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Defending life from the moment of conception

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News, 14 June 2001

14 June 2001

14 June 2001 Pro-lifers won an important victory at the United Nations on Tuesday after a pro-abortion Canadian delegate admitted that the draft text of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child included a right of access to abortion. When asked by the American delegate what was meant by the phrase "equal access to services ... including sexual and reproductive healthcare", the Canadian delegate replied: "...of course-and I hate to use the word-but in 'services' is included abortion." The US delegate then insisted that the phrase be put in brackets to mark it for later negotiations, and other delegates expressed their opposition to the language. The Holy See's delegate expressed his shock and said that the whole document would have to be re-examined. [Pro-Life Infonet, 12 June] A pro-life cabinet minister in Italy's new government has proposed a review of the country's abortion laws. Rocco Buttiglione, minister for European affairs and leader of the small United Christian Democrats, suggested that the consent of fathers should be required before abortions went ahead and that women who agreed to drop plans for an abortion should receive 500 euros [about 305 British pounds] from the government. Mr Buttiglione told a national newspaper that "abortion is the negation of womanhood, a castration and a denial of freedom". Abortion was legalised in Italy in 1978. There were 139,386 abortions recorded in 1999, compared to 234,801 in 1982. [International Herald Tribune, 14 June ; News24, 13 June ; AP and Reuters, via Pro-Life Infonet, 13 June] A five-hour meeting of the Irish Medical Council last night failed to resolve differences over proposed changes to abortion guidelines [see news digest for 8 June]. It is reported that the split on the council corresponds to the division between those elected by the profession and those nominated by colleges, who favour the widening of the guidelines. [Irish Independent, 14 June ] Women who seek abortions in Michigan after next Sunday will have to read information about the procedure on a state website. A new law which comes into effect at the start of next week requires women to receive information about abortion from the state rather than from abortion providers at least 24 hours before the termination. The department of community health's website provides the necessary information and a confirmation form which women must print and show to their doctor before going ahead with an abortion. [Chicago Tribune, 13 June ] The Irish health minister and the Irish opposition health spokesman have described the imminent arrival of the Women on the Waves floating abortion clinic as a publicity stunt. Michael Martin, the minister, said that the government would not be bullied by the stunt, while Gay Mitchell of Fine Gael said that Ireland should now prove its pro-life stance by funding an independent agency to support those in crisis pregnancies. [Unison and , 13 June] 63 percent of recorded pregnancies in the United States in 1997 resulted in a live birth. A report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicates that there were 6,192,000 recorded pregnancies in 1997, about 600,000 fewer than in 1990. 63 percent ended in a live birth, 21 percent in abortion, and 16 percent in miscarriage or stillbirth. Seven percent of pregnancies among married women ended in abortion, compared to 41 percent among unmarried women. [M2 Communications Ltd, 13 June; via Northern Light ] Priests for Life, an American pro-life organisation, has called on pro-abortion groups to join them in seeking an investigation into abortion clinic safety. Fr Frank Pavone, director of Priests for Life, said that abortion was the most frequently performed but least regulated surgical procedure in the US. He claimed that, if the pro-abortionists did not seek an investigation, they would "show themselves to be more protective of the abortion industry than of women's lives and health". [EWTN, 13 June ]

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