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News, 19 March 2004

19 March 2004

19 March 2004 Nearly a quarter of 16 and 17-year-olds in the UK were on the birth control pill in 2002, BBC reports. The number has rose from 20% in 1986 to 24%. The Family Planning Association welcomed the news, saying that it was probably the result of sex education, but FPA spokeswoman Melissa Dear acknowledged the rise in sexually transmitted infections, which are not prevented by the pill. The number of women using the morning after pill decreased slightly compared to last year. [BBC, 18 March ] The 60th session of the United Nations Human Rights Commission is to push for a global right to abortion, LifeSiteNews.com reports. Pro-life lobbyists are heading for Geneva where the 'right' to 'pregnancy termination' and 'sexual and reproductive services' is to be raised. [LifeSiteNews.com, 18 March ] The Pentagon has granted $240,000 to Swedish researchers working on embryonic stem cells. Lund University in Sweden said in a statement that the US Department was funding the research into Parkinson's disease because the finding may help in the treatment of illnesses caused by battlefield toxins. [Healthy Pages, 17 March ] A Roma woman has taken her case to a UN Committee after she claims she was sterilised without her consent during a caesarean section at a Hungarian hospital. The woman was asked if she intended to have more children and she said that she did not. She signed a consent form for sterilisation but claims that she did not understand the form and parts of it were illegible. Having failed to win compensation in the courts, the case has now been taken to the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women. [BMJ, 20 March ] A Liberal Democrat MEP has helped draft a motion on assisted suicide to be discussed at the party's conference this weekend. Chris Davies MEP claims that there is massive public support for a change in the law on euthanasia, stating: "Pain relief and palliative care should always be the preferred option for those facing death, but we should not deny individuals the right to exercise free will and seek medical help to die." [This is Bury, 19 March ] A primary school in Wigan is offering sex education to parents to help them answer their children's questions. The parents will receive lessons in how to talk about pregnancy, relationships and sexually transmitted infections. [BBC, 18 March ]

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