By continuing to browse our site, you are consenting to the use of cookies. Click here for more information on the cookies we use.


Defending life
from conception to natural death


News, 17 April 2002

17 April 2002

17 April 2002 The judgement in SPUC's legal challenge to sales of the morning-after pill will be made public tomorrow. The judgement will be handed down by Mr Justice Munby at the high court in London at 10.15 a.m. SPUC sought a judicial review of the British government's decision to make the abortion-inducing morning-after pill available from pharmacists without a doctor's prescription on the basis that the provision of abortifacients contravenes the Offences Against the Person Act 1861. Procuring a miscarriage remains a criminal offence in Britain, although abortion practitioners have immunity from prosecution as long as they adhere to certain statutory conditions set out in the Abortion Act 1967. The government has argued that the offence of procuring a miscarriage only applies after an unborn child has implanted in his or her mother's womb. [SPUC, 17 April] Researchers in the US claim to have treated sufferers of multiple sclerosis (MS) by using the patients' own stem cells. Doctors at the University of Washington Medical Center in Seattle succeeded in stabilising a number of MS patients by removing stem cells from their blood, killing the cells that were working against the immune system, and then transplanting the healthy cells back into the patients' bodies. The researchers managed to isolate adult stem cells from the patients' blood by generating anti-bodies to the stem cells which were attached to tiny magnetic beads and then mixed with the blood. A magnetic device was then used to draw out the stem cells. [BBC News online, 16 April ] Adult stem cell technology provides a promising and ethical alternative to the use of stem cells from embryos and so-called therapeutic cloning. Pro-lifers in Australia have expressed concern after the state of Victoria's Infertility Treatment Authority gave permission for a couple to create a designer baby to provide a suitable tissue donor for a sick older sibling. The process will involve the creation and selection of an embryo using in vitro fertilisation (IVF) and pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD). However, Professor Robert Jansen, the medical director of Sydney IVF in New South Wales, has claimed that his facility already practices PGD for the same purpose in the absence of government restrictions. Professor Jansen commented: "Luckily we don't have an Infertility Treatment Authority that feels that it has got to get involved in everybody's personal reproductive business." [Sydney Morning Herald, 17 April ] A hospital in the Indian state of Punjab has been raided by senior state officials on suspicion of performing illegal sex-selective abortions. The officials removed documents and surgical instruments used in abortions from Amar Hospital in Patiala. [Express News Service, 16 April ] Russia has started to carry out health checks on its 33.5 million children amid concerns that the health of the nation's population has declined dramatically since the fall of Communism. Reasons cited for the decline include underage sexual activity and the high number of abortions. Two in three pregnancies in Russia are ended by abortion, and about 10 percent of abortions are performed on teenagers. [CNN, 15 April ; also see news digests for 19 March 2001 , 10 October 2000 , etc.]

Be the first to comment!

Share this article