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Defending life from the moment of conception

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Pro-life chains mark 40th Anniversary of the Abortion Act

28 April 2008

SPUC supporters took part in demonstrations throughout Britain on Saturday. So-called pro-life chains were held in some 50 towns. [SPUC, 27 April, BBC, 26 April and BBC, 26 April] The Abortion Act came into force 40 years ago yesterday (Sunday). John Smeaton's blog describes how eight people spoke about their personal abortion experiences to hundreds of listeners and thousands of passers-by in Parliament Square, London, yesterday. SPUC supporters also joined a service at Westminster Abbey. [SPUC director's blog, 27 April]

President Bush says a culture of life is in American national interest. He told EWTN: "... the politics of abortion isn't going to change until people's hearts change, and fully understand the meaning of life and what it means for a society to value life in all forms - whether it be the life of the unborn, or the life of the elderly; whether it be the life of the less fortunate among us, or the life of the rich guy. I mean, it's a moral touchstone, I think, that will speak to a healthy society in the long run." [11 April] National Right to Life is reminding voters that Senator Barack Obama said last year that his first act as US president would be to pass a law which would legalise abortion, override states' bans on the procedure, and repeal laws against partial-birth abortion and state funding for terminations. [LifeNews, 14 April]

A bill in the US congress would ban animal-human hybrids. Mr Christopher Smith, a New Jersey Republican representative, introduced the measure after British scientists reportedly produced such an embryo. [LifeSiteNews, 25 April]

Laboratory-created human gametes could be used to produce babies within 15 years according to a group of 40 fertility experts. Dr John Harris, professor of bioethics at Manchester university and a member of the Hinxton group, called on government not to forbid such practices, which could be used for same-sex couples. Dr Evan Harris MP, Liberal Democrat, seeks to amend the Human Fertilisation and Embryology bill to allow the technique. [Telegraph, 15 April] The Hinxton group also said: "policy-makers should refrain from interfering with scientific inquiry unless there is a substantial justification for doing so that reaches beyond disagreements based solely on divergent moral convictions." [Independent, 15 April]

Teenage pregnancy seems to have reduced in America according to national statistics. In 2004, 12% of pregnancies were those of teenagers compared with 15% in 1990. More unmarried women in their 20s got pregnant in 2004 and, during that year, 1.22 million abortions were reported, representing 19% of recorded pregnancies. [Reuters, 14 April] Girls of 12 in Britain have sexually transmitted diseases. The director of a sexual health clinic blames alcohol-abuse. [Metro, 14 April]

A judge has decided that a law permitting abortion in the case of rape of a minor violates Brazil's constitution. The judge, in Rio Verde, was ruling in a particular case. [Catholic News Agency, 24 April] It is unclear from our source which law was ruled unconstitutional.

Searches on the web for material about suicide tend to yield pages which promote the practice, according to a study reported in the British Medical Journal. The leader of researchers from three UK universities called on search-engines to favour anti-suicide sites. [BBC, 10 April]

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