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Defending life
from conception to natural death


News, 13 May 2004

13 May 2004

13 May 2004 A 14-year-old schoolgirl had a chemical abortion on the advice of her school health worker without the knowledge or consent of her mother, The Guardian reports. Maureen Smith talked to her daughter after she inadvertently found out about the abortion and she decided not to go ahead with it, but she had already taken the first pill and it was too late. Mrs Smith said: "I had no idea this sort of thing could happen without me knowing. I feel like my right as a parent has been taken away from me. I feel like I've had my heart ripped out, so God knows what my daughter is going through." The school responded to Mrs Smith by stating that parental consent is not required in these cases except in rare circumstances. [The Guardian, 13 May , Mansfield Today, 12 May ] In a press release, SPUC described the abortion as 'government-sanctioned child abuse.' [SPUC press release ] The Commission of the Bishops' Conferences of the European Community has issued a statement prior to the European elections, suggesting questions that should be put to candidates on a range of issues from respect for life to international development. Regarding respect for life, which comes first on the list of issues to be considered, the statement reads: "As Christians, we regard human life as sacred and inviolable from conception to natural death. Although the European Parliament has no competence to legislate on issues such as abortion or euthanasia, will it promote respect for human life at all stages and guarantee it in the funding of scientific research?" [COMECE, 10 May ] Cardinal Keith O'Brien of Scotland has asked MPs to "campaign in support of life". During a sermon at a Mass celebrated in the crypt of London's House of Commons, Cardinal O'Brien said: "I lament deeply our present culture and laws which show so little respect for the child in the womb and allow for the experimentation upon and destruction of human embryos - life at its earliest and most defenceless." [Scottish Catholic Media Office, 12 May ] The UK government has told hospitals to ensure that mealtimes are properly organised and disciplined so that patients are able to eat their food. Mealtimes are often chaotic in hospitals, with food left near urine bottles and vomit bowls, medical staff too busy to notice whether patients are eating and doctors interrupting mealtimes to carry out procedures. Recent research found that 40% of people entering hospital were malnourished and of those, 70% became further malnourished whilst in hospital. [Net Doctor, 13 May ] A top British athlete has given up the chance of an Olympic gold to have her baby after she discovered she was pregnant. Tasha Danvers-Smith, whose career hopes rested on her competing at Athens this year, briefly considered an abortion. However, she said: "This line from Scriptures kept coming into my head: 'For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world and lose his own soul?'" [The Telegraph, 13 May ] The Australian treasurer has announced financial incentives to encourage couples to have larger families. Peter Costello encouraged couples to have three children, "one for your husband and one for your wife and one for the country" in response to the country's growing demographic crisis. At the end of the press conference, Mr Costello told journalists: "Go home and do your patriotic duty tonight." [, 12 May ]

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