World Media Watch

Abortion ‘Leaves Mental Legacy,’ Study Shows

BBC NEWS, Dec. 12 — An abortion can cause five years of mental anguish, anxiety, guilt and even shame, a study conducted by the medical journal BMC Medicine suggested.

BBC News reported that University of Oslo researchers compared 40 women who had had a miscarriage with 80 who chose to have an abortion. Miscarriage was associated with more mental distress in the six months after the loss of a baby — but abortion had a much longer lasting negative effect.

Richard Warren, from the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, said, “This study shows that the decision to terminate may bring with it long-standing feelings of anxiety and guilt.”

Anna Pringle, from the pro-life organization Life, said: “This confirms years of experience with women who come to us for counseling after abortion. The emotional suffering can be massive.”

Spain Told to Charge Catholic Church Sales Tax

IRELAND ONLINE, Dec. 16 — The European Union told Spain to start charging the Catholic Church sales tax, saying a special exemption breaks the European Union’s tax law, the website reported.

Spanish officials said a 1979 agreement with the Vatican obliges it to give the Church an exemption from value added tax for the goods it buys. But the EU’s Executive Commission said its rules do not allow such a tax break, threatening to take Spain to court unless it took action within two months.

However, the EU said Spain could charge the sales tax and then compensate the Church for some or all of the tax that it has to pay to the tax authorities.

The commission said in a statement, “That would be a matter for Spain alone.”

Euthanasia Machine Will Skirt Jewish Law

THEAGE.COM, Dec. 11 — Machines will perform euthanasia on terminally ill patients in Israel under legislation devised not to offend Jewish law, which forbids people taking human life, reported.

A special timer will be fitted to a patient’s respirator, which will sound an alarm 12 hours before turning it off. Normally, care-givers would override the alarm and keep the respirator turned on, but, if various stringent conditions are met, including the consent of the patient or legal guardian, the alarm would not be overridden. Members of Parliament reached a solution after discussions with a 58-member panel of medical, religious and philosophical experts. The bill will become law next year.

Israel’s Health Minister Danny Naveh described the passing of the law as a historic moment, saying: “This is one of the most important laws passed by the Knesset. It represents major moral value for the terminally ill and their families.”

“Whatever its motives and means, direct euthanasia consists in putting an end to the lives of handicapped, sick, or dying persons,” the Catechism of the Catholic Church states (2277). “It is morally unacceptable. Thus an act or omission which, of itself or by intention, causes death in order to eliminate suffering constitutes a murder gravely contrary to the dignity of the human person and to the respect due to the living God, his Creator.”

Stem-Cell Donations Proving Popular Gift

CNN, Dec. 19 — Smart Cells International has just completed a busy Christmas season, as grandparents looking for a gift with a twist invested in stem cells for their grandchildren, according to CNN.

Shamshad Ahmed, director of the Britain-based company, said the company had started selling gift vouchers in response to customer demand, as grandparents in particular wanted to contribute money towards the cost of storing newborn babies’ stem cells for future use. The company stores stem cells from newborn babies’ umbilical cords.

The total cost of the service is $2,215, which includes storage for 25 years. An obstetrician or midwife extracts the 60ml blood sample immediately after birth using a a kit, supplied by the company. It is then sent to the company’s lab in Plymouth, southern England, via courier.

Ahmed said, “We take, store and hopefully never have to use them but we just don’t know what the applications for future use of stem cells will be.”