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Defending life from the moment of conception

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Chinese one-child policy "will lead to more crime and social instability"

18 April 2006

China will experience more crime in the future, due to the country's one child policy, according to an American professor of political science. Valerie Hudson, professor at Brigham Young University in Utah said in a television interview that there would be a "surplus" of 30 million men by 2020 and that many will remain bachelors all their lives because of the lack of women. Ms Hudson, who has co-authored a book investigating the security implications of the one-child policy, said that single young men were more likely to become criminals than married men: "When there are more men than women, social instability and crime increases in society... When men have been pretty extreme criminals, upon marriage and when the children begin to come, their criminal careers more or less end." She blamed the one-child policy for China's gender imbalance, saying, "I don't think the Chinese government can really tackle the roots of the entrenched son preference until it raises that ceiling on the number of children a couple can have." [Deseret Morning News, 17 April]

A psychologist has reiterated his view that children can never experience pain before birth. Dr Stuart Derbyshire, told the British Medical Journal that unborn babies' minds are not mature enough to sense trauma until after the baby has left the womb and starts to interact. His claim follows a study by University College Hospital, London, which contended that babies born at 25 weeks do feel pain outside the womb. Pro-life groups have said that pain is not the central issue. Paul Danon from the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children said, "Is it right to murder somebody if you anaesthetise them first?" [Mirror, 14 April] Dr Derbyshire, who is from Britain and now works at the University of Pittsburgh, USA, co-wrote an article with leading pro-abortion campaigner Ann Furedi in 1996 arguing that babies cannot feel pain until they begin to socialise.

The founder of the Swiss clinic for assisted suicide, Dignitas, has said that people who have long-term depression should be able to choose to die. Ludwig Minelli said that terminal illness should not be the only reason that a person is helped to die and that depression could be a reason. Brian Iddon, a British MP and chairman of the Care Not Killing alliance, said: "People recover from mental illness - that's certainly not the time to be making a decision about whether to live or die." [The Guardian, 17 April]

Chemotherapy for pregnant women is safe for the unborn child if it is carried out after the first trimester of pregnancy, according to new evidence. Dr Elyce Cardonick, an American specialist at the Cooper University Hospital in New Jersey, found that babies are usually safe so long as chemotherapy is delayed until after the first three months. Most doctors recommend abortion if a pregnant woman develops cancer because of fears that chemotherapy will harm the unborn child. [Life Site, 13 April]

Australia's Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) has authorised the first import of the abortion drug mifepristone (RU486). Caroline de Costa, an Australian doctor, successfully applied to become an authorised prescriber of the drug. A spokesman for the TGA said that mifepristone is not yet registered in Australia and that it remains a "prohibited drug" unless given by an authorised prescriber. [Life Site, 13 April] It is thought that increasing numbers of abortion practitioners in Australia will apply to prescribe mifepristone. Three hospitals in Melbourne are already planning to apply. Pro-life campaigners fear that the availability of the drug will increase the number of abortions and may also pose serious health risks to the women who take it. Margaret Tighe, a spokeswoman from Right to Life Australia, said, "Tragically it will no doubt bring about deaths of unborn children, and it may, and I hope it doesn't, bring about the deaths of any Australian women." [Life News, 13 April]

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