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Defending life
from conception to natural death


Weekly Update: 1 - 7 February 2006

7 February 2006

Catch up on all the big news stories from the past week - here are some you may have missed:

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. [Telegraph, 7 February]

During his State of the Union address on Tuesday, President Bush spoke of the need to protect the 'matchless value of every life', and called upon Congress to pass legislation prohibiting practices including 'human cloning in all its forms, creating or implanting embryos for experiments, creating human-animal hybrids, and buying, selling, or patenting human embryos' [Whitehouse.Gov 31 January]

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]

The British government is to become the founder donor of a fund intended to cover the funds withheld by the US government to organisations that promote abortion overseas. The Department for International Development will contribute £3 million over two years. Gareth Thomas the international development minister claims that reducing the number of unsafe abortions is a critical part of the UN Millennium Development Goal on reducing maternal mortality. [Guardian, 6 February] A spokesperson from SPUC commented: "The UK Government has tried to justify its bankrolling of the worldwide abortion movement with the claim that safe and legal abortion is necessary to protect women's health, yet millions of women around the world still don't have access to safe water and can't read or write while the Blair government gives priority to killing their unborn children."

Pope Benedict XVI has praised the work of Italy's Movement for Life on the occasion of the Italian Church's annual Day for Life. "Every human life in itself always deserves to be defended and encouraged," Pope Benedict told a crowd of supporters who gathered in St Peter's Square waving balloons and banners. [Reuters, 5 February]

A 71-year-old man has been questioned by police over the death of his 91-year-old mother. Doctors alerted police amid suspicions that Hildegard Jones's intravenous drip was tampered with, causing a drug overdose. Frederick Jones was at his mother's bedside at St George's Hospital, Tooting, after she sustained serious injuries in a traffic accident. A police spokesman said that Mr Jones had been bailed and that the death was being treated as unexplained. [Life Style Extra, 3 February]

A US man whose daughter committed suicide a year after undergoing a secret abortion has established a foundation in her name to provide post-abortion support and advice. George J Zallie believes that Stacy's abortion experience drove her to suicide, commenting: "It took a toll on her emotionally and mentally, that she couldn't recover from it. And it just breaks my heart that she didn't open up." [LifeNews, 2 February]

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