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Defending life
from conception to natural death


Leading British columnist criticises English assisted suicide campaign

8 June 2009

A leading British columnist has criticised the campaign to undermine English law on assisted suicide. Dominic Lawson, writing in The Times, argued that campaigners for assisted suicide have much broader goals than an amendment tabled in the House of Lords by Lord Falconer, the former Lord Chancellor. Mr Lawson described Lord Falconer's amendment as dangerous. [Times, 7 June] SPUC is urging supporters to contact members of the House of Lords this week to urge them to reject anti-life amendments to the government's Coroners and Justice bill [SPUC action alerts, 29 May and 6 June]

The BBC has made an out-of-court settlement with one of Britain's most prominent IVF doctors. The corporation's Panorama television programme, had implied that Mohamed Taranissi had offered "unnecessary and unproven" treatments. Mr Taranissi had sued the corporation for libel. [Evening Standard, 8 June]

A woman in the American state of Oregon has been charged with murdering a pregnant mother and stealing her child. It is suspected that Korena Roberts may have cut Heather Snively's baby from her womb. The child did not survive. [Mirror, 8 June] A pregnant woman and her unborn child have died in an apparently random stabbing in Grimsby, northern England. [BBC, 8 June] A mother who refused chemotherapy in order to protect her unborn child has died. Kate Coles of Trowbridge, England died three and a half months after giving birth. [Mirror, 8 June]

Jose Maria Aznar, the former Spanish prime minister, has attacked proposals by the current Spanish government to widen the law on abortion. Mr Aznar, speaking at a conference, said: "It isn't the role of the government to create new and degrading definitions of what it is to be a human being." [LifeSite, 5 June] Spanish women are organising petition for and against proposals. The pro-life petition reads: "Abortion is ethically and legally unacceptable, not only because it annihilates a defenseless human being, but because it involves violence inflicted on the dignity of the woman". [LifeSite, 4 June]

A United Nations official has criticised Poland's abortion law. Anand Grover, a United Nations special rapporteur on health visited Poland last month and said that access to abortion, contraception and pre-natal testing in Poland is unsatisfactory. Mr Grover also cited Poland's allegedly high illegal abortion rate. [Warsaw Voice, 20 May] John Smeaton, SPUC director, rejected the claim regarding illegal abortions, describing it as a ruse. [SPUC director's blog, 8 June]

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