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Defending life from the moment of conception

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News, 22 August 2000

22 August 2000

22 August 2000 A prominent staff member at the US Catholic bishops' Secretariat for Pro-Life Activities has welcomed new research demonstrating the potential of adult stem cells [for the production of new tissue for transplant]. Richard M Doerflinger, associate director for policy development, noted that a long line of studies had shown "that adult stem cells are far more promising than once thought." He continued: "This confirms that embryonic stem-cell research is unnecessary, besides being unethical." [Catholic News Service, 21 August] It has been reported that the so-called Law of Reproductive Health passed by city legislators in Buenos Aires, Argentina, last month is facing a number of legal challenges. The Pro-Family Association and the League of Housewives are hoping to have the law declared unconstitutional because its provisions undermine the rights of the unborn. The law provides for abortifacient intra-uterine devices to be prescribed, as well as certain hormonal drugs which campaigners believe include the morning-after pill. [EWTN News, 21 August] A 2-day-old baby boy has become the first child to be given "safe haven" under the American state of New Jersey's Safe Haven Infant Protection Act. The law, which came into effect two weeks ago, allows mothers to surrender unwanted newly born children anonymously and without fear of prosecution. In this first case, the mother had contacted Birthright, an anti-abortion group, which advised her on her options. [AP, Bergen Record online, 20 August] An American archbishop has stressed the incompatibility of support for abortion and being a Catholic. Archbishop Elden F Curtiss of Omaha wrote in his diocesan newspaper: "It is not a liberal cause to support abortion: It is anti-life and anti-Church." Turning specifically to Catholic Democrats, the archbishop said that they had an "obligation in conscience to do everything they can to reverse the pro-abortion policy of their party and to support candidates who will protect human life in the womb". [Catholic News Service, 21 August] A rapping Franciscan friar will be among the performers at an event being held next month in support of Cardinal Thomas Winning's Pro-Life Initiative. Fr Stan Fortuna, a priest of the Franciscans of the Renewal, was a popular performer before becoming a priest and now uses his talents as a rap-artist as a tool for evangelisation. The pro-life event will be held in Glasgow on 15 September. [Scottish Catholic Observer, 11 August] Cardinal Winning's Pro-Life Initiative provides support for women who may otherwise feel compelled to have an abortion for reasons of financial constraint.

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