With the full support of President Bush, the US House of Representatives passed a ban yesterday on all types of human cloning with a vote of 241 to 155. Sponsored by Rep. David Joseph Weldon (R-FL) and Rep. Bart Stupak (D-MI), the bill imposes a maximum penalty of $1 million and as many as 10 years in jail for reproductive cloning as well as therapeutic cloning–- the cloning of human cells to make stem cells, which could hold the key to cures for many degenerative diseases including Parkinson’s, neural injuries and diabetes. The bill also would prohibit the importation of medical therapies created from cloned human embryos.
The Feminist Majority, along with other healthcare advocates, believes that cloning research is critical to finding future treatments and cures for diseases. Another bill, that would have allowed therapeutic cloning but banned reproductive cloning-– a form used to create babies that are genetic replicas of adults-– failed with a vote of 231-174.
The bill’s chances of passing in the Senate are not good with several Republican senators-– including Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA)-- expressing their support for therapeutic cloning. Earlier this month, Hatch introduced a bill in the Senate that would allow therapeutic cloning.
Restrictions imposed by the Bush administration on stem cell research have already made it difficult for scientists to study therapeutic cloning, according to several scientists who testified before a Senate committee last year. These restrictions allow only 78 “self-sustaining” cell lines for federally funded research and access to these existing lines is quite arduous.
Media Resources: Kaiser Daily Reproductive Health Report 2/28/03; New York Times 2/28/03; Washington Post 2/28/03; Fox News 2/28/03
10/31/2014 Federal Judge Exempts Another Catholic University from Birth Control Coverage - A federal judge ruled Tuesday that Ave Maria University, a Catholic university in Florida, does not have to comply with federal rules meant to ensure that covered employees can exercise their right to obtain birth control at no cost.
The Affordable Care Act requires all new health insurance plans to cover all FDA-approved contraceptives - such as the pill, emergency contraceptives, and IUDs - without charging co-pays, deductibles or co-insurance. . . .
10/31/2014 Women of Color in Tennessee Are United in Opposition to Amendment 1 - Just days before the general election in Tennessee, a coalition of community leaders, clergy, and advocates led a press conference encouraging women of color to vote no on Amendment 1, a dangerous and far-reaching measure on the state's ballot.
SisterReach, a grassroots organization focused on "empowering, organizing, and mobilizing women and girls in the community around their reproductive and sexual health to make informed decisions about themselves," organized the press conference "to call attention to the unique concerns Black and poor communities throughout Shelby County and across the state of Tennessee face on a daily basis" and to emphasize how the upcoming election "could further limit [black women's] reproductive, economic, political, and social autonomy."
"We assemble today to impress upon black women and women of color, many of whom are heads of households, to get out and vote," said SisterReacher Founder and CEO Cherisse Scott at the event.
SisterReach has been educating voters about the particularly dangerous impact of Amendment 1 on women of color. . . .
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The Oklahoma Coalition for Reproductive Justice, together with a local abortion clinic in Tulsa, challenged HB 2684 in September, arguing that the law was an unconstitutional restriction on non-surgical abortion in the earliest weeks of pregnancy. . . .