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Defending life from the moment of conception

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News, 26 November 2001

26 November 2001

26 November 2001 An American company claims to have cloned a human being, whilst claiming that it has only produced "celluar life" which is not human. Advanced Cell Technology of Massachusetts says it intends to use clones to produce therapies for diseases such as AIDS and Parkinson's. Professor David Prentice of Indiana state university has argued that adult stem cells have been proved to be useful in developing therapies. President Bush, who banned federal funding for new cloning, has urged the Senate to agree to a law already passed by the House of Representatives which would forbid cloning. The leader of the majority in the Senate has described the development as disconcerting. [Daily Telegraph , BBC and Ananova , 26 November] Mr Bruno Quintavalle of the ProLife Alliance in Britain has called for a global ban on all cloning. His organisation has pointed out how a new law being debated in the House of Lords today would allow cloned embryos to be taken abroad and implanted in women there. [ProLife Alliance, 26 November ] Professor Severino Antinori has asked a London University professor of obstetrics and gynaecology whether he will co-operate in his plan to use cloning to produce live births. [Sunday Times, 25 November ] Advanced Cell Technology claims that most of the 30 cows which it has cloned are alive and apparently normal. A study published in Science states that the 24 surviving animals have no developmental anomalies. Mr Rudolf Jaenisch of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology said that the research used superficial criteria and that other cloned animals had had many defects. [CNN, 23 November ] The Life organisation will shortly release the results of an 18-month study which demonstrates a link between abortion and breast cancer. The research, whose conclusions will be published tomorrow-week (4 December), was conducted through the Pensions and Population Research Institute. Professor Jack Scarisbrick, chairman of Life, described the evidence as "compelling". [SPUC and Life] Britain's overseas aid minister has misplaced her trust in the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), according to a pro-life MP speaking in parliament on Thursday. Mr Edward Leigh told a committee considering international development legislation that evidence of coercive population control in China contradicted Ms Clare Short's assertions that UNFPA left couples to make their own decisions about their families. Proposing an amendment to the bill which would end funding for coercive programmes, Mr Leigh said: "There is enough evidence to suggest that there is at least a real possibility that bodies to which we, British taxpayers, give money are in some way complicit in, or have an influence on, a barbaric programme of coercive population control." [Official report, House of Commons, 22 November ] Canadian taxpayers' money is being targetted at young people in south America through a $982,000 Planned Parenthood campaign. [LifeSite, 23 November ] UN officials have sidelined the medical director of a pro-life charity which helps pregnant women in developing countries. Dr Robert Walley of MaterCare International says that the UN seems more interested in stopping births through abortion and contraception than in giving essential treatment during pregnancy. [LifeSite, 23 November ]

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