Sunday April 29, 2012 www.thecatholicuniverse.com
The leading voice of the Catholic community in Britain and Ireland £1.30 €1.75
Alpha’s Nicky Gumbal for Dublin Congress
See page 3
Goodness knows no bounds Donations soar in tribute to marathon runner
Professor Simon Lee See page 12
‘New low’ established as two-hour Radio 5 Live programme will come from inside abortion clinic
Pro-lifers up in arms over BBC project
By Mary McGinty
Leading UK pro-life organisations have fiercely criticised the BBC’s decision to air a live radio programme in an abortion clinic.
In what is understood to be the first broadcast of its kind, Victoria Derbyshire, one of BBC Radio 5 Live’s leading presenters, will interview patients and staff during a two-hour live radio show next month. The name and location of the clinic has yet to be revealed.
Despite Ms Derbyshire’s claim that the programme will not weigh the pros and cons of abortion but will “give us an insight into an area of British life which is taboo”, pro-life charities say that the broadcast will effectively be “free advertising”.
The Pro-Life Alliance’s Dominica Roberts told TheUniversethe BBC has “struck a new low”.
“We can be certain that they will not talk listeners through the nauseating reality of deliberately ending a human life. Nor will they ask abortionists what evidence they have that the women’s mental health will suffer if she continues the pregnancy.
“They are, in effect, intending to advertise abortion. Will the BBC Charter’s insistence on balance lead them to make a two hour pro-life programme on the development of the baby, the risk to women’s health, and the help available? I’d be surprised,” said Mrs Roberts.
LIFE called on the BBC to abide by its code of impartiality and abandon the show. LIFE Spokesman Mark Bhagwandin challenged Ms Derbyshire’s assertion that the issue is “taboo”.
“We have to wonder about the objectives behind this programme. The BBC position that it wants to do this show because abortion is taboo is most baffling, when we consider there are over 500 abortions performed every day,” he said.
“It seems to me that the objective of this programme would be to promote that particular abortion clinic and by extension, the abortion industry, at a time when it is reeling from recent allegations of improper conduct. As if it is not enough that the industry is now being allowed to advertise abortions as a product, here comes the BBC with some free advertising.”
Conservative MP Nadine Dorries echoed the concerns over the BBC’s impartiality, saying “it is not unlike the BBC to take a biased view on such issue”. With the BBC unlikely to heed pleas to halt the show, Mrs Roberts called for prayer in the hope that some of the women may reconsider their decision to end their pregnancies.
“The programme clearly aims at depicting abortion as an ordinary process which some women need, for reasons with which anyone might sympathise. The BBC should not be broadcasting this.
“Perhaps, however, we can use the publicity to let women know what help is available. I hope parishes will pray for all involved on the morning of this programme. We can hope that at least some of the women going for abortion that day may change their minds,” said Mrs Roberts.
Continued on page 2
Sir Christopher’s fifty years of married bliss Sir Christopher Lee CBE and his wife Lady Birgit Kroencke Lee attended the Couple of Year 2012 awards in Hamburg this week, where they re- ceived an award in recog- nition of a ‘lifetime of marriage’.
Sir Christopher, who describes himself as an “Anglo-Catholic”, and whose maternal ancestors had the right to bear the coat of arms of the Holy Roman Empire, says the secret of a long marriage in the film industry is to “marry someone wonderful, as I did, and always have her come along on location.
“Love, respect, friendship. And I do everything that my wife asks me to do!” Mr Lee added jokingly.
Our popular series on the new evangelisation home is a holy place where we can celebrate the presence of God in the family Pages 15 to 18
All the latest news from The Universe Catholic Weekly: twitter.com/CATHOLIC_MD The Catholic Universe Newspaper