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Blair hints at abortion law discussion

15 June 2006

Tony Blair the Prime Minister is reported to have told Cardinal Keith O'Brien that the time limit for abortions should be discussed by Parliament. The Scottish Cardinal asked Mr Blair to allow MPs to vote on lowering the 24-week abortion time limit. His meeting, which took place after Prime Minister's Questions yesterday, comes as his English counterpart Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor prepares to raise the issues with Health Secretary Patricia Hewitt. [Daily Mail, 14 June] Paul Tully, SPUC General Secretary commented: "Tony Blair and Patricia Hewitt both have strong pro-abortion voting records. They have worked to promote abortion and do not support any proposal to restrict abortions. Pro-abortion MPs want a radical widening of the law to accompany any review of 24-weeks."

An MP has accused the National Health Service of acting illegally by spending more than £39 million on providing abortions at a time of health service cutbacks. Laurence Robertson MP (Tewkesbury), who introduced a Bill earlier this year designed to ban abortion, got the information from a Parliamentary Question he tabled to Health Minister, Caroline Flint. He also found out that it cost the NHS in Gloucestershire £281,861 to carry out abortions in the most recent year for which figures are available. "We all know that abortion is available on demand these days, which is not allowed for in the 1967 Act," Mr. Robertson said. "So a lot of the money being spent in this way is probably being done so illegally. I will, therefore, be exploring this matter in more detail." [24 Dash, 14 June]

An American Catholic Bishop has publicly praised a pro-abortion Republican Congressman who is said to have a 100% voting record against life issues. Bishop Gerald Kicanas endorsed Jim Kolbe as "good and faithful" in assisting the poor as part of an advertisement in the Arizona Star. Bishop Kicanas has previously been praised by the aggressively abortion-supporting Governor of Arizona, Janet Napolitano, for his "softer" approach to pro-abortion politicians using Catholic venues to publicize their positions. [LifeSiteNews, 14 June]

The use of the morning-after pill in northern Spanish schools is out of control with some young women taking the drug up to seven times a month, a Spanish daily newspaper has claimed. La Opinion de la Coruña reported that "the practice of turning the post-coital pill into the principal or only contraceptive method is spreading among adolescents" in the Galicia region. The pill is approved for use in Spain for emergencies only. [Catholic News Agency, 12 June] The drug is designed to prevent conception and, failing that, to stop an early embryo from implanting in the womb.

Medical assistance given to a brain-dead pregnant woman so that she could give birth was "not only ethically licit but necessary," a Vatican official has said. The baby girl, born by Caesarean section on Saturday in Milan's Niguarda Hospital, weighed 713 grams (1.57 pounds) and measured 25 centimetres (9.84 inches) at 29 weeks of gestation. "To stop the machines would be equivalent to condemning the baby to death," said Archbishop Elio Sgreccia, president of the Pontifical Academy for Life. Ten other such cases have been recorded worldwide. [Zenit, 12 June]

The Law Commission in India has called on its government to bring in a law which would allow doctors to withdraw treatment and assisted nutrition/hydration from terminally ill patients. A report by the commission said that, under such circumstances, no criminal case should be made against the patient, the doctor or anyone else. An Indian government minister said that a larger debate was needed before any law was considered. [Hindustan Times, 12 June]

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