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Immigration 'fuelling rise in abortions'

25 June 2007

It has been suggested that the recent increase in the number of abortions performed in England and Wales has been fuelled by immigration from eastern European countries. This immigration has led to a significant rise in the UK birth-rate in recent years and, according to Ann Furedi, chief executive of Britain's largest abortion-provider, it "would be surprising if East European immigration wasn't having an impact on abortion as well". Dr Kate Guthrie of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, disagrees, pointing out that the biggest increase in abortions was among the under-20s, whereas most women from Eastern Europe were in their 20s. [Guardian, 22 June]

President Bush plans to issue an executive order that will require the US health department to develop guidelines for funding medically useful stem-cell research that does not require destroying human embryos. Pluripotent stem cells have been successfully derived from skin cells and amniotic fluid. A spokesman at the White House, Mr Tony Fratto, said that Mr Bush supports and encourages stem cell research, provided it does not involve creating, harming or destroying embryos. [Medical News Today, 22 June]

Tony Blair, the British prime minister, met with Pope Benedict XVI on Saturday in Rome. It is reported that the Pope and/or senior Vatican officials had a frank exchange of views with Mr Blair regarding Mr Blair's record of support for anti-life and anti-family measures. [Times, 25 June, and Sunday Times, 24 June]

The Chinese pro-life activist, Chen Guangcheng, has reportedly been beaten in prison by fellow inmates, on their guards' orders. Mr Chen campaigned against forced abortions and sterilisations taking place in the Shandong province, and was subsequently sent to prison after irregular court proceedings. According to Amnesty International, he is on hunger strike in protest at being refused an appeal. [LifeSite, 22 June]

A research study has shown that women who suffer from morning sickness during pregnancy have a lowered risk of developing breast cancer and, the more severe the symptoms, the better the protection. The study of 3,000 women was carried out at the University of Buffalo, New York State. [Channel 4, 24 June]

A group of SPUC supporters, including teenagers, scaled Mount Snowdon, Wales' highest peak, on Saturday (23 June) to highlight grave injustices against conscientious objection in the medical profession. Pro-life medics in Britain are under increasing pressure to take part in abortion against their consciences. This pressure has recently been intensified by a government-endorsed document, Recommended Standards for Sexual Health. Saturday's climb by 10 activists is raising funds for SPUC's work and sustaining its campaign to uphold the rights of pro-life medics and the unborn. [SPUC, 25 June]

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