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from conception to natural death


News, 3 May 2004

3 May 2004

3 May 2004 UK doctors are fitting girls as young as 14 with contraceptive implants that make them infertile for up to three years without parental consent or knowledge, The Telegraph reports. Contraceptive injections are also proving popular among under-15s. Dr Anne Szarewski of the Margaret Pyke Centre in London said: "In a strictly religious family, parents could not contemplate that a daughter under the age of 16 might be sexually active. It is much easier for those women if they do not have the contraceptive pill lying around." [The Telegraph, 3 May ] A US Appeals Court has ruled that medical workers at a Louisiana jail did not violate a prisoner's civil rights by preventing her from having an abortion. The prison has a policy of requiring a court order for elective medical procedures which the woman, identified only as Victoria W, could have applied for. Victoria W carried the baby to term and placed it with adoptive parents. [The Guardian, 2 May ] Documents relating to the cleft palate abortion case now being investigated by West Mercia police show that the baby was aborted at 28 weeks and would have had a 90% chance of survival. The abortion took place in December 2001 at the Hereford County Hospital. The mother and her husband were apparently informed that the condition was correctable. Rev Joanna Jepson is taking the police to court after they refused to pursue the matter. The police have taken up the case and asked for the hearing, due this month, to be postponed. [The Times of London, 2 May ] A study published in the British Medical Journal has described Uganda's AIDS programme as 'equivalent to a highly effective vaccine'. Uganda's AIDS rate decreased by as much as 75% after the government introduced a programme based on abstinence and fidelity which resulted in a reduction in sexual partners and a delaying of sexual activity. The Cambridge researchers who produced the study said that there had to be a 'shift in strategic thinking on health policy and HIV/AIDS' if Uganda's success was to be replicated elsewhere. [, 30 April ] Scientists have successfully re-grown teeth in mice using adult stem cells and could eventually apply the same technique to humans, Sky News reports. Human trials are due to begin within two years and the procedure could be available within five years, costing the same as a synthetic implant. [Sky News, 3 May ]

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