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Defending life from the moment of conception

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News, 4 December 2001

4 December 2001

4 December 2001 As many as 22,000 women residents of England and Wales could have developed breast cancer because they obtained legal abortions, according to the Life organisation. Life was commenting on Abortion and other pregnancy-related risk factors in female breast cancer which it commissioned from the Pension And Population Research Institute (PAPRI) of London. The report points out that, since the late 1980s, women have tended to have their first child younger, childlessness has declined and breast-feeding has become more popular. These trends should have led to a reduction in the incidence of post-menopausal breast cancer, yet it has increased. The report attributes this to the decline in fertility and, predominantly, to the practice of induced abortion. Life also predicts that, based on the PAPRI report's findings, cases of breast cancer will increase significantly over the next two decades. Life accuses the British government, the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, and breast cancer charities of refusing to acknowledge that procured abortion makes breast cancer more likely. Around one quarter of women who get breast cancer die from it. At a press conference to launch the report this morning, it was pointed out that giving birth within five years of having an abortion can reduce the risk of breast cancer. Breast-feeding the baby would cut the risk further. PAPRI can be contacted via . [SPUC eyewitness] 155 million doses of smallpox vaccine for US citizens are being made using animal cell lines rather than aborted foetal tissue. A previous batch of 54 million doses is being produced using the MRC-5 foetal cell line. The Children of God for Life organisation says that pressure from pro-life activists caused Acambis Corporation, the producers of both batches of vaccine, to consider an ethical alternative. [LifeSite, 3 December ] A Jesuit bioethicist has warned that so many cloned humans would have developmental anomalies that the process is not viable for the creation of therapies. Fr Kevin FitzGerald of Georgetown university, District of Columbia, cited genetic abnormalities in cloned animals. He also challenged supporters of cloning to say where they would get the millions of eggs needed for the process. Fr FitzGerald criticised the morality of human cloning, pointing out that there was no ethical difference between cloning for therapies and for producing live births. [Catholic News Service, 3 December ] American reproductive specialists have expressed concern that, after the creation of a human clone in Massachusetts (see news for the 26th of last month ), care must be taken over the use of eggs donated for fertility treatment. Dr Susan Klock of Northwestern University and the American Society of Reproductive Medicine pointed out that the use of eggs for science defies the ethics of infertility medicine. Dr William Schoolcraft of Colorado said: "This is a whole new paradigm. We're not talking about people having kids." Advanced Cell Technology, who produced the cloned human, says that the women who donated eggs for the project knew the purpose to which they would be put. The vice-chancellor of a Nigerian university has claimed that human cloning could destabilise families. Speaking at the University of Lagos medical college, Professor Nimi Briggs of Port Harcourt university described how infertility was a social stigma for Nigerians. He called for regulation of research on cloning. [, 30 November ] The first baby in the United Kingdom to be conceived using a frozen egg is due to be born next year. Midland Fertility Services of the west midlands were said earlier this year to have frozen 16 human eggs from four women, including women made infertile by cancer-treatment. Worldwide around 30 babies have been born after being created using previously frozen ova. Last year patients successfully challenged a ban on the fertilisation of frozen eggs in Britain. [Birmingham Post, 1 December ] The founder of the modern hospice movement has been honoured with a $1 million humanitarian award. Dame Cicely Saunders accepted the prize in New York on Friday from the Conrad H Hilton Foundation on behalf of St Christopher's hospice, London. Dame Cicely, an Anglican, described how she had been inspired by seeing Catholic nuns giving terminal care. [Catholic News Service, 3 December ]

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