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Defending life from the moment of conception

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Americans are becoming increasingly pro-life

23 March 2006

Americans are becoming increasingly pro-life, according to a survey carried out by the Zogby International poll firm. More than 30,000 people from 48 states took part in the survey, which was conducted earlier this month. 59% of people said that abortion ends a human life and 50% believed that life began at conception, while only 19% said that life begins at birth. The majority of participants supported pro-life legislation that is currently being considered at state and national level. Associated Television News President Brad O'Leary, who commissioned the poll, said, "The recent confirmation hearings for Justices Alito and Roberts may have galvanized undecided voters into the pro-life camp." [Life News, 22 March]

The price of abortifacient morning-after pills is expected to fall by 12% after Mr Gordon Brown, the British finance minister, yesterday announced a cut in sales tax on birth control supplies. The reduction in value added tax from 17.5% to 5% will mean that morning-after pills will cost £22 instead of the present £25. Some 70 MPs signed a parliamentary motion in favour of such a tax cut. Ms Anne Weyman, chief executive of the Family Planning Association, welcomed the news, and said: "We'd also like to see increased funding for a wider distribution of free condoms and emergency pills across healthcare services." [BBC News, 23 March]

Pope Benedict has called abortion today's gravest injustice. Speaking to the Vatican's representatives to international organisations, the pope mentioned the attacks against the unborn and the family at the United Nations, and the difficulties that are faced in opposing such attacks. He said: "These injustices can adopt many faces. For example, the face of disinterest or disorder, which can even go so far as to damage the structure of that founding cell of society that is the family; or perhaps the face of arrogance that can lead to abuse, silencing those without a voice or without the strength to make themselves heard, as happens in the case of today's gravest injustice, that which suppresses nascent human life." [LifeSite, 20 March]

Many Latin American countries are preparing to celebrate the day of the unborn. El Salvador, Argentina, Chile, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, the Dominican Republic, Peru and Paraguay observe the annual pro-life day, which was promoted by Pope John Paul II. It is held on or near to 25 March, the feast of the Annunciation. [Zenit, 22 March]

Pro-lifers have been rallying in South Africa to protest against the estimated 500,000 abortions that have taken place there since abortion was legalised in 1997. Silent demonstrations were held in Durban, Cape Town, Bloemfontein and Pretoria. Ruth Schroeder, a member of Christians for Truth which has been leading the protests, said: "It is simply untrue that South Africa has a culture of human rights if the most basic human right, the right to life itself, is being legally disregarded." [Life News, 22 March]

A Chinese woman has been jailed for selling eight babies, after telling their parents that she would find safe homes for them. The babies, who were born outside China's one child policy, are mostly the children of farming families living in the rural area of Yunnan. Li Xiulian made a profit of up to 1,000 yuan (£71) on each child. She has been sentenced to 15 years in prison. A spokesman for the court said: "The families could not keep the babies so Li told them she would find good homes for them. However, after she got them, she simply sold them off to buyers." [icWales, 23 March]

A North Korean doctor has said that disabled babies are routinely killed at birth in that country. Ri Kwang-ch, who has fled the country, told an American human rights panel that infanticide of disabled babies is widespread so as to lower the number of people with physical anomalies in North Korea. He said that the practice is encouraged by the government to "purify" the population. [Life News, 22 March]

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