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In the Press

  • A leading girls' school has drawn up a "gender identity protocol" that allows pupils to be called by boys' names and to wear boys' clothes if they request it.

    The move by St Paul's Girls' School in west London, whose alumnae include such famous names as the actress Rachel Weisz and the MP Harriet Harman, is a response to the trend for young people to question their gender identity and in some cases to change it, according to the high mistress Clarissa Farr.

    Requests are considered from the age of 16 and there are understood to be up to 10 girls in the sixth form who have gone through a formal process to be known within the school either as boys or as gender-neutral.

    Read more.

  • Norma McCorvey, whose test case made abortions legal in the United States, has died aged 69.

    She was represented under a pseudonym in the Roe v Wade case, in what ended up being a landmark and controversial Supreme Court judgement in 1973.

    Having turned to religion, McCorvey then said being part of the decision to legalise abortion "was the biggest mistake of my life".

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  • The much vaunted 'radical inclusion' vision of the two Archbishops as an attempt to enable those who seem to be implacably opposed to each other in the Church of England does, it seems, have historical precedent according to a recently discovered Near Eastern scroll dating from the 9th century BC. Entitled, 'Baal and Yahweh a creative inclusion' the document appears to be a genuine attempt to hold together what was an increasing fragmentation of the northern Kingdom of Israel due to the recent introduction of popular Sidonian worship from beyond its borders.

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  • On February 24th the Gender Identity (Protected Characteristic) Bill 2016-17 is expected to have its second reading debate in the House of Commons. The purpose of the Bill is "to make gender identity a protected characteristic under the Equality Act 2010 in place of gender reassignment and to make associated provision for transgender and other persons; and for connected purposes."

    Read more.

  • 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.

    Read more.

  • 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."

    Read more.

  • 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.

    Read more.

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