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Defending life from the moment of conception

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News, 26 April 2001

26 April 2001

26 April 2001 United States President George W Bush has given his full backing to the Unborn Victims of Violence Act, which was taken up in the US House of Representatives yesterday and will be voted on today. The text of a White House statement affirms that the President "supports protection for unborn children and therefore supports House passage of [this bill]". The measure, which would make the causing of death or injury to an unborn child a separate federal crime when inflicted in the course of certain other crimes, has also received the support of the National Right to Life Committee and the National Conference of Catholic Bishops. However, Judie Brown, president of the American Life League, argued against the bill. [Pro-Life Infonet and EWTN News, 25 April] The government of Pakistan has accepted further grants from the pro-abortion United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) to limit its population growth. At a meeting with government representatives last Tuesday, the UNFPA pledged another US$18 million for projects aimed at reducing the growth rate from the current rate of 2.2% to 1.9% by 2003. The projects will include the provision of "quality reproductive health service[s]". [LifeSite, 25 April ] According to a United Nations definition, reproductive healthcare entails access to abortion and abortifacient methods of birth control. The Indian Medical Association (IMA) has condemned sex-selective abortions. Dr Vinay Agarwal, joint secretary of the IMA, described prenatal sex determination and the selective abortion of baby girls as "heinous crimes" and said that no support would be extended to any IMA member who was caught performing such acts. Dr Ketan Desai, IMA national president, called for an awareness programme to prevent the practice, and all Indian doctors were asked to refrain from conducting sex-determination tests. [The Hindu Times, 24 April; via Pro-Life E-News] The UK's Liberal Democrats, Britain's third largest political party in parliament, have pledged to ban age discrimination in the national health service in their so-called mini-manifesto for health. [BBC News online, 26 April ] Claims that hospital patients have been denied resuscitation on the grounds of their age have led to charges of creeping euthanasia. President Bush has said that the American people would have to come to an understanding of "the preciousness of human life" before a ban on abortion could be thought of as realistic. In an interview to mark his first three months in the White House, the president also reiterated his support for a federal ban on partial birth abortions but insisted that no pro-life litmus test would be used for appointing supreme court justices. [AP, via ABC28, 26 April ] Christian and Jewish pro-lifers have held a joint conference in New York to explore how they can work together to promote the sanctity of human life. The conference was co-sponsored by the Ave Maria School of Law, a Catholic institution established by Thomas S Monaghan. [CNS, 25 April ] Pro-life legislators in Tennessee hope to amend the state's constitution to contain a direct contradiction of the US Supreme Court's judgement in Roe v Wade. The state senate's judiciary committee voted on Wednesday by five to four in favour of an amendment which states: "There is no fundamental right to abortion in this state." In order for the wording to be incorporated into the constitution, it would have to be passed by both the House and the Senate twice in separate years, and then receive the support of the population in a referendum. [The Tennessean, 25 April ]

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