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Defending life from the moment of conception

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Patil: We must banish gendercide

26 July 2007

The new Indian president has criticised the practice of sex selective abortion which results in the killing of many unborn girls. Pratibha Patil, who was elected last week, emphasised, as she was being sworn in, that women's rights were important to her. She said: "We must banish malnutrition, social evils, infant mortality and female foeticide." [Irish Independent, 26 July]

The majority of pregnant women in Britain are unsure what they should or should not eat, according to a recent survey. A poll by the Organix baby food company found that 60% of the women surveyed said that they did not know which foods were safe to eat during their pregnancy. Women were especially unsure about foods such as cheese, shellfish, eggs, tuna and nuts. One in five said they had been given conflicting advice on their diet from midwives. [Daily Mail, 25 July]

An electronic IVF device is being developed by Japanese researchers. Tokyo University scientists are working on a so-called "womb-on-a-chip" that can produce embryos when it is fed with sperm and eggs. The 2mm wide device can contain up to 20 fertilised eggs which can grow there until ready for implantation or freezing. Dr Teruo Fujii, who is leading the research, said: "We are providing the embryos with a much more comfortable environment, mimicking what happens in the body." He plans to test the chip on human embryos later this year. [Irish Examiner, 26 July]

An American doctor accused of killing four patients in New Orleans after hurricane Katrina has been cleared by a grand jury. Dr Anna Pou, a cancer surgeon at Memorial Medical Centre, along with two nurses, denied using lethal doses of morphine and a sedative to kill four elderly patients. New Orleans District Attorney Eddie Jordan said: "[The grand jury] concluded that no crime had been committed. And that is the decision of our grand jury, and I think justice has been served after due process." [BBC, 24 July]

Mr Nelson Mandela's recently formed group has been criticised for its anti-life bias. The Elders, which aims to be a group of international leaders offering advice and experience to the world, so far consists of Mr Kofi Annan, Ms Ela Bhatt, Ms Gro Harlem Brundtland, Mr Jimmy Carter, Ms Graça Machel, Ms Mary Robinson, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Mr Muhammad Yunus, Mr Li Zhaoxing, and Mr Mandela. Jim Hughes, vice-president of International Right to Life, said: "I'm not particularly reassured by that group. Given that almost all of the members of the group are well-known, powerful figures in pro-abortion, pro-population control, pro-everything else circles, I can imagine what sort of 'wisdom' they plan on offering the world. Personally, I think the world would be a much better place without that sort of wisdom." [LifeSite, 23 July]

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