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Friday, Jul 25th

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Texas abortion law creates obstacles for Valley women

Texas abortion obstaclesThe women who visit Lucy Felix at her advocacy center are lately faced with a slate of difficult choices: risk deportation to drive to a clinic, cross the nearby border into Mexico for a risky abortion or keep an unwanted, unplanned pregnancy to term.

Since Texas lawmakers passed new restrictions on abortion clinics last year, the number of clinics in the Rio Grande Valley that perform the service has dropped from two to zero, forcing women to drive more than 300 miles roundtrip to other cities for services or attempt riskier procedures across the border.

In the Valley, the poorest and neediest part of the state, the law is crippling women's rights to abortions, said Felix, a Brownsville-based field coordinator with the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health.

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Missouri one step closer to 72-hour wait period for abortions

Missouri abortion lawMissouri lawmakers passed legislation requiring women to have a three-day wait period before having an abortion.

The law would make women, seeking to terminate their pregnancy, wait 72 hours between the time they meet with their doctor and the actual procedure. There is only one clinic in St. Louis that provides abortions in the state. This means that women will either have to stay for three days in the city or travel back and forth. This has some Democrats concerned that the measure will affect low-income women who have problems accessing proper healthcare.

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Massive dose of measles vaccine clears woman's cancer

Measles vaccine cures cancerMayo Clinic researchers announced a landmark study where a massive dose of the measles vaccine, enough to inoculate 10 million people, wiped out a Minnesota woman's incurable blood cancer.

The Mayo Clinic conducted the clinical trial last year using virotherapy. The method discovered the measles virus wiped out multiple myeloma cancer calls. Researchers engineered the measles virus (MV-NIS) in a single intravenous dose, making it selectively toxic to cancer cells.

Stacy Erholtz, 49, of Pequot Lakes, was one of two patients in the study who received the dose last year, and after 10 years with multiple myeloma has been clear of the disease for over six months.

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Study: Everyday chemicals that may increase breast cancer risk

chemicals causing breast cancerGasoline and chemicals formed by combustion from vehicles, lawn equipment, smoking and charred food are among the largest sources of mammary carcinogens in the environment.

Ruthann A. Rudel, Janet M. Ackerman and Julia Green Brody of the Silent Spring Institute and Kathleen R. Attfield of Harvard School of Public Health identified the highest priority chemicals to target for breast cancer prevention.

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U.S. alone among Western countries on lack of paid maternity leave, UN finds

Maternity leave in USThe United States is the only Western country _ and one of only three in the world _ that does not provide some kind of monetary payment to new mothers who’ve taken maternity leave from their jobs, a new U.N. study reports.

Two other countries share the U.S. position of providing “no cash benefits during maternity leave,” according to the report, which was released Tuesday by the International Labor Organization: Oman, an absolute monarchy in the Persian Gulf; and Papua New Guinea, a South Pacific nation where the U.S. State Department says violence against women is so common that 60 percent of men in a U.N. study acknowledged having committed a rape.

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Another 90 Arrests As Strike Force’s Medicare Fraud Tally Hits $6 Billion

Medicare fraudIn the seventh “takedown” since the government formed a Medicare Fraud Strike Force in 2007, federal agents arrested 90 people on May 13th, including 50 in Miami, on charges they schemed to falsely bill taxpayers $260 million.

In what is becoming an annual affair, the latest figures offer a staggering picture of the extent to which fraudsters are preying on the huge health care program for the nation’s elderly.

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FDA approves 'Star Wars' robotic arm for amputees

robotic arm approvedThe U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved a robotic arm for amputees that is named for the "Star Wars" character Luke Skywalker and can perform multiple, simultaneous movements, a huge advance over the metal hook currently in use.

The FDA said on Friday it allowed the sale of the DEKA Arm System after reviewing data, including a U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs study in which 90 percent of people who used the device were able to perform complex tasks. These included using keys and locks, feeding themselves, using zippers and brushing and combing hair.

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