NewsBriefs: Stem Cell Research, Abortion, Pro-Life, Human Cloning, and More

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Dec 4, 2005   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

NewsBriefs: Stem Cell Research, Abortion, Pro-Life, Human Cloning, and More Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
December 4, 2005

South Korea Stem Cell Researcher in Seclusion Since Admitting Lies
Seoul, South Korea ( —
Human cloning scientist Hwang Woo-suk has been in seclusion in a Buddhist temple since announcing to the world two weeks ago that he had lied and tried to cover up for donations of eggs that his junior female scientists gave for research. Scientists around the world criticized Hwang for his actions and many withdrew their participation from his work and an international embryonic stem cell research hub he started. Hwang enjoys enormous public and governmental support, which has only grown stronger since his apology, but he remains in hiding. Criticism of Hwang, who rose from a humble background to become a celebrated scientist, is seen by some South Koreans as an attack on national dignity.

Pro-Life Group Announces Third Justice Sunday Event to Support Samuel Alito
Philadelphia, PA ( —
Family Research Council (FRC) President Tony Perkins will speak this Sunday morning at Greater Exodus Baptist Church in Philadelphia and will announce FRC’s next nationwide simulcast. Greater Exodus Baptist Church will host FRC’s simulcast television program, Justice Sunday III – "Proclaim Liberty Throughout the Land" on Sunday, January 8, 2006 from 7 PM – 8:30 PM ET. The simulcast will air one day before the start of the Alito nomination hearings and will educate people of faith on how the judiciary impacts their lives. Justice Sunday III will broadcast live in churches, on television and radio
stations across America and via live webcast on

Dolly the Sheep Creator Will Head UK Embryonic Stem Cell Research Study
London, England ( —
Professor Ian Wilmut, the creator of Dolly will be the new Director of Edinburgh University, which will be spearheading the embryonic stem cell research funded by the British government. The college will host a well-equipped laboratory for researchers to study the cells, which have yet to cure any patients worldwide. Professor Wilmut said: "This center will provide a unique environment for world class research with stem cells with the aim of developing therapies for diseases which in many cases do not have any treatment at present." The government has put more than $50 million pounds behind the research.

Texas Planned Parenthood Abortion Center Upset by Budget Cuts
Amarillo, TX —
A Planned Parenthood center in Amarillo is upset that the Texas state legislature is making significant cuts to the taxpayer money it receives for family planning services. Planned Parenthood of Amarillo and the Texas Panhandle faces a proposed $431,000 or a 37 percent cut in their funding, Claudia Stravato, chief executive officer at PPATP, announced Thursday. "The cuts were attached to the finance bill as riders," she said. "No one sees them. They are not open for discussion. The whole intent of these riders was to close down Planned Parenthoods across the state. They are intent on busting family planning clinics and giving the money to entities that promote pregnancy." Texas lawmakers have been promoting using the money to fund crisis pregnancy centers instead.

Illinois Gov and Pro-Life Attorney Debate Pharmacists, Morning After Pills
Springfield, IL ( —
Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich and pro-life attorney Ed Martin debated the role of pharmacists and whether they should be forced to dispense the morning after pill, which can sometimes cause abortions. The debate came on Thursday night on CNN’s "Lou Dobbs Tonight." Martin, associated with Americans United for Life, is the lawyer representing the four Walgreen Co. pharmacists from the Metro East area who were put on unpaid leave for refusing to fill such prescriptions. Martin contended that pharmacists are covered by Illinois’ "conscience clause," which allows health-care professionals to avoid
participating in performing abortions. But Blagojevich said the conscience law applied to doctors and nurses but had nothing to do with the Plan B drugs.

Ohio Gov. Will Veto Legislation Limiting Embryonic Stem Cell Research Funds
Columbus, OH ( —
Should Ohio lawmakers approve legislation that would place limits on taxpayer funding of embryonic stem cell research, Ohio Gov. Bob Taft has promised to veto it. Taft told them he will veto any bill that imposes restrictions on embryonic stem cell research that go beyond his executive order allowing some of the controversial research to be funded. Pro-life groups and lawmakers are worried that some of the money in the "Third Frontier" high-tech initiative will be used for the research, which destroys human life.

Missouri Pro-Life Groups Support Lawsuit Against Embryonic Stem Cell Petitions
Jefferson City, MO ( —
Pro-life groups in Missouri are supporting a lawsuit a pro-life law firm has filed seeking to disallow a group from gathering petitions to put a measure on the November 2006 ballot to support embryonic stem cell research and human cloning. The Alliance Defense Fund filed the lawsuit November 23 Larry Weber, executive director of the Missouri Catholic Conference, says the group backs the lawsuit. He says the lawsuit is designed to "point out that the proponents of the amendment are trying to mislead Missouri voters to put this on the ballot in the first place." He said the measure claims to ban human cloning when it really just prohibits human cloning for reproduction but not for research.

Maryland Embryonic Stem Cell Research Backers Hope for Taxpayer Money
Annapolis, MD ( —
Backers of embryonic stem cell research in Maryland think they finally have a shot at forcing taxpayers to fund the controversial research after state legislators in the state Senate help it up before. A bill died under a filibuster threat int he state Senate last year that could have spent as much as $23 million in public funds on the unproven research. They’re working on changing two votes in the Senate and hoping to persuade Gov Robert Ehrlich, a Republican, to change his mind. Robert G. Johnson, a lobbyist for the stem cell advocacy group, said he will apply pressure to lawmakers who are up for re-election in 2006. Nancy Fortier, associate director of the Maryland Catholic Conference, told the Washington Post she didn’t think any of the lawmakers who backed the potential filibuster have changed their position.