Wednesday, 6 April 2016



THIS WEEK a young Northern Ireland woman was given a 3 month suspended sentence for using internet obtained drugs to cause her to abort.

The case was brought to police attention after her house mates found the aborted baby in a refuse bag!

The woman claimed that she did not have the money to travel to England where she could have procured a perfectly legal professional abortion.

Pro abortion groups want the English law extended to Northern Ireland. Anti abortion groups want even bigger sentences for what the young woman did.

Apparently the young woman is now 21 years old and has a baby with a new partner.

I found the whole case disturbing. I was particularly disturbed that the young woman just put the aborted baby in a rubbish bag and left it around for other people to find!

In our house here there is a budgie cage. If a budgie dies I would not dream of just popping it in the rubbish bin. I generally put it in a little box and bury it. For me the death of any creature is a tragedy (even if natural) and I think its remains should be treated with respect - given that it once had a life force. 

The thought of putting an aborted baby in a rubbish bag and leaving it around haunted me and I had to put it out of my mind a few times in order to go asleep.

Please do not get me wrong. I am not a typical "Pro Life" campaigner. I understand how a girl or woman can find herself with an unwanted pregnancy. 

For years now I have supported and counselled women who have had abortions and where they felt guilty have encouraged them to "forgive" themselves. WHEN ASKED I have also said that God would forgive them. 

But to me abortion is never a GOOD thing. At best, from the moral point of view it is the LESSER OF TWO EVILS - in those cases where there is a choice between the life of the mother and the life of the baby.

I can see the moral arguments too in the case of where women have been the victims of rape or sexual abuse. 

I do not like the scenario whereby ABORTION is used as a method of CONTRACEPTION. 

With the wide availability of all kinds of contraceptives - abortion does not really have to be one method. 

I am one of those people who believes that life begins at the moment of conception.

Some people say that is is the woman's own choice about what happens to her body. While there is some validity in saying that I also think that the UNBORN also has rights.

I also believe that the father of the baby must have some rights. 

I understand that this area is a deeply contested area and I respect what others think. 

In the end it is a matter for the citizens of a nation to decide what the laws on abortion are. 

When voting on this each citizen must use their conscience.

And if we are believers or Christians and believe that God regards abortion as the killing of innocent human life then God will judge or punish in his own way and in his own time.

But I still cannot get my head around any person having an abortion and placing the aborted baby in a black bag and leaving it around for someone to find!


  1. The Catholic Church wants to protect children in the womb?

    But they will not protect them when they leave the womb by not abusing them and covering up for their abusers.

    Hypocrisy !

    Lisburn Lisa

  2. Why would anyone who supports abortion in even very limited circumstances get all worked up at the way those remains were treated? If you didn't respect the life that once "occupied " them, then please don't make a hypocritical pretense of respecting the remains. Nauseating.

    1. If I had to make the awful and regrettable decision between my wife and our baby in the womb - I would with great sadness choose my wife as the "lesser" of two evils.

      I would then bury my aborted baby with grief and sadness.

      Things are not always 100% black and white.

    2. Imagine meeting up in the afterlife with someone whose existence in utero you deliberately had snuffed out. The person looks at you, pleading for an explanation. Why, it asks, did you show me such disrespect that you
      intentionally, deliberately, and so cruelly ended a life barely begun? What hurt did I cause that brought you to such a pitiless extreme? And you come
      back with this: "Ah! But we gave you a good, respecrful send-off."

      For your own sake, you'd better have more than this to answer with.

    3. But you would still feel justified in allowing your child to be killed. So your "grief and sadness" would really amount to crocodile tears.

      I don't think your baby would see things in quite the way you did: "Oh, that's okay, daddy. You were right not to want me, right to have me killed."

      You would agree with Caiaphas: "It is better that one man should die than
      the whole nation perish."

      Don't you "get it"? If you devalue even one human life in this way, you devalue ALL of human life, even your own.

    4. The scenario you suggest is most unlikely to happen to me!

      Your use of the words "snuffed out" shows a worrying callousness.

      However in the scenario I mention above I would answer:

      "It was with great sadness and heartbreak and without any action on my part that I had to decide between your life and the life of your mother for her sake and the sake of your 4 living brothers and sisters aged between three and 11.

      It broke my heart to make the decision I did but I decided to let you go to God rather than your mother go to God.

      I have begged and received God;s forgiveness and now I beg yours".

    5. My Friend, Life is not a lecture theatre or a lab.

      In different ways we can all find ourselves to be between a rock and a hard place.

      For some reason you are approaching this from an intellectual point of view.

      I am approaching it from the context of living as a sinner for 63 years and living as a compassionate pastor for 40 years.

      Most people do not have the ease of living in the moral theology lecture hall.

    6. Even the Catholic Church teaches that it can be morally justifiable to take human life, with REGRET, as in the cases of self defence and the just war.

      There is also a strong moral and ethical tradition of choosing the lesser of two evils when the good is not an option.

      I am with Bishop Buckley on this one.

      Practising Catholic - Co. Down.

    7. Re: 14:13

      YOU raised the scenario of your having a wife and child, not I. I merely
      extended what you had begun.

      I used the phrase "snuffed out" to convey the callousness of abortion, and it worked since you clearly took my point.

      You would tell this child of yours that his abortion was "without any action"
      on your part, even though it could not have taken place without your
      permission. So, you would add insult to his injury by attempting to wash your hands of any personal and moral responsibility for his death? I have
      news for you: to permit IS to act. If you are going to sanction a child's
      slaughter, at least be man enough, unlike Pontius Pilate, to take moral
      responsibility for your "action".

      You "decided" (again, a word that indicates action on your part) to let your child "go to God rather than your mother go to God". Oh, the soft, protective
      blanket of euphemism! But one day it will be pulled away and a light will
      shine. And what will it show here? This "letting go" was, forensically speaking, a barbaric death for your child. I presume you know what
      abortion entails medically. Google it and you'll see for yourself.

      As for begging forgiveness, come off it, Pat. It's time for self-honesty. To be forgiven, one must TRULY not only regret what happended, but actually
      wish it had NOT happened. In other words, if the situation, could be re-lived, you would not make the same decision. Or are you going to be as morally
      sophistic about your "scenario" as Sean Brady was about his past and admit that conduct was wrong only in retrospect, but not at the time?

    8. God forbid that I would have Sean Brady's moral compass!

      But I find your moral absolutism very harsh.

      I do not believe that Jesus was or wants us to be moral absolutists. He Himself invited us to follow His teaching and to be the bridge between the ideal and the real.

      If this makes me morally "ambivalent" I hope He will judge me with some mercy.

    9. To Anonymous at 14:28

      I'm amazed that you have such faith in what you call "the Catholic Church"
      that you refer to its teaching on the "morally" legitimate use of personal violence to premise your point. I have news for you, too: "the Catholic
      Church" is not Jesus Christ and does not always endorse (indeed, has not always endorsed) HIS moral teaching.

      Jesus commanded love, not violence. And he urged reliance on Providence
      for everything, including personal defence. But do people believe him and
      do as he says? Hell, no! They'd rather rely on "morally" legitimate use of
      violence. And, of course, on "the Catholic Church".

      Are you aware of what the Mother of God told the Fatima visionaries in
      1917? "If enough people don't pray and convert, there will be another and worse war. Don't underestimate the power of sincere prayer. As Alfred Lord Tennyson said: "More things are wrought by prayer than this world dreams of."

      "Choosing the lesser of two evils when the good is not an option": Do you realise what you've said here? There is nowhere God is not; therefore the good is always an option. Of course, you can CHOOSE not to opt for it,
      which is a very different matter...because it leaves you morally culpable.

    10. Re. 15:14

      Pat, I'm not morally judging anyone, but I can make such a judgement of
      his or her behaviour (as I do my own).

      Jesus presents us with love not as an option, but as a command. Christians are not called to love part-time, or when it's convenient for them.
      And they are not called to love selectively, but impartially and
      INCLUSIVELY. In this case, they may not sacrifice one (a child) in order to love another; that's the way of Caiaphas and Pilate. Do you really want to
      join that inglorious pantheon?

      I'm NOT suggesting that such a decision is an easy call; far from it. But I am confident that if one obeys God in such a situation, however extreme it
      may appear, he can then act, for with God there are no problems.To doubt this a declaration of lack of faith in Providence. We shouldn't bring God
      down to our level of powerlessness.

  3. I'm a gay man I have no children nor will I ever have any . I'm no fan of abortion but Ile never condemn any woman who makes that choice . None of us know what the girls situation was or what her frame of mind was . The fact that the miscarried foetus was left in a bin only shows the girl wasn't thinking straight . Instead of punishing the poor girl could they not have offered her some help instead ..
    Someone on this blog said what will these babies say when they meet their mothers in the afterlife ? . Well I reckon there will be a long line of babies waiting on priests n nuns asking why they were ripped from their mothers arms and sold all over the world and then lied to as adults

    1. Anon. @ 15:50, I, too, do not condemn any woman who has had an abortion, nor did I say otherwise. But I will not act the coward to gain acceptance by my peers and say that abortion is an act of love towards the aborted. Jesus
      calls us to love EVERYONE, including children in the womb.

      You won't change Jesus' mind with your arguments; you must, for your sake, allow him to change yours.

    2. I hope you are not saying that I am a coward trying to gain acceptance from my "peers" by saying what I have said?

      I am neither famous for being a coward or needing peer acceptance.

      In what I said I did say that abortion, sometimes, is a "necessary evil" - evil!

      I have absolutely no interest in changing the mind of Christ. Quite the opposite. I want to approach everything with the mind of Christ.

      Lets us remember how he handled the Good Thief, the Woman caught in adultery etc.

      He did not fling moral absolutes at them.

    3. I hope you are not saying that I am a coward trying to gain acceptance from my "peers" by saying what I have said?

      I am neither famous for being a coward or needing peer acceptance.

      In what I said I did say that abortion, sometimes, is a "necessary evil" - evil!

      I have absolutely no interest in changing the mind of Christ. Quite the opposite. I want to approach everything with the mind of Christ.

      Lets us remember how he handled the Good Thief, the Woman caught in adultery etc.

      He did not fling moral absolutes at them.

    4. Pat, for ME it would be an act of cowardice, given the firmness of my view on the subject.

      As for moral absolutism, YOU keep raising this issue. The only issue I raised is that of LOVE. The only absolute is love; get this right and all our
      decisions and actions will fall into their proper and rightful place.

      I say again: abortion is NOT an act of love towards the aborted. Yet Jesus
      taught us to love INCLUSIVELY. Do you deny any of this? It is not reasonable, Pat, for anyone to suggest that abortion is an act of love. If it is
      not (and, clearly, it cannot be), then it is a deliberate (and morally culpable) failure to allow God's love to reach into such a situation. It replaces this
      love with a human philosophy of convenience.

      I know you are no coward. I know you have shown enormous courage, steadfastness and compassion when many of those Pharisees in Roman
      collars were betraying Christ. I take nothing of this away from you, for it is rightfully yours. But so, too, are the lives of those defenceless children. Don't take from them what is not yours to take.

    5. You say that killing your child or making a decision to let someone else kill your child can never be an ACT OF LOVE.

      What about God the Father's decision to send his son into the world to be killed. Was that not an act of love - one of the greatest acts of love ever?

      Also God asked Abraham in the Old Testament to sacrifice his son on an altar to show his love and obedience to God.

      A Tea-a-logian

    6. To Anonymous @ 16:45

      What the hell are you worshipping? God the Father did not send Jesus into
      the world to die, but to live in LOVING obedience to him in order to
      complete what "our first parents" chose not to complete.

      Both the Father and Jesus knew how this would end in such a world as ours: Jesus' murder was the price that he would pay for that loving obedience. But it is NOT what the Father wanted for his son. God is love, not some sadistic monster. What have you taken him for?

      As for the Genesis story of Abraham, that is not historical narrative, but a type of literature (in similar vein to the parables) that makes a spiritual point, in this case, the necessity of uncompromised surrender to God. Another such type is the story of Noah.

    7. So, some things from your Bible are literal and other things are literature to be liberally interpreted.

      I feel that you would be an impossible person to have a logical argument with.

      As we say in Irish - "Ag caint leis an capall agus an capall in a chodladh" - Talking to the horse and the horse asleep!

    8. To Anonymous at 17:45

      There is nothing so illogical (and admissive of intellectual defeat) as
      responding with insult (alluding to me as a sleeping horse) rather than rational, intelligent counter-argument. It's called "argumentum ad hominem".

  4. MourneManMichael6 April 2016 at 17:33

    Like Practising Catholic @ 14:28, I am with you Pat on this one, and for the sound thinking your comments demonstrate.
    I couldn't be bothered with attempting to counter the thinking of your critics.
    They mostly reflect a rigid absolutist view of certitude incapable of acknowledging either the existence and validity of other intelligent, humane and reasonable moral perspectives, or the frailty of the human condition with its consequent physical, psychological and moral dilemmas.

    1. Be careful, MMM, your philosophy amounts to this: love by all means...but only when it is convenient.

      Can you see the tragic flaw here? You yourself could become a casualty of your situational ethics: it may not always be convenient, from someone's
      point of view, to love you. That would make you expendable...just like those
      unwanted children in the womb.

      There's a limit to your kind of loving: it's finite, frail and fragile. It would make no one feel secure.

    2. MourneManMichael6 April 2016 at 19:18

      I will not be drawn. As I said above, I can't be bothered.
      But I will say as my last word on this subject, and in respect of my own expendability or otherwise, that I prefer decisions, if they MUST be made,, left to the compassionate humane thinking of someone like Pat Buckley than to the absolutist certitude and moral rigidity of those championing the Belfast Precious Life protagonists.

    3. MMM, I am not part of the "Belfast Life protagonists". My views are my own, shaped by the example of Jesus' gospel teaching. You are an atheist, so this would mean nothing to you. But I thought the notion of inclusive, self-sacrificing love might.