CALL FOR ABSTRACTS AND REGISTRATION NOW OPEN: 2015 Annual Conference
Law, Religion, and American Healthcare

Saturday, May 09, 2015
Conferences
2014-2015
Wasserstein Hall, Milstein East BC
1585 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA

The Petrie-Flom Center for Health Law Policy, Biotechnology, and Bioethics at Harvard Law School is pleased to announce plans for…

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SAVE THE DATE: Families Matter:
Ethically, Legally, and Clinically

Saturday, March 21, 2015
Conferences
2014-2015

We often talk, in bioethics, about individual autonomy.  Yet our most challenging ethical, legal and clinical controversies in health care…

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Law and Ethics of Non-Invasive Prenatal Testing

Thursday, November 06, 2014 12:00 PM
Lectures and Panels
2014-2015
Wasserstein Hall, Room 3018
1585 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA

The Petrie-Flom Center will host a discussion of the issues surrounding noninvasive prenatal testing (NIPT), a screening method for detecting certain…

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Global Reproduction:
Health, Law, and Human Rights in Surrogacy and Egg Donation

Wednesday, November 05, 2014 5:00 - 7:00 PM
Lectures and Panels
2014-2015
Wasserstein Hall, Room 1010
Harvard Law School, Cambridge, MA

Please join us for a screening of the documentary Can We See the Baby Bump, Please?, followed by a panel discussion of…

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How Catholic Insurance Companies Outsource Contraceptive Coverage

NPR, September 17, 2014
by Julie Rovner

Catholic and other religious hospitals and universities have been arguing in federal court for much of the past two years that they shouldn't have to offer or facilitate birth control…

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Changing Tack, GOP Candidates Support Over-The-Counter Birth Control

NPR, September 12, 2014
by Mara Liasson

A string of Republican candidates for Senate are supporting an issue usually associated with Democrats: easier access to contraception. They're supporting it on the road and in ads, like one…

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GOP Senate Hopefuls Favor Over-The-Counter Birth Control

Washington Post, September 2, 2014
by Sandhya Somashekhar

Several Republican candidates for Senate have embraced an unorthodox issue as the midterm election approaches — support for over-the-counter birth control pills. At least three GOP hopefuls have spoken during…

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The Dawn of the Post-Clinic Abortion

New York Times, August 28, 2014
by Emily Bazelon

[...] A medical abortion in the United States usually involves two office visits. At the first, a woman often has an ultrasound, to date the pregnancy. She is given mifepristone…

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Administration Offers New Tweak to Birth Control Rule

Washington Post, August 22, 2014
by Jason Millman

The Obama administration, still facing legal challenges to its requirement that employer health plans provide no-cost birth control to female employees, outlined a new policy Friday to ensure that female…

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Democratic group claims Cory Gardner backs bill to ‘ban all abortions’

PolitiFact, August 21, 2014
by Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, quoting I. Glenn Cohen (Faculty Director)

From the article: [...] By suggesting that a fetus has the "right to life," the bill challenges the Supreme Court's past support for a constitutional right to abortion. An act…

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A Surrogacy Agency That Delivered Heartache

New York Times, July 27, 2014
by Tamar Lewin

[...] The emerging Planet Hospital story, which Mr. Rupak characterized as one of mismanagement rather than fraud, stands as a cautionary tale about the proliferation of unregulated surrogacy agencies, their lack…

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Three person IVF plans ‘progress’ in UK:

BBC News, July 22, 2014

A public review into the three person IVF technique has been broadly supportive, says the Department of Health. But a number of technical and scientific details need to be finalised…

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Democratic Effort To Override Hobby Lobby Ruling Fails

NPR, July 16, 2014
by Alan Greenblatt

A Democratic effort to override the Supreme Court's recent ruling on contraceptive coverage failed in the Senate on Wednesday. Bill sponsors fell four votes short of the 60 votes needed…

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After Hobby Lobby, ACA exceptions may become the rule

Reuters, July 15, 2014
by Interview with Holly Fernandez Lynch (Executive Director)

Holly Fernandez Lynch analyzes the impact of the Supreme Court's recent decision, saying the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), passed by Congress, will shape the impact as much as the…

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Abortion Clinic Protections Proposed in Massachusetts

New York Times, July 14, 2014
by Jess Bidgood

BOSTON — Massachusetts lawmakers expressed support for a bill filed on Monday that they say would address safety concerns that arose when theUnited States Supreme Court last month struck down 35-foot buffer zones…

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Dozens Of Religious Groups Refuse To Sign Contraceptive Opt-Out

Kaiser Health News, July 14, 2014

The two-page form, designed to accommodate religious beliefs, is regarded as an untenable compromise by some religious employers, reports The New York Times. Meanwhile, GOP governors see little fallout from…

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Women forced to travel as Deep South closes doors on abortion clinics:

Al Jazeera America, July 12, 2014
by Ashley Cleek

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – When Kew found out she was pregnant, she knew immediately that she wanted to have an abortion. So she did a web search for “abortion clinic in…

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ACLU wants to challenge law on drug-addicted mothers

The Tennesseean, July 10, 2014
by Shelly DuBois

The American Civil Liberties Union of Tennessee has issued a call for plaintiffs to help challenge a new state law that allows prosecutors to criminalize women who give birth to drug-dependent babies.…

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Coming to U.S. for Baby, and Womb to Carry It:

New York Times, July 5, 2014
by Tamar Lewin

[...] In an era of globalization, the market for children crosses national borders; witness the longtime flow of Americans who have gone overseas to adopt babies from South Korea, China,…

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Embryo adoption creates babies – and controversy:

Al Jazeera America, July 4, 2014
by Marla Cichowski

[...] So-called embryo adoptions have resulted in more than 900 babies born in the U.S. since 1997. The Embryo Adoption Awareness Center estimates there are roughly 600,000 frozen embryos currently…

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When Religious Freedom Clashes with Access to Care:

NEJM, July 2, 2014
by I. Glenn Cohen (Faculty Director), Holly Fernandez Lynch (Executive Director), Gregory Curfman

At the tail end of this year's Supreme Court term, religious freedom came into sharp conflict with the government's interest in providing affordable access to health care. In a consolidated…

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Hobby Lobby stunner:

Washington Times, June 30, 2014
by Tom Howell Jr., quoting Holly Fernandez Lynch (Executive Director)

[...] Holly Lynch, a health and ethics expert at Harvard Law School, said she was “not surprised in the least that contraceptives in particular were not covered directly in the…

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Court strikes down abortion clinic buffer zones

Washington Post, June 26, 2014
by Robert Barnes

The Supreme Court on Thursday unanimously struck down protest-free buffer zones around abortion clinics in Massachusetts as an unconstitutional infringement on free speech. But Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr.’s…

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US doesn’t mandate paid maternity leave. Obama says it’s time to change.

Christian Science Monitor, June 23, 2014
by Mark Trumbull

WASHINGTON — A White House Summit on Working Families Monday focused attention on a workplace policy where the US stands in a league of its own: America is the only advanced economy without a legal…

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Who’s your daddy? Study on genetic testing says parents don’t need to know:

Al Jazeera America, June 23, 2014
by Joseph Brownstein

As more research is done on the human genome and more people seek genetic testing, researchers, physicians, genetic counselors and ethicists are struggling with the issues of how to present…

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Contraceptive Coverage Case Decison Still Pending

Kaiser Health News, June 16, 2014

The decision on the legal challenge to the health law's birth control mandate will be issued by the end of this month. Also yet to be released is the Supreme Court's opinion on abortion opponents' free-speech challenge to a Massachusetts…

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Louisiana governor signs into law new abortion restrictions

Reuters, June 12, 2014
by Jonathan Kamisky

Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal signed new restrictions on abortion clinics into law on Thursday, a move his critics have said will force three of the state's five clinics to close.…

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Inquisitive Nashville teen finds her egg donor mom

USA Today, June 5, 2014
by Heidi Hall, featuring I. Glenn Cohen (Faculty Director)

Originally published as "Nashville teen finds her egg donor mom," The Tennesseean (June 5, 2014). [...] The identity of U.S. sperm and egg donors is protected by default. In the United Kingdom,…

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Rape Victims May Have To Pay For Some Medical Services

Kaiser Health News, June 3, 2014
by Michelle Andrews

The effects of a sexual assault can be long-lasting, but the medical bills shouldn’t be. Yet a new study finds that despite federal efforts to lift that burden from rape…

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Next battleground in abortion fight:

CBS News, May 27, 2014
by Stephanie Condon

For the past three years, anti-abortion activists have worked methodically to across the country to test the limits of Roe v. Wade by advancing a variety of new laws limiting access to…

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Delaying Pregnancy and Parenthood:

The Forum at the Harvard School of Public Health, May 21, 2014
by Featuring I. Glenn Cohen (Faculty Director)

In a new report, the National Center for Health Statistics at the CDC has confirmed that the average age at which American women deliver their first babies has increased in the…

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With New Bill, Abortion Limits Spread in South

New York Times, May 21, 2014
by Jeremy Alford and Erik Eckholm

BATON ROUGE, La. — The Louisiana State Legislature on Wednesday passed a bill that could force three of the state’s five abortion clinics to close, echoing rules passed in Alabama, Mississippi and…

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Delaying Pregnancy and Parenthood: The Risks and Rewards

Harvard School of Public Health, PRI's The World and WGBH, May 21, 2014
by Featuring I. Glenn Cohen

In a new report, the National Center for Health Statistics at the CDC has confirmed that the average age at which American women deliver their first babies has increased in the…

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Trial Over Alabama Abortion Law Begins

ABC News, May 19, 2014
by Philip Rawls

The operators of three of Alabama's five abortion clinics testified Monday they use out-of-town doctors who wouldn't be able to admit patients to local hospitals as required under a new…

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Mother Accuses Doctors of Forcing a C-Section and Files Suit

New York Times, May 16, 2014
by Anemona Hartocollis

After two cesarean sections, Rinat Dray wanted to give birth naturally. But when she arrived at Staten Island University Hospital in labor, the doctor immediately began pressuring her, she said,…

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Teenage pregnancy, birth, abortion rates all falling, report says

LA Times, May 5, 2014
by Amina Khan

[...] The teenage pregnancy rate dropped 51% between 1990 and 2010, according to the report. The 2010 rate of 57.4 pregnancies per 1,000 teenage girls and women 15-19 also represents…

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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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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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Mark Udall ad says Cory Gardner ‘championed’ Colorado fight to ban birth control

PolitiFact.com, April 21, 2014
by Citing I. Glenn Cohen (Faculty Director)

[...] As we’ve noted in past articles about the debate over personhood, some legal scholars and the medical community have cautioned that it could potentially impact access to birth control. In a 2011…

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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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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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