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Defending life from the moment of conception

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China doubles down on one-child policy

2 October 2006

The Chinese regime has reiterated its determination not to relax China's one-child policy. Li Yunli, deputy head of the Beijing Municipal Population and Family Planning Committee rejected a proposal that couples with higher educational qualifications should be allowed a second child. Li said: "Those people are actually not necessarily well-rounded in other areas since personality quality is a complicated issue and certainly not guaranteed by higher education. For example, their babies might not be as physically strong as those in rural areas." Li did, however, recommend those born in one-child families to have two children, saying: "This would help solve labour shortages and deal with the challenge of an ageing population." Yu Xuejun, director of the policy and legislative department of the State Population and Family Planning Commission, a more senior population control official than Li, reaffirmed the restrictions, and disagreed with Li's idea of allowing only-child couples to have a second child themselves. [China Daily, 2 October] SPUC comment: It should be noted that China Daily is controlled by the Communist party.

Dr John Reid, Britain's Home Secretary (interior minister), has repeated Prime Minister Tony Blair's criticism of the US administration's restrictions on funding for embryonic stem cell research, as we reported last Wednesday. Speaking to the Labour party conference, Dr Reid said: "We should tell George W Bush when he's wrong on climate change, on stem cell research, on civil partnerships, on tax cuts. Whatever." [The Times, 28 September]

The remains of 20 children who may have been victims of Nazi Germany's euthanasia programme have been found at Menden, West Germany. The prosecutor's office in Dortmund have suggested that the deaths may have been part of the Nazi euthanasia programme directed at disabled people. . [The Raw Story, 28 September] Anthony Ozimic, SPUC political secretary, commented: "It must not be forgotten that the war-time Nazi extermination programme was an extension of the pre-war euthanasia programme in Germany, which started with disabled children and adults with reduced mental capacity."

The Pope has said that there is never any justification for abortion. Addressing the new German ambassador to the Holy See, Benedict XVI, himself a German, said: "[A] life with handicap has equal value and is wanted by the Lord, there is never any guarantee for a life without physical, psychical or mental limitations". [AGI Online, 28 September]

A senior Vatican cardinal has called for action against unethical embryo experimentation. Cardinal Darío Castrillón Hoyos, prefect of the Congregation for Clergy, told a internet video conference of theologians: "To halt the project of human cloning is a moral imperative which must be translated into cultural, social and legislative terms." [Zenit, 1st October] In his first address to the diplomatic corps, the new Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, referred to "violence under all its forms inflicted on women, and on children who are already born or about to be born" and said that: "The defense of life, from conception until natural death, as well as the defense of the family founded on marriage are also essential topics in social life." [Zenit, 29 September]

A study by Florida State University has suggested that parental notification laws reduce sexually transmitted diseases among teenagers. Professors Jonathan Klick and Thomas Stratmann founds that laws which require the parents of teenagers either to be notified or to give consent prior to an abortion being performed reduced rates of gonorrhea among teenage girls by between 12 and 20 per cent. [Florida State University, 27 September]

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