LISBON, Portugal, Feb 5 (LSN)—On Wednesday the Portuguese Parliament voted 116-107 to allow abortions on demand up to the 10th week of pregnancy. Previously, the law in this predominantly Roman Catholic country permitted abortions only for strict medical reasons, including fetus malformation or perceived risk to the mother’s life. Demonstrations by hundreds of pro-fers outside marked the tragic occasion. Under the bill, women wanting an abortion can have consultations at family planning centers and will be referred to public or private clinics if they want to go ahead with the procedure. The measure will take effect in 90 days unless it is blocked. A review of the legislation by the Constitutional Court has been proposed which may outlaw the measure. Last year a similar bill was defeated by a single vote.
LONDON, Feb 5 (LSN)—Yesterday British Foreign Secretary Robin Cook spelled out changes with regard to its colonies. Cook is resisting demands to grant full British citizenship to around 160,000 people in the 13 territories, which range from Bermuda to the island of Pitcairn. Instead, Cooke is offering the prospect of eventual citizenship on the condition that the territories bring themselves into line with British financial and social legislation. In particular, Cook wants the British Virgin Islands, the Turks and Caicos Islands, Anguilla, Montserrat and the Cayman Islands to change laws that ban homosexual acts.
DALLAS, Feb 5 (LSN)—US federal Magistrate Judge Jeff Kaplan, ruled in a civil suit yesterday against the pro-life group Operation Rescue, the group’ s national leader, the Rev. Flip Benham, and five other members. A jury found that the group was guilty of harrassing abortionist Norman Tompkins and his wife, Carolyn. The pro-lifers were ordered to pay the abortionist $10 million US. Rev. Benham nnotes that, “No law was broken. Nobody was arrested. The laws protect First Amendment rights and that’s all that were expressing was First Amendment rights.” Pro-life pickets held outside the abortionists residence led to the verdict.
OTTAWA, Feb 5 (LSN)—MP Svend Robinson, a euthanasia and homosexual activist, was enraged on Monday during House of Commons debates considering euthanasia. Several members made testimonials attesting to the horror of euthanasia and rejected Motion 123, a call for a review of the Criminal Code sections pertaining to euthanasia and assisted suicide proposed by Robinson. Liberal MP Clifford Lincoln, and Reform MP Ken Epp both revealed to their colleagues in the House personal situations where loved ones experienced debilitation and the resulting thoughts about the value of human life. Incensed at the apparent House approval of the moving testimonials, Robinson said, “I was appalled, I was absolutely appalled.”” It was an offensive distortion of the changes that I was seeking in the law,” he said. Yukon New Democrat Louise Hardy supported Mr. Robinson’s motion.
VANCOUVER, Feb 5 (LSN)—BC Attorney General Ujjal Dosanjh, announced today that changes to the Family Relations Act enacted last summer took effect Wednesday, giving homosexual couples in BC the same rights for child care as normal parents. Under the revised act, homosexual couples are given equal rights to custody and access to children.
OTTAWA, Feb 5 (LSN)—Heritage Canada released a poster-calendar to MPs for 1998 which was designed to be a guide to “events and dates which have a particular significance for our heritage and identity as a nation.” However, the calendars omit the feasts of Easter and Christmas. The calendar was also intended for distribution to schools and other organizations to promote “days, weeks and months of heritage significance.” Heritage Minister Sheila Copps admitted to reporters this week that omitting such important days was a mistake, and they will be revised for school distribution. The posters, which cost $2 each to produce, included “important” days such as the International Children’s Day of Broadcasting, World Book and Copyright Day, Earth Day, Earth Week, National Volunteer Week and National Wildlife Week.
House of Commons Hansard—Feb. 3, 1998 Mr. Myron Thompson (Wild Rose, Ref.): Mr. Speaker, last week in Alberta a man was sentenced to 60 days for killing his dog. At the same time two men inMontreal who were convicted of raping a teenage girl were sentenced to 18 months to be served at home. They are walking free all because of a loophole called conditional sentencing which the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada supports. How does the justice minister explain to the rape victim that her life has less worth than that of a dog? From Tim Bloedow