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Defending life from the moment of conception

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News, 15 September 2003

15 September 2003

15 September 2003 A private member's bill to prohibit euthanasia by denial of sustenance has been passed by Britain's upper house of parliament. The Patients' Protection Bill, sponsored by veteran pro-life peer Baroness Knight of Collingtree, received its final reading in the House of Lords last Friday and was sent without a vote to the House of Commons for further consideration at a date to be announced. Concluding last Friday's debate, Lady Knight said that "[m]any thousands of people outside this House are praying that the Bill will become law". [House of Lords official report, 12 September ] During a visit to Slovakia, Pope John Paul II has urged Europeans to stay true to family values in the face of threats such as changes in abortion law. A pair of formerly conjoined twins aged three were presented to the Pope to highlight the pro-life message. [BBC, 13 September ] The Nigerian prelate, Cardinal Francis Arinze, has urged Europe "not to impose demographic policies on African families." He stated that the West should instead support development, stop supplying arms to poor countries and refrain from exercising excessive control over the price of raw materials from Africa. [Zenit, 12 September ] A Brazilian woman is considering legal action after she was told that her baby daughter had died in utero and was subsequently born alive during the operation to remove the dead body. Mrs Edeiane Bosada Marques said afterwards: "If there is such thing as complete happiness that is what I felt when I heard my baby cry." [Ananova, 11 September ] A Czech man has been awarded £20,000 compensation after his ex-girlfriend tricked him into giving her his sperm so that she could become pregnant and demand child support from him. Tomas Kaspar had claimed that Jitka Bouchalova told him her doctors needed a sample to decide what form of contraception she should use. [Ananova, 11 September ] The biotech company that cloned Dolly the Sheep has gone on the market after investors rejected its restructuring plans. PPL Therapeutics has suffered a series of setbacks and made a net loss of £12.8 in the first six months of the year. [Yahoo News, 15 September ] A London health clinic is pioneering new technology that allows parents to see clear, three-dimensional images of the unborn child from as early as the seventh week of pregnancy. Unlike the grainy images offered by traditional ultrasound scans, the new scanner offers clear pictures of the baby blinking, crying, smiling and making complex movements. The images, according to Paul Danon of SPUC, showed "human beings whose right to life should be protected." [The Telegraph, 13 September ] However, Josephine Quintavalle from Comment On Reproduction Ethics warned, "Those pictures are not being taken because somebody wants to convince the world that the unborn child is human. That technology is being used to assess the quality of the unborn child, so we have to be on the alert." [SPUC Conference, 13 September]

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