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Defending life from the moment of conception

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News, 5 May 2000

5 May 2000

5 May 2000 A third of girls and a quarter of boys who have had underage sex regret the experience, according to research published in the British Medical Journal. The survey of 7,000 children with an average age of 14 in Scotland also found that nearly one in five of all fourteen year-olds who had had sex used no contraception. It is claimed that British teenage pregnancy rates are the highest in Europe, and 9,000 girls aged between 13 and 15 become pregnant every year. Half of these pregnancies end in abortion. Experts have estimated that one in ten British teenagers now carries a sexually transmitted disease such as chlamydia or gonorrhoea, both of which pose major threats to fertility. [Metro, Daily Telegraph&Daily Mail, 5th May] Doctors in India have called for international support for a campaign to prevent the selective abortion of female children. There is a long-standing tradition in some circles in India of killing female babies just after birth, but new technology allows mothers to tell the sex of their children before birth and the Indian Medical Association has said that two million abortions are carried out each year as a result. Dr Parameshvara, former president of the Association, explained that a law specifically banning abortions because of the sex of an unborn child is widely ignored and almost impossible to uphold. The proportion of females to males in the Indian population has been declining throughout the twentieth century and there are now 50 million fewer women in the population than expected. [BBC News Online, 4th May] Nearly two dozen anti-abortion demonstrators were arrested outside the U.S. Supreme Court last week as they made their views known ahead of the hearing at which Nebraska's partial-birth abortion ban was under scrutiny. They were violating an order issued by the court's marshal just hours earlier which prohibited the exhibition of large signs by the demonstrators. Troy Newman, one of those arrested, described the order as censorship and a violation of free speech. [Associated Press, 4th May, on Yahoo! News] Planned Parenthood, America's largest abortion and birth control provider, has designated May 'National Teen Pregnancy Prevention Month'. However, Cathy Brown, Director of the American Life League's 'Why Life?' project, criticised them for creating an abortion clientele among the young by promoting sex outside marriage. Referring to Planned Parenthood's profits of 175 million US dollars last year, she claimed that the organisation relies upon the failure of birth control for such profits. She said, "While Planned Parenthood is busy securing its abortion profits for this quarter, our teens will once again be the bearers of the heartache, disease and emotional scars that sex outside marriage and abortion promise." [PRNewswire, 3rd May, on Excite News] [This bulletin is privately circulated by the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children, www.spuc.org.uk, 5/6 St Matthew Street, London, United Kingdom, SW1P 2JT, +44 20 7222 3763. The reliability of the news herein is dependent on that of the cited sources, which are paraphrased rather than quoted. Opinions expressed are not necessarily those of the society. Please forward this bulletin to other interested parties. To unsubscribe, send an appropriate email to information@spuc.freeserve.co.uk]

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