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Defending life from the moment of conception

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4 April 2005

4 April 2005

4 April 2005 Political figures, bishops and pro-life organisations around the world have paid tribute to the late Pope John Paul II for his outspoken defence of the sanctity of human life.

President Bush said that John Paul II "reminded us of our obligation to build a culture of life, in which the strong protect the week."

Fr Frank Pavone of the US group Priests for Life said: "Today we bid farewell to Pope John Paul the Great, the Pope of Life." [, 2 April ]

In an interview, Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, Archbishop of Westminster, said: "I think he'll be known as one who upheld the rights and dignity of the human person." [Catholic Bishops Conference ] Archbishop Peter Smith of Cardiff said: "He was uncompromising in his defence of human life.

He insisted that every person has a real worth and dignity even if they are disabled, sick or old and frail." [Catholic Bishops Conference ]

In a press release, SPUC described John Paul II as "the living embodiment of the Gospel of Life, especially through the physical witness he gave to the intrinsic dignity of the sick and elderly in his final years." [SPUC press release ]

SPUC, a member of the Campaign Against Euthanasia has described the publication of a parliamentary report on euthanasia as "inconclusive".

Anthony Ozimic, SPUC's political secretary, commented: "The report on the Joffe Bill is inconclusive in that it neither endorses nor rejects the legalisation of assisted suicide and active voluntary euthanasia, nor recommends whether or not Lord Joffe's deceptively-named Assisted Dying for the Terminally Ill Bill should proceed."

He added: "The 1994 House of Lords select committee on medical ethics recommended that assisted suicide and active euthanasia should not be legalised because they are contrary to one of the cornerstones of our civilisation, namely, the prohibition on the intentional killing of the innocent." [SPUC press release, 4 April ]

Marie Stopes International, Britain's largest provider of abortion outside the National Health Service has said that it would support a reduction in the upper time limit for abortion to 20 weeks gestation only if the law was changed to allow abortion on demand up to 12 weeks.

SPUC has expressed wariness about proposals to change the upper limit for this very reason.

[The Telegraph, 4 April ] In a press release, John Smeaton, SPUC's National Director warned: "This move matches other attempts by other leaders in the pro-abortion campaign actually to make abortion more freely available.

The pro-life movement, and society in general, must wake up to what is really going on here." [SPUC press release ]

Pro-abortion activists have protested outside a Portuguese court during the trial of two women and a nurse alleged to have procured and carried out abortions. The trial began last June but was suspended following a motion to have the presiding judge removed.

The new Socialist government has pledged to hold a referendum on abortion though no date has been set as yet. [Obvious News, 4 April ]

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