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Defending life from the moment of conception

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10 December 2004

10 December 2004

10 December 2004 A UK fertility expert has called for the abolition of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority, BBC reports. In an interview for BBC radio, Lord Robert Winston said that the HFEA should be replaced with a 'less bureaucratic' body that 'doesn't inhibit research.' He commented: "It is very strange that one form of treatment - IVF - is singled out for regulation. And not even the whole of infertility treatment is covered." [BBC, 10 December ] A team at Harvard Medical School have used retinal stem cells from newborn mice to restore degenerating eyesight in adult mice. Dr Michael Young hopes that the research may lead to therapies to restore vision lost as a result of eye disease. The experiments will now be extended to larger animal models. [Reuters, 9 December ] Twenty-six Republican congressmen have filed a friend-of-the-court brief asking an appeals court to reinstate the Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act. The Act was signed by President Bush last year but has been ruled unconstitutional by federal judges in New York, San Francisco and Nebraska. The congressmen say that the government has a "vital and compelling interest in preventing the spread of the practice of abortion into infanticide." [The Guardian, 9th December ] An international pro-life organisation has called on the US Government to revoke a pro-population control policy document originating during the Nixon Administration. Fr. Thomas Enteneuer, president of Human Life International argues that the policy is based on the Malthusian myth that population growth is a threat to the environment and to world stability. Under the policy, billions of dollars have been spent by the US on population control programs, some of which have involved human rights violations in developing countries. The memorandum, known as NSSM-200, also argued that restrictions on births would reduce popular unrest as young people are more likely to challenge existing government policies [Catholic World News, 9 December ] Researchers at the Catholic University of Korea have transplanted adult stem cells extracted from bone marrow into the brains of patients with cerebral infarction. The surgery, carried out by Professors Rha Hyoung-kyun and Lee Jong-wook did not regenerate brain cells but improved blood flow in the damaged areas, alleviating paralysis and speech impairments in three out of five patients. [The Korea Times, 9 December ] A recently founded organisation of doctors and medical students in Spain is taking part in a pro-life march in Madrid tomorrow, together with other pro-life groups. Doctors for Life is part of a growing pro-life challenge to the new Socialist government's proposals to decriminalise abortion. [CWNews, 9 December ]

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