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News, 18 March 2004

18 March 2004

18 March 2004 The Australian health minister's description of abortion as a 'national tragedy' has sparked both praise and condemnation, The Age reports. Tony Abbott said that even those who supported abortion should find it troubling that women chose to destroy their unborn babies. Pro-life and religious groups praised Mr Abbott's moral courage, whilst Sarah Maddison, a spokeswoman for the Women's Electoral Lobby, called upon him to withdraw his comments, claiming: "The minister seems to be unduly influenced by his own Catholicism." [The Age, 17 March ] The United Nations Human Rights Committee (UNHRC) has criticised Colombian representatives for not permitting abortion in case of rape. Abdelfattah Amor the Committee chairman stated at the meeting: "Meting out punishment to women who have been raped - providing them with no legal medical alternative - was akin to heaping one outrage upon another." Colombian representatives were repeatedly asked about their country's abortion ban, even though abortion did not fall within the mandate of the committee. [LifeSiteNews.com, 17 March ] Austin Ruse of C-Fam commented: "It is not within the purview of the Human Rights Committee to criticise Member States on abortion. This speaks to the general overreaching of UN committees. It is precisely this kind of radical overreaching that gives the UN a black eye. Kofi Annan should intervene, but he won't." [SPUC source] Following news that illegal abortions are performed by Kenya's Family Planning Association under the name of 'menstrual regulation', it has been revealed that Marie Stopes International clinics also perform illegal abortions in Kenya. A nurse at a Marie Stopes clinic in Nairobi readily admitted that she performs abortions and showed the journalist the room where the abortions take place. Marie Stopes International is sponsored by the UN Population Fund. [LifeSiteNews.com, 17 March ]

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