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From the Countries

U.S., AIDS Study

The Federal Centers of Disease Control is funding a $300,000 investigation of whether the use of drills and other power tools on bones of AIDS patients causes invisible AIDS particles to be released into operating rooms, infecting health workers.

The CDC previously has said that the human immunodeficiency virus, which causes acquired immune deficiency syndrome — cannot be spread through air — for example, through sneezes and coughs. Some surgeons have questioned whether the huge quantities of blood sprayed into the air during orthopedic surgery can create aerosols — or invisible particles of blood in the air — disseminating the deadly virus. Such AIDS aerosols, the surgeons say, might be able to infect others in the operating room through mucous membranes in the nose and mouth (The Baltimore Evening Sun, Feb. 21, 1991, p. A3).

Nigeria UNFPA Funding

The United Nations Fund for Population Activities (UNFPA) allocated a total sum of 13 million dollars to Nigeria between 1988 and 1991 for the support of population activities in the country.

The Zonal Programme officer 8 Zone, Mrs. Z. O. Aghede, who represented the UNFPA Director in Nigeria, Dr. Alphonse MacDonald, disclosed this in Abeokuta during the launching of Oke-Ona Egba Population Policy and formal opening of a $200,000 Family Health and Education Clinic donated by UNFPA.

The amount is for programmes expected to be carried out within the context of the national policy on population and health.

Mrs. Agbede said Nigeria had benefited from UNFPA support since 1920 and up till late 1987 had received grants totaling 9 million dollars.

She said UNFPA has supported population programming in over 145 countries and recently added another component called a “special programme” component to its assistance to needy nations which consists of programmes on women’s development and vulnerable group adolescents (The Nigeria Tribune, Feb.,18, 1991, p.3).

Singapore, Highest Percentage of Aged

Singapore will have the highest percentage of aged in its population among Asian nations by 2025 according to a population expert.

Dr. Paul Cheung, director of population for the Population Planning Unit of the Health Ministry said Singaporeans will feel the effect of the aging population in as early as 10 years time.

He stated: “At present, for most of these (Asian) countries the population age structure is considered ‘youthful’ — most favorable for economic development. But by early next century, the effects of the older population profile would be felt, especially in the economic, social, welfare and public health sector.”

In 13 years time, Singapore will have a 17 percent aged population, followed by Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia, with about 9 percent, and the Philippines, with 7.5 percent.

He warned that the speed of aging will be much faster in Asia than in developed countries because of a greater decline in the fertility rate here.

Singapore’s population of aged would double from 10 to 20-percent in 21 years, compared with 25 years for Japan and 86 years for Britain.

Dr. Cheung cited the reversal of Singapore’s population policy from anti-natalist to pro-natalist as a way to moderate the percentage of the aged and cap it at 15 percent of the population (The Straits Times, Nov. 20, 1991).

News from Ireland

The Department of Health estimated that it would spend £160,000 on the provision of family planning this year — an increase of £10,000 over the previous years allocation (Irish Medical Times, April 27, 1990).

The Irish government’s subscription to the World Health Organization will amount to £252,000 pounds this year (Irish Medical Times, 20/4/’90).

It is possible that many people in the United Kingdom do not realize that their National Health Service (NHS) doctors receive specific payment for providing contraceptive services. This can contribute substantially to their income: Fitting an IUD — £42.75: ordinary contraceptive — £12.75” (BMA News Review, the 1990 Pay Review),

Information published in Population Reports, Nov- 1988, of Johns Hopkins University Population Information Programme, indicates that 9 percent of Irish women ages 15-44 are on the Pill — “much the same as the United States.” Below Ireland were Greece and Italy. Over 36 percent of Dutch women were on the Pill in 1988, about 26 percent of British and 28 percent of French women (Population Reports, Nov., ’88, Series A. No. 7, “Oral Contraceptives”).

Catholics for a Free Choice (CFC) in the Philippines

When Frances Kissling, of CFC, attended the Sixth International Women and Health Meeting in Manila, A letter in the Philippine Daily Inquirer described the name Catholics For a Free Choice as an “oxymoron” and an “anti-Catholic, abortion front which gained notoriety by crowning a Director of the National Organization of Women as the first female Pope (Philippine Daily Inquirer, Nov 21, 1990).”

Kissling responded: “ … Jesus said not one word about abortion or contraception … the wise legislator should attempt to do no more or less than Jesus, which is to be silent on this issue and leave decisions to the conscience and wisdom of each man and woman.”

“It is true, and I am proud of the fact that I have put my beliefs into action in medical clinics that have provided safe, human and legal abortions as well as family planning for women .… “ (Philippine Daily Inquirer, Nov. 25, 1990).

Ms. Kissling failed to mention that she has also assisted in the establishment of abortion clinics and the training of abortionists in countries where abortion was illegal such as Italy, Mexico and Austria (The National Catholic Register, Sept 7, 1986).

Italians Urge ‘Have a Baby’ European Community Directive

The Italian government is calling for new European Community directives to encourage Europe’s women to have babies in the face of an impending demographic catastrophe for the “Old Continent.”

A confidential paper for discussion by the 12 social affairs ministers in Brussels says that, unless Europeans can replenish their labor markets, there will be an inevitable tide of immigration from North Africa and the Mediterranean basin.

It states: “Europe could no longer exist without the dynamism of its youth, necessary for the innovative and creative spirit.”

Accusing previous meetings of the European ministers of “feeble” conclusions, the Italians say the time has come for “an operational phase producing directives (mandatory European laws) to change behavior.”

The European Community’s 320 million population has shrunk dramatically as a proportion of the world’s population. In 1950, one in six people lived in Europe. By 2025 it will be one in 26.

The average age of a European Community citizen is now 34, but will be 43 in 2000. By then 20 percent of Europeans will be over 60, but only five percent of Africans (London Daily Telegraph, Nov. 26, 1990).

Where Have All the Little Girls Gone?

In China, abortion is not only legal but officially condoned as an effective means of birth control. But the rigorous one-child policy employed since 1979 has made the desire for male offspring especially strong. Critics say local family planning officials are often given bonuses for maintaining “birth quotas” and they keep quiet about infanticide.

Some baby girls are abandoned in caves or trussed up in sacks and thrown into the river. Others are dumped in garbage bins, forced to swallow insecticide or packed in boxes and left to die in the fields. Their mothers are often ridiculed or beaten by the family (Condensed from Asiaweek, Aug. 2, 1987).

Australian News Comments

The eminent biochemist (i.e. Professor Baulieu) and his drug (RU 486) have been subjected to rigorous demonstrations from anti-abortion protestors around the world. It is believed some organizations have a world network by which they inform foreign counterparts of his planned movements (The West Australian, Nov. 14, 1990).

Based on current birth, mortality and net migration trends, ABS population projections (Series A) to the turn of the century show: … a decline in the proportion of young people aged 15- 24 years, from 16.2% of the population in 1990 to 13.9% in 2000. This means that the actual number of young people will fall slightly over the next ten years (Strategic Plan 1990-2000, Department of Social Security Australia).

For Sale. Family Planning Practice. Price $5 million. Returning 25 % on investment. Suit investor or entrepreneurial group … Bulk billing practice—no bad debts … (Advertisement, Financial Review, Oct. 11, 1990).

Czechoslovakian Abortion Restrictions

Efforts aimed toward decreasing the abortion rate have recently received support from the Health Ministry. The Health Minister of the Czech Republic has declared physicians and health personnel as “not subject” to cooperating in abortion surgeries except in two categories of cases: all physicians have the duty to cooperate in examinations of women applying for abortions; and gynecologists are not allowed to refuse to perform abortions in cases where there are “vital indications.”

Until recently, the Czech abortion incidence has increased consistently since 1986, while the birth rate decreased.

1986 220,505 124,188
1987 214,927 156,639
1988 215,909 162,437
1989 208,472 157,912
1990 210,527 157,262

Death Linked to RU 486 & Hormone

France’s Health Ministry announced that for the first time, a woman has died after undergoing treatment for a nonsurgical abortion using the combination of a French abortion pill, RU-486, and a follow-up hormone injection.

The woman, who was pregnant with her 13th child, died of heart failure shortly after receiving an injection of synthetic prostaglandin. The Health Ministry attributed her death to her reaction to the hormone.

Tests indicate that without use of a prostaglandin, the rate of complete abortion is about 60 percent. Combined with a sulprostone injection, taken 36 to 48 hours after RU-486, the rate increases to 97 percent. Sulprostone is sold by the German pharmaceutical company Schering under the name Nalador.

Arielle Mouttet, a spokeswoman for Roussel-Uclaf, said that she had knowledge of three other women who had died and four who had suffered heart attacks after taking Nalador alone (New York Times International, Wed., April 10, 1991).

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