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21 November 2005

21 November 2005

21 November 2005 The Italian pro-life group Movement for Life has responded enthusiastically to Health Minister Francesco Storace's proposal that pro-life representatives should be allowed into Italy's 2,000 state abortion facilities to offer advice and alternative support to women considering abortion.

Storace spoke of the duty to protect 'lives which are about to be born' and observed that Italy's abortion law was 'designed to prevent abortion not just legalise it'.

Pro-abortion groups reacted angrily, saying that clinics would be turned into a battleground and women would be pressurised.

[ANSA, 20 November ] Two pregnancy support groups, Real Alternatives and The Heidi Group, have applied for $5 million of state funding from the State of Texas for programmes which offer women alternatives to abortion.

The number of applicants was limited because of guidelines which exclude groups that provide counselling for abortion.

The local Planned Parenthood Trust filed complaints about the strict requirements but did not succeed in gaining any material changes.

[Medical News Today, 20 November ] Pope Benedict addressed a conference on the ethics of new advances in genetic testing at the Vatican last Saturday.

Speaking on the final day of the international conference on 'The Human Genome' organised by the Vatican's health care office, the Pope told participants: 'Today's scientific discoveries touch the lives of families, committing them to unexpected and delicate choices that must be faced responsibly...If there is a lack of adequate knowledge, or in fact of an adequate training of consciences, false values and mistaken information could easily prevail in the direction taken by public opinion'.

[The Guardian, 21 November ] Sex selective abortion continues to cause social problems and exploitation of women in India, the Sunday Herald reports.

In some areas, there can be as few as 600 girls to 1,000 boys, and there are villages where no girls are to be seen. Ena Singh, UNFPA representative, said 'It is a misconception that it's the rural poor and the illiterate who are aborting their girl children.

The data shows it's predominantly an urban problem caused by religious, cultural and economic factors.'

[The Sunday Herald, 20 Novmember ] The lawyer representing Jack Kevorkian, the euthanasia activist who was gaoled after killing a man with Lou Gehrig's Disease and recording the death, has applied for his early release on grounds of Kevorkian's ill-health.

Two previous applications for early parole have been refused by Gov. Jennifer Granholm. Kevorkian has admitted to causing 130 deaths, but promises he will not participate in any more assisted suicides if he is released.

[The Guardian, 19 November ] The American Center for Law and Justice has filed an amicus brief with the Supreme Court, representing 70 members of the US Congress, in support of the partial birth abortion ban.

The brief supports a request by the Bush administration to the Supreme Court to declare the ban constitutional, overruling appeal court judgements which disallowed it.

[LifeNews.com 19 November ] The rector of the Lateran University, Bishop Fisichella, appealed for 'a mobilization for a new culture of life' in order to counter an 'ethical relativism that supports the writing of laws and norms' at a congress held on the occasion of the tenth anniversary of John Paul II's encyclical Evangelium Vitae.

The conference, entitled 'The Splendour of Life: Gospel, Science and Ethics: Bioethical Perspectives 10 Years after Evangelium Vitae', was organised by the John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and the Family and the Pontifical Academy for Life. [ZENIT, 20 November ]


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