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Defending life
from conception to natural death


News, 19 May 2004

19 May 2004

19 May 2004 The world's first embryonic stem cell bank has opened in Britain, amid promises of future treatment for a variety of diseases. The bank, funded by the Medical Research Council (MRC) and the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, will store embryonic, foetal and adult stem cells. Pro-life groups have protested against embryonic stem cell research, with a spokesman for the charity Life stating: "So-called therapeutic cloning is something which we feel is unethical, unnecessary and very dangerous." [Reuters, 19 May ] In a press release, SPUC stated: "It is a day of shame for Britain that we as a nation are leading the way in an area of science that disregards the most fundamental of human rights: the right to life." [SPUC press release ] Canada's health ministry has proposed allowing over-the-counter sales of the abortion-inducing morning after pill. Pierre Pettigrew the Health Minister said in a statement: "Women facing an emergency need timely access to this type of therapy." [CWNews, 18 May ] The Catholic archbishop of Nairobi has expressed dismay at the work of government officials who are trying to legalise abortion. Archbishop Ndingi Mwana'a Nzeki questioned the accuracy of recent reports citing 300,000 unsafe abortions allegedly being performed in Kenya every year. He pointed out that grossly exaggerated abortion statistics had been used as a tactic to change the law in many Western countries. [CWNews, 18 May ] Police have questioned the 14-year-old schoolgirl at the centre of a secret abortion row and her boyfriend over underage sex issues. A decision will be made shortly regarding possible action. The girl's mother apparently intends to take her case to the European Court of Human Rights, which could challenge the UK's confidentiality laws in this area. [Mansfield Today, 19 May ] A former Conservative MSP has written an article calling upon the Scottish Parliament to legalise euthanasia. Lyndsay McIntosh wrote that she would have helped her terminally ill father to die if she had had the means and that euthanasia was a "one of those 'no-go' political areas." A spokesman for the Scottish Executive claimed that there were 'no plans' to change the law on euthanasia. [The Scotsman, 19 May ]

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