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Defending life
from conception to natural death


21 March 2005

21 March 2005

21 March 2005 The UK's Chief Rabbi Dr Jonathan Sacks has said that the law on abortion "has consequences few foresaw at the time." He stated: "The time has come to reconsider our stance on abortion and to give weight to the rights of the unborn child."

[Jewish Telegraph, 18 March ] An opinion piece in the Sunday Telegraph has highlighted Tony Blair's pro-abortion voting record in spite of his claims to be personally opposed to abortion. Dominic Lawson reminded readers: "This country has almost as many unborn babies disposed of every year as there were people killed in the Tsunami. Every year."

[The Telegraph, 20 March ] The Guardian newspaper has reported that Michael Howard, the Conservative Party leader who has called for the legal limit for abortion to be reduced to 20 weeks, did not vote to lower the limit from 28 weeks to 22 in the past as he claimed.

[The Guardian, 18 March ] Michael Howard has said that the Conservative Party "will find time for parliament to debate the issue and decide whether the limit should be lowered" if elected.

A number of opinion polls have been conducted by newspapers on the subject of upper time limits for abortion.

[The Telegraph and The Scotsman , 20 March] A strongly-worded pro-abortion leader in the New Statesman has accused the pro-life movement of being "driven not by compassion for helpless babies - still less for women - but by moral or theological dogma." It concludes: "No-body forces its members to have abortions, or to perform them. The pro-life lobby should not be allowed to force other people to have babies they don't want."

[New Statesman, 21 March ] John Smeaton, SPUC's National Director, commented: "Whilst we would welcome any reduction in the number and availability of abortions, the pro-life movement must also learn from tactical mistakes of the past. Attempts at lowering the upper age limit for abortion resulted in 1990 in the legalising of abortion up to birth in cases of disability and for other reasons.

Today, pro-abortion politicians are poised to exploit public concern about late abortions to make abortion even more freely available in the first few months of pregnancy.

Michael Howard has said that 'abortion should be available to everyone', which echoes Lord Steel's call for abortion to be made more widely available in the early months and neither politician has proposed a ban on the practice of aborting disabled babies up to birth."

[SPUC source] The trial of a man charged with murdering his disabled son has ended with the jury failing to reach a verdict.

The Crown Prosecution Service has seven days to decide whether to call for a retrial. [The Scotsman, 18 March ] Terri Schiavo's family have welcomed a bill passed by Congress that could save her life.

Terri's estranged husband, Michael, is apparently outraged, telling CNN: "I think that the Congress has more important things to discuss" than whether his wife is saved from starvation and dehydration.

Terri's feeding tube was removed on Friday and her father said that she is becoming tired but is still able to respond to him.

President Bush has flown back to Washington early from holiday to sign the bill into law as soon as it reaches him. Approximately 50 people are holding vigil outside the hospice where Terri lives.

[The Guardian, 21 March ] One of the legal representatives of Terri's parents has said that Terri tried to protest against being starved to death. Barbara Weller said that she told Terri: "Terri, if you would just say, 'I want to live', all of this will be over.'" She began shouting "I waaaaaant" so loudly that a police officer entered the room.

Ms Weller was removed from the room and the tube was later removed. [, 18 March ] Refugees from North Korea have described cases of forced abortion and infanticide at a conference in Seoul on human rights.

A former prisoner described a woman who was eight months' pregnant being forced to have an abortion because the baby's father was Chinese, whilst a former inmate of a North Korean orphanage said that in three months, 23 out of the 76 children there died of disease and malnutrition.

Chinese women fleeing to North Korea to escape the one-child policy are reported to have been tortured, imprisoned and forcibly aborted by officials.

[, 18 March ] The UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) held a conference last week on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), agreeing that the MDGs should include "universal access to reproductive health" which includes abortion on demand.

The author of a report on reducing maternal mortality, Lynn Freedman, recommended the inclusion of universal access to reproductive health under the maternal mortality goal.

Norway and Canada supported the proposal. [C-FAM, 18 March ]

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