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Defending life from the moment of conception

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Euthanasia "is the other end of the abortion debate"

6 April 2006

The lawyer who represented Terri Schiavo's parents for three years has spoken about the impact that the case had on her beliefs and personal life. Patricia Anderson gave her first interview since the death by dehydration of Terri Schiavo a year ago, to the website, Florida Baptist Witness. She said that the case forced her to reconsider her views on many ethical issues, including abortion, despite having supported it for many years. Ms Anderson compared Terri Schiavo's vulnerability to that of an unborn child, saying, "In many ways, it's the other end of the abortion debate ... Once you really examine the evidence and take a cold, hard look at it, it's almost inescapable that killing a baby is not a solution. Killing babies is not the way out of social problems or personal problems. Killing off your elderly or disabled is not the way to keep your healthcare budget in balance." [Florida Baptist Witness, 6 April]

Part of the coalition Belgian government has called for euthanasia rights to be given to under-eighteens. The Flemish Socialist party said yesterday that under-eighteens should be given the right to have assisted suicide. Euthanasia is currently legal in Belgium for adults who request it more than once, are terminally ill and are constantly suffering. [The Guardian, 6 April]

China's one-child policy is beginning to create labour shortages in its industries, according to employment experts. The first generation to be born within the one-child policy is now 18 years old and beginning to work. Brian Ho, an employment expert said that in the city of Fuzhou, only 15,000 people applied for 50,000 jobs and firms have been forced to increase wages to attract the necessary workers. [Asia News, 5 April] A Chinese woman has spoken about the desperation that led her to become an illegal immigrant to the UK. A report on the BBC website by Shan Shan Mo said the 35-year-old woman got into debt to get her husband out of jail when he got into a dispute with the Chinese authorities over the one-child policy. She said, "Although we worked hard, at the end of the month we could still not fill the hole in our debt." In order to pay her debts and to afford for her daughter to go to university, she and her husband were smuggled into England and currently work in Chinatown. [BBC News, 5 April]

A supplier in New Zealand has been charged with bringing illegal abortifacient pills into the country. The New Zealand Medicines and Medical Devices Safety Authority says that the supplier was selling morning-after pills and other abortion pills from China to customers from New Zealand, using a Chinese language website. The supplier faces two charges under the Medicines Act and one under the Crimes Act. [News Talk, 6 April]

The Holy See has called for a change to the policies of countries trying to reduce population. Archbishop Celestino Migliore, permanent observer of the Holy See to the United Nations, said to a session of the UN Commission on Population and Development of the Economic and Social Council yesterday that such policies should be replaced by programs that focus on respect for human dignity. He said population policies belonged to "years gone by" and that they had caused "serious problems brought about by failing birth-rates, and the creation of imbalances between men and women in the population." He said, "If the development of the world's peoples is to be both sustainable and sane, such flawed policies will have to be replaced by truly people-centred ones." [Zenit, 5 April]

A woman from Montreal who gave birth to twin babies after a failed abortion has received $45,000 compensation. Saoudat Batoukaeva, who is Russian-born, had an abortion in March 1999 but the hospital discovered that she was still pregnant following a routine tissue analysis. The hospital was unable to contact her, as she had moved to Toronto and she subsequently gave birth to twins in July. She has been awarded half the money she requested by Quebec Superior Court on the grounds that she missed a follow-up appointment at the hospital. [Life Site, 5 April]

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