12 July 2005
12 July 2005
12 July 2005 Amnesty International UK held a seminar in London last weekend at which the organisation's position on abortion was discussed. Speakers at the seminar from pro-abortion organisations advocated the promotion of 'reproductive rights' which includes access to abortion.
The seminar marked the beginning of a consultation process designed to produce feedback for UK delegates to take to the International Council Meeting to be held Mexico in August.
[Amnesty International , 12 July] More information on how to lobby your national Amnesty representative can be found here.
Marie Stopes International, Britain's largest abortion provider, has published a report urging against any lowering of the time limit for abortion.
The report claims that women often abort later because they were unaware of their pregnancy or because their circumstances changed during it.
A spokesman for the abortion provider BPAS commented: "Everyone's story is different, but they have a valid reason for their decision."
[BBC, 12 July , Telegraph, 12 July ]Two Portuguese women have been acquitted of illegally obtaining abortions due to lack of evidence.
Abortion is illegal in Portugal except in cases of rape or disability, although Parliament has voted to hold a referendum on a possible change to the law.
Currently there are about 700 legal abortions yearly in Portugal. The case of the nurse accused of performing the abortions is still pending.
[BBC, 11 July ] A programme at Good Shepherd Catholic Church in Florida has been established to offer support to women in crisis pregnancies.
The Gabriel Project offers various kinds of practical support throughout pregnancy and has enrolled 20 volunteers.
[Tallahassee Democrat, 11 July ]Scientists at the Clinical Sciences Centre in London have developed a method of pre-implantation genetic diagnosis to screen embryos for Haemophilia A.
Mr and Mrs. Hunter, whose son Ben has haemophilia A, were the first couple to use the technique, which is to be made available on the NHS. Mrs. Hunter said she was glad to be able to use IVF/PGD techniques because she would not have wanted to abort a child with the disease.
Prof. Ted Tuddenham, who developed the technique, said: "The costs of haemophilia are very, very substantial - roughly £10,000 a year for [blood products] factor eight or factor nine replacement alone - so, on an overall health economics basis, and not just the parents wanting a normal, healthy child, it makes sense."
Alison Davis of No Less Human, a disability rights group within SPUC, commented "It is encouraging that Mrs. Hunter would never have considered aborting a baby with haemophilia. However, what she has done by having preimplantation genetic diagnosis, is to agree to the destruction of two embryos, who were just as precious and had the same right to life as an unborn baby.
These embryos were destroyed because they would have had haemophilia, as her son Ben does, yet she says she 'would not change him for the world.'
What is needed is an understanding that each individual human life begins at fertilisation, and that from that point on, the human being has an inherent right to life, and to protection from harm.
PGD does not "control" a disease or disability as the article suggests. It just facilitates throwing away affected individuals." [Scotsman.com, 12 July ]