Europe and UK life and family round-up
Evidence shows teen pregnancy rates drop with more restrictive abortion laws
BELFAST, Northern Ireland – The solution to Britain’s rampant teenage pregnancy is not, as the government thinks, more and more explicit “sex education” and freely available condoms, with abortion as back-up, according to Dr. David Paton, chairman of Industrial Economics at Nottingham University Business School.
This approach, he told attendees at a conference of life and family activists in Belfast, has had exactly the opposite of the stated intent.
“It has been argued that ensuring teenagers have confidential access to family planning services and abortion will have a positive impact on teenage pregnancy and abortion rates.
“However, instead it can be demonstrated that the consequent reduction in perceived risk leads to increased risky behaviour, and combined with contraceptive failure, the net pregnancy rate could increase.”
While the government remains mired in an ideological approach, an evidence-based examination of the problem reveals that more restrictive abortion law and reduced availability of contraceptives have created steadily lower rates of teenage pregnancies as well as sexually transmitted disease. In Northern Ireland this approach has resulted in a third fewer under-16 pregnancies and about a third fewer new STD infections in the same age group than in England.
Paton noted that in Northern Ireland there have been 4 diagnoses of gonorrhea among under-16s in the past 10 years compared with 160-200 each year in England.
But throughout the first years of the new century Northern Ireland has been “going the way of England” with steady increases in publicly funded sex education and “family planning,” including provision of the Morning After Pill. The result has been a steady creep upwards in STDs, while teen birth rates have remained unchanged.
Fixation with politics of ‘gender identity,’ feminism and ‘gay rights’ risks ‘fragmenting’ society: Archbishop of Canterbury
CARDIFF, Wales – Rowan Williams, the outgoing Archbishop of Canterbury said that the fixation in politics on feminism, ethnic minorities and “gay rights” could create a “fragmented” society.
Speaking to the Welsh National Assembly in Cardiff, Dr. Williams said that while minority groups have made great strides, it was time to focus on the common good.
He also warned against increasing “welfarism” and state dependency, saying the state should not be seen as a provider for people’s personal needs or a solver of their problems.
“The mutual taking of responsibility pushes back that passive welfarism, a passive statism some people call it, that the state is the provider and solver of problems,” he said.
“There is a problem of dependency, there is a problem about assuming somebody else resolves the problems, and there’s certainly a problem about centralised state provision as the solution to everything.
“And those who have recently, from both left and right, pointed out welfarism is not good news for those who want a mutually responsible, active and creative community have not been wrong.”
Dr. Williams has announced that he will be stepping down as leader of the Anglican Communion later this year, and plans to dedicate the time to speaking out “forcefully” on issues he feels passionate about.
No patents for destructive embryo research: Top Europe court
LUXEMBOURG – The European Court of Justice has banned the patenting of any stem-cell processes that result in the destruction of a human embryo.
“A process which involves removal of a stem cell from a human embryo at the blastocyst stage, entailing the destruction of that embryo, cannot be patented,” the Court said.
The decision was welcomed by the European Centre for Law and Justice, who said it “protects life and human dignity.”
The ruling cited an existing European directive on biotechnology patents “intended to exclude any possibility of patentability where respect for human dignity could thereby be affected”.
“Bizarre” attempt to redefine marriage will spark Tory backlash: MEP
BRUSSELS – A Conservative Party MEP has warned his party leadership that their attempt to redefine marriage to include homosexual partnerings will result in a backlash of the rank and file and backbench MPs. Prime Minister David Cameron is coming under intense pressure from his own party, as well as from the leaders of nearly every religious group in Britain, for his determination to re-write the law.
Mr. Giles Chichester, who represents the Tory Party at the European Parliament for the South West of England and Gibraltar, has written to Cameron asking him to reconsider his “bizarre attempt to redefine marriage.” Chichester said he supports civil partnerships but includes Cameron’s “gay marriage” plan as among many policies “attacking the traditional family.”
Chichester pointed out that the plans were sprung in a surprise attack on the British public, not having been listed in the party’s election manifesto. The effort to change the decision of marriage, moreover, while being the pet project of militant homosexualist activists, is not supported by a majority in the general homosexual community.
“Why you have chosen to push the Stonewall militant gay agenda is a mystery to me,” Chichester wrote.
“I support these civil unions or partnerships having equal rights to traditional marriage so far as property ownership, legal status, taxation and inheritance rights are concerned but cannot agree that being equal must mean being the same.”
“Should this measure go through it will cause many Conservatives to question their loyalty to a party which is no longer supporting values inherent to the party,” he added.