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Defending life from the moment of conception

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Personal testimony a reminder that abortion hurts women

5 January 2009

A woman in Britain says that she has been scarred and tortured by her decision to abort her son nine years ago, and that he still haunts her thoughts. Ms Victoria Lambert terminated the pregnancy at 13 weeks' gestation because the baby had Patau's syndrome, also known as trisomy 13. People with the syndrome, which can include a heart defect, may survive to young adulthood. Ms Lambert complains that admitting to unease about abortion is seen by some as a betrayal of women's solidarity. She writes: "[Abortion] felt then and it feels now like murder," though she adds that she is not against abortion. In retrospect, she writes that she would have cared for her son. Prenatal testing was too easy and meant that decisions about abortion were taken lightly. [Mail, 3 January] John Smeaton, SPUC's national director, writes: "I hope and pray that Victoria Lambert's story will help other women who may be under pressure to abort their child - whether that child has a disability or not. And I pray, above all, that she will find peace and learn to forgive herself." [SPUC director, 5 January]

Women in America are reportedly procuring abortions by taking misoprostol, a prescription drug used for treating ulcers. Our source mentions a survey by Planned Parenthood which reportedly discovered that Hispanic women were resorting to various means of inducing miscarriage. Misoprostol does not always cause abortion and it can have grave side-effects for women. Text on the packaging of one brand warns that it can be abortifacient. [New York Times, 4 January] The results of some research into illegal abortion is used to lobby for even more easily available terminations.

Nurses in Britain are being consulted on organ donation. The Royal College of Nursing's survey includes the issue of presuming donors' consent. [Royal College of Nursing, 5 January]
Freezing embryos improves the IVF success rate, according to research by a British treatment centre. The Oxford Fertility Unit claims the practice cuts the required number of hormonal treatments. Freezing surplus embryos from one course of treatment is reportedly cheaper than a new IVF cycle. [Independent, 3 January]

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