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Defending life from the moment of conception

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News, 4 March 2003

4 March 2003

4 March 2003 A gynaecologist in England who allegedly inflicted serious internal injuries on a woman whose unborn child he was attempting to abort has denied professional misconduct at a disciplinary hearing in London. The General Medical Council's professional conduct committee heard that the accusations against Dr Andrew Gbinigie related to his first day's work at the Calthorpe private abortion clinic in Birmingham. In the morning Dr Gbinigie allegedly left foetal body parts inside three patients, and in the afternoon his attempted abortion of a 20-week-old unborn child went so badly wrong that the mother had to be rushed to hospital to have emergency surgery and subsequently lost a kidney. The GMC heard that Dr Gbinigie ruptured the woman's womb, pulled out a fallopian tube, an ovary and her ureter, and only realised something was wrong when he pulled out a piece of her bowel. When the woman's abdomen was opened in hospital, the "cavity was full of blood and floating on top was a 20-week-old foetus, largely intact apart from a missing arm and a missing leg". [BBC News online, 3 March ; Birmingham Post, 4 March ] Gruesome as these details are, all abortions are acts of killing. Tragically they are legal in Britain and usually funded by the taxpayer. The Jewish-Catholic Dialogue Commission has affirmed the sanctity and inviolability of human life. The commission, which is composed of delegates from the Chief Rabbinate of Israel and the Commission of the Holy See for Religious Relations with Judaism, issued a statement at the conclusion of its first meeting in Rome declaring that "every human life is holy, sacrosanct and inviolable". The statement did not mention abortion explicitly, but declared that any attempt to destroy human life must be rejected. The statement also affirmed that "every believer, particularly religious leaders, should co-operate in protecting human life" and "promoting a 'culture of life'". [Zenit, 3 March: report and text of the statement ] Nicaragua's attorney general has announced that no charges will be brought against anyone involved in an abortion performed on a nine-year-old rape victim. Maria del Carmen Solorzano ruled that no laws had been broken because the abortion was carried out to save the mother's life. However, a panel of experts had concluded only that the girl's life was at risk whether or not she had an abortion, and the country's health minister has described the abortion as a crime. The Catholic Church has ruled that all those involved in the abortion are automatically excommunicated. [Seattle Times and BBC News online , 4 March; see digests for 17 , 19 and 25 February ] Clonaid claims to have produced five successfully cloned human babies between 26 December and 4 February. The company, which is closely linked to the Raelian cult, claims that the first baby called Eve was born to an American couple, while subsequent births were to Dutch, Japanese and Saudi women. No details have been divulged about the alleged fifth cloned baby. Clonaid's claims have been received with widespread scepticism and there has still been no independent confirmation that any of the births actually took place. Clonaid now claims that work has begun on a "second generation" of clones and on the production of an artificial womb. [CNS, 28 February; via Pro-Life Infonet ] A row has erupted in a South African town after women seeking abortions were reportedly turned away from the local hospital because staff were refusing to perform the procedure on religious grounds. A group of residents of Rietvlei near Umzimkhulu in Eastern Cape province have accused the medical staff of misconduct since the Termination of Pregnancy Act gives every woman the right to abortion at state institutions. Dr Nigel Hoffman, head of the hospital, explained that the "problem" had been caused by a pro-life doctor at the hospital, who also happened to be his wife. [iol, 3 March ] Legislators in Montana narrowly defeated a bill last Thursday which would have required doctors to offer to anaesthetise the unborn children of women who were having abortions if they were 16 weeks or more into pregnancy. Members of the Montana House had voted by 52-47 in favour of the bill in a preliminary vote on Wednesday, but four legislators changed their mind before the definitive vote and the measure was lost by 46-51. [Billings Gazette, 28 February ] In August 2000, a pro-abortion professor in the UK said that all unborn children aborted after the 17th week of pregnancy should be anaesthetised during the procedure. SPUC has pointed out that the anatomical structures necessary for the appreciation of pain are present in the unborn child before 10 weeks' development. [See digest for 29 August 2000 ]

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