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Defending life from the moment of conception

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News, 29 July 2002

29 July 2002

29 July 2002 It has been claimed that the introduction of cut-price air travel between Ireland and the English Midlands has led to a big rise in the number of Irish women travelling there for abortions. Reports suggest that the number of women each year from the Republic of Ireland or Northern Ireland who come to the Midlands for an abortion has doubled over the last five years, and that this is due to the low cost of flights from Dublin and other Irish cities to Birmingham. [Sunday Mercury, 28 July] Abortion is illegal throughout the island of Ireland. However, British abortion clinics have been free to advertise in the Irish Republic following a referendum there in 1992. The English High Court today dismissed a test case brought by about 100 women against the third generation contraceptive pill. The women, who brought their case under the Consumer Protection Act, claimed that they were not warned that the pill put them at increased risk of developing blood clots. However, Mr Justice Mackay sided with the pills' manufacturers, who argued that there was no evidence linking their product with an increased risk of clots. [BBC News online, 29 July ] As was made clear in SPUC's recent legal challenge to sales of the morning-after pill, the conventional contraceptive pill can work as an abortifacient. SPUC has recently compiled an information booklet about contraceptive pills and devices which can cause abortions. Plans to create Scotland's largest abortion facility may now be scrapped after women and medical staff came out against the idea. There are currently five abortion clinics in Glasgow, but the city's NHS Board has suggested that all abortions should be centralised in one facility, as has happened in other Scottish towns. However, a report commissioned by the Board and carried out by the pro-abortion Family Planning Association concluded that a centralised facility would become a magnet for pro-life pickets, stigmatise patients and cause doctors whose only duty would be to perform abortions to become depressed. Professor Allan Templeton, honorary secretary of the UK's Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, expressed surprise that medical staff did not like to perform abortions, saying that it was "an interesting area" and could be "enormously satisfying". [Sunday Herald, 28 July ] Pro-abortionists in Toronto have blamed strongly pro-life comments by Catholic bishops for the fact that young pro-lifers mounted prayer vigils outside abortion clinics during the events to mark World Youth Day. Maria Corsillo, an abortion clinic manager, complained that "religion and prayer can be quite deadly weapons in the wrong hands", while Archbishop George Pell of Sydney, Australia, was singled out by pro-abortionists for condemning abortion in an address to young people at the event. [Toronto Globe and Mail, 26 July ] The foreign appropriations committee of the US Senate has voted to weaken the pro-life Kemp-Kasten amendment and reverse the Mexico City policy. The Kemp-Kasten amendment prevents US tax-dollars from going to groups which support or participate in coercive abortions or sterilisations, and was invoked by the US government last week to block federal funding of the pro-abortion United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). The Mexico City policy is similar and blocks US federal aid for groups which either promote or provide abortions overseas. The committee's decision has no chance of changing the law because any change would have to win the support of both houses of Congress as well as President Bush. [Pro-Life Infonet] Meanwhile, Thoraya Obaid, executive director of the UNFPA, has thanked its "staunch supporters" in the European Union for their "generous support". Ms Obaid said that the UNFPA would use the 20 million euros given to it by the EU to provide family planning services in 22 developing countries, and added that "unwanted pregnancies" and "unsafe abortions" would not wait. [, 26 July; via Northern Light ]

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