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Defending life from the moment of conception

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News, 27 June 2001

27 June 2001

27 June 2001 Nearly 70% of people in Scotland believe that abortion in cases of foetal abnormality is wrong, according to a major survey released this week. The Scottish Social Attitudes 2000 survey, which contrasts contemporary Scottish moral attitudes with the way things were in 1983, indicates that 16 percent of Scots believe that abortion in cases of developmental anomalies is "always wrong" and 52 percent think that it is "quite wrong". Analysts at the National Centre for Social Research claimed that there had been a significant shift in favour of abortion among the Scottish people, but admitted that they could not be certain because there were no comparable statistics from 1983. [The Scotsman, 27 June] The European Union has given 250,000 British pounds towards the perfection of a technique to treat thalassaemia, a serious blood disorder, in unborn children. Unborn babies found to have the condition currently face death by abortion or a lifetime of blood transfusions. Previous attempts to treat the condition by way of bone marrow transplants into the foetus have sometimes resulted in the unborn child's death. A team of doctors in Nottingham, England, is now ready to inject cells from healthy donors into the livers of unborn children with thalassaemia, although no suitable patient has yet been found. It is hoped that the cells will replicate themselves in the liver and then migrate to the bone marrow to displace diseased cells. [Daily Telegraph, 27 June] Greenpeace, the environmental pressure group, has claimed that the European Patent Office has granted two patents involving the development of human embryos, and that another ten similar applications are pending. Greenpeace in Germany has alleged that the two organisations to have been granted such patents are the University of Edinburgh and Amrad, an Australian corporation. [EWTN News, 26 June ] A prominent American pro-lifer who is suffering from cancer has spoken out against assisted suicide and euthanasia. Magaly Llaguno, a Cuban refugee who founded the International Pro-Life Committee and is now director of Human Life International for Latin America, said that depression is a common feeling in those who are terminally ill, but that they needed a positive attitude and care rather than the "apparent compassion" of those who promoted the "quick, cheap and easy solution" of ending life. [Zenit, 22 June ] A pro-life demonstrator has been arrested in Canada for refusing to lower a placard depicting an aborted unborn child. Police stepped in to stop a demonstration in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, and confiscated four placards. Bill Whatcott, who refused to lower his sign, was charged with causing a disturbance and displaying an obscene exhibit. [LifeSite, 26 June ]

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