Health

Abortion foes, supporters map next moves after Roe reversal

A day after the Supreme Court’s bombshell ruling overturning Roe v. Wade ended the constitutional right to abortion, emotional protests and prayer vigils are turning to resolve as several states enact bans and both supporters and foes of abortion rights map out their next moves. A Texas group that helps women pay for abortions has halted its efforts while evaluating its legal risk under a ban it says will disproportionately hurt poor and minority women. Mississippi’s only abortion clinic is continuing to see patients while awaiting a 10-day notice that will trigger a ban. Some elected officials are vowing to protect women’s access to abortion, while opponents of the procedure say their fight is far from over.

Is abortion illegal in the U.S. now? Depends where you live

The U.S. Supreme Court has overturned Roe v. Wade, the 1973 decision that had provided a constitutional right to abortion. Friday's ruling is expected to lead to abortion bans in roughly half the states. In anticipation of the decision, several states led by Democrats have taken steps to protect abortion access. The decision also sets up the potential for legal fights between the states over whether providers and those who help women obtain abortions can be sued or prosecuted.

Highlights of bipartisan gun violence bill signed by Biden

The bipartisan bill signed by President Joe Biden that aims to address gun violence will incrementally toughen requirements for young people to buy guns, deny firearms from more domestic abusers and help local authorities temporarily take weapons away from people judged to be dangerous. Most of the measure's $13 billion cost will go to bolster mental health programs and for schools, which have been targeted in high-profile mass shootings. The bill omits tougher restrictions that Democrats have long championed, such as a ban on assault-type weapons and background checks for all gun transactions. Still, the bill is the most impactful firearms violence measure that Congress has approved since enacting a now-expired assault weapons ban in 1993.

Justices' past abortion views, in their own words and votes

More than a month ago, a stunning leak of a draft opinion by Justice Samuel Alito indicated that the Supreme Court was prepared to take the momentous step of overruling the Roe v. Wade decision from 1973 and stripping away women’s constitutional protections for abortion. And that’s what the court’s conservative majority ended up doing Friday. When the court heard arguments in the abortion case from Mississippi in December, it was clear to observers there was substantial support among the conservatives for overturning Roe. But even before those arguments and Friday’s decision, the justices had much to say in public about abortion over the years — in opinions, votes, Senate confirmation testimony and elsewhere.

Xi taking part in Hong Kong anniversary but no word on visit

The Chinese government says President Xi Jinping will participate in next week’s celebrations of the 25th anniversary of the return of Hong Kong to China. But it left unclear whether he will visit the former British colony for the highly symbolic event after a crackdown on a pro-democracy movement inflamed tension with Washington and Europe. The official Xinhua News Agency says Xi will attend a meeting for the anniversary and the inauguration of newly appointed Chief Executive John Lee. Xi hasn't made a trip outside the Chinese mainland since the coronavirus pandemic began 2 1/2 years ago. Hong Kong faces a renewed rise in infections following a flood of cases earlier this year.

Pfizer says tweaked COVID-19 shots boost omicron protection

Pfizer says tweaking its COVID-19 vaccine to better target the omicron variant is safe and boosts protection. Saturday's announcement comes just days before regulators debate whether to offer Americans updated booster shots this fall. The current COVID-19 vaccines still offer strong protection against hospitalization and death. But protection against infection has dropped markedly with the omicron variant, and now its even more transmissible relatives are spreading. Pfizer says either an omicron-targeted booster or a combination shot that mixes the original vaccine with omicron protection substantially increases protection. Rival Moderna hopes to offer a similar combination shot.

Live in a Wildfire Zone? Be Prepared

SATURDAY, June 25, 2022 (HealthDay News) -- More Americans now live in wildfire zones as wildfire seasons have become longer, with hotter, faster-moving fires.

Dems hope to harness outrage, sadness after abortion ruling

Democratic officials across the nation hope to harness their party's collective outrage and sadness to improve their political outlook this fall after the Supreme Court's stunning decision to overturn Roe v. Wade. Abortion was an afterthought for much of the year for many voters. It was overshadowed by record gas prices, surging inflation and President Joe Biden’s low popularity. But on Friday, a Supreme Court majority of conservative justices ensured that abortion would be a central issue in U.S. politics for the foreseeable future. Polling shows that relatively few Americans wanted to see Roe overturned.

Army Guard troops risk dismissal as vaccine deadline looms

Up to 40,000 Army National Guard soldiers haven't yet gotten the mandated COVID-19 vaccine. That's about 13% of the force. And as the deadline for shots nears, at least 14,000 of them have flatly refused and could be forced out of the service. Guard soldiers have until this coming Thursday to get the vaccine. Data obtained by The Associated Press shows that between 20% to 30% of the Guard soldiers in six states aren't vaccinated and more than 10% in 43 other states still need shots. Guard leaders say states are doing all they can to encourage soldiers to get vaccinated by the time limit.

Guns and abortion: Contradictory decisions, or consistent?

They are the most fiercely polarizing issues in American life: abortion and guns. And two momentous decisions by the Supreme Court in two days have done anything but resolve them. Instead, they've fired up debate about whether the court’s conservative justices are being consistent to history and the Constitution — or citing them to justify political preferences, To some critics, the rulings represent an obvious and deeply damaging contradiction: How can the court justify restricting the ability of states to regulate guns while expanding the right of states to regulate abortion? To supporters, the court’s conservatives are staying true to the country’s founding principles and undoing errors of the past.

Live updates | Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade

Police fired tear gas from the windows of the Arizona Capitol building to disperse hundreds of people demonstrating outside Friday night, as lawmakers briefly huddled in a basement. The lawmakers were working to complete their 2022 session as thousands of protesters gathered on the Capitol grounds in Phoenix. They were divided into groups condemning and supporting the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision. KPHO-TV reported the officers opened fire when several anti-abortion protesters started banging on glass doors of the building. It wasn’t immediately known if there were injuries or arrests.

Army Guard troops risk dismissal as vaccine deadline looms

Up to 40,000 Army National Guard soldiers across the country - or about 13% of the force — have not yet gotten the mandated COVID-19 vaccine, and as the deadline for shots looms, at least 14,000 of them have flatly refused and could be forced out of the service. Guard soldiers have until next Thursday to get the vaccine. Data obtained by The Associated Press shows that between 20% to 30% of the Guard soldiers in six states are not vaccinated, and more than 10% in 43 other states still need shots. Guard leaders say states are doing all they can to encourage soldiers to get vaccinated by the time limit.

Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade; states can ban abortion

The Supreme Court has stripped away women’s constitutional protections for abortion. It's a fundamental and deeply personal change for Americans' lives after nearly a half-century under the court's landmark Roe v. Wade decision. Friday's new ruling is likely to lead to abortion bans in roughly half the states. The ruling by the high court's conservative majority was unthinkable just a few years ago. It was the culmination of decades of efforts by abortion opponents, made possible by an emboldened right side of the court that has been fortified by three appointees of former President Donald Trump. The ruling came more than a month after the stunning leak of a draft opinion by Justice Samuel Alito.

Some US clinics stop doing abortions as ruling takes hold

Abortion bans that were put on the books in some states in the event Roe v. Wade was overturned have started automatically going into effect, while clinics elsewhere — including Alabama, Texas and West Virginia — have stopped performing abortions for fear of prosecution, sending women away in tears. America was convulsed with anger, joy, fear and confusion after the Supreme Court overturned Roe. The canyon-like divide across the U.S. over the right to terminate a pregnancy was on full display, with abortion rights supporters calling it a dark day in history, while abortion foes welcomed the ruling as the answer to their prayers.

With Roe over, some fear rollback of LGBTQ and other rights

The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision allowing states to ban abortion is stirring alarm among LGBTQ advocates. They fear that the ruling could someday allow a rollback of legal protections for gay relationships, including the right for same-sex couples to marry. In the majority opinion issued Friday that overturns the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, Justice Samuel Alito said the decision applied only to abortion. But critics discounted that statement. In a separate concurring opinion, Justice Clarence Thomas said the court should review other precedents, including decisions legalizing same-sex marriage and striking down laws criminalizing gay sex. A protester at a Topeka, Kansas, abortion-rights rally said conservatives would not stop with abortion.

Democrats vow to help women who must travel for abortions

Democratic leaders across the nation are vowing to help women who travel to seek abortions. They also pledged Friday to shield patients and medical professionals from being pursued by authorities in states where the procedure becomes outlawed after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down Roe v. Wade. On the West Coast, the Democratic governors of California, Washington and Oregon issued a joint “multi-state commitment,” saying they will work together to defend patients and care providers. North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper, also a Democrat, emphasized the importance of the November election. In that state, the GOP controls the Legislature but lacks veto-proof majorities to outlaw abortion.

Wisconsin doctors halt abortions following court ruling

Doctors across Wisconsin have stopped providing abortions, even as questions remain about the enforceability of a 173-year-old state ban. The state's abortion providers took the step Friday immediately after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down its 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that guaranteed the right to abortion nationwide. Wisconsin has an 1849 law that bans abortion, except to save the life of the mother, but whether that law is enforceable is expected to be challenged in court. Planned Parenthood Wisconsin Medical Director Kathy King says nearly 70 women had abortion procedures scheduled for Friday and Saturday, but that the group instead helped those women make appointments for abortions in states where it's legal.

Juul can keep selling e-cigarettes as court blocks FDA ban

A federal court has put a temporary hold on the government's order for Juul to stop selling its electronic cigarettes. Juul filed the emergency motion so it can appeal the sales ban from the Food and Drug Administration. The U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington granted the request later Friday. A day earlier, the FDA said Juul must stop selling its vaping device and its cartridges. The agency said Juul didn't give it enough information to evaluate the potential health risks of its e-cigarettes. In its court filing, the company disagreed, saying it provided enough.

From joy to anger, faith leaders react to Roe's reversal

Religious Americans are deeply divided in their views on abortion. That is clearly reflected in reactions from faith leaders to the Supreme Court’s momentous ruling overturning Roe v. Wade and the constitutional right to abortion. The decision is being hailed by leading Catholic bishops, even though a majority of U.S. Catholics support abortion rights. It's also welcomed by many evangelical Christian leaders. Some mainline Protestant leaders are decrying the ruling, however. Several Jewish organizations say the decision infringes on Jewish traditions that accept the need for abortions.

Decrease Seen in HIV Testing, Diagnoses During Pandemic

FRIDAY, June 24, 2022 (HealthDay News) -- There was a decrease in HIV testing and diagnoses during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, according to research published in the June 24 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

CDC Backs Moderna Vaccine for Those Aged 6 to 17

FRIDAY, June 24, 2022 (HealthDay News) -- U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Rochelle Walensky, M.D., on Friday signed off on the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 6 through 17 years. It is the final step to making the shots available to this age group. The two-dose Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine has already gained approval for use in older children.

American Diabetes Association, June 3-7

The annual meeting of the American Diabetes Association was held this year from June 3 to 7 in New Orleans and attracted more than 15,000 participants from around the world, including clinicians, academicians, allied health professionals, and others interested in diabetes. The conference highlighted the latest advances in diabetes research and improving patient care, with presentations focusing on treatment recommendations and advances in management technology.