World Congress

for freedom of scientific research

08/21/2016
As in other days, the day I rebelled I was walking home from school by myself. I was 13, and I liked to wear the skirt of that godawful Peruvian school uniform above my knees. I loved my legs, and I had recently waxed them for the first time. It was Lima in the 1990s, I was crossing a street avoiding illegally parked cars shining under weak rays of sunshine and I did not even see it coming. All I felt was a burst of discomfort, a whiplash of shame. A hand slightly raising the skirt, brushing my thigh, trying to reach me. It lasted a few seconds. Like every time I experienced a “metida de mano...
08/12/2016
The National Institutes of Health announced on Thursday that it was planning to lift its ban on funding some research that injects human stem cells into animal embryos. The N.I.H. announced its proposal in a blog post by Carrie Wolinetz, the associate director for science policy, and in the Federal Register. The purpose is to try to grow human tissues or organs in animals to better understand human diseases and develop therapies to treat them. Researchers have long been putting human cells into animals — like pieces of human tumors in mice to test drugs that might destroy the tumors...
08/01/2016
Officials in northern Mexico have denied an abortion to a 13-year-old girl who was raped by a family acquaintance, an advocacy group said Monday. Abortion is legal in Mexico in cases of rape. But Regina Tames, director of the Group for Information on Reproductive Choice, said officials in Sonora state are relying on a judge's decision to classify the assault on the girl as a crime in which consent was obtained through deception or seduction, reasoning it falls short of rape. "She has the right as the victim of sexual aggression to end the pregnancy," Tames said. "The classification of...
07/27/2016
A judge dismissed Tuesday the last of the charges against two anti-abortion activists who covertly recorded a video of themselves meeting with Planned Parenthood officials, effectively ending a case that had drawn national attention from both opponents and supporters of abortion rights. The activists, David R. Daleiden, 27, and Sandra S. Merritt, 63, were indicted in January by a grand jury here in Harris County on charges of tampering with government records for using fake identification and offering to buy fetal tissue at a meeting at which Planned Parenthood officials explained how they...
06/27/2016
WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court on Monday reaffirmed and strengthened constitutional protections for abortion rights, striking down parts of a restrictive Texas law that could have drastically reduced the number of abortion clinics in the state, leaving them only in the largest metropolitan areas. The 5-to-3 decision was the court’s most sweeping statement on abortion since Planned Parenthood v. Casey in 1992, which reaffirmed the constitutional right to abortion established in 1973 in Roe v. Wade. It found that Texas’ restrictions, requiring doctors to have admitting privileges at nearby...
06/25/2016
As one might expect, media coverage of assisted dying (aka assisted suicide or euthanasia or the right to die or dignity in dying) is skewed towards ringing-the-changes rather than steady-as-she-goes. In late May The Economist, an outspoken supporter, argued that the British Medical Association (BMA) should adopt a position of neutrality at its annual meeting. “[A] survey for The Economist last year showed that seven in ten Britons thought doctors should be allowed to help patients end their lives, subject to safeguards,” it contended. However, when a proposal to adopt a...
06/25/2016
A new UK Parliamentary Inquiry into conscientious objection was launched this month, focusing specifically on the participation of healthcare professionals in abortion.  The Parliamentary Inquiry into Freedom of Coscience in Abortion Provision, commissioned by Tory MP and outspoken abortion opponent Fiona Bruce, will consider the scope and import of section 4 of the UK Abortion Act (1967).  The so-called “conscience clause” of the act requires that “no person shall be under any duty, whether by contract or by any statutory or other legal requirement, to participate in any...
06/06/2016
As part of their continuing war on fetal tissue research, House Republicans are now accusing a tissue procurement company and three abortion clinics of violating federal privacy law. In a letter dated Wednesday, Representative Marsha Blackburn, chair of the House Select Investigative Panel on Infant Lives, charged that StemExpress and the clinics, two of which are Planned Parenthood affiliates, violated the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) by sharing information on patients receiving abortions. A separate letter accuses StemExpress of using improper consent forms...
05/29/2016
As Daenerys Targaryen in HBO’s “Game of Thrones,” the British actress Emilia Clarke battles evil while armed with dragons and an apparent immunity to fire. But as Louisa Clark in “Me before you,” she’s a mere mortal caring for a demonically angry Englishman (Sam Claflin) determined to end his life after being hit by a motorcycle and paralyzed. At which point Lou decides to help him live again. It’s a role Ms. Clarke was determined to play the moment she received the Jojo Moves novel from which Thea Sharrock’s romantic drama, opening on June 3, was adapted. “I was utterly convinced that...
05/18/2016
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada apologized repeatedly to the House of Commons after some jostling on its floor, in which he was accused of manhandling a Conservative member of Parliament and elbowing a female legislator. Mr. Trudeau had grown visibly irritated as the opposition Conservative and New Democratic parties tried to stall a vote to limit debate on the government’s assisted suicide legislation. The Supreme Court of Canada has given Parliament until June 6 to pass a law allowing physician-assisted deaths. Arcane parliamentary tradition means that voting cannot begin...

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