PM blocks Labour MP's abortion amendment
14 July 2008
The UK prime minister has reportedly stopped one of his party's MPs from proposing an extension of liberal British abortion law to Northern Ireland. It is said that Mr Gordon Brown intervened when Ms Emily Thornberry, member for Islington South and Finsbury, looked likely to propose an amendment to the government's Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill. The move has allegedly caused conflict among the ruling Labour party's leadership. [Telegraph, 12 July] Liam Gibson of SPUC Northern Ireland said: "The strength of opposition within Northern Ireland to the extension of the Abortion Act is clear. It has been reflected in the unprecedented level of unity shown by the people of the Province, their Churches and their elected representatives across the political divide. Despite this, the pro-abortion lobby in England is determined to disregard the will of the people and impose abortion. It is vitally important that everyone understands just how dangerous the situation is and that they take a public stand against the extension of the Abortion Act. Tell your friends and neighbours that they too must stand-up and be counted. All those who believe that abortion kills children and hurts women must make it impossible for the abortion lobby to dictate our laws and take away the right to life of unborn children in Northern Ireland. Everyone who wants to help protect our children should contact us on (028) 9077 8018."
Repeat abortions in England and Wales are at their highest, with one third performed on women who had had at least one before. Last year, some 2,600 women had their fourth, 50 their seventh. [Telegraph, 14 July] Our source points out that British MPs are presently considering making abortion even easier to get. SPUC is quoted as saying that agreements to abortion were being rushed through which women may regret later. Marie Stopes International, a major abortion provider, said it was ludicrous to suggest abortion was seen as a type of contraception. [Daily Mail, 14 July]
A campaign led by the Danish government could propose a new UN target concerning so-called reproductive health which can be interpreted to include abortion. The Torch Campaign presses for implementation of the third Millennium Development Goal (on women's empowerment) but could call for more. The USA, which refuses to join the campaign, has pointed out that member states have not agreed to any new targets. The goals are mainly about poverty, education and child mortality. [Catholic Family & Human Rights Institute, 10 July]
The Spanish government wants to liberalise abortion and euthanasia. The socialist party's conference has adopted policies and the country's leaders are said to want abortion to be widely allowed up to 24 weeks' gestation. A spokesman for the Catholic bishops said: "The Government is sending Spanish society on a macabre journey into a culture of death. I dare say the next thing they will propose is infanticide for children suffering from serious diseases." The church told its people not to vote for Mr José Zapatero, prime minister. [Times, 12 July] The Portuguese Order of Physicians has deleted reference to abortion from its ethical code, instead referring to the wrongness of interrupting life after it has begun. Our source suggests the new wording would leave it to medics to decide when human life started. [LifeSiteNews, 11 July]
A man has reportedly been dehydrated to death in the same Florida hospice as where Mrs Terri Schiavo was similarly treated. Mr Bradley Whaley, 26, had been brain damaged and, earlier this month, Florida Suncoast hospice stopped supplying him with food and fluid by tube. Mr Wesley Smith, the lawyer, said medical ethics were now based on so-called quality of life. People in similar situations to Mr Whaley throughout America were being denied sustenance. [LifeSiteNews, 11 July]
A new laboratory at Cambridge University, England, will study trophoblasts, the cells which mainly comprise the placenta, in the hope of making pregnancy safer. [PA on Channel 4, 12 July] A charity wants pregnant women in Britain to be tested for the group B streptococcus, as in other countries. The bacterium infects one newborn baby in 1,000 and antibiotics can treat it. [Daily Record, 14 July]