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Defending life from the moment of conception

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More parents aborting children with Down's Syndrome

22 May 2006

An increasing number of parents are aborting children with Down's Syndrome after prenatal tests for the condition, the Daily Telegraph reports. According to research by the Down's Syndrome Association, 62% of Down's Syndrome children are diagnosed in the womb, and 92% of these are aborted. The NHS National Down Syndrome Cytogenic Register shows that in 2004, abortions of Down's Syndrome children, at about 937, outstripped live births at 657. Lisa Green, who was offered an abortion at 35 weeks pregnancy after her son was diagnosed with the condition, said that the doctor "listed only the potential negatives about Down's syndrome, without giving us any information to read for a more balanced view". Mr and Mrs Green decided not to abort their son, Harrison, who is now two years old. [The Telegraph, 21 May]

The Independent has run a feature examining a recent trend for single women to set out to have babies on their own. 82,000 women in their thirties with no partner are said to give birth every year, and recent survey found that two thirds of women think it is OK for a woman to deliberately have a child alone, although 66% said that a father figure is necessary for a child's well-being. Helen Kendrew, a fertility nurse, said that "In their twenties women tend to put careers first and imagine that husbands and families are going to fall into line at some point ... but when they get to their thirties and forties and it hasn't quite worked out like that, it can be a hell of a shock". [The Independent, 22 May]

Residents of the Zurich block of flats where the euthanasia clinic Dignitas has its suicide rooms have complained to the authorities about the number of corpses being moved around the building. Because coffins will not fit in the communal lift, Dignitas loads bodies into body bags to take them down to hearses in the street. Gloria Sonny, 52, who lives in the block said: "Almost every day, the bodies of people who have chosen to kill themselves are taken down in the lift." [Daily Record, 20 May]

In a recent interview with LifeSiteNews, Cardinal Pell, Archbishop of Sydney said that the Catholicism of politicians who consistently vote against Catholic teaching on major issues is called into question. The Cardinal added that, although refusing Communion is a difficult question, "if a person is regularly supporting pro-abortion legislation in a way that is very, very difficult to divorce that voting from an explicitly pro-abortion attitude I think you should ask them, how come you feel that you're able to go to Communion?" [LifeSite, 19 May]

Receiving the letters of credence of the new Spanish ambassador to the Holy See, Pope Benedict XVI spoke of the Church's commitment to human rights, including "the primordial right to life, from conception to its natural end, the right to be born, to be formed and to live in a family, without the latter being supplanted or obfuscated by other forms or different institutions". [ZENIT 21 May]

Dr Evan Harris, Liberal Democrat MP for Oxford West and Abingdon, has been receiving "hate mail and death threats" from anti-abortion activists, according to claims in the Independent. Police have reportedly told the MP to take strict security measures. The letters referred to Dr Harris' call for a Parliamentary debate on the time limit for abortions, and his suggestions to make early abortions more readily available. [The Independent, 21 May] SPUC comment: "SPUC dissociates itself from any aggressive, malicious or discourteous lobbying exercise. In August 2005 we ran a campaign against Dr Harris' pro-abortion initiative in Parliament the previous month. I would have expected the police to contact us by now if they suspected that any SPUC supporter had sent an aggressive or threatening letter." said Paul Tully, SPUC general secretary.

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