Alberta family wins 3-week reprieve for son

EDMONTON – On Feb. 19, Court of Queen’s Bench Judge Michelle Crighton ordered Stollery Children’s Hospital in Edmonton to keep Isaiah James May on life support until March 11 to give May’s parents three weeks to assemble medical experts to assess their son’s chances for further recovery. The order extends an original reprieve granted on Jan. 27, after the family received notice from the hospital on Jan. 13 that their baby’s condition had not improved since birth and that there was “no hope of recovery.” The hospital informed the family that Isaiah was to be removed from his ventilator. Rebecka and Isaac May have been battling the Alberta Health Services in court since January because Alberta doctors have deemed the baby will not get better and therefore is not worth the effort of keeping alive. Isaiah May was born Oct. 24 with an umbilical cord wrapped around his neck and deprived of oxygen. Ernest Phillipos, clinical director of Stollery Children’s Hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit in Edmonton, signed an order to take the baby off life support. Isaiah has a permanent brain injury due to lack of oxygen at time of birth. “Even if a person has disabilities, they deserve a chance; they are still a person; they still have emotions,” Rebecka told the media. CTV reports that the family has arranged for a neonatologist from Victoria General Hospital and an expert from Johns Hopkins Hospital to assess their child’s condition.

Abortionist investigated for forced abortions

LANSING, Mich. – The Michigan Department of Community Health has informed Operation Rescue that Michigan abortionist Abraham Alberto Hodari is officially under investigation by the Bureau of Health Profession for his involvement in forced abortions. The complaint against Hodari was filed by Operation Rescue president Troy Newman after his organization received information about several cases of forced abortion including a lawsuit filed by Caitlin Bruce. Bruce alleges that Hodari committed a forced abortion on her in 2008 after she withdrew her consent. She stated that she changed her mind about having the abortion after viewing an image of her baby on an ultrasound imaging screen. Newman said: “We are grateful that there is now an investigation underway. We pray that Hodari, who has menaced women for over 20 years, will finally be stripped of his medical license.” Hodari was placed on probation last February for illegally dumping medical records. In March 2009, he was fined $10,000 for his part in the death of Regina Johnson, at least the fourth abortion death in which he had been involved. In November, Hodari put his abortion facilities up for sale at the same time he filed for divorce from his wife of 29 years.

Russian Health Minister urges cut in abortion rate to boost population

MOSCOW – The Russian Health Minister has called for a cut in the country’s abortion rate to increase population growth. “The topic of reducing abortions is definitely on today’s agenda,” said Health Minister Tatyana Golikova. “This won’t solve the birthrate problem 100 per cent, but around 20 to 30 per cent.” She noted that, in 2008, there were 1.714 million births and 1.234 million abortions. Russia’s abortion rate is one of the highest in the world. In 2005, the number of abortions out-numbered births. The St. Petersburg Times reported that abortion is responsible for 200,000 to 250,000 women losing their fertility every year. Since the fall of Communism in 1991, Russia’s population has been in rapid decline. A recent United Nations report predicted that the country’s population could fall from 142 million in 2008 to 116 million in 2050. The government has launched several initiatives to encourage population growth, such as awarding monetary incentives for giving birth and medals of “parental glory” to couples with large families. Officially, the Russian population rose in 2009 for the first time since 1995, but it grew only by about 20,000. Most of the growth was attributed to a lower death rate and higher migration rate.

UN acknowledges aging populations

TURTLE BAY – According to a new report from the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, there will be more elderly people than children for the first time in 2045, leading to a profound shift in demographics that could become a major international crisis. The report, “World Population Ageing 2009,” predicts that within 40 years, 22 per cent of the world population will be older than 60. Because of low birth rates exacerbated by contraception and abortion, the aged population has grown by about 2.6 per cent per year, while the entire world population has only increased by 1.2 per cent each year. The current median age of 28 is expected to rise to 38 by 2050. “Because fertility levels are unlikely to rise again to the high levels common in the past, population aging is irreversible and the young populations that were common until recently are likely to become rare over the course of the twenty-first century,” wrote the authors. The UN noted the challenge the working population will face in supporting the large aged population and the impact the demographic shift would have on various aspects of life, such as taxation, pension, health care, economic growth, and political representation.

Pope slams UK government

VATICAN – Pope Benedict XVI has condemned the British government for violating natural law. According to the Pope, the equality legislation for homosexuals introduced by the Labour Party infringes on religious freedom. His statement was made after the Roman Catholic Church and the Church of England expressed fear that Labour’s Equality Bill would force them to admit homosexuals to the priesthood. On Feb. 1, the Pope said to 35 Catholic bishops from England and Wales: “Your country is well-known for its firm commitment to equality of opportunity for all members of society. Yet, the effect of some of the legislation designed to achieve this goal has been to impose unjust limitations on the freedom of religious communities to act in accordance with their beliefs.” The Equality Bill, because of its narrow definition of religious workers, could force clergy to hire homosexuals or be prosecuted for discrimination. It may also require church schools hire head teachers of any religion.