News, 9 July 2001
9 July 2001
9 July 2001 The Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC) has launched a nationwide petition to stop girls as young as 11 from being given morning-after pills at school. John Smeaton, SPUC national director, said: "Morning-after pills can cause abortions and they contain a massive hormonal dose. The government has admitted that there have been no conclusive tests of how they might affect girls' health. Parents need to be made aware of the practice of allowing school nurses to give pupils these pills. Their true nature and high dosage needs to be made public and we must get MPs to reverse the government's decision." SPUC has sounded a warning note in the light of reports that the number of embryos to be transferred to the womb in in vitro fertilisation is to be reduced. Paul Tully, SPUC general secretary, said: "In vitro fertilisation involves a huge waste of human life, regardless of the number of embryos transferred. Many embryos are created only to be discarded. This isn't just eggs or sperm, but living people after conception. While we would welcome any reduction in loss of life caused by such fertility treatment, we must never forget the horrific cost incurred for each baby born alive." [Mail on Sunday, 8 July] Vitamins could help women get pregnant and might double the chances of pregnancy through in vitro fertilisation. Researchers at Leeds University, England, suggest that multi-vitamin tablets help women produce better eggs. [Ananova, 7 July ] It is claimed that more and more women are using surrogate mothers to bear their children because they want to avoid disruption to their careers or other effects of pregnancy. A British hospital was approached by an actress who wanted to avoid stretch-marks caused by childbearing, while a Los Angeles clinic has disclosed that between 5% and 10% of requests for surrogacy are for social reasons. A Virginia clinic is offering sex-selection to couples for "family balancing". [Sunday Times, 8 July ] The deadline for responses to a British consultation on euthanasia is just three weeks away. Comments are invited from medical and non-medical people and the General Medical Council's discussion document is on the worldwide web at . Input is required by the end of this month. One woman in 40 who uses the RU 486 abortion drug subsequently has a surgical abortion, according to a New York survey of 4,000 women who were given Mifepristone and Misoprostol during the first 63 days of pregnancy. [Reuters on Yahoo, 6 July ] Paul Tully, SPUC general secretary, said: "Reports of this study suggest that some women for whom RU 486 fails subsequently have surgical abortions, but not all of them. We need to know how many women change their mind--or perhaps never really wanted an abortion in the first place."