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Defending life from the moment of conception

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News, 16 January 2004

16 January 2004

16 January 2004 The Scottish health minister has been criticised for ruling out making the morning after pill available in schools before the group he set up published its report. Malcolm Chisholm set up the group in a bid to cut Scotland's high rate of teenage pregnancy and STI. It has recommended quicker access to abortion and the distribution of free condoms, but the consultation process is not due to be completed until the end of February. [Edinburgh Evening News, 15 January ] The Texas board of health has given final approval to an informed consent law. The new rules require women to wait 24 hours before getting an abortion and oblige abortion providers to offer printed information regarding foetal development and abortion risks. [News24Houston, 15 January ] A nurse has been arrested on suspicion of administering a lethal injection to an elderly patient, Yorkshire Post reports. The 79-year-old man, Kenneth Heaton, who was suffering from leukaemia, was admitted to the hospital last year and died three days later after doctors told the family that he was beginning to respond to treatment. Humberside police are now investigating virtually all deaths on the ward of Hull Royal Infirmary where the nurse worked. [Yorkshire Post, 16 January ] One of the two women who were refused permission to use their frozen embryos against their partners' wishes has launched an appeal, BBC reports. Natallie Evans argued that if she had fallen pregnant naturally, her partner would have had no say over the future of the child and that European human rights legislation gives her embryos the right to life. [BBC, 16 January ] A US doctor's plan to search in Britain for a surrogate mother to carry a cloned baby has been criticised by the HFEA. Dr Panos Zavos is to launch his appeal when he arrives in London tomorrow, but the HFEA have pointed out that it is illegal to implant a cloned human embryo into a woman's body. Paul Rainsbury, the director of the Rainsbury Clinic which is about to launch an embryo-splitting programme in Britain, will accompany Dr Zavos at his pess conference. [The Independent, 16 January ] Kyoto University has produced Japan's first human embryonic stem cells, which could be distributed in the near future if the government approves them for use. Japan permits the use of 'spare' IVF embryos for research use and requires institutions to submit research proposals before authorising them to obtain stem cells. [Seattle Post-Intelligencer, 15 January ] China's ministry of science and technology and the ministry of health have issued written policies prohibiting human reproductive cloning but permitting so-called therapeutic cloning and embryo research. [People's Daily Online, 15 January ] A Boston man who claims that his wife had one of their IVF embryos implanted at a clinic without his consent gave evidence in court this week. Richard Gladu claims that the birth caused him to become ill with depression, forcing him to retire early. However, the legal representative of the Boston IVF clinic said that Mr Gladu never informed the clinic that he had changed his mind about the implantation of the embryos, having already signed consent forms. [CBSNews, 15 January ] The UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women has put pressure on the Nepalese government to ensure access to abortion, LifeSite reports. Having pressurised Nepal to legalise abortion in 2001, the Committee has demanded to know if convicted abortionists remain in prison and has urged the government to 'reinforce reproductive and sexual health programmes, in particular in rural areas, and to allow abortion when pregnancies are life threatening or a result of rape or incest.' [LifeSite, 15 January ] Over 60 pro-abortion organisations used this week's European Population Forum in Geneva to attack the Catholic Church and the Bush administration for their stance on abortion. Jill Sheffield of Family Care International, said: "The White House (and the Vatican), and a range of other right-wing fundamentalist and religious groups, are working to turn back the clock" whilst Steven Sinding of International Planned Parenthood Federation said that they must work against pro-lifers by 'discrediting their pseudo-science and unmasking their ideological motives.' The forum also discussed the dangerous consequences of Europe's population decline. [CWNews/C-Fam, 15 January ]

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