Canada

Stephen McNeil, the leader of the Liberal Party of Nova Scotia, has said his party “will allow our elected candidates to freely voice their opinions on matters of personal conscience.” In a letter to Campaign Life Coalition Nova Scotia, McNeil acknowledged that both among the public and within the political class “there are a wide variety of opinions” on moral issues and that “the perspectives from both sides of the debate deserve to be expressed and heard with respect” …Notorious abortion advocate Michelle Landsberg will give the keynote address at the gala dinner at the Coady International Institute at St. Francis Xavier University in Antigonish, N.S., a Catholic university, on Oct. 16. The St. F.X. promotional material calls Landsberg a “fearless advocate for women and children.” In 1999, Landsberg labeled pro-lifers “purveyors of hate and violence” … A clinical trial at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute led by Dr. Duncan Stewart is using stem cells extracted from the blood of patients who have just suffered heart attacks to repair the damaged organ … 11-year-old Wrenna Kauffman from Edmonton is choosing to live her life as a boy with the support of her family and school. She is being given monthly drug injections to stop puberty. The Canadian Press quotes Kauffman: “if you’re not yourself, then it kind of gets sad and depressing” … The Ontario Human Rights Tribunal has ruled that the District School Board of Niagara must allow the distribution of atheistic texts if it continues to give out Gideon Bibles. The school board’s policy permits the distribution of texts belonging to religions listed in the Ontario Multifaith Information Manual … A report by the South Asian Legal Clinic of Ontario found 219 reported cases of forced marriage in Ontario in three years from 2010-2012, with 103 of them occurring within the Muslim community.

United States

Bloomberg News reports that at least 58 abortion facilities (almost one in 10) have closed or stopped carrying out abortions since 2011. It reported that in the 1980s, the number of “nonhospital providers” (that committed at least 400 abortions each year) peaked at 705 but is now down to 591 in 2008, the most recent year for which total numbers are available … A study claims that having an abortion pill prescribed via telemedicine (a videoconference with a doctor) was as safe and effective as after a face-to-face consultation with a physician. It was led by Dr. Daniel Grossman, the vice president of research at Ibis Reproductive Health, an abortion advocacy group, and took place at Planned Parenthood facilities in Iowa. On Aug. 31, the Iowa Board of Medicine, banned abortion pill prescriptions by telemedicine citing safety concerns. Board chairman Greg Hoversten, an Iowa City physician, said “the woman essentially goes home and labours and delivers a fetus. It’s very bloody. It’s painful,” and a physician should be close at hand if complications arise …Floyd Lee Corkins II, who opened fire inside the headquarters of the Washington D.C.-based Family Research Council August 15, 2012, injuring Leo Johnson, a security guard, was sentenced to 25 years in prison for terrorism. Corkins said in a videotaped confession he planned “to kill as many as possible and smear Chick-fil-A sandwiches in the victims’ faces” to protest the organization’s stance against same-sex “marriage” … Allison Benedikt wrote in Slate that anyone who sends his or her child to private school is a “bad person” because public schools would improve if everyone attended them. “Your children and grandchildren might get mediocre educations in the meantime, but it will be worth it, for the eventual common good.”

International

Broadcaster and naturalist David Attenborough told the Radio Times that humans have stopped evolving and should be persuaded to have smaller families. He said while Red China’s one-child policy has led to “personal tragedies” in the enforcement, at least “the Chinese themselves recognise that had they not done so there would be several million more mouths in the world today than there are now.” Attenborough said, “if you were able to persuade people that it is irresponsible to have large families in this day and age … then that’s all to the good” … A report by the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights found that seven in ten “LGBT” EU residents were rarely or never open about their orientation. A workshop in September for Danish human resource professionals in Copenhagen focused on how to include “LGBT” employees in the workplace. Danish Equality Minister Manu Sareen welcomed the report saying people have the right to be accepted by society and ‘there should be a safe, receptive environment for” making one’s sexual preferences public … Scientists in Austria grew “mini human brains,” consisting of several primitive brain regions, out of embryonic and induced pluripotent stem cells to model the development of microcephaly. Zameel Cade, a neurologist at Britain’s John Radcliffe Hospital, told Reuters the development was “fascinating and exciting” … The government of Thailand is planning to introduce a bill allowing homosexuals to form civil partnerships and receive most marriage benefits.