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Defending life from the moment of conception

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Frightening new steps in embryo experimentation

22 April 2008

Artificial reproduction may be performed in a capsule in women's bodies rather than in a laboratory vessel. The Invocell technique involves the mixing of eggs and sperm in a container which is placed in the vagina for three days. Any resulting embryos are screened for quality and implanted in the womb. [Times, 21 April] John Smeaton of SPUC writes: "The Times report is frightening. It refers to 'fertilised embryos' being 'examined for quality' and the 'best one or two' being transferred to the womb. Dr Ranoux, of BioXcell, said the company hopes to "market" their device in Europe, including Britain, later this year. These are our fellow human beings and they are treated as disposable commodities created via a manufacturing process to be sold to the highest bidder." [SPUC director's blog, 21 April]

Members of the European parliament have voted in support of a proposal for an EU-wide organ donor-consent card and telephone-based coordination centre. Only some EU countries have their own donor-card systems while Belgium, Denmark and Spain presume consent. It is claimed that there is a trade in illegally-traficked organs which the donor card could reduce. [BBC, 21 April] Mr Gordon Brown, the UK prime minister, wants to change the current system of organ donation so that people's consent is assumed unless they actively opt out. See SPUC-director blogspot (14th January 2008)

A pro-life former US senator is backing Senator John McCain, his fellow-Republican, for president. Mr Richard Santorum wishes Mr McCain had been more involved with the pro-life cause but says: "... with the exception of embryonic stem-cell funding, [Senator McCain] always voted for life and stood for the culture of life." [LifeNews, 21 April]

SPUC supporters in Nottingham, England, will hold a pro-life chain on Saturday. They will stand at the roadside with placards which bring home the reality of abortion. [Evening Post, 21 April] It is one of 50 such events throughout Britain. [SPUC]

A woman in America has donated stem cells to help cure leukaemia in a man in England. The blood of Mrs Lea Rosenberg of New Jersey was a good enough match to treat Mr George Kannides of Surrey. [Daily Mail, 22 April]

Electronic cards are being experimentally used to store medical records for expectant mothers in Germany. Women there already get a booklet to monitor their pregnancy. The electronic version is supposed to be more effective. [Hospital Europe, 21 April]

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