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Defending life from the moment of conception

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News, 15 September 2004

15 September 2004

15 September 2004 13 IVF children have been born using frozen eggs, The Independent reports. Italian researchers froze 737 eggs, 37% of which survived freezing and thawing. Dr Giovanni Coticchio who led the study said that the current egg survival rate was inadequate but that the technique could revolutionise IVF treatment. However, Simon Fishel of the Centres for Assisted Reproduction group of fertility clinics stressed that egg freezing is still at the experimental stage and is currently expensive, inefficient and uncomfortable for patients. [The Independent, 15 September ] A New Orleans court has thrown out a lawsuit by Norma McCorvey, which sought to overturn the Roe v. Wade ruling that legalised abortion in the US. Ms McCorvey, formerly known as Jane Roe, is now pro-life and contended that the case should be re-opened in light of evidence that abortion harms women. Allen Parker, her legal representative said that they would appeal and that the case 'will be ultimately decided by the Supreme Court.' [The Guardian, 15 September ] The tiny republic of San Marino is cashing in on Italy's new IVF laws by opening a private clinic just across the border for 'fertility tourists'. The clinic offers IVF treatment at the same price offered in Italy before the change in law. [The Independent, 15 September ] The UK pro-life student group Student LifeNet has revealed the National Union of Students' plans for pro-abortion campaigning in the new academic year. The NUS funds the campaigning organisation Abortion Rights and, according to Student LifeNet, are planning a joint conference with the NUS on abortion and the distribution of Abortion Rights booklets to UK university students. Student LifeNet warned that if student unions refuse to give out pro-life material alongside pro-abortion booklets, they may be in breach of the Education Act. [Student LifeNet, 15 September ] The Scottish Human Rights Centre has warned health boards that failing to feed elderly people properly is a breach of human rights, following reports that elderly people in hospitals are malnourished. A report in 2001 found that approximately one in five elderly patients in hospitals and care homes are undernourished, often because they are left to feed themselves when they are too frail to do so. A spokeswoman for the Scottish Executive stated: "The Scottish Executive has made it clear that food, fluid and nutritional care must be viewed as an essential clinical service and given priority." [The Scottish Herald, 14 September ] A number of Labour MEPs have backed the Women on Waves abortion ship that recently left Portuguese waters after failing to gain permission to dock. Claude Moraes, a Member of the European Parliament's Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Committee, said: "What is unclear in this situation is why the Portuguese Government banned the ship from entering Portuguese territorial waters. It could be the case that there has been a violation of the right to freedom of movement: this is why we are asking the European Commission to clarify the situation." [European Parliamentary Labour Party, 14 September ] Germany's National Ethics Council has announced that it will continue to oppose human cloning for research purposes. The Council was founded by the Federal Government in 2001 to offer ethical advice and is made up of theologians, scientists and businessmen. [DW-world, 13 September ] Canadian women are going across to the US for late-term abortions because of a shortage of abortionists in Quebec prepared to carry them out. Jim Hughes, National President of Campaign Life Coalition, stated: "Instead of protecting the basic human right to life of the unborn, abortions are being done as a modern and politically correct form of eugenics." [, 13 September ] A leading bioethicist has warned that the distance between Dutch and Nazi euthanasia practices has disappeared since the Netherlands decided to permit infants and newborns to be killed. Dr Claudia Navarini, professor of the School of Bioethics or the Regina Apostolorum Pontifical University, noted that after the Second World War emphasis was placed on 'consensual' euthanasia to distance it from Nazi practices, but that in the case of the euthanasia of babies and children there could be no suggest of consent by the patient. [Zenit, 13 September ]

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