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Defending life from the moment of conception

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Alito: I have no agenda to end abortion

11 January 2006

Judge Samuel Alito, who has been nominated for the US Supreme Court, has said that he has "no agenda" to put an end to abortion. In response to stringent questioning from Democrat opponents in the Senate, Alito said that he would consider each abortion case individually: "I would approach the question with an open mind and I would listen to the arguments that were made." When asked whether he believed that the Constitution includes the right to an abortion, Alito refused to answer the question, prompting speculation that he would vote to overrule the pro-abortion Roe v. Wade ruling of 1973. [The Guardian, 11 January]

The president of Seoul National University, where Hwang Woo-suk, the disgraced stem cell scientist, was professor, has apologised for the fraud that took place at his school. Chung Un-chan said: "Hwang's research team did something scientists should never do. This incident left a mark that cannot be erased in Korea and the international science community. For embarrassing the country, as the president of this university, I am deeply to sorry to everyone." [Reuters, 11 January]

The Royal Society has warned stem cell scientists to be cautious when publishing results of research. Sir Richard Gardner, the chairman of the society, said that researchers should not be "blinded by the prospect of public acclaim". This follows the report that South Korean scientist Hwang Woo-suk's claims to have cloned human embryonic stem cells were fake. However, Sir Richard also said that human cloning was an "exciting field" and that it was important that research into human embryonic stem cells should continue. [The Guardian, 10 January]

Paul Burstow, the Liberal Democrat Health Spokesman is proposing a bill in parliament calling for an improvement in the standard of meals in nursing homes for the elderly. It is reported that a fifth of all nursing homes leave residents at "high risk" of malnutrition due to low budget and inadequate training of staff. [Channel 4 News, 10 January] Another study carried out by Mr Burstow found that over 3000 people a year die alone and uncared for. Between 2000 and 2004, approximately 11,000 funerals had to be arranged by local authorities, as no family or friends came forward to make the arrangements. Mr Burstow, who supported the Mental Capacity Bill, said, "We all have a responsibility to look out and care for vulnerable neighbours, friends and relatives." [Sutton Guardian, 5 January]

The Brazilian government has admitted that a bill which would legalise abortion up to 12 weeks into pregnancy is unlikely to pass. The government, which previously supported the bill, has acknowledged that the opposition in the country is too strong for the bill to succeed. Brazil's Catholic bishops have persistently spoken out against the legislation, after the Pope urged them to do so. Angela Guadagnin, a congresswoman leading the campaign to stop the bill, said: "Taking a life is no way to address an unwanted pregnancy. We're not going to let it happen." [Life News, 10 January]

 
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