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Defending life
from conception to natural death


3 February 2005

3 February 2005

3 February 2005 The Brazilian health ministry is to finance a study involving the use of stem cells taken from the patient's bone marrow to treat heart damage.

The study is expected to involve 1,200 patients, half of whom will receive stem cell transplants whilst the other receive traditional drug or surgical treatments.

[Yahoo, 2 February ] Australia's acting Prime Minister John Anderson is backing a pro-life debate on late-term abortion, Cathnews reports.

John Murphy MP has said that he will introduce a private member's bill ending a 'conspiracy of silence' to ensure that abortions are recorded and statistics made available to the public.

Anglican Archbishop Peter Carnley called abortion 'an unresolved problem' and backed the current political debate.

[Cathnews, 3 February ] A feature on has drawn attention to the changing nature of the abortion debate in Australia, particularly the number of young women who are becoming involved in the pro-life movement and the growing understanding that abortion is detrimental to women.

Miranda Devine cites the gathering of 800 women last December who are, in the words of Melinda Tankard Reist the organiser, "appealing to a broad range of women who question abortion and don't feel at home with the traditional pro-life movement."

[SMH, 3 February ] A US broadcaster has said that he still regrets the abortion of his child 20 years ago.

John Morales, who is a correspondent for a Catholic radio station Relevant Radio, was involved in a relationship in his twenties that ended with his girlfriend becoming pregnant and having an abortion.

He now uses his experience to reach out to men who have lost children to abortion and to encourage involvement in the pro-life campaign.

[Catholic News, 31 January ] Researchers at Boston's Tufts University have isolated a type of adult stem cell in bone marrow that has the characteristics of human embryonic stem cells. When tested on rats with heart damage, the cells changed into heart muscle and new blood vessels. Dr Douglas W Losordo of Tufts University said: "I think embryonic stem cells are going to fade in the rearview mirror of adult stem cells."

[, 2 February ] A survey of Maltese attitudes to abortion has reported that the overwhelming majority oppose abortion and believe that life begins at conception. Nine out of 10 Maltese adults surveyed said that the unborn child has human rights, with 86% opposing abortion and 83.5% stating the life begins at conception.

The majority of those holding these views were women. 82.1% said that Malta should not legalise abortion even if the whole of Europe does.

However, over a quarter of respondents said that abortion was acceptable to save a mother's life, 13.4% in cases of rape and 9% in case of disability.

[The Times of Malta, 2 February ] Correction: In November 2004, SPUC reported that a study published in the American Journal of Public Health had found that the teenage pregnancy rate in McHenry county had risen following the imposition of mandatory parental consent before minors could be provided with contraception.

An erratum has been published in this month's edition of the journal, indicating that incorrect pregnancy numbers had been used in the original article.

The erratum reports that on the basis of the correct data, there was no significant change in teenage pregnancy in McHenry following the policy change.

The errors were uncovered by Dr David Paton of the University of Nottingham who reviewed the data. [original story ]

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