Mexico: Scientists paid dozens of women in Puerto Vallarta $1,400 each to undergo artificial insemination, resulting in unborn babies that were either flushed out of their body and analyzed for research or left in their wombs and aborted. Researchers said the study, published in the journal Human Reproduction, enabled them to test a new method that could lead to cheaper in vitro fertilization techniques. Embryos from the study resulted in five pregnancies, three healthy babies, and an unnamed number left frozen. Laurie Zoloth, a bioethicist at the University of Chicago, called the study “disturbing” and “unethical”: “What this essentially does is use the woman’s body as a petri dish.”
Switzerland: A convicted child rapist in Switzerland wants to end his life using assisted suicide rather than fulfill his lifelong prison sentence. Peter Vogt, 69, has been imprisoned since 1996 for numerous violent sexual assaults against women ages 10 to 56. In 2018, he applied to Exit, a Swiss assisted suicide facility, to obtain lethal drugs to end his life, citing his kidney and liver problems. “It is natural that one would rather commit suicide than be buried alive for years to come,” he wrote. Swiss law bans euthanasia for “selfish reasons,” and while Vogt’s request has not been granted so far, authorities reportedly sought input from the Center of Expertise in Prison and Probation, which approved allowing prisoners to have access to assisted suicide.
Singapore: An abandoned baby found in a trash bin drew widespread sympathy and calls for adoption in the city-state grappling with a low birthrate. Trash collectors found the crying baby in a bloody plastic bag while clearing debris at the end of a trash chute at an apartment building. Authorities have not identified the parents of the child, but six women have already written to The New Paper requesting to adopt the baby, and others have inquired with child protective services. The number of births in Singapore fell to an eight-year low in 2018, giving it one of the lowest fertility rates globally, according to data obtained by Reuters.
England: The Church of England last week distanced itself from a ceremony at the Canterbury Cathedral in which one of Britain’s most prominent abortion advocates received an honorary doctorate. The University of Kent recognized Ann Furedi, president of the United Kingdom’s largest abortion provider, during a ceremony in November. Cathedral officials said the house of worship acted only as a venue and they did not have any other involvement in the event. —Mary Jackson