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Defending life
from conception to natural death


News Summary 16 September

16 September 2016

David Ford campaigned for abortion in cases of disability as justice minister 

David Ford to bring forward private member's bill over fatal foetal abnormality in Northern Ireland

Former Northern Ireland justice minister David Ford is to bring forward legislation at Stormont seeking to legalise abortion in cases of disability.

The Alliance Party leader, who campaigned for abortion in cases of “fatal foetal abnormality” as justice minister, is now seeking to introduce it via a private members bill.  Mr Ford said he wanted something "which would allow abortion in the case of a fatal foetal abnormality where two doctors certified no prospect of a viable life".

However, former SDLP MLA and barrister, Alban Maginness, said that the issue should not be decided by politicians. "In relation to fatal foetal abnormality, it is ill-defined and you cannot define it properly," he said. The law is currently being considered by the Court of Appeal.

Grazia magazine publishes propaganda piece promoting abortion in the Republic of Ireland

The women’s magazine Grazia has published a propaganda piece by Róisín Ingle, senior editor of The Irish Times, calling for a referendum on abortion in the Republic of Ireland.

The author documents her own abortion experience, as well as various aspects of the campaign to repeal the Eighth Amendment, which acknowledges the right to life of the unborn.

Catholic hospital cannot be forced to refer women for abortions, US court rules

A federal court has rejected the American Civil Liberties Union’s (ACLU) attempt to force a Michigan hospital to refer women for abortions.

ACLU filed a lawsuit on behalf of a woman who claimed that a Catholic hospital in Muskegon, Michigan, had been negligent in not referring her for an abortion when she was miscarrying. On Thursday, the federal judges upheld an earlier district court judge’s decision to dismiss the case.

ACLU has sued other Catholic medical practices on similar grounds, accusing them of jeopardizing women’s lives because they do not perform abortions, sterilizations and other “reproductive health” procedures. However, Grazie Pozo Christie, a Miami-area radiologist, told the Baptist Press that the ACLU’s claims are false.

“When a woman’s life is in danger, any treatment that a woman needs will be provided to her, even if it endangers the child,” Christie said. “So there is no point in a Catholic hospital at which a woman’s life becomes really in danger.”

Euthanasia rising in Belgium, including more who are not terminally ill

A report on euthanasia trends in Belgium, which we reported on yesterday is now receiving some media attention.

Reuters reports that in the decade after Belgium legalised doctor-assisted suicide, the number of euthanasia cases rose nearly eight-fold. Despite this increase, and the increase in those who are not terminally ill dying through euthanasia, the senior author of the report, Kenneth Chambaere of the University of Brussels, finds the results encouraging.

“The study has a clear message that Belgium has had a predominantly positive experience in implementing euthanasia practice,” he said.


Paul Tully, general secretary of SPUC commented: “It is chilling that the rapid growth in numbers and widening range of euthanasia victims is being described as a ‘positive experience’. These developments are confirming the fears and warnings of opponents of euthanasia”.

Dutch MPs vote for opt-out organ donation

On Tuesday, in a surprise move, Dutch MPs voted for a “yes unless” organ donor register. If the draft bill goes on to become law, everyone in the Netherlands will be considered a donor unless they specifically request to be taken off the list. 

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