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Defending life from the moment of conception

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Tony Blair to convert to a pro-life religion?

22 June 2007

It is reported that Mr Tony Blair, the British prime minister who is about to step down from the premiership, is to convert to Catholicism. Paul Tully, SPUC general secretary, commented: "I'm sure that many Catholics, including SPUC members, keenly hope and pray for Mr Blair's repentance and conversion to the Catholic Church's view that human life is to be protected by law from the time of conception. Mr Blair voted three times to permit abortion up to birth before he became prime minister. As PM he has promoted the practice of secret abortions for schoolgirls without their parents being informed; he has encouraged use of the morning-after pill, which the manufacturers say may cause early abortions. He has championed destructive research on human embryos in the laboratory. Last year his government launched an appeal for a global fund to promote abortion for the poorest people around the world. SPUC as an organisation has no religious or political affiliation. For many years we have called on the prime minister to repudiate his anti-life position, and we continue to do so. We would be very concerned at the impact on Muslims and their commitment to the pro-life cause if Mr Blair became a Muslim. We have similar concern for the impact on Christians if Mr Blair joins the Catholic church without publicly repudiating his publicly professed pro-abortion and pro-IVF positions." [SPUC, 22 June]

The House of Representatives yesterday voted by 223 to 201 to lift a ban on US aid to overseas organisations practising abortion. President Bush is likely to veto the measure. Democrats argue the move would still not allow direct funding of abortions but many Republicans say it would free up resources for foreign groups to perform them. [BBC, 22 June]

Catholic bishops and pro-life activists have praised President Bush's veto of the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act. The legislation would have directed millions of taxpayers' dollars to embryonic stem cell research. "This bill would not actually enhance stem cell research, but divert federal funds away from legitimate research toward avenues requiring the destruction of innocent human life," said Cardinal Justin Rigali, the archbishop of Philadelphia and chairman of the Committee for Pro-Life Activities. "The cause of science is not enhanced but diminished when it loses its moral compass." [CNA on EWTN, 21 June, and Zenit, 21 June]

Social abortion in Portugal was legalised yesterday and will come into effect on 15 July. [Guardian, 22 June]

Campaigners with the Life organisation in Oxfordshire, England, say the number of abortions in the region will stay high until the "miserable and massive failure" to educate youngsters about unplanned pregnancies is addressed. Abortions fell in the county last year but there were still 155 procedures every month. [Bicester Advertiser, 21 June]

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