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Defending life from the moment of conception

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Labour youth vice-chair resigns over the party's pro-abortion stance

30 May 2008

The vice-chairman of the British Labour party's youth movement has resigned from his post after the organisation campaigned on the pro-abortion side when parliament was considering the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill. Mr Conor McGinn, a Catholic who remains a party member, said abortion was a matter of conscience. Ms Geraldine Smith, Labour MP for Morecambe and Lunesdale, said the bill came from the party's metropolitan elite which did not represent the party at large. [Catholic Herald, 30 May]

Brazil's supreme court has approved a law permitting human embryo research. The chief prosecutor had raised the legitimacy of the 2005 measure. A lawyers' group called the decision "a victory of knowledge over obscurantism" while the Catholic church called it lamentable and cited successful adult stem cell research. [Reuters, 29 May]

The father of twin IVF girls denies the truth of recent media reports that he and his 59-year-old wife had abandoned them because of their gender. The family claims the un-named father, aged 72 and originally from India, was misunderstood at the English midlands hospital where his daughters had been born. [Sun, 30 May]

The Archbishop of Dublin is reported as saying that the European Union's Lisbon treaty would not affect Irish abortion law. [Irish Independent, 30 May] Some Catholics are reportedly praying that the Irish people will reject the treaty in a referendum next month because they fear it will. The government has been trying to reassure people. [Reuters, 29 May] Pat Buckley of European Life Network, Dublin, said: "While the wording of the treaty does not mention abortion, a set of circumstances is being put in place whereby the Irish constitution will be subject to the Lisbon treaty and the new Charter of Fundamental Rights. The charter will be interpreted by the European Court of Justice. There is no question but that the general thrust within the European Community is to try to make abortion a human right."

Nurses at a Catholic hospital in California have rejected collective membership of a pro-abortion trade union. Staff at St Agnes Medical Centre voted against joining the California Nurses Association, though 42% of those voting were in favour. [Catholic News Agency, 29 May]

A stillborn baby was kept in jar at a British hospital for four years while his mother thought the child had been cremated. Ms Jo-Ann Burrows of Hampshire says she is suicidal. Health authorities have apologised and she is suing them. The boy was a twin and his sister survives. [CNN, 29 May]

Vitamin A could prevent cleft palate in the unborn say Oslo University, Norway, researchers who studied more than 1,000 women. Consuming plenty of the nutrient halved the likelihood of the developmental anomaly when compared with women who consumed very little of it. [Reuters, 29 May]

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