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Defending life from the moment of conception

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News, 11 July 2001

11 July 2001

11 July 2001 One-year-old children seem to remember sounds they hear in the womb, according to a study at Leicester university, England. Children were found to prefer music which their mothers had played to them during the last three months of pregnancy. Dr Alexandra Lamont of the university's music research group pointed out that foetuses could hear at 20 weeks' gestation. [BBC, 11 July ] American scientists have begun creating embryos solely for research, a practice already undertaken in Britain. The Eastern Virginia Medical School recruited sperm and egg donors who knew that the resulting embryos would not be implanted in the womb. Until now, such research in America has only been done on embryos left over after in vitro fertilisation. Mr Douglas Johnson of National Right to Life has described the new practice as ghoulish. [Reuters on Yahoo!, 11 July ] Canada is supporting a $2million UN "reproductive health" project in Guatemala which includes "advocacy for a law on population and development". The United Nations Population Fund already promotes morning-after pills and lobbys for legal abortion in Guatemala. [LifeSite, 10 July and Canadian International Development Agency, 9 July ] A group of American scientists have told the National Institutes of Health (NIH) that post-natal stem cells have at least as much research-potential as embryo cells. Do No Harm refute NIH claims about the limitations of adult stem cells. The organisation points out that adult cells are being used to combat diseases for which embryo cells may or may not be useful. Do No Harm's letter on this subject includes more than 200 references to uses of post-natal cells in treatments. [Catholic News Service, 10 July and Do No Harm ]

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