World Congress

for freedom of scientific research

08/29/2014
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approves a clinical trial using stem cell therapy on patients with spinal cord injury. The California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM), California’s stem cell agency, is funding the trial. The Phase 1/2a clinical trial is designed to test the safety of this approach and to see if it has any benefit for patients. This project revives the first clinical trial approaved by the FDA in 2010 and then abandoned by Genron in November 2011 saying it couldn't afford to continue. In October 2013, it sold the program to Asterias, a then-new...
08/19/2014
In 2014, an online database listing doctors allegedly opposed to terminations and contraception was set up in New Zealand. The database lists dozens of medical professionals who are said to oppose abortion. The site's advocates say patients, as consumers, have a right to know who does not offer contraception or abortion referrals because of their moral or religious views.  An anti-abortion group says it is a "name and shame" exercise. Under the law, medical professionals can conscientiously object to performing abortions or sterilisations. The law required objecting doctors...
08/18/2014
Iran banned permanent contraception (vasectomy and similar intervnetions on women). The bill also bans the advertising of birth control in a country where condoms had been widely available and family planning considered entirely normal. The ban aims to reverse the decline in Iran's population, but reformists see the law as part of a drive by conservatives to keep Iran's highly educated female population in traditional roles as wives and mothers. Abortion is legal in Iran if the mother is in danger or if the foetus is diagnosed with certain defects
08/18/2014
The Court of Appeals in Bologna issues an order in an appeal filed by two couples who wanted to access gamete donation at a time it was prohibited under Italian law. In fact, the appeals had been filed before the ban on gamete donation was lifted by the Constitutional Court in April 2014. The Court concluded that the couples can access gamete donation immediately and because the Constitutional Court opinion did not create a “regulatory gap.” Access gamete donation is in fact possible if in accordance with to the health care best practices and current health legislation. The lawyers...
08/17/2014
A young woman who was refused an abortion despite asserting that she was suicidal and protesting with a hunger strike has had her baby delivered by cesarean section in a case that has reignited the controversy over a relatively new Irish law that allows for abortion in limited circumstances. The woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons and is not an Irish citizen, sought an abortion early this summer under a clause in the new Protection of Life during Pregnancy Act, saying that she was suicidal, according to Irish media reports. In July 2013, Parliament legalized the termination of...
08/08/2014
Twin babies born this week in Italy are at the centre of an unprecedented custody battle after an apparent blunder at a fertility clinic in Rome. In Deecember 2013, four couples sought ART and, due to some mistake, two embryos wer implanted in a woman who was not the source of teh oocyte used in IVF. The biological parents's own IVF treatment ended in failure and they resorted to the court hoping that to obtain custody of the newborns. During the pregancy, DNA tests showed that they were the biological parents of twins being carried by another woman. The babies were born this week...
07/30/2014
A federal appeals panel blocked a law that would have closed the one abortion clinic in Mississippi. The sole abortion clinic in Mississippi will remain open after a federal appeals panel on Tuesday blocked a state law that would have required its doctors to obtain admitting privileges at local hospitals. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit ruled in a 2-to-1 vote that the law would have effectively ended abortion in the state, as the clinic’s doctors have been unable to receive admitting privileges from local hospitals. The panel said Mississippi would be illegally shifting...
07/23/2014
Andrea Boggio
New irish guidelines on abortion require that a pregnant woman can have the termination or pregnancy certified (and thus performed) only when the life of the woman is in real danger, either for physical reasons, or due to suicidal intentions only an abortion could avoid that risk supervising clinicians had properly considered “the need to preserve unborn human life where practicable.” The guidelines also state that where a psychiatrist, having met with a pregnant woman, is of the view that she is suicidal and only a termination will avoid her suicide, the psychiatrist will...
07/22/2014
President Vladimir Putin has signed a bill on penalties for illegal abortion into law, the Kremlin announced on its website. The bill stipulates fines of 4,000 to 5,000 rubles ($143) for individuals, 10,000-30,000 ruble ($855) fines for officials and 100,000-150,000 ruble ($4,275) fines for legal entities. Previously, the proposed fine for officials had been close to 1 million rubles ($28,498). Starting January 12, 2012, there were new rules regulating abortion. A woman can have a pregnancy aborted until week 12 provided that she has been informed of the consequences and gives her...
07/11/2014
The  California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM), a state agency with a US$3-billion budget for stem-cell research, is in need of more funding. Nature reports that “CIRM had to revamp its structure and practices in response to complaints about inefficiency and potential conflicts of interest. It has also had to adapt its mission to seismic shifts in stem-cell science” and that, as a result, its pockets need to be replenished.  CIRM began asking for an additional $5 billion contribution (plus $5 billion in interest) in 2016. CIRM was established in 2004 to ensure that...

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