DAILY CATHOLIC     MONDAY     June 29, 1998     vol. 9, no. 125

NEWS & VIEWS
from a CATHOLIC perspective

To print out entire text of Today's issue, go to SECTION ONE and SECTION TWO

TEEN PREGNANCIES, ABORTION DOWN IN MOST STATES AS REPUBLICANS PRESS ON TO PROPOSE DENYING DRUG LICENSE TO ASSISTED SUICIDE DOCS

          WASHINGTON, DC (CWNews.com) - The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a new report on Thursday that shows that pregnancy rates for girls between ages 15 and 19 have dropped in all 42 states surveyed between 1992 and 1995.

          The same survey also showed that abortion rates dropped in all the states except Maine, Ohio, and Oregon. The CDC said the abortion rate dropped even faster than birth rates, showing that the decrease in teen births is due to a fall in teen pregnancy rates and not an increase in abortion.

          "The early 1990s were a turning point in adolescent pregnancy trends, following the increase that occurred in the 1980s," said Donna Shalala, secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services. Still, she noted, nearly 1 million teenage girls become pregnant each year, and more than 200,000 girls have abortions. The researchers attributed the decline in teen pregnancy to increased abstinence, greater use of birth control, increasing acceptance of birth among unmarried teens, and tightened access to abortions.

          In a related story of evidence the culture of death advocates aren't winning as many victories as they'd like you to think, two Republican congressmen co-sponsored a proposed law on Thursday that would deny doctors a federal license to prescribe drugs for assisted suicide.

          The proposal by Rep. Henry Hyde, R-Illinois, and Sen. Don Nickels, R-Oklahoma, follows a recent announcement by the Justice Department that federal Drug Enforcement Agency agents will not prosecute or the pharmaceutical license of doctors who assist suicides under Oregon's landmark law legalizing the practice. But Hyde said there might not be enough time left in this session of Congress to address the bill, when his House Judiciary Committee is already tackling partial-birth abortions and out-of-state teen abortions.

          Supporters and critics of assisted suicide have already begun lobbying members of Congress. Lori Hougens of the National Right to Life Committee said she has contacted 150 congressmen about the issue since last year, and has received indications of wide support for similar legislation. Oregon Death With Dignity, which supports assisted suicide, said it is hiring a public relations firm and has contacted Oregon's congressional delegation with Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Oregon, already promising a potential filibuster.


Articles provided through Catholic World News Service.
CWN is not affiliated with the Daily CATHOLIC but provides this service via e-mail to the Daily CATHOLIC Monday through Friday.

June 29, 1998       volume 9, no. 125
NEWS & VIEWS

DAILY CATHOLIC

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