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Defending life from the moment of conception

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News, 12 November 2001

12 November 2001

12 November 2001 The leader of English and Welsh Catholics has expressed concern at the level of UK government funding for hospices. Speaking at Thursday's conference of Help The Hospices, Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor called for "more realistic and secure" funding for the 185 independent and charitable hospices. He welcomed a government promise to spend £50 million by 2004 improving palliative care. The cardinal pointed out that volunteers had raised more than £200 million for hospices and that the government gave 30% of funding for adult hospices and five percent for children's hospices. [Independent Catholic News, 9 November ] Inconsistencies have been highlighted between two United Nations reports on population and development. Footprints and Milestones , which was issued on Wednesday by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), claims that population-growth causes human misery and environmental ruin. The document advocates greater access for women to reproductive services including abortion. By contrast, World Population Monitoring 2001: Population, Environment and Development from the population division of the UN's Department of Economic and Social Affairs shows how increases in global output have significantly outstripped the rise in the number of people, quality of life in low-income countries has improved, food is not scarce and cutting population would not significantly alleviate environmental problems. The discrepancies were pointed out by the Catholic Family&Human Rights Institute . Mr Joseph Chamie, head of the UN division which published the optimistic report, is quoted as saying that, as a fund, the UNFPA has an agenda to pursue while his own department does not engage in advocacy. [Friday fax, Catholic Family&Human Rights Institute, 9 November] The Republican candidate for a US senate seat in Illinois has apologised for comparing pro-life politicians with the Taleban [see news digest for 6 November ]. Mr William Donohue, president of the Catholic League, has said that Mr James Oberweis, the candidate, had said sorry for what he said and would never make a similar remark. [LifeSite, 9 November ] In our first story in the email version of Friday's digest, we should have said that the proposed legislative moves concerning UK government funding for population control programmes apply only to coercive programmes. The web version of Friday's digest has been amended accordingly.

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