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Abortion Bans May Add to Uncertainty Over Embryo Donation

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Abigail and Rachelle Henderson, 15-year-old twins from Buffalo, New York, were conceived in vitro and carried to term by their mom, Rebecca.

Trevor and Aubrey Gassman, now 9 and 8 years old, who live in Oregon, were born of embryos created during the infertility treatment of Rebecca Henderson and her husband, Chris. The couple donated the embryos through a Christian agency to Dan and Kelli Gassman, and Kelli carried them to term.




Genetically, the four children are siblings. While the two families aren’t related, the parents in both families have chosen to let their kids get to know one another. They met through a Colorado agency, Nightlight Christian Adoptions, which has a program that brings together potential embryo donors and recipients.

In many ways, the children feel like family, their parents say.

“They are all such dears,” Kelli Gassman said. Her son and daughter “love their sisters. I feel like our family has been grafted into the Henderson’s family tree,” she said.




In a way they have.

Yet as embryo donation has become more common with advancements in infertility treatments, many state laws have not kept up, and there is no federal statute governing the practice. Only a few states have laws explicitly addressing embryo storage and donation.

A rush of new abortion restrictions could further complicate the matter. With the U.S. Supreme Court likely to overturn Roe v. Wade later this month, some red states have passed new bans on abortion. Both a Louisiana bill awaiting the governor’s signature and a new Oklahoma law, for example, include language that implies that embryos are “persons” under the law. Those measures could be interpreted to prohibit destruction of the embryos should couples choose not to donate them to prospective parents or to science, legal experts say. The co-sponsor of one of the bills says that was not her intent.

“The real crux for infertility treatment is what is the legal status of the in vitro fertilized egg,” said Sean Tipton, chief advocacy officer for the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, a group that advocates for reproductive choice. “There’s a lot of language in some abortion bans, that says ‘from the moment of conception’ or ‘every stage of human development.’ That kind of language puts into question the legal status of a fertilized egg.



“We are going to be in for a protracted period of uncertainty,” he said.

An ‘Underregulated’ Practice

About 400,000 embryos (fertilized eggs that have developed for six or fewer days) have been frozen since the 1970s and stored in the United States, according to a 2003 RAND Corporation study. The research firm said the vast majority of them were still controlled by the people who created them, not donated or disposed of.

Like adoption laws, the few existing laws on embryo donation mostly ensure that children are legally considered the offspring of the receiving parents. Absent specific state laws, individual legal contracts regulating the transfer of property usually apply. U.S. Food and Drug Administration rules govern testing and medical procedures.

 

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Lori Andrews, a law professor at the Chicago-Kent College of Law and an expert in genetic technologies, calls the practice “underregulated, especially considering its impact on the next generation and families.”

Most states, she said, have laws specifying that the recipients of donated sperm are the parents of any resulting children. About half of the states extend the same rights to recipients of human egg donation, “and even fewer have embryo laws,” she said.

Last year, Colorado Democratic Gov. Jared Polis signed a law intended to help streamline and regularize embryo donation and surrogacy. The new law governs what happens if an intended parent dies before the child is born, and sets age limits and other requirements for surrogate mothers. A similar bill is under consideration in Massachusetts.

A Florida law enacted in 2016 requires that the donor of any egg, sperm or embryo relinquish all maternal or paternal rights to them and allows only “reasonable” compensation “directly related to the donation.”

Georgia’s 2009 law, one of the first to be enacted, defines embryo donation as an adoption, but stops short of extending “personhood” protections to an embryo.

“There aren’t a lot of laws around embryo donation,” said Elizabeth Nash, principal policy associate for state issues at the Guttmacher Institute, an abortion rights research group. “That can make things more difficult, in some ways, but also allows for medical practice to develop … and progress to be made in meeting the needs for patients. A legal solution isn’t always the best solution.”



Some states’ new anti-abortion measures might be interpreted to apply to frozen embryos.

Existing Louisiana law specifically states that a “fertilized human ovum is a juridical person which shall not be intentionally destroyed.” A Louisiana abortion ban approved by the legislature likewise would define personhood “from the moment of conception.” But the ban would apply to a “clinically diagnosable pregnancy,” which would not affect frozen embryos. The bill has been sent to Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards, who is expected to sign it, according to news reports.

The Oklahoma law is a near-total ban on abortion starting at fertilization with exceptions that allow abortion for “medical emergencies.” And it includes a clause allowing citizens to bring a civil action against anyone who “aids or abets” an abortion.

Sen. Julie Daniels, the Republican co-sponsor of the law, said it is designed to apply to termination of pregnancies, not embryos. “It is my opinion that the definition of ‘abortion’ in HB4327 does not apply to [destruction of frozen embryos]. There must be ‘the purpose to terminate the pregnancy,’” she said in an email to Stateline, quoting from the law. The text defines “unborn child” as “a human fetus or embryo in any stage of gestation from fertilization until birth.”

But the law has raised concerns among patients in Oklahoma over whether it might hinder in vitro fertilization, according to The Oklahoman.

Andrews, the professor, said couples usually designate one of three choices about the disposition of extra frozen embryos: destroying them, donating them to other couples or to science, or keeping them preserved. Some of those choices, including destruction, appear not to be legal under the new laws.

“Not only is this a legally volatile area, it’s an emotionally volatile area,” she said.

If the anti-abortion laws are interpreted to protect embryos, that may result in the inability to destroy or donate them to science, leaving them frozen in perpetuity unless a recipient is found.

Shifting Away from Anonymity

Maryland attorney Margaret Swain, who represents people going through the embryo donation process, said negotiating a document between the parties takes time and thought, especially if the recipients and donors are going to be in contact.

“Traditionally, embryo and gamete donation was conducted in an anonymous model,” she said in a phone interview. “We’re seeing a real shift in that.”

Attorney Nidhi Desai, a family lawyer in Illinois, noted that today there’s “no such thing as anonymity,” because even if people want to keep their children’s origin a secret, DNA testing would make it difficult, if not impossible. She said legal documents negotiated between parties can set out the terms for contact among the children, if any.

 

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Donation is becoming more frequent, according to Kimberly Tyson, vice president of Nightlight Christian Adoptions, an agency affiliated with the National Association of Evangelicals that assisted the Hendersons and the Gassmans.

She said the procedure has become much more popular since 1997, when the agency first began to work with embryos, and 950 babies have been born from donated embryos through their agency. About half of the implanted embryos result in full-term pregnancies, she said.

That agency sets up its procedure like an adoption agency in which prospective parents sign up in a registry, and donating couples get to choose the recipients.

Nightlight calls its program “Snowflake Embryo Adoption,” using terminology that tries to equate embryos with babies who are up for adoption. Clinicians and attorneys prefer the term embryo donation, and legal contracts governing the procedure mirror property transfer transactions.

The agency encourages the donors and recipients to get to know each other. Tyson said the secrecy surrounding egg, sperm and embryo donation practiced by some agencies and clinics is a “land mine” waiting to explode once the children of frozen embryos discover their genetic origins. But many clinics and agencies promise anonymity to the donors and recipients.

She points to situations in which many people who were adopted decades ago, when secrecy was paramount, have spent countless dollars and years trying to locate their birth parents. In the future, people who are the product of embryo donations could do the same.



Donating anonymously didn’t appeal to the Hendersons, said Rebecca, who after her twins were born had another girl, Johanna, without using a frozen embryo.

“I couldn’t conceive of walking down the street and seeing someone who looks like me and wondering, wondering,” she said in a phone interview. But, she said, negative thoughts crept in too. “How could I give them to someone else to raise?”

Eventually, they picked the Gassmans, and the two couples clicked. Still, there were bumps. A mother of three girls, Rebecca Henderson admitted to a little pang when she found out that the Gassmans’ first child would be a boy, since she had all girls and would have welcomed the experience of having a boy, too. “But still, that was awesome,” she said. She began collecting pictures and making a scrapbook of him for her girls.

“All the kids get along awesome,” she said. “Trevor and Johanna look like twins. We treat it as normal—this is what our family looks like.”


Salvation Army donation

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Keais Lynch (left) presents a donation on behalf of Bragaw Insurance to Sergeant Allen Atkins of the Washington Salvation Army.

During the upcoming hurricane season, Bragaw Insurance encourages everyone to support the Salvation Army so they can continue to provide  disaster services to our area.


The Salvation Army can be reached at 252-946-5373.

Shatta Wale asked for extra money 12hrs to party in the park festivals in UK – Organizers (Video)

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Organizers of Ghana party within the Park (GPTIP) song pageant have revealed that Dancehall Artiste Shatta Wale made a financial demand slightly 12 to thirteen hours before the display at the time he was presupposed to be making ready to board a flight to uk to carry out.

The leader executive Officer of Akwaaba group that is the company in rate of Ghana birthday party in the park Dennis Tawiah in a video interview with Blogger attractive Mustapha just after the display in London stated it changed into so unlucky that they highly advertised Shatta Wale and Kofi Kinaata and yet they couldn’t make it.Hours earlier than the begin of the display, the organizers officially released an apology to music fanatics on the event without further rationalization as to why Shatta Wale and Kofi Kinaata couldn’t attend the event.

However in a chat with appealing Mustapha, Dennis Tawiah said that they did the whole thing viable on their component to get the Shatta Wale to attend the show in London until economic demands had been made at the last hour among five:00 PM to 6:00 PM a day to the display.

“As at Friday, some thing Shatta Wale requested for turned into met and the only issue left became for him to return ““anybody and the manner they do their enterprise and the way they demand anything they want to be glad so if that’s Shatta Wale’s pleasant way to communicate that to us we don’t have a trouble in any respect,” he said.

On Kofi Kinaata’s element, he said they took a wrong decision in phrases of timing, so theirs don’t have anything to do with cash.Ghana birthday party in the Park that’s held annually also featured the likes of Gyakie, Kelvynboy, NUA, Darkovibes, Mista Silva, Camidoh, Ofori Amponsah, Kofi Nti, k. Okay. Fosu, and Barima Sidney amongst several others.

I used to gather refuse earlier than i discovered MUSIC – Fameye

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He made this revelation in an interview with HITZ FM. Consistent with the ‘nothing i am getting’ hitmaker, he used to paintings in Kwabenya, Ashongman estates and other neighbouring groups.He disclosed that he could visit people’s houses inside the morning to collect waste and sell sobolo to his citizens.

Fameye cited that one of the houses he used to paintings at belonged to his lady friend’s own family. He defined that he shudders to remember his past these days because it brings him a lot pain. Fameye introduced that he places everything approximately his past in his music now. He introduced that the ones studies and his aspirations stimulated his reward music and eventually his Songs of Peter album.

The album places his existence into perspective and it’s also a manifestation of what he needs his destiny to be, Fameye added. The musician says he wants to work difficult enough to now not return to that lifestyles of battle and poverty.

Guard our industry from disintegrate – Ghana Tuna affiliation

The Ghana Tuna affiliation has called for measures to shield the sea towards unhealthy practices to guard the fishery industry.“Our fishery enterprise is seriously happening because we hardly take measures that protect the sea. If we hold doing the same aspect, we expect to get the identical end result and the identical effects suggest that our zone is going down,” Mr Richster Nii Amarh Amarfio, the Secretary of Ghana Tuna affiliation, said.

Mr Amarfio stated this for the duration of a seminar organised by using the Ghana information organization in Tema to provide a platform for nation and non-nation actors to address countrywide troubles.He advised the Tuna region to take measures against, specifically the dumping of waste within the sea, to defend the industry from disintegrate.“So, in the event that they maintain destroying the waterbody, it’s going to reduce the amount of fish extent and additionally reduce the pastime to maintain the fish, both human and marine.”

Mr Amarfio expressed difficulty that the Tema Metropolitan Authority (TMA) did no longer have a place to technique untreated waste products, so all wastewater generated turned into channelled into the sea.“maximum of the agencies also channel their untreated waste into the ocean, we’re killing the sea with these dangerous practices,” he stated and called for fast reforms to shield the ocean.Mr Francis Ameyibor, the Ghana news company, Tema regional manager, stated that the stakeholder engagement became created to allow both country and non-kingdom stakeholders to have interaction with journalists and cope with national issues.

Embark on overseas experience with Ghana card’ let’s see – Sam George challenges Bawumia

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The Ningo Prampram MP, Sam George has challenged vice president Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia to travel with the Ghana card to demonstrate that it is certainly a journey document.He contended that the vice chairman is misinforming the general public on using the the Ghana Card.

Mr. Georges’ dare comes after the vice president listed many successes of government’s the digitization power, which includes a claim that the Ghana Card can be used to tour abroad.

“people couldn’t apprehend how the Ghana Card, certified by using ICAO, may be used as journey document and that they mocked the idea. But these days, it’s miles a fact and our diasporans should get the Ghana card earlier than they go away Ghana. When they get the Ghana card, they could journey to Ghana with out making use of for a visa at any embassy abroad,” he stated throughout his speech at the launch of the E-pharmacy platform on Monday.

Commodity prices’ fall can assist India escape international inflation trap

The Reserve financial institution of India (RBI) has stated that the Indian economy can escape the worldwide inflation entice if the moderation in commodity fees witnessed in recent weeks endures, alongside an easing of deliver-chain pressures.

“the biggest supply of comfort is from inflation coming off its current height, albeit at an expanded degree nonetheless,” the relevant bank has stated in its trendy ‘country of the economy’ record. Although, the signs and symptoms of its generalisation and the capacity unhinging of inflation expectations have elicited a pre-emptive and frontloaded financial coverage reaction, the RBI said.

United kingdom breaks record for maximum temperature as Europe sizzles

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Aerial view of downtown Buenos Aires on January 13, 2022, while an intense heat wave affects the metropolitan area of the Argentine capital and its surroundings. (Photo by Elena BOFFETTA / AFP) (Photo by ELENA BOFFETTA/AFP via Getty Images)

Britain shattered its report for maximum temperature ever registered Tuesday amid a warmness wave that has seared swaths of Europe, as the U.k.’s countrywide weather forecaster said such highs at the moment are a reality of lifestyles in a rustic unwell-organized for such extremes.

The generally temperate kingdom became simply the modern day to be walloped by means of strangely warm, dry weather that has prompted wildfires from Portugal to the Balkans and brought about loads of warmth-related deaths. Images of flames racing in the direction of a French seashore and Britons sweltering — even at the beach — have driven home issues approximately climate change.

The U.k. Met office weather enterprise registered a provisional reading of forty.3 ranges Celsius (104.Five levels Fahrenheit) at Coningsby in japanese England — breaking the document set simply hours earlier. Before Tuesday, the highest temperature recorded in Britain turned into 38.7 C (one hundred and one.7 F), set in 2019. By way of later afternoon, 29 places inside the uk had damaged the record.

Defence for Children International holds Annual General Assembly

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Defence for Children International Ghana (DCI), a Non-Governmental Organisation, promoting children’s rights and advocating policies that protect the rights of children, has held its Annual General Assembly in Kumasi.The meeting which sought to take stock of its activities in 2021 also elected a new Executive Council to steer the affairs of the organisation for the next two years.

Also invited for the meeting were implementing partners of the “She Leads” project which is being implemented in six districts and municipalities in the Ashanti Region including Bosomtwe, Asante-Akim North, Asokore Mampong, Obuasi, and Kumasi Metro.

“She Leads” is a five-year project aimed at increasing sustained influence of girls and young women on decision-making and the transformation of gender norms in formal and informal institutions.It is an initiative of Plan International Netherlands, Defence for Children International – ECPAT the Netherlands (DCI-ECPAT), African Women’s Development and Communication Network, and Terres des Hommes of the Netherlands with funding support from the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

 

Domestic Credit Agency to rate companies in the offing

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Consistent with him, the GSE, national Pensions Regulatory Authority (NPRA) and the country wide coverage commission (NIC) have agreed to aid the status quo of the DCRA.

Imparting update arrangements towards the establishment at the sidelines of a workshop at the Bond marketplace and Ghana’s constant income marketplace Operations in Accra on Tuesday, Mr Simons said GSE might hold 50 consistent with cent shares of the organisation, whilst NPRA held 25 in keeping with cent and NIC also held 25 according to cent.He stated the economic proposals for the improvement of the corporation had been being developed.The pinnacle of GFIM disclosed that the world financial institution could also provide some seed funding for the established order of the company.

The workshop was organised through the Institute of financial reporters (IFEJ) in collaboration with the GSE to educate journalists at the operations of the Bond market and the Ghana constant profits market to improve their reportage available on the market.He said a Technical Committee were constituted to expand the proposals for the registration to fulfill the necessities of the Securities and exchange fee.

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