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Defending life from the moment of conception

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Teenagers under pressure to have sex at Christmas and New Year

29 December 2008

A British government survey has found that teenagers are under pressure to have sex at Christmas and New Year. Teenage conception rates peak at this time of year and teenage pregnancies rose by 2.7 per cent in the past year. The government's Teenage Pregnancy Independent Advisory Group urged parents to talk to their children about sex and relationships. [Telegraph, 27 December] Earlier this year, SPUC said of the government's teenage pregnancy strategy: "Not only has the strategy failed, it has been at the expense of unborn children killed by abortion and abortion-inducing birth control drugs and devices. It has been at the expense of removing children from their parents' protection through the arranging of secret abortions without parental knowledge or consent. And it has been at the expense of exposing children to an adult culture of promiscuity."

An Anglican bishop has said that society should care for unborn children as well as for those who have been born. Rt Rev Anthony Priddis, Bishop of Hereford, was preaching to the Christmas day congregation in his cathedral. [Christian Today, 27 December]

An open-air Mass in Madrid, Spain, attended by hundreds of thousands of people, was told of the cruelty of abortion. Cardinal Antonio María Rouco Varela, the city's archbishop, warned of the culture of death. Pope Benedict spoke by video link to the event. The country's government may make abortion easier to obtain. [BBC, 28 December]

A 51-year-old woman in Scotland who has progressive multiple sclerosis is supporting a parliamentarian's campaign to legalise assisted suicide. Ms Val Mackay of Perth is practically bedridden and says she has no dignity left, adding: "If I was a cat or a dog, they would have put me down a long time ago." Ms Margo MacDonald MSP last month launched a consultation which could lead to legalisation of assisted suicide next year. [Daily Record, 26 December]

A woman in Scotland had to give birth on a paper mat on a hospital floor. Ms Lynne Neilson waited for two-and-a-half hours before going into labour while standing, though a midwife did arrive just in time. It was an hour after the birth before mother and baby were admitted to a ward at Edinburgh Royal Infirmary earlier this month. The state health authority has apologised and is investigating the matter. [Daily Mail, 26 December]

Some 60 unborn babies are on an English area's register of children at risk of abuse. Authorities in Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire use national guidelines to watch for factors such as parental violence or drug addiction, and for poor accommodation. [Sentinel, 26 December]

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