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Defending life from the moment of conception

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News, 10 September 2002

10 September 2002

10 September 2002 The two most prominent pro-abortionists on Northern Ireland's human rights commission have resigned. Inez McCormack and Christine Bell resigned last night, claiming that they were disappointed by the commission's lack of powers and resources. Betty Gibson, chairman of SPUC Northern Ireland, welcomed the resignations of the two women, but warned that they could now use their new-found independence to campaign for the liberalisation of abortion laws in Northern Ireland. Mrs Gibson pointed out that the judgement of the high court in Belfast in the Family Planning Association's judicial review of abortion law practice was still being awaited after more than a year, and suggested that the two women might use the judgement as a spur to launch a new pro-abortion campaign. [Irish Independent and SPUC Northern Ireland, 10 September] The government of Sweden has granted an extra $2.1 million to the pro-abortion United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in response to the US government's decision to end its support for the organisation. Jan Karlsson, the Swedish minister for development co-operation, said: "We cannot accept UNFPA's important efforts to improve women's rights and reproductive health being undermined by the United States' decision to withdraw its support." The minister warned that UNFPA's "efforts to prevent unwanted pregnancies [and] unsafe abortions" were being impeded, and that Sweden hoped "to help change this disturbing situation". [UN Wire, 9 September ] It is reported that up to half of the members of congress in the Philippines are backing legislation which would allow for abortion. The national media has claimed that more than 100 of the 214 legislators support the Reproductive Care Act, despite the strong opposition of the Catholic Church and other religious groups. [LifeSite, 9 September ; Sun Star, 6 September ] Europe's first embryonic stem cell bank could be up and running in the UK within a year. The UK's Medical Research Council (MRC) has awarded a £2.6 million contract to the National Institute for Biological Standards and Control to run the bank. A steering committee of scientists and bio-ethicists will also draw up a code of practice for the bank, which will be funded jointly by the MRC and the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council [both of which receive funds from the British government]. The bank will be launched at an MRC conference on stem cell technology in London tomorrow. [BBC News online, 9 September ] The World Bank is among the international organisations pushing for a pro-abortion education curriculum in Nigeria. The curriculum, which is supported by the Nigerian federal ministry of education, states that abortion is safe when performed by a qualified medical professional. Abortion is only legal in Nigeria to preserve the life or physical health of the mother, although the English Bourne judgement of 1939 is applied in the southern states to allow abortion to preserve a mother's mental health. [LifeSite, 9 September ; UN abortion policies review] A new study on cloning has concluded that attempts to clone animals or humans successfully will almost always be doomed to failure. Researchers at the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research in Boston, Massachusetts, found that one in every 25 genes in the placentas of cloned mice were abnormal. This finding, together with evidence from other animal cloning experiments, led the researchers to conclude that the cloning process jeopardises the integrity of an animal's entire genetic make-up. [Wired News, 9 September ] The inherent flaws in the cloning process are one reason why adult stem cell technology is far more promising for the treatment of human ailments than so-called therapeutic cloning.

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