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Defending life from the moment of conception

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Outrage over hospital burning aborted babies in incinerator

1 November 2006

The remains of aborted babies are being disposed of in a hospital incinerator because of an increase in crematorium fees. A number of people have expressed shock at this practice, but a spokesman for Addenbrooke's hospital in Cambridge, England, said that the babies' remains were burned separately from other material, and "in a sensitive and respectful manner." Michaela Aston of Life commented "The fact they are now disposing of human remains like they would any other waste product shows what society and this hospital has come to." The crematorium and the hospital are negotiating a new contract. [Cambridge Evening News 23 October]

Family doctors in Britain will be expected to question children as young as 13 about their sex lives, and to offer advice about contraception and sexually transmitted diseases, even when they attend for totally unrelated ailments. The proposed guidelines from the government body, the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (Nice), are aimed at reducing the number of teenage pregnancies and the spread of STDs. [Telegraph 30 October]

When the Catholic bishops of Ireland met the Pope on their ad limina visit at the weekend, social issues including abortion and stem-cell research were on the agenda. In the past, Pope John Paul II called on the Irish bishops to be courageous in their defence of life and the family, but they must now proclaim Catholic social teaching in a context of declining religious faith and practice. [The Post 29 October]

Women's rights groups in Nicaragua believe that the new law prohibiting all abortions was designed to win Catholic votes in the presidential elections. It was supported by Daniel Ortega, leader of the previously pro-abortion Sandinista party, the presidential front-runner, according to the Telegraph. Mileet Mejia of the Network of Women Against Violence commented: "The only thing we can do now is try to delay this." Deaths in childbirth could increase by 60% due to the law according to unnamed medical sources. [Telegraph 30 October]

Research being conducted in the US could result in breast cancer patients avoiding reconstructive surgery by the use of stem cells derived from their own fat to regenerate lost breast tissue. Fat-derived stem cells have already been shown to be very versatile. [Telegraph 30 October]

The American Society of Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) has called for fewer embryos to be transferred during IVF procedures. The call is supported by the March of Dimes and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists. They say this is to reduce the risk of complications, including premature birth, associated with multiple pregnancies. [Medical News 30 October]

Mrs Jean Jones, the new chairman of St Ann's Hospice, in Manchester, England, has called for government funding to hospices to be increased to 50% to reduce dependence on fundraising efforts. [Manchester Evening News 28 October]

Many pregnant women in the US do not receive adequate treatment for nausea, despite there being several safe and effective remedies. [Medical News 30 October]

Bishop Fred Henry of Calgary, Canada explains that he speaks out against Catholic politicians who defy the Church on matters of faith and morals, such as abortion and same-sex unions because their actions cause scandal and they must be brought to account. He would not give them communion in his cathedral. [LifeSite 26 October]

Georgetown University Law Centre has established a Chair in Human Rights named after Robert F Drinan SJ, a congressman from 1971-1981, who supported legal abortion in Congress. Fr Thomas Euteneuer, president of Human Life International, called the Jesuit university's move deeply disturbing and hypocritical. He cited Pope John Paul II's document Christifideles Laici : "The common outcry, which is justly made on behalf of human rights ... is false and illusory, if the right to life, the most basic and fundamental right and the condition of all other personal rights, is not defended with maximum determination." (n.38). [EWTN 24 October]

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