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Defending life from the moment of conception

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News, 26 July 2002

26 July 2002

26 July 2002 The Malaysian government is considering whether to legalise abortion in cases of rape and incest. Abortion is already legal in Malaysia to prevent injury to a woman's physical or mental health, but the health ministry's parliamentary secretary has said that the government is consulting relevant parties on whether the law should be amended to include rape and incest as explicit grounds for abortion. The announcement was made at a meeting organised by the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF), the world's largest provider and promoter of abortions. [The Star, Malaysia, 26 July ] The government of South Korea has launched an investigation into claims by Clonaid, an organisation founded by the Raelian cult, that it has successfully implanted a cloned embryo inside a South Korean woman. A spokesman for Clonaid claimed that the woman was now two months pregnant and was expecting a healthy child. The Raelian cult believes that humans were cloned from aliens and views cloning as the key to eternal life. [ITV News, 26 July ; see news digest for 11 October 2000 ] A baby who was conceived despite her father's vasectomy and who then survived an abortion has been born in Norway. The healthy child was born two months early in a car on the way to hospital, and has been named Trude because this sounds similar to the Norwegian word for "believe it". [Metro, 26 July] Cardinal Aloysius Ambrozic, archbishop of Toronto, has been cheered by pilgrims to the Catholic World Youth Day, being held this week in his diocese, for strongly pro-life comments he made during a catechesis session. The cardinal insisted that the Catholic Church would "forever be opposed" to abortion and embryonic stem cell research. [LifeSite, 25 July ] British researchers have warned that women who take zinc supplements during pregnancy could be harming the mental development of their child. Many pregnant women, particularly undernourished women in the developing world, take extra zinc to boost their unborn child's weight and immune system. However, Professor Sally Grantham McGregor and her colleagues at the Institute of Child Health in London have found that zinc may have negative effects as well, and have recommended that the effects of more comprehensive dietary supplements aimed at improving the health of both mother and unborn child should be studied. [BBC News online, 26 July ] Cardinal Johannes Joachim Degenhardt, the archbishop of Paderborn in Germany and a staunch pro-lifer, has died suddenly at the age of 76. Archbishop Degenhardt, who was made a cardinal by the Pope last year, was one of the first German bishops to withdraw his diocese from a state-sponsored pregnancy counselling scheme through which women could obtain the necessary certificates for abortion. [AP, 25 July; via Northern Light ] A pro-life member of President Bush's council on bioethics has explained why he opposes destructive embryonic stem cell research. In an interview with Zenit, an international Catholic news agency, Professor Robert P George of Princeton University said: "It is intrinsically unjust to treat human beings at any stage of development as mere 'research material' to be exploited and destroyed in the hope of benefiting others... The adult human being who is now you or I is the same human being who was, at an earlier stage of his or her life, an adolescent, and before that a child, an infant, a fetus and an embryo... The status of the developing embryo as a human being is an undeniable biological fact, not a contested religious dogma." [Zenit, 25 July ]

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