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Defending life
from conception to natural death


News, 5 July 2004

5 July 2004

5 July 2004 Lord Steel of Aikwood, who in 1967 introduced legal abortion to Britain through private legislation, has called for a halving of the time limit for abortion to 12 weeks. [BBC , 5 July] Anthony Ozimic, SPUC's political secretary, commented: "Lord Steel's proposal is not aimed at reducing the numbers of abortions. His call for a general ban on abortions after 12 weeks was accompanied with a promotion of abortion on demand before 12 weeks. Lord Steel is trying to lead parliamentarians into the trap of repeating the mistake of 1990, when a bill to restrict the time-limit for abortions backfired and led to the legalisation of abortion up to birth for handicap. A majority of today's MPs would vote to make abortion even more easily available. The pro-abortion lobby are not only actively campaigning for abortion on demand but also for abortions to be performed by non-doctors, the specific targeting of nurses to become abortionists and the provision of chemical abortion in family planning clinics." [SPUC, 5 July 2004 ] A Florida appeal court has told the parents of a woman who is being fed by tube that they cannot take part in legal proceedings over whether she should continue to be fed. Mr and Mrs Bob Schindler will be prevented from intervening in the argument over the constitutionality of Governor Jeb Bush's law which resulted in a resumption on the feeding of Mrs Terri Schiavo. Mr Michael Schiavo, Mrs Schiavo's husband, wants the law overturned and the Schindlers wanted to join Governor Bush in his defence of it. The parents can, nevertheless, file papers with the supreme court. [Guardian, 1 July ] A woman from Wiltshire, England, is said to be wanting to pursue her legal battle to have frozen IVF embryos implanted without the father's consent. Ms Natallie Evans, 32, of Wiltshire, became infertile after chemotherapy for cancer. Mr Howard Johnston, her partner, took part in IVF treatment in 2001 but the couple have since split. The court of appeal last month ruled against Ms Evans but she is said to be considering taking the case to the House of Lords and, if it fails there, to the European court. The embryos are in a clinic in Bath, Avon. [Wiltshire Times, 2 July ] Scientists at Hadassah university, Jerusalem, claim to have reversed symptoms of Parkinson's disease in rats by putting stem cells from a cloned human being in their brains. When scientists in the USA put foetal stem cells in Parkinson's patients' brains three years ago, the cells grew more than was expected and the patients experienced serious side-effects. A professor at Cambridge university, England, has called for more information about the Israeli experiment. [Guardian, 1 July ] A multiple sclerosis sufferer in Scotland has asked the country's first minister to legalise euthanasia. Mr Andrew Graham of Fife says he is in constant pain and threatens suicide. The Voluntary Euthanasia Society commented that so-called assisted dying was happening in Scotland but in secret. The Disability Awareness in Action organisation warned that legalisation of euthanasia would be a slippery slope. [Sunday Herald, 4 July ] IVF and cloning could make genetic disorders more likely, according to research by Cornell university, New York. In work on mice, scientists found an increased risk of Beckwith-Wiedmann and Angelman's syndromes. The problems could be caused by substances used to stimulate ovulation and assist implantation, or by in vitro culture. [Scotsman, 1 July ] The UK's Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) has warned British couples against going to central Europe for IVF. The procedure is cheaper in central Europe but the HFEA warns that it is unregulated. The authority has questioned the safety of IVF in those countries. A Danish professor told a conference on fertility in Germany last week that some central European countries had IVF success-rates that are comparable with those in western Europe. [Telegraph, 1 July ] Scientists at Seoul university, South Korea, claim that cloned human embryos can provide an effectively unlimited supply of stem cells for therapies. Professor Shin-Yong Moon's team say they used somatic cell nuclear transfer to create one stem cell line from 30 blastocysts which were produced from nearly 250 eggs from 16 donors. Professor Moon said: "In therapeutic cloning, the embryo is destroyed after the stem cells have been harvested." [Medical News Today, 30 June ] Canada's recent election has resulted in an increase in pro-life MPs. LifeSite quotes Mr Paul Tuns of a source called The Interim as saying that the number has increased by "at least 10". New pro-life MPs include two from the Liberal party, whose majority government was reduced by the election to a minority administration. [LifeSite, 30 June ] Delegates to a British Medical Association conference in Wales have voted in favour of babies who survive abortion being treated in the same way as those who are born. Dr Michael Wilks, chairman of the association's ethics committee, pointed out that the vote reinforced guidelines which required the provision of such care. Ms I B Adedugbe, a medical student, said that the law considered children as alive if they had drawn breath. [Daily Mail, 1 July ] The Catholic Archdiocese of Boston, Massachusetts, is to consider a charge of heresy against Senator John Kerry, who is due to be chosen as the Democratic presidential candidate later this month. Mr Marc Balestrieri, an ecclesiastical lawyer, asserts in his submission to the church that Mr Kerry receives holy communion yet supports the availability of abortion. The process could lead to the senator's excommunication. Mr Balestrieri, who says he seeks Mr Kerry's repentance, has invited Catholics to join the suit if they feel their faith is injured by the senator's expressed views. [Washington Times, 1 July ] Girls as young as 14 have asked for state-funded IVF at a Wiltshire, England, clinic. Dr Jo Heaton says she declined to provide the girls with treatment because of their age. The state supports IVF for women aged 23 to 39 who have been trying to conceive for three years. [Scotsman, 5 July ] A dead woman and her eight-month-old dead foetus are part of an exhibition at the California Science Center. Dr Gunther von Hagens has preserved corpses for his Body Worlds event which has toured the world. The German Lutheran church criticised the display and, in London, someone covered the pregnant woman's remains with a blanket. [Guardian, 2 July ] A woman was victimised at work because of her pregnancy and was advised by a company director to have an abortion. Ms Nicola Dunne, 22, won employment proceedings against Keylet Limited of Cardiff, Wales. Miss Emma Nugent, a director, was said to have advised an abortion. [ic Wales, 2 July ] Unpasteurised cheese could be dangerous to pregnant women and their unborn children, according to UT Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, Texas. Dr Kevin Magee warned that unpasteurised cheeses such as brie, feta and queso fresco could contain listeria which causes serious infections. [Medical News Today, 4 July ]

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