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Defending life from the moment of conception

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16 November 2004

16 November 2004

16 November 2004 A 'sex bus' is targeting teenagers in the Enfield and Haringey area, distributing free condoms and offering advice on contraception and STIs. Approximately 100 children per month visit the bus, most of them boys, with a large number coming from ethnic minority groups. [BBC, 16 November ] The US birth rate among 10-14-year-olds is at its lowest since 1946. In 2000, two-fifths of pregnancies in this age group resulted in live birth, two-fifths ended in abortion and approximately one in six in miscarriage or stillbirth. These proportions have remained reasonably constant since the 1970s. [Medical News Today, 16 November ] The UK's Children's Minister has sparked criticism from campaigning organisations after she suggested that girls as young as 14 should be given birth control injections in an attempt to reduce Britain's high teenage pregnancy rate. Under the Labour Government, the number of teenage pregnancies in London has risen by 10%. [This is London, 16 November ] In a press release, SPUC described the plan as "yet another irresponsible and desperate attempt by the Government to deal with a problem it has aided and abetted for years." SPUC pointed out that birth control injections offer no protection against STIs, have an abortifacient function and that providing underage girls with birth control involves colluding with acts of child sexual abuse. [SPUC press release, 16 November ] A new campaign group has said that two million patients in hospitals and care homes are at risk of malnutrition, Net Doctor reports. A study published last year found that up to 60% of hospital patients are malnourished, along with 50% of patients in care homes and 14% of pensioners. Patients 1st in Nutrition have called for nutrition to be integrated into patient care. [Net Doctor, 16 November ] The outcome of the Scott Peterson trial has caused agitation among abortion advocates, with campaigners keen to play down the significance of a murder conviction for the killing of an unborn child. Erin Kiernon, of California's Planned Parenthood said: "I'm sure [the jurors] were just following the law." Ms Kiernon then claimed that the Unborn Victims of Violence Act which was signed into law last April was "one more in a long line of attempts to chip away at Roe v. Wade." [SMDaily, 16 November ] A survey of attitudes to abortion in South Africa has found that the majority oppose abortion, All Africa reports. The study by the Human Sciences Research Council found that 70% opposed abortion on financial grounds and 56% opposed eugenic abortion. Government policy does not reflect public opinion however and Parliament has just passed a bill allowing nurses to perform abortions. The Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa was said to be unhappy with the bill and concerns were raised that nurses would leave the profession if they were forced to perform abortions. [All Africa, 15 November ] A girl at a Durban secondary school is suing her school after it arranged a secret abortion for her. The 18-year-old who attended Danville Park Girls' High School is acting as a co-plaintiff with her mother and the organisation Doctors for Life. They are suing for damages, stating that the late-term abortion left both mother and daughter in a state of post-traumatic shock, with the daughter suffering severe depression. Legal action is also being taken against the Rose Clinic where the abortion was carried out, on the grounds that the abortion was third-trimester and illegal. [, 15 November ] The US Food and Drug Administration is to introduce new labelling for the RU-486 abortion drug following a number of deaths of women. The drug, also known as Mifeprex will carry warnings of the risk of sepsis, bacterial infection, ectopic pregnancy and bleeding. The FDA's statement concludes: "The revised labelling will provide physicians and patients with important information so that they can respond and possibly prevent rare but serious complications that may occur with any abortion." [FDA, 15 November ]

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