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Defending life from the moment of conception

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News, 15 March 2004

15 March 2004

15 March 2004 Cardinal Keith O'Brien and Archbishop Mario Conti are urging Scottish Catholics to resist a government sex education plan that would allow school nurses to give children advice about contraception and abortion without parental consent. [Scotland on Sunday, 14 March ] A report published by the Family Education Trust has found that explicit sex education in schools has resulted in an increase in the teenage pregnancy rate. Pregnancies have risen by up to 34% in schools that distribute free condoms and offer confidential health checks to girls. Valerie Riches, the former social worker who wrote Sex Education or Indoctrination described sex education as a "manipulative tool to replace the influence of parents with the authority of the state." [The Times of London, 14 March , BBC, 15 March ] A sex expert has highlighted the link between underage drinking and sexual health problems in a documentary on the subject. Sian Hughes of the Family Planning Association says during the documentary that 13% of girls between 14 and 20 cite alcohol as the main factor in their loss of virginity. She also states that vomiting might stop the pill working and hangovers prevent girls going to get the morning-after pill. [icWales, 14 March ] The Swiss authorities plan to crack down on 'suicide tourists' who travel to Switzerland to end their lives at the Zurich Dignitas clinic. Foreigners will have to be resident in Switzerland for six months before being eligible for assisted suicide. 91 foreigners died last year with the help of Dignitas. [The Telegraph, 14 March ] A Detroit judge has given the University of Michigan until 25 March to hand over certain late-term abortion records as part of the legal battle concerning the partial-birth abortion ban. The records will have identifying information removed before being handed over. A spokeswoman for the US Justice Department said: "While we have a duty to defend the law banning partial-birth abortion, we are doing so in a way that protects patient privacy." [The Detroit News, 13 March ] A New Zealand euthanasia campaigner who wrote a book about how she tried to help her mother to die goes on trial today, charged with her murder. Lesley Martin said in a statement: "This is not just my trial... this is the trial of everyone who's ever made a promise that they would help someone die gently if necessary, and the trial of every doctor who has helped and remained silent." [The Age, 15 March ] An expert from the Centre for Drug Misuse Research has proposed paying drug addicts to use contraception. Professor Neil McKeganey said that many addicts became pregnant 'not because they want to but because of the sheer chaos of their lifestyle.' The director of Scotland Against Drugs suggested that it was 'a bit Draconian to suggest that contraception injections should be an option when it's not known in advance whether the recipient woman would be a good or bad parent'. A Catholic Church spokesman described the proposal as 'social engineering on a massive scale.' [BBC, 13 March ] Canadian senators have given their final approval to a bill permitting destructive research on 'spare' IVF embryos. The Act Respecting Assisted Human Reproduction and Related Research also allows the creation of embryos for the specific purpose of research, human cloning for research purposes and IVF treatment for homosexual couples. [LifeSiteNews.com, 12 March ] Pro-life activists in Northern Ireland are demanding the closure of a Derry sexual health clinic amid allegations that a 13-year-old girl was given a surgically-implanted contraceptive device there. [icNorthernIreland, 15 March ]

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