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In the Press

  • Humans who have had their DNA genetically modified could exist within two years after a private biotech company announced plans to start the first trials into a ground-breaking new technique.
    Editas Medicine, which is based in the US, said it plans to become the first lab in the world to ‘genetically edit’ the DNA of patients suffering from a genetic condition – in this case the blinding disorder ‘leber congenital amaurosis’.
  • The district court of Jönköping County Council in Sweden ruled Thursday against a midwife who was unjustly denied employment by three different medical clinics because she will not assist with abortions. In Sweden, midwives are similar to nurses in other countries.
    In July 2014, ADF International filed an expert brief in Grimmark v. Landstinget i Jönköpings Län on behalf of the midwife, Ellinor Grimmark, who plans to appeal the decision. The court agreed with the reasoning of the Swedish discrimination ombudsman, who found that the midwife’s rights had been infringed but erroneously concluded that forcing her to participate in abortions that others demand is more important.
    “No one deserves to suffer discrimination and be denied employment because their conscience does not allow them to perform abortions,” said ADF International Senior Legal Counsel Roger Kiska. “We are disappointed the court did not affirm Swedish law and international law to which Sweden is obligated and that both recognize freedom of conscience in the workplace. Medical facilities should not force midwives to violate their conscience by requiring them to assist in abortion.”
  • The nation’s largest organization of pro-life youth is taking its message to the heart of Times Square in New York City.
    Students for Life of America is running an ad that sends a message that Planned Parenthood betrays women. The ad began Wednesday and will run for one week, looping every hour daily from 6:00 a.m. to 2:00 a.m. at the intersection of 1500 Broadway and 43rd St. in the heart of Times Square.
    The ad comes as Planned Parenthood – the nation’s largest provider of abortions – is under investigation by several congressional committees. A series of undercover videos has been gradually released over the past several months exposing the abortion business’ apparent practices of selling the body parts of unborn babies and changing the position of babies during abortions in order to harvest intact organs.
    “The atrocities that Planned Parenthood has committed deserve the widest stage possible and we are bringing the message that they betray women to one of the biggest in the world – Times Square,” Kristin Hawkins, president of Students for Life of America, tells Breitbart News.
    “Planned Parenthood preys on vulnerable women, telling them they can’t parent their child or place their child for adoption, and saying they must have an abortion to solve their ‘problem,’” she continues. “That is not empowerment but rather a betrayal and an affront to the power of femininity.”
  • A mother who risked her life to save her unborn twins has vowed to beat cancer for the sake of her babies.
    Holley Tierney, 25, was 23-weeks pregnant when doctors told her she had Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma - a rare cancer that develops in the lymphatic system.
    The dance teacher visited A&E after suffering severe pain in her chest and tests later found a cancerous mass.
    Doctors then advised Miss Tierney, from Manchester, to terminate her pregnancy so she could start chemotherapy.
    But she refused as they were already starting to kick and chose to risk her life for her two unborn babies.
    As her health deteriorated, the twins grew stronger and Harlow and Havana were delivered on August 19.
    'It was the happiest day of my life when my babies were delivered safely, it was definitely a risk worth taking, all I cared about was their health,' she said.
  • The pregnant wife of the pastor of Resonate Church in Indianapolis has died after being shot in the head at her home by intruders, according to church officials.
    Her husband, Davey Blackburn, has said that "as deeply as I am hurting, I am hopeful and confident that good things will come of this."
    Amanda Grace Blackburn, who was 12 weeks pregnant according to family and friends, died in hospital on Wednesday morning after she was shot in the head at her home.
    A Facebook post from the church just after 11:30 on Wednesday said: "Extremely heavy hearts today. Our pastor's wife, Amanda Blackburn, passed away this morning. Please pray for the Blackburn and Byars family during this difficult time. Although we are hurting tremendously, we are still hoping and believing that great things are still yet to come from this. 'Although we don't know what to do, our eyes are on you.'"
  • The 13 suspected members of a jihadist group arrested in raids across Europe were allegedly recruiting foreign fighters to be sent to Iraq and Syria.
    The raids in Finland, Germany, Italy, Norway, Switzerland and the UK targeted Rawti Shax, which seeks to establish a caliphate in Iraq's Kurdistan region.
    Among those arrested was the group's imprisoned leader, Mullah Krekar.
    Italian police said the group was also planning attacks with the aim of securing his release by Norway.
    Krekar, an Iraqi Kurd, is serving an 18-month sentence for making threats and encouraging others to commit criminal acts.
  • Utah state child welfare officials on Wednesday were wrangling with a ruling by a juvenile court judge who ordered a baby to be taken from lesbian foster parents and instead placed with a heterosexual couple, saying it was for the child’s wellbeing.
    Judge Scott Johansen’s order on Tuesday raised concerns at the Utah Division of Child and Family Services, said agency spokeswoman Ashley Sumner.
    Its attorneys plan to review the decision and determine what options they have to challenge the order.
    The ruling came during a routine hearing for April Hoagland and Beckie Peirce. They are part of a group of same-sex married couples who were allowed to become foster parents in Utah after a US supreme court ruling made gay marriage legal across the country, Sumner said.
    State officials estimate there are a dozen or more foster parents who are married same-sex couples.
  • Ukraine's parliament has passed a law banning discrimination in the workplace, including that based on sexual orientation.
    It is the last of a package of ten laws that had to be approved for the European Union to consider visa-free travel for Ukrainians.
    Several previous attempts to get the bill through parliament failed over fears it would lead to the introduction of same-sex marriage in Ukraine.
  • A Scottish cinema has become embroiled in a freedom of speech row after it pulled the screening of a film about the life of the Prophet Mohamed after fewer than 100 complaints.
    The Grosvenor Cinema was due to screen the Oscar-nominated 1977 film The Message on Sunday on behalf of the Islamic Society of Britain (ISB). But it pulled the screening after an anonymous petition with 94 signatories – largely from Scotland but also from people registered in Nigeria and Saudi Arabia – criticised the film as being “inappropriate and disrespectful” to Islam.
    The ISB called for the cinema to overturn its decision taken after such a “small number of objections” and said: “These protestors demonstrate the worst elements of our community, as they are imposing their beliefs on others.” 
  • The actor Michael Sheen has attacked the government’s attempt to water down freedom of information laws, saying it represents a “full-frontal attack” on the ability of journalists and campaigners to hold ministers, civil servants and public bodies to account.
    Sheen, who has played Tony Blair, the former prime minister, in three films, said that laws allowing citizens access to information held by public bodies had “held government to account on everything from MPs’ expenses to staff shortages in the NHS” and should be protected.
    He warned that any attempt to change the Freedom of Information Act, which Mr Blair introduced and later said he bitterly regretted, would undermine the workings of UK democracy.


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