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Defending life
from conception to natural death


News, 25 February 2000

25 February 2000

25 February 2000 The US state department has criticised the United Nations for working with the Yugoslavian government to promote abortion among Kosovars. Ms Elaine Jones, a department official, said that the UN's population fund had supplied vacuum aspirators (for abortions), morning-after pills and intra-uterine devices (IUDs) to people in the region. The type of IUD supplied was not distributed in western countries because it had been found to pose threats to mothers' and babies' health. [Zenit, 24 February, 2000] The US Congress and Senate are considering resolutions condemning attempts to downgrade the status of the Holy See at the United Nations. The move to demote the Vatican to the same level as a pressure-group is led by Catholics for a Free Choice, a pro-abortion group, and is supported by the International Planned Parenthood Federation. Vatican representatives have worked with Latin American and Muslim states to stop abortion being defined as a human right. The Holy See has had diplomatic representation for 1600 years and is recognized as a state by 169 other nations. [Catholic Family&Human Rights Institute, 24 February, 2000] [There appear to have been problems with sending yesterday's news-digest, for which we apologise. For the benefit of those who did not receive it, we repeat the items from that bulletin below.] People undergoing voluntary euthanasia stand a one-in-four chance of having a distressing experience, according to a Dutch survey. Doctors often have to administer [further] drugs to hasten death. Patients can wake from induced comas and suffer from vomiting and fits. Alert, the British anti-euthanasia group, said that, unless death is approaching naturally, the body fights attempts to kill it. [The Times, 24 February, 2000] A young woman has chosen to stay alive, despite severe brain damage and having previously expressed the wish to die if she were badly incapacitated. Mr Tom McMillan, a neuropsychologist at Glasgow university, was able to communicate with "Miss X" after she had been in a car-accident, and she indicated her wish to live. Doctors had applied to the courts for permission to stop feeding her. [Sarah Boseley, British journalist, quoted on the Conservative Christian Fellowship website] 27 people took advantage of Oregon's assisted suicide law last year, 11 more than the year before. Oregon is the only part of the USA with such a law. [Pro-Life Infonet, 24 February, 2000] Human stem-cell research, using cells from embryos and foetal tissue and funded by the US National Institutes of Health, could begin towards the middle of this year. A public consultation on the matter has just ended and thousands of comments were received. Some members of Congress have threatened to block funding for such research. [Pro-Life Infonet, 24 February, 2000] The vice-president of the Pontifical Academy for Life has likened the patenting of human genes to slavery. Bishop Elio Sgreccia said that such patenting was the logical step after the Warnock committee's sanctioning of human embryo research, and predictions about human cloning which followed the production of a cloned sheep. [Zenit, 23 February, 2000] [This bulletin is privately circulated by the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children,, 5/6 St Matthew Street, London, United Kingdom, SW1P 2JT, +44 20 7222 3763. The reliability of the news herein is dependent on that of the cited sources. Opinions expressed are not necessarily those of the society. Please forward this bulletin to other interested parties. To unsubscribe, send an appropriate email to]

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