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Defending life from the moment of conception

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Pro-life senator speaks at Democrat party convention

29 August 2008

A US senator has referred to his pro-life views at the Democrat party convention. Mr Robert Casey briefly mentioned his "honest disagreement" over abortion with Senator Barack Obama, presidential nominee. Mr Casey's eponymous late father was prevented from addressing the 1992 convention, possibly because of his similar stance. [CNA on EWTN, 27 August] Senator Casey deprecated single-issue voting, saying that the candidate should be judged on a range of policies. Mr Obama's remark that he would not want his daughters to be "punished with a baby" did not represent the nominee's views, Mr Casey claimed. [Catholic News Service, 28 August] Pro-life Democrats held a meeting in the same city as the convention. Rev Clenard Childress, a Baptist minister from New Jersey, spoke about research which suggests a link between abortion and breast cancer, and about depression caused by abortion. He said: "You need to be a pastor, and talk to the women who are still hearing heartbeats, who are still traumatised." [CNA on EWTN, 28 August] Dr Alveda King, niece of Martin Luther King Jr., led pro-life protests outside the convention. [John Smeaton, 29 August]

Republican policy on life issues is the best it has ever been, according to National Right to Life. Ms Karen Cross, political director, said the Republicans are the pro-life party. The policy document says: "the unborn child has a fundamental individual right to life which cannot be infringed". [LifeSiteNews, 28 August] Senator John McCain, de facto Republican presidential candidate, would lose support if he chose a pro-abortion running mate, according to an ABC poll. The Family Research Council says his pro-life policy is a winning one. [LifeNews, 28 August]

Mexico's supreme court supports the capital's law which allows state-funded abortion up to 12 weeks' gestation. The government unsuccessfully argued that the 16-month-old measure violates the constitution's protection of human life, as well as international rights agreements. [Guardian, 29 August] Jubilant socialist politicians said the ruling would lead to legalisation throughout the country. [LifeSiteNews, 27 August]

A doctor who prescribed sleeping pills for a suicidal woman has kept his job. Dr Iain Kerr was found guilty of misconduct and has been suspended for six months, after which he can re-apply to practise. He provided sodium amytal to an 87-year-old with osteoporosis who subsequently used other means to kill herself. Assisting suicide is a criminal offence in Scotland. [Scotsman, 28 August] There are no reports of Dr Kerr's being prosecuted.

A new book describes the eugenicist roots of the campaign for abortion. Ann Farmer's By Their Fruits: Eugenics, Population Control, and the Abortion Campaign describes plans to limit breeding by lower social classes and to eliminate the disabled. Abortion promoters have exaggerated the number of clandestine abortions, and birth control policies have caused demographic and economic problems. [Mr Leon Menzies Racionzer on John Smeaton's blog, 28 August]

A hospital in Edinburgh, Scotland, has begun work on using human skin cells to create therapies for illnesses including schizophrenia and motor neurone disease. Dr Ian Wilmut, the mammal-cloning pioneer who chaired a conference at which the project was described, said treatments could result in 10 or 20 years' time. [Scotsman, 28 August] Massachusetts scientists have altered pancreas cells in living mice so that they make insulin. [Reuters, 27 August] Mouse embryo tissue has been used to grow cochlear hair cells. Researchers in Oregon suggest the finding could help cure human deafness. [Times, 28 August]

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