"I was aborted, but I did not die ... I just love to be alive"
12 April 2006
The American pro-life campaigner Gianna Jessen, who survived when her mother attempted to abort her, has spoken to a local newspaper in the north of England about her life and her work. She spoke in the Civic Hall in Leeds yesterday at an event organised by local Catholics and pro-life groups. Despite doctors predicting that she would "be a vegetable", she is a singer, writer and is planning to run the London Marathon in support of a cerebral palsy charity, a condition that she suffers from as a result of the abortion. She told her interviewer, "I just love to be alive. I was aborted, but I did not die. ... Thinking about my story, you have to question the basis of abortion being about a woman's right to choose. What about my rights as a baby? If the abortionist had still been in the building, he would have made sure I did not survive after delivery, and my rights would have been ignored. It is not our right to murder children." [Yorkshire Post Today, 12 April]
The Catholic church in Guatemala will oppose a new law on family planning, according to Cardinal Rodolfo Quezada Toruño, the archbishop of Guatemala City. He said on Sunday that Guatemalan bishops would file briefs before the High Court against the legislation, which is currently before the country's Constitutional Court. Cardinal Toruño said, "This law is manifestly unconstitutional because it does not respect the human embryo, it does not respect the right of parents to teach their kids about sexuality and it even forces private Catholic schools to teach things that go against their consciences." [EWTN, 11 April]
A shortage of midwives in Britain has led to some women no longer being able to give birth at home. United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust has said that it cannot supply midwives for any more home births. A recent study by Birth Choice UK shows that increasing numbers of women are choosing to give birth at home. Lisa Dixon, 28, a member of the National Childbirth Trust, said that women should have the choice of a homebirth. She said, "I feel if it's taken away it is just not natural. Most women can give birth quite naturally without drugs and hospitals." [Louth Today, 11 April]
The director of policy for British charity Help the Aged has said that most older people do not receive the care they need when they are dying. Writing in the Guardian, Paul Cann described a recent Help the Aged survey which showed that the majority of elderly people die in hospital, although most would prefer to die at home or in a hospice. He criticised hospitals for not providing adequate palliative care for older people, as 59% of health professionals said that older people who were dying received a worse level of care than a dying younger person. [The Guardian, 12 April]
Controversy is deepening over proposals to cut palliative care beds in Wales. Swansea health officials plan to axe 10 palliative care beds in the city. The cuts are part of an attempt to save money and restructure hospital services. Local campaigners have been fighting against the proposals. Yvonne Hurcombe, chairwoman of the pressure group, Care of the Critically Ill, said, "There is a real need for more palliative care and it's not going to go away just because managers need to save money." [This is South Wales, 12 April]
The Florida Supreme Court has upheld an abortion law which requires doctors to tell women seeking abortion the age of her unborn child and the risks of abortion. The court voted unanimously to uphold the law, which was enacted in 1997 but never enforced because of a temporary injunction issued in 1998. [Medical News Today, 12 April]