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Defending life from the moment of conception

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Is immigration leading to more abortions?

28 March 2007

An influx to the UK of over 500,000 immigrants from Eastern Europe has led to a surge in demand for antenatal services and abortions, BBC reports. A doctor in Luton whose practice registers 400 new patients a month, the vast majority of them from Eastern Europe, is currently dealing with double the number of pregnant women normally expected. Ann Furedi, chief executive of the BPAS abortion service said "We are seeing an increase in the number of the eastern European women across the board." Luton BPAS manager, Lisa Cunningham, said she had seen an increase in abortion requests from Eastern European clients. She said: "Some women have said to me that they would want to continue with the pregnancy, but they haven't been in this country for very long and they are not entitled to the benefits. If they were entitled to that then they would continue with the pregnancy. It's sad that that is a big factor." [BBC, 26 March] Paul Tully, SPUC General Secretary commented: "It appears that BPAS is admitting to offering abortions on purely financial, non-medical, grounds. This is not only totally inhumane, given that pro-life groups will offer practical help to these women, but it also raises again the question of whether BPAS is breaking the abortion law."

An analysis of Britain's 1967 Abortion Act published in the Journal of Family Planning and Reproductive Health Care has suggested that it is legally permissible for unsupervised nurses to perform abortions. Vincent Argent, a consultant gynaecologist and Lin Pavey, a former manager of a BPAS clinic, argued: "Our analysis of the Abortion Act 1967 and the RCN v DHSS case shows that registered nurses and midwives could currently perform surgical abortions themselves as long as a medical practitioner is in overall charge even if the medical practitioner is not physically present." Anthony Ozimic, Political Secretary of SPUC commented: "The pro-abortion lobby claim that so-called safe, legal abortion was necessary to safeguard women's health - yet having achieved legal abortion, the pro-abortion lobby now wants to remove safeguards by getting nurses to do doctors' dirty work for them." [The Times, 27 March]

A report by the Fabian Society claims that single mothers are nine times more likely to have a stillborn baby than others. It is also said that Britain has the second highest rate for low birth weight babies in Western Europe, the Daily Mail reports. Older mothers are statistically more likely to give birth to low weight babies (under 5lbs 8oz) as are teenagers. 78 out of every 1000 babies born last year were low weight, which can cause health and behavioural problems throughout life. [Daily Mail, 27 March]

Planned Parenthood has launched a 'Pill Patrol' campaign across the US, using activists to go to pharmacies and request the morning after pill, then report back the level of resistance they encounter. They will also be asked to report the cost of the drug and whether it was in stock. The campaign may result in stores being put under pressure to dispense the morning after pill. [Lifenews.com, 26 March]

The Polish Catholic Information Agency has invited a pro-abortion, pro-infanticide philosopher to participate at a conference in Gniezno, Poland. A representative of the group said that Peter Singer had been invited so as to engage him in discussion in the hope of aiding a change of heart. Peter Singer has argued publicly that as there is no real difference between an unborn and a newborn baby, it is morally permissible to kill a newborn baby with a disability. [Lifenews.com, 26 March]

Brazilian abortion advocates have criticised doctors who saved the life of a baby girl with anencephaly, Catholic News Agency reports. Marcela de Jesus Galante Ferreira was expected to die within hours of birth but is now four months old and being cared for in hospital. She has become something of a celebrity in Brazil after being born during a debate over the legalisation of abortion in such cases. Abortion advocates have dismissed her as an exceptional case and fear that she will upset their work for legal abortion. [Catholic News Agency, 26 March]

A survey commissioned by the UK nanny agency Tinies has blamed the massive increase in demand for private maternity nurses on fathers refusing to help out with new babies. NHS funding shortages were also blamed with 60% of women surveyed citing poor post-natal care as the main reason for seeking assistance and 42% feeling pressurised to leave hospital too early. [Life Style Extra, 26 March]

Antenatal classes are being reduced or ended across England and Wales as a result of cuts in NHS spending, BBC reports. Antenatal classes provide information on labour and care of newborn babies, and are funded by local primary care trusts. Mervi Jokinen of the Royal College of Midwives commented: "The NHS is in grave difficulties financially. With maternity services, they have looked at what they can leave out. We understand that a concerning amount of antenatal classes are being cut." [BBC, 26 March]

The US Conference of Catholic Bishops' have criticised a pamphlet written by a professor at Marquette University as 'irresponsible' and a 'serious error'. The pamphlet, written by Professor Daniel Maguire, entitled "The Moderate Roman Catholic Position on Contraception and Abortion" claims that the Catholic Church has a 'pluralistic' view on abortion and that it was morally permissible. Marquette University has publicly agreed with the stance of the bishops but stated that Professor Maguire had the right to express his opinion. [Lifenews.com, 23 March]

Kansas pro-lifers have made a complaint against a judge who dismissed charges made against late-term abortionist George Tiller. District Judge Paul W. Clark did not disclose that he had received contributions to his campaign from a law firm that represents Tiller. Operation Rescue is one of the groups involved in making the complaint and said in a statement: "Judges must be held to a high standard of ethics and we believe that Clark violated those ethics by making a ruling that showed obvious partiality." [Lifenews.com, 23 March]

A leading German news anchorwoman has published a second book rejecting feminist propaganda and defending family life. Eva Herman's first book, "The Eva-Principle: Towards a New Femininity", which was published last year, was an account of her own life in which she regretted her three divorces and condemned abortion. Her sequel, "Dear Eva Herman", which has recently been published, is a collection of letters from women supporting her stand. In her book she encourages women to value the "colourful world of children" and the fulfilment that can be found in "nurturing the home environment." [LifeSite, 20 March]

The Vatican has told German bishops to distance themselves from an abortion counselling group which issues certificates that allow abortions to go ahead. The Catholic group, Donum Vitae, which runs about 250 counselling clinics in Germany, routinely issues certificates saying that the pregnant woman has been counselled thus enabling her to obtain an abortion. It has already received instructions and warnings from Rome. The latest instruction was issued by Cardinal William Levada, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. [Catholic News Agency, 20 March]

A Vatican cardinal has called on the people of Mexico to be committed to life, as a bill that seeks to legalise abortion in Mexico City is about to be debated in the capital's legislative assembly. Cardinal Javier Lozano Barragan, the President of the Pontifical Council for Health Care, who is Mexican, urged his countrymen "to be more committed to a better life and not to death" and emphasised the fact that life begins at conception. [Catholic News Agency, 20 March]

An Australian couple have claimed that they killed their disabled son "out of love". Matthew Sutton, who died in April 2001 aged 28, was born without eyes and with intellectual disabilities and had allegedly developed a disease that would have left him almost completely deaf. His parents Margaret and Raymond Sutton have pleaded guilty to his manslaughter. Crown Prosecutor Patrick Barrett said that while there was no doubt the Suttons' decision to kill Matthew was born of "desperation", they should expect to receive a full-time custodial sentence. He said: "They both joined in a planned exercise to bring about the death of a person for whom they...were responsible for caring." [Stuff.co.nz, 17 March]

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