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Defending life from the moment of conception

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News, 6 June 2001

6 June 2001

6 June 2001 The number of unborn children killed by abortion each year in the Czech Republic has fallen by about two thirds in the last decade. The Institute for Health Information in Prague has announced that about 32,500 registered abortions were performed last year, compared with 107,000 in 1990. [BBC News online, 5 June ] The Australian health minister has signalled his support for destructive stem cell research on human embryos. Mr Michael Wooldridge said that the proposed national ban on cloning [see news digest for 31 May] should apply only to reproductive cloning because the extraction of stem cells from aborted or cloned unborn children was "in the public's interest". While expressing sympathy for groups with ethical objections, Mr Wooldridge added that he thought the majority of people would agree with him once they understood "the incredible benefits of this". [EWTN News, 5 June ] 40 pharmacies in Toronto, Canada, began dispensing the abortifacient morning-after pill without a doctor's prescription on Monday. The one-year pilot programme is being funded by the Ontario health ministry through the Ontario Women's Health Council, which admitted in a press release that the drug could work by "altering the lining of the uterus". The programme is being accompanied by a marketing campaign in the media, clinics, schools and women's toilets. [LifeSite, 5 June ] The governor of North Rhine-Westphalia in Germany has announced that he will allow a research institute in Bonn to import embryonic stem cells from Israel. The issue of embryonic research is currently very controversial in Germany, and the main opposition party in parliament has vowed to introduce legislation which would close the loophole allowing experimentation on imported cells. Gerhard Schroeder, Germany's chancellor, has stressed the economic benefits of such research but President Johannes Rau has voiced his opposition. [AP, via, 5 June ] American pro-abortionists are planning to sue President Bush over the reintroduction of the Mexico City policy. The Center for Reproductive Law and Policy, based in New York, announced that it would file a lawsuit in Manhattan today claiming that the decision to block federal funds from groups which either provided or promoted abortions abroad amounted to a curtailment of free speech. [Reuters, via Yahoo! News, 5 June ] Three separate scientific studies conducted in the United States have suggested that genetic problems which prevent the proper use of copper in the body may be a significant factor in many miscarriages. Research published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences suggests that deficiencies in genes which either facilitate the entry of copper into cells or escort it to its proper place in cells may hamper foetal development. However, too much copper in the diet can be toxic. [BBC News online, 4 June ] The governor of Oklahoma has signed an abortion consent bill into law. The measure states that doctors who perform abortions on unmarried girls under 18 without parental consent will be responsible for any problems caused by the abortion. In practice this will dissuade many doctors from performing such abortions for fear of lawsuits. [The Oklahoman, 5 June ]

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