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Defending life
from conception to natural death


MP renews call for abortion law inquiry following Telegraph poll

30 August 2005

The Daily Telegraph has commissioned an opinion survey on abortion, embryo research, cloning and euthanasia. The internet survey has claimed that 58% of people in Britain want a limit of 20 weeks or less for abortion.

A further 6% said abortion should not be legal at all. Social class ABC1 respondents were evenly divided on free NHS-funded abortion, but C2DE respondents were against by 52% to 35%.

Regarding people in terminal illness, the respondents strongly supported euthanasia (87%), but a significantly smaller majority favoured assisted suicide (67%). Fuller results are published on the YouGov website.

The Liberal Democrat MP, Dr Evan Harris has renewed his call for a parliamentary inquiry into the abortion laws, following the poll.

Dr Harris said that a debate on the issue was necessary as babies can often survive if they are born before 24 weeks. However, he again linked the suggestion of reviewing the law on late abortions to proposals to make early abortion more easily available. [Daily Telegraph, 30 August]

SPUC comment

Contrary to public opinion, MPs are not ready to vote to reduce either the 24-week limit for routine abortions, nor the up-to-birth limit for killing disabled babies.

Dr Harris, whose pro-abortion position is well known, is helping to set a trap that would mean no significant reduction in late abortions, but more early and mid-term abortions.

Other stories:

A pro-abortion group in the US has released a television advertisement to develop opposition to the nomination of Judge John Roberts to the Supreme Court. NARAL was forced to withdraw a previous advert after intense criticism from both pro-life and pro-abortion groups. The previous advert falsely portrayed Roberts as a supporter of violent acts such as the bombing of an abortion facility. It was described by a White House spokesman as "one of the most dishonest and rancid ads ever run." The new ad describes abortion as, "one of our established liberties" and says: "There is just too much at stake to let John Roberts become a decisive vote on the Supreme Court." [LifeNews, 29 August]

The Food and Drug Administration in the US has postponed the decision on whether to allow over-the-counter sales of the morning after pill. They could not reach a consensus on the age limit of those who could buy the drug without a prescription. FDA Commissioner Lester Crawford has called for 60 days of public comment on whether and how shops should enforce an age limit for non-prescription sales. Pro-abortion groups in America have responded angrily to the delay. [CNS News, 29 August]

A mother in Northern Ireland is about to join the growing number of women who are having stem cells harvested from their baby's umbilical cord. Liz Ackerman, who is about to give birth to her second child, says that the umbilical cord cells may be able to save her child's life in the future: "If this child should develop Parkinson's, or cancer, Alzheimer's or a heart defect, by that time, technology would have progressed to such a level that you could use these stem cells to fight or even cure these illnesses." Frank Barry, Professor of Cellular Therapy at the University of Galway said: "We are seeing more evidence that stem cells can be therapeutically very useful and are likely to be widely used in the future to treat a broad variety of diseases. So, it may be very sensible to consider harvesting the cord blood and storing it until some time in the future when those stem cells could possibly be used." [BBC News, 30 August]

Scientists have predicted that artificial wombs could become available within 20 years. These would mean that unborn children could grow and be born outside a woman's body. Although this could bring advantages for babies born very prematurely, who would be able to be nurtured and brought to maturity in artificial wombs, scientists have raised ethical concerns about their use. Dr Richard Ashcroft of Imperial College London said: "Is creating children with artificial wombs having children at all, or is it a kind of manufacturing of children? It is deeply dangerous." [Times, 30 August]

The Canadian Prime Minister has appointed a new member of the Senate despite his involvement with an abortion scandal. Francis Fox resigned from the House of Commons in 1978 after it was revealed that he had fraudulently obtained an abortion for a woman with whom he was having an affair. He signed the name of the woman's husband on a hospital document to procure the abortion. [LifeSiteNews, 29 August]

Planned Parenthood has released a promotional cartoon advocating violence against pro-lifers and portraying them as zombies and corrupt politicians. It features a "superhero" called Dianisis whose mission is to promote abortion and eliminate pro-life supporters. At one point she fires a gun loaded with condoms at pro-life protestors outside a Planned Parenthood clinic obliterating them. [Life Issues, 30 August]

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