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Defending life from the moment of conception

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Two medical students to skydive in support of conscientious objection

26 June 2008

Two medical students will skydive 10,000 feet on Saturday to raise awareness of the pressure on medical staff to take part in abortion against their consciences. Miss Siobhan Fearon and Miss Abigail Smith, both 19, will do the parachute jump in Lancashire, England. Miss Smith writes: "I had to help a close friend deal with the after-effects of an abortion. Seeing first-hand the impact an abortion has on such a young life has really challenged my views on the procedure. It has made me more determined to help women make sure that they make the right decision for them and their unborn child when faced with crisis pregnancies in my career." The event will raise money for SPUC through sponsorship. [SPUC, 26 June]

Birth control pills and morning-after pills have no major role in preventing abortions, according to the head of the Office of Population Research at Princeton University, New Jersey. Professor James Trussell told a British Pregnancy Advisory Service conference that women were negligent in how they used such drugs. One woman among every 12 on the pill in Britain got pregnant; morning-after pills were under-used. Professor Trussell wanted more implants and IUDs, which could be fitted and forgotten. [Daily Mail, 25 June] Morning-after pills are to be made easier to get in Scotland. The government is to issue new contracts so that most of the country's 1,200 community pharmacies will supply the drugs free of charge. [Scotsman, 26 June] Certain devices and substances used for birth control can cause the death of early embryos and may thus be abortifacient. Morning-after pills are in this category.

The European Center for Law and Justice has done an analysis of the pro-abortion agenda in a draft resolution on child abandonment which will be debated tomorrow by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe. The document condemns the resolution's: "utilitarian calculus promoting abortion over life as a result of being born into inadequate social and financial circumstances. As social and financial circumstances are changeable and the termination of pregnancy irreparable, it is institutionally unacceptable for the Parliamentary Assembly to promote such a worldview with its underlying shadow of social eugenics." SPUC wants pro-life people Europe-wide to lobby their representatives. [SPUC director's blog, 26 June]

A motion before the British Medical Association's annual meeting would effectively bar doctors with a conscientious objection to abortion from seeing patients with unplanned pregnancies. The move comes from Dr Evan Harris, Liberal Democrat MP and member of the association's medical ethics committee. The Christian Medical Fellowship has published an analysis of the motion and Dr Harris's parliamentary agenda for more abortion. SPUC supports medics who object to abortion and has produced a flyer and a briefing for doctors. [SPUC director's blog, 26 June]

A Romanian girl aged 11 could get an abortion in Britain if her country's government approves. The unidentified child's parents reportedly want her to travel because her baby is of 20 weeks' gestation - above Romania's notional limit but below Britain's. The child protection authority is in favour, the doctors' association against. The Orthodox church reportedly says the family should decide. [Daily Mail, 25 June]

It can be a loving thing to deny holy communion to the unworthy, a cardinal has said. Cardinal Philippe Barbarin, Archbishop of Lyons, France, said all the church's acts were loving. He was speaking to LifeSiteNews about whether one denies the sacrament to pro-abortion politicians. [LifeSiteNews, 25 June]

Senator Barack Obama is being urged to make the reduction of abortion a policy in his Democrat campaign for the US presidency. Rev Jim Wallis, who is sympathetic to the party, said: "You don't have to call for criminalizing anyone. You don't have to take a different stance about a woman's right to choose. But you begin with the need for reducing abortion dramatically." [ABC, 25 June]

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