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Defending life from the moment of conception

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FPA lobbies MPs for abortion in Northern Ireland

16 October 2008

The Family Planning Association is using four computer-based videos to try to persuade MPs to extend British abortion law to Northern Ireland. Subjects of the one-minute films include a woman with an ill unborn child and another who was told her pregnancy would cause her to go blind. FPA Northern Ireland criticised the province's assembly for opposing the extension of the law though amendment to the HFE Bill. [Medical News Today, 15 October]

Senator John McCain, Republican, and Senator Barack Obama, Democrat, have both said that they will not consider the views on abortion of the people whom they would appoint to the US supreme court if elected president. [Reuters, 15 October] During a televised debate, Mr McCain pointed out that his opponent had voted in a state legislative committee against laws to provide medical help to children who survive abortion, and to ban partial birth abortion. Mr McCain said that legal exceptions for maternal health had been exploited to allow abortion on demand. [LifeNews, 15 October]

Most Americans want limits to abortion, according to a recent survey of some 1,700 people for the Knights of Columbus, a Catholic organisation. Fewer than a tenth of respondents agreed with abortion on demand throughout pregnancy. A quarter supported it in the first trimester, while a third would only allow it for rape, incest or danger of maternal death. Some 70% of those calling themselves pro-choice wanted abortion significantly restricted. Just 13% of all respondents opposed all procured abortion. [LifeSiteNews, 15 October]

Mr Tony Blair, former British prime minister, is to address a meeting at a Catholic university whose theme is the teachings of Pope John Paul II. He will speak on globalisation and faith to a youth audience at the European University of Rome next month. SPUC wants him banned from the conference, describing him as "one of the worst possible role models to present to young people." A letter to the organisers describes Mr Blair's anti-life voting record and policies, which he will not publicly recant despite his reception into the Catholic church. [John Smeaton, 16 October]

A newspaper editorial cites evidence presented to a recent Washington DC seminar on the effects of abortion on women. The Washington Times describes the Family Research Council's meeting a week ago and says: "A growing body of evidence indicates that women who have an abortion experience adverse psychological effects." Around a quarter of abortions caused lasting mental harm. The work of the Elliott Institute, Illinois, is mentioned. [Washington Times, 14 October]

Human umbilical and marrow cells have been grown in pig foetuses in the hope that their cancer-inhibiting properties might be enhanced. Michigan University scientists have yet to put the T cells, which matured in the growing piglets, into humans' bodies. [Telegraph, 15 October]

The London Women's Clinic hopes to win a competition for funding from the Bank of Scotland so it can expand its cut-price artificial reproduction work in Britain. A spokesman described its methods as involving "egg-sharing and packaged IVF treatment". [WalesOnline, 16 October]

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