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Defending life
from conception to natural death


25 January 2005

25 January 2005

25 January 2005 The US Supreme Court has ruled against protecting Terri Schiavo from having her tube feeding removed, The Guardian reports.

Terri Schiavo was brain-damaged in 1990 when her heart stopped temporarily and her family has fought a bitter legal battle with her husband Michael who wants her to be starved to death. Mrs Schiavo's father Robert Schindler described the ruling as 'judicial homicide.'

[The Guardian, 25 January ] A study has been published in the journal Human Reproduction describing the use of pre-implantation genetic diagnosis to prevent the birth of a baby with Hemolytic disease.

Pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) involves the creation of embryos using IVF which are then screened - in this case for a protein called rhesus D - and transferred to the mother's womb only if they test negative for the protein.

[Reuters, 25 January ] A UK school examinations watchdog has drawn up guidelines on how teachers should assess sex education classes.

The Qualifications and Curriculum Authority said that written tests assessing pupils' understanding of issues such as contraception and parenthood would be an option.

Times Education Supplement, 24 January ] Researchers at the University of California have said that current embryonic stem cell lines are contaminated with animal feeder cells and are not safe to use, BBC reports.

Dr Ajit Varki has called for new embryonic stem cell lines to be created without using animal-derived products, but this would breech US federal funding regulations which prohibit the creation of new human embryo stem cell lines.

[BBC, 24 January ] A UK newspaper is funding a competition with a course of IVF as the prize, The Scotsman reports.

The Birmingham Post plans to shortlist four finalists for investigations, one of whom will be chosen to undergo IVF.

The paper claims that the stunt will raise awareness about fertility treatment.

[The Scotsman, 24 January ] An Iraqi medical study has suggested that abortion rates among Iraqi women have risen since the beginning of the war.

Dr Nagham Hashim blamed the 'psychological pressure' of the hostilities for the increase in abortion but also, conversely, for an increase in temporary infertility among married women.

[Xinhuanet, 24 January ] The Secretariat for Pro-Life Activities of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops is running an advertising campaign in Washington about the facts surrounding legal abortion.

Advertisements will be featured on billboards and in newspapers such as The Washington Post, the Washington Times and the New Republic.

[, 24 January ] A US pro-life group has posted documents on its website detailing the complications reported by women who have taken the RU-486 abortion drug.

Concerned Women of America requested the records from the Food and Drug Administration, which include over 600 complications and three confirmed deaths, one of whom was 18-year-old Holly Patterson. [, 24 January]

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