News, 9 May 2002
9 May 2002
9 May 2002 US delegates to this week's United Nations conference on children are pressing for the deletion of parts of the draft summit document which would promote abortion and undermine families. America wants no mention of reproductive health services--acknowledged code-words for abortion provision--and wants the meeting's recommendations to foster relationships between parents and children, and to promote the postponement of sexual activity. The US, whose delegation is led by Mr Tommy Thompson, President Bush's health and human services secretary, is supported by Muslim countries and the Vatican but opposed by European and Latin American nations. The three-day special session of the UN's general assembly concludes tomorrow. [Washington Post, 9 May ] Researchers in northern England have developed a new technique for screening human embryos to discover which are more likely to develop successfully in the womb. The team working at York University and Leeds General Infirmary place two-day old embryos in an amino acid culture and monitor their development. [BBC, 8 May ] Embryo screening, by whatever method, is customarily part of the in vitro fertilisation process in which human lives are routinely destroyed. The president of the Population Research Institute has joined those who are warning that American investigators may not discover the truth about UN-supported forced abortion during a forthcoming visit to China. Mr Steven Mosher's concerns echo those of Representative Chris Smith on which we reported on Tuesday. Mr Mosher also points out that President Bush has asked Mr Colin Powell, the US secretary of state, to decide whether the UN Population Fund's activities contravene American law, and that Mr Powell has been taking a liberal line resembling that of former President Clinton. [Population Research Institute , 8 May] A nurse in the Netherlands has been charged with murdering 14 patients with injections of substances such as morphine and potassium. The 40-year-old woman is said to have killed five children and nine old people in four hospitals in the Hague between 1997 and last year. She is also accused of the attempted murder of four people and forging educational certificates. [Guardian, 9 May ] Euthanasia formally became legal in the Netherlands at the start of this year. A group of pro-life organisations in the US has likened research on cloned humans, for which there is currently a proposal in the senate, to Nazi experimentation. The National Pro-Life Religious Council was commenting on a measure sponsored by, among others, Senators Edward Kennedy and Orrin Hatch which would permit the creation of clones but forbid their being allowed to be born. [Cybercast, 7 May ] A Christian minister has caused controversy by praying about abortion at the opening of the Kansas senate. Rev Joe Wright asked for collective forgiveness for having described evil things as good and said: "We have killed our unborn and called it choice, we have shot abortionists and called it justifiable". Some legislators left in protest but thousands of people subsequently telephoned Rev Wright's church to express support and ask for copies of the prayer. [Mrs Mercedes Wilson, 8 May] Virtual reality technology will let parents touch a three-dimensional model of their unborn child. Novint Technologies' e-Touch system creates the tactile experience from ultrasonic scans and the price of such a procedure will be $250. The company says the technology will also help with diagnosis and planning for surgery. [LifeSite, 8 May ] The text of the address by Cardinal Alfonso López Trujillo to religious leaders at the United Nations summit on children, on which we reported yesterday, can be found at www.zenit.org/english/visualizza.phtml?sid=20311 . In it the cardinal points out how the UN's 1959 Declaration of the Rights of the Child calls for children to have safeguards, care and legal protection: "before as well as after birth".