U.S. abortion rate hits 29-year low



U.S. abortion ratehits 29-year low
DETROIT -- The U.S. abortion rate has fallen to its lowest level in 29 years, a trend triggered by fewer providers, more restrictive state laws and growing use of contraceptives, including the morning-after pill, a new study has found.
And, despite all the hoopla two years ago, medical abortions using drugs in the first seven weeks of pregnancy remain a tiny portion of all abortions, the study found. They also cost more and are more time-consuming.
These highlights are part of an annual abortion survey released Friday by the Alan Guttmacher Institute, a family-planning agency that surveys abortion providers in America each year.
Overall, the U.S. rate fell 19.3 percent between 1973 and 2000. One in five pregnancies end in abortion. In 2000, 1.3 million abortions were performed in the United States, down slightly from 1.36 million in 1996.
The drop was seen in every state.
Member of Bee Geessuffers cardiac arrest
MIAMI BEACH, Fla. -- Maurice Gibb of the famed 1970s vocal group the Bee Gees suffered cardiac arrest before undergoing emergency surgery for a blocked intestine and was in critical but stable condition, a hospital spokeswoman said Friday.
Gibb, 53, who lives in Miami Beach, was being treated in intensive care, said Mount Sinai Medical Center spokeswoman Kathleen Dorkowski. Gibb was admitted to the hospital Wednesday and underwent surgery Thursday, she said.
"Maurice has undergone surgery for an intestinal blockage. He is in a critical condition in intensive care. We are awaiting a full medical prognosis ... but everyone is very, very worried," a spokesman for his twin, Robin, said in a statement.
Maurice plays bass and keyboard for the group, whose name is short for the Brothers Gibb.
The Bee Gees -- Maurice, Robin and their older brother Barry -- have lived in South Florida since the late 1970s. Their younger brother, Andy, who had a successful solo career, died in 1988 at age 30 from a heart ailment.
Air Force honors mankilled in Afghanistan
POPE AIR FORCE BASE, N.C., -- The Air Force bestowed its highest award Friday on Tech. Sgt. John Chapman, an air controller killed by enemy fire in Afghanistan last March while battling Al-Qaida fighters on a mountaintop as he attempted to help retrieve the body of a Navy SEAL who had fallen from an ambushed helicopter.
It was only the third time since the end of the Vietnam War in 1975 that an enlisted airman received the Air Force Cross, which ranks just below the congressional Medal of Honor and is given for "extraordinary heroism."
It was the second time in the past few months that the award has gone to one of the Americans who died in what became a 17-hour ordeal to seize the frigid, desolate top of Takur Ghar mountain in eastern Afghanistan.
In all, seven U.S. troops were killed in the March 4 fighting, which began when a helicopter carrying Chapman and a handful of Navy SEALs came under fire while landing on the ridge. As the damaged helicopter lurched away, one of the SEALs, Petty Office 1st Class Neil Roberts, fell out. Chapman and the other SEALs returned a short while later in another helicopter and assaulted several enemy bunkers.
Pricey patty debuts
NEW YORK -- And yes, it comes with fries.
A 20-ounce burger fashioned from ultra-tender Kobe beef debuted this week at the landmark Old Homestead restaurant. At $41, it is the most expensive hamburger in the city.
It is the first time the 135-year-old steakhouse has ever put a burger on its menu. The restaurant bills it as "The World's Most Decadent Hamburger."
"This is not about price," restaurant owner Marc Sherry said Friday, when the restaurant sold nearly 200 of the new burgers. "This is an event."
Kobe beef, imported from Japan, comes from cattle raised on beer and massaged daily to make the meat soft and succulent.
The burger, which has a piece of herb butter in the middle of each patty, comes on a special roll with exotic mushrooms and microgreens -- shredded baby lettuce.
Put away the Heinz. The burger comes with a homemade ketchup, mustard or horseradish sauce.
"And it's served," Sherry added, "with our classic garlic shoestring fries."
Combined dispatches

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