Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Claims about teen pregnancy rebutted by expert

Prof. David Paton
Top story: 

Claims about teen pregnancy rebutted by expert
Claims that falls in teenage pregnancies are the result of the previous Labour government's Teenage Pregnancy Strategy (TPS) have been rebutted. David Paton, professor of industrial economics at Nottingham University Business School, made the rebuttal following the release of official statistics which suggest that teenage pregnancy rates are at a record low. [BBC, 24 Feb] Professor Paton commented: "It is completely implausible that the TPS is behind this effect. If anything, the evidence is the opposite: for the first 8 years of the TPS there was very little change in underage conceptions. Just as the TPS was winding down and complaints were being made about cuts to teenage pregnancy services, rates started to go down significantly. The further we get from the TPS, the faster the decrease accelerates! There is little doubt that education in schools has been the key, along with demographic change and also the general shift towards less risk taking behaviour amongst teenagers (lower rates of smoking, drugs, alcohol and crime)."

Other stories:

Abortion
Embryology and stem cell treatment
Sexual ethics
General
  • Virginia eugenics victims compensated for sterilisation [BBC, 27 Feb]
  • Church in Paraguay tells UN to drop anti-life agenda [CNA, 26 Feb]

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Amendment against sex-selective abortion defeated in Parliament

Fiona Bruce MP
British MPs voted yesterday to reject an amendment put forward by Fiona Bruce MP to clarify the law regarding sex-selective abortion. The Conservative MP said that her amendment would "clarify beyond doubt in statute that sex selective abortion is illegal in UK law". The amendment was defeated by 292 votes to 201. Opponents said that the amendment might "confer personhood on the foetus". [BBC, 24 February]

House of Lords passes of three-parent embryo regulations
The House of Lords has passed regulations to allow the creation of three-parent embryos. Peers rejected a motion against the regulations by 280 votes to 48. The regulations will now become law, making the UK the first country to allow the technique. [BBC, 24 February] Paul Tully, SPUC's general secretary, said: "Legislators have been consistently misled in the past about the prospects of success and the future intentions of those who want to use the tiniest humans - human embryos - for experiments." [SPUC, 24 February]

Finland legalises gender-neutral marriage
The President of Finland has signed legislation to legalise gender-neutral marriage. Sauli Niinist√∂ confirmed the new law which will come into effect on March 1, 2017. The law has been described as historic because it is the first law to be brought to the Finnish parliament as a citizen’s initiative, signed by 167,000 Finnish voters. [Yie, 20 February]

Irish PM pledges support for same-sex ‘marriage’
Enda Kenny, Ireland's prime minister, has declared his support for same-sex 'marriage', despite previously being opposed to it. Mr Kenny made the declaration in a speech to Fine Gael supporters. A referendum on same-sex ‘marriage’ will be held in Ireland in May 2015. [Journal, 23 February]

Other issues:

Abortion:
Embryology
  • Human egg and sperm cells could be created using skins from two adults of the same sex [February 23, International Business Times]
Family issues:
Pregnancy:
Baby is born in an intact amniotic sack [Essential Baby, 18 February]

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Young pro-lifers should book now for SPUC's youth conference

Rhoslyn is busy spreading the word about the upcoming Youth Conference in Southport (6-8 March) where another excellent line-up of speakers will help to form the next generation of pro-life activists. The talks given at that conference will be published on this blog over the coming weeks.

Once again, Rhoslyn has sent me an item about last year's youth conference - with a view to encouraging young people to attend this year's  exciting event ... Young people interested in attending should write to Rhoslyn at rhoslynthomas@spuc.org.uk:
Below are the next two presentations from last year’s youth conference, held in Telford.

The videos show Fiorella Nash’s talk ‘Men and Abortion’ and the closing address, delivered by SPUC’s Director, John Smeaton.

At a time when Feminism has become intimately connected with support for abortion on demand, pro-life feminists, such as Fiorella Nash, are few and far between.

Fiorella’s talks are always popular at the youth conference, perhaps because the youth of today crave arguments which incorporate an emphasis on the equality (and complimentarity) of the sexes with an equal emphasis on the sanctity of motherhood and children.

John Smeaton, SPUC's chief executive, gave a rousing talk to close another excellent conference, imbuing attendees with a sense of the urgency of the situation, whilst inspiring them to continue with their endeavours to protect human life from conception to natural death.




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Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Lords should reject 3-parent embryo regulations

House of Lords
SPUC has called on members of the House of Lords is to reject the so-called "three-parent" embryo regulations being debated in the upper chamber today. The procedure is said to be necessary to help families affected by rare mitochondrial diseases.

These regulations (the Human Fertilisation and Embryology (Mitochondrial Donation) Regulations) are designed to usher in the cloning of human embryos. The manipulation of the human germ line would be permitted for the first time, contrary to modern international biomedicine agreements and long-standing ethical principles.

Commenting on the background to today's debate, Paul Tully, SPUC's general secretary, told the media today:
"The 1990 Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act was not intended to permit human cloning, and so the alteration of germ-line genetic material was forbidden. The restrictions have been repeatedly weakened, however, and this is a further stage in dismantling the so-called safeguards of the embryology law.

It is often supposed that the objection to germ-line modification is that it will lead to the creation of either 'monsters' or super-humans. Neither outcome is likely. Instead, many embryos will die in the efforts to restructure their genetic make-up.

The reality is that we know far too little about mitochondria to know what impact the cloning process would have on mitochondrial disease. It is true that the mitochondria carry very few genes but scores of other genes needed by mitochondria are stored in the cell nucleus. Transferring the nucleus of an ovum or an embryo to another cell cannot be predicted to have any certain benefit.

The proponents of embryo research have repeatedly held out promises of cures and medical advances in the field of inherited conditions. But the benefits have always failed to materialise, and we suspect that the same is happening again here. The parents of children affected by mitochondrial disease are being exploited to support unethical experiments, based on the false hope that their children will benefit.

Legislators have been consistently misled in the past about the prospects of success and the future intentions of those who want to use the tiniest humans - human embryos - for experiments. They should reject today's proposals."
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