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Defending life from the moment of conception

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5 September 2005

5 September 2005

5 September 2005 President George W. Bush has nominated John Roberts to be the new Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court.

American pro-life groups have backed Mr. Roberts' nomination to the Court as they hope that his rulings will interpret the law correctly, unlike previous rulings, which promoted abortion.

If the U.S. Senate approves Mr. Roberts' nomination, he will replace William Rehnquist as Chief Justice, who died on Saturday. Justice Rehnquist opposed the Supreme Court's majority opinion in the 1973 Roe v Wade case which declared that abortion on demand was a constitutional right.

President Bush must now nominate another judge to fill the vacancy left by the retirement of Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, a vacancy President Bush had previously nominated Mr. Roberts to fill.

[BBC, 5 September ] India has approved over-the-counter sale of the morning after pill.

The Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation has allowed the drug known as EC (Emergency Contraception) to be available from shops without a prescription.

[Medical News Today, 5 September ] The Vatican has warned against a pro-abortion group claiming to be Catholic currently campaigning in South America.

The erroneously named 'Catholics' for a Free Choice is attempting to collect signatures for a document endorsing reproductive rights - a euphemism that can be interpreted as including abortion on demand.

This document will be presented at the summit of world leaders in New York later this month.

[Catholic World News, 2 September ] Lord Winston, president of the British Association for the Advancement of Science, and Professor of Fertility Studies at Imperial College London, has said that the scientific establishment has exaggerated the potential of embryonic stem cells.

He warned that the "hype" surrounding the cells has resulted in unrealistic expectations such as the possibility of finding a cure for Parkinson's or Alzheimer's. Lord Winston said: "We do tend to hype up so many activities. The latest one in biology is the issue of embryonic stem cells. I view the current wave of optimism about embryonic stem cells with growing suspicion."

[The Scotsman, 5 September ] The Catholic Bishops of Sri Lanka have condemned a bill which aims to legalise abortion in their country in the name of women's rights.

In a statement from the Bishop's Conference, they said: "We uphold women's legitimate rights and pledge to support all efforts to protect women from all forms of discrimination. However, since the right to life is a fundamental human right and since the Church believes in the sanctity of human life from conception to natural death, we in no uncertain terms condemn any move to legalise abortion of any kind, for it is a violation of the right of an innocent, unborn person to life."

[Archdiocese of Colombo, 28 August ] The American Academy of Paediatrics has released a statement approving the over-the-counter sale of the morning after pill known as Plan B.

The Food and Drug Administration has delayed a decision on the sale of the drug and opened the issue to 60 days of public debate.

[Life News, 2 September ] President Bush has been criticised by pro-abortion groups in America for not advising hospitals to provide the morning after pill to women who have been raped. Several groups have joined together to file a freedom of information request, asking to see the documents related to the establishment of hospital protocol.

Pro-life groups say that no doctor should be forced to give out the morning after pill, which can cause abortion. Elizabeth Graham of Texas Right to Life said: "Health care providers ... should be never be forced to participate in procedures or practices to which they are morally opposed".

[Life News, 30 August ] A Conservative MP has accused the government of covering up a report into women who seek late abortions abroad. Last November, it was reported that the British Pregnancy Advisory Service was giving the details of a clinic in Barcelona to women who wanted an abortion after the UK limit of 24 weeks. David Davies, MP for Monmouth claimed that nothing has been done about the report because it was critical of the British Pregnancy Advisory Service.

The Department of Health denies that there was a cover-up and has promised that the report will be published.

[The Guardian, 31 August ] A baby girl, who grew inside her mother's abdomen rather than her womb, has survived and been safely delivered by caesarean.

Her mother, Ms Lisa Pitman, did not realise that the baby was growing in an unusual position and nor did the doctors, despite repeated scans.

It was only when she was admitted for a caesarean operation that they realised what had happened.

[BBC News, 30 August ] The family of an 86-year-old Muslim man is challenging a high court decision to allow NHS doctors to withdraw his life support.

They yesterday won leave to appeal against the decision.

The man suffers from renal failure among other conditions and specialists agreed that he had no realistic chance of improvement or survival.

However, the family, supported by Muslim clerics, believe that it is wrong to deliberately end a person's life.

They said: "Only God has the power to bestow death".

[The Guardian, 31 August ] A woman who suffers from a rare condition of the spine has given birth to a baby daughter.

Mrs Caroline Meek, 30, was warned that the strain of pregnancy and childbirth could leave her permanently paralysed but she decided to take the risk.

She and her daughter, Matilda, are both safe and well.

She said: "The pregnancy was difficult as I was in a lot of pain but Tilly is worth every minute of it." [The Times, 31 August ]


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