Pro-Life News: Pope Speech, Canada Abortion, Stem Cell Research

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jul 7, 2006   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Pro-Life News: Pope Speech, Canada Abortion, Stem Cell Research Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
July 7, 2006

Pope Benedict XVI Draws 1M People for Speech Defending Pro-Life Values
Valencia, Spain ( —
Pope Benedict XVI drew more than one million Catholics and others to a speech on Sunday defending the church’s pro-life values. In one of his first handful of trips outside the Vatican since he was named the leader of the Catholic church, the pontiff’s visit was seen as a clash of sorts between the church and the policies of Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, who has clashed with Catholics on bioethics issues. The pope declared every child to be part of a plan and not born of chance. "Certainly we come from our parents, and we are their children," he said. "But we also come from God, who has created us in his image and called us to be his children. Consequently, at the origin of every human being there is not something haphazard or chance, but a loving plan of God." Pope Benedict said that society is moving away from fundamental truths like the concept that human life is always worthy of respect. “Attempts are being made to organise the life of society on the basis of subjective and ephemeral desire alone, without reference to objective, prior truths,” the 79-year-old Pope said in Spanish.

Poll Shows Majority of Canadians Oppose Abortion on Demand
Ottawa, Canada ( —
The latest survey results on abortion and other political issues, compiled over the last half of 2005 by the news publication Macleans, finds most Canada residents oppose abortion on demand. The latest poll founds that just 43 percent of Canadians want abortion to be legalized throughout pregnancy. While Canadians tend to be more pro-abortion than their U.S. counterparts, the poll shows that Canadians want at least some restrictions placed on abortion and for it not to be legal for any reason throughout all nine months of pregnancy. In 2002, there were 105,154 abortions in Canada compared with a figure of 106,270 in 2001. The number of abortions in Canada peaked in 1997 at 112,000. Abortion in Canada were legalized in a 1998 Supreme Court of Canada ruling.

British Anesthesiologists Worry New Living Will Law Will Prompt Euthanasia
London, England ( —
British anesthesiologists are concerned about a new law that allows patients to make "living wills." They are concerned that it will lead to accusations of euthanasia. The Mental Capacity Act will give legal recognition to a patient’s right to make advance decisions about treatment. Anesthetists fear they may be compelled to honor instructions not to resuscitate patients in some situations. Dr. Michael McBrien and Dr. Gary Heyburn made the comments in an editorial in the July issue of Anaethesia, the official journal of the Association of Anaesthetists of Great Britain and Ireland. "The paternalistic primary ethical principal of the past, namely immediate medical benefit to the patient, has been overtaken," Dr. McBrien said. "If we are not to face litigation in the future we must read, understand and implement what the law requires from us in this area." "If the anesthetist were to proceed and strictly obey the general understanding of a DNAR order under such circumstances, it could possibly be construed as an act of euthanasia or assisted suicide," the doctors wrote in the editorial.

Catholic Church Leaders Will Meet With Adult Stem Cell Research Scientists
The Vatican ( —
Leaders of the Catholic church, including Pope Benedict XVI, will meet with adult stem cell research scientists at a conference in September. Irish researcher Colin McGuckin will present a Vatican conference with new information showing that it is possible to use stem cells from the umbilical cords of living babies to produce insulin in diabetics and to grow blocks of human tissue for use in drug tests. The presentation could spark an effort by the church to foster more support for adult stem cells rather than embryonic stem cell research, which involves the destruction of human life. "We have been able to produce insulin-secreting cells from cord blood, which is pretty much a first,” said McGuckin, professor of regenerative medicine at the University of Newcastle. “Although people have been able to do it from embryonic stem cells, they are not transplantable because they don’t have a tissue match for the patient. Cord blood gives a big advantage." “We are able to produce many different tissues from cord blood stem cells so we are really the first to rival embryonic stem cells,” he added.

New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer Gives Over 100K to Pro-Abortion Group
Albany, NY ( —
New York Attorney General has done the bidding of pro-abortion groups for years, including leading the charge in attacking crisis pregnancy centers because they provide tangible help to pregnant women and take business away from abortion facilities. A new report from the New York Daily News finds that Eliot Spitzer helps run a charity his family has that holds almost $26 million in assets. The paper reports that Spitzer sits as a trustee of the NARAL Pro-Choice New York Foundation, a part of the state’s pro-abortion advocacy group. Since he became a trustee five years ago, Spitzer’s charitable group has pumped $101,000 into NARAL. In turn, NARAL endorsed Spitzer in February in the Democratic primary for governor and labeled his opponent, Nassau County Executive Tom Suozzi, as "not trustworthy." Robert Jaffe, NARAL executive vice president, told the newspaper that Spitzer’s financial help has been invaluable. "If they hadn’t given us a penny, we’d still be trying to elect Eliot Spitzer," he said.

Israel Government Rejects Proposal to Abolish Abortion-Approval Committee
Jerusalem, Israel ( —
The Knesset, Israwl’s parliament, voted 39 to 9 against a proposal to abolish abortion-approval committees. The law currently states that women seeking abortions must get the approval of a committee made up of doctors, social workers and women’s health specialists. Meretz MK Zehava Gal-On, who proposed the bill, claimed the committees humiliate the women and that half of some 40,000 abortions in Israel annually are performed illegally on behalf of women who pay extra to private abortion practitioners who do not enforce the law. Labor’s Shelly Yacimovich and Knesset Speaker Dalia Itzik, abortion advocates, did not atend the vote. Likud MK Gideon Sa’ar, who chairs the Committee for the Advancement of Women, abstained.

Australian Pro-Abortion Group Wants to Take Pro-Life Law Off the Books
Melbourne, Australia ( —
The Australian pro-abortion group Emily’s List is making its top priority removing a pro-life law from the books in the state of Victoria. Should the Bracks Government be re-elected in November the group wants to officially remove from the law a prohibition on abortion, even though it’s not currently enforced and abortions are allowed. Former premier Joan Kirner told a gathering of the group’s members about their plan. "We have in Victoria a very big hill to climb next year, which is the decriminalization of abortion — that is next year’s target," she said. The group has spent millions to elect pro-abortion candidates to office there, just as its U.S. counterpart has, and raised $4 million over the last 10 years. Emily’s List claims 118 of the 162 female Labor Party representatives in the Australian and state parliaments. Queensland Deputy Premier Anna Bligh and federal Labor senator Kate Lundy are two Emily’s List candidates.