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Defending life from the moment of conception

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20,000 rally at Cameroon pro-life march

17 July 2009

20,000 people have staged a pro-life march in the African country of Cameroon. The march was organised in opposition to the Maputo protocol, which seeks to force all 53-member states of the African Union to legalise abortion. A petition against abortion, signed by 30,000 people, was presented to the government. Samuel Kleda, the coadjutor Catholic archbishop of Douala, said, "[W]e cannot pretend to defend women by proposing that they have an abortion and use contraception, which threatens their dignity and nuclear family. No reason can be used to justify abortion or infanticide." [, 17 July]

A new study suggests that women who have had more than one abortion are more likely to be involved in abusive relationships. The study, published in the The Obstetrician and Gynaecologist (TOG) medical journal, follows similar findings published in March. Jason Waugh, the journal's editor, said: "These findings highlight the need for health professionals to be aware of, and sensitive to, the possibility of violence in the lives of women seeking abortion" [, 17 July]

The Mexican state of Yucatan has become the 14th Mexican state to introduce pro-life wording into its constitution. The move was in response to the decriminalisation of abortion on demand in early pregnancy in Mexico City in 2007. The added wording reads: "The state of Yucatan recognizes, protects, and guarantees the right to life of every human being, expressly affirming that, from the moment of fertilization, he comes under the protection of the law, and is to be treated like a human being that has been born for all corresponding legal effects, until his natural death, with exceptions already foreseen in ordinary laws." The final phrase allows for abortion in certain circumstances under existing law. [, 16 July]

Other stories:

Famed NASA astronauts launch new pro-life ad [, 16 July]

Murder defendant says slain mother told daughter to abort child [BBC, 16 July]

U.S. appeals court rules to enforce Illinois parental notification law [Medical News Today, 16 July]

Parents should be banned from withdrawing their children from sex education, say UK anti-life groups [Telegraph, 16 July]

Fife has the second highest rate of teen pregnancies in Scotland, according to new figures [Fife Today, 16 July]

BBC TV documentary on two teenagers "desperate" to get pregnant [BBC, 16 July]

Gordon Brown, British prime minister, confirms his opposition to assisted suicide [Downing Street Says, 14 July]

Archbishop Vincent Nichols of Westminster writes against assisted suicide, focuses on the issues of autonomy and human value [Telegraph, 16 July]
British Medical Journal (BMJ) latest articles on assisted suicide [BMJ, 16 July]

New analysis of Belgian euthanasia law [Social Science Research Network, 14 July]

The Economist magazine endorses assisted suicide [Economist, 16 July]

Wife accused of trying to kill disabled husband cleared of attempted murder [Daily Mail, 16 July]

A Cardiff university website claims to help parents decide whether to have an amniocentesis [NewsWales, 16 July]

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