On Jan. 1, the abortion drug Mifegymiso became available to Canadian women in their first seven weeks of pregnancy. Sandeep Prasad, executive director of Action Canada for Sexual Health and Rights, applauded the introduction of the abortion drug (formerly RU-486) because it will “expand choices when it comes to terminating a pregnancy.” But he condemned Health Canada’s requirement that only a doctor can prescribe the drug, saying that women in remote areas of the country will not have access to the abortion drug … Cheryl Mack and Brendan Leier wrote in the Canadian Journal of Anesthesia that anesthesiologists will have to carefully consider their role in euthanasia and assisted-suicide and warn that hastened deaths are not always the serene and peaceful exit advocates insist they are. They say that reactions to the drugs could induce vomiting, convulsions and aspirations, and warn patients could experience longer-than-expected “time to death” and “awakenings” while the fatal cocktail of drugs take effect … Susan O’Leary, president of the Canadian Anesthesiologists’ Society told the National Post “a lot of people feel uneasy with the entire concept of this … this is not what we intended when we became anesthesiologist” … Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced $20 million in Advanced Manufacturing Fund assistance to the Centre for Commercialization of Regenerative Medicine to establish and operate the Centre for Advanced Therapeutic Cell Technologies. He said the grant will “generate new jobs and make Ontario an even stronger competitor in the bio-tech industry.” The Stem Cell Foundation, which supports the use of embryonic-stem cell research, applauded the federal financing: “scaling up the quantity of stem cells to the vast numbers required for transplantation while ensuring the purity and quality of those cells is vital to moving the regenerative medicine field forward.”

United States

Planned Parenthood endorsed Hillary Clinton in the Democratic presidential primaries and the general election. Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood, said her organisation was making an early endorsement in order to remind Americans of the “extreme” positions of Republicans, and that her group will spend at least $20 million in the election cycle promoting Clinton and opposing pro-life Republicans. Appearing on stage with Clinton, Richards said, “we don’t need just a friend, a solid vote, a supporting statement – we need a fighter.” Richards said her group will not attack Clinton’s Democratic opponents, Senator Bernie Sanders and former Maryland governor Martin O’Malley, both of whom support abortion … The Harris County District Attorney’s office announced that Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast had been cleared following a two-month-long investigation that the abortion group sold human organs from aborted babies. The grand jury did not find that the local Planned Parenthood broke any law but it did indict two members of the Center for Medical Progress which exposed the baby harvesting and trade practices of PP when it released a series of videos last summer following a two-year long investigation. David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt of CMP were indicted for tampering with a governmental record, a second-degree felony, and Daleiden was also indicted on the count of prohibition of the purchase and sale of human organs, a class A misdemeanor … The New Jersey Senate let S 382, legislation that would legalize assisted-suicide, die without a vote. The New Jersey Alliance Against Doctor-Prescribed Suicide applauded the Senate “for recognizing the dangers to older people and those with disabilities.”


The Netherlands Ministry of Public Health updated its guide on euthanasia to give people suffering from severe dementia the option of euthanasia if they declared their intention to be killed while they were still competent. The update formalizes existing practices, with the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition reporting that Dutch euthanasia statistics revealed that in 2014 81 dementia patients were killed dy doctors … The Dutch Medical Federation affirmed the conscience rights of doctors to refuse to participate in euthanasia. Rutger Jan van der Gaag said, “the doctor is currently an important safety catch who makes sure that reasonable alternatives (to euthanasia) are not ignored” … The French government of Socialist President François Hollande announced it would fully fund all medical acts related to abortion beginning April 1, including physician consultations, sonograms, blood tests, and biological testing. Under France’s mixed-payer health system only long-term illnesses are fully funded by taxpayers … The Israeli Central Bureau of Statistics reported that there has been a 22 per cent drop in the number of surgical abortions from 2000 to 2014, with 17,500 abortions committed in the most recent year for which statistics are available. Abortion is available in Israel with the approval of a pregnancy termination committee, which denies about one per cent of abortion requests.