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News, 14 June 2000

14 June 2000

14 June 2000 The governor of Illinois has vetoed a pro-life bill which would have stopped tax-funded abortions. Governor George Ryan, who has consistently claimed to be pro-life, cited his concerns for women's health because no 'health exception' was included in the bill. Backers of the legislation could still seek to overturn the veto, but commentators say that they are unlikely to achieve sufficient majorities to do this in either the House or Senate. [Chicago Tribune, St.Louis Post-Dispatch, Springfield Journal Register, 11-12 June; from Pro-Life Infonet] There are reports of a growing informal boycott of the annual bishop's appeal in Calgary, Canada, after Bishop Fred Henry rejected his predecessor's policy of refusing to fund any organisation which supported abortion. Rod Sykes, former mayor of Calgary, said, "My wife and a great many of her friends are refusing to support this appeal. Henry made it plain that he'll give money to organisations that support abortion, just because they support other causes he likes." In a speech to the Alberta Pro-Life Alliance in May, Bishop Henry identified the three possible responses to abortion as withdrawal, revolution and involvement. Remarking that his predecessor Bishop Paul O'Byrne had taken the first approach, he favoured the third. [The Report Newsmagazine, issue for 19 June; on Pro-Life E-News] [A response to Bishop Henry's comments by Scott Klusendorf, a guest columnist for the The Report Newsmagazine in Canada, is at http://207.34.57.66/MAGAZINE/guest.html ] The organisers behind pro-life television advertisements in Canada have claimed that the results of a new poll show that the commercials are changing attitudes. The Pro-Life Society of British Columbia raised 217,000 Canadian dollars last year which enabled the purchase of 374 spots on four stations, and this year the amount raised is expected to be more. Similar sympathetic and non-judgmental advertisements in the US state of Michigan have been credited with reducing the abortion rate by 43%. [The Report Newsmagazine, issue for 19 June] A district judge in the United States has ruled that transportation authorities in Atlanta were wrong to refuse to place advertisements by the National Abortion Federation on its buses, bus shelters and subway trains. The Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority had claimed that it was within its rights to refuse advertisements supporting or opposing a subject of public controversy, but the judge rejected their argument that they had a compelling state interest in violating the pro-abortionists' freedom of speech. The National Abortion Federation has associated clinics throughout the USA and Canada, and their current advertising campaign has so far run in 11 cities. [Newswire, 12 June; from Pro-Life E-News]

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