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Defending life from the moment of conception

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Continued failure leads to calls for government to sack teen pregnancy advisers

24 February 2006

An economics expert has called for the government to consider dismissing its advisers on teenage pregnancy after new statistics revealed the continuing failure of the government's strategy to reduce the incidence of teenage pregnancies. David Paton, professor of economics at Nottingham University Business School, said: "The taxpayers' money spent by the Teenage Pregnancy Unit seems to have had no impact. The Government should look closely at the unit's future. Closing it should be seriously thought about." [The Telegraph, 24 February] The government and the Teenage Pregnancy Unit have promoted access to abortion and abortifacient birth control, in particular the morning-after pill, for schoolchildren as young as 11 as part of its strategy.

Further evidence of coercive population control has emerged in India. Judge Amrit Abhijat in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh has threatened punitive action against state employees and community leaders who do not cooperate in recruiting people to submit to sterilisation. India's Catholic bishops have condemned the move, describing it as "barbarous". [Zenit, 23 February]

Supporters of the disgraced embryonic stem cell researcher Hwang Woo-Suk have assaulted the dean of Seoul National University in protest at Woo-Suk's dismissal. Woo-Suk was dismissed after his claims to have created cloned human embryos were shown to be based on fraudulent research. The dean, Professor Roe Jung-Hye, was attacked on the way to her office by about 10 people shouting pro-Hwang slogans. [LifeNews.Com, 23 February]

The US Supreme Court agreed on Tuesday to hear an appeal against the striking down of the federal partial-birth abortion ban. The ban, signed by President Bush in 2003, has never gone into effect because of lawsuits brought by opponents alleging that it was unconstitutional. The case now before the Supreme Court originated in Nebraska, where the State Supreme Court ruled against the ban, a decision the Bush Administration is asking the federal Supreme Court to overturn. [CWNews, 21 February]

An appeal by two Canadian women who want the state to pay for abortions in private facilities has been refused a hearing by the Canadian Supreme Court. The Canadian government currently funds abortions only in public or not-for-profit clinics. The two women, from Manitoba, cited an eight-week wait for publicly-funded abortions as the reason it was necessary to resort to a private clinic. [Calgary Sun, 24 February]

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