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Defending life from the moment of conception

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Pro-life witness in Parliament Square

25 April 2006

More than 150 SPUC supporters took part in a pro-life witness in Parliament Square, London, on Saturday. They listened to speakers giving testimony to the pain and damage which abortion had done them. They gave a message of hope - that help is available to help women avoid abortion as well as for those who have had abortions. The testimonies were led by Mrs Georgette Forney of Pennsylvania who leads a ministry in America which performs similar acts of witness and offers resources for those hurt by abortion. As well as the London event, SPUC held its pro-life chains in more than 40 places around Britain. An event similar to the London one will be held in Glasgow next Saturday (the 29th). [SPUC]

A 16-year old boy in Germany has been jailed for attacking his pregnant girlfriend in an attempt to kill her unborn child. The teenager and a 15-year old accomplice kicked and punched the 15-year old mother, who was six months pregnant, and forced her to jump from a three-metre scaffolding, the court heard. When they were sure the foetus was dead, the attackers fled. However, the mother managed to call for help and her child was safely delivered by caesarean section. [Sky News, 24 April]

Monsignor Elio Sgreccia, President of the Pontifical Academy on Human Life, has reaffirmed that the Catholic Church's position on respect for human life remains unchanged. In an interview with the Catholic News Agency, Mgr Sgreccia emphasised that the "union of the feminine chromosome and the masculine chromosome" at fertilisation is "precisely the beginning of an individual life". [Catholic News Agency, 24 April]

Support for euthanasia in Finland has fallen since 2004, according to a poll published in the newspaper Aamulehti. 60% of respondents said they were in favour of euthanasia, compared with 65% two years ago. Opposition had risen from 25% to 33%. 1,000 Finns were polled by phone. Although active euthanasia is not allowed in Finland, passive euthanasia in which doctors cause a patient's death by discontinuing treatment is legal. [Angus Reid Consultants, 24 April]

Speaking at a pro-life conference in Ontario, Canada, Bobby Schindler - brother of the late Terri Schindler Schiavo - described the impact he believes slanted media reporting had on his sister's case. Terri's death "was about a very strong and aggressive euthanasia movement that has taken hold of our country. Our family was blindsided. We had no idea what we were up against", Mr Schindler said. Terri Schiavo's family has set up a foundation to fight for other potential victims of euthanasia. [LifeSite, 24 April] Mr Schindler is due to speak at a Family Life International conference in London next Saturday, 29 April.

The American Life League is holding its National Pro-Life T-shirt Day today. Pro-life people all over the US are encouraged to wear t-shirts with pro-life slogans as a public witness to the rights of unborn children. This is the fourth time the annual event has been held. [American Life League's National Pro-Life T-Shirt Day 2006]

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