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Pro-Life News

The items below are selected news stories from New Zealand and around the world on issues that are significant to the
pro-life/pro-family movement.  The articles may not necessarily reflect the views of Family Life International NZ.

See also:
A Culture of Life Blog
Family Life International NZ Press Releases
Synod on the Family

Tuesday 18 November

Study suggest genetic link for male homosexuality
(One News)  Some scientists believe several genes might affect sexual orientation.  Researchers who led the
new study of nearly 800 gay brothers say their results bolster previous evidence pointing to genes on the X
chromosome.  Experts not involved in the study were more skeptical.  Neil Risch, a genetics expert at the 
University of California, San Francisco, said the data are statistically too weak to demonstrate any genetic link.
Risch was involved in a smaller study that found no link between male homosexuality and chromosome X.

Pope Francis to doctors:  never commit abortions or euthanasia, even if that means
civil disobedience
(LifeSiteNews)  "To play with life is a sin against the Creator," and doctors must make the "brave choice," even 
up to the point of civil disobedience, never to commit abortion or euthanasia, Pope Francis said in an address on
Saturday.  "There is no human life more sacred than another:  all human life is sacred!" the pope said.  The
"conventional wisdom," he said, suggests a "false compassion" in promoting abortion, or calling euthanasia "an
act of dignity" or in considering a child a "product" and "a right," rather than accepting the child "as a gift."  Read

Monday 17 November

Marriage and family are in 'crisis,' Pope Francis tells marriage colloquium
(LifeSiteNews)  "Children have the right to grow up in a family with a father and a mother," Pope Francis
said this morning at a Vatican-sponsored international conference on the complementarity of man and
woman in marriage.  But the pope told attendees that the family is in a state of "crisis" that has been created
by a "revolution in manners and morals" in which people are "giving up on marriage as a public commitment."

Sunday 16 November

State rejects sex ed changes
(NZ Herald)  New guidelines for sex education will be released in a few weeks, but the Government will
shy away from ordering schools to teach more than basic biology.  The Ministry of Education is due to
release the new blueprint in December, nine months after an advisory panel recommended teens be
taught respectful attitudes as a core part of the overhaul.  Read more...

Herald on Sunday Editorial:  Give teens stronger lessons on consent
(NZ Herald - Opinion)  We ask a great deal of schools.  When any social problem arises we will agree the
solution lies in education, which usually means schools.  Where sex is concerned, we need to ask much
more of them.  Incidents such as the recent "Roast Busters" case show that sex education these days 
needs to be more than a component of the health and physical education curriculum.  Children at puberty
are being exposed to a sexual environment their parents hardly imagined at the same age.  Today's
music videos, internet porn and teenage social pressure can create unreal and damaging misconceptions
of sexuality in an immature mind. 

Saturday 15 November

Wellington playcentre auctions off vasectomy
(Stuff)  It doesn't seem the best way to attract future business - a Wellington playcentre is fundraising by
auctioning a vasectomy voucher at its annual gala today.  The irony is not lost on Island Bay Playcentre
mum Alice Domett, who said the centre was always looking for new families and children.  "I guess that's
what makes it so funny," she said.  People would be able to bid using an alias to avoid embarrassment, 
and the voucher had already generate a lot of interest among the centre's 40-odd families - "especially
the wives." 

Friday 14 November

Vatican's doctrine office affirms Communion must be denied to 'remarried' divorcees
(LifeSiteNews)  Rorate Caeli, the prominent Catholic blog, this morning reports on important news from Rome
via France.  L'Homme Nouveau, a French Catholic magazine, reports that the Congregation for the Doctrine
of the Faith (CDF, known colloquially as "The Holy Office"), has given an official reply (responsum) which
confirms that Holy Communion may not be given to Catholics who live in a civil marriage with a new partner
after being divorced from their sacramentally-married spouse.  Below (courtesy of Rorate Caeli) is an English
translation of the text of the question (dubium) put to the Holy Office and the Holy Office's responsum. Read more...

Thursday 13 November

Nearly 2,000 frozen embryos to be discarded in New Zealand
(LifeSiteNews)  Nearly 2,000 frozen embryos that have been stored in New Zealand fertility clinics for the past ten 
or more years will be discarded beginning November 22.  The Human Assiste Reproductive Technologies (HART)
Act, which passed in 2004, requires that no embryo or gamete be stored for more than ten years.  However, an 
extension can be obtained from the Ethics Committee on Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ECART).  It is not
known how many extensions have been granted by ECART.  Read more...

Wonder fertility protein behind newborns' brain sex
(NZ Herald)  Kisspeptin - the wonder protein recently revealed as a master controller in reproduction - has
now been found by New Zealand researchers to play a key role in moulding the male brain just hours after
birth.  In a landmark study last year, kisspeptin  originally named after the Hershey Kiss chocolate by US
cancer researchers based in Hershey, Pennsylvania - was revealed to trigger a cascade of biochemical
changes in the body that lead to fertility and puberty. Read more...

Pregnant and fighting cancer
(Western Leader)  Gavin and Amy Gunston were over the moon with the news they were expecting their
second child - a baby brother to three-year-old Isabella.  But joy soon turned to devastation when Amy, 30,
was diagnosed with terminal bowel and liver cancer last month, just two years after losing her dad to the
same illness.  Amy's determined to put up a good fight.  Read more...

Voice of chaste same-sex attracted Catholics 'absent' from Synod:  head of Courage
(LifeSiteNews)  The head of the international Courage apostolate says that the voice of persons who have
struggled with same-sex attraction but who no practice chastity was missing from last month's Extraordinary
Synod on the Family in Rome.  Courage International is a Vatican-approved apostolate ministering to people
with same-sex attraction by helping them to live chaste, God-centered lives.  Read more...

Wednesday 12 November

Palliative care feeling the squeeze
(Waikato Times)  An appeal by Hospice Waikato for someone to provide a place to live for its new North
American palliative-care specialist has fallen on deaf ears... The accommodation issue is not Hospice
Waikato's only problem.  The palliative-care sector is in the grip of a severe shortage of specialist doctors -
and the Waikato is no exception. 

Eight women die in Indian sterilisations
(Stuff)  Eight Indian women have died and 20 others were in critical condition on Tuesday (Wednesday NZT)
after undergoing sterilisation surgeries in a free government-run programme to help slow the country's population
growth.  A total of 83 women, all poor villagers under the age of 32, had the operations Saturday in a hospital
outside Bilaspur city in the central state of Chhattisgarh.  All 83 surgeries were conducted within six hours, said
the state's chief medical officer, Dr SK Mandal.

Baby survives despite 'foreign body' in womb
(Stuff)  Baby Maia was conceived against the odds, only to find she was sharing a womb with an ominous 'foreign
body".  Her parents had been trying for eight years to have a baby, but the relief of pregnancy was short-lived when
mother Emma suffered severe pain at six weeks.  An ultrasound revealed a healthy foetus, but also what appeared
to be a piece of metal or dense plastic:  white, 24mm long, and dubbed a "foreign body".  Read more...

Counsellors call for more and better sex education
(Stuff)  The incidences of teenage boys getting girls drunk and pushing them into sex will only escalate without more
education, say school counsellors.  The New Zealand Association of Counsellors is backing calls for more sexual-
consent education, after the highly publicised Roast Busters incident, in which a group of young men boasted about
getting underage girls drunk, then having sex with them.  Read more...

Tuesday 11 November

Timing of euthanasia bill worries Little
(NZ Herald)  Labour leadership contender Andrew LIttle says he does not want a colleague to restart the highly
divisive debate on legalising euthanasia when the party is trying to restore confidence with voters.  Labour's
Palmerston North MP Ian Lees-Galloway has taken over responsibility for the End of Life Choice Bill after sponsor
Maryan Street failed to get re-elected in September. 

Euthanasia in the Netherlands is getting out of hand:  ethicist who screened over 4,000

euthanasia cases
(LifeSiteNews)  A prominent professor of ethics who was once part of the Netherlands' euthanasia bureaucracy
has again voiced his qualms over the present interpretation and use of the Dutch euthanasia law in a lengthy
interview published last week by the Protestant daily, Trouw.  Prof. Theo Boer is worried that current trends in the
Netherlands are trivializing euthanasia to an extent that many who fought for legalization of "mercy killing" in the
1990s now privately express their opinion that it has gone too far.  And it will be hard to turn back the clock, he
acknowledges. 

Monday 10 November

Sex will soon be just for fun not babies, says father of the Pill
(The Telegraph)  Sex could become purely recreational by 2050 with large numbers of babies in the Western
world born through IVF, the professor who invented the contraceptive pill has claimed.  Prof Carl Djerassi, the
Austrian-American chemist and author, said he believes that the Pill will become obsolete because men and
women will choose to freeze their eggs and sperm when young before being sterilised.  He also claims it will
end abortions, as not children will be unplanned or unwanted.  Read more...

Sunday 9 November

Why is there a giant pink condom in Sydney?
(Stuff)  Sydney is getting all hot and bothered today over a giant pink condom stuck on a monument.  The curious
erection is amusing onlookers in Hyde Park.  Standing at 18-metres tall, the condom will cover the heritage-listed
Obelisk landmark for a week to raise awareness among gay men about how they can help in ending HIV
transmission in New South Wales by 2020.  Read more..

Hard-line US cardinal loses another Vatican job
(NZ Herald)  American Cardinal Raymond Burke, who championed campaigns to deny Communion to
Catholic politicians who support legalized abortion, was removed by Pope Francis from another top Vatican
post on Saturday.  The removal of Burke as head of the Holy Se's supreme court was widely expected in church
circles. 

Want to help post-abortive moms?  New study suggests pro-lifer's are missing

(LifeSiteNews)  A new study has revealed that when it comes to talking about past abortions, women are
more likely to confide in friends they know support abortion, as opposed to talking to people who are pro-life.  
If true, that could mean pro-lifers are missing key opportunities to connect with post-abortive women and help
them to heal from their experiences. 

8 November

Previous partners traceable under proposed new sex infection law
(Stuff)  People with sexually transmitted infections could be forced to disclose their sexual histories to public
health officers under a new law introduced to Parliament this week.  The Health (Protection) Amendment Bill
passed its first reading on Thursday.  The bill would give greater powers to public health officers and ban the
use of tanning beds for under-18s.  Health Minister Jonathan Coleman said the measures were to better
protect the public from the risk of infectious diseases.  Read more...

Malaysia scraps cross-dressing ban
(Stuff)  A Malaysian court on Friday gave transgender Muslims the right to cross-dress in a landmark decision
overturning an Islamic sharia law ban that could trigger similar challenges.  Muslim-majority Malaysia
represents itself as the global face of moderate Islam, but at home it has experienced a gradual Islamisation
that makes minority groups worry their rights could lose out in a clash between sharia law and the constitution.  

Friday 7 November

Pope ordered rejected paragraph on homosexuality retained in final Synod document
(LifeSiteNews)  Pope Francis has "pushed the door open" on the issues of homosexuality and Communion for
the divorced and remarried, and no vote by a future Synod of Bishops is going to reverse it, according to one of
the pope's closest advisors.  Cardinal Reinhard Marx, the president of the German Catholic Bishops' Conference
and a member of Pope Francis' inner circle, said in an interview with Die Zeit that the pope himself had ordered
the rejected paragraph on homosexuality to be retained int he Synod's final document.  Read more...

Queer support group ready for reunion
(Auckland Now)  When a small group of people got together 25 years ago, they had no idea the huge impact
it would have on generations to come.  When a small group of people got together 25 years ago, they had no
idea the huge impact it would have on generations to come.  Rainbow Youth, the Newton-based charity which
supports queer and trans young people, is celebrating its 25th anniversary with a reunion of past and present
members on November 19.

Thursday 6 November

New Zealand a world leader in save IVF - report
(Voxy)  New Zealand and Australia are world leaders when it comes to safe IVF practice thanks to their
focus on single-embryo transfer, according to the Assisted Reproductive Technology in Australia and New
Zealand 2012 report released today by the National Perinatal Epidemiology and Statistics Unit at UNSW
Australia.  The report confirms that New Zealand and Australia are leaders in this field of medicine.  Multiple
births are by far the greatest health risk to mothers and babies from IVF, and multiple embryo transfer clearly
increases this risk.  Rates of IVF multiple births in New Zealand and Australia are among the lowest in the
world (6.6% in Australia and 5.2% in New Zealand).  Read more...

Expanded sexual education welcomed
(Manawatu Standard)  Learning about rape, relationships, sexual consent and self-worth in school has won
the backing of Manawatu social services and support agencies.  The Ministry of Education is set to release
its updated sex education guidelines next month.  Manawatu's Abuse and Rape Crisis Support (ARCS) and
Women's Refuge are already welcoming the reworked remits, in the hope they will provide more consistency
and direction for educators and prevent abuse. 

Man's cancer plight sparks euthanasia debate
(Stuff)  A Christchurch father's call for the right to end his life has reignited debate about assisted-suicide for
the terminally ill.  A Christchurch father's call for the right to end his life has reignited debate about assisted
suicide for the terminally ill.  Philip Broderick, 33, has the same type of brain cancer as American Brittany
Maynard, who chose to end her life this week.  Palmerston North Labour MP Iain Lees-Galloway said he
would take the debate forward in Parliament with an assisted-dying members bill.  Read more...

Legal case over drink during pregnancy
(NZ Herald)  A 6-year-old girl born with disabilities caused by her mother drinking while she was in the womb
could be awarded criminal injuries compensation at a case being heard by the UK Court of Appeal today.  If
successful, the claim, which is being brought by a council in north-west England, could lead to dozens more 
children suffering from fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) being awarded compensation.  However, leading women's
charities have warned that it could set a legal precedent to prosecute women who drink while pregnant.

Sex education overhaul a grim necessity
(Manuwatu Standard - Opinion)  As the Ministry of Education prepares to overhaul its guidelines for sex education
in schools, it is pleasing to see something productive and positive result from the Roast Busters ordeal.  While
many Kiwis remain riled that no charges have resulted from the alleged rapes committed by a group of young men
who celebrated their exploits on social media, the Ministry at least appears responsive to select committee
recommendations to overhaul sex education and ensure teenagers are prepared for sexual scenarios that go
beyond birth control and "No means no" mantras. 

What has the internet done to sex?
(NZ Herald - Opinion)  Released later this month is the Jennifer Garner vehicle Men, Women & Children, a film
that looks at the lengths parents can go to protect their children from the dangers of an over-sexualised internet
landscape.  Yes, it's receiving somewhat bad reviews, but these shouldn't negate this timely film and its core
themes.  Namely, what is the internet doing to our relationships and sex lives?  Read more...

Wednesday 5 November

Synod interim report 'clearly a prefabricated text' representing a 'radical neo-pagan
ideology':  Bishop Schneider

(LifeSiteNews)  Reflecting on the recently-closed Extraordinary Synod of Bishops in Rome, Bishop Athanasius
Schneider of Kazakhstan said the controversial midterm report produced was steeped in "radical neo-pagan
ideology," "heterodox" views, and an "agenda reflect[ing] the corrupt and pagan main stream morality of our
time." 

Genetic mechanism could offer new strategy in AIDS fight
(NZ Herald)  French scientists have unveiled the genetic mechanism by which they believe two men
were spontaneously cured of HIV, and said the discovery may offer a new strategy in the fight against
AIDS.  In both asymptomatic men, the AIDS-causing virus was inactivated because of an altered HIV gene
coding integrated into human cells, they wrote in the journal Clinical Microbiology and Infection.  Read more...

More families are childless couples - Stats NZ
(NZ Herald)  Childless couples are making up an increasingly large proportion of families - a trend that has
been on the rise for more than 20 years, Statistics New Zealand says.  There were now 1.1 million families in
New Zealand, according to 2013 Census data.  "Couples without children make up just tover 40 per cent of all
family types, up from 35 per cent in 1991,"  Census customer focus manager Gareth Meech said.  Read more...

Girls react to mum's pregnancy
(Stuff)  Two sisters' adorable reaction to their mum's pregnancy news will make you cry.  Posting the video to
YouTube, one mum surprised her two daughters with the news that she was pregnant via individual cookie
Read more... 

Tuesday 4 November

Should Kiwis be given the right to die?
(TVNZ)  A young US woman's decision to end her life legally has sparked furious debate on whether terminally
ill New Zealanders should be given the right to die with dignity.  Brittany Maynard died with "zero regrets" on
Sunday in Oregon - one of a handful of US states where euthanasia is legal.  Read more...

Petition calls for subsidies and wider range of women's condoms
(NZ Herald)  Women's condoms need to be cheaper and come in as many varieties as men's condoms, an HIV
support group will tell Parliament this week.  MPs will consider a petition by Jane Bruning, the head of advocacy
group Positive Women, who wants the Government to subsidise the female condom, or femidom, in the same way
male condoms are covered.  Only one brand of female condoms, FC2, is for sale in NZ.  Read more...

Calls for class on sexual consent
(Nelson Mail)  Classes on healthy relationships and sexual consent should be compulsory, Nelson educators say
in light of the Operation Clover findings.  Last week police release their findings on Operation Clover, after a year-
long investigation into eight incidents of alleged sexual offending  involving a groups calling themselves the Roast
Busters. 

Monday 3 November

Brittany Maynard, 29-year-old woman with brain cancer, has committed suicide
(LifeSiteNews)  Brittany Maynard, a 29-year-old woman diagnosed with incurable brain cancer, committed assisted
suicide at her home in Portland, Oregon on Saturday evening by swallowing a fatal dose of barbiturates.  She had
previously acquired the drugs legally by prescription under Oregon's controversial assisted suicide law.  Read more...

A terminally ill US cancer sufferer says goodbye and ends her life legally
(NZ Herald)  An American woman with terminal cancer has committed suicide, triggering shock and controversy
over the right to die.  Brittany Maynard, a 29-year-old brain cancer sufferer, made headlines when a video of her
making her suicide threat went viral and was seen by millions of web users.  Read more...

The unborn baby whose heart is growing OUTSIDE his body due to rare condition which
affects just one in eight million births
(Daily Mail)  A mother has been left devastated after a 12-week scan revealed her unborn baby already faces a
fight for survival - because his heart is growing outside of his body.  Samantha Kerr, 33, was delighted when she
became pregnant just months after a miscarriage.  But the excitement soon turned to worry after her 12 week scan
showed the baby boy's heart protruding from his chest.  The baby has been diagnosed with ectopia cordis, an
extremely rare condition which affects just eight in one million births.  Read more...

Sunday 2 November

UK abortion chief:  Abortion should be available as easily as contraception
(LifeSiteNews)  The head of the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS), the UK's biggest abortion provider,
said abortion should be available as easily as contraception and regarded as no more complicated than other
minor procedures carried out by doctors. 

Saturday 1 November 

Consent to be part of sex education
(Radio New Zealand)  Secondary schools could soon be holding classes on the issue of sexual consent following
the police decision not to lay charges after a year-long investigation into an Auckland teenage sex ring.  The Ministry
of Education is updating its sexual education guidelines, which will include issues of consent, coercion, and safety in
intimate relationships.  It says how they are taught is up to each individual school.  Read more...

A tiny miracle:  Harlow Brooker
(The Dominion Post)  Harlow was born so premature - 24 weks - he weighed just over a pound.  It's hard to imagine
that the little baby who doctors feared might not make it into the world - let alone survive once he'd been born - is the
same little boy about to start school when he turns 5 this month.  Read more...

Being gay is greatest gift:  Apple boss
(NZ Herald)The chief executive of Apple has spoken of his pride in being gay, calling it "among the greatest gifts God
has given me."  Tim Cook, 53, disclosed his sexuality for the first time yesterday, admitting that while he has never
denied he is gay, hehad not publicly acknowledged it either.   He said announcing his sexuality was "worth the trade-off
with my own privacy "if it helped others "struggling to come to terms with who he or she is".  Read more...

Pro-Life News Archive

October 2014