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Defending life from the moment of conception

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News, 12 May 2003

12 May 2003

12 May 2003 Ms Clare Short, the pro-population control British secretary of state for international development, has resigned from the British government over the government's approach to post-war reconstruction in Iraq. [BBC, 12 May ]. Throughout her tenure in office, Ms Short was a constant promoter of abortion and population control in the developing world, in particular through the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). Her successor, international development junior minister Baroness Amos, also supports UNFPA, having said in a parliamentary debate last July that the British government "will continue to be staunch allies of" UNFPA despite the US administration finding that UNFPA was complicit in China's one-child policy. [House of Lords official report, 29 July 2002 ] The Voluntary Euthanasia Society (VES) is launching a poster campaign to call for a change in British law to allow people to choose when they die. Mr Brian Pretty, widower of Mrs Diane Pretty who died a year ago, is supporting the initiative. [Scotsman, 10 May ] Mrs Pretty, who suffered from motor neurone disease, unsuccessfully sought legal immunity for her husband if he helped her kill herself. SPUC commented: "It is a shame that Mr Pretty's understandable grief at his late wife's illness and death should be used by the VES to campaign for legalisation of unethical practices." The human rights commission of West Bengal, India, wants legislators to allow doctors to hasten patients' deaths. Mr Mukul Gopal Mukherjee, commission chairman and a former high court judge, wants euthanasia to be administered if it accords with the patient's last wishes and has the agreement of relatives and doctors. He asked doctors to play a positive role. [Hindustan Times, 9 May ] A spiritual dimension to one's life can help alleviate despair during terminal illness, according to a study by Fordham university, New York. Researchers interviewed 160 people who had three months to live. Fordham's Dr Barry Rosenfeld suggests that medics working with the terminally ill should include spiritual and psychological help in palliative care. Other research indicates that spirituality helps in coping with bereavement and diagnosis of illness. [The Lancet, 10 May, on Reuters, 9 May ] Despair in terminal illness can lead to requests for death to be hastened. Some 50 scientists will meet in Germany from Wednesday to Friday this week to discuss guidelines for international co-operation on human cloning. The meeting will be opened by Ms Edelgard Bulmahn, the German research minister, who has called for a worldwide ban on cloning for live birth but only as a prelude to a decision on whether to allow cloning for research. [ABC (Australia), 9 May ] All cloning, for whatever purpose, involves the calling into existence of new human beings. Mr Bill Gates, the head of Microsoft who funds pro-abortion organisations, has told of how his father would talk to his family about his work as head of Planned Parenthood. In a TV interview with Mr Bill Moyers of the Public Broadcasting Service, Mr Gates said that he no longer believed in the Malthusian theory of over-population. His family's charitable foundation gave $57 million to the United Nations Population Fund in 2000. [LifeSite, 9 May ] Women who have abortions and miscarriages can carry their deceased children's cells in their bodies for years. An Associated Press report on CNN's website refers to various studies which found that, for example, male cells could be found in women's blood decades after they had given birth to a son. The research suggests that this manifestation is not restricted to women whose children are born alive. It also found that offspring carried their mothers' cells. [AP on CNN, 9 May ]

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