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Pro-life campaigners urge Catholic university to ban Cherie Blair

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William Crawley | 19:55 UK time, Saturday, 6 December 2008

cherie_blair.jpgAnti-abortion campaigners are angry that Cherie Blair is to address a conference on women and human rights next Friday at Rome's Angelicum University. Mrs Blair's lecture is titled "Religion as a Force in protecting Women's Human Rights", but John Smeaton, director of the Society for the Protection of the Unborn Child (SPUC), believes she has no business speaking at a Pontifical University given her support for organisations he regards as 'abortion-promoters'. He is one of many pro-life supporters writing to the Catholic university and 'demand that [the invitation'] be withdrawn'.

According to Lifesitenews.com, a pro-life news site, the Angelicum has to date received more than 200 communications but it has no plans to cancel the invitation. The news site features a photograph of Mrs Blair distributing condoms at a Labour Party conference in Brighton. But, according to Lifesitenews, the Angelicum University has replied some campaigners that they can 'find no evidence of Mrs. Blair's pro-abortion or other anti-life and anti-family positions'.
In Mrs Blair's autobiography, Speaking For Myself, the wife of the former prime minister revealed that she became pregnant with her son Leo because she had not packed her "contraceptive equipment" for a visit to Balmoral. Official Catholic teaching holds that the use of artificial contraception is sinful.

She later told GMTV, 'People seem to be quite shocked that perhaps a Catholic girl even uses contraception but it is really an important thing for women because one of the things about the book is about how women's lives have changed . . . One of the reasons women's lives have changed is that they have been able to control their fertility, it is an important issue.'


  • Comment number 1.

    Is Cherie into producing fiction now? I would get that impression from the title of her talk

    "Religion as a Force in protecting Women's Human Rights"

    A bit like asking Al Quada to investigate 9/11.

    Does anyone have a spare irony meter I can borrow? Mine exploded when I read the title of her talk.

  • Comment number 2.

    I know David Willey is getting on in age and he really should be let out to graze rather than interviewed, but I am surprised that he was allowed to get away with using language that is clearly inflamatory and derogatory. To describe Catholics who oppose the destruction of human life - particularly by abortion (i.e. practising and not nominal as in the case of the Blairs) as "RightWing" and then in a further display of his confusion, describe them just a few sentences further on as "Ultra Right Wing" really is beyond the pale.
    I'm not particularly surprised that William Crawley let it pass without comment for whilst he feels tremendous angst at Presbyterians calling homosexuals "sodomists", describing practising Catholics as "Ultra Right Wing" is clearly within the scope of his agenda.

  • Comment number 3.

    I think it's fair to say that those campaigners who are 'demanding' that this catholic university BAN cherie blair are 'right wing'. They are hardly left wing. Right wing means conservative, establishment, protecting the status quo. These campaigners are all of that. I would argue that they are also ultra right wing since they are even more conservative than the vatican on this issue! David Willey was spot on.

  • Comment number 4.

    Sometimes I wonder if I am listening to the same programme as other commenters here! It wasn't Crawley who was expressing angst at the sodomite word, it was the Advertising Standards Authority! I heard Crawley pointing out that some leading gay people in NI are saying now that they are NOT suporting the ASA adjudication.

    David Wiley was right to use the term right wing. I did wonder, however, about his claim that Cherie Blair was certainly not pro-choice. How does he know that? From what I can tell, Cherie Blair has supported some pro-choice organisations. I'd like to see the evidence David Willey has for that claim.


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