The ACOG should reconsider fetal pain (America)

There is increasing evidence to show that a foetus may feel pain as early as 12 weeks gestation. Currently the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), “Facts are Important”, states that foetal pain cannot occur before 24 weeks gestation. Updated findings, particularly from two studies done in 2016, suggest that subcortical structures develop much earlier than 24 weeks and are enough for perception of pain. The ACOG’s “Facts are Important” does not reflect these studies and has not been updated since 2013. The Charlotte Lozier Institute recommends the ACOG makes several revisions.

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Exposure to job-related violence among young female prostitutes (Nigeria)

In Nigeria, many young girls are engaged in commercial prostitution as a means of livelihood and support of dependent relatives. Although studies have documented some of the violence related issues among commercial prostitutes, the plight of adolescent and young prostitutes particularly in urban slums may be different in context and depth. This study explored the experiences of violence and health related harm among vulnerable young female prostitutes in urban slums in Ibadan and Lagos, Southwest Nigeria. It also analysed their coping strategies and survival mechanisms. Young female prostitutes aged 15–24 years who reported having experienced violence were recruited for the study. Twelve participants completed the interviews out of the 20 initially contacted. The study was conducted in brothels of two selected slum areas in Ibadan and Lagos, Southwest Nigeria. The results showed that the major motivation for engaging in commercial sex work was for economic reasons. However, there are inherent risks involved particularly for the vulnerable young people. Stigmatization from the community, clients’ uncontrolled-aggressive behaviour and harassment from law enforcement agents are some of the frequent violence experiences reported. Self-help coping strategies are usually employed to prevent or mitigate the challenges. The plight of these young people requires policy and program attention towards alternative economic empowerment to rehabilitate those willing to leave the profession. Also the need to develop arm reduction interventions towards protection of young prostitutes against violence.

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About 90 people go missing (South Africa)

Missing Children South Africa said, it roughly records between 60 to 90 missing people cases per month. The daughter of the former Economic Freedom Fighters secretary-general has also been reported missing. It is understood that she was last seen at a retail store with her daughter. Her 3 year old child was found the same day stranded on the street. Reporting missing cases as soon as possible is essential as the first 24 to 48 hours are crucial particularly when a child goes missing. Human trafficking has escalated in South Africa and it is now being declared as a human trafficking hub by the US department of state”.

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Proposed online safety bill poses threats to prostitutes (UK)

The UK Parliament received a bill proposition about the regulation of “harmful” online content which will target the safety of prostitutes. The internet has given prostitutes an opportunity to safely practice their occupation without the dangers of in-person work. A 2018 U.K. research showed that online prostitution is actually a safer method, as it revealed that only 5% of prostitutes surveyed had experienced physical assault in the last year. To put things into perspective, there’s a 45% to 75% chance prostitutes will experience violence throughout their careers. With this new proposed law, tech companies will be financially penalised for allowing the advertisement of prostitution on their platforms, and they could face jail time.

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Pornography is harmful and we need a new public health approach to it – as with alcohol and tobacco (UK)

Sophia Worringer, a parliamentary researcher, claims that pornography is harmful and must be treated with a public health approach. She asks the question, if pornography was not harmful as some people claim, why then did the Parish incident (Member of Parliament watching porn) spark such a public outpouring. Many women feel threatened when hearing that pornography has been viewed in their presence because they know the degrading and damaging nature of its essence. It is also difficult to separate the expansion of the multi-billion dollar pornography industry from the trafficking of young women and children around the world. Pornographic online videos open the door for exploitation and abuse. Pornography is not passive. It changes expectations of sex, removes sex from consenting loving relationships, and rewires your brain meaning you are always wanting more.

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Assisted suicide laws increase suicide rates, especially among women (UK)

Posner argued: People who have no immediate wish to die by suicide get reassurance from knowing that they can exercise the option of suicide at some point in the future. The study used data from ten US states that implemented an assisted suicide law up to the end of 2019. Assisted suicide laws increase overall suicide rates by about 18% and for women the increase is 40%. Assisted suicide results in an increase in unassisted suicides by about 6% and amongst women there is a 13% increase in unassisted suicides. Some argue that these results show assisted suicide empowers women to take control over end-of-life decisions. However, the alternative view is that they are disempowered and become more vulnerable to social pressures and therefore opt for suicide.

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Assisted suicide bill rejected in Connecticut (USA)

Assisted suicide has been rejected in Connecticut for the tenth time, after a close vote by senators on the State General Assembly’s judiciary committee. The disability rights group Second Thoughts Connecticut and The Euthanasia Prevention Coalition USA strongly opposed the plans. They warned “offering suicide prevention to most people while offering suicide assistance to an ever-widening subset of disabled people is lethal disability discrimination”.

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Application in the South Gauteng High Court to legalise euthanasia (South Africa)

Palliative care doctor, Suzanne Walter, and her patient, Diethelm Harck, started a court case to legalise euthanasia in South Africa. Walter was diagnosed with multiple myeloma in 2017, while Harck was diagnosed with motor neuron disease in 2013. Both wish to have the option to end their lives when they feel they cannot handle their illness any more. Due to their medical conditions, special arrangements were made in March for the evidence of Harck and Walter to be heard first via a commission headed by Judge Neels Claassen. Their application for an order directing the government to enact legislation which will allow for physician-assisted suicide and euthanasia, is due to proceed in the South Gauteng High Court for six weeks from May 3.

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Prostitution in Israel on decline, study finds

The consumption of prostitution in Israel is on the decline, while the number of Israelis who perceive the profession in a negative light has increased, according to a new study published. The study, conducted by the Brookdale Institute for the Welfare and Interior ministries, found that about 84% of all Israelis consider prostitution a harmful and degrading social phenomenon that serves to damage the person’s honour, while 23% believe that “prostitution is a legitimate profession.” The study also found that 45% believe that women have every right to sell their body for sex and that those soliciting to prostitution come from all walks of life, ages, education levels and marital status i.e. both married and single. Overall, about 20% of all men who took part in the study admitted they had paid for sex at least once. Among men who paid for sex in the five years prior to the study, 68% testified that they had solicited to prostitution more than once. In addition, the study also found that the number of men who had said that they paid for sex dropped from 11% before the 2018 law, to 7% in 2019 and 5% in 2020, the year the law went into effect, while 18% said that they had stopped their solicitation altogether due to the law.

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New law to fully prosecute child sex offenders (USA)

A new law signed by Governor Brian Kemp will put more measures in place to prosecute child sex offenders to the fullest. This law received support from democrats and republicans. They’re hitting our kids in vulnerable spots, according to Rose Grant-Wiseman, the Executive Director of the Coastal Child Advocacy Centre. The bill treats each act of child molestation as a separate offense and makes each image or video of child pornography a separate offense. For each thing that you have done or committed, that could be five years, that could be ten years, that could be fifteen. It could be a life sentence,” Grant-Wiseman stated. Someone who has thousands of images would have a stronger punishment then someone with a few.

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