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Defending life from the moment of conception

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News, 18 January 2000

18 January 2000

18 January 2000 A British parliamentary Bill has been published which would make it an offence to withdraw or withhold medical treatment and/or nutrition with the intention of killing a patient. The publication of Mrs Ann Winterton's Medical Treatment (Prevention of Euthanasia) Bill has been welcomed by the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children who have said: "The Bill will re-emphasise to managers and staff of hospitals and nursing homes that the elderly, disabled and mentally ill have a right to life." The Bill's crucial second reading will be on Friday-week (the 28th). British members of Parliament are urging the government to restrict the availability of the morning-after pill at the same time as pharmacies in the north-west of England are offering such pills without a family doctor's prescription. A so-called early day motion notes that the morning-after pill is not simply a contraceptive but can stop fertilised embryos from implanting successfully in the womb. It draws attention to the pill's health-risks, which include nausea, vomiting, thrombosis and ectopic pregnancy. The motion's principal proposer is Mr David Atkinson MP. A genetic trait inherited from fathers could trigger some miscarriages. Traces of certain paternal DNA have been detected much later in the development of embryos than was anticipated. The team at the women's hospital, Birmingham, England, emphasise that their work is in its early stages. Dr Justin St John is quoted as saying that there is "an obvious implication for fertility treatment." [Daily Mail, 18 January, 2000] A conference held by the Brook Advisory Centres has been told that boys should not be blamed for teenage pregnancies because they are left out of sex education. Teenage boys did not see fatherhood as a status-symbol. [The Independent and The Express, 18 January, 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 5845. The reliability of the news herein is dependent on the cited sources and opinions expressed are not necessarily those of the society. Please forward this bulletin to other interested parties. To subscribe or unsubscribe, send an appropriate email to Paul Danon, SPUC information officer, as information@spuc.freeserve.co.uk

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