March 24, 2011
ATLANTA -- Professor Leslie E. Wolf spoke at Mercer Law School about the Food and Drug Administration’s ban on blood donations by men who have sex with men. Mercer Law School, the Macon Bar Association, and Project Equality, a law student organization, co-sponsored this continuing education program on February 22, 2011. Stonewall Bar Association president, Brian Basinger, J.D., class of 2008, helped connect Wolf with Mercer’s Project Equality.
The FDA ban, which is intended to keep HIV out of the blood supply, has been under fire recently. Last summer, a number of U.S. Senators joined the calls of the blood industry, college campuses and others in asking that the ban be lifted.
"Many people feel that the ban is no longer necessary and that it is simply discriminatory," Wolf explained. "But an FDA advisory committee recently decided on a 9-5 vote to retain the ban in the interest of safety."
Wolf first considered the issue in 2007 when Basinger, then with the Georgia State College of Law LGBT student group, asked her to do a presentation. "Students came out of that presentation realizing the issue was harder than they initially thought," said Wolf. "There are strong policy arguments on both sides which is why this debate is likely to continue."