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News, 8 March 2004

8 March 2004

8 March 2004 The British government is to increase its funding of the abortion provider International Planned Parenthood Federation. Gareth Thomas, parliamentary under secretary of state for international development, said that the money was for "the difficulties that our friends in America have caused for those who operate in this area." He added: "We are clear that we need to do more on providing access to safe abortion services and to chronicle the level of unsafe abortions." [The Guardian, 5 March ] Amnesty International has criticised the US ban on funding to international organisations involved with abortion, saying that it has led to healthcare cuts in parts of the developing world. In the footnotes of the 122-page report on violence against women, it was suggested that the organisation would solicit the views of members with a view to establishing a policy regarding abortion. [The Independent, 6 March ] Researchers in Sweden have found that 26% of IVF couples give up on treatment for psychological reasons, BBC reports. Suzi Leather, chairman of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority said that many couples give up because they believe it will work immediately and have unrealistic expectations. [BBC, 5 March ] A group of formerly pro-abortion women whose abortion experiences changed their opinions have given evidence to a Senate subcommittee. Evidence of the physical and psychological consequences of abortion was also presented. Cathy Cleaver Ruse, spokeswoman for the US Bishops' Secretariat for Pro-Life Activities stated: "Many in our culture blindly assume that abortion is good for women. This is a grave injustice to women who are so often driven to abortion from a lack of resources and support, and who then suffer in silence. Women deserve better than abortion."[USCCB, 3 March ] The number of teenage pregnancies rose by 2.2% in England and Wales between 2001 and 2002, according to official figures. The government called the figures a 'blip', saying that the numbers had been decreasing. In London the increase was higher at 4.8%. In 2001, 46% of teenage pregnancies ended in abortion. [BBC, 5 March ] Figures also record that over 40,000 teenagers are seeking treatment for sexually transmitted infections every year. [Daily Mail, 8 March] The creator of the Man Not Included sperm donor website plans to set up a clinic in the UK. John Gonzalez plans to take over an existing IVF clinic and use it to provide fertility treatment for lesbians and single women. The HFEA Act of 1990 states that clinics must take into account a child's need for a father, but Suzi Leather of the HFEA said recently that this should be changed. [The Guardian, 8 March ] A Norwegian newspaper has revealed that the Kenyan Family Planning Association (FPAK), a member of IPPF, allows staff to break Kenya's abortion law. Josiah Onyango, FPAK's medical officer, told the paper: "Whoever wants to, can do it, I have no problems with that." He then explained that the abortion should be reported as menstrual regulation. "Whoever does not know the technical terms, would not know what actually happened," he said. The Norwegian government has demanded an explanation from IPPF. [LifeSiteNews.com, 5 March ] Kofi Annan, UN Secretary General, has received an award from the International Women's Health Coalition (IWHC) a group who campaign for worldwide abortion on demand. In his acceptance speech, Kofi Annan said of IWHC: "If there were more pioneers like you, the world would be a better place... you are a shining example." He concluded by saying that the IWHC were "wonderful partners of the United Nations family." [C-FAM, 5 March ] Schering, the company that produces the morning after pill Levonelle, has said that it should not be given to under-16s. Schering said that under-16s are not psychologically mature enough to deal with the possible consequences of unprotected sex and that a doctor should be involved. [Daily Mail, 8 March]

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