Wednesday 1 February 2012

Must-read pro-life news-stories, Wed 1 Feb

Top stories:

Act now to get government to block advertising by commercial abortion centres
The two bodies which draft the advertising code of practice have made changes to allow “commercial post-conception advice services” - in reality, abortion clinics which earn income from performing abortions - to advertise on television and radio, in print and elsewhere. Anthony Ozimic, SPUC's communications manager, said that the advertising industry's "supposed 'watchdog' is acting as the abortion industry's poodle." [SPUC, 21 January] The change will come into effect on 30 April. The government should use its powers to stop such advertising SPUC's question-and-answer briefing will give you the information you need to help make this happen.

US study used to claim that abortion is 14 times safer than giving birth
A new US study is being used to claim that abortion is 14 times safer than giving birth. The researchers drew on data from the pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute. Anthony Ozimic of SPUC told the Huffington Post: "Whatever the merits or otherwise of this study and its authors’ conclusions, the fact remains that the Republic of Ireland, where abortion is banned, has one of the world’s best records on maternal health, better than the US or the UK where abortion is available easily. The key to saving pregnant women's lives, whether in the developed or developing world, are improvements in primary healthcare and specialist pregnancy care. Abortion neither treats conditions nor cures illness." [Huffington Post, 24 January]

'Three-parent' embryo technique "unethical and macabre" says SPUC
SPUC has described as "macabre and unethical" a so-called 'three-parent' embryo technique which is due to receive £5.8 million of funding. SPUC was responding to the announcement by the Wellcome Trust that embryo research into mitochondrial disease will start at its new centre at Newcastle University. At the same time the government has launched a public consultation on whether to pass legislation to allow the 'three-parent' embryo technique to be used for medical treatment. [SPUC, 19 January]

Claim of rise in illegal abortions globally is dubious, says SPUC
A claim published in The Lancet medical journal that so-called 'unsafe' - usually illegal - abortions worldwide have risen by 5% is "dubious", says SPUC. The claim was made in a report by researchers from the Guttmacher Institute and the World Health Organsation (WHO). John Smeaton, SPUC director, commented: "The WHO routinely makes unsubstantiated claims about so-called 'unsafe' or illegal abortion. WHO is one of the world’s major pro-abortion bodies. The Guttmacher Institute is the research arm of the worldwide pro-abortion lobby. The report is pro-abortion propaganda, and should be dismissed as such." [SPUC, 19 January]

Midwives defend right to conscientious objection in Scottish court
Two midwives from Southern General Hospital in Glasgow are challenging the Greater Glasgow and Clyde Health Board over their right not to be involved in abortions in the hospital’s labour ward. SPUC is supporting the midwives' stance and is underwriting their legal costs. The case follows a lengthy grievance procedure that has failed to resolve the matter. [SPUC, 17 January]

Other stories:

  • Baby-saving pro-life counsellors are under threat, so let's focus on defending them from all quarters [John Smeaton, 27 January]
  • Skin cells turned directly into brain cells, claim US scientists [BBC, 31 January]
  • Four patients die thirsty or starving every day in UK hospitals, suggest new stats [Mail, 22 January]
Sexual ethics
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