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Defending life from the moment of conception

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News, 8 January 2003

8 January 2003

8 January 2003 A speeding motorist has been sent to prison for four years in England for the offence of causing death by dangerous driving even though the victim was still unborn at the time of the accident. Karl Phillipson was driving at 41 mph in an area with a 30 mph limit in Bristol when he hit a 27-year-old woman who was seven months pregnant. The baby boy was then delivered by Caesarean section but was found to have suffered brain damage as a result of the accident and died two days later. No prosecution for causing death by dangerous driving could have been brought had the child been stillborn because a baby is not classed as a human person under English law until he or she has taken a first breath. [Daily Telegraph, 8 January] The US-based Population Research Institute has drawn attention to the alleged involvement of the pro-abortion United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in coerced abortions in Mexico. The National Population Council of Mexico (CONAPO) is provided with financial, technical and medical support by the UNFPA, but Mexico's National Human Rights Commission has denounced coercion in family planning programmes throughout Mexico and there are reports of CONAPO involvement in covert abortions, clandestine placement of abortifacient intra-uterine devices (IUDs), involuntary signing of so-called informed consent documents and forced sterilisation. The Peruvian congress recently condemned UNFPA involvement in a forced sterilisation campaign under the regime of ex-president Fujimori. [PR Newswire, 7 January; via Northern Light ] A murder charge in the case of an alleged act of euthanasia on a pensioner in Paraparaumu, New Zealand last week has reportedly caused Dr Philip Nitschke to reconsider his plans to distribute so-called exit bags at euthanasia workshops in the country in April. An 89-year-old man has been charged with the murder of his 78-year-old wife after he was found unconscious next to his dead wife who had a plastic bag over her head. The bag was not one of Dr Nitschke's devices, although the prominent Australian pro-euthanasia campaigner said: "I don't want to pour petrol on the fire. It's a very predatory reaction by the authorities over this incident. We are always trying to watch how the law is being interpreted in New Zealand." [Stuff national news, 5 January ] US President Bush has re-nominated two appellate court nominees who were rejected by the Democrat-controlled senate judiciary committee last year on account of their pro-life views. Charles Pickering of Mississippi and Priscilla Owen of Texas were the only judicial nominations to be explicitly rejected by senators last year, but they are likely to have an easier passage this time around because control of the senate has passed to the Republicans. [AP, 7 January; via Pro-Life Infonet] Health officials in Sapporo, the capital city of Japan's northernmost island, have expressed concern for the health of the area's unborn babies. A study conducted by the municipal government found that the proportion of pregnant women who drank and smoked in Sapporo was twice the Japanese national average, even though drinking and smoking during pregnancy is known to impair foetal development and increase the chances of miscarriage. A previous study also found that Sapporo's abortion rate among teenagers and women in their early 20s was also twice the national average. [The Japan Times, 8 January ]

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