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Defending life
from conception to natural death


News, 27 September 2002

27 September 2002

27 September 2002 The King of Nepal has signed a bill to legalise abortion up to 12 weeks gestation and up to 18 weeks in the case of a pregnancy resulting from rape or incest. The bill to legalise abortion in Nepal was first introduced into the Nepalese parliament in 1996 and its drafting funded by the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF), the world's largest abortion promoter. In March 2002 the bill was passed by the parliament (see news digest for 18 March) and is now law. The Family Planning Association of Nepal (FPAN) say they will "focus on ensuring that [abortion] is made available to all ...irrespective of their age or marital status." [IPPF News 27 September 2002]. A study by the pro-abortion Global Health Council has concluded that abortion is the leading cause of maternal death around the world. The study, conducted over a six-year period from 1995 to 2000, claims that deaths from unsafe and unsanitary abortions average nearly 75,000 per year worldwide, out of a total of 200 million pregnancies each year. Nils Daulaire, president of the Global Health Council, concluded from the study that "if you want to end abortion, you have to end unintended pregnancy". However, Fr. Thomas J. Euteneuer, president of Human Life International, concluded instead that "countries need to enforce existing laws and put abortionists in jail because they're killing women" and questioned the study's impartiality because it was funded by the pro-popualation control Packard Foundation. [, September 26, 2002 ] A proposal to ban human cloning for reproductive purposes but to allow destructive research on cloned human embryos has met strong opposition at the United Nations this week. The proposal, made by the French and German governments, is being opposed by over twenty nations, most notably by other European Union (EU) countries. The Spanish government opposes such a partial ban on cloning because it would violate the 1999 European Convention on Human Rights and Biotechnology, which states that the "production of a human embryo with the objective of obtaining - through its destruction - embryonic stem cells, makes research cloning an example of human embryo misuse.". Ireland and Italy have argued that a partial ban would leave open the use of cloned human embryos for reproductive purposes, while the Netherlands has called for a five year moratorium on human experimental cloning. The Holy See and the United States have also rejected a partial ban, the US delegation describing the production and destruction of cloned human embryos as an "affront to human dignity". [Friday Fax , 27 September] The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) has admitted that it does not monitor the 32 counties in China where it operates, and therefore has no way of knowing if coercive abortion is practised. In an interview last week with news bureau Knight Ridder, the head of UNFPA's China programme Siri Tellier said: "We do not monitor every county." Knight Ridder also stated that UNFPA "has no way to determine whether local officials have abandoned coercive practices." UNFPA has in the past claimed that its China program is one of the most monitored programmes in the world. Steven W. Mosher, president of Population Research Institute (PRI), which campaigns against population control, commented: "UNFPA is supposed to be a watchdog, but it has become a lap dog of the officials who implement China's one-child policy of forced abortion. [Population Research Institute (PRI) , 24 September] The governing body of the Channel Island of Guernsey has voted by over two to one to investigate the legalisation of voluntary euthanasia. Members of the House of Deliberation had been told by the board of health and the advisory&finance committee that they should not vote in favour of an investigation unless they were in favour of changing the law. The States of Deliberation is responsible for making Guernsey's laws, which must be approved by the UK's Privy Council. [The Daily Telegraph, 27 September ] A leading North American feminist academic has condemned China's one-child policy of forced abortion. In an article for US broadcaster Fox News, Wendy McElroy, editor of and a research fellow for The Independent Institute in Oakland, California, criticised UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) for not officially condemning the one-child policy. Ms McElroy described the one-child policy as "arguably the greatest bioethical atrocity on the globe" and stated that the United Nations "has been complicit in the slaughter". [Fox News Views, 24 September ] Almost half of all university-based health clinics in the United States were not offering students access to the abortifacient morning-after pill in 1999. A study published in the Journal of American College Health found that many clinics cited a lack of student interest and objections from school officials for not offering the abortion-inducing drug. [Reuters Health via IPPF News, 16 September 2002]

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