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Defending life from the moment of conception

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News, 2 May 2000

2 May 2000

2 May 2000 Two Democrat senators in Washington have called for a motion re-affirming Roe vs. Wade (the 1973 decision giving women a right to abortion) to resolve conflicts between the Senate and House of Representatives before a bill to ban partial-birth abortions is presented to the President. Any such motion would be likely to fail, but pro-lifers have warned against complacency. The Senate originally affirmed Roe vs. Wade unexpectedly by 51 votes to 47. [Life Advocacy Briefing, 1st May] A British Sunday newspaper has added to recent concerns about creeping euthanasia in hospitals by claiming that disabled and handicapped children and adults are also being secretly allowed to die. The Sunday Mirror highlighted concerns raised by SCOPE, a charity for people with cerebral palsy, and Mencap, a charity which campaigns for the mentally handicapped, that incapacitated people are often denied life-saving treatment. A spokeswoman for the Department of Health said, "We won't tolerate discrimination in the NHS on grounds of age or disability. It cannot be right that a patient feels excluded or ignorant of decisions taken on their behalf." [Sunday Mirror, 30th April] The U.S. Supreme Court is continuing to hear arguments for and against the Nebraska partial-birth abortion ban. In one incident, a lawyer for the abortion practitioner was explaining why the ban serves no constitutionally legitimate purpose when Antonin Scalia, one of the judges, interrupted him and observed, "The state could have been concerned about rendering society callous to infanticide ... the horror of seeing a live human creature outside the womb dismembered." Scalia is a devout Catholic and well-known for his conservative views. [Associated Press, 30th April (from Pro-Life Infonet)] Various British newspapers have reported on the human pro-life chains formed in 85 towns and cities across Britain on Saturday. 20,000 people participated in the event, organised by the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children. The Observer, for example, described how "hundreds lined a two-and-a-half mile route through London. A chain was formed outside the Houses of Parliament..." [The Observer, 30th April, etc.] A leading British journalist has written of the practice within U.K. hospitals where elderly patients are all too often refused treatment, not resuscitated or even killed by the withdrawal of food and water. Writing in the Sunday Times, Melanie Phillips criticised the treatment of the elderly in Britain generally, and added that a culture of ageism has defeated attempts to train humane doctors and nurses. Her full article can be found at [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, which are paraphrased rather than quoted. 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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