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Defending life from the moment of conception

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27 July 2005

27 July 2005

27 July 2005 SPUC is warning that government policies on teenage pregnancy and sexual health are leading to increases in the abortion rate, following the release of statistics for abortions in England&Wales in 2004.

Anthony Ozimic, SPUC political secretary, commented: "There were 185,400 abortions in England&Wales in 2004, a rise of 3,800 from 2003.

This figure represents an appalling increase in unborn lives destroyed, and women hurt by abortion, and an obstinate refusal by the government to admit the effects of its policies.

The figures represent a sharp rise in abortions before the 10th week of pregnancy, particularly in chemical abortions using RU486. Politicians and commentators must recognise that the government's approach of promoting early abortion is increasing the overall number of abortions."

[SPUC, 27 July ] The highest abortion rate last year was in the 18-19 and 20-24 age groups.

Among under 18s, the abortion rate has dropped slightly. One percent of abortions were carried out because there was a risk that the child would be born handicapped.

[Department of Health Abortion Statistics, 27 July ] The Irish health minister has said that girls as young as 11 should have access to the morning after pill, which can cause an early abortion, with parental consent.

Mary Harney's comments followed the publication of the annual report from the Crisis Pregnancy Agency, which showed that young people in Ireland are starting sexual activity at a younger age.

In response to this, a spokeswoman from the National Congress of Catholic Secondary Parents' Association said, "A lot of parents are not parenting.

We need to knuckle down and face reality. Children are losing their childhood." The report also claimed that some pharmacists in Dublin refuse to sell contraceptives, as they are opposed to their use.

[Irish Examiner, 27 July ] President Bush has stressed that he will veto any foreign aid bill if it includes funding organisations that perform or promote abortion.

The White House warned members of the Senate Appropriations Committee that their most recent bill could be rejected by the President, because it contains provisions that could result in money going towards abortions.

Pia de Solenni, director of life and women's issues for the Family Research Council said that the President's attitude sends a clear message: "These are the people that decide where we spend our money," she said, "and they are being told clearly that spending money on abortion is not a valid option."

[Life News, 21 July ] The debate over the nomination of Judge John Roberts to sit on the Supreme Court continues, as the majority of Americans believe that opposition to abortion should not disqualify a nominee.

The poll, conducted by USA Today, showed that 72% of participants said that nominees' opposition to Roe v Wade - the case in 1973 that resulted in legalising abortion in the US - should not disqualify them.

However 61% of Americans believe that Roberts should discuss his views on abortion before he is confirmed as Supreme Court justice.

[Medical News Today, 27 July ] A member of the Irish parliament has asked for clarification of his country's constitutional protection for human embryos.

Dr Liam Twomey TD, a physician and the Fine Gael opposition party's health spokesman, says there is confusion over whether IVF embryos are protected.

The government said it had not considered the matter.

[Breaking News, 21 July ] Pat Buckley of European Life Network, Dublin, said: "The Irish people in various referendums decided that unborn babies should be protected from the moment of conception. Whilst we have every sympathy for childless couples, IVF is intrinsically evil and current IVF practice is unconstitutional. 96 embryos out of every 100 created through IVF procedures perish. NaproTechnology, which has a much higher success rate than IVF, is a safe and natural method of achieving pregnancy."

The BBC has broadcast a program investigating secret abortions carried out on girls without their parents' consent.

"Real Story" focussed on the case of schoolgirl Melissa Smith who had a secret abortion at the age of 14.

Melissa said that she now regrets losing her baby and wishes that her mother had been informed of what was happening.

Her mother, Maureen Smith, has strongly criticised her daughter's school after a health worker did not inform her that Melissa was having an abortion.

Two years on, Melissa is about to give birth to another child. [BBC News, 25 July ]

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