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Defending life
from conception to natural death


18 November 2005

18 November 2005

18 November 2005 The Bishop of Arlington, Paul Loverde, preached a homily at the Respect for Life Mass held in Fairfax a few weeks ago in which he emphasised the link between embryonic stem cell therapy and other anti-life practices such as abortion.

'One cannot be against abortion yet condone the destruction of embryonic stem cells for research purposes as an acceptable side effect of medical progress. One cannot be against abortion and yet accept the birth control pill or other chemical form of birth regulation. Each of these will kill the newly conceived child before he attaches to his mother's uterus. As our Holy Father writes in "The Gospel of Life," they "are fruits of the same tree.'"

[Arlington Catholic Herald, 17 November ] UK scientists have expressed scepticism over an Indian doctor's claims to have treated over 100 terminally ill patients using embryonic stem cell therapy.

Dr Geeta Shroff operates a clinic in New Delhi offering therapy for conditions such as tuberculosis of the spine and motor neuron disease.

Although several of her patients claim to have experienced improvements in their conditions, UK scientists suggested this might be due to a placebo effect, noting that there have been no clinical trials or peer reviewed papers.

Stephen Minger, director of the King's College London stem cell biology laboratory called Dr Shroff's work 'highly implausible and frankly downright dangerous'.

[The Guardian, 18 November ] The Australian Prime Minister has said he would allow a conscience vote on the question of legalising the RU-486 abortion drug.

Liberal Party MPs are pressing for an amendment that would abolish the Health Minister's veto on legalising new drugs and believe it would pass on a free vote.

However, Tony Abbott the Health Minister says he believes there are safety concerns about RU-486, particularly if used in remote rural regions.

[Sydney Morning Herald, 18 November ] A national pro-life conference in Montreal, Canada has had to be moved at less than twenty-four hours notice, due to threats received from pro-abortion groups.

St Joseph's Oratory, the national Catholic shrine, had agreed to host the conference but disallowed it at the last minute claiming that they could not guarantee safety.

Two other Catholic churches and one Evangelical church offered their services, and the conference is now being held at La Bible Parle Evangelical church in Montreal.

Life Canada President Joanne Byfield said: 'I think this should show people that the groups and people who oppose us are not interested in discussion, free speech or tolerance'. [, 16&17 November ]

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