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Draft resolution on child abandonment contains pro-abortion language

20 June 2008

A draft resolution on child abandonment to be debated by the Council of Europe contains pro-abortion language. The resolution and its accompanying report promotes "legal and easier access to sexual rights and reproductive health services" such as "contraception and abortion". It is to be considered, and voted on, by the council's parliamentary assembly in a week's time (Friday the 27th) and SPUC is urging pro-life people to lobby assembly members. [SPUC, 20 June] The Council of Europe is bigger than the EU and its resolutions can influence European human rights law.

Analysis of yesterday's abortion figures for England and Wales suggests that half of pregnancies to under-18 girls end in abortion. Our source suggests the government will use this as a pretext to start sex-education at five. [Times, 20 June] Our source also carries a feature about a young woman who aborted four times in her teens. Ms Louise Kelly, from the English midlands, feels guilt and unworthy to have another child. [Daily Mail, 20 June] The number of abortions on Irish women in Britain has fallen for six years. Last year and the year before, more than 400 went to the Netherlands where it can be €300 cheaper. [Irish Independent, 20 June]

Scientists in England say they have made hundreds of human-animal hybrids. Newcastle University researchers say the process is easier than expected. They have been putting DNA from people's skin into cows' eggs, creating almost 300 embryos, which they say perish at the 32-cell stage. The UK fertility regulator licensed the work and the government's Human Fertilisation and Embryology bill, now in parliament, would give it legal backing. [Financial Times, 20 June]

A woman and her baby in Britain came close to death during IVF. Ms Soozi Rowbotham, 41, of London had ovarian hyper stimulation syndrome and considered aborting the child. She was in great pain and gained weight. She and her son, three, are now both fit. [Sun, 19 June]

The European Union is pressing Ireland to ratify the Lisbon treaty, which the country's voters rejected in a referendum last week. All 27 states must approve the document and the Czech Republic has now postponed doing so. [Independent, 20 June] There is a view that the treaty could compromise Ireland's pro-life laws.

Canada's Catholic leader says contraception can lead to abortion. Cardinal Marc Ouellet, Archbishop of Quebec, told LifeSiteNews that Humanae Vitae, Pope Paul VI's 1968 encyclical, had been insufficiently taught, and that abortion and marital problems were "consequences of the culture of contraception". [LifeSiteNews, 19 June]

The new president of the Pontifical Academy for Life is Most Rev Salvatore Fisichella, an auxiliary bishop in the Rome diocese. He replaces Rt Rev Elio Sgreccia who has retired. The fact that Mgr Fisichella is also raised to archbishop reportedly shows the importance which the church attaches to life issues. He has been rector of the Pontifical Lateran University. [LifeNews, 17 June] Edmund Adamus, director of pastoral affairs in the archdiocese of Westminster, commented: "Bishop Fisichella was the first president of the John Paul II Institute for Studies in Marriage and Family Life which the late pope was due to open formally on the day he was shot in St Peter's Square. The fundamental right to life is intrinsically linked to the promotion and defence of marriage and family life. The appointment of Monsignor Fisichella is particularly significant in light of the recent congress at the Lateran University commemorating the encyclical Humanae Vitae. This was instigated by Monsignor Fisichella and personally supported by Pope Benedict."

President Bush says there will be a clear choice on abortion for voters at November's election for his successor, with Senator Obama voting for abortion and Senator McCain wanting to overturn Roe v. Wade. [LifeNews, 19 June] Mr McCain seems equivocal on human embryo research. While reportedly open to ethical stem cell therapies, it is said that he is still discussing embryos. An aide said it was a hard decision. [LifeNews, 19 June]

A euthanasia advocate says people who get Alzheimer's and want to hasten their death should not tell their doctors for fear of legal complications. Dr Philip Nitschke, who runs Exit International, was speaking after two women were convicted in relation to the death by poisoning of Mr Graeme Wylie of Sydney, Australia. Dr Nitschke seems to want to avoid assertions that people with the disease cannot make decisions for themselves. [The Age, 20 June]

A baby, thought to be stillborn, revived on the way to her funeral. The mistaken diagnosis was made at a hospital in Mumbai, India, where she is now in intensive care. [Gulf Times, 20 June]

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