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Link between abortion and substance abuse

11 December 2007

Women who have had an abortion are more likely to abuse alcohol and drugs, according to an Australian study. Researchers from the University of Queensland studied 1,122 young women, one third of whom had had an abortion. They found that this one third was three times more likely to have abused methamphetamine, heroin or sniffed glue, twice as likely to be heavy drinkers or alcoholics and one and a half times more likely to suffer from depression. Kaeleen Dingle, one of the researchers, said: "... it still remains to be seen what exactly the connection is. It might be that women who have abortions are also more likely to live a riskier and more abusive lifestyle but there's also some evidence to suggest the procedure itself could put women on that path." She also said: "We don't want to in any way deter women who are seeking abortion, but it may be that, based on these findings, some women could do with more GP counselling and more thorough after-abortion care." [LifeSite, 4 December]

The British embryo licensing authority has said that it will not ban multiple embryo IVF treatment. The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) has instead announced a national strategy involving guidelines drawn up by professional groups in an attempt to reduce the rates of multiple births. Mr Walter Merricks, the interim chairman of the HFEA, has written to Ms Dawn Primarolo MP, the health minister, calling on the government to pay for more free cycles of treatment to help with the plan. He said: "We always have in mind that still the greatest risk in the eyes of patients is the risk of not having a baby. Women with access to only one funded cycle of treatment are only acting rationally if they beg for a double embryo transfer in their single chance of becoming pregnant. The risk of a twin pregnancy seems nothing to the risk of no pregnancy." [Times, 5 December]

Care for the dying in Britain needs to be improved, according to a national report. The Marie Curie Palliative Care Institute in Liverpool (MCPCIL) said that, although standards of clinical care for individual dying patients are generally high, only 34% of patients had their spiritual needs assessed, one out of five hospitals did not know the most important person to contact in case of a sudden deterioration in an individual's condition and only half of families were given the appropriate information about local and national procedures following the death of a relative. Dr John Ellershaw, professor of palliative medicine at the University of Liverpool and the director of MCPCIL, said: "Hospitals need to recognise that care of the dying is part of the core service they provide." [netdoctor, 5 December]

The European Court of Human Rights has ruled that the Home Office breached the rights of a convicted murderer and his wife by not allowing them to have a child by artificial insemination. Kirk Dickson, 35, who met and married his wife Lorraine in jail, cannot be released before 2009, by which time his wife will be 51, when it is thought she may be too old to conceive naturally. The couple have been awarded €5,000 in damages and €21,000 in costs. [BBC, 5 December]

An international conference examining the impact of abortion on men has been held in America. Speakers at Reclaiming Fatherhood: A Multifaceted Examination of Men Dealing With Abortion included men who spoke about the impact of their partner's abortion on their own lives. Mr Mark Bradley Morrow, now a licensed Christian counsellor, said that, after supporting the abortions of four of his children, he experienced "shame, anger, anxiety attacks and nightmares." He said: "Not all men are negatively impacted by abortion, but many are, and they need your love, encouragement and compassion." [Catholic News Service, 3 December]

Lawmakers in Mexico City have unanimously approved a bill which would allow terminally ill patients to refuse medical treatment, which it deems to include food and water. The bill is being opposed by pro-life activists and the Catholic Church. [LifeNews, 4 December]

An increased level of youth crime in China has been blamed on the country's one-child policy. According to the China Daily, the number of juvenile criminals increased from 33,000 in 1998 to 80,000 this year and two thirds of the four million criminal cases handled annually by Chinese courts involve minors. Shang Xiuyun, a Beijing judge specialising in juvenile crime, was quoted as saying: "With major social transformations under way, children nowadays, who are usually single children, endure more pressure and pain, even though they are called 'emperors' and 'empresses' of the families, compared with when there were several children in each family in the past." [Scotsman, 5 December]

 

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