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News, 8 August 2000

8 August 2000

8 August 2000 Al Gore has appointed Senator Joseph Lieberman, a man with similar pro-abortion views to himself, to serve as his vice-presidential running mate. During his three terms in the US Senate, Lieberman voted against the pro-life line in 69 out of 71 relevant votes, including on human cloning and partial-birth abortions. He has been given a grade A by the National Abortion Rights Action League for his consistent pro-abortion stance. Acknowledging the difficulty he has had in reconciling his pro-abortion views with his Orthodox Jewish faith, Senator Lieberman said: "When I was in the state senate I would agonise and agonise over this. And I did occasionally consult rabbinical sources over the generations. Ultimately I decided that, after all my struggling with this question, we really had to respect the right of women to choose." [AP, Reuters, NRLC, Pro-Life Infonet, 7 August] US Vice President Al Gore has again stressed the long-term implications for abortion which the result of the presidential election in November will have. He said: "I will protect a woman's right to choose. I do not think that the federal government should force a woman to do what the government says is the right thing regardless of the circumstances. I think that a woman should have that choice. Now the next president will appoint three maybe even four justices of the Supreme Court. The way our constitution is interpreted for the next 30 to 40 years will be determined in this election." [Associated Press&NBC News, 7 August; from Pro-Life Infonet] Nuala Scarisbrick, of the British anti-abortion charity Life, has complained to the obscene publications unit after Brook, a pro-abortion sex advisory service, published an updated edition of an explicit booklet about sex aimed at 14 and 15-year-olds. Mrs Scarisbrick claimed that the book promotes unlawful sex with girls under sixteen. Brook receives government funding for its advisory centres and openly advertises its role in referring women for abortions. It is a member of Voice for Choice, a coalition of British and Irish abortion providers and pressure groups which campaigns for a further liberalisation of Britain's abortion laws and the introduction of legal abortion to Northern Ireland. [The Times, 8 August; Voice for Choice website] Catholic Archbishop Elden Curtiss of Omaha participated in a prayer vigil last Saturday outside Dr LeRoy Carhart's Bellevue abortion clinic. It was Dr Carhart who successfully challenged Nebraska's ban on partial-birth abortions in the US Supreme Court [a ruling which has effectively led to the demise of similar bans in many other states]. Archbishop Curtiss described the event as a prayer effort rather than a demonstration and affirmed that it would be through prayer that abortion would become increasingly restricted. He said: "Ever so gradually, but inexorably, we are winning our cause, my friends, so never give up." [Omaha World-Herald, 6 August] Wal-Mart, the American retail company, has come under fire from various pressure groups for its decision last year not to stock the potentially abortifacient morning-after pill in its pharmacies. A group called Zero Population Growth held a press conference outside one store in Denver last Friday at which they described Wal-Mart's policy as discriminatory because it affects only women in their childbearing years. Planned Parenthood and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists have also expressed their opposition to Wal-Mart, which is America's fifth-largest pharmacy chain. [Reuters, Yahoo! News, 4 August] Wal-Mart took over ASDA, the British retail chain, last year.

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