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Defending life from the moment of conception

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News, 4 April 2001

4 April 2001

4 April 2001 Official figures released in China last week indicated that the imbalance between the number of boys and girls has increased markedly over the last 10 years. The Chinese National Bureau of Statistics revealed that there are now 117 boys for every 100 girls, compared to a ratio of 111 boys to 100 girls in 1990 and an international average of 106 boys to 100 girls. The Chinese authorities have blamed illegal sex-selective abortions for the imbalance, although critics of China's one-child family population control policy have claimed that the policy also leads to widespread infanticide of girls once they have been born. [AFP, via Inside China Today, 28 March ] Latest abortion figures released in Idaho have indicated that the steady decline in the number of abortions over the last 20 years is continuing. There were 867 abortions recorded in Idaho during 1999, the lowest number since the reporting of abortions was first required by law in 1977. The number of abortions in Idaho peaked at 2,706 in 1981, since when there has been a 58% decrease. The number of Idaho residents who obtained abortions in any state fell by a record margin of 7% in 1999, to 1,514. In 1999 there were 76 abortions for every 1,000 live births among residents of Idaho (compared to a US national average of 306 for every 1,000 live births in 1997). David Ripley, executive director of Idaho Chooses Life, said: "People are beginning to realise that abortion is not a viable solution." [The Idaho Statesman, 2 April ] Legislators in the Canadian province of British Columbia have voted for two pro-abortion measures. Bill 8 confirms in law the permission given to pharmacists last December to dispense the abortifacient morning-after pill. This permission had originally been given only by way of provincial regulations. Bill 21 ensures that only the legislature rather than a hospital board has the right to withdraw the provision of abortions. All New Democratic Party legislators supported both bills. Two Liberal party members voted against Bill 8, while four Liberals voted against Bill 21. The Liberal party maintained its official policy of maintaining access to abortion. [Vancouver Sun, 3 April ] A national opinion poll conducted in Mexico has indicated that 70% of the population support the legalisation of abortion in cases of rape, so-called foetal abnormality or when the continuation of a pregnancy poses a threat to the mother's health [sic]. 20% said that it should be illegal in all cases, while 10% believed that there should be no restrictions. The poll was conducted by the Population Council. [Agencia EFE, via Northern Light, 30 March ] A federal appeals court in San Francisco has ruled that the first amendment to the US constitution protects the right of pro-life campaigners to describe abortionists as butchers and criminals. The 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously overturned the judgement of a lower court which had found against a campaign organised by the American Coalition for Life Activists and had awarded $107 million to four doctors and two abortion clinics. [Catholic News Service, 3 April ] 27 of the 28 cloned cows implanted in surrogate mothers as part of a cloning experiment in California have now died, and the 28th is said to be in trouble. Only three calves survived up to birth on 9 March, since when two of them have died. The experiments were undertaken by the Cyagra biotechnology company at the California State University in Chico and the University of California in Davis. Experts have predicted that the cloning failure rate in humans is likely to be even higher than in animals. [AP, from Wired News, 2 April ; also SPUC News Digest for 12 March 2001 ] It has been claimed that Warren Buffett, the American billionaire, has donated millions of dollars to abortion and population control programmes. Steven Mosher, president of the Population Research Institute, said that the projects supported by Mr Buffett had included the promotion of the RU-486 abortion drug and the development of quinacrine hydrochloride pills which have reportedly been used by the Vietnamese government to sterilise women who belong to ethnic minorities. Warren Buffett, who is chairman of Berkshire Hathaway and a prominent stock market investor, is said to be the fourth richest man in the world. [EWTN News, 4 April ; Forbes World's Richest People 2000 ]

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