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French Out-of-Wedlock Birthrate Shows Impact of Marriage Substitutes

Pro-Life Advocate Shari Richard Releases Amazing New Ultrasound Video

Survival of Premature Babies 'Doubles'…

FRENCH OUT-OF-WEDLOCK BIRTHRATE SHOWS IMPACT OF MARRIAGE SUBSTITUTES. Last year, France became the first non-Scandinavian country in Western Europe where a majority of births are now out-of-wedlock.

World Congress of Families International Secretary Allan C. Carlson called it, "a troubling development which underscores the danger of weakening the natural family by accepting marriage-substitutes."

In France, 50.5% of the 816,500 births registered last year were to unmarried parents, up from 48.4% in 2006 and 40% a decade ago. Out-of-wedlock births kept pace with the rise of civil unions.

In 2007, there were 305,385 of said "unions" registered in France, compared to only 266,500 marriages.

In Sweden, Norway, Estonia and Bulgaria, out-of- wedlock births have also passed the 50% mark. In the United Kingdom, births to the unmarried were 44% in 2006, up a percentage point from 2005.

In Italy and Spain, births to married couples are still the norm (illegitimacy is 27% in Spain and 17% in Italy). Even so, in those countries, the percentage of out-of-wedlock births has doubled in the past decade.

Guy Desplanques, head of France's agency for compiling demographic data, notes, "Marriage is now seen more as a celebration held to bring together family and friends, and less a necessary institution, especially given the growth of civil unions."

Said Carlson: "Civil unions and same-sex marriages are society's signal that traditional marriage is optional – that it's an occasion for a party, instead of a solemn joining of two individuals intended to last a lifetime."

Carlson warned that while still behind France, the U.S. (with an out-of-wedlock birthrate of 36.9%) is moving in the same direction, driven by the same forces.

"When society tells the young that marriage is optional, a growing number will choose the path of least resistance, which is living together," Carlson commented. "That's bad for children, because cohabitation and civil unions have less permanency, and it's bad for society."

In The Warsaw Declaration, World Congress of Families IV (Warsaw, May 11-13, 2007) proclaimed: "The natural family… is the fundamental human community, based on the lifelong marriage between a man and a woman, in which new individuals are conceived, born and raised."

To read the entire Warsaw Declaration, to this web page: .

To learn more about World Congress of Families, visit
[Rockford, IL., Jan. 23, 2008]




NEW ULTRASOUND VIDEO RELEASED. The first time Shari Richard put together a video presentation of life in the womb, called Window to the Womb, her powerful presentation brought her before the U.S. Congress. Within months, she was sharing her experience and footage with legislators on Capitol Hill.
Richard's newest video continues her legacy, now utilizing the latest in medical imaging to demonstrate the life of the child in the womb.
Eyewitness 2 – The Next Generation is a sequel to another of Richard's ground-breaking videos, Eyewitness to the Earliest Days of Life. Eyewitness 2 shows 3D and 4D images from the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd trimesters set to music.
Fetal development is described using subtitles, making the video ready for use for any language and country.
Previous videos and footage produced by Richard have educated millions on fetal development, abortion and child birth issues, as over 500,000 copies of her videos have been distributed and translated worldwide.
Her footage has been viewed on commercial ads and numerous local and national television documentaries. Her videos have been translated into several languages including Korean, Spanish, French, German, Russian, Romanian, Portuguese, Italian, and Hebrew.
In October 2007, Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) used ultrasound footage from Richard's videos during a House Committee on Foreign Affairs hearing on the Mexico City Policy.
"The visual presentation of 'George' and the other images of unborn babies provided me not only the opportunity to focus the Committee's attention on the real issue at the hearing-the sanctity of life of the unborn from conception — but also to pose hard questions of the witnesses who were denying the right to life of the unborn," said Rep. Smith.
"You are to be highly commended generally for using your professional skills and knowledge to raise public awareness about the beautiful, early stages of human life."
Richard, who has appeared on national radio and television programs, has also lectured in schools and conducted workshops for pregnancy centers, and given presentations for other organizations.
Shari Richard is an Obstetrical Ultrasound Expert and Educator whose medical experience spans 32 years. She is the founder of Sound Wave Images through which she produced the videos, Window to the Womb, Eyewitness To The Earliest Days Of Life, Eyewitness 2 -The Next Generation and the CD 9 Months… from Conception to Birth and Beyond.
For more information on the new video, visit
[16Jan08, Paul Nowak,, DC]

SURVIVAL OF PREEMIE BABIES 'DOUBLES'. The abortion debate is reignited today as figures show that survival rates of babies born very prematurely have doubled in the past 20 years.

By the late 1990s, 71 per cent of babies born between 22 and 25 weeks' gestation survived.

A study at one of Britain's top neonatal units found that one third of babies born between 22 and 25 weeks' gestation survived in the early 1980s but this had risen to 71 per cent by the late 1990s.

The biggest improvements were among the 24 and 25-week babies.

Campaigners have already called for the 24-week abortion limit to be lowered, but experts have previously argued there has been little improvement in the chances of babies born very early.

The findings are set to spark a further row over abortion as MPs are tabling amendments to the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill to either liberalise terminations or restrict them. The 24-week limit was set in 1990.

Latest data from the Department of Health show that of the 201,173 abortions in England and Wales in 2006, 1,262 were at 22 weeks or more.
Of eight babies born alive at 22 weeks at University College London Hospital between 1996 and 2000, four survived to go home. Between 1991 and 1995 only two were born at 22 weeks and neither lived.

For babies born at 23 weeks the survival rate increased from 44 per cent in
1991-95 to 46 per cent in the late 1990s. At 24 weeks, half the babies born between 1991 and 1995 lived. This rose to 81 per cent for those born in 1995-2000.

One third of the babies born at 25 weeks in 1991-95 survived, rising to almost three quarters in 1995-2000.

However, one quarter of all the infants were found to have a disability when they reached their first birthday. This proportion did not improve over the years.

Julia Millington, from the ProLife Alliance, said: "The current 24-week time limit was set in 1990 based on the gestational age a foetus was considered viable at that time.

"Neonatal medicine has progressed since then and premature babies are capable of surviving below the current time limit."

Prof David Field, the president-elect of the British Association of Perinatal Medicine, said: "The viability of premature babies and abortion are completely different arguments that have been muddled up. You either believe in abortion or you don't."
[1Feb08, Rebecca Smith, ]