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Defending life from the moment of conception

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12 September 2005

12 September 2005

12 September 2005 The Daily Telegraph has reported on a Spanish clinic which offers deals on late abortions for British women.

Mediterrània Mèdica in Valencia offers cover for travel expenses and even reductions in the price of the abortion for British women.

A Telegraph reporter posing as a British pregnancy helpline was reportedly told that the clinic would also offer a commission for referrals.

Spanish law allows abortion after 22 weeks only if the mother is mentally ill. The clinic is said to assume that any woman who asks for a late abortion must be distressed enough to qualify.

[The Telegraph, 11 September ] An investigation by the Daily Mail has claimed that private abortion facilities in the UK are paying doctors to authorise abortions on women they have never seen.

A senior London surgeon warned: "I know of doctors who charge £14 an hour to sign these approval forms. They are faxed or biked to them, sometimes hundreds of miles away. Can't these people see how dangerous this is? They are blinded by money."

The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists said that doctors could authorise abortions without seeing the patient.

[Daily Mail, 11 September] Anthony Ozimic of the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC) commented: "By failing to ensure that women considering abortion are seen by at least one doctor, abortion providers are not only rushing women into the damaging decision to end their child's life but are also endangering women's health. The total disregard abortion providers show for women's health by rushing women into abortion adds to the growing evidence that abortion hurts women, which includes maternal injury, psychological damage, sterility and death. If abortion providers honestly believe in a 'right to choose' as distinct from a 'duty to abort', they should ensure women have a 'right to know' the truth about abortion, the innocent human being it kills and women it damages."

[SPUC source] The National Academy of Sciences in the Ukraine has come under fire from human rights activists for suspected trafficking in foetal and infant body parts, The Times reports.

The Academy's Institute for Problems of Cryobiology and Cryomedicine advertises a long list of foetal body parts for sale on the internet, and human rights activist Tatyana Zakharova suspects that live newborns are also being stolen for research purposes.

Those responsible are exploiting a loophole in Ukrainian law which automatically considers babies born before 27 weeks or weighing under 1 kg (21b 3oz) as abortions, rather than births, which means that the babies are not officially registered.

The Ukraine is now changing the law to protect all live births in response to international pressure.

[The Times, 10 September ; see also here ] Researchers at the Yale School of Medicine have found evidence that a common pesticide, Methoxychlor or MXC may reduce fertility in women.

MXC can apparently reduce the ability of the uterus to support implantation.

[Medical News Today, 11 September ] The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists is urging the Australian Federal government to lift the ban on the abortion drug RU-486, also known as Mifepristone.

RU-486 has been effectively illegal in Australia since 1996, but the College, in a policy document due to be released later this year, argues that the law should be reviewed.

A spokeswoman for the health minister said that the Government has no plans to change the legislation but is happy to hear people's views.

[The Age, 12 September ] The Californian Senate has passed a bill that would require pharmacists who conscientiously object to dispensing the morning-after pill to state their objection in writing to their employer, who would then have an obligation to make 'reasonable accommodation' for them.

The pharmacy manager would also be responsible for ensuring that the customer was nevertheless able to procure the drug. Assembly member Ray Haynes said that the bill was still 'about forcing people to dispense drugs to terminate pregnancies...You have to force every single individual in this society to accept this right. You have to stick a gun in their face and say, "If you don't do it we're going to take away your profession."'

[Medical News Today, 11 September ] A survey conducted by the baby charity, Tommy's, in National Pregnancy Week has found that one in three women find their employers unsupportive during pregnancy.

One in ten say they are afraid to tell their bosses they are pregnant.

Recent research by the Equal Opportunities Commission supports such concerns and is calling for it to be made standard procedure for midwives to give out slips of paper setting out pregnant women's legal rights in the workplace so that all employers are aware of their obligations. [The Times, 10 September ]

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