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Defending life
from conception to natural death


News, 23 August 2004

23 August 2004

23 August 2004 London's Evening Standard newspaper is promoting a review of the UK's abortion law, following the publication of 4D images of unborn babies. The paper claims that a majority of MPs favour a review, and that many MPs have signed parliamentary motions supporting a review. [This is London, 23 August ] Anthony Ozimic, SPUC political secretary, commented: "This story is inaccurate and exaggerated. The poorly-supported parliamentary motions the story cites did not "emerge today" but were public knowledge over a month ago. The Labour MP it quotes as considering tabling a private member's bill to review the law appears to support open access to abortion services and wants nurses to be allowed to perform abortions. Even if the story's claim that most MPs support a review of abortion law were true, any review would still be in the hands of Parliament's pro-abortion majority. The push for a review of abortion law is driven by journalistic hype." Researchers at Toronto University have used pancreas stem cells to treat type 1 diabetes in adult mice, raising the possibility that adult stem cell therapy could eventually be used to treat diabetes in humans. The research has been greeted with interest from diabetes interest groups, with Professor Anne Cooke of Cambridge University describing it as 'an encouraging first step.' [BBC, 23 August ] The Prime Minister of Singapore has announced a package of financial incentives and reforms in an attempt to raise the country's low birth rate. New policies include an increase in maternity and childcare leave, cash incentives and cutting the civil service's working week by half a day to give parents more time with their children. Lee Hsien Loong said that he hoped the incentives would change "Singaporean mindsets towards marriage, family and children". [The Times of London, 23 August ] Pope John Paul II has condemned human cloning as 'arrogant'. The Pope urged respect for human life and ethical research in a message sent to a meeting of Catholic cultural, political and business leaders in Rimini, Italy. [The Telegraph, 22 August ] The father of a teenager who died after taking the abortion drug mifepristone is to meet officials from the Food and Drug Administration next month. Holly Patterson died of septic shock after taking the drug, which she obtained from a California Planned Parenthood clinic. The California Department of Health Services subsequently reported that the hospital and Planned Parenthood Golden Gate clinic failed to report her death as an 'unusual occurrence' and had not fully informed her about how to administer the drug. Monty Patterson is due to speak at the Concerned Women for America national convention in September. [Medical News Today, 22 August ] The Norwegian Olympic Beach Volleyball team have been reprimanded for visibly displaying the birth control patch on their bodies during games. According to the International Olympic Committee rules, competitors are not permitted to advertise products during the Olympic Games. As with many birth control drugs and devices, patches can act abortifaciently. [Medical News Today, 22 August ] The National Institute for Clinical Excellence has backtracked on plans to curb the UK's soaring number of caesarean sections, issuing a clarification that women should have the right to a caesarean section even if two doctors disagree. The controversy follows concerns by some doctors that too many women were choosing caesareans for non-medical reasons, though others claimed that the higher cost of caesarean birth was a factor in trying to curb numbers. One in five births in the UK is by caesarean. [The Guardian, 22 August ] An undercover investigation by the UK's Daily Mail newspaper has found that girls as young as 12 are able to purchase the morning after pill from high street chemists. It is currently illegal to sell the morning after pill to under-16s, but the girls sent to a series of chemists were able to buy the drug with relative ease and some were not even asked their age. [The Daily Mail, 21 August ] A study has been conducted by researchers at Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU) on the attitudes of terminally ill patients to physician assisted suicide or PAS. The study found that 17% of dying Oregonians considered PAS compared with two percent who actually requested it and only one in 1000 patients who actually used a lethal prescription. Of those surveyed, 44% supported euthanasia, 41% opposed it and 15% were 'neutral'. Young, white patients who were not religious were more likely to be in favour of euthanasia. [Medical News Today, 21 August ] A group of black and Hispanic employees have filed a lawsuit against a Planned Parenthood abortion facility in California, alleging racism and discrimination against men. One employee has accused a Planned Parenthood official of calling him a 'nigger' in front of a witness, adding that requests for disciplinary action were ignored and he was later put on probation and fired. Another employee said that staff members who were not white or female were 'closely watched.' [, 22 August ]

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