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Where Life, Science, and Ethics Collide

A Case Study of Abortion Law and Stem Cell Research through US History

Megan Gonsalves

on 10 May 2013

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Transcript of Where Life, Science, and Ethics Collide

Aspiration (0-16 weeks) Road Map Six The Greater
Consequence Context of Abortion and Stem Cells Where Life, Science,
and Ethics Collide Abortion Law and Stem Cell Research in the US Quotes It is a poverty to decided that a child must die so that you may live as you wish.
-Mother Teresa I have met thousands and thousands of pro-choice men and women. I have never met anyone who is pro-abortion. Being pro-choice is not being pro-abortion. Being pro-choice is trusting the individual to make the right decision for herself and her family, and not entrusting that decision to anyone wearing the authority of government in any regard.
-Hilary Rodham Clinton Context
Video The Six Sides Classroom Activities The Greater Consequence Classroom Activities Negotiations Video Clip Female Male Stages of Pregnancy trimester = a period of about three months and a form of measurement for the duration of a pregnancy.
3 total stages in pregnancy, abortions limited to occurrence within the first two trimesters Pro-Choice William Rachel Pro-Life Ralph Stephanie Moderate Sides Sarah Emily Abortion Defined legally as the deliberate termination of a pregnancy through expulsion of embryo or fetus before the 2nd trimester Personal Details Negotiation Points Democrat Republican Democrat Republican Republican Democrat Dilation and
Evacuation (16-28 weeks) 60-year old woman
Married for 30 years
Newly elected
Retired general surgeon
Activist Emily's first boyfriend drunkenly raped her in college. Luckily he pleaded guilty to rape charges and she was allowed to get an abortion. She did not want a child and knew that giving birth would mean dropping out of college, putting her passions and professional aspirations on hold, perhaps forever. The pain of the experience has influenced her desire to help women control their decision to give birth. Legality:
Maintain current time frame of being allowed an abortion in the first two trimesters
Discard the counseling requirement
Healthcare should cover legal abortions because she agrees with affordable healthcare
Stem Cell Research:
Federal funding should allow all types of stem cell research, as well as cloning embryos to shift reliance from aborted fetuses Personal Details Negotiation Points 34-year old woman
Representative for 2 years
Previously a criminal justice lawyer Sarah had unprotected sex in high school that resulted in a pregnancy. She knew her parents would not support her financially, she would have to move out, and give up athletic and academic scholarships to college if she carried the pregnancy to term. Without consent from her parents, she was able to secretly obtain an abortion and maintain positive relationships with those in her life. Legality:
Maintain current time frame of legal abortion in the first two trimesters because the law only determines fetuses to be living beings in the third trimester
Urge legislation that one parent should be informed
Keep the counseling requirement, but implement thorough investigation into validity of counseling
Healthcare should only cover abortions in cases life threatening to the mother Personal Details Negotiation Points 30-year old woman
Married with one child
Representative for 2 years
Lawyer Rachel accidentally got pregnant with her boyfriend in the time between college and law school even though she was on birth control. She found out during an ultra sound that her child would be born with severe mental and physical disabilities. In the situation of both Rachel and her boyfriend at that stage in their life, neither of them were prepared to take care of the needs of such a child and, heart-breakingly, decided to abort. Legality:
Believe all abortions should be illegal but would accept legality under life-threatening situations and cases of rape or incest
Healthcare should cover legal abortions
Stem Cell Research:
Federal funding should be shifted to focus more in adult iPS cells
Support funding of stem cell research to include aborted embryos in cases of rape and incest as well
Use of stem cell lines and cloning should be illegal Personal Details Negotiation Points 45-year old woman
Newly elected
Biology professor
Researcher in a Stem Cell Biology and Gene Therapy Lab Stephanie is head of the section of the lab designated to programming adult somatic cells into iPS cells that have potential application into treatment of degenerative or genetic diseases. She has been working recently on programming the iPS cells to target damaged outer lung cells. She is also a devote Christian in a typically atheist field. Legality:
Limit abortion to health-threatening cases
Federal aid in abortions be restricted to health-threatening circumstances
Stem Cell Research:
End use of all embryonic stem cells, but would compromise to just making the creation of embryonic stem cells for the sole purpose of research illegal
Federal funding should be focused to adult iPS cells Stem Cell Research:
Federal funds should not pay for stem cell research
But in cases of private funding, use of embryonic cells from aborted fetuses should be allowed
Cloning of embryonic cells should not be used Abortion's Role in Stem Cell Research Embryonic Stem Cells (ESCs) Personal Details Negotiation Points 65-year old man
Married over 40 years, 2 children
Representative for 10 years
Previously a pastor for large Protestant church William made the choice to have sex with his serious girlfriend right before she went to college. This resulted in her pregnancy and the two decided to carry the pregnancy to term. A couple in their congregation agreed to adopt the child and he has stayed active in his biological son's life. William believes it is society's responsibility to take care of the unwanted children and wants to create a nonprofit organization to help with that responsibility. Legality:
All abortion should be made illegal. Life begins at conception therefore all both morally and legally abortion is wrong.
If abortion remains legal, funding should come from private funding and not from tax payer's money who may not agree with the practice Stem Cell Research:
Embryonic stem cell research should be illegal and focus should instead be directed toward adult iPS cells.
Funding for adult cells should come from private sources ESCs are defined as primitive, undifferentiated cells that are capable of dividing without differentiating (forming complex tissue systems). This rapid cell division is called proliferation.
Cells present in fetuses and embryos that have been aborted or miscarried are major source of ESCs.
Other sources: stem cell lines, cloned embryos,
in vitro fertilized embryos
ESCs are unique in that they are plutipotent, or
lead to production of various cell types within the
body. Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells (iPSCs) In 2006-2007, researchers developed a new technology that utilized adult cells rather than embryonic.
These cells utilize four specific enzymes (Oct3/4, Sox2, Klf4, and c-Myc) to induce pluripotency in adult somatic cells.
If implemented successfully iPS cells could potentially replace
However, the fact that they are a relatively
new discovery, long-term effects and
benefits of therapy with these
cells have not been established. Personal Details Negotiation Points 50-year old man
Married over 40 years, 2 children
Professor in biomedical engineering department Currently working on a project in your lab aimed towards developing a pancreatic substitute from stem cells that could help treat insulin-dependent diabetes Legality:
Abortion should be legal in all cases, but willing to compromise given his respect for varying beliefs about when life begins
Federal funds should pay for all legal abortions and, at least, federal healthcare money should pay for abortions related to life of mother or fetus Stem Cell Research:
Supports federal funding of both adult iPS stem cell and embryonic stem cell research, and believes funds should primarily be focused towards embryonic research
Support use of embryonic stem cells from aborted fetuses and from synthetic or cloned cells. Background History Legality Stem Cell Research Healthcare Case Study Focus: Explore the complexity involved with the abortion debate by analyzing three important factors associated with abortion:

1. Degrees of Legality
2. Healthcare/Abortion Policy
3. Stem cell research: type of cell used and funding source Reproduction Six Perspectives: Political beliefs
Republican, Democrat
Opinions on Abortion (Ethical)
Pro-Choice vs. Pro-Life
Personal Experiences
with Abortion and Pregnancy
Occupation Our Case Study Negotiations Vary with respect to, Under what specific
circumstances should
abortion be legal? Students will write to the President emphasizing the importance of increased education on sexual health, abortion, and stem cell research. Should the changing US healthcare policy include support of abortion
procedures? What types of stem cells should be used
(controversial embryonic cells vs. adult cells)? Questionnaire
Ice Breakers What role does the federal government
have on funding of stem cell research? The
Beginning Post Roe v Wade Roe v. Wade April 2007: Gonzales v. Carhart Supreme Court decision upholds the Partial-Birth Abortion Act of 2003 as constitutionally legal. The New Millennium In Recent Years Today Ancient Egyptians 1973: In this year, in the landmark case of Roe v Wade, the US Supreme Court declares that women have a constitutional right to abortion but states are permitted to outlaw it during the third trimester of pregnancy except in life-threatening cases. December 2009: Patient Protection and Affordable Health Care for America Act passed in Senate and House and approved by President Obama. Law specifies that federal subsidies for abortion must come from private funds, except when saving a woman’s life, or cases of rape or incest. June 1992: Planned Parenthood v. Casey Supreme Court ruling confirms constitutionality of Roe v. Wade, as well as that of state abortion restriction laws. November 2003: Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act passed by the House and Senate and approved by President Bush. At least half of American women will experience an unintended pregnancy by age 45.
Twenty-two percent of all pregnancies (excluding miscarriages) end in abortion.
At current rates, one in 10 women will have an abortion by age 20, one in four by age 30 and three in 10 by age 45. Criminalization in the US Scenario:
A committee within the State Legislature Conflict Resolution
& Greater Understanding Democracy demands that the religiously motivated translate their concerns into universal, rather than religion-specific, values. It requires that their proposals be subject to argument, and amenable to reason. I may be opposed to abortion for religious reasons, but if I seek to pass a law banning the practice, I cannot simply point to the teachings of my church or evoke God’s will. Now this is going to be difficult for some who believe in the inerrancy of the Bible, as many evangelicals do. But in a pluralistic democracy, we have no choice. Politics depends on our ability to persuade each other of common aims based on a common reality. It involves the compromise, the art of what’s possible. At some fundamental level, religion does not allow for compromise. It’s the art of the impossible. Background and History
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