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Defending life from the moment of conception

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News, 3 April 2001

3 April 2001

3 April 2001 A genetic defect could increase the risk of a pregnancy-complication which threatens mothers' and babies' lives. According to Dutch researchers in Nijmegen, women with a defect in the exon 3 section of the gene which produces the epoxide hydrolase enzyme have an increased risk of pre-eclampsia, which causes high blood-pressure. Drugs could correct the enzyme deficiency. The digest of 21 March reported on how pre-eclampsia was increasing in the USA. [BBC, 2 April ] Our source says that the Dutch discovery could lead to "new screening tests and treatments for the condition". American government funds may not be used for abortions with RU-486 except for pregnancies caused by rape or incest, or if the mother's life is at risk. The policy was clarified in a letter from the health and human services department to state Medicaid directors. RU-486 was authorised for use in the US in September, though the new administration has promised a review of the decision. [CNN, 31 March ] A nurse is to appeal against her dismissal from the staff of a Welsh special school where she told a pupil's family that the girl had allegedly been classified as not requiring resuscitation. Ms Bernice Pinnington informed the pupil's grandparents while working at the Crug Glas school, Swansea. An employment tribunal chairman has confirmed that there are grounds for appeal. [BBC, 2 April ] US congressmen have warned advocates of human cloning that they are sceptical about the process. Representative James Greenwood quoted from Aldous Huxley's Brave New World, a cautionary futuristic novel, at the start of a subcommittee hearing on the issue. Proponents of cloning argued that safeguards could assuage opponents' fears. The Washington Post recently reported that up to 98% of cloned mammals had "bizarre genetic anomalies". [CNN, 28 March and Washington Post, 1 April ] The Catholic diocese of Vancouver, Canada, has banned pro-abortion political candidates from addressing meetings on its premises. Archbishop Adam Exner recently wrote that there would be no repeat of situations such as that in which Ms Sheila Copps, the pro-abortion heritage minister, addressed an election meeting in a parish-hall last November. [CNN, 30 March ] Doctors in Illinois would have to care for babies who survived abortion, under a law recently passed by the state's senate. Pro-abortionists have called the measure unconstitutional and say that the predominantly Democrat congress will defeat it. [Chicago Sun-Times, 31 March ] The National Abortion and Reproduction Rights Action League has said that it will spend $40 million on persuading Americans to elect a pro-abortion president and congress. The Fight4Choice campaign would represent a significant increase in the league's activity. [National Review reported in Pro-Life Infonet, 2 April]

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