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In the Press

  • Justice secretary Michael Gove today said his Christian faith informs his prison policies, telling a critical Tory MP: "I believe in redemption".

    Gove rejected criticism from Philip Davies, a Conservative MP who sits on the justice committee, who said that Gove had "gone native" at his department.

  • Months after the release of undercover videos detailing Planned Parenthood’s scheme to traffic aborted baby body parts, a grand jury has finally brought brought criminal charges. Not against Planned Parenthood, but against David Daleiden, the pro-life activist behind the undercover sting videos.
     
    A grand jury in Harris County, Texas, returned two charges on Monday afternoon against Daleiden, the activist who planned and organized the undercover sting videos. Although the grand jury allegedly investigated Planned Parenthood, no charges were brought against the nation’s largest abortion provider, whose executives were shown in multiple videos attempting to sell trafficked organs and other body parts harvested from aborted babies. One Planned Parenthood executive, while haggling over the prices of aborted baby organs, noted that she needed to get the right price because, “I want to buy a Lamborghini.”
     
    According to a press release from the office of Harris County district attorney’s office which was provided to The Federalist, Daleiden was charged with the purchase and sale of human organs, a misdemeanor, and with tampering with a governmental record, a felony. Sandra Merritt, one of Daleiden’s associates, was also charged with tampering with a governmental record.
  • The attorney general has lodged an appeal to a High Court ruling that found Northern Ireland's abortion legislation to be "incompatible" with human rights law.
     
    A judge made the ruling last month.

    A case had been taken by the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission against the Department of Justice.
  • Faith schools will be protected from “vexatious” campaigners who want to ban the selection of pupils on the basis of religion, under a major overhaul of the admissions system.
     
    Ministers believe secularist groups are targeting Church schools with complaints about their admissions rules to undermine their right to prioritise families with religious beliefs.
     
    Nicky Morgan, the Education Secretary, has announced plans to reform the system so that in future only those parents living in the local area will be able to lodge complaints over a school’s admissions process.
  • The Olympics are reportedly adopting a new policy that opens the field of competition to transgender athletes.
     
    The International Olympic Committee received proposed guidelines in November from its 'Consensus Meeting on Sex Reassignment and Hyperandrogenism', which allow for broader policies that would include transgender athletes.
     
    Olympic officials have not confirmed the new guidelines, which have already been adopted by other regulatory sports organizations, but the policy is available on the organization's website.
     
  • Thanks to a massive snowstorm threatening to dump at least two feet of snow on the  nation’s capital, the March for Life did not break any attendance records this year, but the tens of thousands of pro-life people who braved the cold and snow proudly stood for life.
     
    While marchers mourned 43 years of legalized abortion, many sounded a hopeful theme for a pro-life future and think the decision will eventually be reversed.
     
    The Roe v. Wade decision, handed down on January 22, 1973, overturned pro-life laws offering protection for unborn children in most states across the country, and made abortions legal and virtually unlimited. More than 58 million unborn children have been killed in abortions since.
  • MSPs are being forced to consider calls for incest to be legalised in Scotland - despite the head of the Holyrood committee involved admitting he finds the idea “abhorrent.”
     
    A petition on ACI (Adult Consensual Incest) calls for the law to be amended to allow the activity where participants are both consenting adults over the age of 21.
     
  • The General Assembly of the Church of Scotland is to debate whether congregations should be allowed to consider calling a person in a same-sex marriage as a minister or deacon.
     
    The discussion will take place in May, 2016 after a majority of Presbyteries voted in favour by approving an Overture (draft  church legislation) amending the Ministers and Deacons in Civil Partnerships Act (Act I 2015).
     
    At the General Assembly in May 2015 the Church of Scotland approved legislation which gave leave to individual congregations to call a minister or appoint a deacon who was in a civil partnership.
     
    This legislation, however, did not include recognition of ministers or deacons who might be in a same-sex marriage. An amendment was proposed which would extend permission to allow congregations to consider inducting or appointing a minister or deacon who was in a same-sex marriage.
     
    The General Assembly was careful to note that the matter under discussion was simply to permit ministers in same sex marriages to be inducted or appointed on the same basis as those in civil partnerships. This acknowledgment of legal standing is quite separate from, and does not prejudge, the Church's theological understanding of marriage as a covenant between a man and a woman. The question of the theology of marriage is not under discussion in relation to consideration of the Overture.
  • A teenage girl died from a blood clot after taking the oral contraceptive pill, an inquest heard. 
     
    Sophie Murray, from Accrington, Lancashire, became ill in September, complaining of chest pains and a shortness of breath that prevented her from walking up stairs, the inquest at Blackburn Coroner’s Court heard. 

    Deputy Blackburn coroner Derek Baker recorded a verdict that the 16-year-old died from “pulmonary embolism as a result of deep vein thrombosis.” 
     
    The inquest heard the teen had been on the common contraceptive pill Microgynon and that one of the listed side effects of it was linked to an increased risk of thrombosis, or blood clots. 
  • A total of 415 children aged 10 and under have been referred to the government's deradicalisation programme in England and Wales over the last four years, the BBC has learned.
     
    Figures obtained by the National Police Chiefs' Council (NPCC) also show 1,424 children aged 11 to 15 were referred.
     
    The "Channel" scheme, set up after the 7 July London bombings, aims to steer people away from extremism.
     
    The government says the scheme has successfully deradicalised people.
     
    A freedom of information request by the NPCC found a total of 1,839 children aged 15 and under were referred over concerns they were at risk of radicalisation between January 2012 and December 2015.
     

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