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Defending life from the moment of conception

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Lib Dem MEP: Mankind is a 'virus' and we need a one-child debate

14 November 2007

A member of the European parliament for the north-west of England has called for a debate amongst politicians to find a way of encouraging families to have only one child. Mr Chris Davies, of the Liberal Democrats, speaking to the BBC, said that "..mankind's reproduction is akin to the replication of a virus. We are swamping the planet and devouring its resources." Mr Davies said that he did not favour "Chinese-like ideas of compulsion". His comments follow the prediction made last month by the Office of National Statistics that the population of the UK would increase to 65 million by 2016. [BBC, 13 November]

An international medical conference in Lisbon, Portugal, has examined the serious psychological and medical consequences experienced by millions of women who have had abortions. The Conference on Human Life Studies, which was promoted by the Women in Action Association, noted that, according to a US study, 19% of women experience some sort of emotional problem stemming from their abortions, and another study cited gave a range of 20-30 per cent. [LifeSite, 12 November] SPUC was represented at the conference.

British ‌Labour MPs will not be instructed by their party how to vote when they debate their government's Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill, which was introduced to parliament last week. [Mirror, 10 November] A member of the House of Lords who is also president of the Royal Society of Medicine wants the bill to be amended so that it will permit the supply of hormonal birth-control pills without prescription. Baroness Finlay of Llandaff reportedly wants a member of the Commons to propose this as an amendment to the bill. [Daily Mail, 10 November, and Telegraph, 12 November] Campaigners for a tightening of abortion law are due to show video of scans of unborn children to parliamentarians. [Independent, 10 November]

New government figures have shown that 375 elderly people in the English Midlands starved to death in the last 10 years, many of them residents of nursing homes and hospitals. In 2006 four out of 10 elderly people admitted to hospitals were malnourished. The Department of Health stressed it was doing all it could to prevent the deaths of elderly patients, and it recently launched the Nutrition Action Plan. [Sunday Mercury, 12 November]

A leading article in the Independent comments on the report that a rhesus macaque monkey was cloned - the first time primate embryos have been generated using cells from an adult animal. Dr Mitalipov of the National Primate Research Centre in Oregon, US is due to publish an article about the experiment in Nature this month. While dozens of embryos were made and 50 were implanted in female monkeys, the experiments in Oregon have not led to a live birth. [Independent, 12 November]

Population decline in Russia has reportedly led to the health ministry requiring women seeking abortion to sign a document which describes the procedure's medical risks. Doctors would also need to confirm that they had told the woman about potential problems and about alternatives. Russia has more abortions than births. [LifeSite, 8 November]

The body which regulates doctors in England is investigating a family doctor who suggested to women seeking abortion that they should reconsider. Dr Tammie Downes of western England told a newspaper earlier this year about how she counselled against terminations, and she could be prevented from practising by the General Medical Council. [Mail on Sunday, 11 November, and Observer, 11 November]

An Anglican clergyman has expressed regret at a funeral that the deceased man could not die "at a time of his choosing." Rev Peter Tullett was officiating at a service for the late Mr Neville Badger, who was paralysed and had considered assisted suicide at the Dignitas facility in Switzerland. Mr Tullett belongs to the Dignity in Dying group and a spokesman for the Anglican church distanced it from his expressed views. [Evening Post, 10 November]

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