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In The News

The latest news headlines, reviews and comment from the UK relevant to the work of CareConfidential, that has been gathered from websites and national newspapers.

The news stories below are followed, wherever possible, by a link to the website where the full news article can be read — clicking any of the links to the full articles will cause you to leave the CareConfidential website. Please note that CareConfidential bears no responsibility for, and has no control over, the content found at these other websites!

Lansley on why abortion clinics are being spot-checked (video)

 (23 March 2012)

Health Secretary Andrew Lansley explains why abortion clinics across England are undergoing unannounced inspections to check they are abiding by the law. Care Quality Commission checks, raised concerns consent forms were being pre-signed - before a woman had even been seen.

BBC Online -

Pregnancy safe after breast cancer treatment, study shows

 (21 March 2012)

It is safe after all for most women who develop breast cancer to become pregnant, experts have said for the first time, in a move which could lead to a change in established medical practice.... The findings mean that doctors who advise pregnant breast cancer patients to have an abortion in order to protect their own health should not do so.

The Guardian -

Abortion clinic vigils too aggressive? (Radio)

 (15 March 2012)

BBC Radio 4 debate: Robert Colquhoun, UK campaign director for 40 Days for Life and Ann Furedi, chief executive of the British Pregnancy Advisory Service, debate the use of vigils at abortion clinics.

BBC Online -

Manchester doctor in 'wrong gender' abortion ban

 (12 March 2012)

A doctor at the centre of an undercover investigation at a private clinic in Manchester has been banned from carrying out abortions. The General Medical Council (GMC) made the order after the Daily Telegraph's allegations that Dr Prabha Sivaraman approved "wrong gender" abortions. Abortions based on the sex of the foetus are illegal in the UK under the 1967 Abortion Act.

BBC Online -

East End teenage pregnancy rates drop by almost half

 (05 March 2012)

Teenage pregnancy rates in Tower Hamlets have dropped by almost half over the last decade, new figures show. Dr Somen Banerjee, director of public health in the borough, said: “...our local initiatives have made a huge impact on reducing unplanned teenage conceptions and helping young people to make informed choices.”

East End Advertiser -

Sex selection abortions now 'widespread' in UK

 (25 February 2012)

A former medical director of Britain's largest abortion provider said it was "well known" that women were terminating pregnancies because of the gender of the child and that he had been asked to arrange the procedure for this reason.

Irish Independent -

Abortion clinics cleared for TV by advertising body

 (21 January 2012)

Private clinics that charge for pregnancy services including abortions will be able to advertise on television and radio under new rules. The Broadcast Committee of Advertising Practice (BCAP) said there was no justification for barring clinics offering post-conception advice services.

BBC Online -

Abortions to reduce multiple births on the rise

 (28 December 2011)

More than 100 unborn babies were aborted last year by women expecting twins, triplets or even quintuplets but who wanted to give birth to fewer children, official figures disclosed to The Telegraph show.

Daily Telegraph -

Abortion 'does not raise' mental health risk

 (09 December 2011)

Abortion does not raise the risk of a woman suffering mental health problems, a major review by experts concludes.... But anti-abortion campaigners said the review sought to "minimise" the psychological effect of terminating a pregnancy.

BBC Online -

Lowest teenage pregnancy rates in Reading since 1998

 (06 December 2011)

The latest quarterly average of 41.7 pregnancies per 1,000 in Reading is the lowest recorded since the Teenage Pregnancy Strategy set up in 1998. NHS bosses said they were pleased with the success but warned the figure was still above the national average.

BBC Online -

Apple denies claims that Siri is anti-abortion

 (01 December 2011)

Apple has denied claims that its smartphone voice-activated assistant Siri is anti-abortion. It follows reports that Siri failed to locate nearby abortion clinics. In some cases it suggested pregnancy advice centres as an alternative

BBC Online -

Abortion costs £30m higher than previously thought

 (22 November 2011)

Taxpayers spend £30million a year more on abortion than previously thought, the Government has admitted. Updated figures from the Department of Health also show that, contrary to earlier claims, much more public money goes to private clinics rather than NHS hospitals. [Abortions] now estimated to cost £680 each...

The Telegraph -

China's great gender crisis

 (02 November 2011)

Chinese families have long favoured sons over daughters, meaning the country now has a huge surplus of men. Is it also leading to a profound shift in attitudes to women? the past two decades, the gap at birth has soared: the advent of ultrasound scans has allowed people to abort female foetuses, even though sex-selective abortion is illegal.

The Guardian -

Population control: Is it a tool of the rich?

 (28 October 2011)

As the world population reaches seven billion people, the BBC's Mike Gallagher asks whether efforts to control population have been, as some critics claim, a form of authoritarian control over the world's poorest citizens.

BBC Online -

Having an amnio test ruined my life

 (27 October 2011)

Bullied into an abortion she bitterly regrets. Her marriage destroyed. How the Down's dilemma every mother dreads tore a family apart. Devastated. Marie Ideson will always regret having her daughter aborted because she had Down's.

The Daily Mail online -

Chinese abortion death due to birth quota enforcement

 (21 October 2011)

When Ma Jihong became pregnant for a third time, she looked forward to expanding her family. So many neighbours had broken China's strict birth quotas she thought she could too. But six months later she died in panic on an operating table after officials in Lijin, Shandong province, forced her into a late-term abortion, relatives have said.

The Guardian -

Torbay abortion numbers fall among teenage girls

 (13 October 2011)

Health chiefs in Torbay say there is a "glimmer of hope" after a drop in the number of teenage girls having abortions in Torbay. The number of terminations fell from 86 in 2008 to 58 in 2010 according to Torbay Care Trust.

BBC Online -

Free condoms made available at Bath youth club

 (29 September 2011)

Free condoms are to be made available at a youth club in Bath to help reduce teenage pregnancy and abortion rates... the machines also provide free Chlamydia-testing kits.."Chlamydia is a lot higher than people think, it's one in three people, and this [vending machine] is another way to show we care about young people's health."

BBC Online -

Abortion in America: terminating one twin

 (23 September 2011)

It began as an intervention for extreme circumstances. So how did pregnancy reduction become an option for women carrying twins? What is it about terminating half a twin pregnancy that seems more controversial than reducing triplets to twins or aborting a single foetus.....

The Guardian -

Abortion increases risk of mental health problems, new research finds

 (03 September 2011)

Women who have abortions are at risk of severe mental health problems, new research has found. “Overall, the results revealed that women who had undergone an abortion experienced an 81 per cent increased risk of mental health problems, and nearly 10 per cent of the incidence of mental health problems were shown to be directly attributable to abortion.”

The Telegraph -

Health ministers 'oppose abortion advice changes'

 (03 September 2011)

The government has written to all MPs to tell them health ministers will vote against a proposal to change the advice given to women seeking an abortion.

BBC Online -

Anti-abortion bid in disarray as critics rally

 (02 September 2011)

MPs back compromise amendment as Nadine Dorries comes under pressure to reveal allies.The campaign to toughen Britain's abortion laws was losing momentum as Tory MPs on Friday backed a rival amendment and questions emerged about links to Christian counselling services that might benefit from the proposed reform.

The Guardian -

Abortion rules to be tightened in biggest shake-up for a generation

 (30 August 2011)

The Department of Health is to announce plans for a new system of independent counselling for women before they finally commit to terminating a pregnancy. The move is designed to give women more “breathing space”... campaigners suggest the change could result in up to 60,000 fewer abortions each year in Britain

The Telegraph -

Proposal to stop 'factory-efficient' abortion process

 (30 August 2011)

MPs will debate amendments to the Health and Social Care Bill, which seek to enshrine in law the right of women to have independent counselling – should they wish it – before going ahead with an abortion. Robert Mendick reports on the impending debate.

The Telegraph -

Abortion undercover: posed as vulnerable pregnant woman at 6 counselling services

 (30 August 2011)

[After visit to Choices, Islington]'Although it’s impossible to say whether every CareConfidential counsellor would be as balanced (the organisation is not a member of BACP), it was the first session I left feeling equipped to make my own decision. Had I really been pregnant, I would have considered keeping the baby, without feeling pressured to do so'.

The Daily Mail online -

Christian activists poised to win concessions on abortion

 (28 August 2011)

An amendment.. to the health bill would strip abortion providers such as Marie Stopes of their pregnancy counselling roles, opening them up to tenders from "independent" organisations. Bids will almost certainly come from the network of pregnancy counselling centres (CPCs) linked to churches and run by CareConfidential...

The Guardian -

Ministers back anti-abortion lobby reforms

 (28 August 2011)

Charities warn of 'distress and delay' as they are stripped of principal responsibility to counsel women seeking a termination... The DH confirmed that it wanted to change the rules to offer women independent counselling in addition to that currently offered by abortion services and said it was consulting on the precise method to use..

The Guardian -

Cuts threaten to undo progress on reducing teenage pregnancies

 (09 August 2011)

With council budgets under pressure, teenage pregnancy co-ordinators are being axed... A Department for Education spokeswoman says: 'We are committed to reducing teenage pregnancy rates – and will be saying more about how we plan to do this in our youth policy statement and the Department of Health's sexual health document later this year'.

The Guardian -

Abortion: faith-based pregnancy counselling centres found wanting

 (03 August 2011)

Women receiving advice from pregnancy counselling centres run by faith-based organisations are subjected to scaremongering, emotive language and inaccurate information about abortion, according to an undercover investigation by a pro-choice charity.

The Guardian -

Half of medical students object to post-24 weeks abortion

 (18 July 2011)

Almost half of today's medical students say they would object to carrying out an abortion on a baby with congenital abnormalities later than 24 weeks in pregnancy.

The Telegraph -

Doctors' anti-abortion views could impact on women's access to service

 (18 July 2011)

Pregnant women could find it harder in future to obtain an abortion because of the growing number of doctors who are opposed to carrying out terminations. A survey of medical students has found that almost half believe doctors should be allowed to refuse to perform any procedure to which they object on moral, cultural or religious grounds..

The Guardian -

I want to introduce more choice for those seeking abortion, not less

 (13 July 2011)

How can independent relationship counselling be seen as a backward step?, asks Nadine Dorries

The Guardian -

Pro-choice activists rally for abortion providers to keep counselling role

 (09 July 2011)

Pro-choice activists rallying in Westminster fear government plan will hand abortion counselling to religious groups. Proposals to strip abortion providers of their counselling role could result in women being advised at centres run by religious groups who would actively deter them from choosing abortion as an option.

The Guardian -

Choose adoption instead of having an abortion, teen mothers are told

 (06 July 2011)

Teenage girls and women pregnant with unwanted babies should be offered the 'golden option' of adoption alongside abortion or struggling on to raise the children, said Martin Narey, the Coalition's new adoption tsars.

The Daily Mail online -

Teenage pregnancy: School's approach to sex education - VIDEO INTERVIEW

 (14 June 2011)

The programme spoke to Ann Evans, a teacher at in Merthyr Tydfil which has been praised by Estyn for its work on pupils' personal development. She describes how the school aims at an ethos where children develop self-respect and good behaviour, and adds that girls, in particular, are developing more quickly than they did a decade ago.

BBC Online -

Concern over morning-after pill scheme in Wales

 (14 June 2011)

A trial scheme supplying free morning-after pills has had little impact on teenage pregnancy, a document obtained by BBC Wales suggests. Research into a pilot project in Bridgend questioned whether it was 'an appropriate use of NHS resource'.

BBC Online -

Sex-selective abortion only aggravates misogyny

 (08 June 2011)

The sacred cow of the UK feminist movement – the right to abort – is proving to be a misogynistic tool in India, where too many female offspring are a financial burden... aborting a foetus because it is female is not an expression of inspired autonomy, says Madeleine Teahan in The Guardian

The Guardian -

Call for curbs on 'over-sexualised culture'

 (04 June 2011)

An independent report on the sexualisation of childhood is to call for explicit adverts to be banned from areas near schools. Retailers are also to be urged to stop selling provocative clothing aimed at pre-teens. Link to radio interview with MP discussing possible legislation.

BBC Online -

Lib Dems warning to government on big society faith groups

 (30 May 2011)

'Protect secularism and prevent proselytising', urge grassroots Lib Dems following involvement of faith groups in public services.... New website aiming to promote sex education for young people 'using a faith sensitive approach' has been launched after receiving funding from health authorities... Despite being the focus of suspicion by pro-choice groups and others, Julia Acott, CareConfidential's Counselling Services Manager, insisted they were a fully pro-choice organisation.

The Guardian -

Teens need ‘better sex advice and mentoring’

 (27 May 2011)

Recommendation comes from an investigation into why Southwark has the fourth highest teenage pregnancy rate in England. For the first time, the council sought the views of young parents, doctors, faith groups and charities... offering better sex education that includes emotional and self-esteem issues.

South London Press -

Anti-abortion group drafted in as sexual health adviser to government

 (26 May 2011)

Coalition appoints pro-abstinence charity Life to key sexual health forum, while omitting British Pregnancy Advisory Service. A Department of Health spokesperson said: "To provide balance, it is important that a wide range of interests and views are represented on the forum.

The Guardian -

Ireland: Abortion rise for over-35s in cash crisis

 (25 May 2011)

An increasing number of Irish women over 35 are having abortions. Although overall, 4,402 Irish women, 12 a day, had abortions in the UK in 2010, the ninth successive year a fall in numbers has been seen.

Irish Herald -

12 million unborn girls deliberately aborted

 (25 May 2011)

Some call it India's 'gendercide. In the past three decades up to 12 million unborn girls have been deliberately aborted by Indian parents determined to ensure they have a male heir.

The Independent -

Abortions rise by 8pc in past decade Abortions rise by 8pc in past decade

 (24 May 2011)

The number of abortions has risen by 8 per cent over the past decade with more than a third now involving women who have previously had terminations. Health commentators including pro-choice groups said they were surprised by the rising total number and rate of abortions.

The Telegraph -

Government loses battle to keep some abortion statistics secret

 (20 April 2011)

The Department of Health has lost a court battle to keep secret some details on abortion statistics. The government was challenging an Information Tribunal decision but data on late abortions must now be disclosed.

BBC Online -

Morning-after pill made free at pharmacies in Wales

 (01 April 2011)

Emergency contraception can now be obtained without charge from pharmacies across Wales. Some GPs have warned about 'missed opportunities' to educate young women about sexually transmitted diseases.

BBC Online -

MPs launch new bid to cut abortion rate

 (25 March 2011)

The number of abortions carried out would fall under new laws to be proposed in Parliament next week, campaigners have claimed. The first amendment would create a new precondition for any women having an abortion to receive advice and counselling from an organisation that does not itself carry out terminations.

The Telegraph -

Early medical abortions: Bid to change law fails

 (14 February 2011)

A legal bid to allow women having an early medical abortion to take some of their pills at home has been rejected by the High Court. The British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS) had challenged the law, arguing women should choose where they complete their treatment.

bbc online -

Teenagers given sex education job

 (05 February 2011)

Health chiefs criticised over plans to expand a controversial scheme in which teenagers give sex education to younger children. Pupils as young as 14 have been trained to teach schoolmates about puberty and contraception under the scheme...

The Express -

Lord Steel: Abortion Act a 'fundamental change'

 (04 February 2011)

The Abortion bill was debated and passed into law in 1967 after being introduced by a then-unknown backbench MP David Steel. He tells Giles Dilnot how he had no idea how big an impact on society the bill would have when he proposed it more than 40 years ago. Follow link to watch video of interview.

BBC Online -

Morning-after pill handout causes rise in teenage sexual disease

 (01 February 2011)

A government scheme to give teenagers the morning-after pill free of charge at pharmacies in a bid to cut down on unwanted pregnancies has led to a rise in sexually transmitted diseases, research shows.

Daily Telegraph -

Abortion rule to be challenged in high court

 (13 January 2011)

The Department of Health is accused of allowing political considerations to prevail over the wellbeing of women who need an abortion in early pregnancy, by refusing to allow them to take the necessary pills in the comfort and security of their own home. BPAS to challenge the government in the high court.

Guardian -

Facts on contraceptive use in the United States

 (05 January 2011)

Guttmacher Institute report research into the use and effectiveness of contraception in the USA. Results include: only 7% of women at risk for unintended pregnancy are not using contraceptives; and first year ‘typical use’ contraception failure rate for the Pill is 8.7% and for the Male Condom is 17.4%

Guttmacher Institute -

Brook guidance for working with boys and young men

 (05 January 2011)

Brook, the leading provider of sexual health services for young people in the UK and Jersey, has published new guidance on working with boys and young men.

The Guardian -

Best age to become a mother is between 20 and 35

 (31 December 2010)

Dr Tony Falconer, the president of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) said the message that ages 20 to 35 are the best for a woman to have a child should be taught in schools alongside education about teenage pregnancies and contraception

The Guardian -

Teen UK terminations rise but overall figures fall

 (17 December 2010)

THE number of Irish women who had an abortion last year fell from 4,600 in 2008 to 4,422 last year but the number of teens travelling for a termination has risen. The most recent figures available, which detail how many women travelled to UK clinics in 2009, show 38 girls who were younger than 16 had an abortion.

Irish Independent -

Irish abortion ban 'violated woman's rights'

 (16 December 2010)

The European Court of Human Rights has ruled that Irish abortion laws violated the rights of one of three women who sought terminations in Britain. The woman, who was in remission for a rare form of cancer, feared it might return as a result of her pregnancy. But it ruled two other women in the case had not had their rights breached.

BBC Online -

Early intervention grant, including teenage pregnancy, cut by 11%

 (14 December 2010)

Funding for intervention programmes in England, such as teenage pregnancy and youth crime support, are to be cut. Next year the government is introducing a new early intervention grant, which will be given to local authorities to distribute as they see fit.

BBC Online -

Teenage pregnancy rate 'will rise' without action

 (14 December 2010)

Teenage pregnancy rates will rise unless the government takes renewed action, a review for England warns. The Teenage Pregnancy Independent Advisory Group (TPIAG) warns budget cuts and a major reorganisation of the NHS may threaten the current downward trend in teenage pregnancies.

BBC Online -

Archbishop of York at Norfolk pregnancy support charity

 (02 December 2010)

Pregnancy Choices Norfolk has celebrated the opening of its new premises. Past client, Reannon Tapp cut the ribbon and a celebration cake and later in the day, some of the charity’s workers and volunteers received a visit and words of support from The Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, during his visit to Norwich.

Network Norwich -

Why are so many women risking one-night stands?

 (16 November 2010)

Daily Mail survey about what women really think about casual affairs - and abortion. Women aged 20 - 29: 48% have had a one-night stand; 23% had had an abortion; 16% have contracted an STI.

Daily Mail -

Should girls have access to the pill over the counter?

 (02 November 2010)

Two writers take differing views on an Isle of Wight scheme allowing girls as young as 13 to obtain the contraceptive pill direct from pharmacies.

Guardian -

The £300 test that can tell a baby's sex 7 weeks after conception

 (01 November 2010)

Doctors have developed a blood test that enables mothers-to-be to learn the sex of their babies just seven weeks after conception. Campaigners in Britain are warning that discovering the sex at such an early stage in the pregnancy may encourage some women to abort their unborn child if they find out it is not the sex they were hoping for.

Daily Mail -

Babies 'smile in the womb'

 (13 October 2010)

Recent advances in ultrasound scanning have shown that babies smile, cry and blink inside the womb, an obstetrician said today. Professor Stuart Campbell said images captured using a 4D scanner suggest that unborn babies exhibit facial expressions as a reflex in preparation for birth.... it was previously thought babies learned to smile after birth by copying their mothers.

Daily Mail -

Bid to block doctors bypassing abortion on grounds of conscience

 (06 October 2010)

Rising numbers of doctors refusing to be involved in abortions has prompted Europe’s leading human rights organisation to consider moves to stop them from acting in accordance with their consciences. (European Parliamentary Assembly) will vote on Thursday on resolution to crack down on 'the problem of unregulated use of conscientious objection'.

Daily Mail -

Women prefer surgical abortion to pill in second trimester

 (06 October 2010)

Women who undergo an abortion during the second trimester may often prefer a surgical procedure to the "abortion pill," a small UK study suggests... (findings published in the obstetrics journal BJOG).

Reuters -

Vulnerable pregnant women 'miss out on antenatal care'

 (22 September 2010)

NHS watchdog NICE said teenage mothers, domestic abuse victims, drug users and non-English speakers were the least likely to use antenatal services despite being the most in need. The body said the health service needed to become more flexible and welcoming.

BBC Online -

Schools 'must give sex education'

 (09 September 2010)

Schools should be forced to give sex and relationship education lessons to pupils, a Labour MP has said. Chris Bryant (Rhondda) said the UK had a "terrible" problem with teenage pregnancy in comparison to other European countries. But Tory Therese Coffey said it should be for parents to decide how to provide sex and relationship education to their children.

Press Association -

Abortion activist 'freed in China'

 (09 September 2010)

Blind activist jailed after revealing rights abuses under China's one-child policy has been freed after a four-year prison term, rights groups say. Chen Guangcheng accused officials in Shandong province of forcing 7,000 women into abortions or sterilisations. Mr Chen is a contender for this year's Nobel Peace Prize.

BBC Online -

Media's impact on teenage sexual behaviour

 (01 September 2010)

'Media's Impact On Teen Sexual Behaviors, Teenage Pregnancies And Sexually Transmitted Infections'. Web sites and TV shows that are well-liked by adolescents, and the way sex is portrayed in them may be major factors in the initiation of sexual intercourse, says American Academy of Pediatrics.

Medical News Today -

Almost 500,000 new sex infections in UK last year

 (25 August 2010)

Experts at the Health Protection Agency (HPA) say young people are most affected. One in ten of 15-24 year olds with an STI became infected again within a year. The 482,696 new cases represent a 3% rise from the 2008 figures, continuing a "steady upward trend" that the HPA said had been seen over the past decade.

BBC Online -

More teenage pregnancies, fewer births

 (09 August 2010)

New Zealand teen pregnancy rate hit a 40-year peak in 2008 despite a long-term downward trend in the proportion of teenagers actually giving birth. Report by Social Development Ministry found that an almost continuous rise in the number of teenagers having abortions has more than offset the downward trend in the actual birthrate since the mid-1980s.

NZ Herald -

TV watchdog says abortion advert was not offensive

 (04 August 2010)

TV commercial for the Marie Stopes clinic, which carries out 65,000 abortions a year, was the first on British TV to promote an abortion services organisation. It triggered more than 1,000 complaints to the Advertising Standards Authority. Critics claimed it trivialised unwanted pregnancies and reduced the significance of the destruction of a life.

Daily Mail -

One in seven girls pregnant by age of 18, government study finds

 (22 July 2010)

Almost one in five girls who are sexually active at the age of 18 say they have been pregnant at least once, according to a major government study published today. [Figures worse for poor]... 28% of all girls who are eligible for free school meals reported getting pregnant at least once, with 7% having done so twice or more.

The Guardian -

Twins that prove a baby can survive at 23 weeks

 (22 July 2010)

Together they weighed about the same as a bag of sugar and could fit snugly into each of their father's palms. Amelia Hope Burden and her brother Arthur are the youngest premature twins to survive in the UK. One was even born before the 24-week legal limit for abortion [for photo follow link]

Daily Mail -

500 Abortions a day in Britain

 (18 July 2010)

Lord Alton,the peer who spearheaded reform of Britain’s abortion laws is calling for a “national debate” as the number of terminations reaches more than 500 a day... Government figures reveal 6.1 million abortions in the past four decades. Of these only 24,100, or 0.4 per cent, were carried out under the Act’s provisions to protect the mental or physical wellbeing of the mother.

The Express -

Watchdog to investigate abortion service ads

 (08 July 2010)

TUK’s first television advertisement for an abortion service provider is to be formally investigated by the Advertising Standards Authority after attracting more than 1,000 complaints. Marie Stopes International launched the ad in May and offers women advice if they think they are pregnant and are “not sure what to do”.

Marketing Weerk -

Debate over 'no foetal pain before 24 weeks' [online video]

 (25 June 2010)

Psychologist Dr Stuart Derbyshire and obstetrician and gynaecologist Professor Stuart Campbell debate the findings of a report that found no new evidence to show foetuses feel pain in the womb before 24 weeks. Watch the video here online via the link.


'No foetal pain before 24 weeks'

 (24 June 2010)

There is no new evidence to show foetuses feel pain in the womb before 24 weeks, and so no reason to challenge the abortion limit, UK doctors say. The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists' review said foetuses are "undeveloped and sedated".


Dozens of teenage girls have had three abortions or more

 (12 June 2010)

Government data have disclosed that 89 girls aged 17 or under who terminated a pregnancy last year had had at least two abortions previously. BPAS said many young women were living chaotic lives that meant they could not organise contraception. Christian doctors said the statistics demonstrated the failure of liberal sex education policies.

The Telegraph -

Protestant Churches risk abortion row with ‘Jesus scan’ advert

 (09 June 2010)

Protestant Churches are joining forces in an advertising campaign that shows a scan of “baby Jesus in the Virgin Mary’s womb”, complete with halo. The poster campaign, which will feature on billboards nationally over Christmas, reads: “He’s on His way. Christmas starts with Christ.”

The Times -

Sex health charity opens abortion clinics in China

 (30 May 2010)

Marie Stopes, the British birth-control charity, has sparked anger from women’s rights campaigners by setting up a chain of abortion clinics in China, where the country’s population control policies routinely pressure women into terminating their pregnancies.

The Times -

Survey suggests easing of Northern Ireland abortion laws

 (26 May 2010)

Abortion laws should be liberalised, more than half of NI's practising gynaecologists have suggested. An academic survey claims that the majority of gynaecologists in Northern Ireland "do not support the current abortion law as it stands".


Caution over abortion rate fall

 (25 May 2010)

The abortion rate has dropped for the second year running in England and Wales, statistics show. But experts said it was still too early to say whether there was a downward trend. At the beginning of the 1970s the abortion rate was around the 8 per 1,000 figure, but after almost continuous year-on-year increases it rose to 18.6 two years ago.


Teenagers 'should stockpile morning after pill'

 (25 May 2010)

Teenagers and young women should be encouraged to stockpile the morning-after pill in case of emergencies, the Government’s public health body has advised. Free condoms should also be available to young people in schools and youth clubs, according to the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (Nice).

The Telegraph -

Watch the UK's first TV ad for abortion services

 (24 May 2010)

Link to watch TV campaign for Marie Stopes sexual health clinics that launched on Channel 4. Produced by ad agency icreate4.

The Guardian -

Lambeth is 'teen pregnancy capital' of England

 (24 May 2010)

Lambeth is set to again be the teenage pregnancy capital of England. The rate of 15 to 17-year-olds falling pregnant in Lambeth is 71.5 in 1,000 - giving the borough the highest teenage conception rate in England.

Streathan Guardian -

Confronting abortion's taboo status is a an absolute must

 (21 May 2010)

1 in 3 women will have an abortion before they are 45, says Marie Stopes. Out of all the women you know, one third have had, or will have, a pregnancy terminated. Ask yourself: how did they go ahead with it? Who did they turn to to talk it through? Despite the large number affected – men as well as women – abortion is hardly ever publicly and frankly discussed.

The Scotsman -

Abortion advice organisation Marie Stopes to air TV ad

 (20 May 2010)

An advertisement by an abortion advisory organisation is to be screened for the first time on UK television. The campaign for unplanned pregnancy and abortion advice at Marie Stopes clinics will raise awareness of sexual health, the organisation said.


Threefold rise in GPs who offer abortions after rules relaxed

 (14 April 2010)

The number of GP surgeries planning to offer abortions has tripled, figures revealed yesterday. The dramatic rise was welcomed by abortion charities, who say it will make it more convenient for vulnerable women who are under nine weeks pregnant to terminate their babies.

The Mail -

David Cameron suggests abortion time limit should be lowered

 (08 April 2010)

Family planning charities condemn David Cameron suggestion that abortion time limit should be cut to 22 or 20 weeks. The Tory leader's comments, in interview with Catholic magazine, described as 'misguided and without foundation', saying there was no medical evidence to back a reduction.

The Guardian -

Morning-after pill 'does not cut teen pregnancy'

 (17 March 2010)

Providing the morning-after pill in advance does nothing to cut teenage pregnancy rates, researchers claim.... findings by the respected Cochrane Library Review cast serious doubt over the Government's decision to promote emergency contraception as part of its Teenage Pregnancy Strategy.

Daily Mail -

Condom TV ads get prime-time all-clear

 (17 March 2010)

Adverts for condoms will now be allowed at any time provided they are not screened during programmes popular with children under the age of 10 and they comply with strict rules on taste, decency and socially responsible advertising. The ban was relaxed in response to advice from the Government's advisory group on sexual health

The Independent -

Polish women encouraged to come to UK for 'free abortions' on NHS

 (15 March 2010)

Polish pro-abortion group launch publicity campaign advocating travelling to UK to get free abortions on the NHS as a way of avoiding Poland's strict laws prohibiting terminations... huge UK Polish population can provide a support network and the country is now seen as a prime destination for pregnant women seeking a termination.

The Telegraph -

Polish Ad Sparks 'Abortion Tourism' Row

 (15 March 2010)

A feminist organisation in Poland has been accused of promoting "abortion tourism" by encouraging women to travel to Britain to have terminations on the NHS. SROM's poster shows that thousands of Polish women travel to Britain for an abortion each year, taking advantage of the reciprocal agreement for the provision of free medical care under EU laws.

Sky News -

Men 'want more say' over abortion

 (10 March 2010)

Men say they want more of a say deciding on abortions, according to people BBC Radio 1Xtra have talked to. At the moment men have no legal rights if their girlfriend or wife gets pregnant and want a termination. Many claim help and advice on deciding whether to have a baby is geared towards the woman rather than them.

BBC Radio1 Newsbeat -

Teenage pregnancy figures fall in Derbyshire

 (27 February 2010)

Number of teenage pregnancies in Derbyshire has fallen after a campaign urging parents to talk to youngsters about the issues. Latest figures have showed 485 girls aged 15 to 17 became pregnant in 2008, compared with 547 in the previous year. The Derbyshire Teenage Pregnancy Partnership has produced a leaflet helping parents speak to children about relationships.

BBC Online -

Cutting teen pregnancy the Dutch way

 (27 February 2010)

An educational focus on the link between sex and reproduction – and being able to say no – has had success in the Netherlands. While the fall in teenage pregnancies in England and Wales is welcome, the total is still very high. How can we bring it down further? A key lesson from the Dutch....

The Guardian -

Teenage pregnancies in Torbay buck national trend

 (26 February 2010)

Torbay girls are undermining Government efforts to halve teenage pregnancies. While conception rates in 15 to 17-year-olds nationally have been falling steadily in the decade since 1988, teen pregnancies in Torbay have risen by 46% - leaving the borough further from the Government's target than anywhere else in England or Wales.

BBC Online -

Labour attack Tories over 'dodgy' pregnancy figures

 (15 February 2010)

The Tories stood accused today of being "totally out of touch" after claiming more than half of girls in the most deprived areas fell pregnant before their 18th birthday. It claimed that the conception rate among under-18 girls in the 10 most disadvantaged areas was 54%. The real figure was 54 per 1,000.

The Independent -

Teenage pregnancy 'can be positive'

 (14 February 2010)

Teenage pregnancy can "make sense" for young people and have a positive effect on their lives, according to the authors of a new study... Its authors say the majority of teenage mothers they interviewed were more motivated to succeed at school or work because they wanted to provide for their families.

Evening Standard -

Is abstinence-based sex education the best choice for our teens?

 (10 February 2010)

Controversial religious programmes from the US are finding their equivalents here.. Love for Life, an education project based in Craigavon, delivers Relationships and Sexuality Education (RSE) programmes to over 50 per cent of post-primary schools in Northern Ireland.. Founded on “a Christian model of values”, Love for Life aims to “demonstrate these values in social action”.

Irish Times -

Rigorous Study Finds Abstinence Program Effective

 (09 February 2010)

A randomized-control study by well-respected researchers in the field of sex education has found that an abstinence program taught to African-American middle schoolers was more effective than other kinds of interventions in delaying sexual activity.

Education Week -

Unplanned pregnancy growing issue for women over 35

 (09 February 2010)

Unplanned pregnancy is a growing problem for women over the age of 35, many who believe that they’re too old to conceive. The U.K.’s sexual health charity Family Planning Association (FPA) has announced a new campaign called “Conceivable?” to remind women that contraception is needed until a year or two after menopause. -

Gene tests for 100 inherited diseases

 (08 February 2010)

British couples are to be offered a groundbreaking genetic test that would virtually eliminate their chances of having a baby with one of more than 100 inherited diseases...Critics argue that the diseases it detects are too rare for most people to need screening, and that it will cause needless alarm. It is also likely to raise demand for embryo screening and abortion.

The Times -

Schoolgirls as young as 10 are getting pregnant

 (08 February 2010)

According to new statistics uncovered by The Sun, since 2002, 15 girls of ten - still at primary school - and 39 aged 11 were found to be expecting, plus 268 pregnant girls aged 12, 2,527 aged 13, 14,777 aged 14 and 45,861 aged 15. Government statistics show 60 per cent of under-age pregnant girls have an abortion.

The Sun -

Study of Abstinence Education

 (02 February 2010)

A study of middle-school students has found for the first time that abstinence-only education helped to delay their sexual initiation... “This is a rigorous study that means we can now say that it’s possible for an abstinence-only intervention to be effective,” Dr. John B. Jemmott III, the University of Pennsylvania professor who led the study.

New York Times -

Hospital worker 'told family of teenager's abortion'

 (01 February 2010)

An investigation has begun into claims that a hospital worker broke confidentiality to tell a teenage patient's family about her abortion. The 19-year-old mother-of-two, said her grandmother, a Catholic, was told about it by an administration worker at Prince Charles hospital in Merthyr.

BBC Online -

One in 62 underage girls pregnant in Lewisham, London

 (03 January 2010)

Schoolgirls in England’s teenage pregnancy black spot are nine times more likely to find themselves mothers-to-be. An astonishing one in 62 girls under 16 falls pregnant in Lewisham, south London – that’s nine times higher than the Cotswolds, where the rate is just one in every 556.... the number of schoolchildren falling pregnant is on the rise.

Daily Express -

Teenagers offered 'morning-after pill' at pharmacies

 (24 December 2009)

Free emergency contraception from pharmacies has been made available to teenage girls and women to avoid unwanted pregnancy. Health bosses are warning that with the Christmas and New Year party season in full swing, the number of unplanned pregnancies is likely to be higher. The "morning-after pill" is also being offered to girls under 16.

BBC News Online -

Women challenge Irish abortion ban in European court

 (09 December 2009)

Ireland's ban on abortion faced one of its biggest challenges today when three women forced to travel abroad for terminations turned to the European court of human rights. The case is being watched closely in other Catholic countries such as Poland, Spain and Malta.

The Guardian -

Teen pregnancy rate stays high in Brighton and Hove

 (19 November 2009)

Health bosses are struggling to cut the number of teenage pregnancies in Brighton and Hove. It means the city is almost certain to miss its long term target. A teenage pregnancy action plan was launched earlier this year to try to get the numbers down.

The Brighton Argus -

Britain the abortion capital of Europe

 (12 November 2009)

Terminations for teenagers leap by a third. More abortions are carried out in Britain than any other country in Europe, research has shown. It has overtaken France - which has a larger population - to become the abortion capital of the continent. The rising rate has been pushed up by abortions among teenage girls, which increased by nearly a third over the past decade.

Daily Mail -

Slight rise in NI abortion rate

 (10 November 2009)

Legal abortions carried out in Northern Ireland averaged almost two per week last year, according to the Department of Health.... 92 women had pregnancy terminations in 2008. Abortion is illegal in Northern Ireland, except when the mother's life is at risk.

BBC Online -

Sex education opt out is reduced

 (05 November 2009)

Parents' right to pull their children out of sex education classes in England is being ended once the pupils turn 15. The change means all pupils will get at least one year of sex and relationship education before their 16th birthday once it becomes compulsory in 2011.

BBC Online -

Abortions soar by a quarter among 14-year-olds

 (02 November 2009)

Number of 14-year-olds having abortions has soared by almost a quarter in two years. Department of Health figures show that 166 girls of that age had terminations last year compared with 135 in 2006. Total number of abortions carried out on under 16s rose from 3,658 in 2001 to 4,113 last year – a rise of more than 12 per cent.

Daily Mail -

Our Down's syndrome son Oliver is a joy

 (28 October 2009)

Former F1 world champ Damon Hill has a 20-year-old son, Oliver, who has Down's syndrome. Damon and his wife Georgie, who was 28 when Oliver was born, learned that their son had the condition the day after the delivery. Damon, 49, explains why Oliver brings them so much happiness and has surpassed their expectations.

The Sun -

Irish terminations about 50% as syndrome 'more accepted'

 (28 October 2009)

Up to 50% of pregnant women attending a Dublin maternity hospital are choosing termination when.. carrying a child with Down syndrome [compared with 90% in England and Wales], according to a leading obstetrician. He believed this was because children with Down syndrome were visible and accepted in every community here but this was not the case in the UK.

Irish Times -

Mum of Down's syndrome daughter 'wouldn't change a thing'

 (28 October 2009)

Parents who are told their unborn child could have Down’s syndrome should seek advice from other families with experience of the condition, says one mother. Emily Robinson said: "For me, there was no value in knowing and worrying about it and, looking back, I’m glad I didn’t know. My advice is ... to talk to other parents and meet children who have it".

Oxford Mail -

Steep rise in Down's pregnancies

 (27 October 2009)

Down's syndrome pregnancies have risen by more than 70% over the last 20 years, University of London researchers say. Sharp rise reflects growing number of older women becoming pregnant, when there is a higher risk. An increase in number of subsequent abortions and more antenatal diagnoses means slightly fewer children are being born with Down's syndrome.

BBC Online -

University student union criticised for Pregnancy Counselling Centre exclusion

 (24 October 2009)

YUSU [at University of York] have come under criticism from charities involved in this year’s RAG beneficiary elections following their decision to remove York Pregnancy Crisis Service, ‘Reflect’, from the ballot.

University of York's student website -

Late abortions data to be public

 (15 October 2009)

The government has been ordered to publish data about the number of late abortions carried out because of disability. This is the latest stage in a complex legal battle which began six years ago over a late abortion carried out because of a baby with a cleft palate.

BBC Online -

My romantic fantasy crumbled into an abortion battle

 (11 October 2009)

White-faced, Ben was standing over me and shouting. “I don’t want this pregnancy. I want an abortion!” My charming, gentle boyfriend had turned into a bully at the sight of a positive pregnancy test. Meek with pregnancy hormones, I almost found myself agreeing to what he was asking.

Times Online -

Number of Croydon teen mums set to rise says NHS

 (08 October 2009)

The number of young mums is set to rise as health chiefs admit they are powerless to stop teens getting pregnant. NHS Croydon revealed it has failed to reduce teenage pregnancy rates and would not achieve the government's targets. But Councillor Tim Pollard said Croydon should ignore statistics and focus on taking care of the teenagers and their babies.

Croydon Advertiser -

Do teenage mothers deserve special homes?

 (02 October 2009)

Teenage single mothers will be sent to live in supervised homes rather than given council houses, says Gordon Brown. "These shared homes will offer not just a roof over their heads, but a new start in life where they learn responsibility and how to raise their children properly". But is it a step back to times when unmarried mothers were sent away or a step forward?

BBC News Magazine -

Government orders Torbay to halve teenage pregnancy rates

 (15 September 2009)

The number of teenage girls getting pregnant in Torbay has risen to its highest level since 1998, despite a campaign to reduce the figure. The trust said it had set up a number of initiatives to bring down teenage pregnancy rates and was taking advice on "best practice" from other areas of the country.

BBC Online -

Exploring global attitudes towards sex education

 (15 September 2009)

When is a child old enough to learn about sex? Twelve? Eight? Five? And what exactly should a child be taught? These questions are at the heart of a growing controversy over a proposal by Unesco, the UN agency for science, culture and education. Listen to the debate from BBC Newshour. - BBC Audio link

Abortion ad rules review delayed

 (08 September 2009)

Regulators have delayed publication of results of controversial review of UK advertising code, which includes proposals that could allow abortion clinics to run TV commercials, until next year after receiving 4,000 submissions. Review contained further contentious recommendations such as relaxing the ban on condoms being advertised on TV before the 9pm watershed.

The Guardian -

Indian woman fights for 'rape' baby

 (04 September 2009)

Teenager in India became pregnant after allegedly being raped in a government-run care home, and the state authorities petitioned the local courts to allow them to carry out an abortion. Court ruled that an abortion should go ahead... her lawyers and several disability rights groups appealed to the Supreme Court. It overruled the original judgement.

BBC Online -

Many teenage girls in abusive relationships says NSPCC

 (01 September 2009)

Third of teenage girls suffer sexual abuse in a relationship and a quarter experience violence at the hands of their boyfriends, a survey suggests. Nearly 90% of 1,400 girls aged 13 to 17 had been in intimate relationships, the NSPCC and University of Bristol found. Of these, 1 in 6 said they had been pressured into sexual intercourse and 1 in 16 said they had been raped.

BBC Online -

UK teenage girls 'worst drunks'

 (01 September 2009)

Wide-ranging international study shows young people in the UK enjoying generous support as they grow up ... but in their personal lives, the UK youngsters are characterised by alcohol abuse and high rates of teenage pregnancy.

BBC Online -

Abortions on under-14s revealed

 (14 August 2009)

Abortions were carried out on almost 100 girls aged 14 or younger last year in Scotland, figures have shown. The statistics were contained in response to a freedom of information request by a Scottish newspaper. Almost 3,000 girls under 15 had terminations between 2001 and 2008, eight of whom were 12-years-old.

BBC Online -

Teenagers 'bullied by sex texts'

 (04 August 2009)

More than a third of under-18s have been sent offensive or distressing sexual images electronically, a survey by the charity Beatbullying suggests. A large majority of the 2,094 respondents said a fellow teenager had sent it, compared with 2% who said an adult had sent the message. The charity said "sexting" constituted bullying and was a growing problem.

BBC Online -

Secret teenage abortions

 (01 August 2009)

The case of schoolgirl Melissa Smith, who had a secret abortion aged 14, shocked many across the UK who were unaware their daughters could be given terminations without their parents being informed. Speaking about her ordeal for the first time, Melissa tells Real Story how she now regrets losing the baby and wishes she had involved her mother in the decision.

BBC Online -

China carries out 13 million abortions a year

 (30 July 2009)

China carries out at least 13 million abortions each year with more than a third of all pregnancies ending in termination, research has revealed. The real total may be far higher since a large number of abortions were performed in unregistered clinics, especially in the countryside. A further ten million "morning after" contraceptive pills are sold each year.

The Telegraph -

'Abortion ship' sails into Christian storm

 (29 July 2009)

Vessel that made waves by offering termination services in pro-life countries may be sunk by new Dutch law. "The change in the Dutch law means that women in other countries would no longer be protected and could be prosecuted if they came to our ship," Dr Gomperts said yesterday. "We have suspended the voyages that we planned this year".

The Independant -

Fewer travelling to UK for abortion from Ireland

 (20 July 2009)

31% decrease in the number of women travelling from Ireland to the UK for an abortion in the last seven years, there has been a 46% decrease in the number of teenagers travelling from Ireland to Britain for abortion. Also 20% decrease in the number and rate of births to teenagers from 2001 to 2008.

RTE News -

Call for awareness on pregnancy, abortion and domestic violence

 (20 July 2009)

Link found between domestic violence and women seeking repeat abortions. 30% of women having a second abortion reported relationship violence and women having a third or subsequent abortion were over 2.5 times as likely to report a history of physical or sexual abuse by a male partner.

Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists -

Sex education opt-out 'should be axed'

 (16 July 2009)

Pressure is mounting on the Government to remove parents legal right to pull sons and daughters out of lessons. The comments from health campaigners follow a Government decision to make sex and relationships education compulsory in all primary and secondary schools from 2011.

The Telegraph -

Teen pregnancy project ditched

 (07 July 2009)

Multi-million pound project to reduce pregnancies among youngsters deemed at risk has been abandoned after research showed it was not cutting conceptions. It offered support and advice to disadvantaged teenagers... but teenagers who took part were actually more likely to fall pregnant than those in comparable groups.

BBC Online -

Dangers for multiple terminations

 (29 June 2009)

Women who have had an abortion or miscarriage are more likely to give birth to a premature baby, researchers have found. A single termination raised the risk by 20%. Two or more increased the chances by 90%. And women who have had more than one abortion double their risk of having a "very" premature baby.

The Mirror -

Disappointment over abortion rise in Scotland

 (26 May 2009)

The Scottish Government has expressed disappointment after the number of abortions being carried out in Scotland rose to an all-time high last year. There were 13,817 terminations in 2008. Almost 3,500 were carried out on teenagers and 343 were performed on girls under 16. The rise is in contrast to England, where abortions had fallen for first time in three years.

BBC Online -

Spanish PM defends abortion on demand for 16-year-olds

 (20 May 2009)

Spain's prime minister defended one of the most controversial parts of his proposed abortion law reform which would allow 16-year-olds to terminate their pregnancies without parental consent. "Let's take into account what the experts say, the experience of other European countries and let's have confidence in our youth, in our women".


Sex infections soar in under-16s

 (19 May 2009)

Sexually transmitted diseases amongst children have rocketed in the past five years, according to figures released by the Government. Sex infections amongst under-16s in England rose by 58% from 2,474 in 2003 to 3,913 in 2007. The biggest increase was in cases of chlamydia, which rose by 90%, with genital herpes up by 42% and genital warts by a third.

The Independent -

President Barack Obama speaks on abortion

 (17 May 2009)

US President Barack Obama laid out his views on abortion in clear terms, describing it as "a heart-wrenching decision for any woman. Let's work together to reduce the number of women seeking abortions by reducing unintended pregnancies, and making adoption more available, and providing care and support for women who do carry their child to term".

BBC Online -

More Americans 'pro-life' than 'pro-choice' for first time

 (15 May 2009)

A new Gallup Poll, conducted May 7-10, finds 51% of Americans calling themselves 'pro-life' on the issue of abortion and 42% 'pro-choice'. This is the first time a majority of U.S. adults have identified themselves as pro-life since Gallup began asking this question in 1995.

Gallup -

Loose Women star, Coleen Nolan had secret abortion, aged just 16

 (21 April 2009)

'The fear of family finding out about my abortion was worse than the fear for my health'. After the abortion, she says she didn't cry as she had prepared herself and blocked out any emotion. Coleen, who split up with Robin two years later, went on to have two sons and one daughter, but says she still thinks about the child she might have had, who would now be 28.

The Daily Mail -

Teen abortions in Wales at five-year high

 (06 April 2009)

Abortions carried out on girls aged under 18 in Wales is at a five-year high, assembly government figures show. 1,043 teenagers underwent the procedure in 2007, up from 906 in 2002. Overall, abortions in Wales rose to 8,765 in 2007 - the equivalent of 24 a day - up 18% from 7,396 abortions in 2002.

BBC Online -

Abortion review after 15 year old girl dies

 (26 March 2009)

Marie Stopes International is reviewing its procedures after the death of a 15-year-old girl who had an abortion at one of its clinics. Alesha Thomas was allowed to leave the clinic in Leeds in July 2007 without antibiotics. Five days later the Huddersfield teenager died from a heart attack due to the infection toxic shock syndrome.

BBC Online -

Abortion clinics to advertise on television

 (26 March 2009)

TV ads for abortions will be allowed for first time under the biggest shake-up of advertising rules for 50 years. Advertising watchdog acknowledges it will offend members of the public.. ads for pregnancy advisory services will be allowed in prime-time evening slots on TV. Marie Stopes International said it would immediately consider running ads.

The Independent -

Condoms to be advertised round-the-clock on TV

 (26 March 2009)

Condoms to be advertised round-the-clock on television... in an attempt to cut the teenage pregnancy rate, which is the highest in Europe, the Advertising Standards Authority wants to relax the current rules and proposes to allow pro-abortion services to advertise on television for the first time... The 9pm watershed on condom advertisements is to be abolished.

The Times -

Girls 11 to send text for morning-after pill

 (24 March 2009)

Schoolgirls will be able to request the morning-after pill by text message in a scheme being introduced later this year. Any girl at the four schools in Oxford and two in Banbury will be given the opportunity to ask for emergency contraception if they have had unprotected sex, or their contraception has failed.

The Metro, London -

Does access to contraception raise teenage pregnancy rates?

 (24 March 2009)

With the teenage pregnancy rate higher that it was a decade ago, David Paton asks whether easy access to contraceptive services is contributing to this problem.

Nursing Times -

UK population must fall to 30 million, says Porritt

 (22 March 2009)

Jonothon Porritt, one of Gordon Brown’s leading green advisers, is to warn that Britain must drastically reduce its population if it is to build a sustainable society. Porritt’s call will come at the annual conference of the Optimum Population Trust (OPT), of which he is patron. Porritt said: “Population growth, plus economic growth, is putting the world under terrible pressure.

The Times Online -

Anger over 'morning-after pill bulk-buy offer'

 (22 March 2009)

Women are being sold morning-after pills in bulk over the internet in a move that MPs say encourages unprotected sex. Dr Peter Saunders, of the CMF, described the move as "extraordinary and reckless... it will encourage unprotected sex and ... fuel the epidemic of sexually transmitted diseases and cervical cancer".

The Telegraph -

Northern Ireland abortion guidelines published

 (20 March 2009)

The Department of Health has, for the first time, published guidance to health professionals in Northern Ireland on terminating pregnancy. Abortion is illegal in NI, except when the mother's life is at risk. While the move will not change the law, the guidelines should make clear what is and is not permitted.


Wolverhampton and Solihull teens having highest repeat abortions

 (08 March 2009)

Shock new government figures show under 19s are regularly having repeat abortions, sparking fears they are using the procedure as a method of contraception. Wolverhampton and Solihull Primary Care Trusts (PCTs) have the highest rate of repeat terminations in the Midlands, with 14 per cent of young women having had an abortion at least once before.

Sunday Mercury - Birmingham,UK -

Government’s teenage pregnancy strategy has been a disaster

 (26 February 2009)

Teenage pregnancies increase with a sharp rise among girls under 16. Norman Wells, director of the Family Education Trust, said "The Government’s latest initiative advising parents not to tell their children that there are any rights or wrongs where sex is concerned... is depriving them of the moral compass they so desperately need".

The Telegraph -

The truth about under-18 abortion

 (26 February 2009)

Labour defended the latest rise in teenage pregnancy by saying that the number of conceptions had remained stable. But closer analysis of the figures reveals the Government's strategy has led to startlingly higher numbers of [teenage] abortions... up 32% over the decade. Labour's policy was supposed to slash underage pregnancies. In reality it had the opposite effect.

Mail Online -

'Teenage Pregnancy And Young Parents' statement from Brook Services

 (15 February 2009)

Simon Blake, Chief Executive of Brook, said: "Since the Teenage Pregnancy Strategy was launched in 1998 teenage pregnancy rates have reduced by 12.6%. We must keep teenage pregnancy as a national and local priority and do more of what we know has an impact.

Medical News Today -

Poll shows GP abortion fears

 (10 February 2009)

One in three GPs would refuse to work in a surgery that offered abortions, a new poll has suggested. Almost half (49%)also called for a cut in the current 24-week time limit. More than half (56%)said offering abortions in surgeries or polyclinics would lead to more women having the procedure. And 61% said they did not believe practices should be offering abortions at all.

The Press Association -

Abortion: 'If only I had known more'

 (03 February 2009)

Judy (not her real name), a 26-year-old Kenyan student who had an illegal abortion aged 18, gives the BBC her reaction to US President Barack Obama's recent decision to end a ban on US aid money going to abortion counselling groups.

BBC Online -

Two children should be limit, says green guru

 (01 February 2009)

Couples who have more than two children are being “irresponsible” by creating an unbearable burden on the environment, the government’s green adviser has warned. Jonathon Porritt, who chairs the government’s Sustainable Development Commission, says curbing population growth through contraception and abortion must be at the heart of policies to fight global warming.

Times online -

Internet boom in DIY abortion pills

 (01 February 2009)

Women in Northern Ireland are turning to the internet to buy £60 abortion pills because they cannot afford to travel to mainland Britain to terminate their pregnancies, it has been claimed. Audrey Simpson, director of the Family Planning Association in Belfast, revealed that a rising number of women had contacted her to say they had suffered complications after taking the pills.

The Observer -

Increase in repeat pregnancies among teenagers

 (28 January 2009)

An expert in health services at The University of Nottingham is calling for urgent action to improve contraceptive advice and services to reduce the growing number of repeat teenage pregnancies in the United Kingdom. Researchers at Nottingham found that the number of women under 20 presenting for repeat abortions has risen steadily over the last 15 years.

Medical News Today -

Obama lifts ban on abortion funds

 (24 January 2009)

US President Barack Obama has lifted a ban on federal funding for foreign family planning agencies that promote or give information about abortion. The US is one of the biggest supporters of family planning programmes globally, but former president George W Bush blocked funds for abortion services.

BBC Online -

More Asian women having abortions

 (12 January 2009)

Big jump [over 50%] in the number of Asian women having abortions in the UK, according to figures from the Department of Health... 15,197 terminations in 2007, compared with 10,084 in 2003 for all age groups. Experts say more Asian women are now in open relationships and are having sex whereas culturally in the past it was something they did after marriage.

BBC Online -

MP says contraceptive jabs will increase sexual disease

 (05 January 2009)

MP Sandra Gidley has attacked plans to curb teenage pregnancy by giving contraceptive jabs to girls as young as 13. She said the plans are only aimed at meeting targets and would lead to a rise in sexually transmitted infections. Under the proposed scheme, teenagers would not have to tell their parents before having the injection at school-based clinics.

Daily Echo -

Pill without prescription 'will not reduce unwanted pregnancies'

 (24 December 2008)

Making the contraceptive Pill available without a prescription will not reduce the number of unwanted pregnancies, a health expert has warned. Dr Sarah Jarvis, from the Royal College of GPs, argued that the UK's high rate of unintended pregnancies is caused by women forgetting to take their contraceptive, not a problem with availability.

The Telegraph -

Teenage pregnancies rose last year

 (16 December 2008)

Office for National Statistics published figures for under-18 pregnancies in England and Wales showing rise of at least 2.7 per cent in the rate last year. Last year’s increase means around 43,000 girls under 18 in England and Wales became pregnant, only 1,000 fewer than 1998 and at least 1,200 more from 2006. Britain has highest teenage pregnancy levels in Europe.

The Telegraph -

Teenage pregnancies go up despite free contraception and sex education

 (16 December 2008)

The number of teenage pregnancies leapt last year, despite all Labour's efforts to increase sex education and contraception among children and the young. The increase appears to have struck a death blow to the Government's long-standing pledge to halve rates of pregnancy among girls under 18.

The Daily Mail -

Pill to be given out by chemists

 (10 December 2008)

Pilot scheme allowing pharmacists to give women the contraceptive pill without a prescription has been given the go-ahead for next year. Women and girls aged over 16 will be able to get the pill.If the pilots are successful, the pill could become available over the counter like the morning after pill. Officials say this might help reduce the UK's high teen pregnancies.

BBC Online -

Rapist made daughters pregnant 19 times

 (27 November 2008)

A father who made his two daughters pregnant 19 times during almost 30 years of repeated rape and physical abuse was given 25 life sentences last night, and will serve a minimum of 19-and-a-half-years in prison. The man fathered nine children with them, two of whom died at birth. The other 10 pregnancies were miscarried or ended in abortion.

The Guardian -

Down's Syndrome birth rate increase

 (24 November 2008)

More babies are being born with Down's Syndrome than before pre-natal screening for the disorder was introduced at end of 1980s, research reveals. Parents appear more willing to bring a Down's child into the world than they used to be, research shows. Many are taking the decision because those affected by the syndrome are more accepted in society today and their quality of life has improved.

The Press Association -

TV shows link to teen pregnancies

 (04 November 2008)

Teenage girls who watch a lot of TV shows with a high sexual content are twice as likely to become pregnant, according to a study. Boys watching similar programmes, like Friends and Sex and the City, were also more likely to get a girl pregnant, the research in Pediatrics found. The study authors said limiting exposure to sexual content on TV might reduce teen pregnancies.

BBC Online -

Generation of girls facing infertility through STI's

 (30 October 2008)

Britain has the worst sexual health in Europe - and it is teenagers who have the worst sexual health of all. Dr Trevor Stammers, a London GP and chairman of the CMF, believes it is essential that the information given about sex is not imparted in a moral vacuum. Parents also have a key role to play.

The Mail on Sunday -

New 'compulsory' lessons on sex

 (23 October 2008)

Government to announce that sex and relationship lessons will be made compulsory in primary and secondary schools in England. Kevin Ward, headmaster of Holmleigh Primary School in Hackney, and Norman Wells, director of family charity the Family Education Trust, discuss whether more information given about sex can lead to fewer unplanned teenage pregnancies.

BBC Radio 4 discussion via BBC Online -

Abortion pill for girls of 12

 (20 October 2008)

Girls aged 12 could be given drugs to induce home abortions under plans being debated by MPs this week. Liberal Democrat member Evan Harris believes schoolgirls 9 weeks pregnant should be allowed to take pills with no need to inform their parents.

The Express -

MPs bid to make abortion easier

 (19 October 2008)

Abortion laws will be liberalised for the first time in 40 years this week if a group of MPs succeed in introducing a series of changes to make it easier for women to terminate pregnancies. ...proposals to reduce the number of doctors required to sign abortion papers from two to one, to allow nurses and midwives to carry out terminations and to let women take abortion pills at home. MPs will also be asked to make it legal for abortions to take place in GP surgeries.

Times Online -

Should stamps honour eugenics supporter?

 (14 October 2008)

The politics of stamps. Objections to new stamp of Marie Stopes...allegations that Stopes believed fervently in eugenics, supported compulsory sterilisation of some, and, having sent a book of poetry to Adolf Hitler, should be regarded as a sympathiser.

BBC Online -

Ante-natal testing for Down's Syndrome

 (11 October 2008)

For as long as it has existed, the prenatal test for Down's syndrome has stirred ethical controversy has become a battleground in the abortion debate. Down's screening, however, is contentious for another reason: it endangers pregnancies ... provoke a miscarriage in one in 100 women, and cause the loss of 300 healthy pregnancies each year.

Times Online -

Coca-Cola advert may condone underage sex and teenage pregnancy

 (08 October 2008)

Two commercials for Coca-Cola's Oasis fruit drink have been banned because they appear to condone underage sex and teenage pregnancy, the advertising watchdog said. The Advertising Standards Authority upheld 32 complaints about the television ads, which feature young lovers called Cactus Kid and Cactus Girl who elope after she falls pregnant.

Reuters, London -

Campaign to lower abortion time limit is like the battle to abolish slavery

 (08 October 2008)

Leading Christian charity claimed that supporters of abortion rights believe unborn babies are not fully human, just as plantation owners justified their ownership of African slaves by claiming they should not be treated as men. It said both struggles were about what it means to be human, and similarity between them shows how little English society has progressed since 19th century.

The Telegraph -

Abortion counselling in Britain

 (24 September 2008)

The Royal College of Psychiatrists has stated that women should not be allowed to have an abortion until they are counselled on the possible risk to their mental health. But is the current provision of abortion counselling in Britain up to the job?

Therapy Today -

Google climbdown on abortion ads

 (17 September 2008)

Google is to change its policy on adverts about abortion following a legal challenge from a Christian pressure group. It had refused a Christian Institute advert... Google said "Following the review we have decided to amend our policy, creating a level playing field and enabling religious associations to place ads on abortion in a factual way".

BBC Online -

Down's test miscarriage warning

 (17 September 2008)

The number of healthy babies lost as a result of Down's syndrome testing is "unjustifiable", a charity has claimed. Down Syndrome Education International estimates two healthy foetuses are miscarried for every three found to have the condition.

BBC Online -

Global safe abortion petition flounders

 (11 September 2008)

After nearly a year of soliciting signatures as part of a campaign for global “safe abortion,” Marie Stopes International has little to show for it. Less than 500 people have signed an online petition which calls for “full access to legal, voluntary, safe and affordable abortions as part of comprehensive sexual and reproductive health care” around the world.

Spero News -

Palin case highlights teenage pregnancy

 (03 September 2008)

BBC news website looks at the problem of teenage pregnancy in the US after the revelation that the 17-year-old daughter of Alaska Governor and new Republican vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin is pregnant. According to America's leading health agency: About one-third of girls in the US get pregnant before age 20.More than 80% of births in this group were unintended.

BBC Online -

Compulsory sex education for children under five proposed

 (26 August 2008)

Cross-party group of MPs is calling on the Government to make advice on sexual health and relationships mandatory in all schools. The appeal is made in a letter to The Daily Telegraph. Britain's teenage pregnancy rates remain among the highest in the developed world and sexually transmitted diseases are becoming more prevalent among children.

The Daily Telegraph -

Abortion has risks, whatever the research says

 (19 August 2008)

Even if the dangers to mental health are slight, how can anyone object to women being counselled about them? Melanie McDonagh: "... if we are to take seriously the question of whether abortion may have problematic consequences, then we have to acknowledge that most of the research on mental health has not been conclusive".

Times Online -

Struggling with India's gender bias

 (19 August 2008)

No Country for Young Girls? The number of female foetuses being aborted in India is rising, as ultrasound is increasingly used to predict the sex of babies. The BBC World news series, Life on the Edge, travels across India with a young mother to find out why the country is still such a tough place to be a woman.

BBC Programme news -

UN call for Northern Ireland abortion law review

 (01 August 2008)

UN committee has repeated its call for a review of Northern Ireland's abortion law through public consultation. The call coincides with moves by some Westminster MPs to have the act extended to Northern Ireland. This is despite significant opposition from NI church and political leaders.

BBC Online -

Gap-year mission to find baby orphans for France

 (29 July 2008)

French volunteers have been set a challenging task: to scour the world for orphans for childless families in France. Total of 30,000 families have been approved as adoptive parents by the authorities. With only about 800 French children adopted every year, most prospective parents look abroad.

Times online -

Death of conversation at home 'fuels teenage pregnancy'

 (25 July 2008)

Parents are fuelling teenage pregnancy rates by failing to talk to children about sex at a young age, according to a Government-backed report. Waiting until teens are older to begin discussions is also risky. Although the majority of teens don't have sex until at least 16, many younger teens feel pressure to have early sex and need support to make safe and healthy choices.

The Telegraph -

MPs pushing abortion rights in Northern Ireland

 (23 July 2008)

MPs have tabled an amendment to the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill to give women in NI the same abortion rights as in Britain. The 1967 Abortion Act was never enacted in NI. All the Northern Ireland parties with MPs at Westminster oppose moves to extend abortion rights.

BBC Online -

Death of conversation at home 'fuels teenage pregnancy'

 (23 July 2008)

Parents are fuelling teenage pregnancy rates by failing to talk to children about sex at a young age, according to a Government-backed report. The death of traditional family meals and conversation in the home - combined with long working hours - leaves many young people sexually naive, it is claimed. Most mothers and fathers fail to raise the subject until children hit 15, when they often refuse to listen to parental advice.

The Telegraph -

Schools ‘encouraging’ underage sex

 (20 July 2008)

Schools have been criticised for encouraging underage sex by giving pupils free condoms. Teenagers at secondary schools in Edinburgh and West Lothian have received the contraceptives, in a bid to curb unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases.

The Times Online -

Women 'using web for abortions'

 (11 July 2008)

Some women in countries where abortion is restricted are using the internet to buy medication enabling them to abort a pregnancy at home, the BBC has learned. A British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology review of 400 customers found nearly 11% had needed a surgical procedure after taking the medication.

BBC Online -

GPs reject abortion stance calls

 (10 July 2008)

Doctors have narrowly rejected calls to tell patients in advance if they object to providing abortions or IVF. Current guidance from the GMC says it expects doctors to be honest with patients in person and in leaflets, although it cannot compel them.

The Press Association -

Disappearing daughters

 (22 June 2008)

The ratio of surviving girl children to boys has fallen to an all time low in parts of Punjab, with higher caste families identified as being the most active in getting rid of unwanted daughters. New report, Disappearing Daughters, will be presented at a UK parliamentary reception.

The Telegraph, India -

At least 4,686 Irish women had UK abortions last year

 (19 June 2008)

The number of women with Irish addresses having abortions in Britain was down slightly last year, according to latest statistics. The British Department of Health says 4,686 abortions were carried out last year on women who gave addresses in the Republic, down 356 compared to 2006. Abortions carried on women with addresses in the North was up 48 to 1,343.

Belfast Telegraph -

Abortion increase in young girls

 (19 June 2008)

The number of abortions among girls aged under 16 rose by 10% to 4,376 in 2007, official figures for England and Wales show. In the under 14s, abortions rose by 21% from 135 in 2006 to 163 last year. The number of abortions in all women rose by 2.5% to reach an all time high of almost 200,000.

BBC Online -

Tayside has highest abortion rate

 (27 May 2008)

Tayside has a higher abortion rate than anywhere else in Scotland, according to the latest official health statistics. Last year there were 1,297 terminations. Dundee was top of the council area tables, with 655 abortions. Across Scotland there were 13,703 terminations, with abortion rates highest in areas of deprivation. In total, 372 abortions were carried out on girls under 16.

BBC Online -

How MPs voted on abortion limit

 (23 May 2008)

Attempts to reduce the 24-week limit for abortions have been defeated in the House of Commons. In the closest vote, 233 MPs voted to reduce the limit to 22 weeks, with 304 against. Links to full list of how MPs who voted for and against the 22 week abortion limit.

BBC Online -

MPs reject cut in abortion limit

 (21 May 2008)

The upper time limit for abortions will remain at 24 weeks after MPs voted against proposals to reduce it. They rejected options ranging from 12 to 22 weeks in a series of votes. Tory MP Nadine Dorries, a former nurse who proposed a 20-week limit, said a baby's rights should be considered at the point it had the "chance of life".

BBC Online -

Parties united on abortion laws in Northern Ireland

 (11 May 2008)

The four main party leaders in Northern Ireland have written to Westminster MPs to state their opposition to plans to extend the 1967 Abortion Act. It has been reported that an amendment could be tabled to the Embryology Bill which would extend the Abortion Act to Northern Ireland.

BBC Online -

Plan to increase abortion sites

 (07 May 2008)

A consultation is to be launched over whether to relax abortion rules by allowing terminations outside hospital settings in England. It follows a pilot study which found early abortions using pills rather than surgery could be safely carried out in local health centres. The government said the findings paved the way for a relaxation in the rules over terminations before nine weeks.

BBC Online -

Doctors say no to abortions in their surgeries

 (19 April 2008)

Family doctors are threatening a revolt against Government plans to allow them to perform abortions in their surgeries. Four out of five GPs do not want to carry out terminations even though the idea is being tested in NHS pilot schemes, a survey has revealed. In a survey by Doctors.Net, only 14 per cent were willing to undertake the procedure.

Daily Telegraph -

Campaigner in Italy seeks global moratorium on abortion

 (10 April 2008)

Giuliano Ferrara, 56, a communist activist turned socialist turned conservative, who is an atheist … is proposing a global moratorium on abortion. He says he is appealing for more resources to help women have children. "Thirty to 40 per cent of women who have abortions do so because it's difficult to raise children in this society," he says.

The Independant -

Abortion at industrial level says MP

 (27 March 2008)

Abortions in England and Wales have reached 'industrial levels', according to a Conservative MP who obtained figures on multiple terminations. The statistics, for 2006, showed nearly 15,000 women were having their third or more abortion, while 54 of those had terminated eight or more pregnancies. "Urgent action was needed to reduce the figures", Mr Pritchard said.

BBC Online -

Royal college warns abortions can lead to mental illness

 (16 March 2008)

The Royal College of Psychiatrists says women should not be allowed to have an abortion until they are counselled on the possible risk to their mental health. This overturns the consensus that has stood for decades that the risk to mental health of continuing with an unwanted pregnancy outweighs the risks of living with the possible regrets of having an abortion.

The Sunday Times -

My baby, right or wrong

 (10 March 2008)

Rebecca Atkinson has not had her unborn baby tested for Down's syndrome. She knows some people will say that was irresponsible. But how, as a disabled person herself, could she let her child's physical condition decide whether or not it was born? ....94% of women who receive a pre-natal diagnosis of Down's syndrome terminate their pregnancies.

The Guardian -

India announces girl child award

 (05 March 2008)

The Indian government has announced it will pay poor families nearly $3000 to bring up their girl children. The scheme is hoped to discourage the widespread practice of aborting female foetuses, which has led to a gender imbalance in parts of the country. India outlawed gender selection and selective abortion in 1994, but the practice still continues.

BBC online -

Pregnancy rate among women over 40 reaches record high

 (29 February 2008)

After doubling in 15 years, figures rose 6.4% in 2006. London was the pregnancy hotspot for the over-40s. Conceptions among women aged between 35 and 39 also increased sharply.... fall in the number of older pregnant women opting for an abortion. In 1991 more than 40% chose to terminate their pregnancy, but over the past three years this has fallen below a third.

The Guardian -

Teach sex in context, Government told

 (26 February 2008)

Advocacy groups welcomed the government's review of sex education in schools, but warned that putting sex into the context of relationships was paramount in cutting the UK's soaring rates of teenage pregnancy... The group will also consider how schools can use outside professionals to add to SRE lessons...

The Guardian -

Government to review sex education classes

 (25 February 2008)

Review of sex and relationship education, which is seen as crucial in reducing teenage pregnancies, has been set out by the Government.... It said many young people feel they are not receiving sex and relationship education which arms them with what they need to make safe and well-informed choices and delay sex until they are ready.

The Press Association -

Young artist hanged herself after grief of aborting her twins

 (22 February 2008)

A talented artist hanged herself because she was overcome with grief after aborting her twins, an inquest heard. Emma Beck, 30, left note saying: "Living is hell for me. I should never have had an abortion. I see now I would have been a good mum. I told everyone I didn't want to do it, even at the hospital. I was frightened, now it is too late. I died when my babies died."

London Evening Standard -

The battle to stop teens becoming pregnant

 (20 February 2008)

Worcestershire Teenage Pregnancy Partnership is using a DVD in its battle to cut the rate of under 18 conceptions by half by 2010... The DVD series is designed to encourage youngsters to relate to the characters and see the impact decisions can have on their lives in the hope they will delay having sex.

Worcester News -

Teenage mums say hit film Juno is just a joke

 (18 February 2008)

Box-office smash Juno is an award-winning comedy about a schoolgirl who has a baby but can teenage pregnancy really be a laughing matter? Despite bagging a Bafta and four Oscar nominations, Juno has been slammed for putting a rosy gloss on a serious issue. Teenage pregnancy is a growing problem in UK, with nearly 40,000 girls under 18 expecting every year.

The Mirror -

Greens back abortion law shake-up

 (15 February 2008)

The Green Party has voted in favour of easing restrictions in the 40-year-old abortion law in England and Wales. The party's spring conference in Reading backed removing the rule that two doctors need to give approval. It also supported nurses and midwives carrying out abortions at up to three months, and axing restrictions on where abortions can be conducted.

BBC online -

Survival rate soars for babies born early

 (02 February 2008)

Survival rates for the most premature babies have soared at one leading hospital, reigniting the debate over lowering the abortion time limit. Research has found the number of successful births between 22 and 25 weeks has more than doubled. Research, by neo-natal consultant Professor John Wyatt, looked at births at University College Hospital in London between 1981 and 2000.

London Evening Standard -

Give young free condoms, says MP

 (28 January 2008)

Free condoms should be given to young people as part of campaign to cut teenage pregnancies, says Labour MP. Chris Bryant wants them made available first150 areas of UK with highest levels of teen pregnancy. He also wants booklets sent to all parents on their children's 11th birthday to help them talk about sex. UK is second only to US in rates of teenage pregnancy.

BBC Online -

Abortions in USA down 25% from peak

 (17 January 2008)

Comprehensive study of abortion in America underscores a striking change in the landscape, with ever-fewer pregnant women choosing abortion.. down 25% since peaking in 1990. Some say the rapid growth of crisis pregnancy centres has helped cut the number of abortions.. and laws mandating counselling before an abortion.

Los Angeles Times -

Teenage girls to get Pill over the counter

 (13 December 2007)

The contraceptive Pill will be available from chemists without a prescription next year in an attempt to tackle Britain’s persistent problem of teenage pregnancy. Under the pilot scheme, women will be able to have a private consultation with a pharmacist, where any health risks will be assessed, before obtaining the Pill free.

The Times -

'Born Survivors' show mum at 14

 (11 December 2007)

BBC3 documentary ‘Born Survivors’ about Kizzy who had sex for the first time at the age of 13 and gave birth nine months later. In September, Kizzy went back to school. Kizzy's not the only young mum in her area. Torbay has one of the highest rates of pregnancy in Britain and it is rising. BBC gave links to CAREconfidential and to Choices Cornwall.

BBC Online -

Trials to consider abortions at GP surgeries

 (05 December 2007)

Trials have been launched to see whether abortions can be carried out safely at GP surgeries in England, the Department of Health said on Wednesday. Pilot schemes have begun at two unnamed hospitals to test whether early terminations, using so-called abortion pills can be carried out in ... a community medical setting such as a doctor's surgery.

Reuters -

Sex education and teen pregnancy

 (04 December 2007)

Half the young people in the UK today have not been taught about teenage pregnancy and wouldn’t know where to find their local sexual health clinic. These figures from a UK Youth Parliament survey of over 20,000 young people may go some way to explaining disproportionately high rates of teenage pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections.

The Times online -

Morning-after pill at 12

 (03 December 2007)

Girls as young as 12 are being given the controversial morning-after pill without their parents’ knowledge. Figures show that 84 per cent of NHS primary care trusts (PCT) authorise secretly prescribing Levonelle to under-16s. And 70 per cent admit they are prepared to force chemists to prescribe the drug by withholding pharmacy licences if they refuse.

Daily Express -

British Asians aborting unwanted girls

 (03 December 2007)

Cultural pressure to give birth to sons is causing some pregnant Indian-born women living in Britain to return to India to abort their unwanted daughters, an investigation has found. It reveals how “selective sex abortion”, a practice outlawed in India in the 1980s, is still widespread and being used by some women living in England and Wales.

The Times -

DNA checks at abortion clinic accused of flushing foetuses down the drain

 (30 November 2007)

Police investigating four abortion clinics in Barcelona used frequently by British women have been horrified to find purpose-built machines attached to the drains that were used to crush foetuses. Because they were so loud, the machines – which fed into public drains – were switched on only during the early hours of the day to avoid drawing attention to the illegal arrangement, police sources said.

The Times -

Texts that help reduce teenage pregnancy

 (29 November 2007)

Twelve months ago, Lincolnshire County Council spent £12,000 setting up an initiative which allowed youngsters to send text messages asking for advice. A year on, more than 1,000 teenagers have used the service, requesting help. While some have dubbed the service "sex text for teens" those behind the scheme say it has contributed to the 31 per cent drop in teenage pregnancy rates between 1998 and 2005.

Yorkshire Post -

Illegal abortions still blight UK

 (23 November 2007)

Illegal abortions are still taking place in the UK, a BBC undercover investigation has discovered. Abortion has been legal in Britain for 40 years - under certain conditions a woman can terminate a pregnancy up to 24 weeks. But the BBC has discovered pills for getting rid of unwanted pregnancies are readily available on the black market.

BBC Online -

GP in ethical rules storm over abortion

 (11 November 2007)

GP is facing an inquiry by the GMC after allegations that she breached ethical guidelines by trying to dissuade patients from having a termination. The inquiry has arisen after the GMC received a complaint, believed to be from a practising doctor involved in the pro-choice movement, about an interview with Downes in the Daily Mail. In it she described how she talked to the women who come to her to discuss having an abortion about having the baby instead.

The Observer -

DVD offers abortion support

 (07 November 2007)

A pregnancy advice service in Norwich has made a DVD offering help and support to women coping with the emotional aftermath of an abortion. See a clip via the new BBC service which reviews the video. Or contact CAREconfidential helpline 0800 028 2228 for more details.

BBC Online -

MPs call for clarity on grounds for abortion

 (30 October 2007)

Guidance on what constitutes "serious handicap" as grounds for aborting a baby must be clearer, according to members of an influential commons committee. MPs on the cross-party science and technology committee want a more explicit legal definition of the term, amid concern at the number of foetuses aborted for minor, treatable defects such as club foot.

DailyTelegraph -

MPs back lower time limit for abortions

 (30 October 2007)

Out of more than 100 MPs who responded, two thirds of them said they were ready to vote to cut the 24-week limit. The results indicate that legislation to be introduced in next week's Queen's Speech could be used as a vehicle for the first major change in the law for 17 years.

The Telegraph -

Abortion law anniversary marked

 (27 October 2007)

Religious and anti-abortion groups are due to stage events marking 40 years since abortion was legalised. They will walk to Westminster Cathedral for a service commemorating 6.7m abortions performed since 1967. Campaigners against abortion began their protest on Friday night when they projected the number of abortions on to the riverside face of the Houses of Parliament.

BBC Online -

Plans to relax law on early abortion

 (26 October 2007)

The most extensive liberalisation of abortion laws for 40 years is being planned by MPs, The Times has learnt. MPs will propose that women be allowed to seek an abortion on the basis of informed consent – dropping the requirement for two doctors’ signatures – and perform the second stage of a medical termination at home rather than at a hospital or clinic. They also want nurses rather than doctors to be allowed to carry out abortions in the first trimester of pregnancy, up to 12 weeks. Anti-abortion MPs say privately that they may not have the numbers to oppose the moves. MPs will have a free vote on the changes, probably early next year.

The Times online -

Minister defends abortion limit

 (25 October 2007)

Health Minister Dawn Primarolo says the government does not believe there is sufficient scientific evidence to lower the legal abortion limit of 24 weeks. She said nothing had persuaded the Department of Health that survival rates had improved for extremely premature babies born before that time.

BBC Online -

Abortion stories: Relief and regret

 (24 October 2007)

As the 40th anniversary of the Abortion Act in the UK approaches, two women speak to the BBC News website about their experiences of having abortions.

BBC Online -

Too many abortions: Lord Steel

 (24 October 2007)

Lord Steel, architect of the 1967 Abortion Act, says today that abortion is being used as a form of contraception in Britain and admits he never anticipated "anything like" the current number of terminations when leading the campaign for reform. The Liberal Democrat peer, whose bill legalising abortion in certain circumstances marks its 40th anniversary on Saturday, says an "irresponsible" mood has emerged in which women feel they can turn to abortion "if things go wrong".

The Guardian -

Babies aborted for minor disabilities

 (23 October 2007)

More than 50 babies with club feet were aborted in just one area of England in a three-year period, according to new statistics. Thirty-seven babies with cleft lips or palates and 26 with extra or webbed fingers or toes were also aborted. The data have raised concerns about abortions being carried out for minor disabilities that could be cured by surgery. Abortions are allowed up to birth in Britain in cases of serious handicap. The Commons science and technology committee is carrying out an inquiry into whether the law should be made more specific. Some parents, doctors and campaign groups are worried by what they see as a tendency to stretch the definition of serious handicap.

The Sunday Times -

Abortion debate reignited

 (12 October 2007)

The government's Human Tissues and Embryos Bill has put the issue of abortion in the public spotlight. Link to BBC video that reviews the debate and possible outcomes.

BBC Online -

Members lobbied on Northern Ireland abortion move

 (26 September 2007)

An anti-abortion group has called on assembly members to back a motion opposing terminations. They want the assembly to oppose draft guidelines on the termination of pregnancy, calling them "flawed". The Department of Health issued the guidelines after a legal case by the Family Planning Association. Precious Life said the guidelines will change how the law on abortion is interpreted and legalise abortion in Northern Ireland "through the back door". It calls on the health minister to abandon any attempt to make abortion more widely available in Northern Ireland.

BBC Online -

Salmond seeks abortion law review for Scotland

 (23 September 2007)

First Minister Alex Salmond has backed the setting up of an independent commission to examine abortion laws. He personally supports a reduction in the time limit for terminations from 24 to 20 weeks. The commission could look at whether the reserved issue of abortion should be devolved to Scotland.

BBC Online -

Stolen children in China

 (23 September 2007)

In China, 190 children are snatched every day - more than twice the number taken in England and Wales in a year. The Chinese government does not acknowledge the extent of the problem, or the cause. The Single Child Policy has made it essential to have a son, leading to the abortion of more than 40 million girls and setting the price on a boy's head at more than six months' wages

The Observer -

China warned on gender imbalance

 (24 August 2007)

The gender imbalance in China has reached alarming levels far exceeding UN recommendations, says China's Family Planning Association (CFPA). There were 163.5 boys for every 100 girls aged up to four in the eastern city of Lianyungang, it said. Abortions of female foetuses were the main cause of the imbalance, CFPA said. The State Population and Family Planning Commission warned that gender imbalances could lead to social instability.

BBC Online -

Bishop leaves Amnesty over stance on 'abortion violence'

 (21 August 2007)

A senior Roman Catholic bishop has resigned from Amnesty International in a row over the human rights group’s new policy on abortion. The Right Rev Michael Evans, the Bishop of East Anglia, stood down after 31 years in protest at support for abortion facilities in developing countries. Bishop Evans said that Catholics would find it difficult to support a human rights group that advocated violence against unborn children.

The Times online -

Amnesty ends abortion neutrality

 (18 August 2007)

Amnesty International has confirmed its controversial decision to back abortion in some circumstances, replacing its previous policy of neutrality. The human rights group will campaign for woman to have access to abortion in cases including rape and incest. Christian organisations, including the Roman Catholic Church, have threatened to withdraw support from the group.

BBC Online -

Doctors call for abortion reform

 (27 June 2007)

The British Medical Association conference is to consider a call for quicker and easier access to abortion. One proposal at the Torquay conference is a call to scrap the need for two doctors to allow an abortion in the first three months of pregnancy. Doctors will also consider proposals for non-approved premises, such as GP practices, to carry out abortions.. the government said there are no plans to change the law.

BBC Online -

Abortion numbers increase again

 (20 June 2007)

The number of abortions carried out in England and Wales rose by 3.9% to 193,700 in 2006. There was also a rise in the under-16 abortion rate and among under-18s. Abortion has been increasing since it was legalised 40 years ago - there were 22,000 legal terminations in 1968. The Royal College of Obstetricians said the rise was "disappointing" and showed a failure to deal with the problem of unplanned pregnancies.

BBC Online -

Abortion remains an emotive issue

 (19 June 2007)

Abortion has been steadily increasing almost from the moment it was legalised 40 years ago - one of many reasons why it still stirs up controversy..... Anne Atkins, a Christian commentator, argues growing knowledge has, if anything, led to a more ambivalent attitude. "Young people are much more aware of what abortion is and how traumatic and how drastic it is. That is not to say they won't take that option."

BBC Online -

Teenage abortions hit all-time high

 (19 June 2007)

More teenagers are having abortions than ever before, fuelling a significant rise in the number of terminations in England and Wales. The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists said the figures pointed to "a failure to address the problem of unplanned pregnancy, particularly in teenagers and young women .... this now represents a major public health issue, and a failure of preventative medicine," it said, and it called for a "rethink" in the way sex and relationship education is provided.

Daily Telegraph -

CAREconfidential is honoured at BT Awards

 (11 June 2007)

A major award has been scooped by CAREconfidential's ground-breaking website, for setting the pace in the whole area of 'multi-channel' helpline services. CAREconfidential was honoured (Highly Commended) in the BT & Telephone Helplines Association Awards for imaginative use of web-based services - and in particular for its 'pioneering online advisor service'.

Article from Care today Newsletter Summer 2007 -

Increase in abortions in Scotland

 (29 May 2007)

Number of abortions carried out in Scotland is continuing to rise, according to official figures. All-time high of 13,081 pregnancies were terminated in 2006, compared with 12,603 the previous year. Scottish government committed to improving Scotland's sexual health and reducing number of unintended pregnancies through Respect and Responsibility… and has provided more than £600k over next two years for programme for secondary teachers providing sex education

BBC Online -

Abortion: It's time we started to say no

 (22 April 2007)

Dr Adrian Marks, GP, describes his experience of abortion. “The first abortion I saw is carved into my memory”. He asks “Perhaps we should not ask why we hesitate but why we do them at all?”.

Daily Express -

One in 30 aborted foetuses lives

 (20 April 2007)

One in 30 foetuses aborted for medical reasons is born alive, a 10-year study at 20 UK hospitals has found. Most of these babies with disabilities were born between 20 and 24 weeks of pregnancy and all lived for no more than a few hours.


Late abortions reasons revealed

 (19 April 2007)

Many women who have late abortions had not realised they were pregnant, a study has found. Southampton and Kent University researchers say women need more information so that they realise they are pregnant much earlier. This study found women had not realised they were pregnant for two main reasons. Just under 40% because they had irregular periods and another 31% had been using contraception, and so had not thought they could be pregnant.


US top court backs abortion ban

 (18 April 2007)

The US' top court has upheld a ban on the controversial late-term partial birth abortion procedure. The Supreme Court's 5-4 ruling upholding the Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act does not violate a woman's constitutional right to an abortion. Abortion opponents condemn the operation, in which the foetus is partially removed alive from the woman's uterus and then aborted.


Abortions 'crisis' threatens NHS

 (16 April 2007)

An increasing number of doctors are refusing to carry out abortions, leading to a crisis in NHS services, experts have warned. The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists says there has been a big rise in the number of doctors who are "conscientious objectors".

BBC Online -

Immigrant pregnancies stretch NHS

 (26 March 2007)

The BBC has been told the influx of eastern Europeans to the UK has led to a massive rise in pregnancies and abortion requests in some areas. Health professionals warn that some antenatal services are stretched to breaking point.


Academic backs teen abortion law

 (15 March 2007)

Nottingham academic says legislation requiring parents to be notified over abortions for the under 16s could see a drop in teenage pregnancy. MPs rejected a bid to force doctors offering abortion or contraception advice to under-16s to inform the child's parents on Wednesday. Professor David Paton said studies in the United States demonstrated a new law could cut teenage pregnancies. He said research had revealed that STDs amongst teenagers also fell.


Abortion: Do parents have a right to know?

 (14 March 2007)

Parents have a right to know if their children are given an abortion or contraception, MPs will demand today. And a proposed parental involvement law could cut under-age pregnancies and terminations. Britain has the highest number of sexually active under-15s in western Europe, and experts say involving parents in their children’s sexual education and well-being will reduce this statistic. Similar legislation in the United States has had a significant impact on juvenile sexual behaviour.

Daily Express -

Rise in abortions after Christmas

 (08 February 2007)

Heavy Christmas drinking and partying, leading to unprotected sex, could be to blame for a record number of abortions last month, says a UK charity. A total of 5,992 abortions were carried out at Marie Stopes International's nine UK clinics in January - a rise of 13% on the 5,304 in January 2005. This is more in a month than at any time in the charity's 32-year history.


Doubts voiced over emergency pill

 (15 September 2006)

Making emergency contraception more available has failed to reduce abortion rates, a family planning expert says. Edinburgh-based Anna Glasier said abortion rates were rising despite the morning-after pill having been available from chemists for five years. She said research had shown that women did not always use the contraception at the right moments because they were unaware they had put themselves at risk and as a result it had no impact on pregnancy or abortion rates. In 1984, 11 women per 1,000 aged 15 to 44 had abortions, compared with 17.8 in 2004.

BBC Online -

Third 'have sex below legal age'

 (14 August 2006)

Nearly a third of 16 to 24-year-olds lost their virginity below the age of consent, a survey has suggested. The BBC Radio 1 poll also suggested 43% of young people had had at least five sexual partners with one in five having more than 10. Over half - 57% - claimed to have had a one-night stand and many of the youngsters said they did not always use condoms with new partners. Many showed a lack of awareness about contraception failure, with 43% not knowing it was possible to get pregnant if a condom is not used correctly and 35% unaware that the contraceptive pill can also fail.


Teenagers 'using condoms wrongly'

 (09 August 2006)

Some teenagers are failing to use condoms properly, risking unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections, a snapshot study suggests. Southampton University researchers surveyed just under 1,400 teenagers aged 16 to 18 across England. Around half had had sex. Of the 373 who had used a condom on the most recent occasion, 6% had put one on too late and 6% had removed one too early. Researchers also asked just over 100 teenagers to keep a diary of their sexual activity for six months .... of the 714 diary entries given to the researchers, a condom was not used during sex on 322 occasions.


Babies put teenage mothers back on course

 (27 June 2006)

Having a child can motivate girls to return to education. But they must be allowed to study when they're ready. Getting pregnant at 15 isn't generally regarded as a smart career move. But with experts saying motivation levels can soar once the baby is born, maybe society should think again. Letting women choose how they want to be mothers while supporting their educational ambitions when they're ready to start again is the only way to optimise their chances of success.

The Guardian -

Calls for Government rethink of teen pregnancy plan

 (21 June 2006)

The minister for social exclusion has suggested the Government will need to reconsider its approach to cutting teenage pregnancy if it is to meet its targets. Hilary Armstrong, the Cabinet Office minister for social exclusion, said: "It is a common misconception that teenage pregnancy rates haven't fallen. But they are still far too high, and higher than they are in other European countries. We have to find a more effective way of doing this work. And we have to work with the third sector to make sure we deal with this effectively."

Young People Now Magazine -

Plaudits for teenage pregnancy consultancy

 (09 June 2006)

The Leeds Teenage Pregnancy and Parenthood Partnership was given top marks for its work which included helping young parents stay in education. Kiera Swift, teenage pregnancy coordinator for Leeds, said: "We are delighted at the outcome of the report and are proud of the work that has been achieved across the city to reduce the teenage pregnancy rate". Work carried out by Barnados and the Young Fathers work of Education Leeds was also praised.

Leeds Evening Post -

Home abortions hit record high

 (30 May 2006)

A record 10,000 women had an abortion at home last year, the British Pregnancy Advisory Service has said. It said nearly one-third of the 32,000 terminations it provided in the first nine weeks of pregnancy had been medical - involving abortion drugs. The BPAS described the trend as a success for sexual health, but campaign groups have been critical. Reproductive Ethics (CORE) accused the BPAS of deeply insensitive self-promotion of abortions. A £1m government investment into selected NHS primary care trusts had enabled them to improve early access to abortions, making BPAS the biggest provider of EMA in Europe.

BBC Online -

Parents offered a termination at 35 weeks

 (25 May 2006)

After a complicated pregnancy, during which the doctors had found that Mrs Green was carrying excess amniotic fluid, the couple had agreed that their baby could be tested for genetic conditions. "We were both in total shock, but this was considerably worsened when he said, 'You can have a termination.' I was 35 weeks' pregnant at this stage. My baby was fully formed and his name was decided. I was appalled. He urged us to think about the termination and think about how having a baby with 'mental retardation' would affect our lives. He listed only the potential negatives about Down's syndrome, without giving us any information to read for a more balanced view. Mrs Green decided to go ahead with the pregnancy and, two weeks later, gave birth to Harrison who is now two years. He is, according to his mother, a "happy and healthy" child.

The Telegraph -

Boy charged over child pregnancy

 (13 May 2006)

A 15-year-old boy is being prosecuted in connection with the case of a girl who fell pregnant at the age of 11. The girl from West Lothian - who would become one of the UK's youngest mothers - told a newspaper that she was looking forward to having her child. The teenage boy is due to appear in court in July charged with rape because of the age of the girl, who is now 12. The case has prompted calls for a better teenage sexual health strategy in Scotland. Her 34-year-old mother said: "I'm not ashamed of my daughter, I'm proud of her for keeping her baby."

BBC Online -

Mother sues for birth of 'aborted' twin

 (21 March 2006)

A woman sued a hospital for £250,000 yesterday because four years ago she gave birth to a healthy baby despite having an abortion when she became pregnant with twins. Stacy Dow, 21, of Perth, launched her claim against Tayside University Hospitals NHS Trust for "the financial burden" of raising her daughter, Jayde, whom she had when she was 16. The hospital is contesting the case at Perth Sheriff Court, arguing that Miss Dow was given no guarantees that the termination would succeed.

Telegraph online -

US state outlaws abortion

 (08 March 2006)

The US state of South Dakota has signed into law a near-total ban on abortion in a move the governor called a 'direct frontal assault' on the supreme court decision 33 years ago to legalise it South Dakota's governor, Mike Rounds, yesterday signed a bill that will make it a crime for doctors to perform an abortion unless the procedure is necessary to save the woman's life. The legislation would make no exception for instances of rape or incest, though victims in such cases could get emergency contraception.

Guardian -

Abortion clinics banned from hotline

 (03 March 2006)

In Australia, counsellors with links to abortion clinics will be barred from claiming a new taxpayer-funded subsidy to counsel pregnant women about their options. And religious groups that refuse to refer women to an abortion doctor would not qualify for the commercial tender to run a new national pregnancy counselling hotline. A week after federal cabinet signed off on the $51 million counselling plan designed to cut the number of abortions, Prime Minister John Howard said the boost to services was in response to public concern about the abortion rate.

The Fairfax, Australia -

£150m plan fails to cut teenage pregnancies

 (28 February 2006)

£150 million campaign to reduce pregnancies among young girls has been an embarrassing failure, figures showed yesterday, with ministers under pressure to close the discredited Teenage Pregnancy Unit. Official statistics show a rising number of girls under 14 becoming pregnant and experts said the Government missed its target of cutting the under-18 pregnancies. David Paton said: "The taxpayers' money spent by the Teenage Pregnancy Unit seems to have had no impact. The Government should look closely at the unit's future".

Telegraph -

Abortion clinics encourage women to abort

 (19 February 2006)

Australian Federal Health Minister Tony Abbott is attempting to take millions of dollars off counselling services he believes encourage women to abort. He has put a plan to Cabinet that aims to bypass all counselling services to women provided by abortion clinics. The plan, worth more than $50 million, would see the Federal Government directly funding church-affiliated groups provide alternate counselling. He believes counselling offered by abortion clinics is fundamentally predisposed towards going ahead with termination but counselling should be at arms length.

Australia, Sun Herald -

Hewitt against abortion changes

 (29 January 2006)

Health Secretary Patricia Hewitt has said she is not in favour of introducing tougher UK abortion laws. She said she was against reducing the 24-week limit, but wanted to try to cut the number of late terminations. She said the important thing was to make sure that a woman who requested an abortion in a very late stage of pregnancy "gets very good counselling and advice before she makes that decision. We really want to keep reducing the number of late abortions". Her comments came after a survey in the Observer suggested that almost half of the women surveyed wanted the legal time limit for an abortion cut from 24 weeks.

BBC Online -

Mother loses abortion right-to-know battle

 (24 January 2006)

A mother of two teenage daughters spoke of her disappointment yesterday after losing a landmark legal battle for a parents right to know if girls under 16 are being advised on obtaining an abortion. A High Court judge ruled that parental rights under human rights legislation were overridden by the childs right to confidential advice from doctors. The mother said: "Having endured the trauma of abortion, I brought the case to ensure that medical professionals would not carry out an abortion on one of my daughters without first informing me. I could then discuss such a life-changing event with her and provide the support she would need".

Yorkshire Post -

India 'lost birth' study disputed

 (11 January 2006)

A top Indian doctors association has disputed a report which says more than 10 million female births may have been lost over the past two decades. Researchers in India and Canada said in the Lancet journal prenatal selection and selective abortion was causing the loss of 500,000 girl births a year. But the Indian Medical Association said pre-birth gender checks had waned since a Supreme Court crackdown in 2001

BBC Online -

Abortion 'leaves mental legacy'

 (12 December 2005)

An abortion can cause five years of mental anguish, anxiety, guilt and even shame, a BMC Medicine study suggests. University of Oslo researchers compared 40 women who had had a miscarriage with 80 who chose to have an abortion. Miscarriage was associated with more mental distress in the six months after the loss of a baby - but abortion had a much longer lasting negative effect.


Abortion rate continues to rise

 (27 July 2005)

Department of Health figures show there were 185,400 abortions in 2004 - a rise of 2.1%. Marie Stopes International said a 2% rise was "neither here nor there..... we should stop seeing abortion as a problem and start seeing it as a legitimate and sensible solution to the problem of unwanted pregnancy". Under-14 abortions increased by 6%. Conservative MP Theresa May said the governments teenage pregnancy strategy was failing. "We need to educate and instil young girls with the self esteem... and equip them with the confidence to say no".

BBC Online -

One in three women in the UK has an abortion

 (26 July 2004)

Anne Weyman: Chief Executive of the Family Planning Association (fpa) says "Abortion is an essential element of sexual health services, as can be seen by the fact that on average one in three women in the UK has an abortion.... The decision to have an abortion is one no woman takes lightly"

BBC Health -

We are not able to refer directly for termination. We offer clients information on all the options and are well resourced to provide both immediate and long term support as necessary, directing to other agencies as appropriate.
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