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Defending life
from conception to natural death


News, 30 October 2003

30 October 2003

30 October 2003 A number of pro-life groups are considering the possibility of a legal challenge to UK law permitting prenatal screening and abortion of the disabled, The Times of London reports. The groups plan to use a reference in the draft EU constitution banning countries from "eugenic practices" to achieve a ban on the screening out of babies with conditions such as Down's and spina bifida. However, pro-abortion groups such as the British Pregnancy Advisory Service deny that aborting a child on grounds of disability is eugenic and have vowed to fight a ban. Liberal Democrat MEP Andrew Duff dismissed the challenge, claiming "the European Court of Justice would throw it out." [The Times, 29 October ] A delegation of Catholic bishops met with Bertie Ahern the Irish Prime Minister yesterday to urge him to oppose EU funding of human embryo research, The Irish Examiner reports. The delegation, led by Cardinal Desmond Connell, expressed their opposition to the EU guidelines on embryo research and also discussed issues such as euthanasia, human cloning and a government attempt to include a reference to God in the EU constitution. [Irish Examiner, 30 October ] A 12-year-old girl from Cumbria has become one of Britain's youngest mothers. She did not realise she was pregnant until 12 days before she gave birth and has refused to give police the name of the father. [Yorkshire Post, 29 October ] American Life League is to hold a demonstration tomorrow in front of the White House, urging President Bush to keep Iraq abortion-free, US Newswire reports. The protest comes at a time when Congress is debating an $87 billion Iraq funding bill. American Life League will be joined by speakers from the Christian Defence Coalition and the National Clergy Council. [US Newswire, 29 October ] Canadian Federal MPs have approved legislation allowing research on human embryos, Globe and Mail reports. The legislation passed 149-109 though Liberal MP Paul Szabo, who led opposition to the bill, has vowed to fight it in the Senate. [Globe and Mail, 29 October ] The government of St Lucia has announced that it is delaying debate on a proposed bill to liberalise the country's abortion laws after a large demonstration gathered to oppose it. Pro-life legislator and cabinet minister Sara Flood Beaubrun joined a crowd of over 2500 people to oppose a bill that would legalise abortion in case of rape, incest or for the health of the mother in the Catholic Caribbean-island state of 160,000. At the Mass preceding the demonstration, Archbishop Kelvin Felix said: "We must not allow a mother's womb to become a death chamber." [LifeSite, 29 October ]

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