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Defending life from the moment of conception

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News, 23 May 2000

23 May 2000

23 May 2000 The bill currently before the Dutch parliament which would formally legalise euthanasia includes a clause giving children as young as 12 the right to elect for euthanasia even against the wishes of their parents. Edward Stourton, a prominent British journalist and broadcaster, has drawn attention to this in an article for today's Daily Telegraph newspaper. He looked at the case of an 18 year-old Dutch girl who had opted for euthanasia with the assistance of her parents, and observed, "But if the Dutch Bill becomes law, the last taboo against euthanasia will go. The change will contribute towards a creeping casualisation of cultural attitudes towards life and death." [Daily Telegraph, 23 May] The United States House of Representatives has defeated another attempt by pro-abortion congressmen to authorise abortion in American overseas military facilities. The House has been asked on a number of previous occasions to sanction such a move, and this time the Sanchez Amendment to the Defense Authorization Act was defeated by 221 votes to 195. [Congressional Record, 18 May; from Life Advocacy Briefing] A doctor in Hong Kong has been found guilty of professional misconduct by his medical council but given only a warning letter after he carried out an unnecessary hysterectomy on a pregnant woman leading to the death of her unborn child. Dr Albert To Chung-fung performed the operation on Mrs Yiu just three hours after her first consultation, despite the fact that he had discovered she was six weeks pregnant. It was then found that the benign tumour was separate from the uterus. Mrs Yiu was not given the option of delaying the operation until the birth of the child. Another doctor testified that, even if cancer were suspected, and if Mrs Yiu had requested an abortion and sterilisation, the operation should have been delayed to give her time to think it over. She will now be seeking substantial compensation. [South China Morning Post, 23 May] The four major television networks in the United States have rejected a pro-abortion advertisement. ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox decided not to screen an advertisement sponsored by the Pro-Choice Public Education Project which featured a fifteen-year-old girl surrounded by three middle-aged men making decisions for her such as which soft drink to buy. The narrator ended with, "You wouldn't want some old guys in Washington to make choices for you. Why let them make the most important choice of all? Fight for your right for a safe and legal abortion." [New York Magazine, 15 May; from Pro-Life Infonet] Controversy has erupted in Lincoln, Nebraska, where two off-duty police officers have joined a regular anti-abortion protest outside a local church. Protesters have targeted Westminster Presbyterian church for three years because a member and former church elder performs abortions in the town and police routinely monitor the protests. Ruben Rodriguez, president of the National Federation of Officers for Life, defended the right of the two policemen to protest, but others are worried about police officers taking sides. [Good Morning St.Louis, 21 May]

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