Blog of Rights

Rachel
Marshall
Hands Off My Genes

Hands Off My Genes

By Rachel Marshall, Washington Legislative Office at 5:21pm
Most teenagers don't sit around contemplating the need for genetic testing. They may not even know the purpose of genetic testing. That all changed for me when I was 13, shortly after my baby brother celebrated his first birthday. He was diagnosed with a disease called Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA), a genetic motor neuron disease that affects the muscles that control crawling, walking, head and neck control, and swallowing. In order to inherit SMA, both parents of a child have to be carriers of a mutated SMN1 gene. If both parents are carriers, their child has a one in four chance of being affected with SMA. While my sister and I are perfectly healthy, there is a chance that we could both be carriers of the mutated SMN1 gene. My brother's doctors have strongly advised that, should we choose to have children, our partners should at least be tested to see if they are carriers for the gene. It was the first time the concept of genetic testing came across my radar, but it certainly wouldn't be the last.
Free Speech Takes a Beating

Free Speech Takes a Beating

By Rachel Marshall, Washington Legislative Office at 5:02pm

The Stop Online Piracy Act's lack of narrowly tailored language could lead to the restriction of non-infringing online content.

Good Idea, Poor Follow-Through: Congress' Mistakes with SOPA

By Rachel Marshall, Washington Legislative Office at 9:50am

“The Internet has become the public space of the 21st century-the world’s town square, classroom, marketplace, coffee house, and nightclub,” proclaimed Secretary of State Hillary Clinton earlier this year. Yet as the Obama administration…

Silent No More: A Rape Survivor Speaks Out About “Legitimate Rape”

Silent No More: A Rape Survivor Speaks Out About “Legitimate Rape”

By Rachel Marshall, Washington Legislative Office at 12:55pm

Hi, my name is Rachel and I’m a rape victim. This is not typically how I would introduce myself, but with the current national discourse, I can’t stand by silently anymore. You see, before my freshman year of college I was at a party where…

SOPA Markup: Hail to the Nerds?

By Rachel Marshall, Washington Legislative Office at 1:13pm

After more than 12 hours of debate on December 15 and 16 markup for the Stop Online Piracy Act (HR 3261), or SOPA, as it’s better known, about the only clear conclusion is the House Judiciary Committee is not made up of nerds, as member after…

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