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Defending life from the moment of conception

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News, 31 July 2003

31 July 2003

31 July 2003 Mice with cerebral haemorrhaging have been treated with nerve stem cells extracted from a 15-week-old human foetus, the Korea Herald reports. Scientists from the neurology department of the School of Medicine at Seoul National University announced that the treatment had reduced symptoms in the mice and hope to use the treatment on human patients within five years. [The Korea Herald, 31 July ] The New Zealand Parliament has thrown out a bill to legalise assisted suicide, reports. Peter Brown's Death with Dignity Bill that would have allowed doctors to help the terminally ill to die, fell by a narrow vote of 60-57 with one abstention. Mr Brown said that efforts to legalise assisted dying would continue. [, 30 July ] Pro-life and pro-family groups in New Zealand are fighting a bill permitting under-16s to obtain abortions without parental knowledge or consent. The Care of Children Bill was denounced by Right to Life spokesman Ken Orr, who commented: "This is the only medical procedure on a girl under the age of 16 that is exempt from parental consent. Why should there be a distinction for abortion?" [, 30 July ] India's Supreme Court yesterday ruled that legal population control measures that punish large families do not violate constitutional rights. The Haryana state, along with several others, has established laws excluding parents with more than two children from public office and depriving large families of government jobs, housing loans and places in schools. The Indian central government is contemplating coercive population control laws where measures may include financial rewards for sterilisation and abortion and inflated fees for birth and marriage certificates. [LifeSite, 31 July ] Cherie Blair, the wife of the UK Prime Minister and a prominent Catholic, has angered campaigners by lending her support to an IPPF initiative, Lust for Life. Mrs Blair hosted a private reception at 10 Downing Street for the Lust for Life campaign which hopes to raise £100,000 for the organisation. Nuala Scarisbrick of LIFE said: "There is no life in the IPPF's campaign, only death. She should know that. IPPF is behind China's one-child policy." [The Catholic Herald, 1 August] The Catholic diocese of Oregon has refused to allow a pro-abortion governor to use one of its churches to deliver a political speech. "His beliefs don't square with Catholic teaching and certainly made an appearance at a Catholic church very problematic," said Fr James Logan, chancellor of the Diocese of Baker. Gov. Ted Kulongoski celebrated the anniversary of Roe v. Wade with abortion advocates, stating, "very few things go to my core as the right of women to choose." [, 30 July ] An article in the Chicago Sun-Times has drawn attention to the legal and moral minefield surrounding sperm donation in the US. As a result of donor anonymity, children born as a result of artificial insemination are often unable to trace their biological fathers. They may also run the risk of unwittingly establishing relationships with siblings as many of them are born at about the same time in the same area. [Chicago Sun-Times, 31 July ]

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