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Defending life from the moment of conception

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Poland stands up to EU on abortion

23 May 2007

Poland's deputy prime minister, speaking at the recent World Congress of Families in Warsaw, said that the Polish government would not agree to demands of the European Union to provide abortion, homosexual rights and other attacks on the family. Mr Roman Giertych told the 3,300 delegates from around the world that Polish legislation to protect children in schools from homosexual propaganda would go forward as planned, despite intimidation from the EU. Polish officials made it clear that their country would be aiming to lead Europe out of the demographic winter of declining birthrates. [LifeSite, 14 May]

Thousands of angry protesters have clashed with police in southern China after family planning teams imposed heavy fines on farmers with more than one child and confiscated or destroyed property if they were unable to pay. Up to 20,000 people are thought to have taken part in a demonstration in the Shapi township and there were demonstrations in at least three other townships in the Guangxi province. [ABC, 21 May] An entrepreneur in central China, whose identity has been withheld, has been fined 600,000 yuan (£39,000 or $77,000) for flouting the one-child policy. China's minister for population and family planning is reported to have said that rich and poor must be equal before the law when it comes to family planning rules. The fine is usually a few thousand yuan. [Scotsman, 14 May]

A report in the New England Journal of Medicine has been wrongly interpreted as stating that the practice of euthanasia in the Netherlands has declined since it was legalised in 2002. In fact, there has been a marked increase in the number of patients being sedated and then dehydrated, which is not recognised as euthanasia under the law. In 2005 there were approximately 12,660 intentionally-caused deaths, accounting for 9.3% of all deaths. [LifeSite, 14 May]

The American College of Paediatricians has called for a halt to embryonic stem-cell research, and for funds to be diverted to the more promising and successful research into adult stem-cell therapy. Adult stem-cells can be obtained from a number of sources and have been successfully used to treat a variety of conditions including Parkinson's disease and spinal chord injuries. "Not only does embryonic research require taking the life of human embryos, it also prolongs needless suffering by delaying the development of more promising adult stem-cell treatments and cures," said Michelle Cretella, a fellow of the American College of Paediatricians. [CWNews on EWTN, 14 May]

A report on gender discrimination around the world suggests that nearly 100 million girls a year are killed by abortion or infanticide. Because I am a Girl was published by Plan International as part of a campaign to highlight the disadvantages suffered by girls in many areas of life. [Independent, 15 May]

A British couple are hoping to send their daughter to China for revolutionary treatment for cerebral palsy. The treatment developed involves injecting stem cells derived from umbilical cord blood into the spine, and has already been successful for other patients at the Tiantin Puhua Neurosurgical Hospital in Beijing. Kishor and Priti Tahiliani, of Bournemouth, need to raise £18,000 to give their daughter, Shonia, a chance to lead a more normal life. [Daily Mail, 14 May]

The Holy See has expressed its concerns to the World Health Organisation over the deaths of millions of infants as a result of disease. Archbishop Tomasi told a meeting of the World Health Assembly that he hoped resolutions "will never be utilized to 'justify' doing harm to or destroying human life during one of its most vulnerable stages -- when still within the mother's womb." [Zenit, 21 May]

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