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News, 24 September 2003

24 September 2003

24 September 2003 If the United Nations only partially bans cloning, it would produce the first UN convention which required the killing of innocent humans, according to a pro-life lobbyist. Miss Jeanne Head of National Right to Life was speaking prior to a decisive meeting from the 29th of this month till the 10th of next month. France and Germany want to allow so-called therapeutic cloning while Costa Rica proposes a total ban which is supported by the US, the Philippines and 41 other nations. [LifeSiteNews.com, 23 September ] The US senate has unanimously approved a ban on partial-birth abortion which includes support for the 1973 Roe v. Wade supreme court judgement which allowed abortion. The measure will next be debated at a conference of senators and members of the house of representatives, which has approved a similar law. Pro-life politicians say the reference to the judgement will be removed. Senator Rick Santorum said that Roe v. Wade would one day be as notorious as an 1857 ruling that slaves were property. [Maranatha Christian Journal, 23 September ] American scientists report that they have used a form of asexual reproduction to create monkey embryos which could provide stem cells that can develop into various types of tissue. Several biotechnology companies and university departments co-operated on the work which involved the parthenogenesis of macaque embryos from which stem cells were taken. On the possible application of this technique to people, Mr Richard Doerflinger of the US Catholic bishops' conference said that, until it was determined whether parthenogenetic embryos were human, the church opposed their destruction. [Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences in Milwaukee Journal Sentinel via Knight Ridder/Tribune on Bradenton Herald, 22 September ] Ninety-eight percent of the 265 recorded abortions in Jersey last year were performed on the grounds of alleviating the mother's distress. Five abortions were carried out on babies of between 12 and 24 weeks' gestation, most of the mothers were single, one procedure was the woman's fourth and it appears that at least one abortion was performed on a girl of 14. Although the total was around 40 fewer than 2001's, Alliance for Life said that more Jersey women were taking abortifacient morning-after pills and/or having abortions in Britain. [Jersey Evening Post, 23 September , and BBC, 24 September ] Channel Islands Right to Life has called for counselling for the terminally ill instead of euthanasia, as is being considered in Guernsey. Mrs Angela Meadowcroft, chairman of the group, warned that patients could become depressed because of their other illness and ask for euthanasia because of the depression. An official investigation of euthanasia has been obtained through the efforts of Deputy Pat Mellor who says that illegal euthanasia is taking place. [BBC, 23 September ]

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