Pro-Life News: British Abortion, Embryonic Stem Cell Research

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Apr 30, 2006   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Pro-Life News: British Abortion, Embryonic Stem Cell Research Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
April 30, 2006

British Government Blocks Inquiry Into Limiting Late-Term Abortions
London, England ( —
The British government has blocked a request from a member of Parliament to look into further limits on late-term abortions. Phil Willis, the chairman of the Commons science and technology select committee, wanted an ad hoc meeting of MPs and members of the House of Lords, but the government of Prime Minister Tony Blair has blocked the request. Willis, the Liberal Democrat MP for Harrogate and Knaresborough, said the current limits are too high and allow too many late-term abortions. He cited polls showing British residents favoring legal abortion but wanting abortions only in the early parts of pregnancy. It was rejected by Geoff Hoon, the Leader of the House. The Abortion Act was passed in 1967 and in 1990 the limit was reduced from allowing abortions until 28 weeks after conception to only allowing them up to 24 weeks. Some groups have advocated lowering it further to 22 or 20 weeks.

Teen May Walk Again After Adult Stem Cell Transplant, Opposes Embryonic
Waverly, IL ( —
Teenager Jacki Rabon was paralyzed from the waist down a couple of years ago in an automobile accident. She thought her life was over until the pastor of her church watched a television special about adult stem cell transplants using stem cells taken from a patient’s nose. After her church raised funds for her, Rabon went to Portugal to have the surgery. She’s already been able to walk some with assistance and her goal is to be able to walk with the use of crutches by the end of the year. The procedure Rabon had in Portugal is called olfactory mucosa transplantation and involves removing cells from the nerve that transmits the sense of smell to the brain, according to Baptist Press. Because of how adult stem cells have already helped her, Rabon told BP she thinks embryonic stem cell research is wrong. “I’m still really against abortion, so I’m not for embryonic stem cell therapy. But anything else that doesn’t involve killing a baby is great,” she said. “I think they should do [olfactory transplantation] in the States because it’s just from my own body.”

Boston College Student Government Recognizes Pro-Abortion Group, BC Won’t
Boston, MA ( —
The student government at Boston College voted 15-2 to recognize a pro-abortion group on campus called the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI). The vote overrode a veto by Luke Howe, the president of the student government. The resolution says the student government will "recognize and support the WHI, and urge the administration to grant recognition to WHI." However, the WHI is not an official student group on campus and likely won’t be because the Office of the Dean for Student Development must approve the group and has no plans to do so. Dean for Student Development Robert Sherwood said that the student government acted outside of its jurisdiction in recognizing the WHI. "The UGBC Senate does not have the authority to recognize WHI," he said. Sherwood said that because the WHI holds a pro-abortion stance it won’t be recognized or receive university funds. "The official position of the University is that WHI, as an organization committed to pro-choice rights, will not be recognized by the University because to do so would be in conflict with BC’s Catholic and Jesuit tradition," he said. "Additionally, no [university] funds will be allowed to support WHI activities."

India Doctors Arrested for Performing an Abortion Without Woman’s Consent
Burail, India ( —
Two Indian doctors have been arrested for allegedly performing an abortion on a woman without her consent. The woman is now in a critical condition after the abortion was botched. Dr. Ajit Singh and his wife, Dr. Kamlesh, have been arrested. The police said a man who works as an electrician took her pregnant wife to the doctors, who later accompanied the couple to the hospital after the abortion went awry. When told the husband planned to press charges, the doctors fled. The woman issued a statement to a local judge and said that the doctors did not obtain her consent before the abortion and did not follow proper medical techniques.

Parkinson’s Group Joins Kansas Organization for Embryonic Stem Cell Research
Topeka, KS ( —
A leading group seeking cures for Parkinson’s disease is the latest to join a Kansas organization seeking to promote embryonic stem cell research. The Parkinson Foundation of the Heartland has become a part of Kansas Coalition for Lifesaving Cures. Meg Duggan, executive director of the Parkinson’s group, said her organization supports "the coalition’s efforts to ensure Kansans have full and equal access to any stem cell therapies that are allowed in our country and available to patients in other states.” Other member groups include the Parkinson’s Action Network — which announced its support of the coalition earlier this week — and the American Association for Cancer Research, Christopher Reeve Foundation, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation International, and Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Pro-life groups like Kansans for Life, and the Kansas Catholic Conference, oppose embryonic stem cell research because it involves the destruction of days old unborn children to get their stem cells. They point to adult stem cells as a more effective and ethical alternative.

Geron Gets Embryonic Stem Cell Research Patent On Insulin and ESCs
Boston, MA ( —
Massachusetts-based Geron Corporation said last week that it was granted a patent covering the production of insulin secreting cells from human embryonic stem cells. The company, which has about 90 employees, seeks to make cancer treatments as well as therapies for other diseases using stem cell research. The new patent, No. 7,033,831, covers work done by employees at Geron seeking to produce pancreatic islet cells from human embryonic stem cells. The islet cells secrete insulin. Geron employees worked with researchers at the University of Alberta, Edmonton in Canada to show the viability of the process. Geron received a patent in the United Kingdom earlier this year for the same process. Geron owns or holds licenses to 260 patent filings.