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Oklahoma passes parental consent abortion law

26 May 2006

The US state of Oklahoma has passed a law which requires at least one parent to consent before a minor can have an abortion. The new law, which was signed into effect on Tuesday, also allows public funding for pro-life counselling and pregnancy support services, and for separate charges to be made when a pregnant woman is assaulted if her unborn child is injured or killed. [LifeSite, 25 May]

The European Parliament's Committee on Industry, Research and Energy is due to vote on 30th May on allocation of funding for bioethical research, including amendments on ethical questions, such as whether to fund projects which involve the destruction of human embryos. The pro-life organisation Euro-Fam is encouraging people to contact their MEPs and ask them to reject funding of embryo destructive research. [EuroFam, 26 May]

Jack McConnell, Scotland's First Minister, has criticised the media and entertainment industries for creating pressure on teenagers to engage in sexual activity, following the publication of statistics showing a rise in teenage abortions. Mr McConell said that implementing sexual health strategies would mean "giving young people the space and the confidence to say no to sexual activity ... I don't believe that message has been clear enough in the past in our schools or clear enough in our health service". [The Herald, 26 May]

Researchers in Glasgow claim that poverty may be genetically perpetuated. Dr Chris Packard argues that deprivation can lead to an hyperactive immune system, which in later life causes premature ageing, but at the same time also increases a child's chances of surviving to reproductive age, making it more likely that their genetic material will be passed on. Dr Packard also claims that a hyperactive immune system can flood the brain with chemicals which inhibit the instinct for self-advancement. Professor Allyson Pollyock, of the Centre for International Public Health Policy, commented "Poverty is not a genetic issue, it is an economic issue. If you go down that route you may end up with eugenics, and that is extremely worrying". [Scotland on Sunday, 21 May]

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