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Defending life from the moment of conception

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News, 8 February 2001

8 February 2001

8 February 2001 A legislator in South Africa's Eastern Cape province has called for police action to stop aborted unborn children's being thrown into sewers. Christian Martin, of the United Democratic Movement (UDM), told the provincial legislature that the police should follow up every case in which a foetus had been found in the provincial disposal works, and that those concerned should receive counselling in order to appreciate the seriousness of their actions. [allAfrica.com, 6 February ] A heavily pregnant woman is thought to have smothered her six-year-old son to death before killing herself and her unborn child. Lucy Anne MacMartin, who was seven months pregnant, was found in the garage of her home in Lancashire, England, with her throat slashed. Police do not believe that anyone else was involved. [The Times, 8 February] Pope John Paul II has urged the bishops of Albania to fight against abortion. In his address to the bishops during their ad limina visit to the Vatican the Pope said: "It is also indispensable ... to fight against the grave evils which, unfortunately, afflict your country as well, such as abortion ... Do not tire of firmly raising your voice in defence of life from its conception." [Vatican Information Service, 3 February; LifeSite, 6 February ] The legislature in Virginia has passed a measure which requires doctors to offer detailed information about abortion and its alternatives at least 24 hours before an abortion is carried out. The state senate voted for the legislation by 24 to 16 after the House of Delegates approved it last week. Governor James S Gilmore III is now expected to sign the measure into law. Virginia legislators passed a law requiring teenagers to notify their parents before an abortion four years ago, and pro-lifers are now considering how to pass an effective ban on partial-birth abortions. [Zenit news agency, 7 February ] Dr Philip Nitschke, the Australian euthanasia proponent, has announced plans to test the suitability of barbiturates which are no longer available for the taking of life. Dr Nitschke said that many Australians who had attended his euthanasia clinics had hoarded supplies of the drugs. He added that he was unsure of the legal ramifications of his plan. [ABC News, 5 February] Both US President George W Bush and Vice-president Dick Cheney have reaffirmed their opposition to abortion over the past two weeks. During a private meeting with Catholic leaders in Washington, DC, reporters heard President Bush link his faith-based social services initiative to the goal of reducing abortions. He said that there was a need for "a president and an administration leading our nation to understand the importance of life". He also criticised the prejudicial language often used when discussing life issues, observing: "...the language of the issues is never for life, it's always anti-somebody's right." Vice-president Dick Cheney refused to rule out an attempt to overturn Roe v Wade during a television interview, and said that the administration would work to promote alternatives to abortion as well as sexual abstinence. [Pro-Life Infonet, 2 February] The Catholic archbishop of Winnipeg, Canada, has asked all clergy and parishioners in his 92 parishes to oppose public funding for a private abortion clinic owned by Dr Henry Morgenthaler, the prominent abortionist. Archbishop V James Weisberger has suggested a letter-writing campaign and petition. He has also himself written to Manitoba's health minister urging him to decide against the funding. [Broadcast News, 6 February; from Pro-Life E-News] The actress who plays Captain Kathryn Janeway on Star Trek: Voyager, the American television programme, has been awarded the Remarkable Pro-Life Woman award by Feminists for Life. Kate Mulgrew put her daughter up for adoption instead of having an abortion when she became a young mother, and was reunited with her child two years ago. The actress commented: "...women often don't believe that they can survive nine months of pregnancy and place the child with an adoptive family. Life is not always easy [but] life is sacred to me on all levels ... abortion does not compute with my philosophy." [LifeSite, 6 February , etc.]

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