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Defending life from the moment of conception

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News, 14 December 2000

14 December 2000

14 December 2000 The two leaders of the Roman Catholic Church in Great Britain have written a joint letter to a national newspaper expressing their "deep concern" at British government proposals to authorise research into so-called therapeutic human cloning. Cardinal Thomas Winning of Glasgow, president of the Scottish bishops' conference, and Archbishop Cormac Murphy-O'Connor of Westminster, president of the bishops' conference of England and Wales, write in their letter to The Times newspaper: "While the end--research into new treatments for disease using stem cells--is good in itself, the means being proposed are quite immoral. To create and destroy human lives simply to extract cells for research is wrong. Such procedures use human lives as disposable objects." The two leaders stress the potential of adult stem cells and ask: "In these circumstances, is it not better to concentrate on research which can command wide public acceptance and support, rather than blaze a trail that is morally unacceptable and may well prove to be scientifically unnecessary?" [The Times, 14 December ] A member of The Corrs, the Irish musical group, has equated abortion with murder but described herself as "pro-choice" nonetheless. Sharon Corr said: "I'm always in two minds about this. But I do feel it's wrong to take the life of an unborn child, I really do. However, I feel that a woman in a very difficult situation ... should have that choice. So I suppose I am pro-choice. But at the same time I'm not pro-murder either." [EWTN News, 13 December ] An early day motion which condemns the British government's support for human cloning, the abortifacient morning-after pill, euthanasia and various other measures has been tabled in the House of Commons in London. The motion, entitled "The moral ethos of the nation", was initially signed by four MPs: Ann and Nicholas Winterton, David Amess and Edward Leigh. It "denounces this systematic assault upon the dignity of human life, the institution of marriage, and the traditional moral ethos of our nation; and calls upon the Jewish, Christian, Muslim and other faith communities of the United Kingdom to speak now before all in which they believe is destroyed". Meanwhile, more members of parliament have added their support to the two early day motions tabled last week which called for further debate on the subject of human cloning [see news digest for 7 December ]. The first motion has now been signed by 26 MPs, while the second has received the support of 42 MPs. [Hansard, 12 December] Another early day motion which congratulates the British government for its decision to make the morning-after pill available from pharmacists to women over 16 without prescription has been signed by 12 MPs. [Hansard, 12 December] Drivers in the American state of Florida are buying the state's controversial Choose Life car registration plates at a rate of 500 per week, despite legal challenges mounted by pro-abortionists. Nearly 8,400 plates have been sold since August, revenue from which is being given to charities which support pregnant women who have chosen to give their babies up for adoption. Opponents have claimed that Choose Life is a religious anti-abortion phrase which violates the constitutional separation between church and state. [Sun-Sentinel, 11 December ]

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