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Defending life from the moment of conception

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News, 14 March 2001

14 March 2001

14 March 2001 The pro-abortion United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF), the world's biggest abortion promoter, have affirmed their mutual goal of promoting access to abortion throughout the world, under the guise of "reproductive health promotion". Ms Thoraya Obaid, executive director of the UNFPA, and Mrs Ingar Brueggemann, director-general of the IPPF, met in London and afterwards issued a statement which mentioned "the complementary work of the UNFPA and IPPF, shared values, and increased co-ordination of the organisations' roles..." [LifeSite, 13 March ; SPUC, London] One of the first Britons to receive injections into his brain of cells from aborted unborn children to combat Parkinson's disease has told how the treatment "drastically improved" his life. Mr Roderick Davies, aged 54, received the injections in 1988. Mr Davies, who remained conscious throughout the operation, said: "They used something that was like an air-powered tool from a garage to drill a hole in my head and inserted these tubes through to my brain. Afterwards I felt positive effects almost straight away." [Daily Telegraph, 14 March] Foetal cell transplants for patients with Parkinson's disease were discontinued in the UK 10 years ago, although they have continued in other European countries. Last year it was revealed that British hospitals were using cells from aborted foetuses in the treatment of Huntington's disease [see news digest for 2 October 2000 ]. Catholic and Muslim leaders in Kenya have joined international condemnation of human cloning. Archbishop Ndingi Mwana A'Nzeki of Nairobi warned that "the move to clone was an abuse of the gift of God to mankind, and nature will not forgive it". [VIS/EWTN News, 13 March ] An Australian bioethicist has said that human cloning experiments have been conducted in his country. Mr Nick Tonti-Filippini, who advised a senate inquiry into cloning, confirmed that the so-called pig-human hybrid allowed to live for 32 days in 1999 [see news digest for 12 March 2001 ] "was as much a human embryo as Dolly was a sheep". The embryo was created by inserting human DNA into an empty pig egg. [Australian Daily Telegraph, 14 March ] A group representing Christian and Jewish pro-abortionists in the United States has endorsed the use of human embryos in destructive stem cell research. Marjorie Signer of the Coalition for Reproductive Choice (CRC) said that it was right to conduct research on embryos left over from in vitro fertilisation treatment. William Saunders at the Family Research Council criticised the CRC's defence of embryo research when it had nothing to do with their stated aim of promoting so-called reproductive choice. He said that the controversy should highlight the need to reconsider the whole practice of in vitro fertilisation treatment which entailed the intentional creation of excess embryos, each one of whom was a live human being. [Cybercast News Service, 14 March ] Researchers in Canada have suggested that vaccinating women for German measles (rubella) during the first three months of pregnancy does not harm their unborn child. Dr Zina Levichek of the University of Toronto told the annual meeting of the American Society for Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics that no significant differences in birth weights, rates of miscarriages or rates of so-called birth defects had been observed between babies conceived by women who had not been vaccinated and babies whose mothers had been vaccinated before they realised they were pregnant. Dr Levichek said that her findings implied that rubella vaccination should not be taken as a reason to terminate a pregnancy. [Reuters, via Yahoo! News, 13 March ] A survey of 15,000 British children aged between 13 and 15 has suggested that a greater proportion of Muslim youngsters believe abortion to be wrong than their Catholic or Anglican peers. The survey found that 58% of Muslim children were opposed to abortion, compared to half of Catholics and 31% of Anglicans. [Daily Telegraph, 14 March] The survey did not indicate the proportion of respondents who actively practised their faith. The abortionist who successfully overturned Nebraska's ban on partial-birth abortions in the US Supreme Court last year is fighting his dismissal from a faculty position at the University of Nebraska. Dr LeRoy Carhart, who donated tissue to the university from children whom he had aborted, claims that the dismissal was politically motivated and has asked a court to reinstate him. [The New York Times, 13 March ]

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