No Pill to Swallow
THE HARTFORD COURANT, March 21 — The Connecticut Legislature has let die a bill that would have forced Catholic hospitals to provide “morning-after” abortafacient drugs to rape victims.
James Papillo, the state’s victim advocate and a Catholic deacon, testified that the bill was unnecessary because he had never had a single complaint from a woman who said she lacked access to the pill.
One official from a Catholic hospital said the legislative outcome reflected the will of the people.
“If there was support for interfering with the Catholic hospitals’ religious beliefs,” there would have been a vote,” he said. “The votes just weren’t there.”
AUSTRALIAN BROADCASTING COMPANY, March 15 — A team of researchers from Japan has shown that menstrual blood is rich in adult stem cells.
Dr. Shunichiro Miyoshi reported to the American College of Cardiology in Atlanta that he and his colleagues at Keio University School of Medicine in Tokyo had harvested blood from six women, cultivating about 30 times more adult stem cells from the menstrual blood than would be obtained from bone marrow.
The stem cells were then induced to become heart cells with about half of them showing signs of normal heart-cell function.
Sri Lankans March
UCA NEWS, March 17 — Women workers on tea plantations in the central region of Sri Lanka left their jobs and gave up a day’s pay March 8 in order to protest against abortion as part of International Women’s Day.
Nearly 1,000 women carried placards reading “Women Are Not Slaves” and “Stop Abortion,” and performed a street play along the way about the harm caused by abortion.
Abortion is illegal in Sri Lanka unless the mother’s life is in danger, but hundreds of illegal abortions are performed in the area, said Father George Sigamani, coordinator of the protest. He said most of the women are pressured to have abortions, which take place as part of a general exploitation of poor women who work on the plantations for low wages.