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Defending life from the moment of conception

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News, 12 May 2000

12 May 2000

12 May 2000 President Clinton said yesterday that he expects Roe vs. Wade to be overturned if George Bush Jr. wins the U.S. presidency. The 1973 Supreme Court decision which gave all women a constitutional right to abortion could be overturned if the next president approves the appointment of just two pro-life Supreme Court justices. Already three out of nine justices are in favour of repealing the Roe vs. Wade judgement. [Reuters, 11th May; from Pro-Life Infonet] George Bush Jr. moved ahead of Al Gore, his main rival for the presidency, in a new Wall Street Journal / NBC News poll released last week. The election will be in November. The U.S. House of Representatives yesterday passed a bill on children's health which would authorise the granting of federal funds to adoption organisations to train personnel at federally funded health centres and family planning clinics. An earlier draft of the bill would have required federally funded organisations to provide counselling on all options, including abortion. Representative Jim DeMint described the wording of the bill as a "step in the right direction ... to eliminating the anti-adoption bias in pregnancy counselling". [Congress Daily, 11th May; from Pro-Life Infonet] The U.S. National Conference of Catholic Bishops has again strongly condemned the group calling itself Catholics For a Free Choice. The pro-abortion group has participated in a number of U.N. conferences and was given official recognition by the U.N. last summer. It has been campaigning for a year to have the Holy See removed as a permanent observer at the U.N. due to its consistent pro-life stance. Bishop Joseph Fiorenza, president of the Bishops' Conference, rejected the group's claim to speak as an authentic Catholic voice, and said : "In fact, the group's activity is directed to rejection and distortion of Catholic teaching about the respect and protection due to defenceless unborn human life." The statement follows an earlier condemnation of the group by the bishops in 1993. [Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute, 12th May] The government of Indonesia has expressed concern over the rising number of abortions in the country, noting that 2.3 million women terminated their pregnancies last year alone. Khofifah Indar Parawansa, women's empowerment minister, blamed the high number on casual sex among the young and the prolonged economic crisis which has increased the number of child sex workers. [The Straits Times Interactive, 12th May] The Vatican has announced that the new Archbishop of New York will be Edward M. Egan, 68, currently Bishop of Bridgeport, Connecticut, and formerly an auxiliary bishop in New York. He has been described as down-to-earth and personable but a staunch defender of Catholic Church teachings on abortion and other issues. [The Boston Globe Online&Zenit News Agency, 11th May] As reported in yesterday's digest, the population of India has officially reached one billion. The baby girl taken to be the one billionth has been called Astha, a name which means 'faith', and her parents were said to be delighted. However, Dr Daleep Mukarji, director of the British charity Christian Aid, used the occasion to say, "Population growth threatens the very survival of our planet." [The Mirror&Daily Express, 12th May]

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