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News, 26 April 2004

26 April 2004

26 April 2004 An estimated 500,000-800,000 people marched in Washington on Sunday in support of abortion. Hilary Clinton told activists at a pre-march breakfast that the Bush administration was "filled with people" who regarded Roe v. Wade as "the worst abomination of constitutional law." Pro-life groups organised a series of counter-demonstrations, including women in black who regretted their abortions and demonstrators holding pictures of aborted babies. [The Telegraph , The Herald and Breaking News , 26 April] A woman has donated one of her ovaries to her identical twin in a rare transplant operation. Stephanie Yarber from Alabama was left infertile by a rare menopausal condition when she was 13 and had tried IVF twice. The transplant is thought to be the first of its kind in the US and aims to allow the recipient to become pregnant 'naturally' without recourse to IVF. Experts have said that the operation will not become widely used for the foreseeable future, but concerns have been raised that the breakthrough could allow women to postpone pregnancy by having their ovarian tissue removed, frozen and transplanted back later. [Breaking News, 23 April ] The UK's Family Planned Association has called for nurses to perform abortions in a bid to reduce waiting times, The Guardian reports. Anne Weyman, FPA chief executive said: "Abortions under 10 weeks are so much safer and less intrusive. The longer she goes, the more she suffers." Last week, Lord Steel, whose private member's bill brought legal abortion to the UK in 1967, suggested permitting abortion on demand up to 12 weeks with tighter restrictions on late-term abortions. A spokeswoman for the Department of Health said that a change in the law would be required to allow nurses to perform abortions which would not happen "in the foreseeable future." [The Guardian, 25 April ] The US abortion provider Planned Parenthood has endorsed John Kerry for president, naming him a "consistent and passionate advocate" of abortion. Gloria Feldt, Planned Parenthood's president said: "We must stop the Bush Administration's war on choice...There's never been a more frightening time for the future of reproductive rights." Pro-life groups were not surprised at the endorsement, given Kerry's record on life issues. [Lifenews.com, 24 April ] The Michigan Catholic Conference has backed bills that would allow doctors and hospitals to abstain from performing abortions and other procedures that they object to. The Wisconsin bills would also allow doctors not to inform patients of treatments that violated the doctor's conscience. [Cathnews, 23 April ] A report issued by the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs' Population Division has revealed that 61% of women of reproductive age use contraception with 133 million sterilised worldwide. [LifeSiteNews.com, 22 April ]

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