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Defending life from the moment of conception

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News, 24 July 2002

24 July 2002

24 July 2002 The European Union has announced that it will replace the money which the US government has denied to the pro-abortion United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) on account of its involvement with forced abortions in China. The Guardian newspaper in Britain reports that the European Commission will provide €32m (about £20.3m) for sexual and reproductive health projects in 22 countries run by the UNFPA and the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF), the world's largest abortion provider. Demands for the EU to fill the funding gap left by the pro-life foreign aid policies of President Bush's US administration have been led by Claire Short, the UK's international development secretary. [The Guardian, 24 July ] Pro-lifers have marched through the streets of Nairobi in Kenya condemning abortion as "silent murder of the defenceless". The campaigners urged the government to crack down on illegal abortion facilities and introduce tough laws to protect unborn life. Kenya's abortion law is based on the Offences Against the Person Act 1861, passed by the UK parliament when Kenya was part of the British empire. The Kenyan government has previously stated that it supports a liberalisation of the law. [The Nation, via Pro-Life Infonet, 21 July; SPUC] The government of Malta has reaffirmed its absolute rejection of abortion in a letter to the secretary general of the European parliament. The letter, which was handed over by Victor Camilleri, Malta's permanent delegate to the European Union, constituted an official response to the European parliament's decision to adopt the pro-abortion Van Lancker report [see digest for 3 July ]. The letter stated that "not only is abortion illegal in Malta, but successive governments... have been strongly committed to retaining the legal prohibition". The letter also observed that abortion law was not within the competence of the EU, and concluded by insisting that Malta would "continue to advocate its strong determination against abortion as a faithful reflection of the values of the Maltese people" when full EU membership was achieved. [The Times of Malta, 20 July ] It is reported that China now has the world's largest supply of embryonic stem cells. The Straits Times reports that China has left other countries behind in the development of cloning technology, and that at least five laboratories in China are now engaged in the cloning of human beings for research purposes. The Chinese biotechnology industry has received heavy investment in the absence of any laws to control embryo research. [Navakal, Hong Kong, 20 July ] A Peruvian congressional committee has concluded that the pro-abortion United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) supported a programme of mass forced sterilisations organised by the former dictator Alberto Fujimori. The committee's report states that UNFPA assistance in the National Population Programme increased in the years between 1995 and 2000. [PRI, 22 July]

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