Island Official Joins Protest
Sept. 26 — It's a picture the St. Lucia government would have preferred not to view: its home-affairs minister, Sara Flood-Beaubrun, walking alongside more than 2,500 citizens. The government might not have minded, but these citizens were protesting plans to amend the criminal code to allow abortion in certain cases, including rape and incest.
Flood-Beaubrun broke protocol by participating in the demonstration as a member of the cabinet.
“It would be sad if it had to come to me losing my job over this, but I am prepared to lose my job and more for this cause,” she said.
The government says it has temporarily shelved the introduction of the legislation in order to provide for more public debate.
Flood-Beaubrun said time should be used to educate citizens, “including cabinet ministers, on the real evil of abortion and what it really means.”
No Contraceptive Pesos
AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, Oct. 23 — Pro-life Philippine president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has diverted 70 million pesos ($1.5 million) allocated for contraceptives to natural family planning, sparking the complaints of a U.N. official.
“They used the money for natural family planning instead of contraceptives,” said Florence Tayzon, assistant representative of the United Nations Population Fund in Manila.
Taiwan to Ban Death Penalty
AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, Oct. 27 — Taiwan's government is drafting legislation to abolish the death penalty, a cabinet official said.
In October 2002, President Chen Shui-bian announced that Taiwan would gradually phase out capital punishment.
The presidential office said Oct. 27 the move to abolish the death penalty would ensure the right to life to everyone, including convicted criminals.
Born Alive in Wisconsin
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS, Oct. 24 — The Wisconsin Senate has approved a bill that would insure babies “born alive” after abortion attempts have the same legal right to live as any other human being.
The Senate voted 31-to-1 to pass the bill. It would define “live birth” and “born alive” under state statutes for the first time.
The state Assembly already approved the bill unanimously. It now goes to Gov. Jim Doyle for signing.
Under the bill, being “born alive” means being completely extracted from a mother's womb and taking a breath, having a heartbeat or moving voluntary muscles. That's regardless of whether the extraction occurs as a result of labor, a Cesarean section or an abortion.