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Defending life from the moment of conception

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News, 25 May 2001

25 May 2001

25 May 2001 The UK's ProLife Alliance has lost its case against the BBC in the High Court. The party had wanted its uncensored election broadcast shown in Wales, but the judge decided that the BBC had been right not to show what he called "images of an offensive nature". A spokesman for the ProLife Alliance commented: "Abortion is the most widely performed operation in this country ... millions and millions of taxpayers' money has been poured into this horrifying destruction of human life since it was legalised in 1967. If nothing else the voters need to see what they are paying for." [News Wales, 24 May ] The Roman Catholic Church in Canada has condemned destructive research on human embryos. The Catholic Organisation for Life and Family (COLF), an arm of the Canadian bishops' conference, was responding to a discussion paper on embryology published by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. COLF affirmed the full humanity of embryos from the moment of conception and stated: "There is no longer any question that the embryo is a human being. This is not only a well accepted scientific given but the very reason why the human embryo is so valuable to researchers." While acknowledging that stem cells may be taken from babies who have died in miscarriages, COLF urged researchers to concentrate on the potential of adult stem cells. [LifeSite, 24 May ] The Irish Republic's minister for health has expressed his concern at news that more Irish women than ever before obtained abortions in Britain last year. Mr Mícheal Martin was responding to provisional figures released in England on Wednesday which indicated that almost 6,400 women with addresses in the Irish Republic, and another 1,528 from Northern Ireland, had abortions in Britain during 2000. The Irish figure represents an increase of 2.8 percent on 1999. [RTE News, 24 May ] It is reported that President Bush is planning to overrule his secretary of state and appoint a pro-lifer to head the population, refugee and migration bureau. Officials have confirmed that there are two candidates for the post, and Secretary of State Colin Powell is reported to prefer Alan Kreczko, acting assistant secretary of state for population. However, President Bush is thought to be planning to appoint John Klink, who has represented the Holy See at UN conferences on social issues. [AP and New York Times, via Pro-Life Infonet, 24 May; Reuters, via Northern Light, 24 May ] Representatives of 370,000 German doctors have voted to oppose research on human embryos and euthanasia. Delegates at a congress in the city of Ludwigshafen described the use of embryos for genetic research as "ethically unacceptable" and rejected euthanasia by affirming that "to kill [to] order is not a medical practice". [AFP, 23 May; via Pro-Life E-News] An appeals court in Alabama has refused to let a 17-year-old girl have an abortion. The Alabama Court of Civil Appeals confirmed a lower court's decision by three votes to two. Alabama's parental consent law requires girls under 18 to obtain the permission of either their parents or a court before having an abortion. The court may refuse the procedure if it considers that the applicant is not well-informed or that the abortion would not be in her best interests. In this case, the girl had been refused access to a doctor by three medical facilities. [Ledger-Enquirer, 24 May ] The US senator who left the Republican party to become an independent yesterday cited the issue of abortion as one of the factors which led to his decision. Senator James Jeffords from Vermont said that he disagreed with President Bush on very fundamental issues, including "the issues of choice [and] the direction of the judiciary". Commentators have claimed that President Bush will now find it harder to appoint conservative justices to the US Supreme Court because the Democrats now have control of the Senate. [Washington Post, 24 May ; etc.]

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