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French Chief Rabbinate Brands Government Abortion Bill a Crime

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The French Chief Rabbinate has branded a government-sponsored bill legalizing abortion as a “crime.” The passions aroused by the measure were demonstrated during the debate in the National Assembly today when one parliamentarian accused Health and Social Security Minister Simone Veil of wanting “to send children to the ovens.” Mrs. Veil, a 47-year-old mother of three, is Jewish and was interned in a Nazi concentration camp during World War II. She did not reply verbally to her accused but sent him a note later saying. “I cannot accept such a remark. Perhaps you are unaware of my own past.”

The Chief Rabbinate based its opposition to legalized abortion on grounds that Judaism places the death of a foetus “on the same plane as that of any other human being and considers it a crime.” The Rabbinate’s statement said. “The murder of an innocent human being cannot be justified in any circumstances whatsoever,” but added that abortion can be undertaken only “if and when the life of the mother is at stake.”

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