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Defending life from the moment of conception

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News, 12 April 2000

12 April 2000

12 April 2000 A man who drove through a red traffic-light after drinking, and collided with a pregnant woman killing her unborn child of 36 weeks has walked free, sentenced only to 120 hours' community service. Magistrates in North Avon, UK, were advised that English law does not recognise the life of a child until it has taken its first breath and so the child's death could not be taken as a separate offence. The child, posthumously named Thomas, was born dead three hours after the crash. [The Times, 8th April] There have been 32 new clauses and 48 amendments tabled so far with respect to the Medical Treatment (Prevention of Euthanasia) Bill, which has its report stage in the British House of Commons this Friday (14th April). Most of those tabling amendments have voted for pro-euthanasia legislation in the past, or have shown their opposition to the Bill in other ways. Paul Tully, general secretary of the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children, commented: " We must question why these amendments were not tabled at committee stage, where they could have been debated in detail. As it is, by tabling such an array of amendments at report stage, it means that either there will not be time to discuss them to the satisfaction of the pro-euthanasia lobby, or MPs will be prevented from completing the report stage of the Bill on Friday." It will be the first Bill to come before the House and proceedings will start at 9.30 am. The National Office of Statistics in Great Britain has released figures which show that 101,000 teenagers became pregnant in 1998, a rise of nearly 6,000 from the year before. Nearly half of them were under 18, and 8,430 were under 16. Furthermore, a greater number of teenagers chose to have abortions than ever before, with 42% choosing to do so in 1998 compared with 40.6% in 1997. Nearly 53% were under 16, compared with 49.7% in 1997. Pro-life groups blamed the Government and family planning organisations for continuing to push failed policies and referring more and more girls for abortions, but others called for better and younger sex education in schools. [The Catholic Herald, 7th April] Students in at least 150 state-supported schools in the USA will mark the second annual day of remembrance on Friday (14 April) by distributing pro-life literature to their peers with the message "It could have been you". The event, initiated last year by the Freedom to Learn Foundation, is designed to increase awareness among the young about abortion and the fact that 38 million abortions have been carried out in the USA since the Roe versus Wade decision in 1973. [Freedom to Learn, 10th April (from Pro-Life Infonet)] A British Government survey of around 500 young people aged 13 to 24 has found that many young women feel pressurised by men into having sex before they are ready and find it difficult to negotiate the use of contraception. [Metro, 12th April] [This bulletin is privately circulated by the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children,, 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]

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