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Defending life from the moment of conception

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UN rejects attempt to enshrine abortion as a human right

14 December 2006

An attempt to enshrine abortion as a human right was rejected by many nations at the adoption of the Disability Convention by the United Nations General Assembly yesterday. Peter C Smith, chief administrative officer at the United Nations for SPUC and the International Right To Life Federation (IRTLF), said: "15 national delegations made good interpretative statements on the controversial term 'sexual and reproductive health', which is often falsely interpreted to include abortion." Strong pro-life statements came from the USA and the Holy See. Mr Smith observed: "These interpretative statements mean that no one can claim that the Disability Convention includes a right to abortion, under the term 'sexual and reproductive health'." [SPUC, 14 December]

A woman from Surrey, England has given birth after suffering a heart attack possibly caused by the IVF treatment she received. Lee Cowden, who suffers from polycystic ovary syndrome, was given the drug clomiphene citrate to stimulate ovulation, but developed severe pelvic pains and cysts, and had a heart attack. Doctors told her to cease fertility treatment, but she later conceived using a lower hormone level drug. [The Sun, 14 December]

The British Pregnancy Advisory Service, Britain's leading private abortion provider, has launched a campaign called 'Just in Case' to encourage women to buy the 'morning-after pill' and keep it in the bathroom cabinet "along with your plasters". BPAS has said it is prepared to sell the pill to girls under the age of consent. Ann Furedi, BPAS spokesman, said "Emergency contraceptive pills give us a second chance to avoid a problem pregnancy." The Daily Mail claims that 11 studies have found that providing 'emergency contraception' does not reduce the number of abortions. [Daily Mail, 14 December]

Legislation on IVF due to be announced today will ban gender selection, The Independent reports. Despite the recommendation of a Commons select committee, IVF clinics will not be allowed to offer parents the choice of embryos of a particular sex for non-medical reasons. It is also expected that the reforms will allow screening of embryos for genetic abnormalities which may result in certain medical conditions. [The Independent, 14 December]

A new contraceptive pill which will eliminate menstruation in users has been proved safe in clinical trials, according to the Independent. Whereas most contraceptives are taken for 21 days a month, so that the woman experiences a 'period' similar to post-ovulation menstrual bleeding, Lybrel eliminates this. The pill's manufacturers, Wyeth, have applied for approval in America and the UK. [The Independent, 14 December]

A woman who underwent a late-term abortion at 14 has spoken of her experience on American television show The O'Reilly Factor. The woman, known as 'Kelly' told how she went through a five-day abortion process, which began with the insertion of instruments to dilate the cervix, and ended with her being required to deliver her baby, which had been killed by saline injection, into a toilet. The trauma gave rise to ten years of self-destructive conduct. The abortionist who operated on Kelly, Dr George Tiller, is currently under investigation by the Kansas Attorney General's office for illegal late-term abortions and the concealment of child rape. [, 13 December]

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