weekly update, 13 to 20 December
20 December 2006
Weekly Update, 13 to 20 December 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.
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 ] Archbishop Celestino Migliore, the permanent observer of the Holy See at the UN said: "The Holy See understands access to reproductive health as being a holistic concept that does not consider abortion or access to abortion as a dimension of those terms. However, even with this understanding, we opposed the inclusion of such a phrase in this article, because in some countries reproductive health services include abortion, thus denying the inherent right to life of every human being."
An unnamed lobbyist told Ekklesia: "The failure of the Holy See to back disability action through this measure puts it in a dishonourable minority" [Ekklesia, 16 December ] SPUC has relaunched its international review.
The third edition of Pro-Life Intelligence includes a leading article on the latest attempts to use "sexual and reproductive health" to cloak moves to make abortion more widely available.
There are also abstracts of several learned articles on life-related matters, with links to the original texts.
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Church leaders in Chile have claimed that the government's programme to provide morning-after pills free to any woman over 14 violates parental rights and the constitution, since emergency contraception can cause early abortions.
President Michelle Bachelet, a paediatric physician, has called the programme a matter of social justice.
A number of public officials are refusing to co-operate.
[LifeSite, 18 December ] Christians have protested outside the headquarters of Wal-Mart Stores Inc. in Arkansas because of the organisation's stance on homosexual issues and its decision to sell the morning -after pill.
"Wal-Mart has been blackmailed by the radical homosexual agenda and the abortion industry," said Pastor Flip Benham, founder of Operation Save America, who led the protest.
[LifeSite, 18 December ] Couples undergoing IVF treatment are wasting thousands of pounds on unnecessary and potentially harmful drugs, according to researchers in the Netherlands.
Scientists from the University of Utrecht believe that small doses of the drugs can be just as effective as the expensive high doses that are commonly given.
The drugs can also cause the embryos to be damaged as well as dangerous side effects to the mother including a potentially fatal condition known as ovarian hyper-stimulation.
Professor Bert Fauser, who led the research, said: "Women are paying a high price financially and they are risking their health and psychological well being when low doses therapy will work for the majority of patients." [Mail on Sunday, 17 December ]