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Defending life
from conception to natural death


SPUC gives cautious welcome to reports that TV abortion advertising proposals have been shelved

2 March 2010

It has been reported that Britain's broadcast regulator BCAP (Broadcast Committee of Advertising Practice) has shelved proposals for TV advertising by abortion agencies. BCAP's statement suggests there was overwhelming opposition to TV abortion advertising in response to their consultation. However,  John Smeaton, SPUC director, warned that the reports could be conditioned by the impending general election and the desire to conceal a decision in favour of abortion advertising on TV for which the government would be blamed. [John Smeaton, 1 March]

SPUC comments on Angie Jackson's abortion tweets

SPUC has commented on the broadcasts of Angie Jackson’s abortion experience.  Angie Jackson, a pro-abortion advocate, posted graphic detail of her abortion experience on the internet via Twitter. Anthony Ozimic, SPUC's communications manager, said that women should be encouraged to share their abortion experiences, but those stories need to be shared in ways which respect the humanity of unborn children. Mr Ozimic said that women's abortion experiences need to be shared with sensitivity for women who regret their abortion experience. [John Smeaton, 1 March]

"Dr Death" set to visit British Isles

Dr Philip Nitschke, a high-profile promoter of assisted-suicide, is coming to the UK and to Ireland. Dr Nitschke plans to hold public meetings and seminars focused on end-of-life strategies. It is reported that Dr Nitschke has targeted vulnerable people with his workshops in the past. In 2008 Dr Nitschke said he wanted to hold a suicide workshop in Bournemouth because there are lots of older people there, but the event was cancelled after objections from the local council. Dr Nitschke’s methods have been criticised by several prominent euthanasia advocates. [The Christian Institute, 1 March]

Faith schools must promote abortion, says Ed Balls

Ed Balls, secretary of state for Children, Schools and Families, has confirmed that faith schools must promote contraception and abortion. Mr Balls said that Catholic schools would have to teach children how to access and how to use contraception and how to access an abortion. Mr Balls said it was very, very important that he had the support of Catholic archbishop, Vincent Nichols. John Smeaton, national directior of SPUC, said that Mr Balls's statements not only confirm, but add further truth to the warnings that SPUC has been issuing for months about the government's plans - and the English and Welsh Catholic bishops' complicity in those plans. [John Smeaton, 23 February] Antonia Tully, mother of six school-age children, and co-ordinator of SPUC's Safe at School campaign, begged Archbishop Nichols, and other religious leaders, to back parents, whether Catholic or of other faiths, who refuse to allow their children to be subjected to what the government's bill demands. [John Smeaton, 23 February] The bill was passed in the House of Commons third reading, by 268 votes in favour to 177 votes against. The bill now goes to the House of Lords. [John Smeaton, 23 February] A statement from the CES after the third reading of the bill said that the teaching of all aspects of the curriculum in Catholic schools reflects their religious ethos and that SRE in Catholic schools will be rooted in the Catholic Church’s teaching of the profound respect for the dignity of all human persons. John Smeaton has said that the statement by the CES would be laughable if its deceitfulness was not a matter of the gravest scandal. [John Smeaton, 24 February] Mr Balls was quoted this week saying that he was disappointed in the figures showing the rate of teenage pregnancy in the UK. The disappointing results come more than ten years after the Labour government pledged to cut teenage pregnancy through sex education in 1999. Professor Brenda Almond, Emeritus Professor of Moral and Social Philosophy at the University of Hull, described the government’s plans to solve the problem with yet more sex education as an example of what Einstein said was the definition of insanity: doing the same thing, over and over again, and expecting different results. [, 26 February]

DPP guidelines blunt assisted suicide ban

New guidelines published by Keir Starmer, the director of public prosecutions (DPP), blunt the law against assisted suicide. Paul Tully of SPUC Pro-Life told the media that the new policy effectively decriminalises assisted suicide in a wide range of cases. Mr Tully said that the shift in focus to motivation (why the suspect assisted a suicide) rather than intention (the suspect's deliberate will to assist the suicide) is a radical departure from the rule of law. [John Smeaton, 25 February] Peter Smith, the Catholic archbishop of Cardiff, has welcomed the new guidelines. Mr Tully described Archbishop Smith's welcoming of the guidelines as very disturbing. [John Smeaton, 25 February]

SPUC threatens Northern Ireland health department with legal action over re-issued abortion guidance

SPUC has threatened the health department in Northern Ireland with further legal action following its decision to re-issue an edited version of the abortion guidance deemed unlawful by the high court last year. Liam Gibson of SPUC Northern Ireland told the media it was irrational and perverse for the department of health to re-issue its guidance on abortion law without giving any weight to the High Court's findings.  He said the guidance could suggest that there is no right of non-participation in abortion, that counselling is unimportant, or that there is no guidance which can usefully be given on either of these matters.  SPUC is calling on the department to withdraw the guidance immediately. [John Smeaton, 26 February]

Other stories:

Catholic Bishops of Spain call for abolition of new abortion law as soon as possible. [Catholic News Agency, 1 March]

Obama excludes amendment blocking abortion funding from his health care proposal. [EWTN, 26 February] Nancy Pelosi attempts to drive pro-abortion healthcare bill. [, 1 March]

Congressman Chris Smith delivers pro-life message to Hillary Clinton. [EWTN, 1 March]

Planned late-term abortion dramatically prevented in Vegas, USA. [, 1 March]

IVF technique may pass on infertility and other genetic defects. [, 1 March]

Mother of cricketer promotes voluntary euthanasia. [Daily Mail, 27 February]

Anglican bishop of Durham speaks out against assisted suicide guidelines. [, 26 February]

Nurses opposed to euthanasia are invited to study day. [John Smeaton, 28 February]

President of Vatican Bank claims under-population responsible for global recession. [, 26 February]

Planned Parenthood accused of covering up sexual abuse. [, 26 February]

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