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Defending life from the moment of conception

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weekly update, 23 to 30 May

30 May 2007

weekly update, 23 to 30 May Official figures show that the number of abortions carried out in Scotland is continuing to rise. There were 13,081 so-called therapeutic abortions in Scotland in 2006 compared with 12,603 in 2005. The rate is highest among women aged 16 to 19 (24.1 per 1000), and those aged 20 to 24 (23.6 per 1000) [ic Scotland 29 May ] A SPUC Scotland spokesperson said: "Increasing numbers of women in Scotland are being failed by lack of counselling and support addressing the reasons they opt for abortion ... SPUC Scotland has warned that hundreds of women across Scotland face severe emotional trauma as a result of opting for abortion without being given the full facts or having their 'crises' addressed ... SPUC Scotland believes the statistics indicate the real social problems that lead women to choose abortion are not being addressed. Abortion has become preferable to addressing the problems of our society. We are more likely to say women in deprived areas should opt for abortion than address the issues that lead to poverty, for example." [SPUC Scotland , 29 May] The Irish teenager, known only as Miss D, who won a high court battle to travel to England for an abortion has returned to Ireland. Miss D's severely disabled baby was killed by late term chemical abortion and is expected to be buried in Ireland. A poll by the Irish Independent found that two-thirds of voters agreed with abortion if the unborn child was 'non-viable' and Miss D said she was "very happy that people feel that way". [Irish Independent, 22 May ] Ireland's Health Service Executive (HSE) will examine procedures and statutory powers to see if changes are necessary in the light of the Miss D ruling. The baby's brain was partially undeveloped and he or she would probably have had a very short life expectancy. The HSE said it would pay for Miss D's travel if required. [Sunday Business Post, 13 May ] A survey commissioned by the UK health ministry has found that unqualified maternity support workers are being used as a substitute for trained midwives in some parts of the country. With Britain facing a shortage of up to 3,000 midwives, the intended purpose of maternity support workers is to relieve midwives of paperwork. However, reports suggest they sometimes carry out jobs such as internal examinations and ultrasound scans, as well as providing night cover in birth units. [Telegraph, 29 May ] New warning labels on alcoholic drinks will include advice to pregnant women, the British Department of Health has announced. The labels, which will give details of the number of units of alcohol in each drink and safe drinking levels for men and women, will also carry a warning that pregnant women or those trying to conceive should consume no alcohol at all. [Reuters, 28 May ] Controversial language concerning reproductive health appears in the 2008-14 Medium Term Health Strategy published by the World Health Assembly. The US, supported by Paraguay, El Salvador, Malta, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, opposed the attempt to suggest the existence of a new human right to abortion, or to compel member states to expand the availability of legal abortion. The assembly met from 14 to 23 May to determine policy for the World Health Organisation. [Pro-Life Intelligence, 24 May ] A woman who was convicted of aborting her seven-and-a-half month old unborn baby has been given a suspended sentence at Manchester, England, crown court. Ms Maisha Mohammed, 22, is the first expectant mother in Britain to have been convicted of destroying a child capable of being born alive. [Manchester Evening News, 24 May ]

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