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News, 24 August 2004

24 August 2004

24 August 2004 The Dutch abortion ship run by Women on Waves has set sail for Portugal, in spite of being banned from carrying out abortions outside a 16-mile radius of Amsterdam. Trips to Ireland in 2001 and Poland in 2003 sparked angry protests from the local population. [CNN, 24 August ] US researchers have claimed that women who use the Depo-Provera injectable contraceptive are more likely to contract sexually transmitted diseases, even when sexual behaviour is taken into account. The team at the National Institutes of Health, University of North Carolina and Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore found that the risk of contracting an STI was 13.7 per 100 women-years for the Depo-Provera group compared with 6 per 100 women-years for the group who used non-hormonal contraception. Charles Morrison who led the study said that more research was necessary but it was possible that Depo-Provera caused a susceptibility to STIs. [Reuters, 23 August ] The mother of a baby who survived a 'termination of pregnancy' at 26 weeks has called for a change in the law. Norelle Smith suffered from pre-eclampsia and was told that her life was in danger if she continued with the pregnancy. The baby was induced and expected to survive just a few hours but she pulled through and is now 17 weeks old. [The Scotsman, 24 August ] Lord David Steel, the politician behind the UK's 1967 Abortion Act, has categorically denied advocating a reduction in the upper limit for abortion from 24 weeks to 12 weeks, stating instead that he favours the possibility of a reduction from 24 to 22 weeks. [Evening Standard, 24 August] SPUC has dismissed the current media debate on abortion law reform as 'journalistic hype. Anthony Ozimic, SPUC's political secretary, commented: "Abortions will increase in number if MPs repeat the mistake of 1988-1990 by supporting a review, as any attempt at reform would again be wide open to hijack by the pro-abortion lobby, which calls explicitly for total deregulation of abortion. A Labour MP quoted as considering tabling a bill to review the law, Andy Burnham, appears to support open-access abortion services and wants nurses to perform abortions. Lord Steel has may clear that what he really wants is to enshrine in law abortion on demand in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy." [SPUC press release] Kate Michelman, the former president of the US pro-abortion group NARAL is to lead a Democratic National Committee campaign entitled 'Save the Court', Talon News reports. The campaign forms part of an effort to unseat George Bush at the forthcoming election, claiming that the Supreme Court needs 'saving' from the possibility of more pro-life judges being appointed if the Republicans win a second term. [Gopusa.com, 23 August ] A Louisiana woman is being starved to death with the permission of the courts because she signed a living will, LifeSiteNews.com reports. Doris Smith, 89, suffered a stroke which left her incapacitated, but her daughter insists that she did not know that "life-sustaining procedures" included food and fluids and never intended to be starved to death. Alex Schadenberg, executive director of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition commented: "Most people have no idea that when it states in a Living Will/Power of Attorney that no further medical treatment will be provided in certain circumstances that it means they will also be denied food and fluids." [LifeSiteNews.com, 23 August ]

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