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Defending life from the moment of conception

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News, 13 June 2001

13 June 2001

13 June 2001 The pro-abortion Family Planning Association (FPA) was this morning given leave by the High Court in Belfast to bring a judicial review of Northern Ireland's abortion laws. Lord Justice Kerr said that the FPA's argument that the health department should have issued guidelines stipulating when abortions were allowed was an arguable case. He deferred a decision on whether to allow SPUC, the Roman Catholic Church and others to intervene. Mrs Betty Gibson, organiser of SPUC Northern Ireland, said: "Let there be no doubt about the fact that the aim of the FPA's action is to liberalise abortion law here. The FPA is part of the International Planned Parenthood Federation, which is committed to introducing abortion on demand throughout the world by all possible means ... We are deeply concerned by this development and will do all we can to represent the will of Northern Ireland's people by arguing against the FPA case." [BBC News online and SPUC media release, 13 June ] The Dutch government has suggested that doctors who perform abortions on the floating abortion facility currently on its way to Ireland could face prosecution. The Dutch health minister revealed that the vessel did not have a licence to perform abortions and Benk Korthals, the justice minister, said that doctors found guilty of illegal abortions could face up to four and half years' imprisonment. The Women on the Waves foundation, which was founded by Rebecca Gomperts, a Dutch abortionist, had announced that it would only provide Irish women with chemical abortions [see news digest for 11 June]. However, a spokesman for the Dutch justice ministry said that he was not aware of any legal difference between chemical and surgical procedures. [BBC News online, 13 June ] Gujarat has become the latest Indian state to impose a two-child family policy. The state cabinet of Gujarat in western India announced last Thursday that families with more than two children would soon be deprived of state welfare. Penalties for large families in other Indian states include the denial of voting rights, government jobs and admission to government schools. [EWTN, 12 June ] Dana Rosemary Scallon, an independent Irish pro-life member of the European parliament, has been excluded from the Fine Gael delegation after opposing the Treaty of Nice. Dana urged Irish voters to reject the treaty in last week's referendum because she feared that it could pave the way for the legalisation of abortion in Ireland [see news digest for 24 May]. The treaty was rejected by 54 percent of those who voted. The European People's Party is a bloc in the European parliament which includes both Dana and Fine Gael. Dana said she would fight the eviction, but would not stay where she was not wanted. [Irish Independent, 13 June ] A draft document on child welfare due to be debated at the United Nations this week contains no fewer than 11 veiled and unveiled references to abortion, according to a prominent pro-life lobbyist. The final form of the document will be agreed at a special session of the UN general assembly later in the year. Austin Ruse, president of the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute, said: "This is a document that supposedly advances the welfare of children. It shows instead the near obsession of the radicals to spread abortion around the world, even among children." Mr Ruse also observed that much of the pro-abortion pressure came from European Union governments. [US Newswire, 12 June ] A man accused of killing his girlfriend's unborn child in a drunken rage is to stand trial for murder. Prosecutors in San Diego, California, claim that Steve Erwin Robinson Jr, aged 24, killed the child by repeatedly kicking his girlfriend in the stomach at their home. The accused man could face life in prison. [San Diego Metro, 12 June ] A consortium of seven unnamed organisations is reported to be planning to produce an inexpensive form of the abortifacient morning-after pill for distribution in up to 15 developing countries. The news was in Network, the quarterly bulletin of Family Health International based in the United States. The same publication explains to African readers how to take multiple birth control pills to prevent a pregnancy within 48 to 72 hours of unprotected sex, and erroneously asserts that this could not cause an early abortion. [Africa News Service, 12 June; via Northern Light ]

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