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Defending life from the moment of conception

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18 November 2004

18 November 2004

18 November 2004 An article on Net Doctor has compared the teenage pregnancy situation in the UK with that of the US where the number of teenage pregnancies has dropped by 30% among 15-19-year-olds in a decade. In the UK, the Government is being urged to follow the example of the US and encourage abstinence programmes and behavioural change. [Net Doctor, 18 November ] Economists from the University of Asia and the Pacific has argued in a paper that there is no evidence that "supports the claim that a large, fast-growing population causes more poverty," citing "bad governance and bad economic policies" as the major reasons for poor economic growth in the Philippines. The economists warned against the implementation of a two-child policy, which they said had caused rapid population decline and ageing populations in countries where it had been implemented. [ABS-CBN News, 16 November ] The UN Population Division has issued a report predicting population growth over a period of 300 years, C-Fam reports. UN predictions for population growth have been continually revised over the past eight years with World Population to 2300 predicting that the world population will peak at 9.2 billion in 2075. World Population is expected to age dramatically with the median age rising from 26 in 2000 to 50 in 2300 when 32% of the population will be over the age of 65. [C-Fam, 12 November ] Scientists from the University of Michigan Medical School and the Hospital for Sick Children in Canada have identified the stem cells that appear to drive the development of brain tumours. Stem cells from human tumours were injected into the brains of mice. The researchers found that injecting tens of thousands of ordinary cancer cells into mice did not lead to the formation of tumours whereas the injection of 100 cancer stem cells did. It is hoped that the finding could pave the way for new techniques to target cancer cells without damaging other tissue. [BBC, 18 November ] The US Food and Drug Administration has said that the Depo Provera birth control injection will come with a warning that it can cause loss of bone density. Bone density loss increases with the length of use and may not be reversible if women stop using Depo Provera. [The Guardian, 18 November ] The UK Children's Minister expressed support earlier in the week for giving underage girls birth control injections. A member of Australia's Family First party who is to take up his Senate seat next year has called for a national forum to debate abortion. Steve Fielding said that the current generation had played no part in the debate that led to the abortion laws as they now stand and that a federally funded forum would be 'timely'. Peter Harris, Family First's federal chairman said that he recognised there was no public or parliamentary will to 'abandon' abortion but stated: "There needs to be some logical discussion about it but without the viciousness of previous public debates on this issue." [The Age, 17 November ] Australia's Women's Electoral Lobby has persuaded the Democrats to postpone a debate on the banned RU-486 abortion drug, claiming that it might galvinise the pro-life "forces of darkness". Eva Cox, a spokeswoman for the WEL said: "We don't know the numbers in the Senate. If a majority show right-to-life tendencies, it will encourage the idea of a private member's bill (to cut access to abortion)". [The Australian, 18 November ] An overview of bills going through the British Houses of Parliament has described the Mental Capacity Bill as a bill that "will prohibit doctors keeping incapacitated people alive, even by giving them water, if a 'living will' or a court-appointed deputy or lasting attorney requires life-sustaining treatment to be withdrawn." [The Telegraph, 18 November ]

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