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Defending life
from conception to natural death


News, 5 December 2000

5 December 2000

5 December 2000 A national Catholic newspaper reported over the weekend that the British government has postponed its plans to make the morning-after pill available from pharmacists without a doctor's prescription "due to pressure from pro-life groups". It had been suggested that the government might rush through reclassification of Schering's Levonelle-2 morning-after pill before Christmas. Meanwhile, police in Manchester, England, have refused to follow up a request made by Frances Morris to prosecute the government over its plans to reclassify Levonelle-2. Mrs Morris, a mother of eight, believes that the plans breach both the Offences Against the Person Act of 1861 (for supplying drugs to cause an abortion) and the Sexual Offences Act of 1956 (for aiding and abetting sex with a minor). [The Universe, 3 December] The French Chamber of Deputies will vote definitively today (5 December) on a bill to liberalise abortion laws. As well as increasing the legal time limit for abortions from 10 to 12 weeks' gestation, the law will also allow minors both to obtain abortions, and also to receive the morning-after pill from pharmacists, without parental consent. [Zenit news agency, 1 December] It has emerged that the medical licensing authorities in Ireland have refused to license the Levonelle-2 morning-after pill because it is an abortifacient rather than a contraceptive and, as such, prohibited by law. A Canadian newspaper reported that this was despite attempts by pro-abortion medical practitioners to claim that pregnancy started at implantation rather than at conception. [Toronto Globe and Mail, via LifeSite News, 1 December; also Unison News, 3 December] It has been claimed that a major Islamic group in Indonesia has agreed to stock the morning-after pill in its clinics after concluding that the abortifacient drug does not breach the teachings of Islam. A conference of Asian family planning organisations and the pro-abortion World Health Organisation in Colombo, Sri Lanka, heard that the Postinor-2 morning-after pill had also been successfully introduced into Sri Lanka, but had hit opposition from religious groups in Kenya and Mexico. It is reported that the World Health Organisation and an international coalition of family planning agencies are engaged in a campaign to promote Postinor-2 in the developing world. [SABI, 4 December; via Northern Light ] The Austrian cabinet minister with responsibility for women's affairs has sparked controversy by describing abortions carried out on the grounds of foetal abnormality as "intolerable". Herbert Haupt called for a review of Austria's 1974 abortion law which allows abortion up to birth in cases of mental or physical handicap. He also insisted that the fathers of unborn children should be involved in the decision whether to abort. Mr Haupt's Freedom party is in a coalition government with the People's party of Chancellor Wolfgang Schuessel, who told pro-life groups in July: "The fundamental basis of credible politics is the protection of life, and the People's party will push for a corresponding change in the current legislation." [AFP, 3 December; from Pro-Life Infonet] The adopted daughter of Vicente Fox, Mexico's new president, has vowed to fight against legalised abortion in her country. Ana Cristina, who is 21 years old and at law school, said: "I understand that to be raped must be really hard, especially if the result is pregnancy, but you can't forget you are carrying a life inside you ... and at the hour you decide to abort, you are killing it. You can say what you want, but an abortion is murder." Vicente Fox took office as president of Mexico last Friday, two hours after visiting the shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe [patroness of the unborn]. He is personally opposed to abortion, though believes that abortion law should be decided by the states rather than at a federal level. [Toronto Star, 30 November; EWTN News, 5 December ]

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