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Defending life from the moment of conception

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News, 4 October 2000

4 October 2000

4 October 2000 The story covered in yesterday's digest of Adam Nash, the American baby who was conceived and selected using in vitro fertilisation techniques to be a bone marrow donor for his sister, has received considerable coverage in today's national press in Britain. The story provided the main headline in this morning's Times and Daily Mail newspapers, as well as in yesterday's London Evening Standard. The press reported that baby Adam was one of 15 test-tube babies created in the fourth treatment cycle carried out. A commentary written in the Daily Mail by Anthony O'Hear, professor of philosophy at Bradford University, included the following thoughts: "If the sacredness of life means anything at all, it must mean that, even in the early stages, it is not treated as a resource to be farmed and used for some ulterior purpose, however good. From both philosophy and religion we learn that we are not to use other human beings, however immature, as a means to other ends. This belief is the basis of all civilised life and behaviour." [Daily Mail, 4 October, etc.] Cardinal Alfonso Lopez Trujillo, president of the Pontifical Council for the Family, has stressed that Catholic politicians must act consistently with their faith and respect life. He observed: "Everything collapses without respect for life. Politicians must have the defence of the right [to] life in their own heart and mind to offer it to the community. Without this defence, instead of contributing to the construction of society, the politician destroys it." The cardinal also said that the crime of abortion consitutes "a severe, prolonged winter" in terms of the world's treatment of children. [Zenit news agency, 3 October] The department of health in the US state of Minnesota has released its first detailed report on abortions in accordance with a state law passed in 1998. The report revealed that there were 14,342 abortions in the state during 1999, performed by a total of 78 doctors. The information included statistics that 92 percent of abortions were carried out in the first trimester, that most women were unmarried, that more than 4,000 of the women had been using contraception, and that less than one percent of the women cited rape or incest as the reason for their abortion. 20 of the aborted children were buried afterwards. The report also revealed that seven doctors in Minnesota performed more than 1,000 abortions each last year, and that a quarter of abortions were performed by general or family-practice doctors. [Star Tribune, 3 October; from Pro-Life E-News] An unborn baby who was cut out from the womb by his mother's murderer has survived and is said to be in a good condition. Police in Ohio, USA, found the young boy alive at the killer's home. Theresa Andrews, the child's 23-year-old mother, was found in a shallow grave. Investigators suspect that Michelle Bica, the killer, had intended to steal the baby and pretend it was her own, but after the murder she shot herself. [The Sun, 4 October] The Catholic bishop of London, Ontario, has condemned the Toronto organising committee of the World March for Women after his comments were used in publicity material to suggest that he supported all the goals of the march, including access to abortion. The bishop said that this was "completely false" and insisted that, despite his support for the other stated goals of the march, a rejection of abortion "is the only stance that can be reconciled with the equal dignity of all women". [EWTN News, 29 September]

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