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Defending life
from conception to natural death


News, 4 February 2004

4 February 2004

4 February 2004 10 members of the Peruvian congress have written to the administrator of USAID to express concerns over the organisation's sponsorship of a conference to promote legalised abortion. Steve Mosher of the Population Research Institute stated: "The funding of this conference and of organisations that are pushing for abortion on demand in Peru is a blatant violation of US law." LifeSiteNews has previously reported USAID's support for forced sterilisation in Peru. [, 2 February ] A Missouri bishop has said that he would refuse communion to Democrat presidential candidate John Kerry because of his active support for abortion. A spokesman for Kerry, who has a pro-abortion voting record, responded to Archbishop Raymond Burke by saying: "The archbishop has the right to deny Communion to whoever he wants, but Senator Kerry respectfully disagrees with him on the issue of choice." [, 2 February ] Senator Kerry's spokesman was incorrect on the issue of communion - the archbishop has no general authority to refuse communion. This issue is Mr Kerry's pro-abortion public stand. Scientists at the Georgetown Catholic University will continue to use cells obtained from aborted babies, in spite of assurances by Cardinal McCarrick that the issue had been resolved. Four researchers voluntarily stopped using the cell lines and changed to cells taken from ethical sources but 14 researchers said that stopping the use of the cells would jeopardise their work and funding. Ethicist Rev. Kevin FitzGerald said that the ideal would be not to use such cell lines but that scientists should be allowed to use them as the abortions were not performed for the purpose of providing the cells. [, 30 January ] A survey by Which? magazine has found that a significant number of pharmacists are giving incorrect or insufficient advice to patients, BBC reports. Researchers asked for the morning after pill at 21 pharmacies. Six were considered unsatisfactory, two failed to ask if the researcher was already pregnant or on other medication. The Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain described the findings as "very disappointing." [BBC, 3 February ] Anthony Ozimic, SPUC political secretary, commented: "When the government allowed pharmacists to supply the morning after pill without prescription, it assured women that their health would be safeguarded by an obligation on pharmacists to conduct a detailed question session before supplying the abortifacient. Today's survey confirms our concerns that the government's assurances and its promotion of the morning after pill as safe is blindly irresponsible." [SPUC source] A feature in The Guardian newspaper has looked at the effects of stress and depression upon the success of IVF treatment and the attempts by some clinics to address the problem. IVF treatment continues to be a distressing, invasive, expensive and often unsuccessful procedure, but some experts doubt that stress is a contributing factor to the failure rate. Michael Pawson, former chairman of the British Society of Psychosomatic Obstetrics, Gynaecology and Andrology, said that the links between stress and fertility were vague and that it was difficult to measure the impact of psychological factors on fertility. [The Guardian, 3 February ] US researchers have attempted to discover the sounds heard by an unborn baby by making recordings from the inner ear of a foetal sheep. They found that whereas low frequencies were audible, higher pitches were more muffled. Approximately 40% of spoken words were identifiable, though it is still unknown whether babies benefit from hearing music in the womb. [Nature, 2 February ] The Joseph Rowntree Foundation asked five think-tanks to write reports outlining how the government should tackle poverty over the next twenty years, to mark the centenary of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation. The reports attacked the government for failing poor two-parent families and one think-tank, the Institute of Public Policy Research (IPPR) put the case for extending child benefit to pregnant mothers to ease the financial burden when women give up work prior to giving birth. The Social Market Foundation drew attention to poverty in large families and called for a reform of the benefits system. [BBC, 3 February ] The UNFPA and the Alan Guttmacher Institute have published a report calling for 'the prevention of unintended pregnancies' and for developed countries to fulfil their promises to finance population control. The report claims that more 'sexual health provision' will lead to happier societies, by reducing the need for expenditure on education, health care and other public services. [BBC, 3 February ] A spokesman for SPUC commented: "It is ironic that UNFPA's policies of eradicating poverty by eradicating the population should be carried out under the banner of providing aid to the developing world. UNFPA seems to be pursuing a political agenda rather than addressing the genuine needs of the developing world." [SPUC source] A pharmacist in Florida has sparked protests and been disciplined for refusing to prescribe the morning after pill, CNN reports. Joan Gallagher, vice president of communications for Largo, the Florida-based Eckerd corporation, stated: "Apparently there was a request for a prescription to be filled and the prescription was denied based on a moral or ethical decision made by the pharmacist, and that's not in accordance with our corporate policy." [CNN, 3 February ] A new order of nuns based in the US is reporting success in its work counselling women outside abortion clinics. In the past eighteen months, the Franciscan Daughters of Mary have saved approximately 215 babies. They also run a crisis pregnancy centre and distribute food to the poor. [, 3 February ] A Chinese man who awoke from a coma two years ago, has begun to speak, reports. Xu Youliang, a teacher, fell in 1993 whilst trying to rescue one of his pupils who had slipped over the edge of a cliff. Doctors gave him little chance of recovery but his family refused to give up, even though it meant incurring a huge financial debt. Xu is now able to say a few words, eat, sit up and move his arms. [, 3 February ] Sir Teddy Taylor MP, a strong supporter of the pro-life movement, is to step down at the next election after a political career which began in 1964 when he became MP for Glasgow Cathcart. [The Herald, 3 February ]

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