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Defending life from the moment of conception

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News, 1 June 2004

1 June 2004

1 June 2004 Gaps in the UK's embryo research laws could allow the creation of human-animal hybrids, The Times of London reports. UK law permits so-called 'therapeutic' human cloning and bans 'reproductive' cloning, which would involve the implantation of a cloned human embryo into a woman's uterus, but does not ban the creation of hybrids. One such experiment has already taken place at Cambridge University, where a team fused frogs' eggs and the nuclei of human cells. A spokeswoman for the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) said: "When the 1990 Act came into force people didn't think about how far science would have moved on by now. We think there should be clarification for research purposes." [The Times of London, 1 June ] The discovery of the remains of aborted babies in Kenya has been used by some pro-abortion groups to re-ignite the abortion debate. Jane Onyango of the Federation of Women Lawyers in Kenya called for abortion to be legalised in some situations, saying: "The public's first reaction to what has happened has been one of horror. But people need to be realistic." Archbishop Benjamin Nzimbi, the head of the Anglican Church in Kenya, described abortion as 'a great evil'. [The Guardian, 1 June ] A euthanasia campaigner and journalist has written a book entitled the Good Euthanasia Guide 2004, containing information on pro-euthanasia organisations around the world and countries where euthanasia is legal. Derek Humphry, founder of the Hemlock Society, was inspired by books such as the Good Food Guide and hopes that his publication will be updated annually. [The Guardian, 1 June ] Concerns have been expressed about the care of elderly people after a survey in Wales revealed that 62% found it difficult to afford a healthy diet and 40% found it difficult to get to shops. Two thirds reported difficulties carrying shopping home whilst others reported problems reading and opening packaging. The second Welsh Food Alliance Older People's Food Survey recommended that groups for the elderly work with officials and community workers to ensure that problems with access to food are addressed. [icWales, 1 June ] A survey conducted by The Sun-Herald of 10 pharmacies in Sydney, Australia, has found that many do not follow recommendations regarding counselling those who ask for the abortifacient morning after pill. Only two pharmacists followed the recommendations and in one pharmacy, a beauty consultant handed over the drug after consulting with a pharmacist. Sydney's Life Office is to hold a forum on the morning after pill this week that will include speakers such as Bishop Anthony Fisher and John Wilks, a pro-life pharmacist. [The Sydney Morning Herald, 30 May ] The African Christian Democratic Party of South Africa has criticised the decision by Pretoria's High Court to allow under-18s to have abortions without parental consent. Kenneth Meshoe said that the party 'will not agree to something as destructive as this law.' [IOL, 31 May ]

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