Monday, March 21, 2011

Richard Storrow on Cross-Border Assisted Reproductive Services

Richard F. Storrow (CUNY School of Law) has posted Travel into the Future of Reproductive Technology on SSRN. Here is the abstract:

Storrow Today, cross-border assisted reproductive care can in many cases be pursued with impunity, given the policy of free movement of goods and services that serves as a cornerstone of unity in Europe and North America. Travel in the future of reproductive technology, however, will occasion risks that reproductive travelers have not faced since the days when Germany and Ireland engaged in internationally condemned practices aimed at punishing their citizens who crossed into other countries to obtain abortions illegal at home. In countries where pre-implantation genetic diagnosis of embryos is outlawed because it is believed to be dangerously akin to eugenics, travel to evade the law has commenced and will increase as low-cost methods of conducting such diagnoses enter the market. What the future of crossing borders for reproductive technology holds, then, lies in part in the extraterritorial effect that countries will choose to give their laws in a globalizing world.

March 21, 2011 in Abortion, Abortion Bans, Assisted Reproduction, Bioethics, International, Scholarship and Research | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

State Legislatures Test Limits of Roe v. Wade

CBS News: Abortion battles spring up nationwide as states test the limits of Roe v. Wade, by Stephanie Condon:

Usmap In Ohio on March 2, two fetuses "testified" before the Ohio House on behalf of the so-called "heartbeat bill." The hearing room was packed with spectators who listened to the rapid, gentle pulsing of the heartbeat from a 15-week old fetus, and the barely audible heartbeat of a nine-week old fetus.

Ohio's "heartbeat bill" would ban abortions in the state as soon as a heartbeat could be detected, with exceptions for medical emergencies. But while a heartbeat may make for compelling "testimony," even most anti-abortion rights activists acknowledge the "heartbeat bill" wouldn't hold up in court.

So why push this bill? Some anti-abortion activists may answer, why not?

The anti-abortion rights movement last year found itself in a set of circumstances that have all worked to advance their agenda. Most importantly, states across the country elected new, emboldened conservative politicians. Hundreds of anti-abortion rights legislators and a net of 12 new anti-abortion rights governors were elected, according to Americans United for Life. . . .

March 21, 2011 in Abortion, Anti-Choice Movement, Fetal Rights, Mandatory Delay/Biased Information Laws, State and Local News, State Legislatures, Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers (TRAP) | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Canada Clinics Explore Donation as Solution to Growing Supply of Unused Frozen Embryos

Vancouver Sun: Embryo ethics: Finding a home for Canada’s frozen 'orphans', by Sharon Kirkey:

Tens of thousands of human embryos hang in cold storage in Canada’s fertility clinics, an unknown number of which are “orphans.”

Increasingly, however, clinics are preparing to match these embryos — which could survive for decades in suspended animation — with infertile couples who long for a child of their own. It’s a form of third-party procreation that experts predict will only become more common as the number of surplus embryos grows. . . .

But the practice is raising difficult ethical issues . . . .

March 15, 2011 in Assisted Reproduction, Bioethics, Fertility, International, Pregnancy & Childbirth | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Surgery Helps Male Cancer Survivors Preserve Fertility

Newswise: Male Cancer Survivors Find Path to Fertility and Are Able to Have Families Following Pioneering Sperm Extraction Surgery:

An intricate procedure that finds and carefully removes individual sperm from testicular tissue has made fathers of men who were once considered sterile due to prior cancer treatment, say researchers at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center who pioneered the technique. . . .

March 15, 2011 in Fertility, Medical News, Men and Reproduction | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Study Examines Effects of Secondhand Smoke on Fetuses

TIME: Study: Secondhand Smoke Increases Risk of Stillbirth, Birth Defects, by Hans Villarica:

Cigarette butt Note to expectant fathers: Stop smoking.

A new review paper by University of Nottingham researchers found that secondhand-smoke exposure increased the risk of stillbirth by 23% in nonsmoking pregnant women, compared with women who were not exposed to smoke at work or at home. Passive smoking also increased the risk of congenital birth defects by 13%.

For their meta-analysis, researchers analyzed data from 19 previous studies that assessed the effects of secondhand smoke on pregnancy; the paper is slated to appear in the April issue of the journal Pediatrics. . . .

March 15, 2011 in Medical News, Men and Reproduction, Pregnancy & Childbirth | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Examining the Phenomenon of Women Revealing Pregancy Test Results Online

Slate - DoubleX: WombTube: The odd and addictive videos of women who reveal their pregnancy test results online, by Marisa Meltzer:

Even though we've never met, I saw Kasey announce her pregnancy before she told her best friend, or her mom, or her husband, and even before her missed period. I watched her dip a First Response in a cup of urine in her bathroom at home in Arizona and saw the faint second line slowly appear. So have several thousand people who've watched the clip on YouTube, where she posted it. . . .

That these videos are dominated by women doggedly trying to get pregnant explains why I didn't see any WombTube videos of women getting negative test results and jumping for joy or even exhaling in relief, just like the pregnancy test commercials on TV. Both the commercials and WombTube share the same fantasy world where news of a pregnancy is only welcome and the darkest emotion one might be allowed to register is shock. It's rare to find a video depicting a reaction to a negative test result at all, and the few women who post their nonpregnant status are devastated. They post these videos to prove to the world how committed they are to having babies. . . .

March 15, 2011 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, March 14, 2011

Putting Pregnancy Folklore Under the Microscope

LA Times: Pregnancy myths, by Kendall Powell:

Old wives' tales and maternity go hand in hand. But often the advice isn't backed up by science.

Pregnant Woman
Once a woman becomes visibly pregnant, it isn't long before she's being asked extremely personal questions by complete strangers:

"Are you going to have an epidural or go natural?

"You're not drinking alcohol, are you?"

"Have you tried ginger for your morning sickness?"

Often, such questions are followed up with unsolicited advice based on folk wisdom or anecdotes. . . .

March 14, 2011 in Medical News, Pregnancy & Childbirth | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Effects of Radiation Exposure on Pregnancy

Radiation Economix (New York Times blog): Radiation and Pregnancy, by David Leonhardt:

Douglas Almond, a Columbia University economist who has studied the effects of the Chernobyl disaster, is concerned that the Japanese government may not be doing enough to warn pregnant women to leave any areas at risk of radiation exposure. Those areas can be much farther from the nuclear plants than many people realize. . . .

March 14, 2011 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Nebraska Post-20-Week Ban Prevents Woman from Aborting Fetus Destined to Die Upon Birth Her baby wasn't expected to live, but Nebraska law banned abortion, by Jason Clayworth:

Danielle Deaver cradled her daughter, knowing the newborn's gasps would slowly subside, and the baby would die.

Through tear-blurred eyes, she looked her daughter over for physical defects.

Deaver, 34, of Grand Island, Neb., wanted to see something, anything to validate the news doctors delivered eight days before: Her baby had virtually no chance of survival. And if she lived, she would be severely disabled. . . .

With her husband, Robb, at her side, Deaver sobbed, gently kissing her daughter's forehead and hoping her baby wasn't in pain. That fear - that the baby would suffer before its predestined death - compelled the couple to seek an abortion. But a new Nebraska law that limits abortion after the 20th week of gestation prevented her from getting one. The Iowa Legislature is considering a similar law. . . .

March 14, 2011 in Abortion, Abortion Bans, Pregnancy & Childbirth, State and Local News, State Legislatures | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Missouri House Approves Post-20-Week Ban Missouri House Passes Late-Term Abortion Bill, by Dick Aldrich:

The Missouri House of Representatives Monday gave first-round approval to a bill that establishes 20 weeks as the viability age of a fetus and limited the parameters of when and how an abortion could be performed on that fetus. . . .

March 14, 2011 in Abortion, Abortion Bans, State Legislatures | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Jonathan Alter on Republican Proposal To Defund Planned Parenthood

Bloomberg/Businessweek: Abortion Bill Has Republicans Heading Off Rails, by Jonathan Alter:

Repub elephant Do so-called pro-life activists want to posture about abortion or actually reduce the number of aborted fetuses each year? If it’s the latter, they should be trying to expand Planned Parenthood, not kill it.

It’s clear Capitol Hill conservatives now see defunding the organization as a top priority. In the middle of a budget fight, when Americans want action on jobs, Republicans are taking a page from the Democrats in 2009 and going off the rails on health care, pressing an ideological proposal that has been on their agenda for years. . . .

March 14, 2011 in Abortion, Congress, Contraception, Politics | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Health Care Overhaul Prompts New Battles Over Abortion Insurance Coverage

Wash. Post: New fronts open in abortion wars, by N.C. Aizenman:

A year after its passage, the health-care overhaul is opening fresh battlefields in an old and bitter debate. Almost immediately after the law came into effect, five states passed bills that will prohibit private health insurance plans sold on its new state-based insurance marketplaces from covering abortion, except in dire circumstances such as to save the mother's life.

Now 22 more states are considering similar abortion bills.

The impact of those bills would be limited to individuals and small businesses who buy insurance on the so-called exchanges. But nearly half of those states are also contemplating an even more sweeping proposal: making it illegal for all private plans to cover abortion, regardless of whether they are sold on exchanges. . . .

March 14, 2011 in Abortion, Anti-Choice Movement, Congress, State Legislatures | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Pregnant Woman Tracks How Many Subway Riders Give Up Their Seat

Huff. Post: Pregnant Woman Tracks How Many People Give Up Their Seat On Subway:

Subway (2) Would you give up your seat to a pregnant subway rider?

Elizabeth Carey Smith wanted to find out. While noticeably pregnant, she rode the city's subways and documented how many straphangers offered her their seat.

It turns out, most New Yorkers are pretty considerate. On 108 full trains, Smith was given a seat 88 times. That means, 81 percent of the time, Smith was able to take a load off, even when subways were packed. . . . 


March 14, 2011 in Pregnancy & Childbirth | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Montana Court Directs Woman To Undergo Forced Hysterectomy as Treatment for Cancer

The Volokh Conspiracy: May Court Order Hysterectomy as Treatment for Cancer, on the Grounds that the Woman's Refusal Is Based on a Religious Delusion?, by Eugene Volokh:

Montana “During a hearing conducted on March 1, 2011, the District Court determined that L.K. is not competent to make her own medical decisions and directed that she undergo a radical hysterectomy on March 3, 2011, against her desires. L.K. objects to the surgery on religious grounds, and expert testimony admitted at the hearing indicated that her religious objections are delusional.” So states an order of the Montana Supreme Court, in Office of State Public Defender on Behalf of L.K. v. Montana Fourth Judicial District Court; the Montana Supreme Court stayed the district court’s order, and ordered an expedited appeal. . . .

March 14, 2011 in Bioethics, Fertility, In the Courts, State and Local News | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Thank You to Abortion Providers Around the World

A message from the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice for Abortion Providers Appreciation Day:

March 10, 2011 in Abortion | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Anti-Choice Activists Oppose Federal Stopgap Funding Bill

Washington Wire (Wall St. Journal blog): Abortion Foes Try to Block Stopgap Funding Bill, by Patrick O'Connor:

Abortion opponents have complicated the prospects for another short-term funding bill to keep the government open after March 18.

The Family Research Council urged lawmakers on Wednesday to fight additional stopgap spending measures that contain funding for Planned Parenthood. . . .

March 10, 2011 in Abortion, Anti-Choice Movement, Politics | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Minnesota Legislators Introduce Abortion Restrictions Including Post-20-Week Ban Abortion debate reignites at Capitol, by Kyle Potter:

The latest state bill in a surge of similar moves by Republican legislators seeks to ban abortions 20 weeks after fertilization.

Republicans regained majorities in the state Senate and House of Representatives in November’s election and have reignited the abortion debate since session opened in January.

Other bills in the House and Senate would limit funding for state-supported health programs used for abortions. . . .

March 10, 2011 in Abortion, Abortion Bans, Fetal Rights, Poverty, State Legislatures | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Oklahoma House Passes Post-20-Week Abortion Ban

Reuters: Oklahoma House passes bill banning abortion after 20 weeks, by Steve Olafson:

The Oklahoma House of Representatives passed a bill on Wednesday that would ban abortion after 20 weeks of gestation.

The bill passed 94-2 without debate and will now go to the state Senate, said state Representative Pam Peterson, who sponsored the bill.

The proposed law, similar to one passed in Nebraska last year, is based on medical evidence that an unborn child can feel pain at the 20-week mark, Peterson said. . . .

March 10, 2011 in Abortion, Abortion Bans, Fetal Rights, State Legislatures | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

A Brief Pap Smear Test Guide

Chicagao Tribune: Pap smear test guide:

It's Women's History Month and Cancer Awareness Month, so this is as good a time as any to find out the how's and why's of getting a pap smear test. . . .

March 10, 2011 in Medical News, Reproductive Health & Safety, Women, General | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Indiana Abortion Bill Requires Patients To Receive Questionable Information About Abortion

The Huffington Post: Indiana Bill Would Force Doctors To Tell Women That Having An Abortion May Lead To Breast Cancer, by Amanda Terkel:

Indiana Hundreds of protesters rallied at the Indiana statehouse on Tuesday in opposition to restrictive abortion measures that would, among other things, require doctors to tell pregnant women about a controversial theory that says having an abortion could lead to an increased risk of breast cancer.

House Bill 1210, introduced by Indiana state Rep. Eric Turner (R), would make abortions illegal after 20 weeks. The Senate has already passed a similar bill, but it is awaiting action in the House.

The bill would also require physicians to inform a pregnant woman seeking an abortion that the fetus could feel pain and require patients to view an ultrasound. A patient could get out of doing so only if she stated her refusal in writing. . . .

March 9, 2011 in Abortion, Anti-Choice Movement, Mandatory Delay/Biased Information Laws, State and Local News, State Legislatures, Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers (TRAP) | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)