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Defending life from the moment of conception

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News, 3 September 2003

3 September 2003

3 September 2003 UK government advisors will consider increasing pre-natal screening to reduce the number of babies born with Fragile X Syndrome. The proposals are being made on the grounds that it would be 'cost-effective' to screen all pregnant women if the majority then aborted babies found to have a disability. [The Guardian, 3 September ] Alison Davis, co-ordinator of the disability rights group No Less Human, a group within SPUC, stated: "The finding that it is 'acceptable' and 'cost-effective' to abort disabled babies sends out a message that the Government regards disabled people as having not just no value but a negative value." [SPUC source] The creator of Dolly the sheep has claimed that more animals will be cloned in the coming years, including rats and primates, The Scotsman reports. He welcomed the growing public understanding that the birth of cloned humans alleged by Clonaid was 'publicity seeking nonsense', saying that the media coverage could have resulted in restrictions on human embryo research. The Roslin Institute where Professor Ian Wilmut has worked for nearly 30 years was recently granted a licence to carry out human parthenogenesis. [The Scotsman, 3 September ] Two pro-life election candidates who were arrested for displaying a picture of an aborted baby whilst campaigning in Wales, are on trial charged with a public order offence. Prosecutor Heath Edwards claims that passers-by were distressed and insulted by the poster. Speaking for the defence, Stuart Hutton said that Fiona Pinto and Joseph Biddulph were simply "standing and holding a poster". They both deny charges of harassment and behaving in a disorderly manner. [The Scotsman, 3 September ] A US federal appeals court has overturned a ruling by the Board of Immigration Appeals which denied asylum to a victim of China's one-child policy. Xuan Wang fled to the US with her husband after she was forced to undergo two abortions and told that she would be forcibly sterilised on return to China. In the court's opinion, she showed 'a genuine and well-founded fear of future persecution, should she return to China.' A 1996 law defines forced abortion as persecution and grounds for asylum. However, other Chinese women seeking asylum in the US have not been so fortunate. Last December, another woman, Xu Ming Li, was denied asylum when she left China after being forcibly examined for pregnancy and told that she would be forced to have an abortion if she became pregnant. [, 3 September ] New research in the UK has found that male travellers are increasingly unlikely to give up their seat for a pregnant woman on buses, trains and the Underground. 25% of pregnant women interviewed said that they had been forced to ask someone for their seat, usually greeted by a surprised, embarrassed or angry response, whilst 70% of those offered a seat said that it only occurred occasionally and that women were more likely to give up their seat than men. [This is London, 2 September ] A pro-abortion article in The Independent (UK) claims that up to four million illegal abortions are being carried out in Brazil every year using methods ranging from an over-the-counter ulcer treatment to celery sticks and papaya stems. [The Independent, 2 September ]

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