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Defending life from the moment of conception

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News, 18 September 2002

18 September 2002

18 September 2002 A UK expert has suggested that it might be safer for pregnant women to abstain from drinking alcohol altogether. Professor Peter Hepper of Queen's University in Belfast made his comments after new research by scientists at San Diego State University in the US indicated that babies whose mother drank heavily during pregnancy could develop a wide range of physical and neurodevelopmental problems, including subtle brain damage that slows reaction time. Professor Hepper said: "If it was proven that drinking any amount of alcohol in pregnancy caused you to be born with the tip of your finger missing - something that would hardly affect your life at all - then it would be banned instantly. However, even though it might be affecting your brain development, there is no similar response." [BBC News online, 18 September ] It is reported that the case of a nurse who is standing trial in the Netherlands accused of the murders of 13 patients has raised fears about possible abuses of the Dutch euthanasia law. Ms De Berk allegedly killed her victims by way of lethal injection, and concerns have been raised that the law passed last year which allows doctors to end the lives of patients in the same way could make it easier for medical staff to get away with murder. [Guardian, 18 September ] Canadian pro-lifers have welcomed the news that Cardinal Aloysius Ambrozic, archbishop of Toronto, will not be attending a dinner at which a prominent pro-abortionist was due to give the keynote address. It had been reported that Cardinal Ambrozic would be attending the Red Mass dinner event organised by a Catholic lawyers' guild despite the fact that Joe Clark, a pro-abortion former prime minister who claims to be a Catholic, was the guest speaker. Jim Hughes, national president of Campaign Life Coalition Canada, had expressed concern that the cardinal's attendance would have been in contradiction to his firm pro-life stance which he re-affirmed at the recent World Youth Day. [LifeSite, 17 September ] Pro-abortionists in the United States are mounting yet another campaign against one of President Bush's judicial nominations on account of the nominee's pro-life views. It is reported that the campaign against the nomination of Michael McConnell for the 10th US Circuit Court of Appeals is the fifth such campaign, and this time even the justice department has become involved in a bid to secure senate approval of the nomination. Kate Michelman, president of the National Abortion Rights Action League, complained: "This nominee stands alone in having devoted much of his prolific and distinguished career to eradicating a woman's right to choose [abortion]. Indeed, he has gone so far as to suggest that the courts should declare embryos persons under the Fourteenth Amendment [which guarantees certain rights for American citizens]." [Guardian, 17 September; CNSNews, 18 September ]

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