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In the Press

  • Should pharmacists be forced to dispense drugs for what they consider to be unethical practices – like emergency contraception, gender reassignment, abortion and assisted suicide?

    Or should they have the right to exercise freedom of conscience by either referring to a colleague or opting out?

    The General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC), the independent British regulator for pharmacists, pharmacy technicians and pharmacy premises, is proposing to replace the current 'right to refer' with a 'duty to dispense'.

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  • Activists are planning on distributing drugs, which are not supposed to be used without medical supervision, to campaign for the repeal of the Eighth Amendment.

    Pro-abortion activists have vowed to break the law and hand out abortion inducing drugs in city centres and universities as part of their campaign to repeal the pro-life Eighth Amendment.

    Volunteers with ROSA (Reproductive Rights against Oppression Sexism and Austerity) will hand out the abortion pills, Mifepristone and Misoprostol, to women requesting them when their 'Bus4Repeal' tours the country in March. 

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  • Dear Friends

    The turmoil of the General Synod debate last Wednesday has left many evangelicals asking what we should now do. The purpose of this letter is to answer that question by saying: 'stand firm and keep steady.'

    Where has the debate left us?

    As you know I was part of the Reflection Group that produced the House of Bishops' report. I felt it would have been beneficial for Synod to have taken note of it, simply because of its take home message on marriage and the undesirability of altering any Church of England liturgy. However, the report contained many ambiguities and its approach was not one of looking at Scripture first and only then drawing conclusions. I tried to reflect this in my public statement at the time of its publication. The report's failure is not a great loss, and the Reflection Group has been disbanded.

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  • A mother has written a touching open letter to her five-month-old daughter who has Down's syndrome to reassure her she is loved unconditionally.

    Rhona Cullinan, from Dublin, gave birth to Molly on September 20th last year. She found out that her baby had Down's syndrome and a heart defect at her nine week scan. Rhona and her partner Martin were devastated at the news, but, she writes, "we decided then and there that we loved you and no matter what we had to face we would take it one day at a time and stay positive."

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  • Finland's parliament voted down on Friday a citizens' petition demanding the repeal of a law that will allow same-sex marriages, securing the future of the law that will come into force next month.

    In the vote, 120 members of parliament were opposed to the petition, while 48 supported it.

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  • The House on Thursday approved a resolution that would permit states to withhold federal family-planning funds from affiliates of Planned Parenthood and other healthcare providers that offer abortions. Abortion foes immediately hailed the measure, which is expected to pass the Senate, as a critical victory, while public health advocates worried that the cuts would blow a hole in the nation’s fragile family planning safety net.

    The measure would overturn a rule, issued by Obama;s department of Health and Human Services, prohibiting states from withholding federal family-planning dollars from groups that provide abortions. States can only withhold those funds for reasons related to a provider’s ability to deliver family planning services, the rule says.

    The Obama administration finalized the rule during his last weeks in office, and it took effect just two days before the inauguration of Donald Trump.

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  • On Thursday, Washington's Supreme Court ruled unanimously that Barronelle Stutzman, a local florist, couldn't deny service to a gay couple because of her religious beliefs under the state's anti-discrimination law, CBS News reports.

    Although Stutzman had sold flowers to the couple before, she refused to sell flowers for their wedding back in 2013, claiming that it would go against her Christian beliefs. Lower courts ruled against her and Stutzman was fined, but she and her lawyer took the case to the Washington Supreme Court. The court sided with the lower courts in a 9–0 landslide, saying that refusing to sell flowers to a gay couple is discrimination and not protected under free speech laws.

    The court sided with the couple's lawyer, Michael Scott, who argued that providing flowers for a same-sex marriage isn't the same thing as an endorsement of the practice: "She's selling what she sells."

  • Wednesday's vote in Synod was not a victory for the LGBT lobby. In whatever way that vote in synod is spun, the real issue is not about same-sex marriage but about the authority of the Bible in the Church of England.

    The effect of the vote is that there is no change in doctrine or practice. Marriage remains, as it has for all Christendom, a lifelong union between a man and a woman.

    This moment presents a great opportunity for the House of Bishops to embrace that truth and to act to uphold it firmly within the Church, disciplining those who would seek to abandon the authority of the Bible, and whose actions will eventually bring down the Church by actively denying that truth.

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  • France is becoming an increasingly hostile environment for people who think babies in the womb deserve a right to life.

    On Thursday, the French legislature passed a new law that could jail people who operate pro-life websites that they claim give women "misleading" information to discourage them from having an abortion.

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  • The Archbishops of Canterbury and York have written to members of the General Synod setting out the next steps following the vote on General Synod not to take note of the paper on Marriage and Same Sex Relationships after the Shared Conversations.

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