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News, 11 April 2000

11 April 2000

11 April 2000 Activists from SPUC and LIFE, two British pro-life organisations, joined forces last week to mount a lobby of Parliament in London. This was to protest against Government plans to allow intentional killing by neglect and also to support Ann Winterton's Medical Treatment (Prevention of Euthanasia) Bill which has its report stage this Friday (14th). [The Universe, 9th April] Susan Deacon, Health Minister in Scotland's newly-devolved government, announced this week that the Scottish Executive is giving a one off grant of 150,000 GB pounds for new Brook Advisory Centres in four more Scottish cities in addition to the two already in operation in Edinburgh and Inverness. These centres offer abortion services and pro-life groups have attacked the decision. [Universe, 9th April] The United States House of Representatives again voted to ban so-called partial birth abortions, this time by 287 votes to 141. This would be a sufficient margin to override a threatened Presidential veto although a sufficient majority is unlikely to be obtained in the Senate. It is estimated that about 3,000 to 5,000 partial-birth abortions take place in the USA each year. [Reuters, 5th April] In order to address the problem of unwanted babies, the City of Hamburg, Germany, this week provided special hatches where mothers can leave newborn children in complete anonymity. They then have up to eight weeks to reclaim their child. [Mail on Sunday, 9th April] The influential Nuffield Council on Bioethics in Britain published a report last Wednesday which backed medical research into the cloning of embryos, although added the proviso that only tissues from aborted foetuses and donated embryos from in vitro fertilisation should be used. It also stressed that abortions should not be carried out simply for tissue. A British Government panel of experts is soon expected to recommend "therapeutic" cloning, arguing that the potential benefits for human health outweigh ethical considerations. The technique would involve creating and then killing human embryos once the required cells have been extracted. [Universe, 9th April&Daily Telegraph, 6th April (from Pro-Life Infonet)] A coroner in Darwin, Australia, has commended midwife nurse Carrie Williams for her care of an aborted baby unexpectedly born alive after between 21 and 22 weeks gestation. Facing a moral dilemma, and without any direction from the doctor involved, she covered the child and kept him/her warm until he/she died some 80 minutes later. The cause of death was found to be 'premature delivery'. Such incidents have also been reported in Britain, where last year an aborted Down's syndrome baby of about 23 weeks' gestation lived outside the womb for two hours in Birmingham City Hospital. [The Times, 11th April&The Sydney Morning Herald, 10th April (from Pro-Life Infonet)] United States President Bill Clinton has proposed a grant of at least 25 million US dollars to support the pro-abortion United Nations Population Fund, despite the fact that last year Congress imposed a restriction on money being given to non-governmental organisations which advocate or perform abortions. President Clinton wants to increase the U.S. international family planning aid package without this so-called global gag rule applying. [Associated Press, 7th April (from Pro-Life Infonet)] In a trend running counter to its neighbour the USA, Canandian Government figures released last week indicate that the number of abortions in Canada rose by 2.9% in 1997 to 114,848 from 111,659 in the year before. The figures also show that abortions were most common among women in their twenties, and commentators have observed that the high abortion rate is a major reason why the Canadian national birth rate has fallen below replacement level. [Reuters, 7th April (from Pro-Life Infonet)] [This bulletin is privately circulated by the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children, www.spuc.org.uk, 5/6 St Matthew Street, London, United Kingdom, SW1P 2JT, +44 20 7222 3763. The reliability of the news herein is dependent on that of the cited sources, which are paraphrased rather than quoted. Opinions expressed are not necessarily those of the society. Please forward this bulletin to other interested parties. To unsubscribe, send an appropriate email to information@spuc.freeserve.co.uk]

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