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Defending life from the moment of conception

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News, 1 October 2003

1 October 2003

1 October 2003 Two women who wanted to use their frozen embryos against the wishes of their former partners have lost their case in the high court. Natallie Evans and Lorraine Hadley received IVF treatment but when their relationships broke down, their partners asked for the embryos to be destroyed. Judge Justice Ward stated that, though he sympathised, it was for parliament not the high court to determine the law in this area. The 1990 Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act states that embryos cannot be implanted without the consent of both parties involved in their creation. [BBC, 1 October ] Scotland's cardinal-elect has equated abortion with murder shortly after his appointment was announced, The Herald reports. He asserted that the Church cannot compromise on issues 'which we can say are God's law, like murder, abortion.' [The Herald, 30 September ] The US government has issued three grants for human embryonic stem cell research, CNN reports. The National Institutes of Health will be giving $6.3 million over three years to three centres working on embryonic stem cells: the University of Wisconsin's WiCell Institute, the University of Washington Seattle and the associated Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, and the University of Michigan Medical School. [CNN, 29 September ] A Danish academic has caused outrage by calling for the state to encourage intelligent people to have larger families and to restrict childbearing among those of lower intellectual ability. Helmuth Nyborg of the University of Aarhus admitted that his proposals to 'improve the coming generations and avoid degenerates in the population' were controversial but denied that they had anything to do with Nazi ideology. Integration Minister Bertel Haarder condemned Nyborg's views as 'against all moral principles.' [ The Miami Herald, 30 September ] A leading expert on China has criticised the British Foreign Office over its attitude to China's one-child policy. The Foreign Office's newly-issued annual human rights report states that "The UK Government has never questioned China's right or need to implement family planning policies". [Foreign and Commonwealth Office, 19 September ] Dr John S. Aird, former senior China specialist at the US Bureau of the Census, responded: "The continuing support of foreign governments, UNFPA and IPPF for the Chinese programme has always sent the message that they really do not take seriously violations of human rights that advance the cause of population control." [SPUC source]

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