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Defending life from the moment of conception

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23 December 2005

23 December 2005

23 December 2005 South Korean researcher Hwang Woo-Suk, who is being investigated for his suspect claims that he has created patient-specific embryonic stem cells, has resigned from his post as a university professor.

He came under pressure to resign when a panel of Seoul National University experts reported that Hwang had faked results of at least 9 of the 11 stem cell lines that he claimed to have created.

Hwang, who lectured at Seoul National University, apologised for "creating a shock and disappointment" but maintained that he had developed the technology to create patient-matched stem cells.

[The Times, 23 December ] A GP is being charged with conspiracy after her teenage daughter went abroad for an illegal late-term abortion.

Undercover journalists investigating a clinic in Barcelona discovered that Dr Saroj Adlakha, 59, had passed its contact details on to her daughter Shilpa Abrol who was over 24 weeks into her pregnancy.

The case will be heard on the 30 December. [BBC News, 21 December ] SPUC comment: Reports have not made clear exactly what Dr Adlakha and her daughter have been charged with.

The government's chief medical officer, Sir Liam Donaldson, cleared Britain's leading private abortion agency, BPAS, of wrong-doing in September (see: http://www.spuc.org.uk/news/archive/2005/september/22 )

for passing information about the Barcelona clinic to women seeking late abortion. The NHS is closing birth centres in an attempt to save money, according to the National Childbirth Trust.

At least 10 birth centres have closed or are at risk of closure, due to lack of funding at local levels. Belinda Phipps, chief executive of the NCT said: "We know that access to birth centres helps to increase normal birth rates, giving women with a straightforward pregnancy a better chance of giving birth without drugs, forceps or emergency surgery."

The NCT fears that the lack of alternative birth centres will put added pressure on the maternity wards of larger hospitals. [Society Guardian, 23 December ] A mother who unexpectedly gave birth to triplets three minutes apart from each other is safe and well and has returned home for Christmas.

Cheryl Davies, 28, who already has a daughter of five years old, was amazed when she found out that she was carrying triplets.

She said: "It was a shock at first, but it's a blessing, it's a miracle really.

It's a life changing thing." [Wilmslow Express, 21 December ] The United Nations Population Fund is starting to re-build so-called "reproductive health care" centres in areas struck by the tsunami last year. [M2, 23 December ]


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