Prime Minister Jean Chretien will hand power over to new Liberal leader Paul Martin on Dec. 12 … At the Liberal convention, delegates heard Bono, lead vocalist for the rock group U2, pontificate on policy. One political observer told The Interim, “What’s next? Ozzy Osbourne?” Another noted that the federal Liberals ignored the advice of domestic religious leaders on same-sex “marriage” but that this party cares deeply about the economic and international views of a foreign celebrity … National Post columnist Gillian Congreve says that two federal ministers will be given high profile appointments by departing Prime Minister Chrétien, mostly because they are on the outs with Martin. Allan Rock, a Toronto MP who has served in the justice and health portfolios before becoming the industry minister, is expected to be appointed to to the Ontario Superior Court. Foreign Minister Bill Graham is rumoured for the post of ambassador to the United Nations. Both are pro-abortion and support so-called same-sex marriage … Former New Brunswick premier Frank McKenna is no longer denying rumours that he will be tapped by Martin to run in the next federal election. McKenna is pro-abortion. Also mentioned as a possible candidate for the Liberals is Winnipeg’s openly gay mayor, Glen Murray. If they run, both would certainly be appointed to the cabinet … Ottawa Citizen columnist David Warren on the Progressive Conservatives and Canadian Alliance announcing they will merge their two parties: “It is nice that we have recongregated in the wilderness, but will need a Moses to lead us out” … Former Ontario premier Mike Harris, who is pro-abortion and pro-gay rights, announces he will not seek the leadership of the new Conservative Party if members of the Canadian Alliance and Tories ratify a deal Dec. 15 to merge … Nova Scotia MP Scott Brison (PC) is said to be interested in running for the leadership. Brison, an admitted homosexual, claims the party must be “fiscally conservative but socially progressive,” if it is to have broad support … The pro-abortion NDP government of Lorne Calvert is re-elected in Saskatchewan.
Beginning in January, the “morning-after pill” will be available over-the-counter in Australia after the the Australian government accepts changes to the drug’s status … The West Australian reports that Peter Carnley, primate of the Anglican Church in Australia, told the annual scientific meeting of the Fertility Society of Australia in Perth that life begins at 14 days after fertilization. He said understanding this “fact” would help “troublesome difficulties fall away” surrounding issues such as IVF and embryo research … The British Conservative Party dumps its pro-life leader, Ian Duncan Smith, and replaces him with Michael Howard, whom the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children says has a “mixed record on abortion” and who supported a 2000 bill that permitted research on human clones. Howard opposes euthanasia, which is currently an issue in the United Kingdom. Howard’s shadow cabinet is a mixture of pro-abortion and pro-life MPs … The European Union Industry Committee votes in favour of destructive embryo research by supporting an amendment to fund research on human embryos in member states that permit such research … SPUC warns that the draft European Union constitution may establish the right to abortion on demand and assisted suicide in every EU country. SPUC national director John Smeaton says: “Because of the vague ‘rights’ and broad judicial power created by the draft constitution, the document may limit democratic (that is, legislative) debate and decision-making at national levels. Decisions regarding important social and moral questions will be determined by the European Court of Justice, rather than national parliaments.”
The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention reports that the number of surgical abortions decreased in the 1990s by 22 per cent. In 1990, there were 27.4 abortions per 1,000 women, but by 1999, there were 21.4 abortions per 1,000 women … Rep. Mark Kennedy (R, Minn.) and Senator Rick Santorum (R, Penn.) have started the St. Thomas More pro-life study group on Capitol Hill. Kennedy tells the Catholic Spirit newspaper that life issues “are fundamental to our core” … New York Comptroller Alan Hevesi claims that over-the-counter distribution of the “morning-after pill” could save the state $452 million annually. He says easy-access MAPs will severely reduce the numbe of surgical abortions. Kathleen M. Gallagher, director of pro-life activities for the New York State Catholic Conference, reacts to the announcement: “The suggestion that the state could save money by preventing the birth of children and mortgaging women’s long-term health is just morally wrong” … Governor Jim Doyle (D, Wisc.) vetoes legislation that would have defined marriage as the union of one man and woman,” saying that it was unnecessary and “mean-spirited.”