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Defending life from the moment of conception

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News, 5 January 2001

5 January 2001

5 January 2001 Pro-life campaigners in the UK are preparing to lobby members of the House of Lords ahead of a vote on the government's statutory instrument which would authorise destructive research on cloned human embryos. The instrument was passed by the House of Commons last month, and is expected to be considered by the upper house of parliament later this month. The Catholic Union of Great Britain has organised a meeting for members of the House of Lords on 16 January to put the case against the legislation. [Catholic Herald, 5 January 2001] The Vatican has again condemned the morning-after pill after the Italian prime minister claimed that it did not cause abortions. Prime Minister Giuliano Amato said that the fertilised human ovum did not become a human being until implantation, but Archbishop Javier Lozano Barragán, president of the Pontifical Council for Health Pastoral Care , pointed out that this view went against overwhelming scientific evidence. The archbishop insisted that this evidence made it impossible to compromise on the issue and said: "The morning-after pill is abortifacient; therefore the Church must condemn it without reservation." [EWTN News, 4 January 2001 ] An unborn child has died after his or her mother was robbed in Glasgow, Scotland. The 24-year-old woman, who was 12 weeks pregnant, was robbed as she took a sum of money from her place of work to the post office. She struggled with her assailant and was later told by hospital staff that she had suffered a miscarriage. [The Times, 5 January 2001] Two spokesmen for George W Bush have reaffirmed the US president-elect's opposition to research using human embryos. Ari Fleischer, his press secretary, reiterated the opposition to such research which Mr Bush had expressed during the presidential election campaign. Scott McClelland, another Bush spokesman, was more specific and stated: "The president-elect's position is clear. He opposes federal funds for research that involves destroying living human embryos ... As we have previously indicated, we intend to review all rules and executive orders implemented by the Clinton administration." [AP and Reuters, 4 January 2001; from Pro-Life Infonet] The president of the Catholic Health Association of Canada has condemned so-called assisted suicide after a national newspaper published an article in support of the legalisation of euthanasia. Dr Richard Haughian said that assisted suicide was "an admission that continued living no longer has meaning, that living through suffering has no meaning, and that our resources of human compassion and love have become ineffective." [Catholic News Service, 4 January 2001 ] The New York Times has reported on the increase in competition between abortion providers as the number of abortions in the USA continues to decline. The paper reports that there was a 17.4 percent fall in the number of abortions recorded in the US between 1990 and 1997, and that falling demand for abortions has led to a clustering of facilities in urban areas and a situation in which many abortions now cost less than they did 25 years ago. The paper mentions an abortion clinic in Detroit which has resorted to low lighting, aromatherapy and candles to give it an edge over other clinics in the area. [New York Times, 30 December 2000 ] A national Canadian newspaper has drawn attention to the pro-abortion agenda of the United Nations conference on the rights of children next September, and the under-representation of pro-life lobbyists at the UN. In an editorial entitled "Democracy undermined", the newspaper notes: "... though the delegates will come from far and wide, they will not represent anything close to a true cross-section of world political opinion. Rather, the meeting is expected to be a gathering of activists in the liberal cause ... If all goes as planned, the conference will endorse, among other things, the right of children to be sexually active and receive abortions against the wishes of their parents." [National Post online, 4 January 2001 ]

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