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Defending life from the moment of conception

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News, 21 May 2004

21 May 2004

21 May 2004 A woman who sold her unborn baby to two different couples via a surrogacy website and signed an agreement with a third faces a maximum sentence of 10 years imprisonment. Moira Greenslade from West Yorkshire pleaded guilty to three charges of obtaining money by deception and three offences under the Adoption Act. [Sky News, 21 May ] Scientists from the University of Porto in Portugal have warned that men with low sperm counts who father children through IVF may have an increased risk of passing on genetic conditions. The research team examined the sperm DNA of men with normal and low counts and observed more genetic defects in men with low sperm counts. Professor Chris Barratt, Head of Reproductive Medicine and Birmingham University said: "This is a further concern regarding assisted conception." [BBC, 20 May ] A study published in the British Medical Journal has found that half the population carry gene variations which increase the risk of neural tube defects in unborn children. Folic acid plays a crucial role in the development of the spinal column and women have been urged to begin taking folic acid at least one month before becoming pregnant. Dr Peadar Kirke of Dublin's Health Research Board suggested fortifying flour products with folic acid as 40 countries outside Europe already do. Approximately one baby in 1000 is born with a neural tube defect but many more are aborted. [BBC, 20 May ] 48 Catholic Democrats have signed a letter to Cardinal McCarrick claiming that withholding Communion from pro-abortion politicians was 'deeply hurtful' and would stir up anti-Catholic bigotry. The letter was signed by both pro-abortion and pro-life politicians after a number of US bishops asked those who publicly support abortion to refrain from receiving Communion. [Zenit, 20 May ] A 93-year-old man who watched Nancy Crick commit suicide in a highly-publicised euthanasia case two years ago, has said that he will tell police everything he knows. Fred Short was one of 21 people who gathered at Mrs Crick's home and stood by whilst she took an overdose. She had chronicled her suicide plans in an online diary and claimed to have terminal cancer, though a post mortem failed to find any evidence that this was the case. The police investigation had stalled because none of the witnesses would agree to be interviewed. [The Age, 20 May ]

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