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News, 15 October 2002

15 October 2002

15 October 2002 It is reported that the head of the pro-abortion United Nations Population Fund has met officials of the World Bank and religious figures in London to discuss how to use religion in its efforts to limit population size. Ms Thoraya Obaid said her organisation wanted to use the influence of religion "in the minds and hearts of people to deliver the message of development and reduce poverty around the world". [LifeSite, 11 October; AP, via Yahoo! News, 9 October ] The reports do not indicate which religious figures met with Ms Obaid. A statement on moral issues including abortion which was agreed by the Catholic bishops of Latin America last month has been released by the Vatican. The statement, which is signed by the presidents of the Latin American bishops' council, the Pontifical Council for the Family and the Pontifical Commission for Latin America, declares that abortion and attacks on the family undermine society and "violate the sovereignty and cultures of our peoples". [CNS News Briefs, 11 October ] New York City's legislative council has introduced three bills aimed at promoting abortifacient morning-after pills. The bills would seek to increase awareness of so-called emergency contraception, force clinics for sexually transmitted diseases to provide the morning-after pill, and oblige all city-funded hospitals to provide the morning-after pill to alleged rape victims. A city council survey found that 55% of pharmacies in New York City provided the morning-after pill, although the level of provision varied between 68% in Manhattan and 37% in Queens. [AP, via Boston.com, 10 October ] Taiwan's department of health has been urged to publish up-to-date abortion statistics in the face of media reports that the abortion rate among teenage girls rockets at the end of summer. The last set of official abortion statistics for Taiwan relate to 1996, when there were around 300,000 abortions [in a territory of only 23 million people]. Some experts have claimed that as many as 200,000 illegal abortions are additionally performed each year, although pro-abortion campaigners are notorious for grossly exaggerating illegal abortion figures. [Taipei Times, 15 October; SPUC ]

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