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Defending life from the moment of conception

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News, 10 January 2001

10 January 2001

10 January 2001 Marie Stopes International (MSI), the abortion provider, has placed advertisements for its new pro-abortion website on billboards and in magazines across the UK. In its press release, MSI explained that the initiative was in response to "the vast number of anti-abortion websites containing distorted information and shocking images". A spokesman for SPUC rejected this claim and observed that the MSI campaign proved "that the pro-abortionists are becoming ever more desperate to get their message across". The SPUC spokesman continued: "The campaign emphasises choice, but in fact it is a campaign against freedom of speech and information. It is a tacit admission that pro-lifers have truth on their side, and that many women think twice about aborting their unborn child when faced with the reality of what abortion entails. Every surgical abortion stops a baby's heart from beating, and this is the truth which MSI wants to hide." [MSI, via CNSNews, 9 January; SPUC information office, 10 January] The Methodist church in Great Britain has given its official support to the distribution of abortifacient morning-after pills to girls at school. Rev David Deeks, Methodist spokesman on church and society affairs, issued a statement in which he endorsed the government's strategy to reduce teenage pregnancies and claimed that availability of the morning-after pill was in the "best interests" of teenagers who had engaged in underage sex. Leaders of the Catholic Church in Britain have condemned the morning-after pill, and Dr Rowan Williams, Anglican archbishop of Wales, has also opposed the drug because it causes early abortions. The Church of England has made no official statement on the subject. [Daily Telegraph, 10 January] The president of Argentina has committed himself to the defence of life from the moment of conception to natural death. In a letter to Pope John Paul II, whom he will meet in April, President Fernando De La Rua wrote: "We reaffirm our commitment [to the defence of] life, and we join the voices of those who want life to be respected from conception until its natural end. We reiterate our denial of cloning, genetic manipulation, euthanasia and capital punishment." [EWTN News, 8 January ] Celine Dion, the Canadian singer, has spoken of how a Catholic priest saved her life by persuading her mother not to have her aborted. Celine Dion was the 14th child in her family and her mother was initially devastated when she found out about the pregnancy. However, the priest "told her that she had no right to go against nature" and Ms Dion said: "So I have to admit that in a way, I owe my life to that priest." [EWTN News, 10 January ] Celine Dion and her husband are currently expecting their first child as a result of in vitro fertilisation treatment. [Daily Record, 18 December 2000] A US district court judge was due to begin hearing testimony yesterday as to whether the state of Ohio's latest ban on partial birth abortions is constitutional. The law has been carefully constructed to include an exception for when the health of the mother is thought to be at risk [an exception which was absent from Nebraska's law which was thrown out last year by the US Supreme Court]. Ohio was the first American state to attempt to ban partial birth abortions in 1995. [Cleveland Live, 7 January ] A nationwide opinion poll conducted by Zogby in the United States has indicated that over half of the population believes that abortion is manslaughter. 51% of respondents agreed that "abortion destroys a human life and is manslaughter", while 35% agreed instead with the statement that "abortion does not destroy a life and is not manslaughter". [Reuters/Zogby, 8 January; via Yahoo! News ]

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