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News, 13 September 2001

13 September 2001

13 September 2001 Clinics run by Britain's largest private abortion provider in London sent 700 women home after they had taken abortion drugs last year. A conference on abortion organised by the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS) heard yesterday that the women were given the RU-486 abortion drug at the clinics. After two days they returned to the clinic to be given misoprostol, a drug which is used to expel the aborted child from the woman's body. They were then sent home to miscarry in their own homes as part of a so-called 'bedroom abortion' trial scheme. Peter Garrett of the Life charity questioned whether the BPAS had already broken the law by operating the scheme, while Paul Tully, general secretary of SPUC, observed that the introduction of "home-alone abortion" revealed the poor level of care given to women at abortion clinics. Mr Tully also warned that pro-abortionists were promoting the use of RU-486 in the developing world where its side-effects, such as haemorrhage, were potentially fatal. [Daily Mail and SPUC media release , 13 September] An official body of the United Nations has explicitly demanded that Nepal legalise abortion. A report on Nepal prepared by the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR) states: "The Committee urges the State party to take remedial action to address the problems of clandestine abortions, unwanted pregnancies and the high rate of maternal mortality. In this regard, the Committee urges the State party to reinforce reproductive and sexual health programmes, in particular in rural areas, and to allow abortion when pregnancies are life threatening or a result of rape or incest." The CESCR has made its demand despite the fact that the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, which the CESCR was set up to review, does not include any mention of abortion or so-called reproductive health services. [LifeSite, 12 September ] An official report has blamed the so-called millennium bug for the fact that 150 women were incorrectly informed last year that their unborn children were at low risk of having Down's syndrome. The 112-page report on the error at the Northern General Hospital in Sheffield, England, was commissioned by Professor Lindsey Davies, regional director of public health. Professor Davies revealed that as a result of the computer software error, four women later gave birth to Down's syndrome babies [instead of having them aborted]. [Ananova, 13 September ] The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research (MJFF) has offered 2.2 million dollars towards stem cell research. The Foundation, which was founded last year by the American actor who himself has Parkinson's disease, has said that recipients may use the aid on all viable cells, including those extracted from human embryos. As a private organisation, the MJFF is not bound by US federal restrictions on the funding of research using cells extracted in the future from aborted foetuses or embryos. [Reuters, via Yahoo! News, 10 September ] Alanis Morissette, the American musician, will be headlining a Voters for Choice benefit concert in Washington DC on 25 September. The event will raise money to support pro-abortion political candidates. [LAUNCH media news, 10 September ]

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