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Defending life
from conception to natural death


29 September 2005

29 September 2005

29 September 2005 The BBC has claimed that thousands of 'illegal "backstreet" abortions' are thought to occur in Portugal every year.

The claim was made in a report that Portugal's Socialist government has called for a referendum to abolish the legal stipulation for there to be mental or physical health risks or other grounds to justify abortions up to 10 weeks.

The only requirements would be that abortions were performed in a clinic or hospital.

The government hopes to hold a referendum by the end of the year, but the final decision rests with President Jorge Sampaio.

[BBC News, 28 September ] SPUC comment: "Claims about rampant illegal abortion in Portugal go back decades but have never been substantiated," said Paul Tully, SPUC's general secretary.

A doctor in Arkansas is offering free abortions for victims of Hurricane Katrina. Dr Jerry Edwards, who runs the only abortion clinic in central Arkansas, says that he has already performed six free abortions.

[MSN, 28 September ] Rose Mimms, executive director of Arkansas Right to Life, said: "This just adds to the devastation these women already have in their lives. Some have lost family members. They all have lost property for sure. Taking the lives of unborn children who are survivors of the hurricane is the wrong response."

[Life News, 28 September ] Pope Benedict XVI has said that the first duty of every civilisation is to protect the dignity of the person. His words were read in the first Meeting of Civilisations being held in Turkey.

The Pope emphasised that this duty was particularly important in a time when: "the danger might exist that fundamental human values are sacrificed in the name of progress or are lost because of destructive secular ideologies."

[Cath News, 29 September ] Doctors have been warned not to give the anti-depressant Seroxat to women in the first three months of pregnancy as it could increase the risk of abnormalities in babies. A study by the manufacturers of the drug, GlaxoSmithKline, suggests that the risk of fetal problems such as heart defects may be higher among women taking Seroxat.

A spokesman for the company said: "The current product information states that Seroxat (paroxetine) should be used during pregnancy only when strictly indicated. Doctors are advised to carefully weigh the potential risks and benefits of using paroxetine therapy in women during pregnancy." [The Telegraph, 29 September ]

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