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Lancet. 2007 Oct 20; 370(9596):1394.Eradicating poliomyelitis presents many challenges. Financing essential activities can be difficult when donors fail to meet funding targets (a US$60 million funding gap currently exists for the fourth quarter of 2007). Security issues in two of the four polio-endemic countries-Afghanistan and Pakistan-make access to children difficult for immunisation teams. And in Nigeria, low vaccine coverage and an outbreak of disease from vaccine-derived poliovirus (VDPV) could set back global eradication efforts. Over the past 10 years there have been nine outbreaks of poliomyelitis derived from the oral vaccine in nine countries. Nigeria has seen the largest outbreak; 69 children have been paralysed this year. VDPVs are rare but occur when the live virus in an oral polio vaccine mutates and reverts to neurovirulence. This loss of attenuation does not matter so much in populations who are fully immunised with oral vaccine, since they will be protected from wild and vaccine-derived poliovirus, but in Nigeria,where vaccine coverage is 39% (and even lower in some northern states), it is a problem. (excerpt)
Family Planning Perspectives. 1998 Jul-Aug; 30(4):177-81.Because there are few qualitative data on the attitudes of district attorneys towards the local enforcement of statutory rape laws called for by the 1996 federal welfare reform law, anonymous surveys were sent to all 105 Kansas district attorneys in 1997. Data were gathered from the 92 returned surveys and from in-depth telephone interviews with seven of the respondents. It was found that 74% of the respondents favored aggressive enforcement, but only 37% believed the public would support such action, and only 24% thought enforcement would reduce the incidence of adolescent pregnancy. While 57% supported the legal age of consent in Kansas (16 years), 53% thought the law should not specify age differences between the partners, but prosecutions are the exception when the age difference is less than 3 years unless the victim was mentally disabled or the case involved force. Most of the district attorneys (77%) rejected the view that a minor who is already sexually active does not merit the protection of statutory rape laws, and 78% felt that paternity acknowledgements should be admissible evidence in prosecutions. Only 17% expressed the opinion that enforcement would discourage adolescents from seeking health care. It was concluded that the impact of statutory rape prosecution on reproductive and psychological health should be considered on a case-by-case basis and that potentially negative impacts can be minimized by educating law enforcement officials about adolescent health care issues.
In: Understanding the new politics of abortion, edited by Malcolm L. Goggin. Newbury Park, California, Sage Publications, 1993. 268-84.This document is the 15th chapter in a book which provides a framework for considering the "new politics" of abortion in the US (created when the Supreme Court gave states more leeway in regulating access to abortion) and the last in a section devoted to an examination of state abortion policy and politics. This chapter analyzes the impact of female state legislators on abortion legislation. The study hypothesizes that the presence of a significant number of female legislators, especially Democrats, will affect state abortion policy at the committee level (where bills can be blocked). This study concludes that parental consent regulations and public funding of abortion are distinct dimensions of state abortion policy and uses three measures of state opinion toward abortion (Roman Catholic membership, proportion of professional women in the adult female population, and membership in the National Abortion Rights Action League). A table illustrates a simple model of state public funding and parental notification policies which indicates that women legislators may make a difference in parental notification legislation but not in funding policies. This test confirms the validity of Thomas's 1991 hypothesis that the presence of a threshold number of women legislators is important in predicting state abortion policy outputs regarding parental notification and indicates that to have an effect, these women must be Democrats. The analysis then examines post-Webster bills to determine how women may have influenced their fate in committees (which would indicate that the presence of women on key committees is more important than the number of women legislators). It is concluded that states with the fewest women and those most likely to pass anti-abortion legislation have Democratic women on committees blocking this legislation. Using the scales developed in this study, it is predicted that most state policies will remain stable even if Roe were overturned.
The right-to-life resurgence: recent victories push a struggling movement back to the forefront of the abortion battle.
FAMILY PLANNING WORLD. 1992 Jan-Feb; 2(1):9, 12-4.The anti-abortion movement operates in many different capacities, but its leaders are careful not to present a unified image for fear of federal investigation for conspiracy. Randall Terry is an ex-used car sales representative who runs Operation Rescue (OR). OR is easily the most visible part and also has the biggest image clinics and harass clinic staff and patients. Wanda Franz head the National Right-to-Life Committee which is the political part of the machine. They lobby in Washington to gain any political advantage they can. They supported Reagan and Bush, and they pressured them to appoint many anti-abortion federal and Supreme Court judges. Other groups operate over 2,000 bogus clinics that present themselves as being places where women can get abortions. When the women come, they are coerced into continuing their unwanted pregnancies. Other groups like Virginia's American Life League and Christian Action Council openly admit opposition to contraception and sex-education as well as abortion. The antiabortion groups have been accused of funding anti-abortion groups and they have openly been helping activists in other countries. World wide the anti-abortion movement is clearly stemming from America. The upholding of the gag rule, and the failure of Congress to override the president's veto of legislation that would have overruled it combined with the Webster decision have given the movement a big boost. However, the majority of Americans still support a woman's right to choose. Unfortunately for women, only the anti-abortion movement is willing to do something about it. The pro-choice movement is large, but it was caught off guard after Roe. It did not realize the winning Roe was just another battle in the war. Getting abortion rights was 1 thing, keeping them is another. The pro-choice movement has managed to get a number of anti-abortion politicians out of office, and the numbers are on their side. Now they just have to motivate the majority of people who support their side.