.

Then she put me on the phone to her boyfriend and I explained that our centre would help her. Bernadette told me how much she really wanted the baby but she did not know what to do in her situation. She gave me her phone number.

She arrived at our centre for an appointment a few days later and after counselling our centre gave her emergency accommodation and provided her with the help she needed.

“Don’t worry any more about that day” I told her “You were in a desperate situation but you did the right thing, and you now have a beautiful baby boy. I’m sure God led you that day to meet us and get all the help you needed from our centre”.

Bernadette is very grateful for our help and it was great to celebrate her son’s first birthday with her recently.
Lorraine Coyne

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