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Defending life from the moment of conception

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News, 15 October 2003

15 October 2003

15 October 2003 Researchers at the W. Goethe University, Frankfurt, have found that infusing adult stem cells into the coronary arteries after a heart attack reduces damage, Reuters reports. Dr Stefanie Dimmeler and associates isolated stem cells from the bone marrow or blood of 28 heart attack patients and tested the technique, which caused a significant fall in heart damage and improvements in cardiac function. [Reuters, 13 October ] Following the announcement by Dr Panayiotis Zavos that he was close to producing his first human clone, it has emerged that up to six Britons have applied to him to be cloned. Dr Zavos also claimed that two women were being assessed in a secret location with the possibility of carrying the first cloned baby. The eventual 'winner' will be paid between $20,000 and $30,000. The entire process has been condemned as 'tasteless' by medical colleagues, who fear for the health of a cloned baby. [This is London, 14 October ] Hong Kong's soaring abortion rates are being blamed on lack of parental guidance and poor sex education, according to a report in The Standard. The abortion rate in Hong Kong is thought to be one for every 2.4 live births compared to the one to five births rate of Japan, with the rate growing particularly among young women. In response, a series of adverts featuring a pregnant boy have been commissioned to alert boys to their responsibilities. [The Standard, 14 October ] SPUC spokesman Gordon Kane, said: "Thirty years of increasingly explicit sex education and access to contraception has not prevented the UK from having one of the highest teenage pregnancy rates in the world. What is important, however, is for young people to be made aware of the moral gravity of abortion and its serious mental and physical consequences." [SPUC source] Scientists in the US have found that nearly a third of pregnancies from frozen embryos are ectopic, The Times of London reports. The study, conducted at Brown University and Women and Infants Hospital in Providence, found that women who become pregnant from frozen embryos are 17 times more likely to suffer ectopic pregnancy than IVF patients using fresh embryos. Both types of IVF are more likely to cause ectopic pregnancy than natural conception. Lord Winston, the UK fertility expert, warned recently that the possible consequences of using frozen embryos had not yet been properly assessed and that there was evidence that freezing could alter the functioning of certain genes. [The Times, 14 October ] SPUC has criticised the BBC for making a one-sided attack on the Catholic Church's promotion of respect for life and responsible sexual behaviour. In a Panorama programme entitled "Sex and the Holy City", the BBC made unsubstantiated claims that the Church's prohibition on abortion and contraception is responsible for the deaths of women from unwanted pregnancies, the spread of HIV and the suffering of pregnant child rape victims. SPUC spokesman Anthony Ozimic stated: "Many people have already protested strongly to the BBC about the report's in-built bias. The 'investigation' which purported to be a serious documentary report, obviously had its anti-life 'findings' written before it started." [SPUC press release, 13 October]

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