"The Chinese government forces late-term abortions all the time"
21 August 2006
Further to our report of 15th August in which the Chinese Vice Health Minister Jiang Zuojun claimed that late term abortions are rare, the Population Research Institute (PRI) has said that on the contrary, late term abortions are common in China. Joseph D'Agostino from PRI said, "This is complete baloney. The Chinese government forces late-term abortions all the time, if women who have been hiding their illegal pregnancies are discovered by the police in their 8th or 9th month. The thousands of women forcibly aborted in Linyi last year, as Time magazine reported Sep. 19, 2005, are cases in point. This statement was most likely made for Western consumption."
Catholic doctors have spoken in the UN General Assembly promoting the rights of the disabled and calling for them to protected at the beginning and the end of life. The International Federation of Catholic Medical Associations made the statement in response to the International Treaty on Disabilities. They opposed the selective abortion of disabled unborn children, calling it "a heinous offence against humanity" and said that the term "reproductive rights" should not be linked to the prevention or treatment of disabilities. They concluded: "The fundamental reproductive right is the right to be born." [Zenit, 20 August]
South Africa's constitutional court has suspended two acts that increase access to abortion because the public had not had an opportunity to participate in the process of passing them. The decision to strike down the Abortion Amendment Act and the Traditional Health Practitioners Act upheld an application by Doctors for Life, which said that Parliament had failed to enable public involvement in the process, as was their constitutional obligation. [Life Site, 18 August]
Girls as young as 13 in Scotland are being fitted with birth control implants. According to Scotland on Sunday, at least 100 girls aged under 16 were fitted with the implants at NHS family planning clinics in the past year. The implants, known as Implanon, are long-acting contraceptives, which are placed under the skin of the arm and left in place for three years. Concern has been expressed about the unknown long-term effects of such implants on adolescent girls. [Scotland on Sunday, 20 August]
Two of the largest pro-life networks in America have launched an initiative to set up clinics in inner city areas. Care Net and Heartbeat International hope to be able to reach black and Hispanic communities in inner cities where abortion rates are the highest. The clinics provide ultrasound scans, counselling, practical assistance and parenting classes. [The Guardian, 20 August]
The Australian Minister for Health has criticised stem cell scientists for raising unrealistic hopes over the potential cures to be found by stem cell research. Speaking to an Australian television program, ABC Insiders, Mr Tony Abbott said that no changes should be made to the law, and expressed fears that therapeutic cloning could lead to human cloning. Mr Abbott said, "What we are seeing at the moment is a lot of peddling of hope, but no great evidence that these new and radical research techniques are actually going to produce the breakthroughs that some of the more evangelical scientists are claiming for them." [CathNews, 21 August]
A Scottish scientist has said that the moral implications of stem cell research must be taken into account. Writing in The Scotsman, Dr Debbie Wake, a specialist registrar and researcher at Edinburgh's Western General Hospital, called for "a full public debate" not only on embryonic stem cell research but also on the use of human stem cells for fertility treatments. [The Scotsman, 21 August]