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Defending life from the moment of conception

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weekly update, 22 to 28 March 2007

28 March 2007

weekly update, 22 to 28 March 2007 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 ] 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." In an audience with members of the Pontifical Council for Health Care Ministry, Pope Benedict told health care workers that their efforts to respect and defend every human life were essential to maintaining their credibility. He also said that the ethical perspective, based on human dignity and its associated rights and duties, is strengthened by the commandment of love, which is the centre of the Christian message. [Zenit 23 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. [, 23 March ] The Catholic bishops of Peru have declared that 25 March, the Solemnity of the Annunciation, will be celebrated as the Day of the Unborn. In its statement, the Family and Defence of Life Commission of the bishops' conference stressed the urgency of defending pre-born human beings. A number of other countries have also previously designated 25 March as a special day for life. [Zenit 22 March] The European Court of Human Rights has ruled that that the Polish Government should pay compensation to a woman who was refused an abortion despite a deteriorating eye condition. However, the ruling has been condemned as another effort by ideologues to pressurise Poland into recognising abortion as a right, since no medical expert deemed her eye condition qualified for abortion under Polish Law. Alicjia Tysiac, who brought the case, admitted at a news conference in Warsaw that pressuring Poland to accept abortion was her motive. [LifeSite, 21 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 ]

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