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Defending life from the moment of conception

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Pro-lifers attacked at peaceful protest

5 October 2006

About 1,175 pro-life people who were peacefully protesting against abortion in Wilmington, North Carolina were pelted with eggs by passers-by and had signs reading "Abortion kills children" and "Adoption: The loving option" plucked from their hands. It was the 16th year that the "Life Chain", an annual event, had taken place in the town. [StarNewsOnline 2 October]

Sam Archbishop Celestina Migliore, the Catholic Church's representative to the United Nations, has addressed the UN General Assembly telling it that it should not consider "access to reproductive health" as a tool to promote abortions. He reminded the General Assembly that previous UN documents have "sought to balance strongly held views" and that it is imperative to "ensure that respect for this delicate balance be maintained." [ 4 October]

Three teams of scientists in London, Edinburgh and Newcastle are to submit simultaneous applications to the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) this month, requesting licences to create early-stage chimeric embryos (embryos of combined heredity) by placing DNA from the nucleus of a human cell in an animal egg. Rabbit or cow eggs would be used. The HFEA has sought legal advice and it encouraged the applications. Two of the groups, led by Stephen Minger at King's College, London, and Ian Wilmut, the Edinburgh University scientists whose team created Dolly the cloned sheep plan to use the chimeric embryos to create stem cells that carry the genetic defects responsible for conditions such as motor neurone disease. The Newcastle group hopes to insert skin cells into animal eggs to identify how eggs can reprogramme adult tissues into more primitive cells. [Guardian 5 October]

Dr Joseph Stanford, associate professor of family and preventative medicine at the University of Utah School of Medicine, who sat on the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) advisory panel on the so-called morning after pill says that it often fails to prevent pregnancy, does not reduce abortion or unplanned pregnancy rates and is capable of acting as an abortifacient. He participated in the FDA's 2003 council to determine if the morning after pill should be available over-the-counter and voted against such approval. The drug was released for over-the-counter sales in the USA one month ago. Dr. Stanford accused proponents of the drug of a "deliberate redefinition" of the beginning of life as being implantation, not fertilization, in order to claim that the drug is not abortifacient. [LifeSiteNews 4 October]

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