New York Times, September 6, 2017
Heather Murphy


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One of the nation’s most prestigious prizes in medicine will go to Planned Parenthood and two scientists who played a crucial role in developing the vaccine to combat HPV, a sexually transmitted virus that can cause cervical cancer. A third honor will go to a Swiss molecular biologist, who made a groundbreaking discovery about cell growth.

The Lasker Awards, sometimes called the “American Nobels” because 85 of the awardees have gone on to win the international honor, were announced by the Albert and Mary Lasker Foundation Wednesday. Each prize comes with $250,000.

The citation for the Lasker-Bloomberg Public Service Award credits Planned Parenthood “for providing essential health services and reproductive care to millions of women for more than a century” and for helping “men as well.”

The award takes the Laskers, usually known for honoring groundbreaking scientific advances and humanitarian efforts, into more political territory. Planned Parenthood is facing escalating threats from President Trump and the Republican leadership in Congress to bar the organization from receiving federal funds, a move that could force the closure of clinics across the country. [...]

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