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The Physicians Committee



Pushing the March of Dimes Toward Compassionate Research

Participants at March of Dimes WalkAmerica events seek to support the organization’s research and services. Most have no idea that the charity funds animal experiments, some of which have been extraordinarily cruel. So PCRM helped educate them with mobile billboards and volunteers at WalkAmerica events across the country.

Mobile billboards were placed at WalkAmerica events in Washington, D.C., Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., Dallas, Houston, Tucson, Ariz., and Atlanta. Walkers in Peoria, Ariz., received PCRM’s message from an aerial banner circling overhead. Many PCRM members and volunteers across the country helped pass out more than 40,000 leaflets in April alone and answer questions at their local WalkAmerica events.

Over the years, the March of Dimes has funded a series of controversial experiments, including sewing shut the eyelids of newborn kittens; injecting pregnant animals with cocaine, nicotine, and alcohol; tethering pregnant monkeys to cages with monitoring cables running through the mothers’ uteruses and into their fetuses’ bodies; and deliberately injuring the lungs of newborn lambs. Not only are these experiments cruel but they have also failed to lead to advances in preventing or understanding birth defects.

The rates of almost all birth defects have either remained steady or increased in this country. The number of preterm births has risen steadily since 1969, and the rate of maternal mortality has not improved since the 1980s.

While the March of Dimes does not reveal the exact amount spent on animal experiments, estimates go up to $30 million. PCRM is encouraging the organization to devote this money to worthwhile services, including prenatal care, education, social programs, and human-based research.

To find out how you can help reform the March of Dimes, visit www.ReformtheMarchofDimes.org.



 

Good Medicine Summer 2007

 
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