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Defending life from the moment of conception

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News, 16 February 2000

16 February 2000

16 February 2000 Mrs Ann Winterton MP writes of her Medical Treatment (Prevention of Euthanasia) Bill: "No doctor need fear that the bill would affect any part of their existing legal [or] ethical responsibility to take full account of the patient's views, wishes and beliefs, or reduce their opportunity to do so." [The Independent, 16 February, 2000] National Right to Life are sponsoring radio advertisements in South Carolina which say: "if you want a strongly pro-life president, don't support John McCain." It is reported that Mr McCain would allow abortion for victims of rape or incest and for mothers whose lives were in danger. The National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League has endorsed Mr Al Gore. [The Independent and The Guardian, 16 February, 2000, and Pro-Life Infonet, 15 February, 2000] Indian politicians have rejected a proposal to prevent people with more than two children from standing for public office. Population control advocates have suggested that those with larger families should not just be stopped from standing but should also be deprived of the vote. [Catholic World Report, February 2000] A newly-appointed Canadian supreme court judge who forbade an abortion 10 years ago says he has changed his view on the subject. Justice Louis LeBel suggests that laws against abortion are unworkable and that their existence drives women to risk their lives in trying to end their pregnancies. [The Gazette of Montreal reported in Pro-Life E-News, 15 February, 2000] Officially recorded abortions in the United States were at their lowest for 20 years in 1997, but the figures do not include chemical terminations and will reflect a rise in the average female age. (There were half a million fewer pregnancies in 1996 than in the previous year.) American teenagers have the highest abortion-rate in the developed world. [Catholic World Report, February 2000] Many Catholics do not comply adequately with their duty to oppose unjust laws, according to the secretary to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Archbishop Tarcisio Bertone told the plenary assembly of the Pontifical Academy for Life that such failure was caused by: "weakness of faith and Christian commitment, and poor distribution of tasks between pastors and the laity." [Zenit, 15 February, 2000] 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. 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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