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[ Recorded presentation ] Recorded presentation

Role of Abortion Politics in Regulation of Biomedical Research

Lisa C. Ikemoto, JD, LLM, Law, Loyola Law School, 919 S. Albany Street, Los Angeles, CA 90015, 213/736-1164, lisa.ikemoto@lls.edu

Title: The Role of Abortion Politics in Regulation of Biomedical Research

Author: Lisa Ikemoto, J.D., LL.M., Professor of Law, Loyola Law School, Los Angeles.

The use of law to regulate biomedical research is a relatively recent phenomenon. Yet participants in the embryo wars – the debate about embryo stem cell, cloning, and other biogenetic research – are using law as a key strategy to implement their views. More specifically, religious conservatives are using law as a first strike weapon in the embryo wars. Recent legislative efforts to impose religious restrictions on biomedical research include not only laws aimed specifically at stem cell and cloning research, but also broad “conscience clauses” that would exempt providers, health care institutions, insurers, and even employers from performing a broad array of health care and research procedures.

Efforts to restrict embryo stem cell research, cloning and other biogenetic research are part of a larger scale use of law to legislate religious beliefs about the status of the embryo and the role of women in society. Imbuing the embryo with personhood status will foreseeably and necessarily impact women first. Larger scale efforts include “Unborn Victims of Violence” laws, federal rules that make fetuses eligible for SCHIP, the delays imposed on over-the-counter emergency contraception, as well as continuing attempts to regulate women’s behavior during pregnancy.

This paper will discuss the role of abortion politics in the trend toward increased regulation of biomedical research. In addition, this paper will examine legislative restrictions on biogenetic research within the larger scale efforts to codify religious beliefs about the status of the embryo.

Learning Objectives: Participants will be able to

Keywords: Bioethics, Reproductive Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

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Defining Personhood: Ethical and Public Policy Implications for Reproductive Health Services and Biogenetic Research

The 132nd Annual Meeting (November 6-10, 2004) of APHA