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Leigh Jones/WORLD

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Ariz. mulls evolution: Theory or settled science?

PHOENIX, Ariz. (BP) -- Evolutionists in Arizona may have reason for concern after the state's top education official suggested students should be taught the reality many scientists already acknowledge: Evolution is a theory, not settled science. Changes to the state's science standards, which offer direction for teaching and curriculum choices, would remove references to evolution in some places and describe it as a theory in others. Science Program Specialist Brea Rivera noted the Arizona Department of Education put a lot of thought into encouraging students to think critically about what they're learning.

Ireland vote called ‘tragedy’ for unborn babies

IRELAND (BP) -- A leading Irish pro-life group admitted defeat Saturday (May 26) in its effort to keep the country's protections for unborn children. Two exit polls taken Friday indicated about 70 percent of voters opted to repeal the Eighth Amendment to the country's constitution, which granted unborn babies the same legal rights as their mothers. See related Baptist Press report. The final figures were 66.4 percent in favor of the change and 33.6 percent voting no, according to the BBC.

Update: Irish voters overturn abortion ban

EDITOR'S NOTE: In an apparent landslide, Irish voters overturn abortion ban. IRELAND (BP) -- Irish voters headed to the polls May 25 in a historic referendum to determine whether the country keeps some of Europe's strongest protections for unborn children. Ireland's Eighth Amendment, adopted in 1983, makes a mother and her unborn baby equal under the law, effectively restricting abortion except in cases where the mother's life is at risk. If voters decide to repeal the amendment, lawmakers will consider new laws legalizing abortion. The Irish government, which supports the repeal effort, has proposed legalizing abortion during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, allowing later abortions only in special cases. Analysts have portrayed the vote as the last stand in the battle for the country's soul.

Homeschoolers defeat California oversight bill

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (BP) -- California homeschoolers converged on the state Capitol last week to voice opposition to a bill that would require state officials to collect and make public a list of families that educate their children at home. After listening to three hours of testimony, no member of the Assembly Education Committee wanted to go on record supporting the measure by making a motion for a vote, effectively killing the bill.

UPDATE: Miss. adopts earliest protection for unborn

JACKSON, Miss. (BP) -- Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant on Monday (March 19) signed into law the earliest protection in the nation for unborn babies. The bill bans abortion after 15 weeks' gestation, rolling back the state's current 20-week limit. It passed through the state legislature by wide margins earlier this month. The Center for Reproductive Rights has promised to challenge the law's constitutionality in court, calling it "the latest in the state's string of cruel and unnecessary assaults on reproductive rights."