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Texas doctor who said nine-year-olds can safely give birth appointed to maternal mortality committee

Texas doc who said nine year olds could give birth safely

One of the US’s leading anti-abortion activists has been appointed to a Texas health committee tasked with reviewing maternal deaths.

The move worries reproductive justice advocates who say the state’s abortion ban – among the strictest in the US – has placed pregnant women’s lives in jeopardy. The appointment could undermine the committee’s ability to accurately examine the impact of the law on deaths during and in the immediate aftermath of pregnancy, they say.

“This appointment speaks volumes about how seriously certain state leaders are taking the issue of maternal mortality,” said Kamyon Conner, executive director of the Texas Equal Access Fund, an abortion assistance group that advocates for reproductive health equity. “It is another sign that the state is more interested in furthering their anti-abortion agenda than protecting the lives of pregnant Texans.”

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Microplastics found in every human testicle in study

Microplastics found in testacles

Microplastics have been found in human testicles, with researchers saying the discovery might be linked to declining sperm counts in men.

The scientists tested 23 human testes, as well as 47 testes from pet dogs. They found microplastic pollution in every sample.

The human testicles had been preserved and so their sperm count could not be measured. However, the sperm count in the dogs’ testes could be assessed and was lower in samples with higher contamination with PVC. The study demonstrates a correlation but further research is needed to prove microplastics cause sperm counts to fall.

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Nevada activists secure signatures for vote on abortion access in November

Nevada gets abortion bill on  ballot

Activists in Nevada, a key state in the upcoming US presidential elections, announced on Monday afternoon that they had turned in nearly double the number of signatures they need to get an abortion-related measure on the November ballot.

Nevada currently allows abortions up until fetal viability, or the point at which an infant can survive outside the womb, which is generally pegged to around 24 weeks of pregnancy.

Activists are hoping that, by enshrining the right to an abortion in the state constitution, abortion access will be protected from any legislative attempts to limit it.

State officials still need to verify the signatures before confirming the measure will appear on the ballot. If the measure moves forward, Democrats are hoping that it will boost their candidates in the battleground state – particularly Joe Biden, who is currently trailing Donald Trump in Nevada polling.

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Other countries have better sunscreens. Here's why we can't get them in the U.S.

We can't get better sunscreen

When dermatologist Adewole "Ade" Adamson sees people spritzing sunscreen as if it's cologne at the pool where he lives in Austin, Texas, he wants to intervene. "My wife says I shouldn't," he said, "even though most people rarely use enough sunscreen."

At issue is not just whether people are using enough sunscreen, but what ingredients are in it.

In countries such as Japan, South Korea, and France, sunscreens include newer chemical filters, some of which have been shown to provide broader protection against UV rays than those used in the U.S.

The Food and Drug Administration's ability to approve such ingredients is hamstrung by a 1938 U.S. law that has required sunscreens to be tested on animals and classified as drugs, rather than as cosmetics as they are in much of the world.

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North Carolina could ban face masks for medical reasons in public

NC about to ban masks in publicThe North Carolina state Senate voted along party lines Wednesday to ban anyone from wearing masks in public, even for health reasons.

Republican supporters of the ban said it would help law enforcement crack down on protesters who wear masks. They say demonstrators are abusing COVID-19 pandemic-era practices to hide their identities following a wave of pro-Palestine protests nationwide and at North Carolina universities.

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New laws help people in US states with bans get abortion pills: ‘Most people don’t know it’s available’

New laws allow access to abortion pills in US

Over the last five months of 2023, medical providers shipped abortion pills to over 40,000 people living in states that forbid abortions, via new “shield laws” that protect providers who mail pills to people living under abortion restrictions.

Researchers from #WeCount, a project by the Society of Family Planning that studies the impact of abortion restrictions following the toppling of Roe v Wade, first started tracking abortions performed through shield laws in July 2023. In its Tuesday report, the researchers measured the impact of shield laws passed in five blue states – Colorado, Massachusetts, New York, Vermont and Washington state – that protect medical providers from legal repercussions if they ship abortion pills to people in defiance of state bans.

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Arizona Supreme Court grants stay, preventing 1864 abortion ban from taking effect

Arizona Supreme Court

The Arizona Supreme Court on Monday granted state Attorney General Kris Mayes’ request to delay the enforcement of the state’s 1864 abortion ban, preventing it from taking effect for the next several months.

The state’s high court granted a 90-day stay of the 1864 law on Monday, meaning the ban cannot be enforced until Aug

This will give Mayes more time to appeal the case to the U.S. Supreme Court should her office decide to take that route. Without Monday’s ruling, the Civil War-era law could have become fully enforced on June 27 at the earliest.

It comes weeks after Gov. Katie Hobbs (D) signed a repeal of the ban passed by the state legislature. The repeal, however, does not take effect until 90 days after the state legislature adjourns for the year.

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