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News, 15 November 2002

15 November 2002

15 November 2002 Surgeons in London have successfully performed heart surgery on an unborn child. A team led by Dr Helena Gardiner from the centre for foetal care at Queen Charlotte's hospital used a technique developed by specialists at the Hammersmith and Royal Brompton hospitals, also in London, to unblock the pulmonary valve in an unborn baby of only 28 weeks' gestation. The procedure, called pulmonary valvuloplasty, has only been attempted on 14 occasions worldwide, and this was the first time that it had been carried out successfully in the UK. The child, Jamie Maguire, is now 18 months old with a healthy heart and good blood circulation. [BBC News online, 15 November ] The International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF), the world's largest promoter and provider of abortion, is celebrating the 50th anniversary of its foundation by Margaret Sanger. A symposium entitled "Brave and Angry at 50" is being held in New Delhi to celebrate the organisation's work over 50 years. Thoraya Obaid, executive director of the pro-abortion United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), is among the pro-abortion figures to have addressed the meeting. IPPF is based in the UK and links national family planning associations in over 180 countries worldwide. These include the FPA in the UK, the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, and the China Family Planning Association (which is directly involved in coercive abortion). The UK government is a major funder of IPPF. Margaret Sanger, the founder of IPPF, was an avowed eugenicist and racist. [LifeSite and IPPF , 14 November] A British government minister has admitted that 25 unborn babies have been aborted over the last six years simply because of a suspected cleft lip or palate. Hazel Blears, a government health minister, made the revelation in response to a parliamentary question by Bob Spink, a pro-life supporter and a member of the House of Commons. Mr Spink called for a change in the law to ban abortions up to birth on the basis of cleft lips, saying: "The judicial killing of an innocent and viable baby, particularly after 24 weeks, demonstrates a disgusting contempt for the dignity of human life." [Dr Bob Spink MP, 14 November] A provision to allow abortions at US military hospitals has been dropped from a military spending bill at the insistence of the White House. The US Senate passed an amendment to the bill in June intended to repeal the existing ban on the provision of abortion at military facilities, but Douglas Johnson, legislative director of National Right to Life, has revealed that defence secretary Donald Rumsfeld told senators that the whole bill would be vetoed unless the amendment was dropped. The pro-abortion senators who proposed the amendment then backed down and the amendment was dropped from the final version of the bill approved by the Senate earlier this week. [Pro-Life Infonet , 14 November]

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