14 September 2005
14 September 2005
14 September 2005 Mr John Roberts, who is nominated to be Chief Justice of America's Supreme Court, refused to answer questions about abortion posed by Democrats at his confirmation hearing on Tuesday.
He said that the Roe v. Wade ruling, which legalised abortion in the US, carried weight and is "entitled to respect" but added that it could legally be overturned.
Mr Roberts, who is a Catholic, emphasised that his religion and personal views would not play a part in his decision-making as a judge.
He said: "My faith and my religious beliefs do not play a role... I will be my own man." He refused to be more specific, saying that he did not want to discuss certain issues before the Supreme Court. [The Guardian, 14 September ] Abortion advocates have criticised Mr Roberts' answers. Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL, America's leading pro-abortion group, said that his answers had not proved conclusively that he would protect the abortion law. She said: "He still must answer this vital question directly."
[Life News, 13 September ] An international conference on euthanasia is to be held at the University of Liverpool, England.
The meeting, which starts today, will discuss the withdrawing or withholding of medical treatment, voluntary euthanasia and assisted suicide.
There will be medical and legal experts from universities in Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands and the UK present at the conference.
[BBC News, 13 September ] Paul Tully, SPUC General Secretary commented: "Joel Joffe, the pro-euthanasia peer, is due to address the meeting. It appears to be a political as much as an academic exercise."
The number of births to single women in America has reached a record high, while the teenage birth rate continues to decrease, according to a report by the National Centre for Health Statistics.
The figures show that there were 1.4 million births to single women in 2003 - an increase of 3%.
The teenage birth rate has decreased by 3%. [Medical News Today, 14 September ] A doctor from New Orleans has claimed that he practised euthanasia on victims of Hurricane Katrina.
The doctor, whose identity is protected by the American media, claimed that he killed people who he thought were unlikely to survive the disaster out of "compassion".
Alex Schadenberg, director of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition Executive said, "Not to mitigate the extreme nature of the circumstances, but the euthanasia cases in New Orleans unveils the very problem with legalizing euthanasia: Who makes the decision?" [Catholic World News, 13 September ]