Pro-Life Briefs: Abortion, Stem Cell Research, Australia, Columbia, etc.

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Oct 3, 2005   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Pro-Life Briefs: Abortion, Stem Cell Research, Australia, Columbia, etc. Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
October 3, 2005

Australia Democrats Want End to RU 486 Abortion Drug Ban
Sydney, Australia ( — Australian Democrats want an end to the ban on the dangerous abortion drug RU 486, which has already claimed the lives of five women in the United States and more elsewhere. Australia banned the abortion drug in 1996 and the Democrats hope to attach an amendment to legislation in the nation’s parliament to overturn it. Right now, in order to get the abortion pills, women must file a governmental application. Democrats leader Lyn Allison said it was time for the government to revisit the issue. Abortion drugs have been legal in the U.K. since 1991, in France since 1988 and in the United States since 2000.

Wisconsin University Will Host Embryonic Stem Cell Bank
Madison, WI ( — The University of Wisconsin plans to host the nation’s first embryonic stem cell bank Gov. Jim Doyle’s office said Friday. The National Institutes of Health picked the college to house the National Stem Cell Bank, which will be a repository for all of the embryonic stem cell lines available for research using federal funds. Doyle’s office said the bank will acquire, store and distribute the embryonic stem cells, which are harvested by destroying unborn children in their earliest days. The Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation, a nonprofit organization connected to the university, already manages five of the lines. The rest are housed in facilities in Georgia, California, Australia, Sweden, Korea and Israel.

South Korea Catholic Church Donates $ for Adult Stem Cell Research
Seoul, South Korea ( —
Putting it’s money where it’s mouth is, the Catholic Church in Korea launched a new stem cell research project that will involve it spending almost $10 million on research projects that don;t involve embryonic stem cells from destroyed unborn children. Church leaders say the project is important to demonstrate that research can be conducted without destroying human life. "Regarding recent trends that make light of human life, we decided we couldn’t say we were meeting our full responsibility by being silent or taking a passive stance," Bishop Yum Soo-jeong said at a press conference. He said the funds were not meant to rival research by Hwang Woo-suk, who has upset pro-life advocates and the Korean Catholic Church by conducting embryonic stem cell research and human cloning. "This is only a continuation of our activities to improve people’s conceptions of human life, including cloning and abortion issues," the bishops said.

New Hampshire Lawmakers File Brief in Supreme Court Abortion Case
Concord, NH ( —
A group of more than 100 New Hampshire state lawmakers have filed a brief backing a Planned Parenthood challenge to a state abortion law requiring parents or guardians to be notified 48 hours before an abortion business can perform an abortion on a minor girl. The Supreme Court will hear arguments on the law on November 30 and the case will be the first one regarding abortion that newly-minted Chief Justice John Roberts will hear. It may also feature Harriet Miers, should the Senate approve her nomination and do so in time for her to hear the case. A lower court ruled the law unconstitutional and the state appealed the decision. The state House approved the measure on a 187-181 vote and the Senate on a 12-11 vote. It’s the first pro-life law approved in New Hampshire since Roe v. Wade in 1973.

Columbia Court Will Soon Decide Lawsuit to Modify Abortion Ban
Bogota, Columbia ( —
Attorney Monica Roa is seeking to overturn Columbia’s pro-life laws banning abortion in all cases. However, pro-life groups are fighting back and last month submitted a petition with 2 million signatures to the Constitutional Court urging it to keep the laws on the books. Roa hopes the court will allow abortions in cases of rape or when the pregnancy threatens the mother’s life. ”How can we denounce crimes carried out by the illegal armed groups if we make it legal for a mother to murder her unborn child,” Jose Galat, rector of the Roman Catholic Great Colombia University, told The Associated Press. ”We lose all legitimacy.”’ A court spokeswoman said the nation’s top court will issue a decision in the next two months. Columbia, Chile and El Salvador are the only Latin American countries to ban all abortions. Other countries have pro-life laws that prohibit most abortions but allow them in those rare cases.

Australia Prime Minister John Howard Rejects Abortion Law Change
Canberra, Australia ( —
Australian Prime Minister John Howard said he doesn’t want to make any changes to the nation’s abortion laws. That came after the Family First party suggested that women seeking abortions be allowed to receive information on its risks and alternatives 72 hours before the abortion is performed. "Family First supports the view that women seeking information on abortion be given adequate time in which to consider the advice and information before making a decision," the political party said on its web site. Abortions are normally regulated by laws in the various states but federal taxpayer funds are used to pay for abortions through the Medicare program. "I have previously expressed a view that people are obviously entitled to debate the issue, but we’re not proposing any changes in relation to the law," Howard told reporters.