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Defending life from the moment of conception

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News, 20 June 2002

20 June 2002

20 June 2002 Prominent members of SPUC began a nine-day water-only fast today to draw attention to the true nature of the abortifacient morning-after pill and raise funds for the continuing campaign against it. Paul Tully, the general secretary, and William Jolliffe, a member of the national executive committee, are among those fasting for the whole period. Other SPUC members and supporters are showing their support by fasting for some of the time, such as Catherine Butchers, a 26-year-old London lawyer, who is fasting for five of the days. She said: "I strongly believe that the availability of the abortion-inducing morning-after pill is scandalous and shameful. I am participating in this fast to demonstrate my support for SPUC's campaign and my respect for the fundamental dignity of early human life." [SPUC, 20 June] An opponent of abortion has been tipped to become the next archbishop of Canterbury. It is reported that Dr Rowan Williams, currently the Anglican archbishop of Wales, is the first choice of the Crown Appointments Commission. The final decision on who will succeed Dr George Carey as figurehead of the worldwide Anglican (Episcopal) communion will be made by Tony Blair, the British prime minister, whose decision will then be approved by Queen Elizabeth II. Although Dr Williams is known to be permissive in many ways, he has described his views on abortion as "ultra-conservative" and has condemned the morning-after pill as a form of abortion. [The Times, 20 June ; Southern Cross online, August 2001 ; Daily Telegraph, 10 January 2001] The lower house of the Italian parliament yesterday passed government legislation which would ban all embryo experimentation and the freezing of embryos [see digest for 13 June ]. Members of the Chamber of Deputies approved the bill by 268 votes to 144, although it is thought that it will face more opposition in the Senate. [LifeSite, 19 June ] A member of the US House of Representatives re-introduced a measure to ban partial-birth abortions yesterday. The legislation introduced by Rep. Steve Chabot (the Republican chairman of the House Judiciary Committee's constitution subcommittee) has been condemned by pro-abortionists. The National Abortion Federation declared that the law would "threaten the health of American women". [US Newswire, 19 June , and US Newswire, 19 June ] A health board in Kentucky has narrowly decided against a proposal to refuse federal money for birth control pills on the basis that they can cause early abortions [see digest for 30 May ]. Members of the Northern Kentucky Independent District Health Board were tied 13 to 13 last night on the proposal to refuse federal Title-X funding for birth control, but the board's chairman used his casting vote to reject the proposal. The vote had been viewed closely by both pro-lifers and pro-abortionists across the United States. [EWTN News, 19 June; AP, via Guardian Unlimited, 20 June]

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