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Defending life from the moment of conception

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17 November 2004

17 November 2004

17 November 2004 A UK teenager who hit the headlines after she underwent an abortion without her mother's knowledge has become pregnant again. Her mother said that she was 'hell-bent on replacing the one she lost' and that the family would support her. [BBC, 17 November ] Tony Blair is launching a five-year plan with the aim of making the UK the science capital of the world, particularly in the area of stem cell research. Mr Blair is a strong supporter of embryo research and human cloning, and is expected to say at the launch: "We will not stop this research. The potential benefits are huge." [Sky News, 17 November ] In a press release, SPUC drew attention to the Prime Minister's anti-life record on embryo research, cloning and abortion, and appealed to him to promote policies that respect the human right to life. [SPUC press release, 17 November ] The parents of baby Charlotte Wyatt are seeking to overturn a court ruling that doctors should not resuscitate her if she stops breathing, saying that her condition is improving. Charlotte was born three months premature and according to her parents can now respond to sound and focus her eyes on her baby brother. [Portsmouth Today, 16 November ] A UK Government White Paper on Public Health has set out the Government's strategy for tackling the growing sexual health crisis, BBC reports. Screening for the STI Chlamydia is to be promoted nationwide within three years, along with shorter waiting times for appointments at Genito Urinary clinics and a national campaign specifically targeting the area of unintended pregnancy and disease. [BBC, 16 November ] A solicitor working for the UK's Lawyers' Christian Fellowship has brought a legal challenge to the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority over their decision to grant a cloning licence to Professor Alison Murdoch at the Newcastle Fertility Centre. Comment on Reproductive Ethics has expressed support for Peng Voong's action, which covers the legality of the licence and the HFEA's refusal to disclose information about its licensing procedures. [CORE, 17 November] The father of a teenage girl who died after taking the RU-486 abortion drug has said that new safety warnings are not enough to protect women after a third death was linked to the drug. Monty Patterson said that RU-486 should be banned, asking "how many more deaths is it going to take before the FDA takes more action to remove this drug from the market?" 676 women reported complications when using RU-486, including 72 women who required blood transfusions after heavy bleeding. [ABC News, 16 November ] The director of the Caroline Chisholm Centre for Health Ethics in Melbourne has said that anonymous donor conception denies children the right to trace their biological fathers. Fr Norman Ford's comments came in response to a document produced by the Victorian Law Reform Commission that discusses changing the law to allow donor conception at IVF clinics for single or lesbian women. [Cathnews.com, 17 November ] John Paul II has appealed for the lives of people with disabilities to be respected and protected whether born or unborn. In a meeting with the Christian Office of the Disabled, the Pope called upon government leaders and lawmakers "to halt all actions aimed at eliminating conceived and unborn children, who are defenceless, with man thus making himself the master of life." [Zenit, 16 November ]

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