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Defending life
from conception to natural death


News, 7 March 2001

7 March 2001

7 March 2001 It was announced today in the UK that a majority of the members of a House of Lords committee set up to consider human cloning and stem cell research will be in favour of so-called therapeutic cloning. The select committee was established following January's parliamentary vote to approve destructive research on cloned human embryos. No date has yet been set for the first meeting of the committee. Anthony Ozimic, SPUC's political spokesman, commented: "Unfortunately, any hope that the committee's membership would be balanced has fallen foul of the government's determination to suppress any real opposition to human cloning. However, we intend to work hard to redress the imbalance by providing peers with authoritative medical and scientific evidence." [SPUC, 7 March] The Catholic Church in Mexico has encouraged President Vicente Fox to respond to the pro-life expectations raised by his electoral victory. Bishop Rodrigo Aguilar Martínez, head of the Mexican bishops' commission for family pastoral care, said that the church was "turning over a new leaf" with regard to the defence of life under the new government, although he warned that public health institutions were still putting women in rural areas under "enormous pressure" to accept various birth control practices. [Zenit news agency , 5 March] A campaigner for Oregon's assisted suicide law has committed physician-assisted suicide. Carolyn Lund, aged 66, consumed a glass of cranberry juice containing a lethal amount of barbiturates on Monday. She took advantage of the law which she helped to bring about after discovering that cancer had spread from her liver to her brain. [AP, via Democrat Herald online, 7 March] Legislators in at least 11 American states are reportedly pushing for laws to oblige abortionists to inform their customers of the alleged link between abortion and breast cancer. Currently, Mississippi is the only state which explicitly mandates abortion practitioners to inform women of the risk. Meanwhile, abortion clinics in North Dakota and New Jersey are being sued for failing to warn women about the link. [USA Today, 1 March; from Pro-Life Infonet] It has been reported that the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation is funding the provision of abortion services for young people in South America. The Foundation has provided $600,000 to the International Planned Parenthood Foundation for the provision of "sexual and reproductive health services to adolescents in Brazil, Ecuador and Peru". The David and Lucille Packard Foundation has also donated funds for abortion projects, including the manufacturing of RU-486. Hewlett-Packard products have been boycotted by some pro-lifers as a result. [LifeSite, 6 March ]

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