Child abuser who forced his victims to have abortions is sentenced
19 April 2006
A Singaporean man, who forced his daughters to undergo abortion after raping them, has been sentenced to 32 years in jail and 24 cane strokes. The Muslim businessman, who cannot be named so as to protect his victims, admitted to the repeated rape of five of his daughters. Two of them, aged between 12 and 15, became pregnant and had abortions, one in Singapore and one in Indonesia, where abortion is illegal. [The Guardian, 19 April] Anthony Ozimic, SPUC political secretary, commented: "This case indicates how abortion can be used to cover up child abuse, which is unsurprising when one considers that abortion is the ultimate child abuse."
Teen pregnancy rates in a British city have risen to record highs, according to new figures. Officials in Sheffield started a 10-year project in 1999 to halve its teenage pregnancy rates but numbers have continued to rise. South Yorkshire was singled out for criticism by the government after it was shown to have one of the highest teenage pregnancy rates in the country. Steve Slack, the director for HIV and sexual health in Sheffield, still maintains that the target of halving numbers will be met by 2010. [Yorkshire Post Today, 18 April]
A convicted murderer has lost his fight to be allowed IVF treatment. Kirk Dickson, 34, who is serving a life sentence, had accused the British government of breaching his right to have a family by denying him IVF facilities. His case was finally judged at the European court of human rights where it was ruled that he had no right to IVF. Judge Bonello said, "I am far from persuaded that giving life to a child in the meanest circumstances could be viewed as an exercise on promoting its finest interests." [Telegraph, 19 April]
A very long or very short gap between pregnancies could pose a risk to the health of the unborn child, according to a study carried out by Colombian researchers. A team of scientists from Fundacion Santa Fe de Bogota published a report in the Journal of the American Medical Association which concluded that the ideal time to leave between pregnancies was between two and five years. If the gap between babies is significantly greater or smaller, the risk of prematurity, low birth weight and being small for gestational age is increased. [BBC News, 18 April]
An American university professor who vandalised an approved pro-life display at her university has been dismissed from her post. Sally Jacobsen, a professor of language and literature at Northern Kentucky University, incited a group of students to destroy a symbolic cemetery of white crosses for aborted babies, which had been set up by the campus' pro-life group as a response to a series of pro-abortion talks being carried out at the university. The president of the student pro-life group, Katie Walker, said, "Campuses are supposed to be public forums. I think professors should encourage that." [Life Site, 18 April]