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Defending life
from conception to natural death


2 December 2004

2 December 2004

2 December 2004 A Democrat Congressman has had a report into abstinence education produced which alleges that abstinence programmes are giving US teenagers misinformation about the consequences of abortion and various forms of sexual activity. Henry Waxman said: "I have no objection to talking about abstinence as a sure-fire way to prevent unwanted pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases. I don't think we should lie to our children about science." [Yahoo News, 2 December ] Dr Alma Golden of the Department of Health and Human Services criticised the report for attempting to tarnish the reputation of abstinence education by taking facts and figures out of context. Libby Gray, director of Project Reality said that the programmes produced by her group "have been reviewed by physicians and public health professionals and have been found to be statistically and medically accurate." [, 2 December ] The Independent Advisory Group on Teenage Pregnancy has called for compulsory sex education in all UK schools, BBC reports. Anne Weyman of the Family Planning Association described current provision of sex education across the country as 'iniquitous.' [BBC, 2 December ] A spokeswoman for SPUC commented: "A great many pro-life campaigners find the sex education being propagated in British schools 'iniquitous' but for rather different reasons. Irresponsible sex education has fuelled the UK's growing teenage pregnancy and abortion rates, alongside an unprecedented rise in Sexually Transmitted Infections. Young people should be encouraged to value themselves and their relationships, not to regard sex as a mere recreational activity." A woman suffering from a muscle-wasting condition has described her fear of euthanasia in an article in The Times. Jane Campbell described being too afraid to sleep for 48 hours when she was hospitalised with severe pneumonia because the doctors kept assuming that she would not want to be put on a ventilator if she suffered respiratory failure. Commenting on the Assisted Dying for the Terminally Ill Bill which is currently being debated in the House of Lords, she writes: "While the Bill aims to address the needs of patients in the last stage of their lives, I am concerned about the underlying message that death is the preferable solution for people severely incapacitated or in pain." [The Times of London, 2 December ] Another article described the suicide of a 91-year-old woman in strongly pro-euthanasia terms. Hilde Hunt, who was interviewed last year, was described by the journalist as "an intelligent, unsentimental person who, of perfectly sound mind, made a moral judgement on the terms of her own existence, which ended when she chose." [The Times of London, 2 December ] The Dutch Medical Association has asked the Ministry of Health to establish a board to examine euthanasia cases for those 'with no free will.' Patients who fall into this category would include those with severe learning difficulties, comatose patients and children. [CNN, 1 December ] A UK teenager has been given an award for rescuing a woman who was attempting to commit suicide. Natalie Gates was described as 'a credit to her generation' after she followed a woman into the sea to stop her drowning herself after she saw her on the beach taking pills. [BBC, 1 December ] The US Justice Department has begun an appeal against a ruling by a Nebraska judge that the Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act is unconstitutional. The appeal describes partial birth abortion as "gruesome, inhumane, never necessary to preserve the health of women and less safe than other readily available abortion methods." Similar rulings in New York and San Francisco are also being appealed. [Columbus Telegram, 1 December ] Australia's Federal Parliamentary Secretary for Health has called for better provision for families with disabled children in the hope that it will reduce the number of eugenic abortions. Christopher Pyne said that the government is already doing a great deal for families with disabled children but that 'a great deal more' could be done. [ABC, 1 December ] An Argentinean congressman has gone to the courts to try to stop a Dutch abortion ship run by Women on the Waves from docking in Argentina. [CWNews, 1 December ] The Maltese Prime Minister and the Catholic Bishops have condemned a UN committee recommendation that Malta 'review' its pro-life abortion laws. Edgar Galea-Curmi of the Prime Minister's Secretariat said: "We consider that abortion is in complete contradiction with one of the main tenets of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, namely that the best interests of children are paramount." [, 1 December ]

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