Popstar Doja Cat is the latest celebrity to fall victim to the recent Twitter chaos, change username to “Christmas” before realizing the change might be permanent – “I don’t want to be Christmas forever…”
Today in health, we hear from abortion rights activists following voters in five states who spoke out in favor of abortion access and against more restrictive measures .
Welcome to night health care, where we follow the latest developments in policies and news concerning your health. For The Hill, we are Nathaniel Weixel and Joseph Choi. Did someone forward this newsletter to you?
Supporters seek to develop key mid-term wins
Voters across the country won decisive victories for abortion rights advocates on Tuesday, as election results just months after Roe v. Wade by the Supreme Court showed that access to abortion was a key issue for voters.
Abortion rights groups are already looking to replicate their successes in 2024, while anti-abortion activists are banding together.
Every state that put abortion on the ballot voted to protect the procedure in one way or another, including Republican-leaning Kentucky. Voters rejected an election measure seeking to deny any constitutional protection for abortion.
Abortion rights advocates were given a boost earlier this summer when Kansas voters rejected an attempt to remove abortion protections from the state constitution, the first nationwide vote. Status on abortion since the Supreme Court decision.
“We now see a clear path to defending the right to choose: through ballot measures,” said Kelly Hall, executive director of the Fairness Project, a progressive group that helps organize ballot measures. “When voters have the opportunity to have their say on this issue, they are choosing to protect their rights.”
Melissa Fowler, program manager at the National Abortion Federation, said she was encouraged by the midterm results, but dealing with the post-Roe fallout will take time.
“It will take more than one election or one court ruling to really undo the harm we have seen since the Dobbs ruling and to build a future where there is even more access than there was before Roe. against Wade,” Fowler said. .
Learn more here.
Kentucky AG: Vote should not affect state court
Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron (right) said Wednesday that his state’s rejection of an anti-abortion ballot measure should have “no bearing” on how the Kentucky Supreme Court rules in a an upcoming hearing to determine the future of the state’s abortion ban.
Kentucky voters this week rejected a proposal that would have amended the state constitution to expressly say the state does not mandate abortion rights or abortion funding.
fifty-two percent of those voting in Kentucky voted “no” on the proposed constitutional amendment. It was one of many abortion measures that resulted in victories for pro-abortion rights supporters.
- Wednesday, Cameron released a statement respond to the results of the ballot.
- “While this result is disappointing, it does not change our belief that there is no hidden abortion right in the Kentucky Constitution and that the regulation of abortion policy is a matter that belongs to our elected representatives in the General Assembly,” Cameron said.
Although the poll results meant a victory for pro-abortion activists who campaigned against the measure, abortions in most cases are still illegal in Kentucky after two laws banning the procedure took effect after six weeks, except in life-threatening cases.
The Kentucky Supreme Court will hear oral argument next week on whether the state’s abortion ban violates constitutional rights to privacy, bodily autonomy and self-determination.
Learn more here.
FEARS OF ATTACKING COVID AT LOWEST SINCE SUMMER 2021: GALLUP
Less than 30% of Americans are currently worried about catching COVID-19, the lowest total reported since June 2021, according to the results of a new Gallup poll.
One year ago: At that time, 17% of Americans said they were worried about catching the disease, up from 28% who said the same in October 2022.
- The results also revealed that 6 in 10 Americans are not trying to self-isolate at all, while a new high, 78%, advises healthy people to live normal lives to avoid work and business interruptions.
- By comparison, around 1 in 5 people still say the best advice for healthy people without symptoms is to stay home as much as possible to avoid contracting and spreading the disease.
- A record number of Americans also said they avoided certain situations due to the threat of infection, and just 40% said they had used a face mask outside their home in the past week, marking a new low of the pandemic.
Learn more here.
SOTOMAYOR WILL NOT STOP WARRANT FOR NYC PUBLIC SECTOR WORKERS
Judge Sonia Sotomayor on Thursday denied a request from a group of New York City public sector workers who sought to block their employers’ COVID-19 vaccine requirement on religious grounds.
Sotomayor, who handles emergency cases arising out of New York, appeared to deny the request itself without referring the case to the full court, according to the brief order.
- The challengers included a group called New Yorkers for Religious Liberty, as well as public school teachers, firefighters, sanitation workers and law enforcement officers.
- They claimed New York City policy violated religious protections by forcing workers to choose between their jobs or take the vaccine in violation of their religious beliefs.
The court previously dismissed challenges to the vaccination mandate by Maine health workers, New York public school teachers and a group of Indiana University students.
Learn more here.
WHO: Global COVID deaths down 90%
The head of the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Wednesday that deaths from COVID-19 worldwide had fallen by 90% since February.
Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the director-general of the WHO, told a press conference that only 9,400 deaths from COVID-19 had been reported to the organization last week, compared to more than 75,000 deaths reported in february.
“We’ve come a long way, and that certainly inspires optimism, but we continue to call on all governments, communities and individuals to remain vigilant,” he said. “Nearly 10,000 deaths per week is 10,000 too many for a disease that can be prevented and treated.”
A few caveats: Tedros said testing rates remain low globally, immunization gaps are significant, and the continued creation of new variants is concerning. He said the WHO urges everyone to get fully vaccinated and receive their next dose if eligible.
On a national level : COVID-19 cases in the United States have steadily declined since late July before leveling off in recent weeks. Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows the number of weekly cases topped 900,000 at the end of July and has hovered around 265,000 since last month.
Deaths from the virus in the country have also fallen dramatically since February, from more than 10,000 nine months ago to around 2,500 a week.
Learn more here.
WHAT WE READ
- Nonprofits score points with progressive health ballot measures in red states (Axios)
- Legal in one clinic, illegal in another: How abortion bans make gestational age even less accurate (Stat)
- CDC tells pregnant women and the elderly to stop eating deli meats and cheese amid listeria outbreak (CBS News)
STATE BY STATE
- South Dakota voters approved Medicaid expansion, but implementation may not be easy (Kaiser Health News)
- Kansas elementary school temporarily closes due to rising respiratory illnesses (ABC News)
- Doctors at Mass General Hospital. describe ‘bed crisis’ amid ‘unprecedented pediatric rise’ in RSV (WCVB)
THE OP-ED HILL
To address the doctor shortage, we need to create new pathways to residency
That’s all for today, thanks for reading. Check out The Hill’s healthcare page for the latest news and coverage. Until tomorrow.
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