By WeNews Staff
Saturday, September 8, 2007
The U.S. Senate, led by California's Barbara Boxer, voted 53-41 to overturn the so-called global gag rule that bans family planning aid for international groups that offer abortion services or provide information about abortion, the Los Angeles Times reported Sept. 7.
The Senate bill must be reconciled with the House version of the budget bill, which includes a similar measure that allows the government to provide contraceptives directly to the same groups. Both votes indicate Democrats' efforts to curb the anti-choice actions of recent Republican administrations. The global gag rule--also called the Mexico City policy--was initiated by Ronald Reagan, reversed by Democrat Bill Clinton and restored by George W. Bush in his first days in office. Bush has threatened to veto the bill.
Boxer said the bill "could significantly enhance the health and well-being of millions of women around the globe."
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Suicide Trends:
University of Warwick, Research on Doctors' Gender:
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Following criticism of anti-depressant use among U.S. children in 2004, a new study finds that reduced usage may have resulted in more suicides, especially among girls, Reuters reported Sept. 6. Suicide rates hit their highest level in 15 years, with the largest increase among girls aged 10 to 14.
In other health news, gonorrhea among Scottish women has risen 61 percent in the past year, the Scotsman reported Sept. 6. Chlamydia cases have increased 6 percent and genital herpes increased 15 percent in the first six months of 2007. Health officials said a lack of education could be a factor.
The gender of doctors may affect a woman's health, research from Britain's University of Warwick suggests. Twice as many women as men aged 45 to 64 have undetected myocardial infarctions, indicating that there is a discrepancy in the way women are diagnosed, Science Daily reported Sept. 6. Taking a patient's age into consideration is a significant factor in diagnosing coronary heart disease, and researchers found that female doctors placed more weight on men's ages than they did women's ages.
African American women are less likely to respond to a hormone-based treatment for a deadly type of breast cancer than other U.S. women, research from the University of Michigan has found. The research provides one explanation of higher death rates for African American women, the AP reported Sept. 6. Later diagnoses and lack of aggressive treatment have also been linked to black women's higher mortality form the disease.
Portia Simpson Miller, Jamaica's first female prime minister, conceded defeat in the nation's Sept. 6 election, the AP reported. She lost by 2,940 votes. Her People's National Party contested preliminary results, saying opponents campaigned after the official cut-off and voters were prevented from casting ballots. Simpson Miller's concession ends the party's 18-year hold on power.
Nouhad Moawad manages Women's eNews' Arabic site, Tereza Perazza is Brazil correspondent and Jennifer Thurston is associate editor.
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