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United States clamp down on abortion as states legislate to ban killing where foetal heartbeat detected

Ohio House of Representatives bill makes six-week ‘heartbeat’ abortion a crime punishable by imprisonment.

Sligo News File. 

Abortion in the United States is facing stringent new controls as state after state moves to outlaw the killing of unborn infants.

Ohio House of Representatives

The bans come as, by contrast, Ireland is heading to legalise baby killing, allowing for the termination of pregnancies up to 24 weeks and abortion on demand to 12 weeks.

Concern is, however, growing that whole sections of the population here were hopelessly confused when the State and whole swathes of pro-choice bodies joined forces to convince the electorate that support for the recent abortion permitting referendum was a vote for the health of women.

Now, in America, where countless millions of tiny unborn human infants have been put to death in abortions following the Roe v Wade judgement, states are urgently embarking on measures to curb the mass killing regime.

One such is Ohio where, in late 2017, the Senate chamber in Columbus passed a bill outlawing abortions in cases of a Down syndrome diagnosis. 

Now the state’s House of Representatives has just passed a bill aimed at banning abortions where a foetal heartbeat is detected. Heartbeat is reckoned to occur about six weeks or so into a pregnancy.

Approved on Thursday by a vote of 60 to 35, the bill provides that performing an abortion on a foetus with a heartbeat would constitute a fifth-degree felony, punishable by up to a year in prison and a $2,500 fine.

The bill makes no exceptions for rape or incest. Exceptions are allowed only in cases of a medical emergency or if an abortion would save a woman’s life.

To date, 60,884,330 kids have been wiped out in abortions across the United States since 1973.

Many believe that the extending clampdown on abortion could eventually result in a complete America-wide ban on the killing of unborn infants. 

In one of his first acts as president, Donald Trump, on 23 January last year, signed an executive order denying U.S. assistance to any foreign-based organisation that performs, promotes or offers information on abortion.

 

Going the extra mile for rural communities

Isolation, mental health issues, financial debt features of everyday life in rural Ireland.

Sligo News File.

ICSA rural development chairman Seamus Sherlock has spoken of the need for people to “go the extra mile for their communities” at a public meeting focusing on the issues of Rural Isolation and Mental Health held in Bridgetown, Co Clare.

Seamus Sherlock, Chairman, ICSA Rural Development

Following the well-attended meeting, organised by An Garda Síochána, Mr Sherlock said, “Isolation, mental health issues and financial debt are all features of everyday life in rural Ireland. Evenings like this offer communities the opportunity to come together and talk about these difficulties and lift the stigma surrounding them. Particularly now, in the weeks leading up to Christmas, we all need to make a special effort to keep our rural communities strong and inclusive.

“Many people find themselves living alone in isolated areas with little or no contact from the outside world with poor phone coverage and often non-existent broadband. It’s not hard to see why a culture of silence and keeping things to yourself has built up, but times have changed and the message has to be delivered to each and every single person that most of us are in the same boat in some way, shape or form and that support is available.

“This is particularly important when it comes to mental health and financial debt. As pressures mount people can freeze with panic which allows the confusion and fear to become all consuming. I must commend An Garda Síochána for continuing to roll out these vitally important community meetings and tackling these hard to talk about issues. Sgt Edel Burke Curtain in particular has been tireless in actively going out and visiting homes and encouraging people to attend, even those who would normally be wary of getting involved.

Concluding Mr Sherlock said, “The shadow cast by rural crime was also once again highlighted this evening. ICSA will continue to emphasise the need for more resources for community policing and we urge the Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan to take the necessary steps that would allow Gardaí spend more time out in the community rather than behind office desks.”

Other guest speakers on the night included Crime Prevention Officer Sgt Triona O’Rourke and Noreen Murphy, the founder of Lisheen House Suicide Prevention in West Cork.

Former Sinn Fein TD heading to form a new political party

Widespread support for the plan among disenchanted members of Sinn Fein and Fianna Fail.

Sligo News File.

Pro-Life activist and former Sinn Fein TD Peadar Toibin has announced that he is moving to launch a new political party.

Peader Toibin, TD and economist. Forming new political party

He resigned from the Sinn Fein after the party suspended him for refusing to support the legalisation of abortion – the killing of babies in the womb.

Formally withdrawing from the Shinners yesterday Tobin said he had been pondering the decision for some time.

The popular Meath-based Deputy campaigned strongly against abortion in the recent referendum. However, his respect for human life and right-minded call for the retention of the Eighth Amendment ended with party colleagues punishing him for his stand with a six months suspension from the Sinn Fein organisation.

Sinn Fein apparently has no room for individual freedom of conscience. Currently, they are advocating for the introduction of abortion to Northern Ireland. However, the DUP it seems has so far put paid to that particular gallop.

Tobin’s announced new party plan has reportedly attracted widespread support not only from the ever-growing number of TDs and others disenchanted with Sinn Fein but also most notably Fianna Fail. The Soldiers of Destiny are becoming increasingly irrelevant as the on-going sustainers of the Fine Gael-led government – many resolutely hold that the country is in desperate need a visible and effective opposition.

Easkey returning multi-thousand Clar streetscape funds

Absence of consultation on the plan.

Sligo News File.

There is surprise that a West Sligo village is handing back €20,000 funding it received for local enhancement works.

Clar sanctioned the allocation on foot of an application the organisation received jointly from the county council and Easkey Community Council.

Works were to include the laying of a pedestrian crossing in the vicinity of the post office and broadening the footpaths, all scheduled to commence this week.

However, it looks that arising out of issues concerning consultation as well as objections submitted to the council it was decided to return the funding.

Government offering doctors around €400 to carry out termination of human pregnancies – report

Abortions and medical care to be provided free on the HSE.

Thousands of unborn babies likely to be wiped out as abortion regime gathers momentum.

Sligo News File.

Doctor representatives are said to be haggling over how much medics should be paid to terminate the life of unborns.

The government is proposing to provide abortion on demand free of charge to women seeking to end the life of babies in the womb. 

Abortion well beyond twelve weeks will also be available where the health of the woman is considered to be at risk.

It is believed that thousands of unborn infants will be put to death as the abortion service expands in Ireland.

Abortions will have priority over other cases awaiting medical attention, it’s understood.

Sources have meanwhile indicated that doctor representatives are engaged in efforts to secure maximum payments in connection with the termination of unborn babies.

According to accounts, the Department of Health is offering about €400 for each termination carried out under Ireland’s new abortion legislation.

The baby termination payments to doctors will issue through the HSE, even though funding from government for many other services is so tight that thousands needing medical procedures have to wait indefinitely for hospital appointments.

GPs have also been complaining about pressure on practices, with some saying that additions to existing patient numbers are not possible or have to be deferred.

There are some questions as to whether under pressure GPs will still make room for abortions and medical care services.

Theologian Fr. Vincent Twomey has said ‘doctors of conscience must exercise civil disobedience if told to carry out abortions.’

Hospitals in Cavan, Kilkenny, Letterkenny and Wexford have reportedly warned of a shortage of facilities and resources to facilitate abortion services.

Harris, the Minister for Health, has said a buffer zone will be created around medical abortion units to prevent any public protests being mounted near the sites.

Government €3 million backing for heroin and cocaine injecting centre on the doorstep of Dublin’s capital business district

Two hundred pupil national school only metres from the proposed facility.

Users of the centre to inject drugs purchased from criminal street dealers.

Pressure to open similar addict centres in towns and villages throughout the country.

Sligo News File.

Dublin’s Licensed Vintners’ Association are up in arms over government approved plans to open a medically staffed heroin and cocaine injecting centre for addicts on the doorstep of the capital’s central business district. Plans for the drug consumption facility are being backed by Fine Gael, Fianna Fail, Labour, Sinn Fein and, it is understood, gardai.

 

According to a planning application for the controversial facility, the premises at Merchants Quay will have a suite of self-injecting rooms and cater for 60 addicts per day. Many fear that once established, addicts and drug pushers will congregate in the area in the area ever-increasing numbers.

The government, it’s reported, is proposing to provide upwards of €3 million annually towards the cost of the controversial development where medics will be on hand to guide addicts in how to inject themselves with illicit substances purchased from illegal drug dealers on the street. Such is considered to be the scale of the drug epidemic in Ireland, demands are being also made to have similar narcotic injecting facilities established in every town and village in the country. Costs to taxpayers could rise to several
million euros.

More than 80% of drug users are said to be college students.

Latest figures from the Health Research Board show that 63,187 cases were treated for illegal drug use – excluding alcohol – between 2010 and 2016 alone. The figure does not include the numerous others not availing of treatment.

Heroin and opiates are ranked as a major issue.

Immunity from prosecution

When operational, addicts will be able to take their own illicitly obtained drugs to the new Dublin centre where they will be able to inject themselves with impunity.

 

Arrest or prosecution of those in possession of illegal drugs while in the centre is ruled out by legislation. Addicts purchasing illicit substances from criminal drug dealers on the street, while en route to the earmarked government centre at Merchants Quay will also be immune from prosecution, it is believed.

The objections laid by the LVA against the planning application highlight “the negative impact” the facility would have on the licensed trade, hospitality and tourism sectors of Dublin’s business district. The site of the proposed drug injecting facility, according to details, is only 270m from Christchurch Cathedral, 300m from Dublinia (a museum of Viking and Medieval artefacts) 600m from Dublin Castle and 700 from Temple Bar Square. Temple Bar, the main business area of the district, has a throughput or footfall of 22
million people annually.

A national school, St. Audeons, is “just a few steps” from the planned facility. The school is reportedly seeking legal advice to try to stop the centre opening. Owing to its location the drug centre is considered “a critical child protection concern.”

Banned by UN Conventions

Speaking to The Dublin Gazette Grainne Kenny Grainne Kenny, honorary president of EURAD, an influential European anti-drugs organisation, said: “Injection rooms or shooting galleries are banned by the UN Conventions on Narcotic Drugs as they are considered to be a step in the direction of legalisation and/or decriminalisation of illicit drugs.

“The acceptance of injection rooms by a State, according to UN experts, promotes tolerance towards illegal drug use and trafficking running counter to the provisions of the UN Conventions on Narcotics signed into law by the Irish Government.

“Any state that permits the establishing and operation of injection rooms also facilitates drug trafficking they warn. Ireland has an obligation along with fellow signatories to combat trafficking in all its forms,” she added.

Cllr. Mannix Flynn, an Independent city councillor – one of a number of local authority members to object – said the facility would “send out the wrong message.” He said, people, will inject and be back on the street again.

Alarm

While the Dublin protests continue, alarm is growing nationally over the government’s failure to arrest the mushrooming drug blight. Many parents are profoundly concerned at the level of the drug activity in communities. Teenagers and young adults are natural targets for dealers. Some kids from as young as 11 or 12 are also dabbling in drugs says an expert in the field.

Rolling out injecting centres and easing up on the enforcement of legislation enacted to curb what has become a massive human destroying industry in illicit substances is, to the minds of opponents, no substitute for the pursuit and jailing of the mobs behind the ruinous criminal enterprise.

Evidence suggests, notes a report, that the majority of young people find it easy to obtain cannabis and ecstasy, “with a sizable minority reporting that they believe other substances including cocaine, heroin and new psychoactive substances to be easily accessible.”

Scandalously also, young people in Ireland report finding substance easier to obtain in comparison to EU averages.

It has been suggested that increased cultivation of cannabis in recent years may be linked to organised crime groups from abroad.

A study estimates that there were 19,000 opiate users in 2014, the majority of them male, while the estimate of opiate users outside Dubin increased at an even greater rate.

HIV

A study focused on HIV highlights that some 8,341 people have been diagnosed with the disease in Ireland since the early 1980’s. The number of unknowns with the condition is not recorded; it could be multiple times the total diagnosed.

 

Sex between men was the predominant route of HIV transmission in Ireland in 2016 and accounted for just over half of diagnoses (51%). Heterosexual contact was the second most commonly reported mode of transmission.

The majority of heterosexual cases were born in countries with “generalised HIV epidemics.”

In 2017, a report in the Irish Times highlighted concerns that “a growing ambivalence about the disease” is putting increasing numbers of people at risk.

Latest data from the Health Protection Surveillance Centre put the total number of new HIV notifications for 2018 to date alone at 430

A decision on the planning application for the Dublin self-injecting facility is expected to issue within the next month. A licence to operate the centre will be issued by the government.

New unit to treat Lyme disease to be rolled out in Dublin

Service to be based at the Mater Hospital.

Sligo News File

A unit to treat Lyme disease is being established in Dublin.

The service is to be located at the Mater where those suffering from the condition will be able to avail of both diagnostic and treatment services.

Hundreds are said to be affected by the disease.

Plans for the new service are being led by Dr. Jack Lambert

No Fianna Fail local elections ticket for Queenan?

Councillor proposes to run as Independent.

Sligo News File

It is believed that Fianna Fail has refused to add Sligo councillor Joe Queenan to its party ticket to contest the 2019 local elections.

Enniscrone-based Queenan, a long-time member of the party, and a former chairman of Sligo County Council featured with two other councillors in the RTÉ Investigates Standards in Public Office programme in December 2015 following which he was called before the Standards in Public Office Commission public hearings earlier this year. He resigned from Fianna Fail.

The outcome of the SIPOC enquiries is not yet known. One of the three councillors has reportedly taken a High Court action against RTE.

Queenan was this year elected chairman of the Ballymote-Tobercurry Municipal District.

He is said to have indicated that pending the conclusion of the SIPOC process he intends to run as an Independent local elections candidate.