Trump takes war on abortion worldwide as policy cuts off funds

Sexual health organisations warn women will die if they are forced to seek DIY abortions The Trump administration has taken its war on abortion worldwide, cutting off all funding to any overseas organisation or clinic that will not agree to a complete ban on even discussing it. The Mexico City policy, dubbed the global gag by its critics, denies US federal funds to any organisation involved in providing abortion services overseas or counselling women about them. It was instituted by the then US president Ronald Reagan and has been revoked by every Democrat and reinstated by every Republican president since. But, under Trump, the net has been thrown wider and pulled tighter than ever. Sexual health organisations have said women …

Why race science is on the rise again

After the second world war, the belief that differences between so-called races are genetic became taboo. Now, with the far right resurgent, its back In 1985, historian Barry Mehler had a dream. His research was taking him deep into the murky territory of academias extreme right wing. As he worked, he found his waking life beginning to soak into his subconscious, colouring his sleep. In his dream, his son, then two years old, was trapped in a runaway car hurtling down a hill. The traffic is going in both directions, and I am in the middle of the road desperately waving my hands trying to stop the flow, in order to save the life of my son, he tells me. …

Baby with spina bifida receives pioneering keyhole surgery

Jaxson Sharp has spine repaired while in the womb, in first for UK surgeons For the first time in the UK, doctors have performed pioneering keyhole surgery to repair the spine of a baby with spina bifida while still in the womb. Surgeons from Kings College hospital in London used the cutting-edge technique to successfully close a hole in the spine of Jaxson Sharp 27 weeks into the pregnancy. His mother, Sherrie, from Horsham, West Sussex, had the operation after a routine 20-week scan revealed that his spine and spinal cord had not developed normally. The condition can lead to substantial physical and cognitive developmental problems, including paralysis. In the three-hour procedure, surgeons inserted a thin camera and small surgical …

Alabama’s abortion ban shows the chilling effect of Brett Kavanaugh’s appointment | Jill Filipovic

The goal of anti-abortion campaigners is to overturn Roe v Wade. With todays radical, activist, rightwing supreme court, they may succeed There is a war on American women. On Tuesday night, Alabama voted to outlaw abortion entirely. Doctors who perform the procedure could go to prison for 99 years, simply for providing healthcare that one in four American women obtains at some point in her life. The law offers no exception for rape or incest victims because, as the Republican lawmaker Clyde Chambliss said, When God creates the miracle of life inside a womans womb, it is not our place as human beings to extinguish that life. This is todays pro-life movement: arguing that pre-teen girls who are raped and …

Suicide attempts by poisoning rising among young people in US, study says

More than 1.6 million children and young adults aged 10 to 24 attempted suicide by poisoning between 2000 to 2018 The number of children and young adults who have attempted suicide by poisoning has increased in the United States over the past several years, according to a study from Nationwide childrens hospital in Ohio, published in the Journal of Pediatrics on Wednesday. There was a significant increase in the rate of attempts between 2011 and 2018 that was driven predominantly by girls and young women. A total of 71% of all cases reported in the study involved girls and women. While the studys data cannot point to a specific reason behind the increase in self-poisoning, the researchers note that social …

Northern Ireland prison bans book about Irish republicans

Maghaberry in County Antrim contains several republican paramilitaries A Irish prison that holds some of the most dangerous republican paramilitary prisoners has banned a new academic book about dissident Irish republicans. Unfinished Business: the Dissident Irish targets Lyra McKee during rioting in Derry. Police hunting McKees killer have warned of a Good Friday agreement supposedly drew a line under the Troubles. McGlinchey said she was taken aback when a prisoner notified her about the ban: It must be because of the subject matter but this is an academic work. She visited Maghaberry five or six times to conduct interviews, she said. The book has been endorsed by the life peer Paul Bew and Richard English, professors at Queens University Belfast …

Parents face shock rise in childcare costs as government cuts bite

Up to half of nurseries set to close or reduce services they offer, survey warns Parents will be forced to pay higher fees for childcare this year because of a lack of government funding, new research suggests. Nurseries and childminders are being driven out of business, while staff feel stressed, demoralised and even suicidal. The burden of higher wage bills while subjecting them to a real-terms funding cut. A survey of EYA members, seen by the Observer, suggests two-fifths are likely to reduce staff over the next year as a result of this under-funding. Nearly half of providers fear they will go out of business in the next 12 months and 81% say they are so stressed about financial viability …

Trump expands global gag rule that blocks US aid for abortion groups

Policy bans aid going to foreign groups that support abortion rights as secretary of state Mike Pompeo says: This is decent. This is right The Trump administration has expanded expanded the reach of the funding ban which dates back to the Reagan administration, to apply to all US healthcare assistance, totalling about $6bn. The extension of the policy announced by Pompeo would not only cut funding to foreign non-governmental organisations directly involved in abortions or abortion rights advocacy, but also those who fund or support other groups which provide or discuss abortion. What is the ‘global gag rule’? The rule, otherwise known as the Mexico City policy, requires NGOs to certify that they will not perform or promote abortions anywhere …

Feminism with no human warmth leaves me cold | Zoe Williams

Im a fan of the acclaimed young writer known as the Slumflower. But her sexual creed of exploitation appals me, says Guardian columnist Zoe Williams A couple of years ago, the feminist society of Deptford Green secondary school convened a conference. It was there that I met Chidera Eggerue: aka the Slumflower, author of #saggyboobsmatter movement. She was a remarkable woman. I dont want to call her a remarkable young woman, even though she was 23 at the time: young is such a modifier and she would have been remarkable at any age. Her broad message was one of body positivity: if you love yourself and your shape, nobody can shame you. She built what I thought was a brisk, …

Our goal is to halve the male suicide rate: why no-frills therapy works for men

Every week, around the country, groups of men meet for some straight-talking therapy. Could this be the answer to the male mental health crisis? A stranger has just thrown a ball at me and asked me how my week has been. Its Monday night, and Im sitting in a circle of a dozen men in a chilly community centre. This ball obliges me to tell the gang about my current emotional state. I have spent my entire adult life carefully avoiding situations like this. I came to Andys Man Club with my eyes open, thinking I was ready to share. But thats because I expected a different sort of group therapy session; a place where normal blokes could open up …

Women with Allergan breast implants may sue over cancer link

UK women claim they were not told enough about potential risk of rare breast cancer A group of more than 200 women are considering legal action over controversial breast implants that have been linked to a rare form of cancer. The women claim they were not sufficiently informed about the risks of textured Allergan implants, Women who have the implants and capsules removed can make a full recovery, but if left untreated the disease can spread throughout the body and become life-threatening. Last year, the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (Baaps) advised its members to stop using Allergan implants as a precaution, but said the scientific data did not suggest the need to remove or exchange any current implants. …

Virtual reality game shows Danish teenagers how to party without a hangover

Online tool will tackle the worst youth alcohol problem in Europe So youre 16 and at a schoolfriends party. Youve had three or four drinks already, and are just starting to feel it. The most popular guy in the class comes up and demands you have another. And then another. What happens next? Rather than finding out in real life, researchers in Denmark, who are trying to cure Europes worst teenage binge-drinking problem, hope the likely consequences can be shown virtually in a game due to launch later this year. Virtual reality can provide a really intense experience, the feeling of actually being there, but without the real-life harm of getting drunk and blacking out, said Gunver Majgaard, a robotics …