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January 5, 2015

‘Values Clarification’ in the Anti-Life Armoury

Here’s an editorial I wrote for the Brandsma Review back in 1999.  It was written at about the time when the Irish media first stopped pretending to be impartial about life issues.

 What interesting admissions are being made these days! In our last issue, I described how the veil over the part played by Big Media in facilitating the decline of the Church in public life had been drawn back by one of their own.  John Caden, former producer of RTÉ’s Gay Byrne Show used the lurid phrases “authoritarian canker” and “twisted grip” to describe the Catholic Church’s former influence on society. The values of the media Facilitators are now so universally accepted that they can openly boast about what they had been up to.

Now, on the world scene, I learn from the prestigious journal Science how our harmless, morally-neutral old friend “values clarification” is being used to promote abortion in the Third World. Remember this technique? Doris Manly, of blessed memory, was the first person to warn the Irish public about this method of social engineering, which helps a student to “obtain the values that best suit him and his environment” (in the opinion of the Facilitators, of course!) She got small thanks for pointing out that programmes using values clarification were designed to alter the young in ways which most Irish parents would indignantly reject. Archbishop Kevin McNamara was one of the very few people in public life who took any notice, and tried (unsuccessfully, alas) to do something about it. Supporters of values clarification, including powerfully-placed clerics in the Church’s educational bureacracies, maintained the practice was quite compatible with Church teaching. Their view, unfortunately, has prevailed.

Now we have Science making exactly the same point as Doris—except that they heartily approve of using values clarification to break down moral resistance: in this case, towards the killing of pre-born humans. After calling for the integration of abortion “services” into standard health care provision in Third World countries ,the article continues:

Support , beyond simple technical training, is also critical for providers of medical abortion services. Experience with ‘values clarification’ programs in South Africa has proved beneficial in ensuring that providers are comfortable offering pregnancy termination services…Advocacy for medical abortion is essential, irrespective of the prevailing legal position regarding abortion.

The article as a whole is a call for what the authors call “safe, effective and acceptable methods of medical abortion”—by which they mean drug-induced as opposed to surgical. The pretext for this is the large number of complications attending “unsafe” surgical abortions: they admit that at one Brazilian hospital abortion-related complications accounted for 47% of maternal deaths during a nine-year period. They do not (surprise!) call for a ban on surgical abortions.

This gruesome piece, which discusses the techniques of poisoning unborn babies as though they had no more moral significance than exterminating vermin, is by Ms Wendy Ewart of the British-based “charity” the Wellcome Trust, and Ms Beverly Winikoff of the Population Council in New York.

 

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