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Defending life from the moment of conception

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News, 6 September 2002

6 September 2002

6 September 2002 The United Nations' high commissioner for human rights was rebuffed by the Costa Rican president when she tried to persuade him to sign a document which implicitly supported abortion. During the recent UN development summit, Mrs Mary Robinson hoped to get President Abel Pacheco to support an amendment to the conference's closing statement. The wording included an affirmation of women's right to health and the president explained that meetings during the summit had deemed that right as including access to abortion. President Pacheco, a physician, said he told Mrs Robinson, the former president of Ireland, that his was a Catholic country and that the oath which he had taken upon becoming a doctor meant he had to defend life. [Al Dia on LifeSite, 5 September ] Each Catholic diocese and parish should have care for human life as part of its pastoral plan, according to the head of the Vatican's congregation for bishops who is also president of the Pontifical Commission for Latin America. Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re was addressing a meeting of the bishops of the Americas in the Dominican Republic. Bishop Jorge Jimenez, president of the Latin American bishops' council, told the meeting that no war, holocaust or massacre could be compared to the number of abortions in central and south America. [Zenit, 4 September ] Women who have abortions are more likely to die within two years of the procedure than those who give birth, according to a survey of 173,000 low-income women in California. Abortion increased the likelihood of suicide and of death by accident and natural causes. A 1992 American Psychological Association panel conceded that abortion caused some women mental damage. Planned Parenthood would not comment on the new findings by the Elliot Institute of Illinois. [Southern Medical Journal via HeathScoutNews on Yahoo!, 5 September ] More than two fifths of lay members of the Church of England and nearly a quarter of clergy support euthanasia, according to a poll by Christian Research. A church spokesman commented that complex issues were not easily addressed by simple survey questions. [Telegraph, 6 September ] A Catholic prelate has accused the Medical Research Council of putting money above morality in the matter of the human embryonic cell bank to be launched in Britain on Wednesday. Most Reverend Mario Conti, Archbishop of Glasgow and a member of the British bishops' bioethical committee, has called the bank morally repugnant and says that it is wrong to treat embryos as clusters of exploitable cells. [Catholic News Service, 5 September ]

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