Abortion in Ireland

A new bill would “stem the flow” of Irish women seeking abortions in England, said Irish Justice Minister Nora Owen.  However, the pro-life movement and the Catholic Bishops have their doubts.  The Bill was introduced in February by the government to act on the results of a 1992 referendum which saw 60% of the country voting that abortion information be made legal.  While allowing doctors to give out the names and addresses of English abortion centres, this bill will stop Irish doctors from arranging abortions in Britain.  The justice minister said doctors will now be forced to give pregnant women seeking abortions counseling and advice on alternatives to abortion.  Pro-life groups, however, claim that doctors should not be allowed to give the names and addresses of British abortion providers.

Living Wills in N.S.

At present, Nova Scotians are allowed to appoint a proxy to make their health-care decisions if they are unable to do so themselves.  In December, the Law Reform Commission recommended adding the choice of a living will, and suggested the compilation of a statutory list of people with automatic health-care decision-making authority.  Quebec has a proxy law.  Manitoba allows both proxies and living wills.  Ontario and British Columbia have passed laws that haven’t been enacted yet.  Residents of PEI have shown no great interest in the issue and no legislation has been brought forward.

Sex-selection clinic

A clinic in Lewiston, NY, 10 minutes from the Canadian border, charges pregnant women $1100 U.S. to determine the sex of their unborn children.  Dr. John Stephens claims that his ultrasound scans can tell the sex of a fetus as early as 12 weeks into pregnancy.  He targets the Canadian market, and claims that a large proportion of his clients are Canadian.  The Ontario government is aware of his operation but does not monitor abortions based on motive, says spokesman Sue Craig.  “You don’t have to have a reason to get an abortion in Ontario,” said Craig.  “We collect statistics on abortions, not reasons why.”


The abortionist working at the Pensacola, Florida Ladies’ Centre has lost his license to practice in that State.  Stephen Chase Brigham, who had been filling in since John Britton was shot, had already lost his license in New York, Georgia, California and was under investigation in New Jersey.  Linda Taggert, spokesperson for the Ladies’ Center, said that the establishment “had never hired a physician who was not competent.”  However, Mike and Vicky Conroy, who represent Legal Aid for Women, an organization which assists women who are injured from abortion, noted two other cases of malpractice at the Centre.

Off the wire

On January 21, singers Bruce Hornsby, Rickie Lee Jones and Bruce Cockburn gathered in Washington to celebrate the 22nd anniversary of Roe v. Wade.  No word yet on whether Washed Up Rockers for Choice are planning a world tour. *** The Union of Orthodox Rabbis of the United States and Canada is calling for constitutional amendments to prohibit euthanasia.  “We as Jews must necessarily be apprehensive when we review the early twentieth century in Germany…when so-called progressive thinkers actively promoted the euthanasia ideology, including the concept that quality of life called for eliminating so-called useless people…much as is now advocated.” *** U.S. tests continue on the abortion pill, RU0486.  It has been reported that the majority of women who use the pill prefer it to having a surgical abortion.  US pro-lifer groups must determine a strategy to combat this so-called “chemical coat-hanger” should it eventually be accepted by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. *** Bishop Louis E. Gelineau of Providence, Rhode Island, has lifted his moratorium on sidewalk counseling in front of abortuaries.  “I have heard from many people on this topic…I have decided to modify my position,” said the Bishop.  Recently, the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops resisted calls from the pro-abortion lobby for a similar ban in Canada. *** The Prince Albert (Sask.) Right to Life Association has called 1995 the International Year for the Protection of the Unborn Child.  Prince Albert RTL took it upon themselves to make this symbolic declaration in light of the fact that 150,000 babies are killed every day by abortion and “the United Nations, through its actions, policies and programs, does not have the well-being of the unborn at heart.”