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Defending life from the moment of conception

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Unborn child with heart blockage threatened with abortion in India

4 August 2008

An unborn child with blockages in the heart is threatened with abortion in India. Mr and Mrs Harshad Meta have asked the high court in Mumbai for permission to abort their baby of 25 weeks' gestation. Indian law reportedly allows abortion up to 20 weeks and disability is not grounds at any stage of pregnancy. Cardinal Oswald Gracias, the city's archbishop, has expressed opposition to all abortion, wants the couple to withdraw their application, and says the church will take care of the child. [Indian Catholic, 3 August]

A baby born at 25 weeks seems to have been helped to survive by being tickled on her feet. Emma Young weighed 19 ounces (540g) and, for an eight-week period, frequently stopped breathing. Nurses, and Mrs Angela Young, her mother, stimulated her feet and the child would start to breathe again. Emma, now aged one year, has attained normal height and weight. [Daily Mail, 4 August]

A maternity unit in Somerset, England, has started a service for supporting families whose babies die. A midwife will work with chaplains at Musgrove Park Hospital, Taunton, in dedicated rooms with beds and seating. [Somerset County Gazette, 3 August]

The UK state health service has launched an online guide to pregnancy which includes description of conception, maternal health, prenatal development and choices in childbirth. [Public Technology, 4 August]

The British opposition party is due to say that it will cut teenage pregnancy by encouraging young men to act more responsibly. Mr Michael Gove MP, Conservative education spokesman, is also expected to ask publishers of magazines aimed at young men to consider the consequences of the way they portray women as promiscuous. [BBC, 4 August]

Paraguay's likely new women's minister reportedly supports the legalisation of abortion there. Ms Gloria Rubin is expected to be appointed by Mr Fernando Lugo, president-elect and a former Catholic bishop. She claimed that abortion was the biggest cause of maternal death, yet our source asserts that official figures say it is not. The Federation of Associations for Life and the Family oppose the appointment and say Mr Lugo is being influenced by international pro-abortion organisations. [Catholic News Agency, 31 July]

There are attempts to reverse a New Zealand high court ruling that many abortions there are illegal. The Abortion Supervisory Committee has appealed against Mr Forrest Miller's judgement in June to the effect that, contrary to legislators' intentions, the country has abortion on demand. Right to Life New Zealand hopes to intervene and propose rights for the unborn. [Catholic News Agency, 2 August]

Mr Tony Blair has been accused of hypocrisy by John Smeaton , SPUC national director, in going to China today to answer online questions about how "global citizens of faith" can tackle "great social ills". John Smeaton, SPUC national director, writes: "Under Tony Blair's government, the UK was the world's fourth highest donor country to the [United Nations Population Fund], giving just under $US38 million in 2006. The [fund]'s well-documented involvement in China's one-child policy has been described as 'arguably the greatest bioethical atrocity on the globe'. [W]ill any Chinese citizens be able to ask [Mr Blair] any questions, who have been fined, had their property destroyed, imprisoned or tortured for resisting forced abortion, or forced sterilization, a policy funded by his government?" [John Smeaton, 4 August]

Pro-life people marched through Salzburg, Austria, last week to remember aborted children. They carried white crosses and threw roses into the River Salzach before a Mass. [Christian Today, 2 August]

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