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Arrests made over illegal late-term abortions

30 November 2007

Four people have been arrested in Barcelona, Spain, on suspicion of performing illegal late abortions. Spain allows abortions up to 12 weeks in the case of rape, and up to 22 weeks for foetal disability. [BBC, 26 November]

The Archbishop of Birmingham, UK, has spoken out against the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill, presently before parliament. Speaking at the annual civic Mass in the city's St Chad's Cathedral, Archbishop Vincent Nichols said that allowing two women to register as a child's parents would create a fictional parenthood. Mr Steven McCabe, Labour MP for Birmingham, Hall Green, attacked the archbishop, saying that his comments were ill-informed. [Birmingham Post, 27 November]

The National Congress of Ecuador has shelved legislation that would have removed the exception for 'therapeutic abortion' in the criminal code. The exception covers abortions to protect the health of the mother or to end the life of a baby with genetic anomalies. The country's constitution is being re-written by a specially elected assembly, but its president says it will not address the abortion issue, . [LifeSite, 26 November]

The UK government is to sponsor workshops aimed at engaging the public with stem-cell science. At five focus group meetings, 40 people will discuss practical and ethical issues surrounding such research. Dr Chris Mason, a stem-cell scientist at University College London and a member of the organising group, said that it was important that scientists were aware of public attitudes, and that scientists explained how and why they did this research. The Sciencewise project will run for a year and cost £300,000. [Channel 4, 27 November]

Although the number of abortions in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, has declined in the past year, there were still more abortions than live births. The United Nations Population Fund reports that the sex ratio at birth is becoming skewed because of the preference for boys and increasing incidence of abortion and infanticide of girls. [LifeNews, 26 November]

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