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Defending life from the moment of conception

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News, 24 September 2002

24 September 2002

24 September 2002 A bill to legalise abortion in the Philippines has been hit by a lack of political support. A forum in Baguio City to promote the bill was attended by only one local official. Moreover, two of the bill's co-authors have now withdrawn their authorship, while efforts to find co-authors in the senate have run into difficulties. [Inquirer News Service, 24 September ] It is reported that Robbie Williams, the British singing star, was so upset about the abortion of his unborn child [see yesterday's digest ] that he named the child Grace and wrote a song about her which was included on one of his albums. The Sun newspaper quotes a friend of Robbie Williams as saying: "Robbie thinks about the unborn baby a lot. He always thought it would be a girl called Grace and wrote a song about it on one of his albums. She would be three now." [The Sun, 24 September ] A decision to allow a deaf couple in Victoria, Australia, to screen out their IVF embryos who might also be deaf has been criticised by a prominent ethicist. The couple in question want to conceive embryos through IVF and then use pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) to screen out those with a certain gene that causes deafness in one in four carriers. Nick Tonti-Filippini said that the state government's decision was "horrible on a number of levels" because it discriminated against deaf people, could pave the way for PGD to be used to screen out those with many other genetic conditions, and should at least have been debated in parliament. [, 21 September ] The Roman Catholic archbishop of Toronto has delighted pro-lifers by strongly condemning abortion during the Mass which preceded a controversial dinner event for Catholic lawyers. Canadian pro-lifers had expressed concern that Cardinal Aloysius Ambrozic was planning to attend the dinner despite the fact that Joe Clark, a pro-abortion former prime minister, was due to give the keynote address [see digest for 18 September ]. In the event, Cardinal Ambrozic did not attend the dinner but celebrated the Mass beforehand and used his homily to speak of "the suffering of the babies who are being aborted". With Mr Clark sitting in the front pew, the cardinal said: "Somehow the people who are pro-abortion ... think that somehow [unborn babies] don't feel the horrible pain that accompanies every death." [LifeSite, 20 September ] Research carried out in the US has indicated that children whose mothers have a history of abortion are more prone to behavioural problems and experience less emotional support at home that children of mothers who have not had an abortion. Dr Priscilla Coleman, lead author of the study which appears in the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, noted that the results "were not all that surprising when considered in light of previous research linking unresolved grief associated with other forms of perinatal loss, such as miscarriage and stillbirth, to compromised parenting". [Elliot Institute, 18 September ] A federal appeals court in the US has upheld a state law in South Carolina which requires abortion clinics to make clergy available for counselling. A panel of the 4th US Circuit Court of Appeals voted by two to one to overturn the ruling of a lower court that the law violated the separation of church and state in the US constitution. [AP, via, 20 September ]

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