Obama hedges over late-term abortions
7 July 2008
Senator Barack Obama says routine maternal mental distress associated with pregnancy should not be grounds for late abortion. There needed to be a "serious physical issue". National Right to Life (NRL) cast doubt on the credibility of Mr Obama's remarks which were quoted in a magazine. [LifeNews, 4 July] In a video message to the NRL convention, Senator John McCain said he wanted unborn children protected by law. America's founders had cited life as a basic right. [LifeNews, 4 July] Representative Chris Smith, the pro-life Republican, endorsed Mr McCain at the convention. The threat to human life was as bad as it had ever been. [LifeNews, 5 July] President Bush praised NRL in his message to the convention and mentioned his own pro-life measures. [LifeNews, 4 July] Senators Obama and McCain are de facto the Democrat and Republican US presidential candidates.
A doctor in western England who suggested to patients that they should consider alternatives to abortion has been cleared of professional misconduct. Dr Tammie Downes has persuaded some women not to go ahead with terminations. The General Medical Council investigated a complaint after Dr Downes described her views to a newspaper. She reportedly refuses to refer for abortion. [Daily Mail, 7 July]
Marie Stopes International was due to arrange and pay for an abortion on an 11-year-old Romanian who reportedly came to Britain for the procedure at 22 weeks' gestation. Her country's government approved an abortion there on mental health grounds, but she still travelled for the termination at an unidentified London state hospital. [BBC, 3 July]
A woman of 70 in India has had IVF twins from donated eggs. Omkari Panwar and her husband, 77, paid £5,000 for the treatment and are rejoicing that one of the twins is male. [Sun, 4 July] A woman who underwent gender-altering treatment has given birth in Oregon. Tracy Lagondino, now known as Thomas Beatie, suspended hormone injections while he used donated semen to get pregnant. His wife had a hysterectomy and but he kept his womb. [Irish Independent, 4 July]
A woman is carrying an unborn child who was created using her sister's egg and brother-in-law's sperm and, when the baby is born, she will hand it over to another sister. Ms Helen Ritchie of Somerset, England, will give the biological offspring of Ms Charlotte Pestell and Mr Shaun Patrick, to Ms Alex Patrick, Ms Pestell's twin. Mr and Mrs Patrick have a three-year-old son who came into being in the same way. [Daily Mail, 5 July]