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Defending life from the moment of conception

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Rise in abortions among Welsh teenagers

13 August 2007

The number of teenagers in Wales having abortions increased by 12% last year. 1,004 under-18s had abortions in 2006 compared with 894 in 2005, whilst the number of teenagers in England and Wales undergoing a second abortion has also increased. Janet Thomas of Cardiff SPUC commented: "Obviously, we deplore these figures. I think this study is giving totally the wrong message to teenagers that when babies are inconvenient we get rid of them. There is risk of psychological and physical damage to the teenage girls. Abortion is not something you can just do and then get over it. They're storing up trouble for themselves. Sometimes these teenagers don't even want an abortion but are pressured into it by their family or partners." [icWales, 12 August]

British state-run clinics could be vastly reducing the chances of successful IVF because treatment cycles are frequently carried out at the wrong time. Whereas private clinics are able to carry out egg harvesting on any day of the week, NHS clinics are often so understaffed that consultants do not have time to perform egg extractions at the optimum time in the patient's cycle, reducing the chance of a successful outcome. Figures released by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority indicate that the worst performing clinics have a success rate of just 10%. [BBC, 11 August]

A couple from rural India have appealed to the country's president to allow them and their daughter to die by euthanasia. The family have AIDS and are frequently beaten and harassed by villagers whilst the police do nothing to protect them. Some 2.5 million people in India are living with HIV/AIDS and discrimination against victims is common as a result of the fear and stigma attached to the disease. [Christian Today, 12 August]

A pregnant woman living in Australia has given her unborn baby a presence on the web. Parents Claire Gillis and Luke Waring have posted ultrasound pictures of 'Bubba' Waring on to the Facebook website and use it to post messages to friends which are written as if by the baby. [Metro, 13 August]

Dutch researchers have claimed that pregnant women who eat a so-called western-style diet increase the chances of their unborn child developing a cleft palate compared with those who eat a 'prudent dietary pattern'. The western-style diet includes large amounts of red meat and low fruit intake, whereas the prudent pattern includes more garlic, fruit, fish, nuts and vegetables. Dr. Regine P Steegers-Theunissen of Erasmus Medical Center in Rotterdam and colleagues studied women in the two categories and found no increased chance of cleft palate among the latter group, compared with an increased chance among the former. However, women with a western-style diet were also more likely to be overweight and to smoke. [Reuters, 10 August]

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