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Defending life from the moment of conception

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News, 28 June 2002

28 June 2002

28 June 2002 SPUC has warned that British government plans to allow schools to distribute contraceptive pills to pupils in an attempt to reduce teenage pregnancy rates will result in more unborn children losing their lives. John Smeaton, SPUC's national director, said: "Many of the birth control devices which are being given to pupils can cause abortion. These include morning-after pills which can cause an embryo to be expelled from the womb.... Morning-after pills are central to the government's teen-pregnancy campaign, yet they're not working. Although morning-after pills are becoming more and more freely available, the trend in the recorded abortion rate is inexorably upwards, and those figures don't include the unborn children who are destroyed by the pills themselves." SPUC has just prepared a booklet on the types of birth control which can cause abortion. [SPUC, 28 June] A coalition of 16 Australian MPs has claimed that loopholes in the federal legislation to regulate in vitro fertilisation and embryonic stem cell research could allow embryo farming. Guy Barnett, a Liberal party senator, warned that section 56 did not make it clear that federal law took precedence over state law, while section 25 on the use of embryos could be expanded by a future federal government to allow the creation of embryos solely for research. The legislation was introduced in parliament yesterday, but will not be debated until later this year. [News Interactive, 26 June ] Britain's General Medical Council (GMC) has heard allegations that a woman was made infertile by an abortion performed on her 20 years ago at the request of her husband but without her consent. Heather August, a former nurse, claims that her ex-husband, a consultant dermatologist, asked Dr Patrick Murphy, a gynaecologist, to carry out the abortion in 1979. Mrs August then suffered an abdominal pregnancy. The hearing continues. [Sentinel Reporter ] An American organisation has claimed that abortion providers are attempting to circumvent pro-life laws in developing countries such as Peru by promoting the use of manual vacuum aspirators (MVAs) under the guise of 'miscarriage treatment' or 'uterine evacuation'. Dr Steve Mosher, president of the Population Research Institute, cited a letter to the Peruvian health minister from Pathfinder, an international pro-abortion group, and others which misleadingly promoted MVA as a form of "care for miscarriage". Dr Mosher observed that MVA was not only an immoral method of abortion, but was also extremeley unsafe for women. [LifeSite, 27 June ; etc.] An Australian professor has claimed that Australia's teenage abortion rate is second only to that of the United States in the developed world. Professor Roger Short of Melbourne University said that there were 23.9 abortions per 1,000 Australian teenagers each year, compared with 32.1 per 1,000 in the US. In South Australia, the only state to publish regular figures, there are more abortions than live births among teenagers.[The Age, 23 June ] A pro-life doctors' association in South Africa has accused the government of ignoring warning signs before legalising abortion. Doctors for Life claim that the government should have realised that most hospitals would be either unwilling or unable to perform abortions. A survey of doctors in 1997 found that 82% were opposed to abortion, and today most hospitals still lack the equipment necessary to determine the gestational age of an unborn child, which is a legal requirement before an abortion can be carried out. [, 27 June ]

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