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Defending life from the moment of conception

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News, 28 November 2000

28 November 2000

28 November 2000 It has been reported in the British media that the government might rush through measures to make the morning-after pill available nationwide from pharmacists without a doctor's prescription before Christmas. The Medicines Commission has already recommended reclassification of Levonelle-2 as an over-the-counter drug, and a spokesman for the Department of Health refused to rule out the prospect that the necessary procedures could be rushed through parliament before the Christmas break. [Daily Mail, 27 November] The Liberal party of pro-abortion Canadian prime minister Jean Chrétien won a third consecutive parliamentary majority in yesterday's general election. According to preliminary results, the Liberals increased their number of seats in parliament from 161 to 172, having needed only 151 to achieve a majority. This represented 41 percent of the popular vote, while the Alliance party of Stockwell Day [who is opposed to abortion] was reported to have won 25 percent of the votes. Mr Chrétien confirmed that he intended to serve his full five-year term, despite suggestions earlier in the campaign that he would step down after two or three years. [CNN, 27 November ] The Catholic bishops of England and Wales yesterday emphasised their opposition to the cloning of human embryos in the face of the probable vote on the issue this week in the Houses of Parliament. They described the so-called therapeutic cloning of embryos as both "immoral and unnecessary". Cardinal Winning, archbishop of Glasgow and head of the Catholic Church in Scotland, added his voice to that of the English and Welsh bishops, pointing out that the measures would mean that "tiny cloned human beings are killed before they come to birth." [The Daily Telegraph, 28 November] A survey published today in the UK by the Human Genetics Commission suggests that about 70 percent of the public feel that the regulations governing scientific development in genetics are insufficient. The report also states that one in three people consider genetic research per se to be unethical. Lady Kennedy, QC, chairman of the Commission, commented that the findings showed that "most of us are nervous and confused about where technology might be leading." [The Daily Telegraph, 27 November] Members of the French national assembly are expected to vote this week on proposals to increase the legal limit for abortions from 10 to 12 weeks. Reports suggest that the proposals will pass easily, despite condemnations from the Catholic Church as well as leaders of France's three million Arabs and Muslims. There are presently about 220,000 abortions carried out every year in France, one of the highest rates in Europe. [UPI, via, 28 November ] Trials of the [abortifacient] selective tubal occlusion procedure (STOP) as a method of birth control in the United States have produced very good results, according to the Women's Health Research Center in Phoenix, Arizona. Conceptus, the company which is developing the technique, now hopes to carry out further trials before seeking approval for the technique from the US Food and Drug Administration. The procedure reportedly involves the surgical insertion of metal coils into a woman's fallopian tubes. [Reuters Health, 21 November ] The outgoing executive director of the pro-abortion United Nations Population Fund has spoken about her organisation's achievements during her 14 years in office. Nafis Sadik said: "Now every country in the developing world has family planning as part of its health service, and today every country now has a reproductive health programme." [UNPF promotes abortion and abortifacients under the guise of reproductive health.] [LifeSite News, 27 November ] Findings from a Swedish study have suggested that pregnant women with high levels of haemoglobin face nearly double the risk of having a stillborn child. In the United States alone, there are about 250,000 stillbirths each year; in over 80,000 of these the causes are unknown. This study by Dr Olof Stephansson and colleagues at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm suggests that the careful monitoring of pregnant women with high haemoglobin levels may reduce the number of deaths. [Las Vegas Sun, 21 November ]

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