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Pro-aborts claim ECHR case 'means disabled unborn children don't count'

14 July 2006

Following last week's failure of 'D' to win a hearing in the European Court of Human Rights, the Irish Times has published a story presenting a strongly pro-abortion slant on the case. Leading pro-abortion barrister, Barbara Hewson, who acted for 'D', has pointed to the suggestion that an embryo with a life-threatening disability may not count as an "unborn" child entitled to protection under the Republic's constitution. This argument was put forward by lawyers for the state in the course of resisting the recent lawsuit launched by 'D', an Irish woman who travelled to Britain for an abortion. Her unborn child had trisomy 18 and doctors she saw in Ireland would not abort the baby. [Irish Times, 14 July] Commenting on the story SPUC development officer Liam Gibson said: "The rejection of the case by the ECHR does not affect the rights of the unborn under Irish law. The pro-abortion lobby are saying the decision implies that unborn children with disabilities should be considered as less human than other children. This is not only unfounded but will appall most people. It is precisely because the people of Ireland believe that human rights start when human life begins that the abortion lobby has resorted to the ECHR. Their failure in this case is a serious setback to the efforts of the pro-abortion lobby to undermine the Constitution by claiming a human right to abortion."

An Austrian doctor who did not advise a woman to abort her disabled unborn child may be forced to pay for child support. The doctor allegedly did not provide enough details about the child's disability for the woman to obtain an abortion. The baby girl was born in 1997 with Down's syndrome and is unlikely ever to be able to care for herself. If the Salzburg Provincial Court determines that the woman would have had an abortion if she had had the disability information, the doctor may have to support the girl for the rest of her life. The case continues. [Life News, 13 July]

A Lithuanian archbishop has said that his country must protect and support families. Cardinal Audrys Juozas Backis, archbishop of Vilnius, prepared a report on the state of the Church in Lithuania for the ad limina apostolorum visit of the bishops of the episcopal conferences of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. He told the news agency Zenit that the family in Lithuania wasis facing increasing threats but that there was hope for the future. He said his report underlined a loss of life and family values, but indicated signs of hope for the future. , "It [the report] underlined the problems of the family, the formation of young people for marriage, the secularization of society which results in the loss of the values of life and family... However, as usual, there are lights and shadows, difficulties and positive points in the area of the family, family centres, catechetical centres and youth centres. In brief, something is happening. There are small groups, small cells, which bring hope for the future." [Zenit, 13 July]

An American woman who had triplets through IVF treatment three years ago has given birth naturally, without the use of fertility drugs, to quadruplets. Angela Magdaleno, 40, who also has two teenage daughters, gave birth to two boys and two girls on 7 July 7 at the White Medical Centre in East Los Angeles. The mother and babies are safe and well. [NBC News, 11 July]

The pope has chosen to focus on human dignity as the theme for the 2007 World Peace Day. It was announced in a Vatican statement that Benedict XVI had decided that the title for the worldwide day celebrated on the 1st of January would be "The Human Person: The Heart of Peace." as every offence against a person is a "threat to peace,." a Vatican statement affirmed. The statement criticised "a distorted use of science and technology" which turns human life into a commodity and the "aberrant ideologies" which attack the traditional family. It said, "The church's mission is to announce 'The Gospel of Life,' the centrality of the human person in the universe and the love of God for humanity." [Catholic News Service, 13 July]

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