Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Orrin Harch (R-UT) launched Senate debate last week on a bill he introduced to support stem cell research, a stance that breaks away from his typically far-right ideology. The Human Cloning Ban and Stem Cell Research Protection Act (S 303) would outlaw cloning for reproductive purposes but would allow 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.
A bill that would ban all types of cloning also has been introduced in the Senate by Senators Brownback (R-KS) and Mary Landrieu (D-LA). Late last month, the House passed a complete ban on reproductive and therapeutic cloning. If the Senate passes a similar ban, President Bush has said that he will sign it. 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.
The Feminist Majority, along with other healthcare advocates, believes that cloning research is critical to finding future treatments and cures for diseases. A survey released last week shows that the majority of Americans also support stem cell research; 67 percent said they favored Congress allowing research with therapeutic cloning to continue, according to United Press International.
Media Resources: Kaiser Daily Reproductive Health Report 3/20/03; UPI 3/19/03, 3/19/03; Feminist Daily News 2/28/03
10/30/2014 Medication Abortion Access Threatened by Oklahoma Court Ruling - An Oklahoma state district court judge has refused to block a state law restricting medication abortion, clearing the way for the law to go into affect on November 1.
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. . . .
10/30/2014 UPS Switches Pregnant Worker Policy Ahead of Supreme Court Case - The United Parcel Service (UPS) is changing its policy on light duty assignments for pregnant workers, even though the company will stand by its refusal to extend accommodations to a former employee in an upcoming Supreme Court case.
UPS announced on Monday in a memo to employees, and in a brief filed with the US Supreme Court, that the company will begin offering temporary, light-duty positions to pregnant workers on January 1, 2015. . . .
10/30/2014 North Dakota Medical Students Speak Out Against Measure 1 - Medical students at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences are asking North Dakotans to vote no on Measure 1, a personhood measure on the state ballot this fall.
The students issued published a letter in the Grand Forks Herald stating that they opposed Measure 1 in part because they are against "the government's taking control of the personal health care decisions of its citizens." Nearly 60 UND School of Medicine students signed the letter, citing concerns over the "very broad and ambiguous language" used in the proposed amendment, which has no regard for serious and life-threatening medical situations such as ectopic pregnancies.
Measure 1 would change the North Dakota state constitution to create an "inalienable right to life" for humans "at any stage of development" - including the moment of fertilization and conception. . . .