Category: Pro-life

The banal evil driving NI’s new abortion services

Fifty years ago, the Shankill Butchers — a renegade loyalist paramilitary gang — were responsible for the brutal murders of dozens of people, many of whom were picked up at random while walking home and tortured and mutilated beyond recognition.

Indeed, such was the horror of what they inflicted that the corpse of one of their victims was said to have been found with hair as white as snow.

What set the Shankill Butchers apart from all the other paramilitary killers of that time (and throughout the remainder of the Troubles) was the sheer depravity and unfathomable wickedness of their actions. 

These men were not soldiers fighting for what they believed was a just war; they were straight-up serial killers in the same category as Jeffrey Dahmer and Peter Sutcliffe; they killed for the pleasure of killing.

And yet, the death toll of the Shankill Butchers — reported to be twenty-three — is nothing compared to the body count racked up by some doctors inside modern NI hospitals, and their chosen method of killing, as of December 13th 2023, is not dissimilar, either (more on that later). 

Legality aside, the only difference between the Shankill Butchers and this new generation of NI serial killers is a mere matter of appearance. While the Shankill Butchers wore their evil and disdain for human life on their sleeves and, with their vacant eyes and crazed expressions, looked every bit the murderous maniacs that they were, our local abortion providers are totally banal in their evil; they’re highly educated, painfully middle-class, card-carrying members of the Love-Not-Hate club, who most likely frequent all of your favourite independent food spots.

Case in point: Dr Laura McLaughlin — a NI-based abortion provider who goes by the name Golf Girl Laura on X — took to social media on December 16th to express her pride at the first-ever 2nd-trimester surgical abortion being performed in the Ulster Hospital, just a few days previous on December 13th. 

Given that abortion advocates continually like to remind us that most abortions occur in the 1st trimester (which is true) and that later-term abortions are rare and very sad, it was interesting to see how quickly this veil of faux-modesty fell as the usual crowd of abortion-centric PhD elites and activist influencers chimed in to offer their congrats and express their hopes and dreams for more of the same. 

Like orcs celebrating a victory at the Battle of Azanulbizar, this was a cause for joy and celebration, with not so much as a millisecond’s pause for reflection on the young human life snuffed out and used as promotional material for Dr McLaughlin’s services.

For those who do not know — because abortion advocates in the know are not, under any circumstances, going to tell you — a 2nd-trimester abortion is an elective surgical procedure that can take place anywhere between 12/13 weeks and 24 weeks gestation. 

The two most common types of 2nd-trimester abortion are dilation and evacuation (D&E) and a variant called intact dilation and extraction (D&X). 

D&E is the most common form of abortion for 2nd-trimester pregnancies and can also act as a backup for a failed 2nd-trimester medical abortion, hence its popularity. 

A D&X abortion is similar in technique to a D&E abortion, but the objective is to keep the fetus’ body intact, should the situation call for it (more on the specifics below).

In the book Abortion Care (the editor of which also popped up in the comments to express his delight at Dr McLaughlin’s news), the D&E procedure is described as (comments in brackets mine): “Passing the jaws of the forceps through the internal os (the opening that leads to the uterus), ideally under ultrasound guidance, and opened as widely as possible to encircle the presenting fetal parts (the fetus’ arms and legs) in the lower uterine cavity”.

What happens next is something that would make even the Shankill Butchers wince. 

“These (the fetal parts – again, the arms and legs) are reduced in size by closing the forceps and brought out through the cervix with gentle rotation. 

The surgeon’s non-dominant hand is then used to palpate (examine) the size of the parts as they are pulled against the internal os or to palpate the uterus abdominally. 

These manoeuvres help the operator to avoid extracting large parts which could cause a cervical laceration or rupture and maintain an awareness of the forceps relative to the uterine fundus (the part of the uterus that is furthest away).”

Following this, the book continues, the fetal parts are accounted for and removed (two arms? Check! Two legs? Check!) to ensure that no part of the now-fragmented fetus is left behind that could later cause a medical issue. Once this is complete, a vacuum aspiration removes any remaining blood or tissue.

In non-Orwellian language, the fetus — which is, scientifically speaking, a complete human organism, the same kind of thing as you and I — is dismembered alive with serrated forceps and discarded as medical waste. I say dismembered alive because the Royal College of Gynaecologists only recommends feticide (an injection of potassium chloride through the fetus’ heart to kill the fetus before the abortion) for abortions after 21 weeks and 6 days. 

Even then, only 1% of all abortions and 41% of abortions at 20 weeks and over involve feticide due to a limited amount of doctors willing or able to carry it out and, most tellingly, a limited number of nurses and other support staff willing to witness it (Chapter 16, p146). 

So, chances are, the subject of this particular 2nd-trimester abortion was alive when he or she was pulled limb from limb.

In the case of a D&X abortion, when the fetus’ body needs, for whatever reason, to be kept intact, wide cervical dilation is required, followed by an assisted breech delivery of the fetus’ trunk and decompression of the calvarium. Put another way: the body of the fetus is partially delivered, and its head crushed. 

It is worth bearing in mind that this procedure is legal in NI for any reason up to 24 weeks gestation, with exceptions made beyond that (up to birth in theory) for cases of fetal abnormality, because who needs disabled people in this tolerant and compassionate New World Order that is being prepared for us by our progressive moral overlords, eh? 

All this is to say that Dr McLaughlin — the well-spoken, golf-loving, well-to-do, and otherwise entirely banal subject of this podcast interview — was, in essence, celebrating the dismemberment (or skull-crushing) of a whole, complete and unique member of the human species. 

And, if Dr McLaughlin has her way, many other 2nd-trimester abortions will follow, replete with the full backing of the law and funded with your tax money. 

The Shankill Butchers could only dream of such freedom and privilege.

A (really long) response to Goretti Horgan

It’s been a while since I’ve written a response blog (or any kind of blog, for that matter!). The main reason is that it’s rare that anything of substance is published or said in the media which is worth responding to in-depth. I’ve found that fallacious and vapid pro-abortion arguments – i.e. almost all – are best addressed using quick tweets. It’s much less time-consuming and often gains more traction. Once in a while, however, something grabs my attention that I think deserves a fuller response.

On October 4th, Goretti Horgan, a longtime abortion activist, appeared on Radio Ulster’s Talkback show to discuss the full commissioning of Northern Ireland’s abortion services. What followed was, perhaps, the most ill-informed and logically fallacious set of arguments I’ve ever heard from a leading abortion advocate – and that’s saying something.

To try and keep this as efficient and readable as possible, I’ll quote Goretti using bold italics and comment underneath. I recommend that everyone listens to the original broadcast, to ensure that I haven’t taken her out of context or missed something of substance (for brevity, I haven’t quoted every single word, but I have tried to quote her more salient points as fully as possible with a view to accuracy and fairness).

She starts by explaining why, in her view, abortion services took so long to be fully commissioned in Northern Ireland despite it being legal for three years. She then says:

“We still have people having to travel to England to access this basic healthcare, which is legal here, and yet isn’t available.”

It’s true that abortion is now legal in Northern Ireland and that some women still travel to England to avail of it, but notice what this assumes about the unborn. It assumes, without qualification, that the unborn are not human and instead argues that because some human beings go to extreme lengths to end the life of other human beings, the government should make it easier to do so. But why? I see no good reason why the government should be faulted for making it difficult to end the life of your own offspring. Yes, abortion is now legal, but legal doesn’t mean moral.

Almost three out of four people who responded to the Northern Ireland Life and Times survey (NILT), almost two out of three think that it is a woman’s right to choose whether or not to have an abortion. So Mr Wells has a right to his opinion, but he cannot say that most people agree with it.

This is completely false. The 2016 NILT survey showed that the majority of people in Northern Ireland do not agree with abortion based on choice alone. See the graph below.

Furthermore, the UK government’s 2019 consultation on abortion services showed that 79% of all 21,000 submissions received “Expressed a view registering their general opposition to any abortion provision in Northern Ireland beyond that which is currently permitted.”

Most interesting, however, is this candid admission (13:10 mark) by Naomi Connor of the abortion advocacy group Alliance for Choice, who, when discussing the prospect of an ROI-style referendum on abortion, said: “It’s obviously different in the South (of Ireland). A referendum wouldn’t work in the North, and nor do we want one because we think we’d lose it (laughs).” I’ve always said that if you sit quietly and let abortion advocates talk amongst themselves, the truth always gets revealed. Privately they know full well that they don’t have the majority support, but publically they say the opposite. Some people call this “telling fibs”.

“It’s also worth saying that there are women who are dead now, who have left children behind them, no mother to bring up those children because of the lack of abortion laws we had here.”

This is a hugely significant claim, so, and I don’t mean to sound cold here, who are these women? Where can we access the data on this? I ask because the one thing abortion activists do well – really, really well – is that they never waste a tragedy. They love a martyr. If there was even the slightest chance that a woman died in Northern Ireland as a direct result of our abortion laws, she would, like Savita Halappanavar and Sarah Ewart, be a household name. There would be vigils and murals all over Belfast’s Cathedral Quarter and plays performed at the Mac in her memory. It seems odd that this has only been revealed now and in such a fleeting manner. Secondly, and crucially, these anecdotal stories are moot because abortion on the grounds of saving the mother’s life has always been legal in Northern Ireland.

Personhood begins at birth, human rights begin at birth, and until a fetus is able to survive outside of the woman’s body, then really, the idea that … to say that people kill babies when they have an abortion is an absolute lie…”

Here, Goretti appeals to personhood theory to justify her view on abortion – that is, the idea that being a human isn’t sufficient to grant full human rights – you must also be a person. But, yet again, she merely asserts this without offering any supporting argumentation. Human rights are recognised in that which is human; they are not handed out like some sort of government benefit once a human life reaches a particular milestone. It’s also worth noting that personhood theory is only ever invoked when one group of humans wants to kill and/or oppress another group of humans. Goretti’s view – “It’s human, but it’s not a person” – has been argued countless times throughout history to a calamitous effect – Rwanda, Cambodia, Chechnya, Auswitcz, and many others spring to mind. It’s highly unlikely that she’s got it right this time.

Secondly, she appeals to the fetus’ total dependency on her mother as justification for ending its life, but again she offers no arguments in defence of this view, or, indeed, why a mother isn’t morally obliged to keep her offspring alive. Or why we can’t kill other humans who are also wholly dependent on others. Or why is survivability a value-giving property? Or why ending human life based on it not being able to do something isn’t ableist?

Thirdly, in regards to the phrase ‘killing babies,’ there are many high-profile abortion practitioners, feminists and pro-choice philosophers who are quite happy to concede that abortion kills; some even admit there’s a baby involved. Here are a few of them:

Given the wealth of scientific evidence pro-lifers have at their disposal, and the candid admissions of many abortion advocates, there is no reason why we should take Goretti’s word over those even higher up the abortion activism hierarchy than she is.

More than half of all the people who have abortions are already mothers, already have children, and so we know what we’re doing and we know that what we are doing is not giving life, which is very different to killing. And really that language has to go.

It’s funny how pro-lifers are the ones charged with being anti-science yet abortion advocates regularly make statements like this that could’ve easily come from the mouth of a 17th Century nostrum dealer. Basic science, not to mention basic logic, tells us that a woman is pregnant because the act of giving life has already taken place. If there is no life then the woman is not pregnant and no abortion is necessary. Again, Abortion is, by definition, an act of killing. Consider this quote from renowned abortion provider Dr Warren Hern (emphasis mine): “I inserted my forceps into the uterus and applied them to the head of the fetus, which was still alive since fetal injection is not done at that stage of pregnancy. I closed the forceps, crushing the skull of the fetus, and withdrew the forceps. The fetus, now dead, slid out more or less intact.” Does that sound like merely ‘not giving life’ or does it sound more like ‘taking life’? If no killing was involved, how did the previously-alive subject of this abortion come to be dead? What happened to it?

Astonishingly, for an academic, Goretti also fails to understand the difference between actively doing something (an abortion) and not doing something (not giving life). Withdrawing sustenance, if that’s what she means by not giving life, is not the same thing as actively ending a life, which every successful abortion does. So how does she get around this? In an Orwellian power move, she demands the language change to accommodate her view. Sorry, no. The English language exists outside your abortion paradigm, Goretti.

We have to face up to the reality that we have parents in this region who are being forced to end pregnancies that they might want to continue because they literally can’t afford another child because there’s a two-child limit to the benefits and tax credits that are given to families across the UK and I haven’t seen Mr Wells’ party standing up to the Conservatives and saying “this is a scandal”.

Here she engages in subject-changing legerdemain to conflate issues and derail the conversation with the simple goal of making her opponent look like a bad person. She’s basically saying, “If you don’t agree with my specific political beliefs and support the same government programmes I support, then you’re a hypocrite for saying abortion is wrong.” But wait a minute; if abortion is the intentional and unjust taking of innocent human life, then other government policies, while important, are not the issue. Her argument here is like someone making a defence of slavery by saying, “Until you support government schemes that help plantation owners cover the cost of losing their workforce, you’re a hypocrite for speaking out against slavery”. Well, OK, maybe the government should do more to help people in general, but that’s irrelevant if slavery is a moral wrong. Charging someone with hypocrisy, or pointing out that they’re only concerned about one particular issue, is not adequate justification for ending a human life.

Rights are a continuum, rights develop. Of course, as a fetus develops, as it becomes more viable, it definitely does start to have rights … I don’t know anyone who doesn’t agree with that (the presenter then asks, “Is it a person?”) … no, no, no, it’s not a person, either before the law or in morality generally until it’s born.

This best sums up the difference between the pro-life view and the pro-choice view. Either you believe that every human being has an equal right to life, or you don’t. The pro-life view is that human beings are intrinsically valuable because they are human beings. The pro-choice view, as Goretti demonstrates, is that human value sits on a sliding scale of development where humans gradually gain value based on arbitrary milestones, such as viability (I’ve never known a viable newborn, by the way – leave a newborn be for long enough and he’ll soon die). So, if human rights are a continuum awarded by those in power based on an arbitrary characteristic, then every social justice cause that Goretti holds dear is fixed in thin air because if human rights can be given for arbitrary reasons, they can be taken away for arbitrary reasons. She wants to fight for and defend the poor and marginalised – that’s great – but on her understanding of human rights, her sword is a length of hose she bought in Home Bargains and her shield is an old cereal box wrapped in toilet paper.

There is no other situation where a person literally lives in another person’s body, so you can’t have that. You can’t have another person living in another person’s body. So you can’t have personhood until it’s out of the other person’s body. It is really as simple as that.

Let’s break this mess down into a syllogism to help unpack it:

  1. There is no other situation where a person lives in another person’s body.
  2. You can’t have another person living in another person’s body.
  3. Therefore, the person inside the other person is not a person, and we can kill them.

While premise (1) is true, premise (2) is by no means obvious because it a) neglects the moral obligation parents have to keep their children alive (let alone not kill them) and b) fails to understand that just because something is a unique situation, it doesn’t follow that we can kill the subject of that situation to solve a problem. For example, conjoined twins – where the weaker twin literally uses the organs of the stronger twin to survive – is also a unique situation, but it would be unthinkable for the twins’ parents to hire a doctor to kill the weaker twin on the basis that “There is no other situation where a person shares another person’s organs…”. Therefore, the only reason why you would believe premise (2) is if you already believe premise (3) to be true. In other words, Goretti hasn’t logically arrived at premise (3) through sound reasoning; she already assumes premise (3) to be true and this is her way of laying out her argument so that she doesn’t have to properly defend it. It’s question-begging and circular reasoning.

The problem is, even if you accept that an 8 and a half month… even a fetus that is a couple of days away from being born, is equal to the person who is pregnant, then it comes to the which one do you save in that kind of a situation?

Why would Goretti assume that an abortion at this late stage (which could take days to complete) would be needed to save the life of the mother when a C Section could be done in a fraction of the time? If this is a life and death situation and time is of the essence, and assuming this is a wanted pregnancy, why opt for the lengthier and significantly riskier procedure that ends with the death of a full-term child? This is an odd argument. But again, it’s moot, because abortion has always been legal where the mother’s life is genuinely at risk. Furthermore, it’s a false dichotomy because abortion to save the life of a mother is not about one life being less equal than the other; it’s about trying to save both with the understanding that the weaker of the two patients might die as result. The intent here is not to kill, but to save. That is vastly different from what Goretti wants and campaigns for, which is abortion for any reason through all nine months. She appeals to the hard-but-understandable cases to justify her true belief that abortion should be on demand. It’s a motte and bailey fallacy.

“Nobody wants an abortion at any stage, but they certainly don’t want an abortion at a later stage in pregnancy and the only reason people have those later abortions, that anti-abortionists only want to talk about, they’re a tiny, tiny, tiny proportion (presenter: “very small”) they are always for very severe medical reasons because the mother’s life is in danger or because of some very, very severe fetal abnormality…” 

Once again for those at the back: abortion to save the life of the mother has always been legal! It’s true that most abortions are indeed performed at under 10 weeks (89% according to Government stats for 2021), and some pro-life activists indeed tend to focus more on later-term abortions, but pro-lifers don’t believe abortion is wrong because of the gestation period; they believe abortion is wrong because it unjustly ends an innocent human life. In other words, the age of the victim is irrelevant. The bigger picture, however, is that 98% of all UK abortions in 2021 were performed for reasons other than those reasons that abortion advocates only ever talk about – rape, incest, a risk to the mother’s life, etc. Additionally, in the US, there’s a good case to be made that most abortions carried out after 21 weeks are not medically necessary, either for the mother or the child.

(Presenter: “Do you see any room for compromise?”) “Not useless you’re going to say that the woman’s life is only equal to that of the fetus that she’s carrying. I don’t believe that. I think the woman’s life is of more importance… that she has given over her body to grow this baby… and really she shouldn’t have to risk her life in order to do so.”

Ah, so it is a baby, then! Glad we agree on something. Sadly, this is where the agreement ends as the undefended assertions continue. Who said giving over your body to grow a baby is an adequate justification for killing the baby? This is an odd and impoverished view of the mother-child relationship. This also seems to be a tacit admission that not all human life is equal. Why are the mother and baby (her words) not equal? Because the mother uses her body to grow the baby? I wonder if this also extends to finances and emotions. Can a mother end her baby’s life because she gives over literally everything to her once she’s born? If not, what difference do the first nine months make?

To recap, it’s clear that Goretti’s arguments don’t withstand any kind of scrutiny; they’re shallow, ill-thought-out, disingenuous and fallacious – and they wrongly ground rights in arbitrary characteristics and a sliding scale of human development instead of where they should be grounded – one’s human nature (the clue is in the name – human rights). And, despite her confidence and self-assured delivery, her arguments aren’t even in line with what other abortion advocates are saying. Such arguments may well be persuasive to an 18-year-old in their first year of uni who has just discovered feminism for the first time, but anyone who cares about the pursuit of truth – both for and against abortion – should see right through them.

Sorry, Fionola Meredith – arguments have no gender. Abortion is still wrong even if a man says it

Fallacious arguments are a bit like Where’s Wally?. Once you learn how to spot Wally, you can easily spot him on every page. Similarly, once you learn how to identify logical fallacies – no matter how eloquently put – they leap off the page and beat you over the head with a hurley bat.

I mention this because, after reading this article by Fionola Meredith, I got beaten so badly by a whole gang of fallacies that I had to be rushed to intellectual A&E.

According to Fionola, some men aren’t qualified to speak on abortion because “murdering the little babies” is the sole reserve of those with a womb. But since pro-life men use exactly the same arguments as pro-life women, it is incumbent upon Fionola to answer these arguments without resorting to fallaciously attacking someone’s gender or making unqualified assumptions about their character. Does she do that? Nope. In fact, the entire article is who’s who (what’s what?) of logical errors, from name-calling and emotional appeals to wild and unqualified assumptions. There’s even some amateur psychology in there too for good measure.

Some of these angry, heartless men call themselves Christians. That’s a sick joke. If you’re such a champion of the unborn foetus that you can’t spare an ounce of compassion for a raped child, then what does your faith count for?

Let’s assume that these men are angry and heartless. In fact, while we’re in prejudice mode, let’s make them tax dodgers and drug dealers too. They’re horrible, compassionless, hypocritical, drug-dealing, tax-dodging, pro-life Christian scummers. And they stole the lead off yer Da’s shed. So now what follows? Nothing. Abortion is still the intentional taking of innocent human life.

What we see here – and in the following four (!) paragraphs – is a commitment to the ad-hominem fallacy – that is, attacking people (who she’s never met) as opposed to their ideas in lieu of making a persuasive case of her own. It’s just name-calling. And name-calling is not an argument.

Notice also that she attacks a strawman – the intentional misrepresentation of an opponent that is easier to defeat than their actual view. I’ve yet to meet any pro-lifer who wouldn’t have compassion for a raped child. Such a charge is as ridiculous as it is unfounded. But it also cuts both ways. If you’re such a champion of raped children that you can’t spare an ounce of compassion for the child heading for the abortion chopping block, then what does your egalitarian secularism count for? See how that works?

A much better approach – and one desperately needed in our wee divided country – is to advance actual arguments that must be defended. Arguments that stand or fall on their merits, not the gender (or colour, or race, or religion, .etc) of those espousing them.

It’s true that we frequently hear female voices who are implacably opposed to abortion in all circumstances, although I’ve never yet heard one of them give a satisfactory answer as to why any girl or woman should be forced to give birth to a child she does not want.

The answer is simple and wholly satisfactory to any right-thinking person: the value of human life is not determined by wantedness. A woman should not be able to poison alive / methodically dismember her unborn child because she does not want her, any more than she should be able to poison alive / methodically dismember her two-year-old for the same reason.

Again, the gender of the person making this point is completely irrelevant – it is either true or false on its own merit – but since you mention it, there are countless female pro-life leaders articulating this basic philosophical truth in the world today. In fact, the whole pro-life movement is headed up and staffed almost exclusively by women. There’s at least a dozen of them in NI alone. Why not meet with them if you’re still unclear?

I think they are motivated by something far more base, ugly and deplorable. I believe they are driven by contempt for women, a desire to control them and to have dominion over their bodies.

Listen to the vitriol in the words they use. What you’re hearing, echoing down the millennia from the dawn of time, is misogyny: an ancient fear, suspicion and resentment of women and their extraordinary power to give birth.

There’s no doubt that Fionola is a talented writer and articulate speaker (as much as I disagree with some of her views, I enjoy listening to her on the radio and reading her articles), but she’s no psychiatrist. All of this is mere conjecture that lies outside the bounds of her knowledge and expertise. How does she know what drives someone? Is she qualified to make statements about someone’s personal psychology? I doubt it. Is she privy to their medical records? I hope not. This is yet more name-calling, just made a little more sophisticated by wrapping it up in pseudo-psychology and poetic language.

And who are these suspicious and contemptuous men anyway? Big Ivor Bogroll she heard on the Nolan Show? Well, she might have a point with Big Ivor – I once saw him eat a plastic fork in a KFC outside Lurgan – but she hasn’t mentioned any names, or provided any evidence of these alleged transgressions, just assumptions and generalisations and someone she heard on the Nolan Show. This is not journalism – or even a thoughtful opinion piece – it’s naked activism.

Men can never know what it is like to experience a crisis pregnancy. They will never grapple with the horror and fear. They will never have to take out a bank loan to fund their personal travel expenses to England, or to make the lonely, disorienting journey there and back.

Consider this: Fionola will never know what it’s like to fight in a war. She will never grapple with horror and fear. She will never have to survive on benefits or struggle with PTSD. Therefore, Fionola doesn’t get to decide whether the army can torture war prisoners or not.

That’s a pretty bizarre argument, don’t you think? So, why would discussing other moral issues like abortion be any different? It’s true that gender perspectives on abortion can help us understand the personal experience, but they are no substitute for rational inquiry.

The abortion question does not hinge on gender or personal experiences (indeed, many women will never know what those things are like, either), but whether or not the unborn child has value and is worthy of protection. Would she make the same appeal to emotion if the debate were about killing toddlers instead of fetuses?

But ultimately it won’t be the man’s decision, nor should it be. Their views count for less, and rightly have no legal weight, because it is the woman who carries the child. She deals with the immediate physical reality of the pregnancy, as well as the lifelong impact of giving birth to another human being.

OK – if men can’t make decisions on abortion, then the 1967 Abortion Act is bad law. After all, it was introduced by David Steel, a man, and backed by a government comprising entirely of men. The same goes for Roe V. Wade in America which was passed by nine male judges. Of course, Fionola likely believes that the views of those men – and today’s male abortion lawmakers like Simon Harris and Leo Varadkar – do not count for less and have plenty of legal weight because she agrees with them.

So what this all amounts to, then – even with a shoe-horned attempt at balance by referencing the “kindly pro-life men” she knows – is the silencing of those she disagrees with based purely on their gender. Think about that for a second. Isn’t that the very base, ugly and deplorable trait that she claims to detest in others?

Naomi Long – but why are you “personally opposed” to abortion on demand?

Last month, the leader of the Alliance Party, Naomi Long, got into a spiky back and forth with Precious Life after she – along with over 169 other MPs – signed a letter calling for their morality to be imposed on unborn children radical changes to Northern Ireland’s abortion laws. Precious Life (correctly) claimed that the letter is basically a euphemism for abortion on demand, and that (also correctly) a vote for Alliance is a vote for abortion. In response, Naomi Long called it ALL LIES before making the claim that decriminalising abortion does not force abortion on anyone. Because we all know that not forcing a certain thing on people makes the thing itself morally permissible. That’s how the logic of morality works in 2018, bigots.

Other local politicians signed the letter too, of course, but the interesting thing about Naomi is that she is a Christian. That and I genuinely like her. She’s a talented, articulate, and hardworking politician, who has displayed considerable bravery in the face of violent paramilitary thugs, and who has, in the past, spoken out against the exodus of persecuted Christians from the Middle East. It’s just a shame that she doesn’t see the violent expulsion of a human being seeking asylum in her mother’s womb in the same way.

You might be wondering, then, how a Christian could love all her neighbours bar the ones that happen to be in a certain location or at a certain stage of development or are the product of certain circumstances. Keep wondering, because Naomi’s specific beliefs on the act of abortion are pretty hard to come by. While she stated in this 2012 article that she’s personally opposed to abortion on demand, she has yet to explain, to my knowledge, why she personally opposes abortion on demand. Is it because she thinks abortion a sin? Does she think abortion takes a human life? Does she think there’s an intrinsic difference between the corpse of a child that was aborted on demand and the corpse of a child that was aborted because she was the product of rape? It’s all rather vague, which should be a concern for any thoughtful pro-life voter because it’s literally a matter of life and death.

So, how best do pro-lifers go about unpacking and engaging with the absurd contradiction of someone who claims to be personally opposed to abortion (either entirely or to a certain degree) yet is in favour of it as a matter of public policy? How do you respond to such a person? What would you say to Naomi Long if she turned up at your door canvassing and the discussion turned to abortion? What would you say to her on Talkback or the Nolan Show when she’s on arguing for choice but doesn’t explain what the precise nature of that choice is? The answer lies in these basic questions, in the following order:

1. “Naomi, why are you personally opposed to abortion on demand?”

The answer to this should be easy. She will likely say that she’s personally opposed to abortion on demand because abortion kills an innocent human being. If Naomi does not think the unborn are human then she would have no logical reason for any personal opposition to abortion at any stage, for any reason. Having an abortion on demand would be no more immoral than picking your nose on demand or having a mole removed on demand. It would require neither personal opposition nor any further thought on the matter.

2. “Naomi, does your belief that abortion on demand kills an innocent human being have any objective basis?”

This is also easy to answer because, if she’s a thinking Christian, two things will happen. First, she will tell you that the scientific consensus amongst embryologists is that the unborn is a distinct, living, and whole human being from the point of conception. Second, she will appeal to her Christian convictions and tell you that all human beings are knit together in their mother’s womb equally in the image of God, and that, as a follower of Christ with a public platform and a gift for feisty activism, she is compelled to speak out against the destruction of the powerless by the powerful, including those at risk of being dismembered with a Sopher clamp by the strong arm of a wealthy abortion doctor.

3. “Naomi, are you personally opposed to child rape?”

This should be brief. She will say “Yes” – then give you the death stare for asking such a stupid question. But it’s not a stupid question. It’s a trap.

4. The next question is obvious: “Would you be willing to impose this belief on others by banning child rape?”

In the blink of an eye, she will answer “yes”. At this point, though, you might want to remind her that preventing people from raping children is a question of objective morality rather than an issue of choice or individual conscience, as the Alliance Party puts it. It is more a case of asking whether a government should prevent terrible things from happening to a voiceless group of vulnerable human beings than the question of choosing between brown sauce or red sauce for your fry.

5. If at this point she doesn’t yet understand how absurd her position is, ask, “Why do you believe that rape is more serious than murder?”

If she still doesn’t get it at this point or refuses to answer, you can simply explain to her that she thinks it should be illegal to rape children but permissible to murder them – even though she “personally opposes” both child rape and child murder. You can now close the discussion by contrasting her muddled and inconsistent position with your clear and inclusive pro-life position that the law should ban both the rape and murder of children because both are forms of child abuse.

pro-life belfast both lives matter

Actually, Labour Alternative, both lives do matter

Abortion advocates are in a rage at the moment.

Nothing new here, of course, they’re always raging about something, but this last month their rage has been more apoplectic than usual.

Their anger climaxed when Both Lives Matter, a new pro-life group set up in Northern Ireland, launched a billboard campaign claiming that 100,000 lives have been saved due to NI’s laws on abortion.

The billboard was vandalised shortly after going up.

Nothing says “tolerance” like the tearing down of a different opinion.

Normal people will find it odd that anyone could become outraged at the mere suggestion of people being alive today because they weren’t aborted, but this is the type of people we’re dealing with. Truth is to abortion fans what direct sunlight is to vampires. This is why, when faced with the light of truth and goodness, their eyes and faces began to burn so badly that they had to literally destroy the billboard for fear of bursting into flames.

Sean Burns, South Belfast candidate for the abortion-choice Labour Alternative, put it this way:

This campaign is an insult to women who have had an abortion for whatever reason (for instance, if the mother didn’t want a girl — Bigot). It is also a blatantly untrue (sic) to say our backward laws are saving any lives. In fact, this archaic denial of the right to choose puts the lives of women as risk, as we saw in the South with the tragic death of Savita Halappanavar.”

A couple of points: firstly, notice how he doesn’t even bother to engage with the ‘100,000 lives’ claim. He merely asserts that it’s untrue without offering any compelling counter-argument. This is a standard pro-choice tactic. By dismissing you, they don’t have to defend their position. And if they don’t defend their position, then nobody will find out how vacuous and fallacious their arguments are. Instead, they get to stay in their Safe Spaces, eat chickpea curry and conduct a memorial service for Harambe. Then, when it’s safe, they creep out under the cover of darkness to tear down any message that doesn’t agree with crushing the skulls of unborn human beings.

But here’s where their argument defeats itself: if there’s such a huge demand for abortion in NI — as pro-choice groups are constantly telling us — then it’s reasonable to assume that there have been at least 100,000 women in NI since 1967 who have wanted an abortion but couldn’t — and subsequently didn’t — have one. Therefore, it is perfectly plausible that those former unwanted pregnancies are now alive and part of society. Who knows, some of them might even make up the dozen or so people who vote Labour Alternative.

However, if there isn’t a huge demand for abortion in NI, and our abortion laws don’t save lives, then pro-choice groups are lying. Which is it?

Secondly, abortion advocates need to stop using Savita Halappanavar and other hard cases to score political points and disguise their true position of abortion on demand. An independent enquiry concluded that Savita died of sepsis – something an abortion could not have prevented – and medical misadventure.

The fictitious “women will die” argument gets rolled out anytime there’s an attempt to defend NI’s abortion laws, despite thousands of lives necessarily being saved, and not a single death ever resulting from a lack of abortion. Pregnancy is a horrible disease, they scream, and abortion is the only cure.

Well, I’m with the Dublin Declaration on this one; there is never any medical justification for the intentional killing of an unborn child. Sadly, there may be situations where a baby doesn’t survive the medical intervention needed to save the life of a mother, or the baby may need to be delivered early, but the additional step of maiming, poisoning, and carving the baby up before throwing it in a bin, is never needed. The vast, vast, vast majority of abortions are carried out on healthy women with healthy pregnancies resulting from consensual sex. Everyone knows this.

Burns continues, “Nor does it stop women having abortions. It just means thousands of women are forced to travel to Britain at great expense.”

Of course, laws against abortion won’t stop abortions. Just like laws against rape don’t stop rape. That’s not the point. Laws are deterrents, not absolute guarantees. This is how it works: if something is illegal, people generally won’t do it. If something is legal, people generally will do it. This is basic stuff. Any serious politician ought to know this.

The question we should be asking is, “Are NI laws against abortion good?” Well, abortion is the intentional act of killing a live human being – a description that begs no questions – so, yes, they are.

Finally, and predictably, Burns invokes the Twin Towers of modern Leftist ideology — censorship and name-calling:

I will be submitting a complaint to the Advertising Standards Authority about this inappropriate, inaccurate and offensive campaign but, more importantly, we need an active movement which is prepared to take on these bigots and win abortion rights for women in Northern Ireland.

If you have no good arguments, then why not whisper in the ear of power to silence your opponent, or call them a bigot? And that’s what Labour Alternative are doing here. But what is a bigot? According to the Oxford English Dictionary, a bigot is: “A person who is intolerant towards those holding different opinions”. Who does that sound more like? The people making a plausible claim that anti-abortion laws save lives, or the people who make sweeping character judgments and tear down speech they don’t like?

Just when you think things couldn’t get any more asinine, East Belfast Labour Alternative candidate, Courtney Robinson, speaking in her capacity as self-appointed representative of all women, said this:

The anti-choice campaign Both Lives Matterhas been masquerading as a human right groups (sic) but it is nothing of the sort. They not only insult women here but also the heroic Black Lives Matter movement in the United States which has been challenging racist violence and inequality.

The world has become accustomed to irrational and hysterical Leftist snowflakery in recent times, so it should come as no surprise that someone would take offence at the name ‘Both Lives Matter’. Just a hunch, but I’m guessing they went with ‘Both Lives Matter’ because ‘Both the Mother’s Life and the Baby’s Life Have Intrinsic Value and an Unalienable Right Not to be Dismembered or Poisoned Alive’ doesn’t have the same ring to it. Nor would it get their point across in time before someone tears down the billboard. Seriously, wise up.

‘Both Lives Matter’ is a fundamentally equal statement. By opposing it, Courtney Robinson is actually aligning herself with inequality. If Courtney Robinson really believes that black lives matter, she’s more than welcome to join the pro-life movement in condemning the biggest killer of black lives in America – abortion. Nothing keeps the black population in check like abortion, just as eugenics-enthusiast Margaret Sanger dreamed it would when she founded Planned Parenthood. There is a reason why there are more Planned Parenthoods in poor black neighbourhoods than anywhere else; aborting blacks is big business.

Courtney continues:

This group is totally out of touch with ordinary people. So are all the main parties, none of which support the right to choose despite 55% of people wanting to see the 1967 Abortion Act extended to Northern Ireland. Fifty years after women in Britain won the right to choose, women in Northern Ireland are still being criminalised for exercising control over their own bodies. In the upcoming election, Labour Alternative will continue to campaign unapologetically for abortion rights and provide an alternative to the dark-age politics of the main political parties.

These are just shameless diversion tactics. An appeal to the masses doesn’t make something right. And the age of a law – any law – is completely irrelevant in determining whether it’s a good law or a bad law (by the way, if you want to see something from the Dark Ages, take a look at the instruments they use to perform abortions with).

The only thing that matters here is the nature of the unborn. If abortion doesn’t take a human life, no justification is needed. Abortion at any stage, for any reason, I say. If abortion does take a human life, as science confirms, then no justification is good enough — regardless of how many people agree with it.

So, when it comes to casting your vote this election, be aware that Labour Alternative don’t really care about women. They only care about preserving sexual freedom, one of the pillars of liberal and Leftist ideology.

If Labour Alternative really cared about women, they’d speak out against the millions of females aborted yearly simply because they are female. They’d speak out against abortion as the tool of abusive and unscrupulous men, who use it to destroy the evidence of rape and incest to avoid responsibility and commitment and to use more women for more sex. But they don’t speak out against these things because they are moral cowards. They don’t care about women. It’s not possible. You can’t support abortion and be pro-woman.

So, instead of virtue signalling, Labour Alternative, why not make a stand for actual equality? Make a stand for all the disabled, black, and female unborn human beings annihilated daily simply for being disabled, black, and female. Make a stand for both lives.

hitman abortion northern ireland

‘Medieval’ NI murder law needs updating, say assassin campaign group

A group of assassins have called for Northern Ireland’s “medieval” murder law to be brought up to date.

Although assassinations do occasionally happen, the group said it is “almost impossible” for contract killers to eliminate a human target in this country.

A spokesperson for the Assassin’s Brotherhood of Reforming Terminations (ABORT) said the law needs to be brought up to date.

The intentional killing of a human life is wrong, said the Northern Ireland government.

Currently, there are only a handful of contract killings carried out in Northern Ireland each year.

For scores of Northern Irish hitmen and hitwomen, however, this means a trip to Russia or China – where contract killings are less frowned upon – to look for work.

A hitman who wanted to remain anonymous said he turned to paid homicide after losing his job selling orthopaedic shoes when British Home Stores folded.

“I told the job agency that I was a big fan of Steven Segal and I wanted to become a hired gun, and they said, ‘No. You can’t choose that’. I was devastated. I had grown a ponytail especially for it and now I just look ridiculous.”

He added: “There is no other option than to get on a plane – or sometimes a speedboat – to find work in parts of the world where assassinations are less stigmatised. We’re not in the 1800s – it’s medieval.”

A second assassin spoke about the “financial burden”.

“I got myself into debt because I had to buy winter clothes – Russia’s freezing – and then customs confiscated my £3,000 samurai sword.”

“Flying back from Russia was the worst part. I was worried the briefcase containing my polonium and silencers wouldn’t make it through security at George Best airport. Thankfully, I remembered to label the briefcase as “gift” and it went through OK – but it was touch and go. I should never have had to leave home in the first place”.

‘Choice issue’

ABORT’s founder, and part-time assassin, Xavier Denim said: “We want equality for Northern Irish terminators. We don’t want assassinations on demand or for the sake of convenience, but it’s a choice issue. People should have the right to terminate inconvenient and costly human beings. The law needs bringing up to date.”

The Contract Killing Act 1987 is still the law governing Northern Ireland. It allows for assassinations on a number of grounds such as failure to pay your TV license, or putting out the wrong colour of bin on collection day.

But campaigners believe the “burden of proof to meet these criteria is such that it can be almost impossible for an assassin to terminate their target”. The act was brought in to update the existing, and even more archaic, 1872 Criminal Code – which made the act of killing human beings illegal.

How not to argue for abortion

One thing that has become clear in the debate about abortion in Northern Ireland (and everywhere else) is that, in lieu of a single convincing argument, abortion proponents like to carpet-bomb the conversation with multiple terrible arguments in the hope that quantity will make up for quality. This is because abortion-choicers have already decided that pro-lifers are ignorant women-hating rubes who wish to impose their religious views on everyone else, so why even try and come up with a convincing argument?
Exhibit A: This Belfast Telegraph Facebook thread on Liam Neeson’s abortion-choice advocacy. There are too many awful abortion-choice arguments here, so I’ll respond to the best of the worst.

don't like abortion, don't have one

The common “don’t like abortion, don’t have one” argument confuses objective claims with subjective claims. When a pro-lifer says abortion is wrong, they’re making an objective claim that abortion unjustly takes the life of a defenceless human being. In other words, abortion is objectively wrong for everyone, regardless of whether one likes it or not. It misses the point entirely, like saying, “Don’t like wife beating? Don’t beat your wife!”
Subjective claims cannot be deemed right or wrong as they are matters of personal taste. You cannot reasonably argue that cheese and onion crisps are objectively better than ready salted crisps. But objective claims are different. They can be evaluated as true or false based on the evidence. “Every successful abortion intentionally ends an innocent human life” is an objective claim based on evidence. If you think it’s wrong, prove it with science and facts. Anything else is intellectual laziness.

“Shut up, you silly man!” is basically what this comment is saying. Instead of defending the abortion-choice view with facts and reason, this person is trying to censor the pro-lifer by attacking their gender (but, oddly enough, not Liam Neeson’s gender). But: arguments have no gender.
Furthermore, there is no such thing as a “woman’s perspective” on abortion that trumps all rational inquiries into the issue. Feminists – let alone women in general – have no single view on abortion. The ability to bear children is irrelevant. And who says men can’t physically bear children? This is 2016! Oh, the transphobia!

bad abortion arguments

Two terrible arguments for the price of one here. Scientifically, we know “Embryos, zygotes and foetuses” are distinct, living, and whole human beings. It doesn’t matter what names we give them. Sure, they differ in appearance but not in nature. This is such an obvious truth that not even abortion providers deny it. Faye Wattleton, a former President of Planned Parenthood, said: “I think we have deluded ourselves into believing that people don’t know that abortion is killing”.
Philosophically, there are only four differences between the embryo you once were and the individual you are today: size, the level of development, environment, and degree of dependence. None of these are value-giving properties. Humanness determines human value. And the unborn are human beings.
The second bad argument here is the absurd idea that in order to be against abortion, you must first care about already-born children. This is like some sort of ultimatum a movie villain might make: “If you care about the hostages, you’ll give me the gold bullion”. Or, “If you care about animal rights, why aren’t you adopting all the turkeys this Christmas?”

Suppose pro-lifers don’t care for born children (they do), it doesn’t follow that that justifies the deliberate killing of unborn children.

bad abortion arguments

The idea that personhood begins at birth (or that a “person” and a “human” are separate things) is an arbitrary assertion. When pushed, the pro-choicer will probably respond by defining “person” as something that is self-conscious and capable of living independently. It is these qualities, say pro-choicers, that give human beings the status of “person” and therefore the right to life.
There are a couple of serious problems with this, though. First, why is a capacity for thought, self-awareness, and intelligence value-giving in the first place? And why a particular degree of development? Why not full development? Is an adult human with an IQ of less than 40 a non-person? If not, why not? Says who? These are questions that abortion advocates never adequately address.
Second, all of these qualities don’t materialise until some time after birth, meaning newborns are also disqualified. After all, infants are not self-aware and cannot make conscious decisions until (at least) a few months after birth, so what’s wrong with infanticide? Same goes for comatose patients, dementia sufferers, and those who are simply asleep.
It is true that “Being against abortions will not stop them,” and, “Having abortions illegal will not stop them”. So what? By that logic, should we legalise murder, domestic violence, and burglary? After all, being against those things and making them illegal doesn’t stop them. Nonsense. The core question is the status of the unborn: Are they human beings? If so, we should legally protect them like any other vulnerable group.

“I will hunt you down, I will find you, I will kill you” – said the abortionist to the unborn child.

In sharp contrast to the lazy and ill-thought out pro-choice arguments above, the pro-life position is robust. It stands up to scrutiny. Pro-lifers contend, based on philosophy and scientific facts, that no human being, regardless of how developed they are or where they’re located, should be excluded from the community of human persons. It is an inclusive view open to all, especially the weak and powerless. Pro-life means equality, in the truest sense of the word.

Pro-life rally meets pro-choice rally: five observations

This was interesting. On 2nd July 2016, Belfast city centre hosted both a pro-life rally and a pro-choice rally. This has never happened before – not in my lifetime anyway – but I’m glad it did, because it gave us a unique insight into how both sides espouse their views.
As expected, thousands turned up (approx. 1,000 pro-choice, 2,000 pro-life), proving that this is an issue people are passionate about. So, for those undecided on the abortion issue, seeing both rallies side by side, might help clear some things up. Here are five observations worth considering.

1. More people are pro-life than the media lets on

A common abortion-choice mantra is that a majority of young people, particularly women, are in favour of abortion, and that the pro-life movement was the invention of religious old men and crusty politicians, whose only purpose for a woman is to sweep the fireplace and clip their cigars.
But then you look at this year’s Rally for Life — or any pro-life gathering —and it was jam-packed with hundreds of vibrant, happy, young people, especially women. In fact, the whole pro-life movement is fuelled by women. Yet the media portrayal is strangely the complete opposite.

2. Pro-choicers are the real science-deniers

It is an established scientific fact that human life begins at conception. This fact is the rock that the pro-life cause is built on. In response, the pro-choicer has two options: accept the humanity of the unborn but continue to support abortion anyway (like this honest pro-choice activist ), or simply ignore the science. If the pro-choice placards on display were anything to go by, it’s the latter.
As one anti-science placard poetically put it: ‘Not every ejaculation needs a name’. Yeah, no. Somebody wasn’t paying attention during biology class. Sperm cells are not human beings; they are gametes. No pro-lifer argues that sperm is sacred and worthy of rights (or a name). Sperm is a byproduct of a larger human entity – it is not in itself a human life.

Ignore the maverick spacing; the sperm cells look really accurate.
By contrast, the unborn — from embryo to nine months — are distinct and whole living human beings. Taking the life of a distinct and whole human being is a radically different action from not naming your sperm. Besides, if you name one sperm, you would have to name them all. And that could take all weekend.

3. Pro-choice campaigners have a thing for scary symbols and murderous idelogies

One much-photographed banner at the pro-choice rally featured the hammer and sickle. Another one extolled the virtues of anarchism, while another said: “Making feminism a threat again” beside a big picture of some knuckle dusters.
Maybe I’m missing something but if your campaign claims to be about freedom, fairness and equality for women, why would you align yourself with symbols of violence, chaos, and— in the case of the hammer and sickle — an ideology responsible for the deaths of hundreds of millions of innocent people? It’s not like abortion has ever… oh, wait… abortion has killed millions. Carry on.

pro-choice hammer and sickle


If anything can bring the politically disparate communities of communism and anarchism together, abortion can. Beautiful.

The official Rally for Choice poster displayed some interesting design choices, too; an angry fist against an ominous black and white background, with the silhouette of what looks like a baying mob. It looks more like an advert for a Leni Riefenstahl film than a call to do something good and meaningful. rally for choice

The Rally for Life poster, on the other hand, couldn’t be more different; smiling young people, bright colours, and a clear message – choose life.

rally 4 life

4. The pro-choice rally had very few children in attendance

One of the most striking aspects of the pro-life rally was the amount of children present. I mean, there was scores and scores of them. They seemed to be having a great time, too, getting their faces painted and blowing up balloons. It was a proper family-friendly affair.
In stark contrast, the pro-choice rally looked like a scene from a Mad Max film. Any child who had the misfortune of being there looked either lost and bewildered or terrified. Of course, they’re not to blame, they’re just kids, but it is telling. What child wants to hang around with humourless communists stomping around with their clenched fists and knuckle dusters on a Saturday afternoon? And not to mention the overtly sexual placards.

A baby worriedly looks on, grateful that she's already been born.

A nervous baby politely reminds an abortion-hungry protestor that he has already been born.

5. Abortion sets the stage for every other cultural battle

As the large turnout showed, abortion is one of the biggest defining issues in our society, because it gets right down to the very core of who you are and what you believe.
A person’s position on abortion informs and guides every other position they take on every other subject. This is why one side had militant artwork, anarchists and communists — symbols of death and misery — and the other side had joy, positivity, bright colours, and a hopeful message. If we cannot first establish that life matters, then nothing else matters. Anarchy, in other words.
Make no mistake, juxtaposing a pro-life cause with a pro-choice cause was extremely helpful, because it highlighted just how much the world needs us to be pro-life. People need to know that all human life has intrinsic value. This is the pro-life position. And it’s the right position.