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Defending life from the moment of conception

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SPUC to leaflet BMA conference

26 June 2007

SPUC supporters will be outside the British Medical Association's annual representative meeting in Torquay, Devon, tomorrow giving out leaflets which call on delegates to oppose pro-abortion motions. Christine Hudson of SPUC's south-west region said: "Three motions demand changes that Mrs Patricia Hewitt [the government minister] wants so the Department of Health can increase abortion volumes. They could amount to legalising back-street abortion - the pretext for introducing mass-scale abortion in 1967. The pro-abortion motions seek to dump abortion on nurses and midwives. If doctors are not happy to perform abortions themselves, they should not be calling for others, junior to them, to do it. Doctors don't become medical professionals to kill babies and neither do nurses or midwives. The pro-abortion motions have been prioritised. Motions which raise questions about abortion safety, conscientious objection and discriminatory abortion of disabled babies have been sidelined. Abortion doesn't serve women's clinical needs - it addresses social needs with medicalised killing." [SPUC, 26 June]

An article in the Guardian newspaper looks at the growing opposition by pro-life groups and parents to schools handing out contraception and the morning after pill. Paul Tully of SPUC is quoted as saying: "[Parents] are getting involved and they are coming to us because they see abortion being promoted behind their backs to 13-year-old children and they realise this is an abuse. When we cannot change the heart of government, when we can't change policies ... we have to oppose them at the grassroots level and we will oppose them through the ordinary people who are being directly hurt by these policies." [Guardian, 26 June]

Ireland's Life Pregnancy Care Service will not have its funding withdrawn despite standing firm on its policy not to provide information about foreign abortion facilities. The Crisis Pregnancy Agency, who provide Life with annual funding of around €300,000, insists on organisations it funds providing clients with information about how to obtain an abortion abroad, but has reached a settlement with Life that will allow it to continue with its ethical stance on abortion. [Irish Examiner, 26 June] Patrick Buckley of European Life Network, Dublin, said: "This is the second time the CPA has attempted to force a pro-life agency to refer women on to other agencies which will provide information on abortion services. The CPA was set up to reduce the number of crisis pregnancies and thereby the numbers of women seeking abortions abroad. Its policies however seem to continually run counter to their brief and the Irish constitution by insisting that all counselling agencies provide information on abortion services abroad."

The Catholic Bishops of Kenya have said that they will have nothing to do with any group that promotes abortion and stand by the Vatican's opposition to Amnesty's change of policy regarding abortion. Archbishop John Njue stated: "Abortion, whether legal or not kills babies; damages women, harms families, degrades the medical profession, weakens nations and destroys churches. That is why the common sense of history has always condemned it." [allAfrica, 26 June]

A South African nurse who was barred from working three years ago because of her opposition to abortion has had her case referred to the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration. Sister Wilhelmien Charles began her legal battle in 2004 and is being supported by Doctors for Life International. Recent changes in the law allow nurses to perform abortions but the right of nurses to conscientious objection is currently unclear. [LifeSite, 25 June]

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