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Defending life from the moment of conception

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News, 2 August 2001

2 August 2001

2 August 2001 President Bush has welcomed Tuesday's vote in the House of Representatives against human cloning. Mr Bush described the vote as a strong ethical statement and said that science had to advance in a way which honoured and respected life. Catholic authorities in Rome have also welcomed the vote. [Daily Telegraph, 2 August ] The Japanese government is expected to approve proposals from the cabinet's bioethics panel for allowing research on embryos produced for fertility treatment. Scientists would not be allowed to take cells from cloned humans. Japan allowed surrogacy in May. [BBC, 1 August ] Israeli researchers claim to be the first to grow heart tissue using stem cells taken from a recently-conceived human embryo. Scientists at Rambam medical centre, Haifa, say that the resulting cells would grow into muscle if placed in an adult heart. [Journal of Clinical Investigation reported on BBC, 1 August ] A United Nations committee is urging Guatemala to revoke the part of its constutition which protects life from conception. The UN's human rights committee wants there to be exceptions to the prohibition of abortion. It also says that Guatemala should "guarantee the right to life of pregnant women who want to interrupt their pregnancies". [LifeSite, 31 July ] A Catholic bishops' committee has highlighted the absence of awareness of post-abortion syndrome in Spain. The subcommission for family and defence of life cited a study by Dr Anne Speckhard which found that 65% of women who have abortions contemplate suicide, nearly 70% have sexual problems and three-fifths drink more alcohol. [Zenit, 1 August ] Practical Parenting magazine and the National Childbirth Trust claim that, according to a survey, nearly a fifth of new mothers in Britain say that the state health service fails to support them. A third of mothers having caesarian sections said the aftercare was appalling. Nearly nine-tenths of women who had community midwives were pleased with the support they received. The study involved more than 1,000 women. [BBC, 2 August ]

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