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Defending life from the moment of conception

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News, 20 February 2001

20 February 2001

20 February 2001 Spanish pharmacists have been urged to refuse to dispense the abortifacient morning-after pill. Responding to the news that the morning-after pill would soon be distributed in Spain through pharmacies, José Carlos Areses, president of the Spanish Association of Catholic Pharmacists, called on his colleagues to become conscientious objectors for the cause of life. He said: "In the face of the culture of hedonism and of yielding to everything, a pharmacist must have a very clear attitude: life above everything else, from the beginning until the end." Stressing the abortifacient effect of the morning-after pill, Señor Areses lamented the substitution of surgical abortion by chemical abortion and observed that large economic interests lay behind the promotion of the drug. [Zenit , 19 February] Police in Essex, England, have dropped their 18-month investigation into a nurse who was accused of hastening the deaths of 18 seriously ill children. Miss Elaine Chase, a nurse for 30 years, was relieved at the news and insisted: "I don't believe in playing God. I am a nurse, not God." Miss Chase has now been arrested on suspicion of stealing and supplying controlled drugs and has been released on police bail. [Southend Evening Echo, 19 February] The provincial government of Ontario, Canada, is to fund the provision of the abortifacient Plan B morning-after pill to those on low incomes or in special care. The Ontario Drug Benefit Program will provide for the drug from 7 March. It is also covered by public programmes in the Canadian provinces of Quebec and British Columbia. [LifeSite, 19 February ] Police in Hungary have said that a 23-year-old nurse whom they arrested last Saturday has admitted to the so-called mercy killings of 21 elderly people during her night shifts at a hospital in Budapest. The nurse has been accused of killing 40 patients in critical conditions. Euthanasia is illegal in Hungary. [AFP, 19 February; from Pro-Life Infonet] The president of the Philippines has emphasised her support for natural family planning [as opposed to artificial contraception and abortifacient methods of birth control]. Addressing the Asia Pacific Conference on Reproductive Health, President Macapagal-Arroyo told delegates from 21 countries that religious and cultural values should be preserved. While acknowledging that people should be able to make informed choices, the President said: "I am glad ... that efforts have already been made to develop a more reliable natural family planning method." [The Manila Times, 16 February ] Pro-lifers in the USA have objected to assertions that the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) was not involved in the provision of abortions in third world countries. Mark DeYoung, director of the World Life League, noted that the UNFPA admitted to distributing abortifacient morning-after pills and described the body as "one of the world's most aggressive providers of chemical abortions". [EWTN News, 19 February ] An American legal expert has warned that current US laws leave the way open for human embryos to be patented. Addressing the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Professor Lori Andrews of the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago said that biotech companies could apply genetic engineering technology to cure an unborn child of some genetic anomaly, and then patent the child whose genetic code they had altered. [United Press International, 18 February ]

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