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Defending life from the moment of conception

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11 November 2004

11 November 2004

11 November 2004 The trial of a Kenyan doctor charged with performing illegal abortions has become the centre of an angry debate between pro-abortion and pro-life campaigners. At the Nairobi Law Court, protesters from both sides of the debate engaged in a shouting match in the corridors shortly before Dr John Nyamu arrived along with the two nurses also charged with murder. The case did not open because the prosecution was not ready to proceed. [The Standard, 10 November ] John Howard, the Australian Prime Minister, has said that the Government will not change the law on abortion but that MPs would be allowed a conscience vote if a private members' bill were to be tabled. A number of MPs have expressed concern about the number of abortions carried out in Australia, with some calling for a ban on late-term abortions. [, 11 November ] An Australian obstetrician has called for sex and relationship education to be extended to primary schools. Julie Quinlivan claimed that it was the key to reducing Australia's teenage abortion rate, which is one of the highest in the developed world. Her view was supported by the chief executive of Family Planning Victoria, who also claimed that contraception should be more accessible and affordable. [The Age, 11 November ] The Bush administration has appealed to the Supreme Court to block Oregon's assisted suicide law. The Death with Dignity Act was passed in 1998 and makes Oregon the only US state to permit assisted suicide. The Supreme Court is expected to decide whether to hear the appeal next year. [BBC, 10 November ] The United Nations Human Rights Committee has told Morocco to legalise abortion, reports. The Committee's report states that Morocco, which permits abortion to save the life of the mother, should 'liberalise the provisions relative to the interruption of pregnancy.' [, 10 November ] In a written response to the UNHRC's attack on Poland's abortion law, reported in the SPUC news summary yesterday, Thomas W. Jacobson, Focus on the Family's representative to the United Nations, criticised the Committee for having "egregiously and lawlessly exceeded its authority by seeking to usurp the legitimate authority of the people and elected officials of the sovereign nation of Poland." Mr Jacobson pointed out that the UNHRC misinterpreted the Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and has no authority to intervene with the domestic matters of any nation. It can issue recommendations but not directives and no nation is under obligation to implement those recommendations. [Focus on the Family, 9 November]

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