New IVF research on twinning
3 July 2007
Research into embryonic development in the first five days suggests that it should be possible to determine which embryos are likely to split into identical twins. These would not be implanted, thereby avoiding multiple pregnancies, which carry greater risks for mother and babies. The research was carried out by a team at the Mio Fertility Clinic in Yonago, Japan. [Times, 3 July] If an IVF embryo is not implanted it could be frozen, experimented upon or discarded.
A baby has been born after a pioneering procedure that can be used for women for whom conventional IVF treatment is medically dangerous. Immature eggs were extracted from the ovaries, matured in a dish with the aid of hormones, then frozen and stored. One egg was later thawed, fertilized, and implanted, resulting in the baby's birth last year. Twenty women took part in the study being carried out by a team of doctors at the McGill Reproductive Centre in Montreal, Canada; three others are pregnant. [Guardian, 2 July]
New Hampshire has become the first US state to repeal a law requiring parental notification for teenage girls to get abortions. The bill was signed on Friday by Governor John Lynch who said that it wasn't always possible for parents to be notified, and that the Supreme Court had declared this law unconstitutional because it did not protect the health and safety of all women. Forty-four US states have parental notification laws, nine of which are unenforceable because they have been challenged in court by Planned Parenthood. [CNA on EWTN, 2 July]
An abortionist has been charged with breaking Kansas law on late-term abortion procedures. The 19 cases involved women who were more than 21 weeks pregnant. In such circumstances the law requires two independent doctors to conclude that continuing the pregnancy would lead to substantial harm to the woman's health. It is alleged that Dr. George Tiller cited a second doctor who was not financially and legally independent from him. [CNA, 2 July]
More than 20,000 people, including leaders from the Catholic Church and from evangelical denominations, marched through the Bolivian city of Sucre demanding that the new constitution includes protection for the unborn. At the end of the march, the organisers presented the Constitutional Assembly, who were meeting in Sucre to draft the new constitution, with a manifesto demanding recognition of the "right to life from the moment of conception." [Catholic News Agency, 2 July]