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Defending life from the moment of conception

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News, 7 March 2000

7 March 2000

7 March 2000 Nearly one third of women in Britain who get pregnant continue to drink during pregnancy, while one third of their partners smoke during the pregnancy, according to a poll of 2,000 women. It has been suggested, in the light of the Fit for Pregnancy survey, that nearly three quarters of British couples are "unfit to have a baby". [yesterday's Express] A survey for Pregnancy and Birth magazine suggests that almost half of all children are conceived while their parents have drunk at least as much alcohol as would make it illegal for them to drive. [yesterday's Guardian] The British Medical Association (BMA) has decided, after a two-day consultative conference, not to ask for a change in the law to allow doctors to help their patients commit suicide. [yesterday's Herald] The association also wants morning-after pills to be available free of charge from pharmacies. The BMA says that pharmacists should be trained to dispense such pills and must provide a private consultation-area on their premises. [BMA press release, 28 February 2000] A computer-driven machine for committing suicide is to go on display at London's Science Museum. The museum paid Dr Philip Nitschke 1,000 pounds for the equipment, which has been used to give lethal injections to four terminally ill people when euthanasia was briefly legal in Australia's Northern Territory a few years ago. The museum says it is consulting anti-euthanasia groups on the matter. [The Independent website, today] UK health ministry figures suggest that teenage girls are using contraceptive and quasi-contraceptive pills less because they fear the side-effects. Brook Advisory Clinics say that use of the pill has halved in the past decade. A Brook spokeswoman said that girls who refused the contraceptive pill would nevertheless request morning-after pills, which contain large doses of hormones similar to those in contraceptive pills. [BBC website, Friday] Hospitals in Scotland are said to be refusing to abort babies of more than 12 weeks' gestation. Scottish women are said to be travelling to England for terminations. The British Pregnancy Advisory Service plans to open a private abortion-clinic in Scotland charging 400 pounds per termination. [BBC website reported in Saturday's Pro-Life E-News] Mothers in Hamburg, Germany, who do not want their newborn babies can put them through a type of letterbox such that they land on a heated bed and are then looked after. Last year five children in the city died through being abandoned. The scheme has been criticised for encouraging the notion of disposable babies. [today's Mirror and Times] The Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination has agreed that there should be a full hearing on whether a Catholic teacher can refuse to pay his union fees because he believes such payments support abortion. Mr Gerard O'Brien was allegedly suspended for five days for not paying all or some of his dues. He is reported as claiming that organisations such as the National Education Association, to which his union is affiliated, backs abortion. [Associated Press quoted in Saturday's Pro-Life E-News] John Smeaton, national director of the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children will address a pro-life congress in Granada, Spain, early next month. Other speakers will include Cardinal Alfonso Lopez Trujillo, president of the Pontifical Council for the Family, which is organising the congress from the seventh to the ninth of next month. Mr Smeaton will talk about pro-life movements and their relationship with the international defence of vulnerable life. [Zenit, Friday] [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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