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Defending life from the moment of conception

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weekly update, 11 to 17 October

17 October 2006

weekly update, 11 to 17 October SPUC has called for a proposed UN prohibition of violence against children to include a global ban on abortion. Commenting on the publication of a UN study on violence against children , John Smeaton, SPUC's national director, said: "We are deeply saddened by the report's findings. Abuse of children seems to be widespread, and a lot of that abuse is hidden. "The gravest abuse of children is to deprive them of life before they are even born. Abortion is also often hidden from the public eye or forgotten about. Tragically, this UN study makes no reference the tens of millions of babies unjustly killed every year in countries throughout the world. "However the fact is that UN conventions support care for children before they are born as well as after. There has been a failure by those charged with the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child properly to implement that convention in respect of all children without discrimination. Sadly, the convention has been unjustly interpreted by some nations and international bodies to limit its scope to born children. "SPUC and its pro-life partners are petitioning the UN general assembly in support of unborn childrens' rights. We call on those nations which currently have in place legislation which permits abortion to review their policies as a matter of urgency and to take seriously the statement in the Declaration on the Rights of the Child and the subsequent Convention on the Rights of the Child which says: 'Whereas the child, by reason of his physical and mental immaturity, needs special safeguards and care, including appropriate legal protection, before as well as after birth,'. "The UN report urges the prohibition of all violence against children. We urge the UN to include a worldwide prohibition of abortion, the greatest of all violence against young, defenceless human beings." The petition is being run by the Amnesty for Babies campaign whose website is at The United States Supreme Court has rejected an attempt by a former plaintiff to overturn a landmark abortion ruling of 1973. Ms Sandra Cano was the unidentified plaintiff in the Doe v. Bolton case which, along with the better-known Roe v. Wade, established a legal right to abortion in America. "What I received was something I never requested - the legal right to abort my child," Ms Cano said in an affidavit. Her attorney, Allan Parker, commented: "We're very disappointed that the Supreme Court has not decided to protect women and children from the harm of abortion. "An Appeals Court has ruled that neither a Court of Appeals nor District Court can overturn the Supreme Court's rejection of the case. [The Guardian, 10 October ] Australia's Catholic bishops have spoken out against a bill that proposes the creation of human embryos specifically for embryonic stem cell research. Passage of the bill would reverse a 2002 decision which allowed embryonic stem cell lines to be extracted only from embryos "left over" from the IVF process, but prevented the creation of embryos for research. The bishops said that while everyone wants to find cures for disease and to alleviate suffering this cannot be done "by creating and then killing human life." They stressed that the Catholic church is a strong supporter of adult stem cell research and treatments as well as those derived from umbilical cord blood. [EWTN News 11 October ]

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