Business

UK scientist accuses lawyers arguing for the end of Roe v. Wade before the Supreme Court of misinterpreting his research

roe v wade abortion
Protesters hold signs during a march at the US Supreme Court.

  • The lawyers arguing for the end of Roe v. Wade before the Supreme Court cited a 2020 medical paper.
  • A scientist who carried out research in the paper said they were “misrepresenting” his findings, The Observer reported.
  • Giandomenico Iannetti also said he was unaware his research was being used in the first place.

A UK scientist accused the lawyers arguing for the end of Roe v. Wade before the Supreme Court of misinterpreting his research, The Observer reported.

According to the newspaper, Giandomenico Iannetti, a pain expert at the University College London, said his research  — which used imaging to study the adult brain’s response to pain — was being “misinterpreted and used in a very clever way to prove a point” in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization.

Dobbs is a pending case in the US Supreme Court that directly challenges Roe v. Wade and centers on a 2018 Mississippi law that bans abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy. A draft opinion on the case, written by Justice Samuel Alito, was leaked last week and suggested the justices were poised to overturn Roe v. Wade.

Iannetti’s research was cited in a medical paper on fetal pain that was published in the “Journal of Medical Ethics” in 2020 by the psychologist Stuart Derbyshire.

The medical paper said that Iannetti’s research suggested that humans might not need a cerebral cortex — the outer layer of the human brain which isn’t developed in a fetus until after 24 weeks — to feel any pain, The Observer reported.

The lawyers arguing against abortion in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization heavily cited the paper in their case, saying it showed it was no longer accurate to say fetuses cannot feel pain before 24 weeks, The Observer reported.

“My results by no means imply that the cortex isn’t necessary to feel pain,” Iannetti said, according to The Observer. “I feel they were misinterpreted and used in a very clever way to prove a point.”

“It distresses me that my work was misinterpreted and became one of the pillar arguments they made,” he added.

Iannetti said he was unaware that the paper was being used in court until American colleagues told him about it.

Derbyshire, the author of the 2020 medical paper, told The Observer that he is “firmly pro-choice” and said that Iannetti’s work had nothing “directly” to do with fetal pain, but that it had “unsettled the consensus that the cortex is necessary for pain.”

Both Derbyshire and Iannetti did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.

The leaked draft opinion of the Dobbs case has since sparked nationwide protests and prompted Democrats to call for a bill to protect Roe v. Wade.

The Supreme Court’s official ruling in the Dobbs case is expected in June.

Read the original article on Business Insider

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