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UN report on violence against women used to promote extreme pro-abortion agenda

4 June 2009

A report into violence against women has been used to promote an extreme pro-abortion agenda at the United Nations Human Rights Council, currently meeting in Geneva. The report, by Yakin Ertürk, the council's special rapporteur on violence against women, attempts to link bans on abortion with violence against women. The report has yet to be approved by the council, which will meet until 19 June. [SPUC director's blog, 3 June]

A court has heard that a man in Yorkshire killed his lover after she told him she had aborted their unborn child. Andrew Wilson has admitted killing Katrina Preece on New Year's Day. Mr Wilson claims that Mrs Preece told him: "I got rid of it the other day." [Yorkshire Post, 4 June]

Peter Smith, the archbishop of Cardiff, has condemned moves to undermine the law against assisted suicide. The archbishop said: "Legalising assistance with suicide is morally wrong in itself and would put vulnerable people at grave risk." [Daily Mail, 4 June] His comments were made in the light of next week's debate in the House of Lords on pro-suicide amendments to the government's Coroners and Justice bill [SPUC action alert, 29 May]

Drugs prescribed to treat psychological and sleep problems may increase the risk of suicide among old people. Researchers at Gothenburg university in Sweden found that elderly patients taking such drugs were four times more likely to commit suicide than elderly persons not taking them. The researchers said that "Clinicians need to be aware of this as these drugs are widely prescribed to the elderly." [Reuters via Yahoo!, 4 June]

A new study suggests that survival rates for premature babies have improved in recent years. Swedish researchers, publishing their findings in an American journal, found that 70% of babies born alive between 22 and 26 weeks gestation in Sweden now survive past the age of one. Neil Marlow, a British professor, commented on the study, saying: "[W]e [in Britain] tend to be less aggressive than in Sweden with the care we offer babies born at 23 weeks gestation and younger because we believe the risks outweigh the benefits in terms of outcomes." [BBC, 3 June]

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