Canada

Convicted thief and former MP Svend Robinson re-applied to B.C.’s provincial Law Society, the same week the province announced it would not appeal the conditional sentence Judge Ron Frantkin gave him for stealing a $64,000 ring on Good Friday of this year. A spokesman for the Law Society said Robinson’s readmission is not automatic: “The credentials committee must be satisfied that the person is of good character and repute, and is fit to become a barrister and solicitor” … Prime Minister Paul Martin was heard muttering Christ’s name during a nationally televised health care meeting with the premiers. He joked about the incident later, saying it offended his aunt, but he ultimately defended using the Lord’s name in vain because he thought he was swearing under his breath … It is rumoured that Martin may appoint his former principal secretary, Francis Fox, as ambassador to the United States after the Nov. 2 U.S. election. Fox was forced to resign as a minister in Pierre Trudeau‘s cabinet in the 1970s after he lied about being a woman’s husband in order for her to procure an abortion … Cardinal Marc Ouellet, archbishop of Quebec City and primate of Canada, on late-term abortions: “It’s easy to see it’s an abomination when someone reaches a certain number of months, we can see it’s killing a human being … But why do we draw such subtle distinctions? What’s the difference of a few months? The whole thing is unacceptable.”


International

Dana Scallon, the pro-life former member of the European Parliament for the Constituency of Connacht-Ulster, Ireland, is considering running for president of Ireland. If she qualifies for the ballot, she would face the stridently pro-abortion incumbent, Mary McAleeseThe Daily Mail reports that the Ortho Evra contraceptive patch has been linked to 17 deaths in the U.K. … British statistics indicate that the number of abortions in England and Wales rose 3.2 per cent to their highest level ever – 17.5 abortions per 1,000 women aged 15-44. The number of abortions reached 181,600. The Society for the Protection of Unborn Children notes that the number does not include those babies killed by the “morning-after” pill … This is Bristol, a British newspaper, reports that teenagers are approaching IVF clinics requesting treatment after “years of trying” … In a bid to ingratiate itself to the European Union, which it hopes to join, Turkey has scrapped a proposal to criminalize adultery … The election of Anna Zaborska, a Slovak member of the European Parliament, as chairwoman of the committee for women’s rights and gender equality, has infuriated feminists because she is an outspoken opponent of abortion and homosexuality. British MEP Mary Honeyball complained that “the right put forward a candidate who is clearly unsympathetic to the aims of our committee”

Bishop Jose Gea Escolano of the Mondoñedo-Ferrol diocese criticized Spanish government proposals to legalize abortion on demand during the first trimester of pregnancy, calling abortion “the greatest crime ever committed in history” … New Zealand is considering a law that would require parental notification for abortion. Jim Vause, president of the College of General Physicians, claims that such a law would drive girls to the back alley, “returning to the era of dangerous, illegal abortions.” Since 1977, girls have been permitted to have abortions without parental knowledge. Statistics for 2003 reveal that 89 girls under the age of 15 had abortions, while 3,757 15-19 year-olds procured abortions … 29-year-old Ma Weihua was forced by Chinese police to have an abortion in February, shortly after her arrest for smuggling drugs, so that she could be executed … A Chinese couple were fined in excess of $70,000, and had their home sealed off by authorities, for violating the country’s one-child policy … Paraguay’s health minister announced plans to permit the abortifacient “morning-after,” pill despite the country’s laws, which protect the unborn.


United States

The American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse published a study that found women whose first pregnancy ended in abortion are more likely to abuse drugs and alcohol … The father of Holly Patterson, the 18-year-old from California who died after taking the abortion drug Mifepristone (RU486), met with officials from the Food and Drug Administration. He urged the officials and congressional staff to support the efforts of Rep. Jim DeMint (R, SC) to suspend the distribution of the abortion pill and review its safety … The New York Times reports that according to recent polls, President George W. Bush is making great gains among women voters.