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Defending life from the moment of conception

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Pro-life campaigners to hold nation-wide street witness

13 April 2010

Pro-life campaigners are due to give silent witness to unborn babies killed in the 42 years since the implementation of the Abortion Act, as well as to the hurt caused to women by abortion. On Saturday 24 April, SPUC supporters will form a chain, standing at intervals holding placards which bring home the reality of abortion. The event is known as the Pro-life Chains and will be held from 11am till 1pm. For more details contact Tony Mullett on 01772 258 580 or email [John Smeaton, 10 April]

Don’t fall for David Cameron’s pitch on abortion time-limit

John Smeaton, national director of SPUC, has urged the public to be clear about David Cameron’s position on life issues.  Mr Smeaton reports that while Mr Cameron claims he wants to reduce the upper-limit for abortions, he wants abortion up to birth available for women carrying disabled children.  Mr Smeaton said that “[t]here is no reason to believe that the new parliament will be significantly less pro-abortion than the old one”. [John Smeaton, 8 April]

Organs may have been removed without consent

The BBC has reported that organs may have been removed from deceased people without their consent, due to a data-handling error by the National Health Service, UK. Reports say that as many as 800,000 people may have had their wishes recorded inaccurately and that 20 families have let organs be taken from their relatives based on incorrect information. The NHS Blood and Transplant has said it is urgently investigating. [BBC, 10 April]

SPUC student conference a great success

The third SPUC international youth conference was a great success, says Joe Lee, development officer for SPUC Scotland. The conference was held in Glasgow, Scotland and hosted 160 participants from all over the world. Key-notes speakers were Rev Arnold Culbreath of Life Issues Institute, USA, and Mr Alex Shadenberg of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition, Canada. Lucy McCully, event organiser and SPUC Scotland’s education officer, said “this year’s conference really has set the benchmark for future youth pro-life conferences, not only in Scotland but world-wide.  [John Smeaton, 1 April]

Kenyan draft constitution includes a ‘right’ to abortion

The Kenyan Parliament has voted in favour of a draft constitution which on the one hand recognises the right to life from conception, but also incorporates a right to abortion, reports Patrick Buckely, director of European Life Network. Section 26 of the new constitution allows for abortion when in the "opinion of a trained health professional, there is need for emergency treatment, or the life or health of the mother is in danger, or if permitted by any other written law." The new Constitution will now be put to the people in a referendum and, Mr Buckley says, if it is approved in its present form will undoubtedly open the door to abortion on demand. [Patrick Buckley, 2 April]

Ecuadorian youth pledge to defend life

Ten thousand young people in Ecuador have promised to remain chaste and to defend life from conception until natural death. The young people made the promise at an event organised by Prolife Action, Ecuador. Amparo Medina, the event organiser, said “[w]e will hold these events again in support of the lives of our children and our families for an Ecuador free of the empire of death, contraception and abortion”. [Catholic News Agency, 5 April]

English bishops’ election questionnaire does not challenge candidates

John Smeaton, national director of SPUC, has said that the English bishops’ election questionnaire falls seriously short from a pro-life perspective. The questionnaire suggests that there is no single right answer to questions around life-issues. Mr Smeaton said that to suggest that there is "no single 'right' answer" to questions on pro-life matters is to suggest that candidates don't have a duty to uphold the right to life by voting against anti-life laws. [John Smeaton, 30 March]

Landmark letter against sex ed bill published in Sunday Telegraph

The Sunday Telegraph has published a letter, signed by 640 people, calling upon parliament to reject the government's Children, Schools and Families bill. The letter says that the bill undermines the role of parents as the primary educators of children and seeks to impose a particular ideology by means of statutory sex and relationships education from the age of 5 (which primary schools do not currently have to teach). The letter, led by Norman Wells of the Family Education Trust, has been signed by several Catholic bishops and over three hundred clergy, both Catholic and from other denominations/faiths. [John Smeaton, 29 March]

US healthcare bill highlights danger of bargaining over babies’ lives

President Barack Obama has signed into law the health care bill passed by the US Congress. As feared, the new law provides massive funding for abortion. The National Right to Life Committee (NRLC) has described the law as "the most abortion-expansive piece of legislation ever” before Congress. John Smeaton, national director of SPUC, has said “the lesson for the UK from the US health care bill is clear. The Church, and pro-life groups, must oppose, from the very start and throughout its progress, any legislation in which there is a distinct possibility of any individual's right to life being undermined”. Mr Smeaton added that the Church the Church and pro-lifers must “not be cowed from speaking out against bargaining over babies' lives, out of a misplaced fear of divisiveness or disloyalty”. [John Smeaton, 26 March]

Northern Ireland power devolution welcome

SPUC has welcomed the devolution of criminal justice in Northern Ireland from the Westminster parliament to the Stormont assembly. From 12 April the Northern Irish assembly will assume responsibility for both abortion and end of life issues. Liam Gibson, of SPUC Northern Ireland, has said that “the devolution of criminal justice powers means that Northern Ireland is entering a new period, in which it will much more difficult for the abortion industry to impose its agenda”. Mr Gibson added “[t]he pro-life movement is now in a much stronger position to safeguard our existing legislation, as well as introduce new measures to protect women and their unborn children”. [John Smeaton, 25 March]

Other stories:

Doctor has license revoked for killing ‘wrong’ baby. [, 12 April]

US state governors speak out on post-abortion trauma. [, 12 April]

US pro-life youth group highlight Planned Parenthood abuses. [Live Action, 12 April]

Bishop of Rhode Island, USA, removes Catholic hospitals from pro-abortion healthcare plan. [, 9 April]

Kenya’s pro-life leaders cry for help. [Patrick Buckley, 12 April]

Spanish woman returns her signed photograph to pro-abortion King. [Catholic News Agency, 8 April]

Man charged with murder for forcing girlfriend to have abortion. [, 2 April]

America’s anti-life healthcare plan explained. [, 1 April]

Kenyan draft constitution includes a ‘right’ to abortion. [Patrick Buckley, 2 April]

Tennessee, USA, Senate approve anti abortion-coercion signs. [The Commercial Appeal, 31 March]

Oklahoma passes three new pro-life bills. [, 31 March]

Hilary Clinton insists abortion is essential to maternal health. [Patrick Buckley, 31 March]

Tens of thousands of Peruvians march against abortifacient pill. [, 31 March]

Archbishop of Baltimore defends pregnancy-help centers. [, 31 March]

Husband stabs pregnant wife for refusing abortion. [, 30 March]

Italian Cardinal says abortion is a non-negotiable voting issue. [, 29 March]

Catholic bishop of Baker, USA, describes federal abortion funding as ‘positively evil’. [, 29 March]

Stupak attacks pro-life groups on abortion order, defends Planned Parenthood. [, 24 March]

Seattle mother: school sent my daughter for secret abortion without telling me. [, 24 March]

Peruvian executive defies supreme court to distribute morning-after pill. [, 24 March]

'Bella' star urges Paraguay to stand firm against abortion. [CNA, 24 March]

British couples flock to Eastern Europe for cheaper IVF. [Center for Genetics and Society, 5 April]

British law may not recognise parents who use surrogate mothers. [Center for Genetics and Society, 5 April]

Al Pacino portrays "Dr. Death". [Independent, 25 March]

Canadian Bishop urges Prime Minister against legalizing euthanasia. [, 12 April]

Anti-suicide adverts to air in Scotland. [, 1 April]

Alarming increase in suicide in Ireland. [Irish, 1 April]

US study suggests doctors may be euthanizing children. [, 31 March]

Death of Margaret Page highlights the need for proper care. [Euthanasia Prevention Coalition, 31 March]

Young girl performs u-turn to choose life. [, 30 March]

Terri Schiavo Mocked on FOX's Family Guy. [, 23 March]

Over half of Italian families childless. [, 24 March]

Women with more children less likely to commit suicide [Daily Mail, 24 March]

Catholic Archbishop leads Brussels’ first ever pro-life march. [Patrick Buckley, 8 April]

Gordon Brown confirms general election for 6 May. [BBC, 6 April]

A beautiful pro-life song. [John Smeaton, 2 April]

Mississippi, USA, public to vote on when life begins. [, 1 April]

US Catholic Bishop leads pro-life demonstration. [, 31 March]

Dead babies dumped beside Chinese river. [Reuters, 31 March]

2,000 march for life in Brussels. [, 30 March]

Pro-life vigil, Maidstone, Kent, 14 April. [John Smeaton, 24 March]

New pharmacy code continues opt-outs over beliefs. [BBC, 25 March]

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