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Defending life from the moment of conception

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23 September 2004

23 September 2004

23 September 2004 West Mercia police have sent a file to the Crown Prosecution Service following their investigation of a late abortion involving a baby with cleft lip and palate. Joanna Jepson won her judicial review of the case earlier in the year after police refused to prosecute the doctors involved. The CPS will advise the police as to whether further inquiries or charges should be brought. Rev. Jepson, who was herself born with a facial abnormality, argued that cleft lip and palate did not constitute a 'serious handicap' and that the abortion did not fall within the grounds laid out by the Abortion Act. [BBC and The Daily Mail , 22 September] Poland's Democratic Left Alliance has put before parliament a bill that would allow abortion on demand up to 12 weeks of pregnancy and abortion on under-15s without parental consent. Roman Giertych, the leader of the Polish Families League, condemned the bill as unconstitutional, leading to the postponement of deliberations for one month. [Warsaw Business Journal, 22 September ] The Director of the Linacre Centre for Healthcare Ethics has highlighted the danger to patients posed by the Assisted Dying for the Terminally Ill Bill and the Mental Capacity Bill in a letter to The Times of London. Dr Helen Watt cited the under-reporting of euthanasia and the number of non-voluntary killings in the Netherlands, warning that 'if we believe that some lives have no value, we are likely to believe that the "benefit" of death should be extended to those who have not asked for it.' [The Times of London, 22 September ] Legal proceedings have begun against a Canadian woman accused of assisting two women to commit suicide, reports. Evelyn Martens, 74, faces 14 years in prison if convicted and has said that she hopes her case will bring about a change in the law to allow assisted suicide. [, 22 September ] A survey released by the Irish Crisis Pregnancy Agency, which claimed that 90% of under-45s support legal abortion, has been dismissed as 'sloppy and misleading', reports. John Smyth of the Pro-Life Campaign said that the survey's findings "run contrary to most other recent surveys on attitudes to abortion in Ireland." Mr Smyth drew attention to the biased slant of the questions, concluding that "there is growing unease within pro-life circles that the CPA is spending too much time producing ideologically motivated surveys instead of introducing targeted policies to help further reduce our abortion rate." [, 22 September ] A study published in Newsweek has warned of the global consequences of underpopulation. Michael Meyer analysed UN population statistics such as the 50% drop in fertility rates since 1972 to examine the probable impact on future generations. He quotes from Ben Wattenberg's book Fewer: How the New Demography of Depopulation Will Shape Our Future: "Never in the last 650 years, since the time of the Black Plague, have birth and fertility rates fallen so far, so fast, so low, for so long, in so many places." [, 22 September ]

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