China claims one-child policy is "a great achievement"
20 April 2006
The vice-minister of the Chinese Family Planning Commission has described the country's one-child policy as "a great achievement". In a substantial report into the policy and gender imbalance by major US TV news programme '60 Minutes', broadcast in the run-up to the US visit of Chinese president Hu Jintao, Ms Zhao Baige said that the prevention of an estimated 300 million people being added to the population has helped to make China an economic success. She refused to discuss the possibility of putting restrictions on abortion, which is currently legal up to birth. [CBS News, 16 April] The recently-issued 2005 human rights report from the US State Department has described China's one-child policy as "a coercive birth limitation policy, in some cases resulting in forced abortion and sterilization". Congressman Christopher Smith, addressing a Subcommittee on Africa, Global Human Rights and International Operations yesterday, described the human rights situation in China as "abysmal." [US State Department, 19 April]
Americans are evenly divided on the issue of abortion, according to a new survey taken by the Los Angeles Times and Bloomberg News. 46% of people questioned said that abortion should be legal all or most of the time while 43% of people said that it should either be totally illegal or illegal with exceptions. The poll was carried out in early April and surveyed 1,357 people. [Life News, 19 April]
A video that demonstrates the partial-birth abortion technique has been posted online by an American pro-life doctor. In the video, gynecologist Dr. William Lile demonstrates the procedure using simple models to a group of teenagers. The clip is part of a presentation on pre-birth development by Dr Lile. He said that his aim is "to use the visual technology of modern obstetrics to reveal the personhood of unborn babies threatened by abortion." [Life Site, 19 April]
American scientists have announced that they intend to clone human embryos for research. The researchers from Harvard and California made the announcement at a recent conference held in Cambridge, Massachusetts. One of the Harvard researchers, Kevin Eggan, admits to having visited the laboratory of disgraced South Korean scientist Hwang Woo-suk to learn his techniques for cloning and says that he was completely taken in by him. [Life Site, 19 April]
Taking too much cod liver oil is not good for pregnant women, according to a study by Icelandic scientists. Researchers at the Public Health Institute in Reykjavik studied 488 pregnant women and found that those who often took cod liver oil had a nearly five-fold increased risk of developing high blood pressure during pregnancy. Dr Anna Olafsdottir, who led the research, said, "It is not advisable to recommend avoiding cod liver oil during pregnancy, but rather to consume it in moderation, i.e. one teaspoon a day." [Reuters, 19 April]