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Defending life from the moment of conception

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Tributes paid to James White

5 March 2009

A Labour MP who unsuccessfully tried in 1975 to amend British abortion law has died. Mr James White sought to make abortion harder to obtain, and to prevent embryo research. SPUC organised a 50,000-strong rally in support of his bill. His party in Glasgow Pollok passed a motion of no confidence in him in 1983. [Times, 5 March] John Smeaton, SPUC national director, praised the courageous good humour with which James White stood firm against the pro-abortion lobby.

A woman in Florida has been imprisoned after a child who was due to be aborted was born alive and she hid it in a bag in which it died. Although Ms Belkis Gonzalez worked at an abortion clinic, she did not have a licence. She is also being punished for interfering with evidence. [LifeSiteNews, 3 March] President Obama opposed a measure which would have made it an offence to kill children who survived abortion. [John Smeaton, 4 March]

A fertility practitioner says that three cloned babies were born nine years ago and now live in eastern Europe. Dr Severino Antinori of Italy claims that nuclear transfer was used to produce two boys and a girl from three sterile fathers. [Telegraph, 3 March]

Mexico could require healthcare institutions to provide morning-after pills. The health ministry is said to have changed the wording of a regulation so that, instead of having an option, facilities are required to supply such birth-control. It is also reported that abortion may be allowed for rape victims. [Catholic News Agency, 3 March]

A nine-year-old in Brazil has had her twin babies aborted. The unidentified girl was allegedly raped by her stepfather who has been imprisoned. The hospital which performed the abortion says her health was in danger but the Catholic church said she should have continued the pregnancy and had a caesarean. [Australian, 5 March]

Legislators in Georgia and Missouri want to limit the number of embryos used in IVF after a California woman had IVF octuplets. Senator Ralph Hudgens' measure in Georgia would ban the implantation of more than two embryos in women under 40. Over-40s could have three. The Missouri bill would allow the use of five embryos for women over 40. [Telegraph, 5 March]

Abortion increases the likelihood of subsequent premature birth by nearly two thirds, according to a survey of 21 studies on the subject published in the Journal of Reproductive Medicine. [LifeSiteNews, 4 March]

Washington state will today begin to allow assisted suicide. Voters in November's election approved a measure which allows doctors to prescribe poison for people with less than six months to live. [AFP on Yahoo!, 3 March]

Donated umbilical cells have been used in China to treat blindness in a two-year-old girl from Northern Ireland. Dakota Clarke's parents paid £30,000 for therapy for her septo-optic dysplasia. She can now follow objects with her eyes and recognise people. [Sun, 5 March]

There are 10 stillbirths and seven neonatal deaths every day in Britain, according to the Sands charity. The stillbirth rate is not falling. The organisation suggests at least some of these deaths are avoidable and wants more government spending. [Telegraph, 3 March]

American Life League says pro-life leadership in the US senate has been lost after Senator Sam Brownback congratulated Ms Kathleen Sebelius, the pro-abortion governor of Kansas, on her nomination as health secretary. Ms Judie Brown, the league's president who supported the senator for president, says she is greatly disappointed and will never call him pro-life again. [LifeSiteNews, 3 March]

A Lenten pro-life initiative has reportedly saved some 40 lives as women are dissuaded from having abortions. The 40 Days for Life campaign involves vigils at abortion clinics. In one case, a husband spoke to the activists and then returned inside the clinic where he persuaded his wife to keep their child. [LifeSiteNews, 3 March]

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