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Defending life from the moment of conception

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News, 14 February 2000

14 February 2000

14 February 2000 The chairman of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority expects that her organisation will be challenged on whether single, widowed or elderly women and homosexual couples can be refused fertility-treatment. Ms Ruth Deech anticipates that "interesting questions" will be raised once human rights legislation comes into force in the UK in October. Issues could include the selection of children's gender for social reasons. [The Guardian, 14 February, 2000] A survey of young British people suggests nearly a fifth of them have intercourse before they are 15. Two fifths thought that schools should supply contraceptive pills and 36% thought they should supply morning-after pills. [Sussed, BBC2 television, reported in Metro, 14 February, 2000] The Spanish government is to fund the provision of Mifegyne, an RU-486 abortion-pill. The Madrid diocesan family-care department has criticised the move. [Zenit, 14 February, 2000] The diocese of Trier, Germany, is to close its abortion-counselling centres at the end of the year. The pope told German bishops to shut down such services if they were providing counselling-certificates to clients which could be used to procure an abortion. Bishop Josej Spital hopes that other types of support can be provided which do not involve issuing such certificates. A charity has been set up to enable the existing centres to be transferred to non-church ownership. [The Tablet, 12 February, 2000] A Hungarian priest and a pro-life organisation have been fined after instituting legal proceedings on behalf of an unborn child. The unnamed priest and the Alfa Association persuaded a family-court to forbid a 13-year-old girl's abortion. They must now pay 1,250 pounds, one tenth of what the girl and her mother claimed, and must apologise in writing for violating their privacy. The head of Vatican diplomacy has called for: "practical acts of solidarity with mothers struggling to accept an unborn child, ... insistence upon the right to conscientious objection without discrimination for health-care workers, and ... commitment to scientific research which will respect life." Archbishop Jean-Louis Tauran was addressing the Pontifical Academy for Life's annual assembly, which was dedicated to commemorating the fifth anniversary of the publication of Evangelium Vitae, the pope's encyclical on human life. [Zenit, 14 February, 2000] A pro-abortion group is going to ask the Scottish executive if it plans to regulate which pro- and anti-life campaigning groups can speak to children in schools. Yesterday's Sunday Herald contained a claim that the present situation was haphazard such that "some pupils are warned they could end up in a psychiatric hospital if they have an abortion, while others are told where they can get terminations." Cardinal Winning of Glasgow's Pro-Life Initiative was featured on BBC television's Everyman programme last night. Sr Roseann Reddy of the recently-formed Sisters of the Gospel of Life was interviewed and described how, when she was at school, a fellow-pupil who had an abortion had ended up in a psychiatric hospital. [Sunday Herald, 13 February, 2000] 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. 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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