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Defending life from the moment of conception

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News, 1 August 2003

1 August 2003

1 August 2003 Scotland's first minister has suggested policies to reverse Scotland's ever decreasing population. In February, Jack McConnell launched a campaign to increase Scotland's levels of inward migration but has been warned that this will not be sufficient in itself to offset the economic problems caused by population decline. The number of births in Scotland last year was the lowest since records began, with a 24% drop in births since 1991. A study produced by Professor Paul Boyle of St Andrews University, cited a number of underlying causes, principally the tendency of Scottish women to have fewer children later in life. [The Financial Times, 1 August ] A spokesman for the Slovak bishops' conference has criticised the Slovak president's support for the liberalisation of abortion. In spite of sending the abortion bill back to parliament, President Rudolf Schuster has given it his general support. Fr Marian Gavenda commented: "By trying to satisfy both Catholics and liberal politicians, he may end up losing both." [Catholic News Service, 30 July ] John Habgood, the former Anglican archbishop of York, has published an article in The Tablet, warning of the ethical implications of allowing sex selection and urging science to "look beyond the immediate wishes of frustrated parents to larger questions about the nature and nurture of human persons." [The Tablet, 2 August] John Habgood argued in support of embryo experimentation in 1990 but later voted against the legalisation of cloning. [SPUC source]

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