Our parliamentary politics is about mediating different interests in a society of strangers, says Simon Barrow. But bioethical decisions confront us with the need to move beyond accommodation and confrontation to moral community.
The heated row over abortion is continuing after a report by the House of Commons Science and Technology committee said there was no scientific justification for lowering the 24-week limit for terminations. But there are also signs of movement on all sides.
There is a continuing row between Amnesty International and the Vatican over access to abortion by women who have been abused and raped. Here AI explains its policy and contests representations of it by some critics and campaigners.
Christian women activists have expressed anger at what they say is an alarming crisis due to female feticide in India, after two dumps of illegally aborted female foetuses were found in the world's second most populous nation.
Pope Benedict XVI has received a warm welcome in Brazil, the world's largest Catholic-majority nation. But President Lula says decriminalizing abortion is a healthcare necessity and that one moral stance cannot be imposed on all.
Furious at government policy on gay adoptions and other issues, Scotland's Catholic bishops have sent a letter round to churches with a thinly-veiled call for a anti-Labour vote in the the forthcoming elections.
Social movements, progressive Christians and radical politicians across Latin America have welcomed the inauguration this week of Sandinista leader Daniel Ortega as the new president of impoverished Nicaragua.