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Defending life from the moment of conception

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News, 18 December 2001

18 December 2001

The state of Colorado has revoked funding for Planned Parenthood because of the organisation's financial ties with abortion. There is a constitutional ban on the use of taxpayers' money for abortions in Colorado, but Planned Parenthood attempted to circumvent the ban two years ago by forming another organisation called Planned Parenthood Services Corp. to provide abortions. Controversially, this satisfied the state which then released $320,000 to Planned Parenthood, but Jane Norton, Colorado's health director, revealed last week that an independent audit had shown that Planned Parenthood was subsidising the rent payments of the abortion provider. She insisted that both direct and indirect funding of abortion was prohibited. Planned Parenthood reacted angrily to the news. [Rocky Mountain News, 14 December]

An Australian lawyer has urged legislators in Tasmania not to ignore the physical and mental health dangers to women of abortion when they debate a bill to liberalise abortion law tomorrow. Charles Francis QC predicted a rise in civil claims for negligence against abortionists by women who were not warned about the long-term psychological repercussions of abortion. A spokesperson from the Southern Cross Bioethics Institute in Adelaide, South Australia, also urged the Tasmanian legislators not to follow the example of his own state where the legal criteria for abortion were so vague that the procedure was effectively available on demand. The Institute also pointed out that, since abortion law in South Australia was liberalised in 1970, the abortion rate had grown from six abortions per 1,000 women per year to 17.5 abortions per 1,000 women last year. [The Mercury, via News Interactive, 18 December]

A fertility expert in Kentucky has said that his organisation will implant cloned unborn babies in women abroad if human cloning is banned in the US. Panayiotis Michael Zavos, a prominent proponent of reproductive cloning, claimed that the proposed federal ban on cloning would not stop his plans because cloning remained legal in 170 countries worldwide. The Andrology Institute of America, which is headed by Dr Zavos, has been conducting cloning research on animals and is keen to extend the research to human subjects. [AP, via SunSpot, 14 December]

An Italian woman who conceived triplets only three months into another pregnancy has given birth to a healthy daughter. Flavia Tarquini, 20, is expected also to give birth to a girl and two boys in March. It is thought that only 25 cases of double pregnancy have been recorded and, in most of these, the conceptions were separated by only a few days. It is thought that Mrs Tarquini will be the first woman ever to be pregnant continuously for 12 months. [BBC News online, 18 December]

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