Unconstitutional! The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has banned PETA Vice President Dr. Alka Chandna from its main campus in Bethesda, Maryland, so the agency may soon face legal action from PETA.
Despite receiving an invitation from NIH to speak at a recent on-campus public meeting of the National Advisory Mental Health Council, Dr. Chandna was told by NIH security personnel that she had been banned from the agency’s campus. Their excuse? A couple of months earlier, she had exercised her right to free speech by posting flyers in public spaces on NIH’s campus that were critical of the agency and urged it to end its worthless monkey fright experiments.
By banning Dr. Chandna from its campus because of her viewpoint and her affiliation with an organization that advocates for the ethical treatment of animals, NIH blatantly flouted free speech protections guaranteed by the First Amendment.
We’ve demanded that the agency provide assurance that PETA staff won’t be unconstitutionally excluded from its future public meetings or from its facilities. We gave NIH fair warning: PETA is prepared to take legal action to enforce Dr. Chandna’s and our other supporters’ constitutional rights.
Want to Know More About the Experiments on Monkeys at NIH That Dr. Chandna Was Critiquing?
NIH experimenter Elisabeth Murray carves out sections of the skulls of monkeys used in her experiments, and then injects toxins into the animals’ brains, or suctions out parts of them, causing permanent and traumatic damage. The monkeys are then put all alone in a small metal cage, which is contained inside a larger box painted black. A guillotine-like door at the front of the cage is suddenly raised, revealing a fake but realistic-looking snake or spider to frighten the monkeys.
Some monkeys respond defensively—freezing up or looking or turning away. Others shake their cage. Some grimace or smack their lips—signs of submission in the face of a threat. The monkeys endure this same torture repeatedly, until they are eventually killed or recycled into other experiments, to be further tormented.
NIH claims that these experiments shed light on human neuropsychiatric disorders, but not one treatment or cure for humans has come out of them in more than 30 years.
The agency may not want Dr. Chandna or PETA to criticize the failure of its experiments on monkeys, but that doesn’t mean it has the right to silence us in public forums.
Tell NIH that you won’t tolerate having your tax dollars pay for the torment of monkeys: