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Defending life from the moment of conception

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News, 7 April 2004

7 April 2004

7 April 2004 A doctor has told a Nebraska court how 20-week-old foetuses feel "severe and excruciating" pain when aborted. Dr Kanwaljeet Anand of Arkansas university was appearing yesterday as a government witness in a test of the federal ban on partial-birth abortion. He said that foetuses of that age were conscious and confirmed that unborn children felt severe pain during dilation and evacuation abortions, as well as in partial-birth ones. Dr Anand based his assertion about foetal pain on measurements of babies' heart rate, blood flow and hormone levels. [Guardian, 7 April ] The West Australian newspaper has reported that some young teenage girls are buying morning-after pills frequently. The drug has been on unrestricted sale since the start of this year. Such free availability to girls as young as 13 has been criticised by the Australian Medical Association. [LifeSite, 6 April ] The British government's policy of reducing bottle feeding of infants should be pursued by training midwives in breastfeeding, according to Dr Jacky Chambers, director of public health for Birmingham, England. She was addressing a conference organised by the National Childbirth Trust and SureStart. Breastfeeding promoted longevity and health, Dr Chambers said. Studies show that women from the better off social classes are more likely to breastfeed. [Nursing Standard, 7 April ] A pro-life political party has been founded in Colorado after more than 10,000 signatures were presented to state authorities. Republicans have said that the party is an attempt to undermine them but Democrats deny involvement as do pro-life groups. [Guardian, 7 April ] Finnish scientists claim that eating chocolate in pregnancy produces happy babies. Researchers asked 300 women about their infants' happiness and mothers who ate chocolate every day were more likely to say that their babies were happy. The Cadbury company of England, which makes chocolate, said that there was more mood-enhancing phenylethylamine in tomatoes and fruit than in chocolate. The British Dietetic Association warned that chocolate could cause inappropriate weight gain. [BBC, 6 April ]

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