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Defending life from the moment of conception

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FPA targets schoolchildren with abortion propaganda

4 December 2008

A British abortion provider has made a DVD aimed at schoolchildren aged 14 and above. The Family Planning Association's film has nine case histories of women and men involved with abortion. The association wants pupils who watch the disk to know that older women, as well as teenagers, have abortions. [Times Educational Supplement, 28 November] The scenarios on the DVD try to portray abortion as a sensible, altruistic decision, and arguments against abortion are not mentioned. Pro-lifers are demonised and teenage commentators argue that churches should not moralise. None of the young people in a scripted discussion supports the pro-life position. Prenatal development is not mentioned and the risks of breast cancer and trauma are dismissed as myths. The DVD promotes private abortion facilities even though it is supposed to be an educational tool. [John Smeaton, 4 December]

A British government bill will deal with assisted suicide. The Coroners and Justice Bill, announced yesterday at the start of the parliamentary year, would reportedly modernise the law "to increase public understanding". [BBC, 3 December] SPUC wants the government to confirm that its plans are limited to its stated aims of preventing the online promotion of suicide and suicide methods. It fears that parliamentarians could use the bill to weaken protection for life, including the 1961 Suicide Act and the prohibition of assisted suicide. [John Smeaton, 4 December]

The Catholic church refused earlier this year to sign a United Nations document on disability because it did not defend the unborn. Archbishop Celestino Migliore, Vatican representative at the UN, said he had not approved the text because it did not oppose abortion or defend the rights of disabled unborn babies. The Holy See also objected to an assertion of a right to "sexual health and reproduction" because that can include abortion. [Times, 3 December] The UN is immoral according to the Dominican Republic's leading prelate. Cardinal Nicolás de Jesús López Rodríguez, Archbishop of Santo Domingo, said the UN had proclaimed life as the principal human right since its foundation, yet it also promoted abortion. There was no need to be grateful to the UN for anything. His fellow citizens should tell those who would bring immorality to the country to leave. [Catholic News Agency, 3 December]

Irish politicians are demanding to know the detail of any deal the prime minister may have done over the European Union's Lisbon treaty, which could affect the country's abortion law and which voters rejected in June. Leaders of the opposition Fine Gael and Labour parties want Mr Brian Cowen TD to say what he will tell EU leaders about the future of Irish ratification, which still needs a "yes" vote in a referendum. Mr Cowen is touring European capitals prior to a summit. His deputy says there will be a debate next week. It is suggested that abortion could be part of any agreement to consult the people again. [Irish Examiner, 4 December]

Abortion in Spain has doubled in 10 years. There were more than 110,000 abortions last year, 10% up on 2006. One pregnancy in five ends in abortion and the increase is particularly among young unmarried women. The grounds for almost all abortions is: "risk for the physical or psychological health of the mother." The government wants to make abortion even easier to get. [Zenit, 3 December]

Democrats in the US Congress will reportedly next month propose a bill to allow state funded embryonic stem cell research. Ms Nancy Pelosi, house speaker, has said such funding is a priority. Americans United for Life said such destructive and unproven research was a waste of taxes during a recession. [LifeNews, 3 December] After a bill on embryo research was introduced in the Irish senate, Dr William Reville, associate professor of biochemistry at University College Cork, has written: "Biology tells us that an individual human life begins when the sperm unites with the egg to form the zygote, the genetically unique, complete and self-directing earliest embryonic stage. The zygote is the beginning of a continuum of development ... that ends in death. Each point on this continuum is human and has the properties appropriate to that point." He says the potential of embryo research is no greater than that of ethical methods. [Irish Times, 4 December]

Mothers and babies could get wrong doses of drugs because there are too few midwives in Britain, says the Nursing and Midwifery Council which regulates the profession. Midwives also needed to be better supervised in reading foetal heart monitors [Telegraph, 3 December]

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