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Defending life
from conception to natural death


News, 19 October 2004

19 October 2004

19 October 2004 A Cardiff Assisted Reproduction Unit has said that it may have to stop its sperm donation service after a drop in the number of men willing to come forward as donors. The sharp decrease comes after new rules were announced that give children born through sperm donation the right to trace their biological father. The shortage is expected to become widespread across the country. [BBC, 19 October ] Arnold Schwarzenegger the Republican governor of California has endorsed funding for embryonic stem cell research in the state, The Guardian reports. Schwarzenegger said: "California has always been a pioneer. We daringly led the way for the high-tech industry and now voters can help ensure we lead the way for the biotech industry." [The Guardian, 19 October ] A woman who received an ovary transplant from her identical twin sister is six weeks pregnant. Stephanie Yarber became infertile in her early teens and went ahead with the transplant surgery after two unsuccessful attempts at IVF. Dr Richard Kennedy of the British Fertility Society described the development as 'interesting' but believes it to have limited practical benefits as it requires a donor to sacrifice an entire ovary and would normally require powerful drugs to prevent tissue rejection. [The Telegraph, 19 October ] The US Supreme Court has upheld a decision by the California Supreme Court dismissing a legal challenge to Planned Parenthood over its refusal to provide information on the link between abortion and breast cancer. The three women who filed the lawsuit were ordered to pay $77,000 legal fees. [Seattle Post-Intelligencer, 18 October ] Cardinal Theodore McCarrick of Washington has described the embryonic stem cell debate as a 'phony issue' when adult stem cell research is already producing benefits for thousands of people. He argued that adult stem cell research should be "encouraged and supported by public and private funds alike because it has proven to be useful and beneficial to human beings and does not destroy the lives of anyone." [CathNews, 19 October ] Research into IVF success rates has found that Japanese, Indian and Chinese women are less likely to conceive and sustain a pregnancy using IVF than Caucasian women. Dr Karen Purcell from the University of California described the differences as 'staggering' but the possible factors have not been studied. [BBC, 19 October ]

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