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Obama proposals could mean state funding of abortion

31 October 2008

Senator Barack Obama's proposals for public health could entail state funding of abortion. The Democrat US presidential candidate's campaign responded to a questionnaire by describing "reproductive health care" as basic and essential. The phrase euphemistically includes abortion provision. Mr Obama also expressed similar views to Planned Parenthood last year. Recent enquiries by a journalist for clarification have not been responded to. [LifeNews, 30 October] Mr Obama's administration could also fund forced abortion and sterilisation abroad. His office last year said that he would restore grants to the UN population fund which is involved with the Chinese government. [LifeNews, 30 October]

A Catholic archbishop has described respect for human life as being at the core of the church's ethical and moral teaching. Most Rev Elden Curtiss, Archbishop of Omaha, Nebraska, wrote that there was no more important issue at Tuesday's election. Catholics had a duty to vote and women with unwanted pregnancies had to be supported. Candidates who did not believe in the right to life were not worthy of voters' trust. [LifeSiteNews, 30 October] Another prelate has called the right to life the centrepiece of Catholic social teaching and the goal of democracy. Cardinal Sean O'Malley, Archbishop of Boston, Massachusetts, said opposition to abortion was growing in America and wrote: "we are all created equal and are endowed by our Creator with certain inalienable rights, the first of which is the right to life". [LifeSiteNews, 30 October]

A British MP is calling for a debate on assisted suicide. Mr David Winnick, Labour member for Walsall North, acknowledges that this week's judgement in the case of Mrs Debbie Purdy confirmed that it was an offence to help someone go abroad to kill themselves. The subject was important and sensitive. [Guardian, 31 October] Ms Margo Macdonald MSP hopes to introduce a Dutch-style euthanasia law in Scotland by Easter. Principles of palliative care would be expanded to include ending one's life, with doctors being involved and relatives shielded from prosecution. She expected English law also to change in that direction. [Daily Express, 31 October]

After an Irish university decided to allow embryo research, a politician is proposing a bill to ban it. The proposal is from Senator Rónán Mullen, an independent. Our source says how constitutional protection for the unborn is apparently flouted by deeming embryos who are not in the womb as being not unborn, and by importing embryonic tissue which is dead. Mr David Quinn writes: "if we hire someone else to do our dirty work for us we're still guilty of the act". [Irish Independent, 31 October]

The nurses' professional body in Britain has issued new guidelines on abortion provision which reflect what it describes as developments in nurses' role in the procedure. The document describes how the organisation wants nurses and midwives to be allowed to perform abortions. It says: "All women (including those under 16 years of age) seeking an abortion have a right to confidentiality from all health care and ancillary staff." [Royal College of Nursing, 30 October]

A British Catholic lawyer who supports the pro-abortion agenda was due last week to speak at a Catholic university in America. [Dominican University of California] SPUC has criticised the invitation to Ms Cherie Booth, wife of Mr Tony Blair, the former prime minister. Her website endorses reproductive rights, a term commonly used to include abortion on demand, and mentions her support for Human Rights Watch which is pro-abortion. [John Smeaton, 30 October]

A small amount of alcohol in pregnancy could actually benefit unborn children, according to a British study of 12,000 families by University College London. Women who drank one or two glasses of wine a week had better behaved infants. The British government advises against all drinking in pregnancy. [Daily Mail, 31 October]

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