It was a mixed day for abortion rights advocates. We’ll look into the details. PLUS: Why the COVID-19 pandemic has seen a significant drop in measles vaccines for children worldwide.
Welcome to overnight healthcareWhere we keep up with the latest moves related to politics and news affecting your health. For The Hill, we’re Nathaniel Wicksell and Joseph Choi. Someone send you this newsletter?
Programming note: We will take a break starting tomorrow. Overnight Health will be back in your inbox on Monday. happy thanks giving!
Georgia’s highest court agrees to a six-week abortion ban
On Wednesday, the Georgia State Supreme Court reinstated the state’s ban on abortions after about six weeks of pregnancy.
The court granted the state’s emergency petition, pausing a lower court ruling from last week in which a judge called the ban “unconstitutional.”
Reproductive rights groups have argued that the state’s ban on abortion violates the state’s constitution.
They won a Fulton County Superior Court decision, where earlier this month Judge Robert McBurney ruled the ban invalid.
According to the American Civil Liberties Union, patients who scheduled abortions last week were refused.
- Georgia’s Live Infant Equity and Equality (LIFE) Act, passed in 2019, bans abortions in the state after a fetal heartbeat is detected, usually around six weeks of gestation.
- After the US Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in June, a complex array of state laws emerged with conservative states, particularly in the South and Midwest, moving quickly to impose new restrictions on abortion and even near-total bans.
Many people don’t yet know they’re pregnant at six weeks, which is the earliest the electrical activity of a fetus’ heart can be detected. Electrical activity is different from the heartbeat, although the legislation is often called the “law of the heartbeat.”
Kansas court allows telemedicine for abortion pill
A Kansas state court has blocked a 2011 law banning doctors from providing medical abortion via telemedicine.
Shawnee County Court Judge Teresa Watson issued a temporary order blocking enforcement of a state law that requires doctors to administer abortion-inducing drugs while in the room with the patient.
However, the Kansas Supreme Court may eventually consider allowing remote abortions to resume.
- Since the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade in June, women have increasingly turned to the abortion pill if they need to terminate a pregnancy. It has been found to be very safe.
- There are two pills needed for a medical abortion, which are approved by the Food and Drug Administration for the first 10 weeks of pregnancy.
Mifepristone, a drug that blocks the hormones needed for pregnancy, was approved in 2000. It was then followed by misoprostol.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration temporarily removed 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 mail it in. pills for patients.
In 2020, medical abortion accounted for 54 percent of all pregnancy terminations in the United States.
But 18 states have laws banning the use of telemedicine for medical abortion.
Bacterial infection linked to 1 in 8 deaths in 2019
In a study published Monday in The Lancet, a massive group of collaborators reported the first global estimates of death rates from bacterial pathogens.
The study found that in 2019, 7.7 million deaths worldwide were linked to bacterial infections. That estimate accounted for 13.6 percent, or about 1 in 8, of all global deaths that year.
This analysis highlights the importance of understanding the number of deaths that can be attributed to bacterial infections, and the related issue of antimicrobial resistance, which has been on a steady rise in recent decades.
Taking a global view takes into account the number of deaths that could occur if currently used antibiotics became less effective.
The team used 343 million individual pathogen records and isolates to estimate mortality and the type of infection responsible.
Shortage of mental health providers can increase suicide rates among youth: study
Increased suicide rates among youth ages 5 to 19 have coincided with a growing shortage of mental health care providers countywide, according to new study findings.
The results are 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 with a shortage of mental health care professionals.
A total of 5,034 young adults died by suicide during the study window, and most of them were male and white.
Before adjusting for confounders, the researchers found that counties with a shortage of providers had a 41 percent higher suicide rate, at 5.09 deaths per 100,000 youth, compared with 3.62 deaths per 100,000 in districts without shortages.
Of the 3,133 counties included in the study, more than two-thirds had a shortage of mental health care providers. These counties were more likely to have more uninsured children, lower educational attainment, higher unemployment and poverty, and were predominantly rural.
40 million children are at risk
Measles vaccination of children worldwide has decreased significantly during the COVID-19 pandemic, making the disease an “imminent threat” worldwide, according to a joint report released Wednesday from the World Health Organization (WHO) and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). ). ).
In 2021, nearly 40 million children reported missing a record dose of measles vaccine: Nearly 25 million children missed their first dose, up 11% from 2020. The report found that an additional 14.7 million children missed their second dose, the lowest levels Vaccination since 2008.
Delays increase the risk of a measles outbreak, and the agencies said it was time for public health officials to speed up vaccination efforts and strengthen surveillance.
- Measles is highly contagious, but it is almost entirely preventable through vaccination. A country needs a vaccination rate of at least 95 percent in order to achieve herd immunity and eradicate the virus.
- But the world is much less so, with only 81 percent of children receiving their first measles-containing vaccine dose, and only 71 percent of children receiving their second vaccine dose.
“For a disease like measles that is highly contagious, this already leaves us with a huge number of unvaccinated children and very high levels of risk of outbreaks and border crossings,” said Cynthia Hatcher, one of the report’s authors who oversees CDC’s work in Africa to eliminate measles. , “…measles anywhere is a threat everywhere”.
what we read
- A trickle of COVID relief helps fill gaps in mental health services for rural children (Kaiser Health News)
- A third of US laboratories have stopped using race-based equations to diagnose kidney disease (stat)
- Shortages of Adderall and amoxicillin raise questions about transparency and accountability at big drug companies (NBC)
State by state
- The work-from-home culture is rooted in California (Sacramento P.I)
- With the term coming to an end, Baker rehired the Chief Medical Examiner, the highest-paid employee in his department (Boston Globe)
- Oklahoma State Department of Health Mama about No Epidemiology Center, Health Lab Problems (KRMG)
That’s it for today, thanks for reading. Check out The Hill’s Health care page For the latest news and coverage. See you next week.