|Women to Donate Eggs for
Women in Britain
may be allowed to donate eggs for
therapeutic cloning and stem cell research to find new treatments for illnesses ranging
from diabetes to heart disease. The government's fertility watchdog, the Human
Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA), said on Tuesday it is recommending a change
in guidelines that would enable women to provide eggs altruistically for research
purposes. At the moment, only spare embryos left over from fertility treatments are
used in therapeutic cloning research. "We recognise that researchers
in the UK
who are involved in therapeutic cloning have made public statements over the
past year in
reference to the need for better quality eggs ..," said HFEA spokesman
"The obvious follow-on from that would be to look into the issue
vs. Bush Gag Rule.
One of George W. Bush's first acts as president five years ago was to reinstate a global gag
rule on family planning for health organizations in foreign countries that get U.S. aid.
Under the rule, the organizations had to pledge not to counsel women
abortions or to advocate for liberalized abortion laws in their countries. U.S. law
already prohibited them from providing abortions. The effect has been
centers in the developing world have had to forfeit U.S. funds, limiting their ability to
help couples plan their families using various methods, most of which help avoid
abortions. Last week, the British government, to its credit, stepped in to help fill
the gap. Britain
is making a two-year, $5.3 million contribution to a new Global
Safe Abortion Program. An international development minister for Britain, Gareth
Thomas, said an absence of sexual and reproductive health services leads to
pregnancies and more unsafe abortions. "We work very closely with
Americans," he said, "but we have a very different view from them
Friends can disagree." The British and the International Planned
Parenthood Federation, which developed the program, hope that other nations
will add to
the fund. The need for more services is acute. According to the
Organization, about 19 million women and girls have unsafe abortions each year.
Nearly 70,000 die from infection or bleeding.
President Re-elected. [Finland] Left-leaning Ms Halonen, the Nordic country's
first woman president, won a narrow victory over moderate rightist challenger Sauli
Niinisto, who kissed her hand and conceded defeat. "The best thing was that
there was a huge amount of people involved, supporting Sauli Niinisto and supporting
me," Mr Halonen told Finnish broadcaster MTV3. Official results showed she won
51.8 per cent of the vote with nearly all ballots counted. "Politics has made a
comeback," said Ms Halonen, who was backed by the Social Democratic Party and leftist
and labor groups for a second and final six-year term. Social Democrats have held
the presidency since 1982 in Finland,
which was the first country to grant women the right
to stand for political office a century ago.
Win in Women's Biathlon. [Italy] French biathlete Florence Baverel-Robert pulled
off a stunning upset by winning the gold medal in Thursday's 7.5-km Olympic sprint.
The 31-year-old, who had never won a top-level competition in 15 years of trying, hit all
ten targets before completing the course in a time of 23 minutes, 21.4
Anna Carin Olofsson won her country's first Olympic silver medal in women's
missing just once while Ukraine's
Lilia Efremova took the bronze.
believe it. I really wasn't expected to win," Baverel-Robert told
after being hoisted into the air by her team. "I thought I had better chances
in the individual race. It's a funny sport!"
Roll Into the Medal Round. [Norway] Norway
clinched a spot in the women's
curling medal round with an 8-1 win over Denmark on Monday _ a match the
after only six ends. Norway (6-2) became the third team to wrap up a berth in the
semifinals, joining Sweden
(7-2) and Switzerland