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Defending life from the moment of conception

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US presidential candiate: Rape is awful, but it doesn't justify killing an innocent child

12 June 2007

A US presidential candidate has said that rape should not be a justification for abortion. Addressing the National Catholic Men's Conference, Senator Sam Brownback said: "Rape is terrible. Rape is awful. Is it made any better by killing an innocent child? Does it solve the problem for the mother that's been raped? We need to protect innocent life. Period." He also criticised supposedly Catholic politicians who say they are personally opposed to abortion but refuse to oppose it in their public life, saying: "You should have the integrity to be consistent in both personal and public life." [LifeSite, 11 June] Nancy Pelosi, the Speaker of the US House of Representatives, who is a Catholic, has caused outrage after calling human embryonic research "a gift from God." She said: "Science is a gift of God to all of us and science has taken us to a place that is biblical in its power to cure. And that is the embryonic stem cell research." Rev Tom Euteneuer of Human Life International called for her to be excommunicated, saying: "I'm not sure what world Nancy Pelosi lives in, but it's not this world. She's not connected to reality." Tony Perkins, the head of the Family Research Council, said: "Of course, it's complete nonsense to suggest that God wants us to destroy human embryos, since they are His own creation. This is just the latest example of the Left's aggressive efforts to lure the unsuspecting into supporting immoral and unethical policies which are whitewashed with spiritual words and phrases." [LifeSite, 11 June]

Cardinal Keith O'Brien, Archbishop of St Andrews and Edinburgh, Scotland, has said that the Scottish parliament should be able to make its own laws on issues such as abortion. The cardinal said that the outcome of the recent election, in which the Labour party had their worst result in Scotland in a generation, showed that there was "a lot of disgruntled people". He said: "It was as if Scotland wasn't grown-up enough to deal with something like Trident [nuclear submarines], adoption or abortion, and I think voters were fed up of that." [Scotsman, 12 June]

A British parliamentary committee is meeting today to begin discussions on a bill on the use of human tissue and embryos. The Joint Committee on the Draft Human Tissue and Embryos Bill, which was recently published by the Department of Health, will hold hearings and receive written evidence over the coming weeks. They are expected to produce a report making recommendations to the Government by the 25th of next month. [UK Parliament, 12 June]

A campaign to legalise abortion is getting underway in Uruguay. Abortion is currently illegal in the Latin American country except in cases of rape, when the mother's life is endangered or if she suffers severe economic hardship. President Tabaré Vázquez has said that he will veto any bill seeking to make abortion more widely available. A petition posted on the internet supporting the legalisation of abortion in the country has around 3,500 signatories, including the interior and social development ministers. [Reuters, 11 June]

Pregnant women have been advised to stay out of the hot sun during early pregnancy in order to protect their unborn babies. The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) gave the advice after a study by researchers from Bristol University showed that if unborn children are exposed to high temperatures in the first three months after conception they can have a lower birth rate as a result. Maggie Blott, a spokesman for RCOG, said: "Women in their first stages of pregnancy in the summer should be aware of the health risk surrounding increases in temperature. Pregnant women should stay out of the sun, wear loose clothing, keep well hydrated and eat healthy food little and often." [Telegraph, 12 June]

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