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Defending life from the moment of conception

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News, 13 November 2002

13 November 2002

13 November 2002 Legislators in Lithuania have sent a bill to liberalise the law relating to abortion and reproductive technologies back to the government for reworking without specifying any deadline. The move by the Lithuanian parliament yesterday means that legislators will not reconsider the bill before presidential elections are held at the end of the year. A pro-life exhibition was also opened in the parliament building yesterday and has been described as a great success. [Ewa Kowalewska, HLI Europe, 12 November; see digest for 1 November ] A prominent US senator has announced his intention to introduce federal legislation banning all research on human cloning. The office of Senator Sam Brownback confirmed that a bill to prohibit all forms of cloning, including so-called therapeutic cloning, would be introduced next year. The legislation is thought to have a good chance of success after Republicans took control of the Senate following last week's elections. Ari Fleischer, the White House press spokesman, said last week that a total ban on human cloning was a top priority for President Bush. [Financial Times, 13 November ] The US Catholic bishops have reaffirmed their commitment to speak out on the sanctity of human life and work for the reversal of Roe v Wade - the 1973 supreme court decision which declared a constitutional right to abortion. In a statement released yesterday, the bishops praised the achievements of the pro-life movement in the US over the last 30 years, noting that fewer abortions were being performed each year, that more Americans now identified themselves as pro-life, and that the pro-life movement was "brimming with the vibrancy of youth". The bishops then declared: "Roe v Wade cannot stand as the law of this great nation ... We are committed, no matter how long it may take, no matter the sacrifices required, to bringing about a reversal of this tragic supreme court decision." [USCCB statement, 12 November ] The executive director of the pro-abortion United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) has described how she exploits certain Catholic priests in developing countries to undermine the pro-life influence of the Catholic Church. At a Women's International Forum meeting held in New York last week, Thoraya Obaid admitted that UNFPA's agenda was being hampered in Catholic countries, and that UNFPA could not afford to ignore the Church because it spent so much money on healthcare around the world. She then revealed the strategy she employed in South America of courting relationships "with a few priests who will refer women for other family planning options". [C-FAM Friday Fax, 8 November ] The 20th convention of National Lutherans for Life (NLL) has brought together nearly 250 Lutheran representatives from across the US and Canada to discuss how Christians are to speak out against abortion. The convention's theme of "Time to Speak" was elucidated by Rev Dr James I. Lamb, NLL's executive director, in his Sunday morning sermon when he said: "It is time to speak because we, as God's people, have something to say... It is time to speak because we have a message of life and people do not need to turn to death as the solution to their problems." [Lutherans for Life, 12 November; via Pro-Life Infonet ]

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