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Defending life from the moment of conception

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News, 23 July 2002

23 July 2002

23 July 2002 Pro-lifers in the UK are delighted that a life-member of the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC) has been chosen as the next archbishop of Canterbury. It was announced today that Tony Blair, the British prime minister, had recommended Dr Rowan Williams, currently the Anglican archbishop of Wales, to Queen Elizabeth II as the next archbishop of Canterbury and figurehead of the worldwide Anglican communion. John Smeaton, national director of SPUC, said: "The Archbishop has been a life member of SPUC for many years; we are delighted to see that someone of such positive pro-life views has been recommended for the most senior position in the Church of England; the example he gives of Christian witness to the sanctity of human life whether unborn or born will inspire other Anglicans throughout the world to recognise that society must foster a loving and supportive environment for the weakest and most vulnerable of the human race. The recognition that human life begins at conception is the only sure foundation for the respect for human life at any age that was so wanting in so much of the 20th century. Dr Williams' appointment may be part of a new beginning in the 21st century." [SPUC and BBC , 23 July] It has been confirmed that the US administration of President Bush has decided to block federal funding of the pro-abortion United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). It was announced yesterday that US money for family planning and reproductive health (including $34 million already allocated for this purpose by the US Congress) will be spent through the US Agency for International Development (USAID) rather than through the UNFPA after the White House concluded that the UNFPA funded coercive abortion programmes in China. The UN and Chinese government officials have criticised the decision, but pro-lifers have welcomed it. Anthony Ozimic, political secretary of SPUC in the UK, applauded the decision and called on member states of the European Union to give serious consideration to following the American lead. Mr Ozimic added: "The days of international population control are numbered. The world is beginning to recognise the looming threat of under-population which has been created by an anti-child mentality." [State Department Daily Briefing, 22 July , BBC, 23 July and SPUC ] The Roman Catholic bishops of six countries in central Africa have urged their societies to treat women as the equals of men by prohibiting practices which serve to exploit women, such as abortion. The bishops of Gabon, Cameroon, Chad, Equatorial Guinea, Congo and the Central African Republic denounced discrimination against women and "serious hindrances still blocking the promotion [of women] and their potential" at their tri-annual conference in Gabon.. They cited abortion, genital mutilation, forced marriages and other exploitative practices as examples of the ways in which prejudice against women was manifested. [News24, 23 July ] Canada's leading pro-life organisation has called for an abortion moratorium during Pope John Paul II's visit to the country this week for the World Youth Day in Toronto. Jim Hughes, national president of Campaign Life Coalition, said: "We are calling on every hospital and abortion facility in Canada and particularly in Toronto to hold a life-affirming moratorium on abortion during this visit by the Holy Father ... This man, who embodies the ideals society so desperately desires, stands firm against any attacks on human life in every stage of development." [LifeSite, 22 July ]

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