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News, 13 February 2001

13 February 2001

13 February 2001 The BBC has corrected its explanation of how abortifacient intra-uterine devices (IUDs) work following a request from the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children. On Sunday, the BBC's online news service reported that an IUD, or coil, "works by destroying sperm before they fertilise the egg". In yesterday's SPUC news digest, the point was made that this was inaccurate because IUDs in fact cause early abortions. The BBC has now amended its site to explain that IUDs prevent embryos from implanting in the uterus wall but, in clear contradiction, they are still inaccurately referred to as a "method of contraception". [BBC News online, 11 and 13 February ] Pro-abortionists in the United States have argued that access to abortion is being challenged as never before. In its annual state-by-state survey, the National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League (NARAL) reported that there were 43 anti-abortion measures adopted in 2000, compared with 27 pro-abortion laws. Kate Michelman, president of NARAL, expressed her concern that President Bush intended to appoint pro-life Supreme Court justices who would reverse Roe v Wade, so that "we are faced with the possibility not only of being the generation that won Roe but the one that could lose Roe". NARAL claimed that 11 states were "poised to virtually eliminate legal abortion" if Roe v Wade was overturned. [Reuters, via Yahoo! News, 13 February ] Comprehensive data on abortions carried out in South Dakota during 1999 has been published in accordance with a law passed in 1998. The report reveals that there were a total of 739 abortions carried out, an increase of 9.6 percent on the previous year. Only 1.5 percent of women who had abortions claimed that their pregnancies had resulted from rape or incest. The majority of women were in their 20s, and a quarter had obtained at least one previous abortion. 81 percent were unmarried, and 61 were minors. [AP, 12 February; via Pro-Life Infonet] The Gambia Family Planning Association has described US President George Bush's decision to block federal funding of international pro-abortion organisations as a "Draconian policy" and "a gross infringement of human rights". In a petition handed to the US ambassador in The Gambia, the association claimed that the US policy infringed the agreement reached at the 1994 UN conference on population and development. [Africa News Service, 9 February; via Northern Light ] A man has been sent to prison for life for arranging the murder of an unborn child. Eric Bullock, aged 30, was found guilty of hiring others to beat his girlfriend and kill the baby in her womb. Under Arkansas's 1999 Fetal Protection Act, charges of murder can be brought against anyone who causes the death of an unborn child after 12 weeks' gestation by an act of violence. Mr Bullock, who was not the father of the child, was also sentenced to 20 years for first-degree battery. [AP, 9 February; via Pro-Life Infonet] The Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace (CCODP) has disassociated itself from the pro-abortion World March of Women (WMW). The CCODP supported the march last year despite the fact that access to abortion was included in the WMW's list of aims. The move to disassociate now was made after the WMW called on all its national committees to rally in support of access to abortion following US President George Bush's decision to block federal funding of international pro-abortion groups. [LifeSite, 12 February ]

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