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Defending life from the moment of conception

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Pro-lifers encouraged to write to MPs opposing pro-abortion amendments

30 September 2008

The head of the English and Welsh Catholic bishops' department for Christian responsibility and citizenship has asked clergy to urge their parishioners to write to their members of parliament over abortion related amendments to the British government's Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill. Most Rev Peter Smith, Archbishop of Cardiff, has written to all priests in England and Wales and says: "Most of these amendments would make abortion more widespread, would lead to women having less time to think before abortion, and leave women facing abortion at home and alone without medical supervision." Time was of the essence. [Guardian, 30 September] The secretary of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace has criticised the exclusion of religious convictions from public life. Bishop Giampaolo Crepaldi told an audience in Assisi, Italy, that secularist ideology was not neutral. Among relevant issues, he cited conscientious objection to supplying abortifacient birth control. [Zenit on EWTN, 28 September]

The head of the Catholic church's highest court has said that the US Democratic party risks becoming the party of death. Most Rev Raymond Burke, former Archbishop of St Louis, Missouri, said that the Democrats had changed since the days when they helped immigrants integrate and prosper. Pro-life Democrats were regrettably rare; more American bishops were adopting his policy of refusing communion to pro-abortion politicians. Archbishop Burke is prefect of the Segnatura Apostolica in Rome. [Catholic News Service, 29 September] Some 30 religious ministers who collectively expressed their support for Senator John McCain as US president may fall foul of fiscal laws which forbid church involvement in politics.

Americans United for the Separation of Church and State have complained to the tax authorities about the pastors' recent coordinated endorsement of the Republican candidate from their pulpits. The clergy say any constraint would violate their freedom of speech. [LifeNews, 29 September]

Research performed for Planned Parenthood has been interpreted to suggest that birth control does not prevent abortion. Concerned Women for America say that findings by the Alan Guttmacher Institute show that abortions are more prevalent among women who know about birth control and to whom it is readily available. Our source also mentions that abortions in Sweden increased even though more and more morning-after pills were supplied. Something similar reportedly happened in Scotland. [LifeNews, 29 September]

Scientists in England say they have discovered that two proteins control the implantation of embryos in the womb, and say that the finding will help make IVF more successful. Researchers at Oxford University found that the Rac1 and RhoA proteins caused the lining of the womb to accommodate an embryo. They did this by using donated tissue and embryos. [Telegraph, 29 September] IVF amounts to the manufacture of human beings. Many thousands of human embryos have perished in the development and practice of IVF.

Remnants of anti-cancer drugs dissolved in tap water in Britain could harm the unborn. The Centre for Ecology and Hydrology in Oxfordshire has conjectured that there could be enough 5-fluorouracil in some water to be toxic. The Drinking Water Inspectorate is to test rivers which are sources of water for human consumption. [Daily Mail, 30 September]

Human Life International is promoting prayer for the conversion of abortionists. Fr Thomas Euteneuer, president, says he is concerned for the souls of those who perform abortion as well as for the unborn who lose their lives. The campaign consists of a Catholic prayer to St Michael. [Catholic News Agency, 30 September]

A woman in Britain postponed chemotherapy for her unborn child's sake. Ms Janine Long, who has had three types of cancer, said: "[W]hen you are given a choice of your child's life or your own life, your child comes first. Motherly instincts are the most powerful thing in the whole world. I couldn't have given [her son Logan's] life up for [any] reason." [Eastern Daily Press, 30 September]

Exercise in pregnancy benefits mothers and children, according to a health lecturer at Dublin City University, Ireland. Bed rest used to be advised, but Dr Giles Warrington warns of the dangers of inactivity. [Irish Times, 30 September]

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