Wednesday May 23, 2001

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TORONTO, May 23, 2001 ( – Jesse Farquharson, the first patient in Canada to undergo stem cell treatment with stem cells extracted from his own umbilical cord blood, has been released from hospital in half the expected time. Jesse, now 11 months old received the stem cell transplant April 19 and doctors at Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children told his parents he would likely spend two months in hospital recovering. However, due to his rapid recovery he was released from hospital May 18.

The National Post reports that the Bolton, Ont., boy was four months old when he was diagnosed with bilateral retinoblastoma, or malignant tumours in both eyes, a usually fatal condition when the cancer spreads. However, although the cancer spread, he was given extensive chemotherapy to arrest the cancer. The stem cells help to restore the child’s bone marrow depleted by the bouts of chemotherapy.

Jesse has gained five pounds and is growing new eyebrows and eyelashes to replace those lost during chemotherapy. He is expected to be on penicillin for up to a year and must check in with doctors at a bone-marrow transplant clinic every week. Doctors stressed that thanks to the cord blood transplant his blood stem cells were a perfect match and thus the trouble associated with finding a donor and need for anti-rejection medication were eliminated.

For information on the Toronto and International programs for storing cord blood see:…

See Jesse’s website which includes photos at:

See the National Post coverage at:…


STRATFORD, PEI, May 23, 2001 ( – A Christian couple from Prince Edward Island who run a bed-and-breakfast out of their family home has been forced to close down their operation and pay a fee to two male homosexuals for refusing to comply with a Human Rights Commission (HRC) order. The Charlottetown Guardian reports that Dagmar and Arnost Cepica, owners of Beach View Bed and Breakfast, must shut down their two-room bed and breakfast and pay $1,000 in damages or else submit to a pro-homosexuality seminar by the Human Rights Commission and allow practicing homosexuals to take rooms in their home.

Last August, Jean Bedard and Simon Corneau, two homosexual men from Montreal filed a complaint with the Prince Edward Island HRC claiming discrimination against their sexual orientation. At the time the Cepicas explained to reporters, “That’s the custom that we are used to, and the bed is shared by people, by married people of opposite sex.”

The Guardian reported that the settlement came before a final ruling from the HRC. The settlement says in part that the Christian couple “agreed to cease operating a bed and breakfast or any other tourist accommodation and pay the complainants a sum of general damages. Furthermore, if the respondent commenced to operate a tourist facility in the future, they would provide to the commission assurance of compliance with the Human Rights Act.”

Greg Howard, executive director of the Human Rights Commission, expressed satisfaction with the settlement. “It was an interesting case because it was a real clash of cultures,” said Howard. “The people who operated the bed and breakfast had very strong opinions about the matters that were covered in the complaint but misguided. They honestly didn’t believe that they were in non-compliance with the human rights legislation in the province by enforcing the policy that they did.”

(The Guardian May 23, 2001)

See link today only:


LONDON, May 23, 2001 ( – Every year in Britain the bodies of nearly 500,000 unborn children are incinerated along with clinic waste such as used syringes and soiled swabs, according to an investigation by the Royal College of Nursing (RCN). The investigation found that environmental legislation, which stops most hospitals from incinerating the bodies on site, means that 10,000 foetuses are transported to 37 regional incineration units every week. Most of the bodies are those of the estimated 300,000 unborn children who die each year in miscarriages during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy as well as the 180,000 children killed by abortion.

The RCN said it feared some hospitals were disregarding Government regulations issued almost 10 years ago indicating that disposal of foetal material should be “sensitive and respectful.” They noted “Current practice is felt to be completely unacceptable by health professionals working in the field.” The RCN offered guidelines for more respectful disposal of remains at its annual conference yesterday saying, “Parents should be given the same choice on the disposal of foetal remains as for a stillborn child.”

They suggested fetal remains should be given the dignity of “communal” cremation or burial. Miscarriage patients should be offered the chance of an individual cremation or burial funded by the hospital, while women having abortions would be given access to the information but not asked specifically how they planned to dispose of the bodies.

See the coverage from the Guardian and the Telegraph:,3604,494494,00.htm…;=axHxXp…

(with files from SPUC News Digest)


NEW YORK, May 23, 2001 ( – The National Abortion Federation (NAF) has launched a $2 million campaign to promote the abortion drug RU-486 known as mifepristone or under its brand name Mifeprix or finally under its marketing name, “the Early Option Pill.” The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reports that the ad will appear in popular women’s magazines including Cosmopolitan, People, Vanity Fair, InStyle, Jane, Mademoiselle, Glamour, Fitness, Health, Self, First for Women, Essence and Marie Claire but it has been rejected by Redbook for fear of “negative reader and retailer reaction.” A NAF press release notes the ads are scheduled to begin in July in Self and People magazine, and will appear in 11 additional national magazines through the end of the year.

WSJ describes the ad as “a picture of a crisply dressed woman gazing out a window” with the caption: “You have the freedom to choose. And now, you have another safe abortion choice.” Moreover the ad fails to mention the drug’s substantial side effects, leaving it open to charges of being intentionally misleading. The ad also features NAF’s 1-800 hotline. (Wall Street Journal, May 23, 2001)

For related coverage from LifeSite see:

(with files from Pro-Life E-News)


ROME, May 23, 2001 ( – The center-right coalition, elected with a majority government in Italy May 13, includes pro-lifers. The coalition called Casa delle libertˆ or ‘House of Liberties’ is headed by Silvio Berlusconi, media tycoon and former prime minister. The coalition is pro-business, against big government and socially conservative.

The socially conservative element comes from the influence of the Christian Democrats who have encouraged the coalition to honor life and family. During the campaign Prime Minister Berlusconi called “for a more convinced defence of life”. Recalling this campaign promise, Monsignor Giuseppe Betori, secretary of the Italian bishops’ conference, has urged Mr Berlusconi to protect the lives of unborn children by law.

For more see the coverage from the Independent and Catholic World News.…


The Toronto Star reported Friday May 18 that the Global Television Network is facing a Human Rights complaint after terminating the contract of TV reporter Colleen Thorpe last February-nine days after she advised her bosses she was pregnant with twins.

Catholic World News reports that the Latin American bishops’ council (CELAM) ended its 28th Ordinary Assembly with a message calling on Catholics to defend life, strengthen democracy, and fight poverty in the continent. In the document, the bishops renewed, “in the name of Jesus,” their “commitment to the defense of each human life, from its conception to it’s natural end. Our option for the human person and for life must become a commitment in the service to the family and culture.”

CBS’ ’60 Minutes II’ carried a special on James Kopp yesterday. Bill Koehler, who knew Kopp, testified in the program that, “Jim was, from my perspective, a pacifist. In the true sense that he would rather lay down his life protecting the children rather than take the life of the abortionist who was killing the children.” Also quoted was a behavioural scientist who is fully convinced of Kopp’s guilt and has contrived a possible explanation for Kopp’s motives.,1597,61702-412,00.shtml

Thailand is set to increase its number of abortions beyond the currently allowable abortions for rape and to protect the life of the mother. Thailand’s medical council is compiling a list of diseases and developmental anomalies which they assert would justify aborting an unborn child which will be submitted to Parliament for approval.;=…

(with files from SPUC News Digest)

Reuters reports that CNN mogul Ted Turner and Jane Fonda were formally divorced on Tuesday, ending a 10-year marriage. Turner, 62, said recently that Fonda’s decision to become a Christian was a major reason for their break-up. Despite her supposed conversion Fonda remains a staunch pro-abortion advocate.…

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