It was a mixed day for abortion rights advocates. We will see the details. More: Why the COVID-19 pandemic has led to a significant drop in measles vaccinations around the world for children.
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?
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Georgia’s highest court approves six-week abortion ban
The Georgia State Supreme Court on Wednesday reinstated the abortion ban after about six weeks of pregnancy.
The court granted the state’s emergency motion and stayed a lower court ruling from last week in which a judge called the ban “unconstitutional.”
Reproductive rights groups had argued that the state abortion ban violated the state constitution.
They won a decision in Fulton County Superior Court, where Judge Robert McBurney ruled earlier this month that the ban was invalid.
According to the ACLU, patients who had scheduled abortion appointments last week are being turned away.
- Georgia’s Living Infants Fairness and Equality (LIFE) law, passed in 2019, would ban abortions in the state after a fetal heartbeat is detected, usually around six weeks pregnant.
- After the United States Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in June, a complex patchwork of state laws emerged with conservative states, particularly in the South and Midwest, moving quickly to impose new abortion restrictions and even near-total bans.
Many people do not yet know they are pregnant at six weeks, which is the first time that fetal heart electrical activity can be detected. Electrical activity is not the same as a heartbeat, although the law is often referred to as the “law of the heartbeat”.
Learn more here.
Kansas court allows telemedicine for abortion pills
A Kansas state court has blocked a 2011 law banning doctors from offering medical abortions via telemedicine.
Shawnee County District Court Judge Teresa Watson granted a temporary injunction barring the enforcement of a state law that requires doctors to administer abortion-inducing drugs while in the room with the patient.
Still, the Kansas Supreme Court may ultimately intervene before telemedicine abortions are allowed to resume.
- Since the Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade in June, women are increasingly turning to abortion pills if they need to terminate a pregnancy. It has proven to be extremely safe.
- There are two pills needed for a medical abortion, which is approved by the Food and Drug Administration for the first 10 weeks of pregnancy.
Mifepristone, a drug that blocks hormones needed for pregnancy, was approved in 2000. It was later followed by misoprostol.
The FDA temporarily lifted the requirement that mifepristone be dispensed in person at a clinic or hospital due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the Biden administration made the change permanent in December, paving the way for doctors to prescribe the drug digitally and then by mail. pills to patients.
In 2020, medical abortion accounted for 54% of all pregnancy terminations in the United States
But 18 states have laws that prohibit the use of telemedicine for medical abortion.
BACTERIAL INFECTIONS LINKED TO 1 IN 8 DEATHS IN 2019
In a study published Monday in The Lancet, a massive group of collaborators report the first global estimates of death rates from bacterial pathogens.
The study found that in 2019, 7.7 million deaths worldwide were associated with bacterial infection. That estimate accounted for 13.6%, or about 1 in 8, of all deaths worldwide that year.
This analysis underscores the importance of understanding how many deaths can be attributed to bacterial infection, and the related problem of antimicrobial resistance, which has steadily increased over the past decades.
Taking the big picture puts into perspective the number of additional deaths that could occur if the antibiotics currently used become less effective.
The team used 343 million individual records and pathogen isolates to estimate deaths and the type of infection responsible.
Learn more here.
SHORTAGES OF MENTAL HEALTH PROVIDERS MAY INCREASE YOUTH SUICIDE RATES: STUDY
Rising suicide rates among young people between the ages of 5 and 19 have coincided with a growing shortage of county-level mental health care providers, according to findings from a new study.
The results were published in JAMA Pediatrics and reflect data from 2015 and 2016.
However, national data shows that more than 157 million Americans currently live in an area where there is a shortage of mental health professionals.
A total of 5,034 young people died by suicide during the study window, the majority of whom were male and white.
Before controlling for confounders, the researchers found that counties with provider shortages had a 41% higher youth suicide rate, at 5.09 deaths per 100,000 youth, compared to 3.62 deaths for 100,000 in areas with no shortage.
Of the 3,133 counties included in the study, more than two-thirds had shortages of mental health care providers. These counties were more likely to have more uninsured children, lower education, higher unemployment and poverty, and were more often rural.
Learn more here.
Missed measles vaccine puts up to 40 million children at risk
Global childhood measles vaccinations have dropped dramatically during the COVID-19 pandemic, making the disease an “imminent threat” worldwide, according to a joint report released Wednesday by the World Health Organization (WHO). ) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) ).
In 2021, a record nearly 40 million children missed a dose of measles vaccine: nearly 25 million children missed their first dose, an 11% increase from 2020. According to the report , an additional 14.7 million children missed their second dose, the lowest levels. vaccination since 2008.
The delays increase the risk of measles outbreaks, and agencies said now is the time for public health officials to speed up vaccination efforts and strengthen surveillance.
- Measles is extremely contagious, but it is almost entirely preventable by vaccination. A country needs a vaccination rate of at least 95% to achieve herd immunity and eliminate the virus.
- But the world is well below that, as only 81% of children received their first dose of measles-containing vaccine and only 71% of children received their second dose of vaccine.
“For a disease like measles that is so highly contagious, that really leaves us with huge numbers of unvaccinated children and very high levels of risk for outbreaks and the spread of disease across borders. …Measles anywhere is a threat everywhere,” said Cynthia Hatcher, one of the report’s authors who oversees the CDC’s measles elimination work in Africa.
Learn more here.
WHAT WE READ
- A trickle of covid relief funds helps fill gaps in mental health services for rural children (Kaiser Health News)
- A third of US labs have stopped using race-based equations to diagnose kidney disease (Stat)
- Adderall and Amoxicillin Shortages Raise Questions About Transparency and Accountability at Big Pharma (NBC)
STATE BY STATE
- A work-from-home culture takes root in California (Sacramento Bee)
- As term draws to a close, Baker has reappointed chief medical examiner, his administration’s highest-paid employee (Boston Globe)
- Oklahoma State Health Department Mom on Lack of Pandemic Center, Problems at Health Lab (KRMG)
That’s all for today, thanks for reading. Check out The Hill’s healthcare page for the latest news and coverage. See you next week.
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