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Defending life from the moment of conception

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Abortion pioneer who sought to 'eliminate' the "barely-educated, unhealthy and poor"

16 May 2006

A letter proposing abortion as a eugenic tool written by Ron Weddington, who fought to establish abortion as a 'right' in the US in the Roe v Wade case, has been published by the legal watchdog group 'Judicial Watch'. In the letter, written to President Bill Clinton in January 1993, Weddington argues that abortion should be promoted to eliminate the "barely-educated, unhealthy and poor". Weddington adds that "It's what we all know is true but we only whisper it, because as liberals who believe in individual rights, we view any program which might treat the disadvantaged differently as discriminatory, means spirited and ... well, ... so Republican." [LifeSite, 15 May]

A doctor at St Richard's Hospital, Chichester has appeared before the General Medical Council facing allegations that he offered to perform an illegal abortion. Dr Richard Akinrolabu allegedly produced a tray of medical equipment in his own home and suggested performing an abortion on a woman known as Ms A, with whom he had been having an affair. [BBC News, 15 May]

A study published in British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology has found that chemists can supply the abortifacient 'morning-after pill' more quickly than family planning clinics. The survey, carried out by researchers at the University of Bradford and South West Kent Primary Care Trust, found that women waited on average 16 hours at a chemist's, but 41 hours if they went to a family planning clinic. According to the study, the most common reasons for seeking the morning-after pill were the omission of contraception or condom failure. [BBC News, 15 May]

A Chinese state news service report on maternity care notes that some families who have more than one child refuse government aid out of fear. The report details financial assistance given to mothers in Guangxi province to enable them to give birth in hospital, but also says that "Because some rural families violate the nation's one-child policy, they often turn down support for fear of repercussions". [People's Daily, 15 May]

The UNFPA considers Bangladesh a population control 'success story', the Chinese state news agency Xinhua reports. Thoraya A. Obaid told Foreign Minister Mr Morshed Khan that Bangladesh is used "as a reference in international fora." [Xinhua, 15 May]

Police in Rajasthan state, India have ordered an investigation of 21 doctors on charges of carrying out sex selective abortions, which are illegal in India. The launch of the investigation coincides with a march of women's groups in the capital, Jaipur, to protest against the practice of female foeticide, which is held responsible for the declining ratio of women to men in the state of Rajasthan. [BBC News, 15 May]

An Ecumenical Declaration on the dignity of human life has been issued at a congress of the International Federation of Catholic Medical Associations. The declaration, backed by Catholic, Protestant and Orthodox representatives, affirms that "Human life in its physical dimension constitutes a fundamental and primary good for man... The human being must have his most important right recognized, which is life". [ZENIT, 15 May]

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