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Defending life
from conception to natural death


News, 31 October 2003

31 October 2003

31 October 2003 SPUC has described last year's abortion statistics as 'a tragedy'. In a press release, Paul Tully, general secretary of SPUC stated: "The 2002 abortion figures for England and Wales show no significant shift in the number of recorded abortions or in the rate of abortions per 1,000 women in their main child-bearing years... Furthermore, the government's strategy of reducing recorded abortion by promoting the morning-after pill is not working. On the contrary, unrecorded early abortions caused by the morning-after pill would undoubtedly add many thousands to these figures." [SPUC, 31 October ] The availability of abortion-inducing drugs has contributed to a massive increase in abortion in the Indian state of Kerala, LifeSite reports. The 165% rise in abortions in two years was reported in a survey conducted by women's magazine Vanitha. According to the state health department, abortions in government hospitals rose from 16,339 in 1999 to 43,368 in 2001-02. [LifeSite, 30 October ] A US Senator is drafting legislation "to make clear that our government must make human rights front and centre in any discussions with the North Korean regime" after the publication of a damning report on human rights abuses carried out by the regime. The report, released last week by the US Committee for Human Rights in North Korea, documented a large number of human rights violations taking place in prison camps, including the use of torture, forced abortion and infanticide. Senator Brownback, who said that he had been inundated with petitions on the subject said: "We will no longer subsidise the North Korean regime to allow it to continue building gulags and committing gross human rights violations." [, 30 October ] Germany's justice minister has drawn criticism from politicians and church leaders after she suggested changing the point at which an embryo outside the womb can be classed as having 'human dignity.' In a speech in Berlin, Brigitte Zypries also mooted the possibility of relaxing the laws governing human cloning. The German Catholic bishops' conference asked for 'a recognition of human dignity at any stage of human life' whilst the head of the parliamentary bio-ethics commission stated his opposition to any change in the current law. [Yahoo News, 30 October ] Researchers in Seattle have found that women with Cystic Fibrosis do not carry an increased risk of death during pregnancy, Reuters reports. "Patients with CF are currently living to their fourth decade and are making reproductive decisions," said Dr Christopher H. Goss of the University of Washington Medical Center. [Reuters, 30 October ] Irish MEP Dana Rosemary Scallon has welcomed the meeting between the Catholic bishops and the Irish Prime Minister in a letter published in Irish Examiner. She also draws attention to the government's failure to join Germany, Italy, Austria and Portugal in opposing EU proposals to fund embryo research. [Irish Examiner, 31 October ] A pilot scheme by North Tyneside Primary Care Trust will allow teenage girls to text sexual health services 24 hours a day if they feel uncomfortable visiting a doctor or telephoning from the family home. After making contact, the girl will then be invited for a quick appointment to receive advice on the morning after pill and contraception. [BBC, 30 October ] Muslim doctors and medical students in Britain are being discriminated against because of their pro-life views, a leading Muslim doctor asserted at a London conference last week. Addressing a conference organised by the Muslim division of SPUC, Dr Jafer Qureshi stated that several cases of discrimination are being investigated by lawyers and may go to the Commission for Racial Equality. [SPUC, 27 October ]

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