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Bush withholds UNFPA funding for sixth year running

14 September 2007

President Bush has withheld funding from the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) for the sixth year running because it continues to support forced abortions and sterilisations. Mr Bush's decision was based on research by the Population Research Institute between 1998 and 2001, which found that there were violations in UNFPA's work in several countries including China, Peru and Pakistan. [CNA on EWTN, 13 September] The US delegation to the United Nations has rebuked the executive director of UNFPA for claiming that there is a UN global goal related to "sexual and reproductive health". While presenting UNFPA's strategic plan and its proposed global and regional programs, Ms Thoraya Obaid referred to "the target on universal access to reproductive health under Millennium Development Goal (MDG) 5." The US representative told her that there is no global target on reproductive health and that only a resolution of the General Assembly could generate one. Ms Obaid later claimed that UNFPA held a neutral position on the legalisation and promotion of abortion. [Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute, 13 September]

Catholic bishops in Scotland have urged MPs to vote against plans to allow human-animal hybrid embryos for research. In a statement, the bishops said: "Human beings are unique and distinct from all other creatures. Our natural distaste at the prospect of mixing species reflects a natural intuition that a moral boundary is being crossed. We are appalled and shocked by this horrific prospect." [Scotsman, 13 September]

A Chinese couple are seeking to sue their government over a forced abortion in what is reported to be the first such case ever to reach a higher court. Mr Yang Zhongchen and Mrs Jin Yani married 5 months after conceiving their daughter, and so the child was illegal under Chinese law. Mrs Jin was reportedly abducted in September 2000 just weeks before the birth was due, and subjected to an abortion. She said: "They can't really compensate for all that we have suffered. Our baby will never come back..." The couple have failed to win recompense from a local court, and this is reportedly the first such case to go to a higher court. [LifeSite, 13 September] [Bloomberg, 27 Aug]

The congress of Nicaragua has voted to renew the nation's total abortion ban. The vote, which was by 66 to 3, was in support of the penal code's punishment of abortionists and women who willingly undergo abortion. The congress rejected an amendment that would have created an exemption for so-called therapeutic abortion. [LifeSite, 13 September]

British children are to be offered pregnancy tests at school under a new government-funded scheme. A school-based clinic at Lincoln Christ's Hospital School.is already offering the service, and there are plans to extend the clinics to all Lincolnshire secondary schools over the next 3 years.. The project is being run by Tackling Teenage Pregnancy, also offers sexual health advice and free condoms. [Lincolnshire Echo, 14 September]

A German politician has designed a euthanasia machine, Catholic World News reports. Dr Roger Kusch, a former justice minister in Hamburg who was expelled from the Christian Democrat party last year, said he hoped the device would be available in hospices, homes for the elderly and hospitals by the beginning of next year. The leader of Dr Kusch's former party, Dirk Fischer, said: "This man is morally degenerate." [Catholic World News, 13 September]

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