On May 8, the same day as the National March for Life in Ottawa, Fr. Thomas Lynch was named the new director of Priests for Life Canada. Fr. James Whalen, who died in February, had been the organization’s director since its founding in 1995. While in his new position, Lynch will remain pastor of St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Douro, Ont. … TheGlobe and Mail reported that in the past year, more than 100 women with high-risk pregnancies were sent to the United States to deliver because of the lack of neonatal intensive care units in Canada. The Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists says Canada is lacking a national birthing plan … An Angus Reid Strategies poll found that 62 per cent believe that people practising polygamy in Bountiful, B.C. should be prosecuted, compared to just 19 per cent who think that the Charter of Rights should protect the rights of polygamists and one in five respondents who had no opinion. British Columbia Attorney-General Wally Oppal continues to put off a decision about whether to charge the breakaway Mormon cult … Alberta’s Conservative premier, Ed Stelmach, has said he will introduce legislation this fall to limit the activity of third parties in elections. The provincial gag law would severely restrict the ability of socially conservatives groups and other organizations to raise issues of importance with their supporters during election campaigns. As former National Citizens Coalition vice-president Gerry Nicholls noted in the Calgary Herald, Alberta is one of the few provinces with a rich history of protecting political speech, but Stelmach is threatening that heritage … Toronto Public Health will beam “safe sex” messages to students’ cellphones if they are within a certain proximity of the city’s high schools … B.C. Health Minister George Abbott has announced the province will provide girls in Grades 6 and 9 with Gardasil, a vaccine against the human papilloma virus. Health officials in Ontario, as well as numerous states, say that demand for the anti-HPV vaccine is low.

United States

The Food and Drug Administration has informed Geron Corp. that the biotech company will not be allowed to proceed with a plan to begin clinical human trials of treatments derived from human embryonic stem cells. While embryonic stem cell research has been conducted in the United States for years, there has never been a (sanctioned) trial with human beings because of problems with tumours developing in animals on which the experiments were performed. Geron and Advanced Cell Technology Inc. both applied to the FDA in April to begin human trials within the year …The 2008 Values and Beliefs poll byGallup has found that 48 per cent of Americans say abortion is wrong compared to just 40 per cent who say it is okay – in line with the 51-40 split against abortion in last year’s survey. But 62 per cent of respondents support embryonic stem cell research, while 30 per cent are opposed … After just five minutes of debate during the entire legislative session, the Missouri Senate chose not to take up HB 1831, which would have required abortion facilities to provide women the opportunity to view an ultrasound before undergoing an abortion, inform women that unborn children can feel pain during an abortion and would have prevented women from being coerced into having an abortion. Pam Fichter, the head of Missouri Right to Life, said: “The Missouri Senate has missed an opportunity to assure that women who consider abortion are informed and protected.”


The British House of Commons has voted to change the existing Human Fertilization and Embryology Bill to permit animal-human hybrids. MPs and animal-human embryo research advocates used the emotional plea that such changes were necessary to help find treatments for those with disabilities and disease. In a rare point of agreement, both Labour Prime Minister Gordon Brown and Conservative opposition leader David Cameron, both of whom have children with “severe medical conditions,” voted to support the more permissive research. The Society for the Protection of Unborn Children said: “The HFE bill seeks to implement a string of changes that will mean more embryos will be generated, but given less respect and protection than ever.” … The New Zealand government’s own figures show that 98.9 per cent of abortions obtained in that country are done on “mental health” grounds. As the International Right to Life Federation noted, “Experience worldwide … has shown that such a reason is a total farce and amounts to abortion on demand for any reason at all.” New Zealand Right to Life says “the government is paying doctors to lie by using mental health grounds for 98.9 per cent of abortions in order to provide abortion on demand” … Volashak, a youth group, protested Kazakhastan’s 170,000 abortions, out of a total population of 15 million, the majority of which are Muslim. The organization is calling for a ban on abortions … Pro-life legislators in Brazil have released the Pro-Life Manifesto, calling for the creation of a parliamentary committee to monitor illegal abortions, rejection of the morning-after pill and medical support for pregnant women.