Bits & Pieces
Nature magazine reports that most developed countries have seen fertility rates rebound after steady declines over the past 40 years, but Hans-Peter Kohler of the Population Studies Centre notes there are three exceptions: Canada, Japan and South Korea. Toronto Star columnist Carol Goar said Canada needs to follow Quebec and Europe’s lead in expanding the welfare state to become “a truly family-friendly country” by paying for childcare and generous parental leave programs … Tim Hudak’s Progressive Conservative party wooed openly lesbian Toronto Sun city hall columnist Sue-Ann Levy to become its star candidate in the Sept. 17 by-election in the Toronto riding of St. Paul’s … CTV reports that, after a 2004 law prohibiting payment for sperm donation, the number of donors in Canada has fallen to just 32. Meanwhile, there are thousands of people using fertility treatments … Dr. Carol Strike of the Centre for Addiction Research and Dr. Ahmed Bayoumi of St. Michael’s Hospital have been commissioned by Toronto Public Health to investigate the feasibility of safe-injection sites in the city … The B.C. Human Rights Tribunal has dismissed Sally Wild’s complaint that she was expelled from Langara College because she is a Wiccan. The college said she was kicked out of her program because of a safety concern, after she made implicit threats, although she was later re-admitted to the Integrative Energy Healing Program … The National Parole Board has turned down Robert Latimer’s request to live on his own during the work week and return to a halfway house on weekends. Latimer killed his disabled 12-year-old daughter Tracey in 1993 by poisoning her with carbon monoxide gas … Toronto Star public editor Kathy English notes it is difficult to get exact counts for large public events and reports that one of the paper’s editors, Norris MacDonald, said, “There is no way a million people show up to watch any parade in this city, whether it’s Caribana, Pride or the Santa Clause parade.” MacDonald added “it is a ‘mathematical impossibility’ for a million people to attend a one-time event in Toronto.”
Karen Hackenberry, spokeswoman for Planned Parenthood of Northeast Ohio, has told the Warren Tribune Chronicle, “The economy is hurting everyone. In the Youngstown-Warren region, people are hurting. They need access to family planning services” … Senators Sam Brownback (R, Kan.) and Mary Landrieu (D, La.) have introduced the Human-Animal Hybrid Prohibition Act. Brownback said: “Creating human-animal hybrids, which permanently alter the genetic makeup of an organism, will challenge the very definition of what it means to be human and is a violation of human dignity and a grave injustice” … Newsweek reports that there are more than 500,000 polygamous marriages in the United States … Princeton professor of jurisprudence Robert P. George writes in the Wall Street Journal of gay activist attempts to get courts to throw out the traditional definition of marriage as “short-circuiting the democratic process” and inflaming the culture wars, much as the U.S. Supreme Court did with its 1973 Roe v. Wade decision. George says that “before judging whether traditional marriage laws should be junked, we must decide what marriage is” and it “is the form of relationship that is uniquely apt for childbearing” … The American Psychological Association has passed a resolution advising members against telling homosexual clients they can change their sexual orientation through treatment … University of Louisville basketball coach Rick Pitino was not disciplined after it was revealed that the married father of five tried to cover up an extra-marital affair by paying for his mistress’s abortion (he claims the $3,000 he gave Karen Cunigan Sypher once she became pregnant was to pay for medical insurance). The Tennessean reported that school officials not only decided Pitino did not violate a “morals clause” in his contract, but university president James Ramsey called him a “role model for countless young people.”
Official media sources in Red China report that there are 13 million surgical abortions committed in the country each year and approximately 10 million chemical abortions. Wu Shangchun of the Family Planning Commission said the real number is higher, because many rural abortions go unreported. The China Daily reported more than six in 10 reported abortions are obtained by unmarried women in their 20s … Eurostat, the European Union’s census body, says Germany now has the lowest fertility rate among the 27 E.U. members, with a paltry 1.37 children per family … The BBC reports that doctors in the United Kingdom are increasingly using “continuous deep sedation” as a form of “slow euthanasia.” Health correspondent Adam Brimelow hints physicians are using it to skirt the law prohibiting direct euthanasia. Perhaps as many as 16.5 per cent of all deaths in the U.K. are associated with continuous deep sedation until death … The Bank of Japan has found that in some districts, the number of brothels has increased fourfold in the past 20 years, making sex-for-hire one of the few booming industries in the land of the rising sun.