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Defending life from the moment of conception

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Irish court permits abortion on 17-year-old girl in Britain

9 May 2007

The Irish high court has allowed a 17-year-old girl to travel to Britain for an abortion on her four-month-old unborn child who is said to have anencephaly. The girl is in state care and her mother went to court to support the application. [BBC, 9 May] Alison Davis, leader of SPUC's No Less Human group which campaigns on disability issues, said: "The ruling is a tragedy both for Miss D and for her unborn child. It is a tragedy for the baby because he or she will be killed by abortion, and it is a tragedy for Miss D because she will be complicit in the killing. The BBC confidently states that 'babies with anencephaly live a maximum of just three days after birth' and it is true that they typically have very short post-natal lives. However, a Brazilian baby named Marcela who has the condition is now six months old. Miss D's baby is just as precious as any non-disabled child, and the likelihood of a short post-natal life does not alter that fact. We can do better for young people like Miss D than suggesting that killing their baby is the solution to their problems." [SPUC, 9 May]

The World Bank has approved a new health strategy for poor countries without a formal objection being submitted by the US. Instead of having the phrase "age-appropriate access to sexual and reproductive health care," inserted in place of "reproductive health services," the United States said it would note its concerns about the language referring to underage sex and access to abortion in the official minutes of last week's board discussion. The World Bank has lent $15 billion to health projects worldwide since 1977. [Reuters, 1 May] The President of El Salvador, Mr Elias Antonio Saca, has spoken out against the World Bank's attempts to force countries to accept abortion in order to get loans. Bank directors from Belgium, Switzerland, France, Germany and Norway have demanded that this policy be continued. [LifeSite, 2 May]

Pregnant teenagers in Britain are to be assigned a personal nurse who will visit them weekly during pregnancy and until their babies are two, to advise about diet, exercise and parenting. The scheme will be tried in 10 deprived areas, and is based on a similar programme in US. Its purpose is to reduce social problems later. [Daily Mail, 2 May]

A UK supermarket chain is to appeal after its application to set up a pharmacy was rejected because it would not sell morning-after pills to under-16s. Tesco would supply such pills to girls of 16 and over at its Sudbury, Suffolk, store. [Suffolk Free Press, 3 May]

Women in Britain who are made redundant because they are pregnant, have given birth or could take maternity leave are automatically deemed as unfairly dismissed, according to an article by an employment lawyer. Ms Michelle Chance writes that women in such circumstances can get as much as £60,000 ($120,000) in compensation. [Times, 3 May]

A US supreme court judge, has been quoted as saying: "The right to abortion on the part of a woman is the end of the right to live on the part of the fetus." Mr Antonin Scalia was speaking at Delaware university and also defended states' rights to ban abortion despite Roe v. Wade. [Medical News Today, 3 May]

A Catholic school in Missouri has rescinded an invitation to a senator to speak at a graduation ceremony because of her position on abortion and stem-cell research. Senator Claire McCaskill, a Catholic, was told by St Joseph's Academy that the decision came from Archbishop Raymond Burke. [Guardian, 2 May]

A group working for the state health service in Wales has created a garden of remembrance for children lost during pregnancy. A chaplain will bless the garden in Llanelli on the 24th of this month. [Llanelli Star, 3 May] It is unclear from our source whether aborted children will be commemorated there.

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