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Defending life from the moment of conception

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News, 18 August 2004

18 August 2004

18 August 2004 UK MPs have allegedly been targeted with hate mail labelling them 'baby killers', The Evening Standard reports. The campaign comes at a time when late-term abortion has become a subject of national debate and a number of back bench members may table Private Members' Bills when Parliament reconvenes. [This is London, 18 August ] John Smeaton, SPUC's National Director, condemned the tactic, saying: "Personal harassment and threatening behaviour of any kind by pro-lifers has always been virtually non-existent in Britain, and we urge the anonymous individuals alleged to have sent 'hate mail' to pro-abortion MPs to stop their campaign immediately." However, he also urged pro-lifers to exercise caution about private members' bills purporting to reform abortion law, warning that they "will be used as a Trojan horse in order to enshrine a right to abortion for the first time in British law and attempt total deregulation of abortion." [SPUC Press Release, 18 August] A federal court in Pennsylvania in the U.S. has ruled that pro-life protesters may peacefully protest on a street near to a local abortion centre. Judge James M. Kelly ruled that the protesters had had their first amendment rights violated and gave the group permission to protest near the Allentown Women's Centre. [LifeSiteNews.com, 18 August ] Silent pro-life protests have taken place throughout Kenya, in Mombasa, Nakuru, Kisumu, Nyeri, and Eldoret. On Saturday, thousands took part in marches to raise awareness to all Kenyans about the sanctity of human life. In Nairobi's Uhuru Park the Catholic Archbishop Raphael Ndingi Mwana 'a Nzeki led an event with evangelical leaders drawing attention to the inhumanity of abortion. [All Africa.Com, 18 August ] A 41-year-old woman has been fined by a Bahraini court for illegally selling abortion-inducing drugs. The unnamed defendant, who is married to a Bahraini, admitted selling the drugs and stated that she wanted to help women with unwanted pregnancies. [Gulf Daily News, 18 August ] A new study by American and Italian doctors claims that screening embryos using pre-implantation diagnosis does not threaten the health of the developed baby. The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority recently lifted the ban on using this technique to create 'designer babies' for sick siblings. [Times Online, 18 August ] A spokeswoman for SPUC commented: "It is a little ironic to suggest that pre-implantation genetic diagnosis does not threaten the embryo's health when the whole point of it is to destroy 'unsuitable' embryos. This research is only true for those embryos that are tested and found to measure up to a pre-determined set of criteria." [SPUC source] Two Catholic bishops from Pakistan are to travel to South Korea for the eighth assembly of the Federation of Asian Bishops' Conferences. Mgr. Lawrence John Saldanha, Archbishop of Lahore and Mgr. Anthony Lobo, Bishop of Islamabad, will submit the Pastoral Letter on Family Life released back at Easter, which deals with issues such as divorce, abortion and consumerism. [Asia News, 18 August ] A man who has been in a coma for two years has shown signs of consciousness for the first time. Leon Adams, 27, was badly beaten by unknown attackers in February 2002, sustaining serious injuries. His family was told that he would probably remain in a vegetative state but he is now able to respond to his name and answer questions by blinking. Police hope that he will eventually be able to help them with their investigations. [South Wales Echo, 17 August]

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