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News, 2 March 2000

2 March 2000

2 March 2000 Anti-euthanasia legislation has successfully completed the second stage of its scrutiny by the UK Parliament. The committee examining the Medical Treatment (Prevention of Euthanasia) Bill yesterday voted that it should proceed to its report stage, which will take place on 14 April. The Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC) will be lobbying Parliament during the preceding week. The Scottish executive (government) has amended the Adults with Incapacity (Scotland) Bill so that doctors will be the principal decision-makers on whether patients' treatment and sustenance can be withdrawn. Doctors will have to consult those representing patients but, if such representatives disagree with a doctor's decision, the representatives would have to go to court. Christian leaders continue to oppose the Bill, which they say needs a clause guaranteeing food and fluid for patients. [The Herald and the Daily Mail, 1 March, 2000] Marie Stopes International claims that the number of abortions they performed in Britain rose by 20% in the first two months of this year because of millennial celebrations and restricted availability of the morning-after pill. [Daily Telegraph, 2 March, 2000] The British government has appointed 150 coordinators to halve the number of teenage pregnancies by 2010. At 90,000 per year, the UK's teenage pregnancy rate is the highest in Europe, with 8,000 of the girls under 16. The coordinators are former health-visitors, nurses and health-advisers. The advice they give will include information on abortion. [The Independent and the Daily Mail, 1 March, 2000] During this month and next month, the US House of Representatives and Senate will consider granting permanent normal trade relations status to China, though pro-life groups oppose it because of China's forced abortion policy. The Ontario health ministry has had to be forced to reveal the number of abortions performed in the province. The government protested unsuccessfully to the information and privacy commission that publishing such statistics would prompt riots. There were some 44,000 recorded abortions in Ontario in 1998, more than in each of the four preceding years. [Pro-Life E-News, 29 February 2000] There is controversy in Australia after TV-viewers were told that women who had pregnancy-terminations would be confronted in the afterlife by their aborted offspring. Preacher Gilbert Lumoindong told people watching a Living Stone Foundation programme on the Seven Network that abortion was a sin even if the pregnancy was the result of rape. [Sydney Morning Herald reported in Pro-Life E-News, 29 February, 2000] The Texas supreme court has denied an abortion to an unmarried 17-year-old girl because she did not tell either or both of her parents of her intention. Governor George W Bush signed the relevant law which the state-legislature passed last year. The girl's case has been returned to the trial-court. [Pro-Life Infonet, 28 February 2000] A British hospital consultant has admitted to prescribing double doses of morphine and a sedative to a patient dying from cancer in 1996. Dr Jonathan Henry Brooks' motive is said to have been to relieve pain. [The Guardian, 29 February, 2000] The second edition of the Pro-Life Times, SPUC's newspaper, will be published on Sunday. Readers in the United Kingdom who would like a copy should email their name and postal address to plt@spuc.org.uk [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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