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Defending life from the moment of conception

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News, 21 May 2002

21 May 2002

21 May 2002 A six-year-old boy who was born with a deformed left leg allegedly as a result of surgical procedures carried out on him when he was an unborn child is seeking compensation in the English high court. Lawyers acting for Morgyn Peters claim that doctors at the University of Wales hospital in Cardiff acted negligently when they carried out or attempted various invasive procedures on him at about 18 weeks' gestation. The lawyers are arguing that the damage to Morgyn's leg was caused by a loss of blood supply during a procedure to shunt his kidney. [BBC News online, 20 May ] Pope John Paul II has urged the newly independent Democratic Republic of East Timor to base itself on respect for human dignity. In a message to the people of the strongly Catholic country to mark their birth as a sovereign nation on Sunday, the Pope said: "The hour of freedom has arrived!... Freedom must always be defended and preserved, whether from that which could imprison it, or from falsehoods which can pervert its genuine character, to the detriment of the person and his dignity." He urged them to base themselves "on values without which a true democracy cannot exist: respect for life and for all people". [EWTN News, 20 May ] California's state senate has voted in favour of allowing nurses and other professional healthcare workers who are not doctors to prescribe the RU-486 abortion drug. The senate was split along party lines, with 22 Democrats voting in favour of the measure and 11 Republicans voting against. It is reported that the bill faces an uncertain future in the Assembly, the other house of the Californian legislature, and Governor Gray Davis, a pro-abortionist, has not taken a position on it. [Los Angeles Times and AP, 20 May; via Pro-Life Infonet ] The medical director of the company which manufactures the RU-486 drug for the American market has admitted that it is not safer than a surgical abortion. Dr Richard Hausknecht, medical director of Danco, made the admission at a news conference on Friday. He also said that he could not understand why some people saw RU-486 as a "more natural" way of procuring an abortion. [Pro-Life Infonet , 20 May] The head of the Holy See's delegation to the 55th World Assembly on Health has said that an anti-life mentality constitutes one of the great health risks in the world today. Archbishop Javier Lozano Barragan, president of the pontifical council for health care ministry, told the meeting in Geneva last week: "It is worth noting, as a patent risk to health, the neo-Malthusian mentality against life, given that health and life are identified with each other, current projects of reproductive health ... and in particular the misconception as to what is quality of life, which has brought the legalisation of euthanasia to some places." [EWTN News, 18 May ] The Lieutenant Governor of South Carolina has urged members of the state senate to pass a comprehensive ban on human cloning. A bill to prohibit all human cloning was passed by the state House on 1 May by 77 votes to 15, but it has since stalled in the senate. Lt. Gov. Bob Peeler, who is the president of the senate, said: "Today I am publicly calling on each and every member of the senate to come to Columbia this week and do what's right for our state." [Pro-Life Infonet , 21 May]

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