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Pope defends anti-abortion stance in talks with Obama

Pope Francis defended the right of doctors who refuse to perform abortions in the United States during talks with US President Barack Obama on Thursday, the Vatican said. "There was a discussion on questions of particular relevance for the Church in that country, such as the exercise of the rights to religious freedom, life and conscientious objection," it said in a statement. jlv/dt/ec

Planned Parenthood, Arizona in court over abortion drug rules

By Paul Ingram TUCSON, Arizona (Reuters) - Arizona regulations that would limit the use of the most popular abortion-inducing drug risk harming women seeking to end their pregnancies, attorneys for a women's health provider argued in federal court in Tucson on Wednesday. The controversial regulations would require any medicine used to induce an abortion to be administered strictly according to protocols issued by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and subject to instructions on the label.

Christian US firms oppose employee contraception cover

Christian American employers appeared before the Supreme Court on Tuesday to challenge a law obliging firms to provide employees with health insurance that covers certain forms of contraception. Judges are once again pondering the limits of the United States' constitutional division between church and state because of a disputed part of President Barack Obama's signature health reform.

Abortion fight haunts U.S. top court hearing on healthcare law

By Joan Biskupic WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Supreme Court arguments over federal healthcare policy were nearly finished on Tuesday when Justice Anthony Kennedy challenged Obama administration lawyer Donald Verrilli on abortion rights. "Under your view, a profit corporation ... could be forced in principle to pay for abortions," said Kennedy, often the deciding vote on the nine-member court.

Supreme Court to hear contraception case arguments

US Supreme Court justices appeared divided Tuesday as they heard arguments on whether employers must provide certain contraceptives under employee health plans, even if it is contrary to their religious beliefs. The court's three liberal women justices took the lead in grilling lawyers during the 90-minute-long hearing on the hot button issue, a spinoff of President Barack Obama's signature health reform law. Outside, dozens of protesters from both sides of the debate gathered on the court's steps amid falling snow as the hearing began.

Supreme Court to hear contraception case arguments

The US Supreme Court met Tuesday to hear arguments on whether employers must provide certain types of contraceptives under employee health plans, even if contrary to their religious beliefs. Dozens of protesters from both sides of the debate -- feminists, homosexuals and anti-abortion advocates -- gathered on the court's steps amid falling snow before the 90-minute hearing.

Nepal's young women endure painful 'fallen womb' syndrome

Sita Pariyar had barely recovered from childbirth when her uterus slipped out of her body, making her one of hundreds of thousands of Nepalese women struck by a debilitating reproductive condition. Sleep-deprived and unsteady on her feet, Pariyar was carrying firewood home to her village in the hilly district of Dhading on the outskirts of Nepal's capital Kathmandu when she felt her uterus collapse. "It was painful and terrifying. I had no idea what was happening," the 25-year-old mother of four told AFP.

British abortion group fined over personal data hack

Britain's biggest abortion provider was fined Friday by a data protection watchdog after a computer hacker obtained the details of thousands of women who had sought its help. Convicted hacker James Jeffery threatened to publish the names of those who sought advice from the British Pregnancy Advice Service (Bpas) charity. The Information Commissioner's Office watchdog criticised the provider for not storing personal data securely and fined it £200,000 ($335,000, 240,000 euros) for a "serious breach" of the Data Protection Act.

British widow wins battle for husband's frozen sperm

A British woman won a High Court battle on Thursday to preserve her late husband's sperm for at least another decade so that she can bear his children. Beth Warren, 28, had challenged a ruling by fertility regulators that the sperm stored by her husband Warren Brewer before his death in 2012 should be destroyed next year. Judge Mary Hogg said in a written ruling: "I am satisfied it was his wish that Mrs Warren should have the opportunity to have the use of his sperm after his death in order to have his child or children if she so wanted."

Lawsuit challenges Arizona's limits on use of abortion drug

By David Schwartz PHOENIX (Reuters) - Two women's healthcare providers have filed a federal lawsuit in Arizona to block new regulations that would limit the use of the most popular abortion-inducing drug in the state, officials disclosed on Wednesday.
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