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News, 2 June 2004

2 June 2004

2 June 2004 A San Francisco judge has declared the ban on partial birth abortion to be unconstitutional. District Court Judge Phyllis Hamilton sided with Planned Parenthood, stating that the law was vague, should have had a health exception and placed 'an undue burden on a woman's ability to choose a second trimester abortion.' The law is also being challenged in New York and Nebraska. [BBC and RTE News , 1 June] The number of UK teenagers contracting sexually transmitted infections continues to escalate, according to statistics given as part of a parliamentary answer by the Public Health Minister. The Department of Health insists that the current approach to sex education is working in spite of evidence to the contrary. [The Times of London, 2 June ] The use of umbilical cord blood in the treatment of cancers such as leukaemia at Loyola University, US, is proving successful in curing or slowing the progression of the disease. Cord blood transplantation may be used as an alternative to bone marrow transplants when patients are unable to find a donor of the same tissue type. Loyola University's method of preparing cord blood allows more stem cells to survive and it is now focusing on cord blood transplantation in adults. [Medical News Today, 2 June ] A Florida Appeals Court has ruled that Terri Schiavo's fate should be determined by the Florida Supreme Court, The Guardian reports. Mrs Schiavo's husband Michael has been attempting to have her feeding tube removed, claiming that she would not want to live in such a condition. Her family contests this and has been battling to save her life since her mysterious collapse in 1990. [The Guardian, 2 June ] Research published in the journal Experimental Neurology has indicated that fat cells could be changed into nerve cells, which could provide a limitless supply of cells to treat central and peripheral nervous system conditions. As part of the study, researchers turned cells from mouse fat into neurons and glial cells and were able to demonstrate that the function of the cells was similar to that of ordinary nerve cells. [WebIndia.com, 1 June ] A draft bill on women's rights introduced by the Sri Lankan National Committee on Women contains language that could be used to promote abortion, LifeSiteNews.com reports. Sri Lanka's Family Planning Association has called for abortion to be legalised and works closely with the Sri Lankan government on population control and sex education matters. [LifeSiteNews.com, 1 June ]

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