News roundup for May 2004

Mother’s fury at secret abortion

Guardian report

A mother whose 14-year-old daughter had an abortion without her consent has criticised the law. Maureen Smith, whose daughter Michelle had a chemical abortion(where you take two tablets to terminate the pregnancy) is furious she was not consulted. A spokesman for the girl’s school, who discussed the situation with her,said consultations with health advisors would always remain confidential except where issues of child protection arose. The real fuss in the papers now is: should her mother be praised for speaking out, or condemned for publishing details of her daughter’s life in the national news?

Footballer’s ex-wife in crucial divorce case

BBC Report

Arsenal and England footballer Ray Parlour’s ex-wife has gone to court to bid for a third of his future earnings. In a case that has divided legal experts, Karen Parlour is demanding that her annual maintenance is increased from £250,000 to £406,000. She claims that he would not be as wealthy now if it wasn’t for her, as she steered him away from alcoholism and gambling. Ray’s lawyers have reproached her and the judges are currently reserving judgement. If she wins, the outcome could have repercussions on future divorce cases.

Women drivers ‘more law abiding’

BBC Report

Government figures have revealed that female drivers are more safer and law-abiding than males. They commit only 12% of all driving offences and are far less likely tocommit a serious offence, such as causing death. A spokesman for the AA said men often had a ‘competitive streak’ when it came to driving, and were more likely to have accidents due to speeding or overtaking.

Patch ‘boosts women’s sex drive’

BBC Report

Women with low sexual desire will soon be able to use a stick-on patch to boost their sex drive. The patch, which delivers testosterone, will be aimed at women with hypoactive sexual desire disorder. Trial results have found a significant increase in levels of satisfying sex. One doctor noted that the patch will only work for women with low testosterone and was not a relationship saver: “If a couple doesn’t like each other than no patch will improve their sex life.”

Hourglass figure linked to fertility

BBC Report

The so-called ‘hourglass figure’ – large breasts, small waist – has long been revered in Western beauty standards. Researchers now say this is more than a superficial judgement – women with this figure have higher hormone levels and are thus more likely to fall pregnant. Lead researcher Dr Jasienska noted that non-Western societies favoured broader figures, indicating good nutritional status. “However, in Western societies, the cultural icon of Barbie as a symbol of female beauty seems to have some biological grounding,” she added.

More news stories from this month in brief…

  • Pope canonises mother who refused abortion, and died so her fourth child could be born
  • Gene which doubles risk of breast cancer discovered
  • Caesareans ‘must be discouraged’
  • Protest over female suicides in Durham prison
  • Playtex Moonwalk raises funds for breast cancer research
  • Rise in domestic violence among US Asian women
  • Pregnant Glaswegian women to be breathalysed to detect smokers, who will then to helped to quit
  • ‘Gender bias’ in apprenticeship schemes
  • First female dean at ancient cathedral
  • Slimming cream claims ‘dubious’
  • Women confused over breast cancer advice
  • Summer-born women ‘have fewer babies’
  • Mothers ‘put off’ breastfeeding
  • ‘Bridget Jones generation’ seeks fun on the internet
  • Women suffering heavy periods to be offered alternatives to hysterectomies
  • Women ‘turned off by politics’