What (If Anything) Is Wrong with Human Enhancement? What (If Anything) Is Right with It?

Tulsa Law Review, vol. 49, 2014
by I. Glenn Cohen (Faculty Director)

Abstract:  Should human enhancement be prohibited? Subsidized? Mandated? Taxed?  This article is part of a symposium honoring one of my wonderful mentors: Einer Elhauge. It focuses on human enhancement. With…

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Judge overturns North Dakota law banning most abortions

CNN, April 17, 2014
by Carma Hassan and Dana Ford

A federal judge ruled Wednesday that North Dakota's abortion law, considered one of the most restrictive in the nation, is unconstitutional. The law banned most abortions after six weeks, when a fetal heartbeat…

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Clashing Rights:

Northeastern University Program on Health Policy and Law, April 25, 2014
by featuring I. Glenn Cohen (Faculty Director)

In recent years, the First Amendment’s free speech clause has played an increasingly critical role in the battle over reproductive rights. For example, states seeking to limit access to abortion…

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Abortion Coverage Details Hard To Find On Marketplace Plans

Kaiser Health News, April 15, 2014
by Michelle Andrews

When it comes to coverage of abortion services in plans sold on the health insurance marketplaces, opponents and supporters of abortion rights are in complete agreement on one thing: Coverage…

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Refusals Cut Options After C-Sections

New York Times, April 14, 2014
by Dan Frosch

CASPER, Wyo. — When Marie Scott, a child-care worker turned stay-at-home mother, found out she was pregnant again last year, she knew she wanted a traditional birth. The cesarean section she’d had…

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Why Most Brazilian Women Get C-Sections

The Atlantic, April 14, 2014
by Olga Khazan

RECIFE, Brazil — When Ivana Borges learned she was pregnant, she told her obstetrician that she wanted a natural birth. Her mother had delivered five children without surgery or medication,…

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European Union Debates Initiative on Embryo Protection

New York Times, April 10, 2014
by James Kanter

BRUSSELS — A packed hearing on a petition calling for the protection of human embryos led to a rare outbreak of raucous exchanges in the European Parliament on Thursday —…

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Italian court overturns divisive ban on donor eggs, sperm

Reuters, April 9, 2014
by Naomi O'Leary

Italy's constitutional court overturned a ban on using donor sperm and eggs in fertility treatments on Wednesday, knocking down part of a divisive set of restrictions on assisted reproduction. The…

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Alabama Lawmakers Send New Abortion Restriction Bills to Governor

New York Times, April 3, 2014
by Reuters

Alabama measures to extend an abortion waiting period and tighten rules for minors seeking the procedure are headed to the governor's desk, but a move to ban abortions based on…

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Arizona Limit on Non-Surgical Abortion Allowed by Judge

Bloomberg, April 1, 2014
by Edvard Pettersson

An Arizona law limiting women’s access to drug-induced abortions was allowed by a federal judge to take effect in a defeat to reproductive-rights activists fighting parts of a 2012 state overhaul of…

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U.S. Appeals Court Upholds Texas’ Restrictive Abortion Law

Al Jazeera America, March 27, 2014

A federal appeals court on Thursday upheld Texas' tough abortion restrictions that have forced the closure of nearly 20 clinics around the state. The court said the new rules don't…

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Q & A: Supreme Court Hears Cases on Contraception Rule

New York Times, March 25, 2014
by Adam Liptak

The Supreme Court on Tuesday will hear arguments in a pair of challenges to a part of President Obama’s health care law that requires many employers to provide insurance coverage…

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A Stillborn Child, A Charge of Murder and the Disputed Case Law on ‘Fetal Harm’

ProPublica, March 18, 2014
by Nina Martin

Rennie Gibbs, a 16 year old in Mississippi when she gave birth to a stillborn child, is facing life in prison for taking cocaine during her pregnancy. Hers is among…

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Everything You Need to Know about the Healthcare Contraception Mandate

Shape, March 17, 2014
by Cristina Goyanes, interview with Holly Lynch (Petrie-Flom Executive Director)

[...] Starting March 25, the U.S. Supreme Court will begin hearing religious disputes over the contraception mandate, which requires employer health insurance coverage of contraceptive methods (without deductibles or co-pays).…

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China Cracks Down on DNA Testing

Forbes, March 3, 2014
by Shu-Ching Jean Chen

Genetic testing has grown to be a business big enough in China to warrant the government’s intervention. Early in February, the government quietly put the brakes on the provision of…

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Suit filed to block new Arizona abortion regulations

LA Times, March 5, 2014
by Cindy Carcamo

TUCSON -- Abortion providers have filed suit against Arizona to block a new rule that limits the use of medications to induce abortions. The rule is part of state-mandated abortion…

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Frances Kamm’s Bioethical Prescriptions:
Book Talk and Panel Discussion

Thursday, February 27, 2014 2:00 to 3:30 PM
Lectures and Panels
Wasserstein Hall 1019
1585 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA

We hosted this book talk and panel discussion for Professor Frances Kamm's latest book, Bioethical Prescriptions: To Create, End, Choose, and…

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I. Glenn Cohen discusses proposed West Va. Ban on Abortions after 20 Weeks

Talkline, February 27, 2014

Petrie-Flom Faculty Co-Director I. Glenn Cohen recently appeared on West Virginia radio show "Talkline" to discuss the state's proposed ban on abortions after 20 weeks. The proposed law is based…

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Court Rules Against Notre Dame in Contraception Case:

Wall Street Journal, February 21, 2014
by Louise Radnofsky and Brent Kendall

A federal appeals court Friday ruled against the University of Notre Dame in a legal proceeding claiming the Obama administration's contraception-coverage requirement is forcing it to violate its religious beliefs.…

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And Surrogacy Makes 3:

New York Times, February 19, 2014
by Anemona Hartocollis

[...] Such is the world of gestational surrogacy, in which a woman is paid to go through the pregnancy and birth of a child who is not genetically related to her…

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Religious groups to back Obamacare contraceptive mandate:

Washington Post, February 4, 2014
by Tom Howell, Jr. quoting Holly Fernandez Lynch (Petrie-Flom Executive Director)

[...] In its filing, the AJC said the case presents a rare instance in which they see a clash between religious liberty and the equal rights of women. They said the government’s…

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Ethics Questions Arise as Genetic Testing of Embryos Increases

New York Times, February 3, 2014
by Gina Kolata

[...]  Genetic testing of embryos has been around for more than a decade, but its use has soared in recent years as methods have improved and more disease-causing genes have…

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Abortions Reportedly Drop To Lowest Rate Since 1970s

NPR, February 2, 2014
by Julie Rovner

Abortions in the U.S. resumed their downward trend between 2008 and 2011, according to a new study. But its authors say the recent surge of state laws intended to restrict…

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Health Law Year in P/Review

Friday, January 31, 2014 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Wasserstein Hall, Milstein East B & C
1585 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA

Watch Event Recordings

Video of this conference is now available at online! (See below for links to specific panels.) At our second Annual Health…

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Brain-dead Texas woman taken off ventilator

CNN, January 27, 2014
by Caleb Hellerman, Jason Morris, and Matt Smith

Fort Worth, Texas (CNN) -- A wrenching court fight -- about who is alive, who is dead and how the presence of a fetus changes the equation -- came to an…

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Hospital, family concur that brain-dead Texas woman’s fetus ‘not viable’

CNN, January 24, 2014
by Greg Botelho

For the first time, John Peter Smith Hospital acknowledges that Marlise Munoz, who is being kept on a respirator under Texas law, has been brain dead since November 28 and…

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Huckabee Criticizes Required Coverage of Birth Control

New York Times, January 24, 2014

Former Gov. Mike Huckabee of Arkansas minced no words on Thursday in criticizing requirements that health insurance pay for birth control. The reasoning behind the idea, he said, was that women “cannot…

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Supreme Court justices question size of buffer zones around Mass. abortion clinics

Washington Post, January 15, 2014
by Robert Barnes

Supreme Court justices on Wednesday aggressively questioned whether a Massachusetts law that creates buffer zones around abortion clinics unconstitutionally inhibits the free-speech rights of antiabortion activists. Several justices made clear in…

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High Court’s Pass On ‘Fetal Pain’ Abortion Case Unlikely To Cool Debate

NPR, January 13, 2014
by Julie Rovner and Liz Halloran

A new class of restrictive abortion laws, passed in recent years in a swath of states, hinges on the argument that a fetus can feel pain at 20 weeks of…

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Womb transplants raise ethical concerns

NBC News, January 13, 2014
by The Associated Press

Nine women in Sweden have successfully received transplanted wombs donated from relatives in an experimental procedure that has raised some ethical concerns. The women will soon try to become pregnant…

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U.S. Supreme Court to hear arguments on Massachusetts’ abortion clinic buffer zone law

The Republican, January 12, 2014
by Shira Schoenberg

The U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments on Wednesday regarding the constitutionality of Massachusetts' buffer zone law, in a case that has national implications for the ability of cities and states…

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U.S. argues nuns have no complaint over birth control requirement

NBC News, January 3, 2014
by Maggie Fox

A group of Colorado nuns has no reason to appeal the birth control mandate in the health care law because it doesn't have to provide contraception anyway, the U.S. government…

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Health Law Challenge Opens Up New Front

New York Times, January 1, 2014
by Adam Liptak

In temporarily blocking enforcement of the part of President Obama’s health care law that requires many employers to provide health insurance coverage for birth control or face penalties, Justice Sonia Sotomayor on Tuesday opened a second front…

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Past sperm and egg donors split on losing anonymity

Reuters, December 21, 2013
by Shereen Jegtvig, quoting I. Glenn Cohen

[...] The ethical considerations of egg and sperm donor anonymity are complicated, researchers said. "Those in favor of non-anonymity or mandatory identification rules tend to argue from the perspective of…

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Michigan passes ‘rape insurance’ bill

MSNBC, December 11, 2013
by Irin Carmon

Both chambers of the Michigan legislature have passed a measure banning insurance coverage for abortion in private health plans unless women purchase a separate rider. And because of the way…

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These Two Americans Want Babies Through Indian Surrogates.

The New Republic, December 10, 2013
by Jennifer Kirby, citing I. Glenn Cohen

[...] An estimated 2,000 foreign babies are born to Indian surrogates each year, according to research in the forthcoming book Patients With Passports: Medical Tourism, Ethics, and Law, by Harvard law professor I. Glenn…

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Virginia under renewed pressure to give reparations for those sterilized under state law

The Washington Post, December 8, 2013
by Fredrick Kunkle

Growing national attention to the 20th-century practice of forcibly sterilizing thousands of Americans has put new pressure on Virginia lawmakers to compensate survivors. A drumbeat from both the left and…

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Catholic hospitals are growing. What will that mean for reproductive health?

Washington Post, December 2, 2013
by Sarah Kliff

Tamesha Means was 18 weeks pregnant when her water broke. Means, then 27 and the mother of two, knew something was wrong. So she called a friend to take her…

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The abortion ban defeated Tuesday in Albuquerque has passed in 13 states

The Washington Post, November 20, 2013
by Niraj Chokshi

Pro-choice activists scored a victory on Tuesday, but it’s one in a war they’ve been losing in recent years. Voters in Albuquerque, N.M., defeated by a wide margin what could…

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Reproductive Rights around the Globe

Thursday, November 07, 2013 12:00 PM
Lectures and Panels
Wasserstein 1019
1585 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA

Watch Event Recordings

A discussion of selected topics in the field of international reproductive rights, moderated by Elizabeth Bartholet, Morris Wasserstein Public Interest Professor…

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Wombs for rent:

CNN, November 3, 2013
by Kevin Voigt, Mallika Kapur and Lonzo Cook

Anand, India (CNN) -- Madhu Makwan asks a reporter to translate a card in English she received from a Canadian family for whom the Indian laborer spent nine months gestating their…

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In Reversal, Court Allows Texas Law on Abortion

New York Times, October 31, 2013
by Erik Eckholm

Only three days after a federal judge blocked a new Texas law that threatened to shut down many of the state’s abortion clinics, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth…

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Judge blocks parts of Texas abortion law

The Washington Post, October 28, 2013
by Juliet Eilperin

A federal judge in Texas blocked two key parts of the state’s controversial abortion lawMonday, ruling that one part is unconstitutional while another provision imposes an undue burden on women in…

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Plan B:

Association of Reproductive Health Professionals, Contraception Journal, October 2013
by I. Glenn Cohen, Lisa Sullivan, Eli Y. Adashi

The 8-year legal feud over access to emergency contraception between reproductive health advocates and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) took multiple unexpected turns before coming to an abrupt end…

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Case Explores Rights of Fetus Versus Mother

New York Times, October 23, 2013
by Erik Eckholm

Alicia Beltran cried with fear and disbelief when county sheriffs surrounded her home on July 18 and took her in handcuffs to a holding cell. She was 14 weeks pregnant…

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Can You Buy Sperm Donor Identification?

Journal of Empirical Legal Studies, October 23, 2013
by I. Glenn Cohen and Travis G. Coan

In the United States, most sperm donations are anonymous. By contrast, many developed nations require sperm donors to be identified, typically requiring new sperm (and egg) donors to put identifying…

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Obamacare becomes test of faith for employer over birth control

The Washington Times, October 14, 2013
by Tom Howell, Jr. quoting Holly Fernandez Lynch

[...]  The battle lines are drawn, but analysts of all stripes agree the case is on the fast-track for the highest court in the land. “I think it’s a foregone conclusion the Supreme…

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Gov. Jerry Brown signs bill to increase access to abortions

Los Angeles Times, October 9, 2013
by Patrick McGreevy and Anthony York

The new law would allow certain non-physicians, including nurse practitioners, to perform the procedure during the first trimester.

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Timeline of Important Reproductive Freedom Cases Decided by the Supreme Court

American Civil Liberties Union

This site provides a list of key SCOTUS jurisprudence on contraceptives and abortion.  

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