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Defending life from the moment of conception

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Teenage pregnancies rocket under government strategy

2 January 2008

UK teenage pregnancy figures have rocketed under the government's supposed crackdown 10 years ago, statistics have shown. The Department of Health, which set a target of halving reducing teenage pregnancies by 2010, has admitted that "progress needs to accelerate" following the news that the UK now has the highest teenage birth-rate in Europe. Mr Norman Wells of the Family Education Trust said: "The problems associated with teenage pregnancy will never be solved so long as the Government persists with its reliance on yet more contraception and sex education. What we need is a radical change away from a culture which has reduced sex to a casual recreational activity." [Telegraph, 31 December]

According to a recent survey, four fifths of British doctors are unhappy with government proposals to allow GPs to provide abortions in their own surgeries. Dr Tim Ringrose, medical director at Doctors.Net, said that such developments could seriously damage doctors' relationships with their patients. He said: "Any proposals could be potentially damaging to GPs and an insult to the ladies concerned." A final decision on government policy has not yet been reached. [Telegraph, 29 December]

The US Congress has decided to retain some pro-life requirements in its latest appropriations bill, including the prohibition of the use of federal funds for most abortions and for embryo-based research. Ms Wendy Wright, president of Concerned Women for America, welcomed the decision: "We are thankful to the members of Congress who fought for these pro-life measures and [to] the thousands of Americans who urged their elected officials to uphold these moral provisions that ensure our tax dollars do not encourage abortion." [EWTN, 18 December]

In the UK, a Russian couple have become parents of quintuplets after they ignored the advice of Russian doctors to have three of the babies aborted. It was claimed that it was not possible for all five to survive. Mr Dimitri Artamkin, father of the quintuplets, said: "Having the abortions was not an option. We believe God has given them to us and sent us here to Britain." [Sun, 31 December]

A US Catholic bishop has gone against the Wisconsin bishops' conference's neutral stance on a bill that would require Catholic hospitals to administer morning-after pills to rape victims. Bishop Robert Morlino of Madison wrote urging his fellow bishops in the state to oppose the legislation, saying: "the earlier position of neutrality did not have its hoped for effect, and so it is now moot." He suggested that the conference's neutral stance had aggravated media rumours that the church was relaxing its stance against abortion. [LifeSite, 19 December]

Polish bishops have criticised the government for its proposals to support in vitro fertilisation. The government, which has been pro-life over abortion, is accused of funding a "type of refined abortion". The letter from the bishops says: "A baby is not a thing and even future parents cannot say that they have a right to the child, especially as this 'right' is always bought with the death of his or her brothers and sisters." [LifeSite, 19 December]

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