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Defending life from the moment of conception

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Doctors 'should alert police if under-13s ask for contraception'

7 February 2006

The Telegraph has reported that the UK Government may make it compulsory for medical professionals to alert police if a girl under 13 seeks contraceptive advice. The British Medical Association and General Medical Council advise doctors that they should report such cases to the police or social workers but state that they can prescribe the birth control pill to girls of any age if they deem them to be mature enough. Current Department of Health guidelines state that under-16s are entitled to medical confidentiality, including in matters such as contraception and abortion. There is no suggestion that this policy could change for 13-15-year-olds. [The Telegraph, 7 February]

Bishop Anthony Fisher, the auxiliary bishop of Sydney has called for more alternatives to abortion rather than the legalisation of the RU-486 abortion drug in Australia. "The move to chemical abortions... is [a] new development of major social and ethical import and not merely a pharmacological matter," he said. "Australians are deeply concerned that the abortion rate is already too high and clearly this new treatment will not help to reduce abortion." [Cathnews, 7 February]

There were approximately 400 cases of euthanasia in Belgium last year, nearly double the number recorded four years ago, according to official figures. 80% of euthanasia deaths were performed in the northern region. [Evening Echo, 7 February]

A Polish woman is taking her case to the European Court of Human Rights after she was unable to obtain an abortion in her country. Alicja Tysiac was told during her third pregnancy that having the baby could jeopardise her eyesight and is arguing that she was entitled to an abortion on health grounds. [BBC, 7 February]

Fr Frank Pavone of the US group Priests for Life has praised the pro-life work of Martin Luther King's family after the death of Coretta Scott King. Dr Alveda King works on the pastoral staff of Priests for Life, saying: "How can the dream survive if we murder the children?" [Priests for Life, 7 February]

A US woman whose 14-year-old daughter was seriously injured as a result of abortion has criticised supporters of abortion for assuming that legal abortion is safe. Eileen Roberts was responding to a letter in The Free Lance-Star, claiming that abortion should remain legal or they would be 'performed in back alleys under who-knows-what conditions.' [The Free Lance-Star, 6 February]

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