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Defending life from the moment of conception

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News, 24 May 2000

24 May 2000

24 May 2000 The communications director of the British Pregnancy Advisory Service [the UK's largest abortion provider] has strongly supported moves to make progestogen morning-after pills available over the counter without prescription. Ann Furedi argued that the pills are safer than aspirin or paracetamol and wondered why the manufacturers had applied for prescription-only status in the first place. Her article in the Guardian newspaper ended by asking if the government does not accept that "sex can be for fun". [The Guardian, 24 May] [Readers may be interested to know that an information sheet on the health risks posed by the morning-after pill is available from SPUC - simply drop a note to ] More than 60 pro-life organisations in Argentina have published a seven-point declaration which they hope will guide a series of 'reproductive health' bills being considered by the National Congress, the Buenos Aires city legislature and the provincial legislatures. They warned that in the language of international organisations, 'reproductive health' always includes access to surgical or chemical abortion and attacks on the family. The points included the right to life of the unborn from the moment of conception, the right of health workers to refuse to promote contraceptive methods with probable abortive effects, the right to information on the possible abortive effects of contraceptive methods, and the right of parents to impart sexual education to their children. [Zenit news agency, Buenos Aires, 22 May] Actor Michael J Fox has called for human embryos to be used for stem cell research. The American celebrity, who has been afflicted with Parkinson's disease since 1991, was launching the Michael J Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research. He signalled his intention to speak out on issues which relate to the search for a cure and said of embryo research, "I just want to urge people to not follow a knee-jerk reaction. This is tissue and cells that are going to be thrown away." [Associated Press, from Fox News online, 23 May] A spokesman for Hillary Clinton, American first lady and candidate in the New York Senate race, has attacked a rival candidate for his more conservative views on abortion. Congressman Rick Lazio is pro-abortion but opposes state subsidies for poor women to have abortions and is also in favour of a ban on partial-birth abortions. Mr Lazio insisted that he has a record of supporting abortion, but Mrs Clinton's spokesman, Howard Wolfson, said, "New Yorkers will learn that Rick Lazio isn't really pro-choice. He is multiple choice and never met an abortion restriction he didn't like or vote for." [CBS News online, 23 May]

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