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Pro-life MP: "Abortion needs to be discussed in Canada"

30 December 2008

A pro-life Canadian MP wants the abortion issue discussed, saying that there is popular ignorance of how the unborn are denied human rights. Mr Rod Bruinooge, member for Winnipeg South, points out that, while there is a law against selling body-parts on the internet, babies can be aborted at any stage of pregnancy. He thinks most Canadians would agree that that was a bad bioethical position. Conservative party members recently called for a law against killing a pregnant mother's child during an assault. Mr Stephen Harper, Conservative prime minister, has said he does not want the matter re-opened. The Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada said the ruling party was out of touch; the status quo was working well. Canadians for Choice said a silent majority of Canadians supported abortion. [Canadian Press on Google, 29 December]

Many high school students in Canada are ignorant of the consequences of sexually transmitted infections, according to a survey described in Fertility and Sterility. Almost 95% of some 600 respondents did not know that ailments such as chlamydia and gonorrhoea could cause infertility. Poorer students knew less about the subject than the economically better off. [Reuters, 29 December]

The British prime minister has re-stated his opposition to changing the law on assisted suicide. Mr Gordon Brown MP said: "[W]e have got to make it absolutely clear that the importance of human life is recognised." He was being interviewed on radio by Cardinal Cormac Murphy O'Connor, Archbishop of Westminster, and said he did not want people to feel under pressure to die. Mr Brown previously told parliament of his view. [BBC, 30 December]

A state's principal lawyer is to challenge President Bush's new rules which allow medical staff and institutions to refuse to perform unethical procedures. Mr Richard Blumenthal, attorney general of Connecticut, calls the regulations outrageous, an abuse and an attack on women's health and victims' rights. He says he will work with officials in other states. The federal health ministry pointed out that the rules, which come into effect on the 20th of next month, enshrine and promote current law. [LifeNews, 29 December]

A girl born at 23 weeks' gestation weighing 700g (1lb 8oz) has been discharged from hospital in north-west England aged six months. Lexie Slater-Folksman spent weeks on ventilator machines, suffered collapsed lungs and had laser surgery on her eyes; she now weighs 3.6kg (eight pounds). Her parents say her survival means the abortion law should be changed. Babies who are not suspected of disability can be aborted at 24 weeks. Miss Sarah Slater was surprised at how well developed her daughter was when born. [Mail, 29 December]

A full-term baby weighing more than 6.4 kg (14lbs) has been delivered by Caesarean section in California. Richard Walker Sault needed two doctors to lift him from the womb. An 11kg (24lb) child was reportedly born in Canada in 1879. [Telegraph, 29 December]

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