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Defending life from the moment of conception

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Court authorises abortion on mentally disabled teenager

2 August 2006

An Argentine court has authorised an abortion on a 19 year old mentally impaired woman. It is asserted that she was raped. The supreme court of Buenos Aires province ruled that an abortion in the woman's case was a permissible exception to Argentina's constitution, which recognises the humanity of the unborn child from the moment of conception. It is not yet clear whether the ruling will be appealed to the national supreme court. The Catholic University of La Plata has offered comprehensive care of the child and support for the family if the baby is allowed to be born. [CNN, 1 August ; LifeSite, 1 August]

Britain's embryo regulator has given permission for a couple to use their six frozen embryos in a surrogate motherhood arrangement overseas. The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) granted the permission for Michelle Hickman and her husband Martin Hymers after they were unable to find a surrogate mother in Britain and the five year legal limit for storing frozen embryos was due to expire. [Manchester Evening News, 2 Aug]

A complex custody battle is being fought in the American state of Utah. Baby X was conceived by Rachel Sullivan for $23,000 in a surrogacy deal with homosexual Arthuro Nuocsi, since imprisoned for fraud. (The report suggests Miss Sullivan impregnated herself by artificial insemination with Nuocsi's sperm). Sullivan won custody of the toddler at first but now says she cannot look after him; Nuocsi wants his sister in Canada to have custody till he is out of gaol; but the Utah couple now caring for him want to adopt the 2-year-old. David Wilde, the lawyer for the surrogate mother, commented: "[W]e're kind of in this brave new world of surrogate parents." [LifeSite, 1 August]

Tony Blair, the British prime minister, has again endorsed destructive stem cell research on embryonic children. Visiting Genentech, a biotechnology company in San Francisco, Mr Blair said: "This is an area that I think is of fundamental importance for my country and its economic developments in the future." [San Francisco Chronicle, 1 August]

The Indian government has rejected calls to legalise euthanasia. K Venkatapathy, minister of state for law and justice, said: "Government is not considering to give legal status to euthanasia. Till date law has not permitted it and application for the same cannot be entertained." [The Times of India, 1 August]

Cannabis use may cause miscarriages, a new study suggests. Researchers at the Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee, found that in mice THC, cannabis's active ingredient, prevented the implantation of newly-conceived embryos in the womb. [The Telegraph, 2 August]

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