In this course, John Smeaton draws on five decades of experience as a principal leader in the pro-life movement, considering the most important human rights issue in the world today — the right to life — in the light of natural reason and two millennia of Catholic moral teaching. He is joined by Dr Greg Pike, who contributes his own insight as a neurobiologist and bioethicist, presenting the evidence from the best peer-reviewed studies, as well as acute analysis of the pseudo-medical narrative bolstering the immense ongoing scandal of the establishment’s toleration of legalised abortion. The reality of human development before birth, so richly explored by scientific researchers in recent decades, and the brutal facts of abortion provide the foundation of this course in an authoritative presentation from Dr Pike. Dr Pike also explains the abortifacient nature of various contraceptive drugs and devices, and the enormous destruction of human embryos in IVF (in-vitro fertilisation) procedures. He returns in the penultimate lesson to expose the truth behind the medical establishment’s narrative that abortion is a relatively safe procedure. John Smeaton explores how Church teaching and the natural law reveal to mankind the horrifying evil of abortion, which is without precedent in human history. He explains why the chief responsibility for putting an end to abortion falls to Catholics at every level of the Church. The role of eugenics in the legalisation of abortion, and the tactics and arguments used to bring about a worldwide abortion revolution are also examined, before John Smeaton concludes the course with a review of some of the leading figures, key events and cultural forces which have shaped, and continue to shape the battle on abortion in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. These include: Bernard Nathanson, Mother Teresa, the British parliament and the US Supreme Court, the historic impact of the Frankfurt School, along with the role of the United Nations, the Irish Abortion Referenda of 1983 and 2018, and a growing movement in the US to protect unborn children conceived in rape. Join us for this eye-opening course, the fruit of long examination and an incomparable wealth of practical experience combatting the single greatest massacre in human history. The course will also form the starting point for future discussions at the Family and Life Academy, in webinars which will explore many of the moral aspects of abortion in greater detail.


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Society for the Protection of Unborn Children, Everything you need to know about abortion (2021)
Available from SPUC Pro-Life, 3 Whitacre Mews, Stannary Street, London, SE11 4AB, UK

Dr Greg Pike, Abortion and women’s health: an evidence-based review for medical  professionals of the impact of abortion on women’s physical and mental health

Pius XI, encyclical Casti Connubii (1930)

Voice of the Family, Fighting for life: a conversation with John Smeaton on the mission of the pro-life movement (Calx Mariae Publishing, 2021)

Anthony McCarthy (editor), Abortion matters (Philos Publications, 2018)


John Smeaton

John Smeaton is vice-president of the International Right to Life Federation and co-director of Voice of the Family, an international lay initiative formed to defend and promote the Catholic teaching on the family. He was chief executive of the UK's Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC) from 1996 until 2021 and SPUC general secretary from 1978 until 1996. John Smeaton and his wife, Josephine, have four children, seven grandchildren and two great grandchildren. 

Dr Greg Pike

Dr Gregory K Pike is the Director of the Adelaide Centre for Bioethics and Culture, Senior Research Fellow at the Bios Centre in London, and former Director of the Southern Cross Bioethics Institute. He has a research and teaching background in neurobiology at the University of Adelaide and University of Pittsburgh and undertook clinical trials in laparoscopic surgery at the Royal Adelaide Hospital. He has also served as Manager of Research Integrity at two Australian Universities.

In the late nineties his research interests shifted to bioethics, and in particular its relationship with public policy. He has worked on ethical issues related to illicit drugs, stem cells, cloning, abortion, reproductive technology, genetics, and end-of-life decision-making. He has published in these areas, participated in public debate, and engaged widely with policy makers and the community.

He has also served on several government consultative committees and been a member of the Australian Health Ethics Committee, a principal committee of the Federal Government’s National Health and Medical Research Council.