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Defending life from the moment of conception

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News, 28 November 2003

28 November 2003

28 November 2003 Research published in the UK journal The Lancet has found that women who have had a baby through caesarean section double the risk of stillbirth in their second pregnancy. The risk still remains very low but the scientists involved have suggested that pregnant women should be warned of the possible risk when considering caesarean section. One in four babies in the UK are born by caesarean, well above the 10% rate recommended by the WHO. [BBC, 28 November ] The St Lucia parliament has legalised abortion in cases of rape, incest or to protect the mother's health, Yahoo News reports. The move comes in spite of strong opposition from the Catholic Church, a petition signed by 9000 people and protests that caused debate on the proposed legislation to be postponed last week. [Yahoo News, 26 November ] A criminal investigation has been launched in France into a doctor and nurse who are alleged to have killed a terminally ill cancer patient by lethal injection. Officials say that the nurse is suspected of injecting the woman with potassium on the instruction of the doctor, without the patient ever having expressed a wish to die. [Reuters, 26 November ] Abortions are rising among Scottish teenagers in spite of a reduction in the conception rate, according to new figures. Scotland has one of the highest teenage birth rates in the developed world. [The Herald, 27 November ] IVF is flourishing in the West Bank in spite of the hardship faced by the majority as a result of the Intifada. In Gaza, where over half of the population are unemployed, 20% of infertile couples seek IVF treatment. Most of the patients can barely afford to feed themselves but are prepared to sell their belongings or borrow money to pay for treatment. Several reasons given are the desire to replace a child killed in the fighting, the need for support in old age and the stigma of not having children. [Aljazeera, 20 November ] A spokeswoman for SPUC stated: "The promotion of IVF in the West Bank is a cynical exploitation of a people suffering as a result of extreme poverty and political instability. It is bitterly ironic that whilst children are being orphaned by the war, childless couples are being encouraged to beggar themselves to create a child in a laboratory." [SPUC source] A man has been charged with foetal homicide and multiple counts of assault after he stabbed his pregnant girlfriend in the stomach, causing the death of the unborn child. South Dakota is one of 15 states that protect unborn victims of violence. Another 13 allow prosecution after the child has reached a particular stage of development, usually 24 weeks. [, 27 November ]

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