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Defending life
from conception to natural death


News, 21 January 2004

21 January 2004

21 January 2004 The International Federation of Catholic Medical Associations (FIAMC) has issued a statement ahead of the Council of Europe's discussion on the Marty Report on Euthanasia. The Marty Report aims to introduce laws exempting physicians from prosecution if they participate in assisted suicide. The FIAMC have protested against the report, fearing that it will lead to physicians being pressurised to act against the Geneva Convention, and argued in favour of 'optimal palliative care at the end of life.' The debate is due to be held on 29 January. [Zenit, 20 January ] The head of the UK's Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority has said that the law should be changed to remove reference to 'the need of the child for a father.' Suzi Leather claims that the reference to fathers is 'a bit of a nonsense', stating: "It is absolutely clear if you think about the changes in society and the different ways that families can be constituted that it is anachronistic for the law to include the statement about the child's need for a father." [The Guardian, 21 January ] A group of scientists have asked the media not to report the claims of 'cowboy cloners' which raise fears among the general public, BBC reports. Lord Robert May, president of the Royal Society, joined the appeal after Dr Panos Zavos claimed at a press conference that he had implanted a cloned embryo into a woman. [BBC, 21 January ] Lord May supports so-called therapeutic cloning. Right to Life Michigan (RTLM) is launching a television campaign promoting adoption rather than abortion, reports. The adverts, entitled The Answer, Courage and Mother of My Child, will run for ten weeks, particularly in areas with high abortion rates. "Each day we need to applaud women who choose adoption and life for their unborn children," said RTLM. "Placing a child for adoption is not easy; it displays courage and should be commended." [, 20 January ] A 16-year-old schoolgirl who was raped and kept her baby has spoken about her experience in the Sun newspaper. Lisa Askew, now 20, described how she initially rejected the baby and could not be left alone with him, but eventually bonded with him. "I know he has his father's eyes and hair but when I look at him, all I see is my beautiful son," she said, "It never ceases to amaze me that something so precious and wonderful came from something so terrible. He's my beautiful boy and I wouldn't change him for the world." [The Sun, 21 January ] The Scottish Socialist Party's health spokesman has called for women to be guaranteed an abortion within one week and for the morning after pill to be freely available 24 hours a day. Carolyn Lechie also accused the Scottish Executive of failing to give enough funding to sex education. [Edinburgh Evening News, 19 January ] Experts in Taiwan are advocating the distribution of the morning after pill without prescription in a bid to tackle the high teenage pregnancy rate, LifeSite reports. Dr Liu Wei-min of the Taipei Medical University Hospital claims that the pill is not abortion-inducing but delays ovulation, even though it works by preventing implantation. The increased use of the morning after pill around the world has been partly attributed to the efforts of the pro-abortion International Consortium on Emergency Contraception. [, 16 January ]

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