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Defending life from the moment of conception

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News, 18 July 2001

18 July 2001

18 July 2001 The British government has refused to make overseas aid conditional on human rights, despite its commitment to an ethical foreign policy. The statement was made by Baroness Amos, a foreign office minister, during a House of Lords debate on the International Development Bill on Monday. Anthony Ozimic of SPUC said: "Millions of pounds of British taxpayers' money are being passed through the United Nations Population Fund for use in China's one-child policy, which the British government admits is coercive." SPUC welcomed an amendment tabled by Baroness Young, Lord Alton, Baroness Cox and Baroness Rawlings which read: "Assistance may not be provided to any person or body that is assisting, promoting or practising coercive population policies". The amendment will be considered in October. [House of Lords Hansard, 16 July] The rate at which American women pass syphilis to their unborn children is declining, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Cases of congenital syphilis declined from around 1,000 in 1997 to around 500 last year. Experts claimed that prevention programmes were working. [CNN, 13 July ] The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has told the UK LifeLeague to change its publicity-material which might have been seen as claiming that children could be aborted at full term, and which stated that morning-after pills were abortifacient. The authority told the league not to re-issue the material and to consult the ASA before advertising again. A league spokesman said that the campaign would not be changed. [BBC, 18 July ] The US Food and Drug Administration has reminded clinics that some fertility procedures need federal approval. The administration says it is monitoring clinics more closely, will recruit staff and will require clinics to register with them by 2003. [CNN, 12 July ] The British government is considering putting scientific ethics on the school curriculum after a report suggested that too much science-teaching was value-free. The Wellcome Trust commissioned the Institute of Education who found that three-fifths of teachers in 300 schools thought more time should be spent on social issues when teaching about medicine. [The Times, 16 July ] The US National Institutes for Health are today expected to call for more human stem-cell research, including work on cells obtained from embryos. CNN reports that the institutes claim that one cannot tell whether adult or embryonic cells can meet the needs of research. [CNN, 18 July ]

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