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Defending life from the moment of conception

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News, 24 April 2002

24 April 2002

24 April 2002 A violent and mentally ill prisoner has asked England's top woman judge to be allowed to die. Lawyers for the high-security prisoner, who is known only as W, are asking Dame Elizabeth Butler-Sloss, president of the high court's family division, to rule that he has the capacity to decide to refuse medical treatment. Speaking via a video link to the high court yesterday, W said that he had been mutilating his leg in the hope that the wound would turn septic. It appears that if the prisoner is allowed to refuse antibiotics, the blood poisoning could cause his death. [Ananova, 24 April ] Dr Severino Antinori, the controversial Italian fertility specialist, claimed yesterday that three women around the world were already pregnant with cloned babies. He denied being actively involved in any of the pregnancies, two of which he said were in Russia while the other was in an Islamic country. [Reuters, 23 April ] The US Supreme Court has agreed to consider for a second time whether a federal anti-racketeering law has been used improperly against pro-lifers who campaign outside abortion facilities. The court has already judged that the operators of abortion clinics can use the Racketeer Influenced Corrupt Organizations Act to sue protesters for damages, and it will now examine the limits of how the law should be applied. [CNN, 23 April ] Legislators in Alabama have passed an informed consent law for abortion providers. The measure, which was passed by members of the state House by 79 to 17, requires abortion facilities to offer women accurate information about the abortion procedure, foetal development and alternatives to abortion before they go ahead with the termination. The bill now goes to the governor for his consideration. [TimesDaily, 18 April ]

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