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Defending life from the moment of conception

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US abortion rate in decline

27 April 2006

Reliable studies with broad coverage show that the abortion rate in America is declining, despite earlier claims that pro-life legislation in various states was having no effect. The Alan Guttmacher Institute, which works with Planned Parenthood, estimated that abortions fell by 1.6% in 2001 and 2002; and although national figures are not available later than 2002, several states - including Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Michigan - report declines in the number of abortions of between 2% and 11%. [, 3 April]

A constitutional amendment has been proposed in Colorado, USA that would define pregnancy as beginning at fertilization. 'Contraceptive' drugs which work by preventing the newly-conceived embryo from implanting would be officially classified as abortifacient. Rep. Kevin Lundberg of Berthoud, who introduced the proposal, said his aim is "to re-establish in Colorado law the proper definition of pregnancy... It's based on good science. It's not based on medical opinion". [Denver Post, 27 April]

A teenager from Illinois, USA, who was paralyzed in a car accident is now beginning to walk again after receiving adult stem cell treatment. Jacki Rabon travelled to Lisbon, Portugal where Carlos Lima, a neurologist at Hospital Egaz Moniz, transplanted cells from the patient's nose to repair the damaged spinal cord. "I'm still really against abortion, so I'm not for embryonic stem cell therapy. But anything else that doesn't involve killing a baby is great" Jacki said. [Florida Baptist Witness, 27 April]

A proposal to legalise abortion for therapeutic reasons is to be debated by the Nicaraguan National Assembly on Thursday, as part of a Penal Code reform. Last month, Bishop Juan Abelardo, president of the Bishops' Committee on Family Ministry and Dr. Rafael Jose Cabrera, president of the Nicaraguan Association for Life, published a letter urging legislators to reject the proposals and arguing that abortion clinics want abortion provided "to any woman for any reason, with the only requirement being a signature of approval from the woman, her spouse or a close relative, and the signatures of three doctors". [Catholic News Agency, 26 April]

The bishop of Quilmes, Argentina in a recent homily defended Church teaching on human life as "not stubbornness, but a consequence of our faith". He also spoke out against the manipulation of pre-natal human life, saying that "the experiments that were done secretly at the Nazi concentration camps, in the name of the so-called Aryan race, are today done out in the open in the name of science and with the consent of lawmakers". [Catholic News Agency, 27 April]

Police in Manila, Philippines have seized 1,792 tablets of Cytotec, a drug used in chemical abortions, arresting the dealer. The raid was part of a crackdown on dealers of illegal abortifacient drugs ordered by Lito Atienza, the Mayor of Manila. Atienza has in the past come under media criticism for ordering police to proceed against internationally-funded NGOs who bring abortifacients into the country. [LifeSite, 26 April]

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