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BY Jim Cosgrove
Life League Chief Is ‘Heartened’ by Sen. Smith's Stance
WASHINGTON—Judie Brown, president of the American Life League, said she was “heartened that a major candidate for the presidency publicly stated his intent to ‘protect all children, born and unborn.’”
The candidate, Sen. Bob Smith, from New Hampshire further promised that upon his election he would send Congress legislation “defining life as beginning at fertilization.”
Encouraged by the comment, Brown agreed.
“We only pray that every candidate would clearly state these same principles.”
She further added, “The American Life League is not a political organization and neither endorses nor opposes any particular candidate for public office.
We simply stand against the killing of any innocent human being — including human babies from fertilization until natural death.”
Brown said it was “absolutely ridiculous, in this day and age, that a politician could cause a controversy just by stating the basic scientific fact that every human being's life begins at fertilization.”
She said it was time that laws affirmed the sanctity of life of every innocent human being. “Only then can we move forward to discussing how best to protect and nurture each individual.”
She said she hoped the headline “Democrats and Republicans agree: Preborn babies are people too” would highlight the year 2000 political campaign.
(Pro Life Infonet)
BY Jim Cosgrove
Portugal to Hold Abortion Referendum
LISBON—Portugal's President Jorge Sampaio April 28 called a referendum vote on whether to allow abortion virtually on demand in the first 10 weeks of pregnancy.
Parliament has already approved a law allowing abortion in the first 10 weeks, but given the level of controversy surrounding the measure, the ruling Socialist Party agreed to put the decision to a popular vote.
The vote, scheduled for June 28, will mark the first time a referendum has been used in Portugal. It follows a change to the Constitution last year to allow for the direct balloting of voters on key issues.
In 1997, there were 280 legal abortions in a country of 10 million people.
Opinion polls suggest that the Portuguese will vote to back the liberalization by a small majority, despite the vocal opposition of the Catholic Church. To be valid, more than 50% of registered voters must back the proposal, with abstentions counting as a “no” vote. (Pro-life Infonet)
Nebraska Republicans Pass Abortion Funding Resolution
OMAHA—The Republican Party Central Committee of Nebraska April 18 approved a resolution stating that any candidate campaigning on a platform that supports allowing doctors to perform so-called “partial-birth abortions” will not be backed by the state GOP. The Nebraska resolution adds to the growing list of state Republican committees who have passed a resolution that was opposed by national party leaders at a January meeting in Palm Springs, Calif.
Grassroots Republicans, dismayed that the National Committee would protect politicians who do not oppose the procedure that many term infanticide, are moving state by state, to deny them funding and support. (Pro-life Infonet)
Algeria Renews Ban On Abortion For Rape Victims
PARIS—Algeria's highest religious body has issued an edict banning women who have been raped by Muslim rebels from having abortions, Algerian newspapers reported April 27.
Thousands of women, mostly teenagers, have been raped by Muslim rebels during their six-year-old battle against the Algerian authorities in which approximately 60,000 people have died. Many rape victims have been ostracized by their families.
A summary of the latest fatwa, signed by the Islamic Supreme Council head Abdelmajid Meziane and printed in Algeria's main newspapers declared: “Abortion is a criminal action and is banned except for extreme cases….” A raped woman is an innocent and virtuous woman. Any one who harms her honor should be prosecuted and punished.”
The text of the fatwa asked the state to provide help for rape victims who want to bring up their babies. (Pro-life Infonet)
Florida Lawmakers OK ‘Choose Life’ License Plate
TALLAHASSEE, Fla.—Florida House of Representatives April 29 voted 77-41 to approve a bill that would create state license plates with the slogan “Choose Life.” The Senate approved the measure 28-12 a day earlier.
If signed by Gov. Lawton Chiles, the bill would allow Florida car owners to spend an extra fee to receive a license plate with pictures of smiling children and the pro-life slogan. A spokesman for Chiles said it was not yet known whether the governor would sign the measure or veto it.
Proceeds from the sale of the new tag will be earmarked for services for pregnant women and to promote adoption. The state already has 39 other special plate options. (Pro-life Infonet)