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The beauty of motherhood , the preciousness of life.

 

Welcome, Joan Margaret: 11.07.2019

 

We’ve been waiting for you after two long years; after finding out we were pregnant and losing the baby right away. It was a physically painful miscarriage and took me by surprise. But a few months later I had a positive pregnancy test and was filled with hope. Twelve weeks in we lost her too. The loss brought on a serious hemorrhage that landed me in an ambulance being rushed into surgery to stop the bleeding. It was intense and scary and life changing. John Michael (15.09.17) and Faustina Therese (25.05.18) rest peacefully buried in a garden where I visit them often with flowers and prayers of thanksgiving for their short but precious lives. My sweet babies.

After a pilgrimage to France you came. They said you were too small and that I was losing you too. But every time we checked your heart kept beating and every time I heard it I could breath too. And you grew and grew…until you were placed in my arms on 11.07.19.

The surgery went poorly. The anesthesia didn’t take well and I felt the cutting and tugging and pulling of the C-section. I went into labor and my contracting made it difficult to get you out, so they had to use a vacuum. I was throwing up and moaning in pain, wishing the anesthesiologist could do something but we were too far along in the process. There were adhesions and scar tissue from my past surgeries, making this one extra long and very difficult for the surgeons. They took you out and placed you in your father’s arms to hold next to my face, but I was too sick and they had to take you away while I stabilized. When the surgery was over I rolled into recovery where you were skin to skin on your father’s chest, where he prayed out loud for you and I. You rested peacefully in his arms; a moment that seemed to pause time; a moment I will never forget… and I finally could nurse you.

We went to rest. But the next day I was sick. My stomach became hard and hot and I couldn’t walk or stand. The doctors came in, swarmed around me trying to figure out what was wrong. They tried all kinds of things to cool my stomach but nothing worked. Hours later the doctors came back again disturbed at my state. They said the ultrasound showed that I was either bleeding internally or had a hernia from the C-section cutting through so many layers, and that they needed to have me go for a CT scan immediately. I called your father in tears, he rushed in and they took me for the scan. They saw that the surgery left a large hole causing a bad hernia and they needed to re-do the whole operation to get to that layer and fix it. He came and held you, through all of this you peacefully slept and nursed when given the opportunity. You never cried.

Saturday, late into the night, I had my second two hour long operation. I was put under general anesthesia. I had three IV’s, shots of blood thinner and a tube put down my throat. I woke up feeling better despite it all. I went back into recovery, this time with two surgeries behind me, both in the same place, cutting through the same layers. I begged to go home and on Monday afternoon they hesitantly let me.

But Wednesday night came around and my stomach hardened again and I had to be readmitted to the hospital. I was so scared of a third operation but God spared me. I had a blood clot causing swelling and after a second scan they found I had a gap between my muscles in one of the layers from the C-section. And because of this gap it makes it very dangerous for my uterus to expand ever again. The gap can only be fixed with a surgery, a third surgery no one was willing to put me through. Thank God. Between the muscle gap, the C-section related hernia, the adhesion of organs, and scar tissue, and more, things looked rough. After all of this I had five different doctors gently and sadly tell me that I cannot have any more children.

Joan Margaret, you are a treasure. You were worth all of it and more and I’d do it all over again for the gift of you.

Every human life is a gift. Every life is precious. Every baby is a miracle. Pro Life.

Megan Madden

 


Joan Margaret Madden ♥

26.03.2019: I’ve walked the VHI Women’s Mini Marathon for the past two years for very important reasons – Máire Ní Éineacháin

– Want to join Máire and many more in this year’s MiniMarathon? Sign up here!

I’ve walked the VHI Women’s Mini Marathon the past two years for very important reasons.

In 2017, it was with a group from Love Both and I was sponsored to do it. Truth be told, were it not for the sponsorship, I probably would’ve backed out. It was the longest single distance I’d walked and it was tough, but walking with company and championing life made it worth it. As did the many, many women walking for other charities who thanked us for our visible witness to the pro-life cause. That year I felt supported and part of something big. I knew there were so many women on the route with me who had my back when it came to this important issue of life or death, and I felt bolstered.

2018 was a different story. I registered a few months beforehand after finding out the referendum on abortion would be held two weeks before, at the end of May. I resolved that no matter the outcome, I would walk that route once again. Of course, I never dreamed the Irish people would vote against retaining an unborn baby’s right to life. Then the referendum happened and the result made me determined to show that pro-life people had not gone into hiding, licking our wounds. I was sure, beyond anything else, that I was going to walk the 10km that day in defiance of what the majority of my generation voted for. This time I wasn’t sponsored, I didn’t raise any money, there’d be time enough for that. The 2018’s Women’s Mini Marathon was about more. It was about showing resilience, showing that abortion advocates may have won the battle but we would win the war. It was about showing anyone I encountered who voted Yes that I hadn’t gone away, that I wouldn’t be shamed into being quiet, that I was ready for whatever the next battle for the pro-life movement was.

It wasn’t easy. I had an urge all morning to hide my pro-life gear. I felt like anywhere I went in Dublin, I was being stared at. The referendum was still so fresh for people. The day itself had turned disgustingly hot, there was no air and the slightest movement took so much effort. I put my headphones on and away we went. The music blaring through the headphones was as much to stop anyone coming to talk to me as much as it was to push myself on. Around the 4km mark though I started to relax a bit as a couple of women had approached me to thank me for wearing the Love Both t-shirt. One woman told me she had voted No and had found the previous fortnight since the referendum extremely hard and so my wearing the t-shirt publicly, gave her great hope. An older woman who was standing on the route cheering us on stopped me briefly to thank me also. And on and on it went. Each woman that spoke to me gave me hope and gave me strength. It was an odd feeling. All I was doing was wearing a t-shirt, but it was that act of defiance that was letting people in despair know that they weren’t alone in cherishing all human life. Towards the end, I met a friend from work who was also participating. I knew she had intended to vote Yes a fortnight previously. She was with her sister and I worried whether she’d be embarrassed to know me, given what I was wearing, but she welcomed me and we walked the last 3km and crossed the finish line together. We took our photos and celebrated together and she never once passed a remark on my t-shirt or my reason for participating. I was relieved but surprised too. My own expectations of her reaction just showed me how divisive this issue is and how important it was to take the stand I did.

This year I’m walking the Women’s Mini Marathon again with a team from Love Both. This year, I will once again be sponsored (hopefully) by people eager to see the good work Love Both are doing continued – like the Show Your Love Initiative for vulnerable mothers. This year there will be security in numbers and we’ll show that the pro-life movement aren’t going to be pushed out of the public eye, much as those who advocated for abortion might wish. This year will be different, but it will still be a challenge. For me, as well as representing the pro-life movement and raising funds for organisations like Love Both who do tremendous work for mothers seeking their help, I have a previous time to beat and I know with the Love Both team behind me, I can do it!

 

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How To Get Involved!

Can you knit/crochet and would like to know more about our #ShowYourLove movement?

–> info@loveboth.ie

If you have some items that mama or baby can use, send them our way:

–> 60 Clifton House, Lower Fitzwilliam St, Dublin 2 ♥️ ♥️

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09.08.2018 Argentinian Senate rejects same pro-abortion propaganda that dominated debate in Ireland

The Pro Life Campaign has welcomed the vote in the Argentinian Senate against the introduction of wide-ranging abortion.

Pro Life Campaign spokesperson, Cora Sherlock said: “There’s one marked difference between the abortion debate in Argentina and the recent one in Ireland. Thankfully the lies that were repeatedly told by many abortion supporters during the referendum debate in Ireland didn’t pervade the debate in Argentina to the same extent. The evidence of the negative after-effects of abortion on women and the fact that abortion kills an innocent unborn baby clearly resonated during the public debate in Argentina in recent weeks. The scaremongering and deep seated bias from large sections of the media didn’t win out on this occasion. That’s a great result for mums and their unborn babies and the right to life which is being disregarded in so many places at present.”

38 Argentinian senators voted against the abortion on demand proposal, 31 voted in favour and 2 senators abstained.

ENDS

25.07.18: Address by Cora Sherlock to the MacGill Summer School, Glenties, Co. Donegal

 

Address by Cora Sherlock on the Eighth Amendment referendum result,
Mac Gill Summer School, Glenties, Co Donegal, Wednesday 25th July 2018

In assessing what the referendum result signifies, the first thing that ought to be explored is how the result came about.

The result was hailed as representing a “seismic shift” in public attitudes to abortion. The Taoiseach remarked that the result was the culmination of a “quiet revolution” that had been growing in momentum for some time.

Newspaper headlines called the outcome a “great day for democracy”, an “end to hypocrisy”, a “major step forward” and the dawn of “a kinder more compassionate Ireland.”

Most of the analysis and commentary surrounding the result was premised on the idea that the referendum took place following a thorough and exhaustive debate where voters were given every reasonable opportunity to weigh the arguments from both sides before deciding which way to vote.

Would that it were so. The truth however is very different.

For years the discussion on abortion in Ireland has taken place in a very one-sided fashion.  We’re told to trust women, but only some women.  Trust doctors, but only some doctors.  Trust headlines, but never ask what stories have been buried.  Now that we’re on the other side of the referendum, I would suggest it’s time for us to stand back and have a more honest appraisal of how we address the issue as a country.

Regrettably, the case for repeal was amplified and aided at every turn by large sections of the mainstream media while the arguments put forward by the pro-life side were constantly ridiculed, ignored or treated with suspicion.

There’s a lot of statistical evidence to support this claim – for example the one month period on RTÉ Radio 1 when 81 minutes were devoted to the pro-repeal side and just 4 minutes to the pro-life side. And there are countless other examples.

Over a single week on Newstalk, there were 52 minutes given to the pro-repeal side and just 20 minutes for keeping the Eighth.

Or a random week in our national newspapers where 18 pro-repeal opinion articles were published and not a single pro-life article.

So it’s not surprising that so much undermining of the pro-life position finally took its toll. The “quiet revolution” that the Taoiseach referred to was really a revolution that quietly shut out one side of the debate almost entirely.

Personal stories ignored

Statistics are one thing, but what’s been most startling over the last few months has been the hypocrisy of a debate that congratulates itself as being inclusive when in reality there is constant, determined exclusion of anyone whose experience didn’t fit in with repeal.

When Dr Peter Boylan described the Eighth Amendment as a “failed experiment” and depicted it as something which had never done any good, a student, Gavin Boyne, stepped up to say that his life was saved by the fact that the Eighth Amendment had kept abortion out of Ireland.  His life is no “failed experiment”. It’s quite something to see a young person being courageous enough to enter the fray and make a statement like that.  He deserved the chance to tell his story but was ignored by the media – just like all the parents who had similar stories to tell about how the time it took to make travel arrangements for an abortion was the time they needed to change their mind and keep their child. Their testimonies were hugely relevant but they were excluded from the debate almost entirely.

Or how about when Dr Fergal Malone, Master of the Rotunda Hospital, described parents whose baby receives a positive test result indicating Down syndrome as “the unfortunate few”? People like Monica Haderean and Sinead McBreen and other parents who have children with Down Syndrome were horrified. But there was little or no scrutiny or probing of Dr Malone’s comment.

Similarly, when the subject of adoption was brought up in the Oireachtas Committee, Kate O’Connell TD asked if we were going to have “a Handmaid’s Tale situation here, where women in crisis pregnancies will be detained, forced to become parents, and used as a source of supply of babies to childless people”. Facetious and hurtful comments like these had no place in the debate but  more and more it felt like any abuse would be tolerated from pro-repeal advocates rather than challenge them and run the risk of weakening their case.

Or what about the story of Ms C? Her high profile case was referred to on a daily basis during the referendum campaign as an example of why we needed to vote for repeal. This was despite the fact that Ms C publicly pleaded with politicians and other abortion advocates to stop using her case to bring in abortion as she deeply regretted her own abortion which had a devastating impact on her life. Where was the media platform during the campaign for women like Ms C and the countless other women who are living with the pain and heartbreak of abortion and wanted to tell their stories. Aside from a handful of low profile interviews their stories were airbrushed out of the debate.

This attitude can’t continue, or we risk turning into a country where abortion becomes something that can’t be questioned and we abandon even the most basic respect we should have for each other.

No one can deny that the primary focus of the media coverage during the build-up to the referendum was on the so-called “hard cases”. There’s no question this in turn helped create the false impression that the vote was about allowing abortion in these situations and little else, as opposed to the reality which is that Ireland is set to have one of the most extreme abortion laws anywhere in the world, where all meaningful protections for unborn babies are obliterated.

Voters were entitled to hear the uncensored truth about what repeal means – what is hidden behind the word “choice”. The evidence of people like Dr Peter Thompson to the Oireachtas committee on abortion deserved to be treated as front page news. Instead it was entirely ignored. He described in detail how in one of the procedures he carries out, the baby is first paralysed with an injection to keep it in position and stop it from moving, then a second injection is administered to stop the baby’s heart from beating. This barbaric procedure is on course to be legislated here in the coming months. A senior Irish obstetrician expressed concern recently in the Sunday Business Post that without providing for this, namely feticide, in the new law, babies could be born alive after failed abortions, something she was opposed to. Talking about the baby, she emphasised the need to “ensure it is born sleeping” as part of a “compassionate delivery of care.”

We now know what the words “compassion” and “care” were referencing on all those “YES” posters and we need to ask ourselves if we’re prepared to adopt this “nothing to see here” approach to abortion. Or are we going to be brave enough to honestly examine what legalised abortion is going to do to our country?

The third who voted No

What of the third of voters who voted to retain the Eighth Amendment? Well, for a start, genuine freedom of conscience is soon to be outlawed. Health Minister Simon Harris has made that abundantly clear.

Compelling healthcare professionals who don’t want to perform abortions to refer women to doctors who will is, I believe, unconscionable.

What’s the difference, I ask, between handing a person cocaine and arranging for them to get it from someone else? There’s no essential difference – the end result is the same – the person looking for the cocaine gets it, thanks to the part you’d have played either way.

The same is true with abortion. Pretending that freedom of conscience is protected by not forcing a doctor to carry out the procedure is a nonsense when the State is still coercing that same doctor to refer the woman to a colleague who will oversee ending the life of her baby through abortion.

What the Government are proposing is a colossal attack on human freedom and the right of an individual not to be forced to participate in something that goes against every fibre of their being and everything they stand for. This assault on freedom of conscience by the Government must be opposed every step of the way. Otherwise, the notion of conscientious objection will be set at naught in Ireland. We cannot agree to that.

It is regrettable the way Leo Varadkar and Simon Harris have publicly disparaged doctors and nurses seeking to exercise freedom of conscience.

The Taoiseach was quoted recently saying that we cannot have situations in the future where a woman is told “you’re on your own love” when trying to access an abortion. What a crass and unacceptable way for our Taoiseach to portray hard working doctors who happen to hold a different view to him on abortion.

Simon Harris chimed in a few days later that doctors who say “nothing I can do for you, can’t even tell you where to go” to access an abortion, “they’re not the doctors I know”, he said.

Again, what a demeaning and unfair way for a member of government to talk about some of the most compassionate and caring medics in the country.

Let’s not pretend that this is just about conscience either. What about those doctors who don’t have a conscientious objection to abortion but who refuse to refer because of a lack of medical evidence showing that abortion is good for a woman’s health? Are they to be vilified under this law for using their best clinical judgement and if we stand by and allow this, then aren’t we all just agreeing to the corruption of our medical profession.

What the future holds for the pro-life movement

Perhaps the saddest aspect of the result is how it didn’t need to be this way. How the Government could have set its mind not to abortion, but to finding positive, life-affirming alternatives.  This has already been done by people like Ade Stack, who took the initiative and set up Hugh’s House, a home-for-home for families of babies with life-limiting conditions who are receiving hopsital care in Dublin. Ade sums up the vision we should have as society with the words:

“If you’re going to live for 100 seconds or 100 years, we have a country that is ready for you.”

That’s the kind of country I think we all want to live in and I believe that we’d be a lot closer to it if abortion hadn’t been the focus for so long.

Speaking in Dublin Castle following the result, Leo Varadkar tried to reassure “No” voters that the country is “still the same country today”.  But of course it’s not.  The Eighth Amendment is gone and the Taoiseach now presides over a country where an entire group of human beings – unborn babies – have no constitutional protection and where the right to life can be decided on a whim by popular vote.  There’s nothing enlightened or progressive about that.  If anything, it’s a radical drift backwards rather than a step forward.

But I don’t think for one minute that the pro-life movement is defeated. There’s no doubt that the result would have been very different if we’d had the kind of debate that gave a fair hearing to both sides.  The mainstream media in Ireland won’t change any time soon but the discussion on abortion is not something which comes to an end – for one simple reason – a human being dies in every abortion.

In 1973, the day after the Supreme Court in the US legalised abortion in the Roe v. Wade decision, the New York Times welcomed the judgment as a “final and reasonable resolution of a debate that has divided America for too long.”

45 years later, the United States is on the cusp of restoring its pro-life laws.

As pro-life campaigners in Ireland, we don’t intend to wait that long to achieve our goal, but we’ll stay the course for as long as it takes to restore full legal protection to pregnant mums and their unborn babies.

Where there’s life, there’s hope. With abortion, there is no hope, just an irrevocable outcome that I believe betrays both women and their unborn babies. It’s why I’m confident that at some point in the future we will again have a law similar to the Eighth Amendment in Ireland.

I for one was very encouraged by the huge number of young people who became involved with the pro-life movement during the referendum campaign and I am very hopeful for the future.

Move forward we will because for those who believe that every human being deserves a chance at life, the struggle hasn’t ended. It is simply changed.

 

10.07.18: PLC accuses Simon Harris of demonising pro-lifers to distract from abortion law

 

Discussion on ‘exclusion zones’ a neat distraction from extreme abortion proposal – Dr Cullen

 

The Pro Life Campaign has accused Health Minister Simon Harris of repeatedly raising the issue of creating exclusion zones outside abortion clinics for no other reason than to depict pro-life people in a poor light and to take the focus off the extreme abortion law he is presenting to Cabinet.

Commenting on the Minister’s repeated references to buffer zones of late, Dr Ruth Cullen of the Pro Life Campaign said:

“Anyone not familiar with the extreme nature of the Government’s planned abortion legislation could be forgiven for thinking Minister Harris was merely introducing legislation for ‘buffer zones’ outside abortion clinics given the ridiculously disproportionate attention he has given to this particular issue.

“Of course it suits Simon Harris to deflect away from the true horror of his new abortion law. Depicting pro-lifers in as poor a light as possible and harping on about things like the need for buffer zones to stop anti-abortion protests certainly creates a very different image from having to explain to the public what will be happening behind closed doors in the rooms where totally innocent and defenceless unborn babies are having their lives ended. There’s nothing new about Simon Harris’s public relations strategy. It is directly and faithfully taken from the international pro-abortion playbook, where abortion at all costs must be sanitised and its opponents demonised.

Commenting on today’s media report that Minister Harris is seeking Cabinet approval for State funding of abortion services, Dr Cullen said: “Bit by bit, voters are learning that the Government’s plan all along was for the provision of wide-ranging abortion and not just limited abortion in keeping with how things were spun in advance of the referendum. When pro-life people said there would be taxpayer funded abortions, we were accused of scaremongering. Sadly, based on today’s reports, that’s precisely what is being planned by Simon Harris.”

ENDS

PLC National Conference date announced

We are pleased to announce the date for the PLC National Conference 2018.   The event will take place in the RDS Concert Hall on Saturday, 6th October from 1- 4.30pm and will be preceded by workshops and interactive sessions.

We would be delighted if you could be there and why not bring a friend who has recently become involved in the pro-life movement?

Seating capacity is limited so register today here to avoid disappointment or telephone 086 266 8702.

We look forward to seeing you there!

 

 

21.06.2018 Calling Summer Interns for July & August 2018 – Apply today!

Would you like to experience the practical work of a pro-active Human Rights organisation, an opportunity to network with other young people and develop skills in advocacy, campaign management and project planning?

The Pro Life Campaign is seeking interns for two week periods during July and August 2018. Interns must be aged 18 or over.

See more information see below, download an application form here and return it to us.   Placements are subject to availability.  Thank you!

 

 

 

29.05.2018 A message from Caroline Simons to pro-life supporters

Dear Friend,

Over the last few days, many of us will have felt a profound sense of sadness and distress that our fellow citizens have ignored the evidence from other countries and voted to open the door to abortion on demand in Ireland.

Many people, even some of those who voted “yes”, will have been shocked at the scenes of celebration and triumphalism by the Taoiseach and other Government Ministers at Dublin Castle on Saturday.

After the initial shock of the result, many of us are asking how we have come to a point in our history where the Taoiseach and others can celebrate the removal of the right to life of unborn babies before a cheering crowd?

Certainly part of the explanation can be found in the years of relentless propaganda and lies by pro-abortion politicians and a biased media. It is too early to speculate on how the issue of media imbalance can be addressed. But we know this much, unless it is addressed, there will be no prospect of restoring legal protection to mums and babies during pregnancy anytime soon.

In every struggle against injustice there have been setbacks. When those who stood against slavery, against communist and fascist tyranny encountered obstacles and opposition they continued to fight for truth and justice. We must continue to represent the interests of unborn babies and their mothers. Every one of us who worked so hard in this campaign realises that history will judge us on what we do now to defend the right to life. We owe it to future generations to continue to speak the truth clearly and without fear.

The campaign we were all part of brought together thousands of people who are incredible ambassadors for life. Remember, 1 in 3 people who voted, voted to keep the constitutional protection of the 8th Amendment.

The battle is far from over. At some point in the future, we will be victorious. Let’s work together for that day. The injustice that is abortion will not win in the end.

The pro-life vision that unites us all was beautifully captured by Ade Stack, founder of Hugh’s House, when she addressed the LoveBoth rally in Merrion Square on Saturday 12 May. In her speech she said: “If you are going to live for a hundred seconds or a hundred years, we are committed to building a country that is ready for you.”

We are looking at the way forward. We urge you to take heart and re-commit yourself to the great cause of life.

Finally, may I thank you personally from the bottom of my heart for all the efforts you made during the campaign. They have not been in vain!

Best wishes,
Caroline Simons

17.04.18: Statement of LoveBoth in relation to Posters and Tidy Towns Competition

We take our obligations under the law very seriously and strenuously adhere to the regulations regarding referendum posters. All of our posters bear contact details as required by law. On the rare occasion where a volunteer erects a poster in a location that is not allowed, the poster is moved.

With regards to queries that have been raised by Tidy Towns Committees, we fully appreciate the concerns but would make the following points:

  • The referendum takes place on May 25th. By law, all posters must be removed within seven days, on Friday, 1st June. The Tidy Towns Competition runs during June, July and August with the result due in September. We will be ensuring that our posters are taken down immediately after the referendum so they will not impact on the Tidy Towns Competition in any way.

 

  • We fully intend to co-operate and liaise with local communities as much as we can between now and referendum day should it be feasible to find locations that limit the visual impact within town centres without unreasonably impeding the effect of informing the public on this important referendum matter.

 

  • We are concerned that the removal of posters would result in a situation where the public would be deprived of the information they need to make an informed decision on May 25th. We are less than 40 days away from a referendum that is proposing to remove the right to life from the Constitution and introduce unrestricted abortion up to 3 months, at a stage when a baby has a beating heart, a face and is sucking his or her thumb. It is vital that the public are afforded to opportunity to hear the facts so they can make up their own mind. Referendum posters are an important part of conveying information to the public that they would not otherwise get.