News, 19 February 2002
19 February 2002
19 February 2002 Members of the Mexican national legislature are taking the recent supreme court decision to authorise abortion in certain cases to the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, an autonomous agency of the Organisation of American States. The congressmen, all members of the ruling President Vicente Fox's National Action Party, claim that the supreme court's ruling violated Mexico's pro-life constitution and fundamental human rights. The supreme court declared two months ago that a law passed in 2000 legalising abortion in cases of rape and foetal abnormality was constitutional. [EFE, 18 February; via Northern Light ] The Irish Referendum Commission has confirmed that it will distribute information leaflets on the abortion referendum to every household in the country ahead of the poll on the sixth of next month, though it is not clear what the material will contain. [Irish Independent, 19 February ] Dana Rosemary Scallon has been criticised for her opposition to the proposed change to the constitution by a Catholic bishop and one of her fellow Irish MEPs. Dr John McAreavey, bishop of Dromore, said that he was disappointed that some pro-life campaigners were encouraging a "no" vote, while Mr Brian Crowley, a Fianna Fáil MEP, accused Dana of "trying to confuse the issue". Pro-life leaders worldwide have praised Dana's stance, describing it as "courageous". [ibid. and other sources] Two committees of the pro-abortion Presbyterian Church in the USA have recommended a slight change in the denomination's support for late-term abortion. The social policy committee and committee on litigation have recommended that the church should only support late-term abortions of unborn children who could be born alive if the abortion is "to save the life of the woman, to preserve the woman's health... to avoid fetal suffering as a result of untreatable life-threatening genetic anomalies, or in cases of incest and rape." The recommendation will be considered by the denomination's national assembly in June. [AP, via Bucks County Courier Times, 15 February ] The Christian Medical Association (CMA) in the US has criticised a proposal for a new charter on medical professionalism because it omits the imperative to protect human life. The charter on medical professionalism has been proposed by the American Board of Internal Medicine following several years of preparation. Al Weir, president of the CMA, said that the principles in the charter were vague and ignored "the value and sanctity of human life--a vitally important underlying principle that protects patients". [CNS News, 15 February ] A practising solicitor has been elected the new national chairman of SPUC, the longest-established pro-life campaigning organisation in the world. Mr Robin Haig was elected to the position on Saturday, succeeding Mr Chris Walsh who resigned as national chairman due to poor health. Mr Haig is an active member of his local SPUC branch and has served on SPUC's national council. He is married with four children and lives in Cheshire, England.