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US abortion law: Scientist says his work on fetal pain has been misrepresented

BMJ 2022; 377 doi: (Published 16 May 2022) Cite this as: BMJ 2022;377:o1225
  1. Clare Dyer
  1. The BMJ

A scientist at University College London has accused supporters of the US state of Mississippi, which wants to ban abortions after 15 weeks’ gestation, of misinterpreting his work on fetal pain in a brief they filed with the US Supreme Court.

Giandomenico Iannetti, professor of neuroscience at UCL, is among 27 leading scientific and medical experts who, along with the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine, the UK’s Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, and the US Association for the Study of Pain, have signed an opposing brief supporting the retention of the existing law.

Mississippi is asking the court to overturn the landmark 1973 ruling in Roe v Wade, which gave women throughout the US the constitutional right to an abortion.

An amicus brief filed in support of the state’s case by Maureen Condic, who teaches human embryology at the University of Utah School of Medicine, …

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