Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Gender "Mentor" -- hmmm, I'm not so sure about that...

Gender testing is now available in a home test, raising concerns about sex selection -- in India, Pakistan, and other places in the world, sex selection in early pregnancy has resulted in a skewed population.

Dedicated in the protection of his own people -- except women, of course...

Nicholas Kristof of the NY Times urges President Bush to rebuke Pakistan's Prime Minister Pervez Musharraf for persecuting rape victims and ask him to repeal hudood laws, which have been used to imprison women who report rapes -- If rape victims cannot provide four male witnesses to the crime, they risk being imprisoned and beaten for adultery. -- Women are still seen as "property" in these parts of the world.

Monday, June 27, 2005

Stem cell science a mystery? Check out this FAQ

Wired has put together a nice stem-cell research FAQ to help demystify the science that underlies the political debate. Read it here.

WBP panel on stem-cell research at Seattle Rotary Club

Last month, WBP helped organize a panel on stem-cell research at the Seattle Rotary Club's weekly luncheon. Featured panelists were Suzanne Holland, PhD, the chair of the Department of Religious Studies at the University of Puget Sound; Marcy Darnovsky, PhD, associate director of the Center for Genetics and Society in Berkeley, CA; Michael Yesley, JD, a bioethicist and staff member of the Belmont Commission. Kathryn Hinsch, WBP founder, was the moderator. You can listen to highlights on Seattle's public radio station, KUOW.

California expansion of CHIP

This caught my eye in today's Reproductive Report from the Kaiser Family Foundation . News reports indicate that the California state assembly has approved a bill that would expand state Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) funding to cover prenatal care. Sounds straightforward enough, but as written, the funds are to cover children "under the age of 19 years, including the period from conception to birth." How that maps onto the abortion controversy is anyone's guess--it's on to Governor Ah-nold now.

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Health Care for Women -- an International Issue

The NY Times has a very moving story entitled the "The Illiterate Surgeon" about a young woman in Ethiopia who developed an obstetric fistula, was helped by an Australian couple, and went on to become a skilled surgeon, fixing obstetric fistulas for many. The article is pointed in its criticism:
"This should be an international scandal, because a $300 operation can normally repair the injury. A major effort to improve maternal health in the developing world should be a no-brainer, for it could prevent most fistulas and reduce deaths in childbirth by half within a decade, saving 300,000 lives a year.
But maternal health is woefully neglected, and those suffering fistulas are completely voiceless - young, female, poor, rural and ostracized. They are the 21st century's lepers."

THIS is where the WBP can help -- a voice for those who cannot speak for themselves. Please help us by pledging a donation at www.womensbioethics.org.

Friday, June 03, 2005

Male pregnancy: Is it a hoax or for real?

The AJOB blog is currently discussing the use of language in relation to embryos -- whether they should be "adopted" or "dismembered" -- but here's potential solution that's been overlooked: Maybe those embryos can partipicate in POP!, the world's first male pregnancy. Wouldn't that throw some groups for a loop! Although the site is an artist's rendition, the science behind it is very real. Besides, seahorses have been sharing the burden of pregnancy for millenium. Way to go, male moms! Guaranteed to cause intense discussion in bioethics classes!