.- Despite opposition from the Catholic Church and a prayer campaign by Christian MPs, the NSW Upper House passed a law that lifts the ban on embryonic stem-cell research in the Australian state. The Bill passed by a vote of 28 to 13.
Cardinal George Pell of Sydney had warned Catholic MPs who supported the bill that "their voting has consequences for their place in the life of the Church".
Despite the warning, a number of high-profile Catholic MPs, including Premier Morris Iemma and his deputy, John Watkins, voted in favor of the Bill.
The Attorney-General, John Hatzistergos, a Catholic, abstained from the vote. Four cabinet members, Kristina Keneally, Graham West, Kevin Greene and Barbara Perry, voted against the Bill.