China rethinks one-child policy
BEIJING - The Chinese government, faced with demographic imbalance, an aging population, youth suicides and instances of wife selling, is rethinking its policy of one-child families. A new law on birth control, to be passed within the next three years, will allow couples to have two children.
The one-child policy was begun by Mao Tse Tung in the late 1970s and was imposed with harsh sanctions in all the major cities. But despite the policy, China's population still grew to 1.2 billion by 1998. Meanwhile, the population is aging, with the proportion of Chinese over 65 projected to reach 25 per cent by 2050. There are 30 million more men than women, and wives are difficult to find, which has led to the phenomenon of wife selling (19,000 such cases have been investigated so far this year).
In Taiwan, the government has started a campaign among its population declaring that, "Three children are not too many!" Ten years ago, it had said that two were enough. The government wants to more than double the birth rate from 0.6 per cent a year to 1.3 per cent.
Abortionists meet in Australia
QUEENSLAND, Australia - Abortion in Focus, a four-day meeting of abortionists at a Hyatt Regency hotel here, became embroiled in controversy when Australian authorities detained one abortionist, and another said he saw sex selection as a valid reason for late-term "terminations."
Warren Hern was detained at Sydney airport for two hours after refusing to sign a document acknowledging that his visa could be cancelled if he caused civil discord. Two other abortionists, including the notorious George Tiller, received letters with similar advisories. "I've gone all over the world," crowed Hern. "Nobody has ever treated me this way."
David Grundmann, the only private late-term abortionist at the conference, caused a sensation when he said sex selection was "a real and important indication for some ethnic and religious groups" when considering late abortions. Some U.S. doctors described how they committed abortions on women up to 37 weeks pregnant. Tiller said he has committed 11,500 late-term abortions since 1980, most for vague reasons of "maternal health" or fetal abnormality.
Pro-lifers rally in Africa
AMANZIMTOTI, South Africa - Pro-lifers from around the world gathered at a conference here Oct. 9 and 10 to rally opposition to abortion and euthanasia. Attendees heard that only 11 per cent of South Africans support the legalization of abortion which took place in February 1997, that many doctors are refusing to act as the "executioners" of preborn babies and many hospitals are defying government orders to provide abortion "services."
Catholic Archbishop Wilfrid Napier said the fight against abortion and euthanasia is similar to the battle against apartheid, in which he was involved. The conference concluded with a pro-life march by thousands of people.
Meanwhile, in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, more than 3,000 Catholics and Muslims took to the streets to condemn abortion in that country's first national Great March for Life. The procession, called by some a milestone in Tanzania's history, was led by the country's deputy minister of health.
Abortionist has grisly history
LONDON - A former Prince George, B.C. abortionist is being investigated in Britain in the deaths of severalwomen. At least one of his patients died in B.C. and another one died in 1981 in Ontario, where Richard Neale plied his trade later. "He was not a good doctor," said Dr. Brian Galliford, head of obstetrics at B.C.'s Prince George Regional Hospital. "Everything he touched seemed to bleed."
In the Ontario death, Neale used a banned product, then altered medical records. After losing his licence here, he moved to England. A doctor who went to medical school with Neale said he was shocked when he learned Neale was practising medicine in London after what had happened in Canada.
"I was alarmed that he was practising," said Dr. Andrew Sear, now a B.C. family practitioner. "I was concerned about his patients." Sear says that he warned British medical authorities.
In a 1981 letter to the Globe and Mail newspaper, Neale described himself as "a practising Christian" who struggled with the ethical and professional issues of abortion. "All we can do is ... try in all faith to arrive at the best possible solution and for that particular patient, and in my case, hope that the Great Physician approves."