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Defending life from the moment of conception

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"Abortion has killed more black people than the Ku Klux Klan"

20 November 2008

Abortion has killed more black people than the Ku Klux Klan, according to Rev Johnny Hunter of Life Education and Resource Network, North Carolina, speaking after the election of Senator Barack Obama as US president. Rev Hunter said Planned Parenthood, which endorsed Mr Obama, was founded in order to exterminate minorities, and added: "Any person of color who has made a promise to a group that targets groups of color isn't worthy of being elected." Pastor Arnold Culbreath of Cincinnati, Ohio, said abortion was the leading cause of death in the black community, with 1,200 black abortions daily. Dr Alveda King, niece of Rev Dr Martin Luther King Jr and a worker with Priests for Life, said pro-life people who had voted for the senator should lobby the White House and congress in support of the unborn. Mr Lawson Lipford-Cruz, president of Black Students for Life, said: "The unborn don't have rights just like we didn't as black people." [National Catholic Register, 11 November]

The Catholic bishops of the Philippines are helping to draft a population law as an alternative to a bill in the congress. The bishops' commission on family and life says the congressional bill, which would promote birth control, is unconstitutional and infringes religious rights. Some bishops would refuse the sacraments to politicians who supported it. Mrs Fenny Tatad, executive director of the Bishops-Legislators Caucus, says the bishops want a bill "that will address the real need of the poor people and ... address the issues of development in an authentic way." Restricting population was the wrong way to cut poverty and boost the economy. The right approach included fighting corruption and spending more on education and health. [Reuters, 20 November]

Life Issues Institute of Cincinnati, Ohio, says those who respect human life should prepare for the worst under the new US administration, on both domestic and international fronts. Ms Marie Smith wrote to sympathetic organisations in Latin America saying that Mr Obama was radically pro-abortion but it was unclear how extreme his government would be. American money would support abortion abroad and the national overseas development agency would probably be headed by a keen abortion supporter. [CNA on EWTN, 18 November] Leading Catholics are pleading with Mr Obama to reconsider his commitment to sign a bill lifting all restrictions on abortion. In an open letter, the signatories say they share with him a commitment to the common good and want to have the dialogue on reducing abortion which he mentioned in his campaign. Such cooperation, they warn, could nevertheless be jeopardised by Mr Obama's signing the Freedom of Choice Act. The act would also compromise the conscientious position of Catholic medical institutions and staff; it would thus undermine choice. [CNA on EWTN, 19 November] It is reported that Mr Obama may appoint Mr Tom Daschle as health secretary. Though a Catholic, Mr Daschle is strongly anti-life. [John Smeaton, 20 November]

The European Union proposes to require working women to take six weeks away from their jobs after giving birth. At present, EU countries must give women 14 weeks' paid maternity leave, though there is no stipulation about how much of it they must take after the birth. [Telegraph, 20 November]

A man in Reading, England has been charged with assisting a suicide. [getreading, 19 November]

Medical staff have greater fears about the risks of conventional childbirth than mothers, according to research in Australia on more than 120 pregnant women and more than 340 health workers. After the pregnant women themselves, midwives were the most prepared to take risks. Colorectal surgeons and urogynecologists were most risk-averse, with half of the latter saying they would choose Caesarean section. Researchers said women greatly overestimated the likelihood of complications. [Reuters, 19 November]

Smoking by mothers in pregnancy could be permanently damaging their unborn babies' blood-vessels. A Dutch survey of more than 700 adults aged around 30 found that, if their mothers smoked while pregnant, they had thicker walls of their carotid arteries which supply blood to the brain. Paternal smoking during pregnancy also seemed to cause similar damage. [Reuters, 19 November]

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