UN Still Divided on US-Backed Ban on All Forms of Human Cloning
Despite pressure from the United States, the United Nations has delayed a vote on a proposal to ban all forms of human cloning, including stem cell and other therapeutic cloning research that scientists believe has the potential to treat serious illnesses such as cancer and spinal cord injuries. Belgium has offered a proposal that has been cosponsored by 20 countries, including Britain, that bans reproductive cloning but allows nations to decide for themselves whether to ban therapeutic cloning, place a moratorium on such research, or regulate it through national legislation, reports the Washington Post.
The United States continues to be a strong supporter of Costa Rica’s proposal to outlaw all forms of human cloning, which they define as “unethical, morally reproachable and contrary to due respect for the human person,” according to the New York Times. Susan Moore, a United States special advisor, stated that “a ban that differentiates between human reproductive and experimental cloning would essentially authorize the creation of a human embryo for the purpose of destroying it, thus elevating the value of research and experimentation about that of a human life,” the Times reports.
According to Kaisernetwork, Bernard Siegel, executive director of the Genetics Policy Institute, sees the delay in the UN vote as a victory for advocates of stem cell research and as a sign of a “definite erosion of the US plan to ban” cloning for research purposes.
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. . . .
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. . . .