The Obama administration rolled out a plan on Friday to protect access to copay-free birth control for women in response to the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby ruling.
A new “proposed rule” by the Department of Health and Human Services lets female employees of for-profit businesses, like Hobby Lobby, obtain birth control directly from their insurer, at no extra cost, if their boss opts out of covering the service in the company’s insurance plan for religious reasons.
The move extends an accommodation that already exists for non-profit organizations, which are allowed to refuse to cover for birth control. In short, the religious owners can pass the cost on to the insurer so that they’re no longer complicit in what they view as sin.
“Women across the country deserve access to recommended preventive services that are important to their health, no matter where they work,” said HHS Secretary Sylvia Burwell. “Today’s announcement reinforces our commitment to providing women with access to coverage for contraception, while respecting religious considerations raised by non-profit organizations and closely held for-profit companies.”
It has laid waste to the tribal chiefdoms of Sierra Leone, leaving hundreds dead, but the Ebola crisis began with just one healer’s claims to special powers.
The outbreak need never have spread from Guinea, health officials revealed to AFP, except for a herbalist in the remote eastern border village of Sokoma.
“She was claiming to have powers to heal Ebola. Cases from Guinea were crossing into Sierra Leone for treatment,” Mohamed Vandi, the top medical official in the hard-hit district of Kenema, told AFP.
“She got infected and died. During her funeral, women around the other towns got infected.”
Ebola has killed more than 1,220 people since it emerged in southern Guinea at the start of the year, spreading first to Liberia and cutting a gruesome and gory swathe through eastern Sierra Leone since May.
08.14.14 - In LaKeisha’s hometown of Atlanta, African American women die in childbirth at a rate more than three times the national average. Following an emergency c-section, LaKeisha experienced a brush with this unsettling statistic when she developed a painful infection.
While post-cesarean complications are not uncommon, inadequate follow-up care meant that LaKeisha was neither treated for nor informed about the signs of infection. For countless women like her, racial and socio-economic disparities in health care quality and insurance access have made childbearing an increasingly dangerous proposition in this country.
“There were no calls from the doctor’s office to say, ‘How are you doing?’” recalls LaKeisha. “I sat with an infection for two weeks. I thought it was just the pain [from the cesarean]… . I remember feeling horrible.” The lingering infection traumatized LaKeisha both physically and emotionally, especially when her financial situation forced her to return to work earlier than planned.
More: Spotlighting Racial Bias
Presented without many words of my own, because, speechless.
Ireland, where force feeding a woman pregnant with her rapist child, then forcing a c-section in early 3rd trimester is legal. Wow.— Jennifer Gunter (@DrJenGunter) August 17, 2014
When do women in Ireland get to say “no”? Today we find out that the answer is “never”, not really - not if a man has other ideas and the state decides to enforce his use of a woman’s body.
'the woman&the unborn baby were represented by separate legal teams'. Choice denied even after 'traumatic rape' -Ireland 2014 #repealthe8th— Oona Frawley (@OonaFrawley) August 17, 2014
Other related cases:
Twenty years on: a timeline of the X case
And more recently:
It doesn’t matter if you’re not part of the religion that’s making the law.
Confusing Law, Deadly Result
A report into the death of Savita Halappanavar by Ireland’s Health Service Executive, has charted a series of failures compounded by the fear that doctors could fall foul of criminal law if they saved the mother by aborting a miscarrying fetus:
Savita Halappanavar’s husband, Praveen, said doctors determined that she was miscarrying within hours of her hospitalization for severe pain on Sunday, Oct. 21. He said that over the next three days doctors refused their requests for a termination of her fetus to combat her own surging pain and fading health.
“Savita was really in agony. She was very upset, but she accepted she was losing the baby,” he told The Irish Times in a telephone interview from Belgaum, southwest India. “When the consultant came on the ward rounds on Monday morning, Savita asked: `If they could not save the baby, could they induce to end the pregnancy?’ The consultant said: `As long as there is a fetal heartbeat, we can’t do anything.”’
“Again on Tuesday morning … the consultant said it was the law, that this is a Catholic country. Savita said: “I am neither Irish nor Catholic,” but they said there was nothing they could do,” Praveen Halappanavar was quoted as saying.
The lawful right to an abortion, like the right to bear arms, cannot be fulfilled without the help of another party. The judge proclaims that any action which would serve to so fully compromise the access to any legal, established right, must come from a place of necessity and authenticity. The Alabama law does neither.
In his 172 page ruling, Thomson stated that there is no basis to the belief that shutting down abortion clinics and restricting access to abortion will result in less or safer, abortions.
Let us just remind ourselves once more that these procedures are completely legal. They have, through the years, become the target of fervent and duplicitous efforts to undermine women. Anti-choicers are the saboteurs of women’s rights and legal abilities to make their own choices and be in charge of their own lives and destinies.
“These admitting privileges were not designed to make women safer,” said Susan Watson, executive director of the ACLU of Alabama. “Major medical organizations, including the American Medical Association and the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology, oppose them. We are proud to know that Alabama’s women will continue have access to safe and legal abortions.”
HAOWA was already struggling to feed five children before she gave birth to triplets in the Gabi region of southern Niger 19 months ago. Now, when her babies scream for food she often finds herself helpless. “If they cry and I have nothing to give them, then I must let them cry,” she says, cradling two infants who bear the hallmarks of malnutrition. Their hair is yellowing, their bellies are distended and their expressions glazed. They lack the energy to shake the flies from their faces. It is a dismal but depressingly common picture in west Africa’s largest country.
Niger is, by the reckoning of the UN’s Human Development Index, the poorest place on earth. Most of its inhabitants eke out a living growing subsistence crops on small plots of dusty, infertile land. Despite this agricultural bias, the drought-stricken country cannot feed itself, even in good years. An estimated 2.5m people out of a total of 17m have no secure source of food. When harvests fail, which they do almost annually, that number shoots up. In 2012, when the worst of the recent food crises ravaged the Sahel region, almost a quarter of Niger’s population was said to be going hungry, prompting desperate relief campaigns by international donors.
Denying Texas women access to abortion is proving to be pricey. Texas has paid Vincent Rue, a Florida marriage therapist best known for his discredited theories about how abortion causes mental illness, more than $42,000 in less than six months to aid its legal defense of a new law that would close all but a handful of the state’s abortion clinics.
The controversial legislation, which was the target of state Sen. Wendy Davis’s 11-hour filibuster, places strict new regulations on abortion clinics with the aim of shutting them down. Its most onerous provision—which the Center for Reproductive Rights, a legal advocacy group, is challenging in court—gives abortion clinics until September 1 to meet the standards of ambulatory surgical centers. A typical abortion does not require the features of an ambulatory surgical center, such as general anesthesia. Only six Texas clinics currently qualify as ambulatory surgical centers. The state’s other 15 clinics would need upgrades to operating rooms and construction to widen hallways in order to meet the standard—a costly prospect that will ultimately force these clinics to close.
Judges in other states have thrown out less draconian laws… . .
A vaccine that could help protect medical workers as they fight Ebola in West Africa, even just after contamination, may take at least a month to be available as global officials weigh its safety.
The sudden donation of as many as 1,000 doses of a vaccine that hasn’t been tested in humans is creating a conundrum because they could go to healthy people, rather than those already infected. A World Health Organization ethics panel this week decided that people in West Africa should be allowed access to promising experimental treatments or vaccines.
“I would personally not hesitate to take that vaccine,” said Thomas Geisbert, a virologist at the University of Texas Medical Branch and a developer of the vaccine donated to WHO by the Canadian government. “I’ve seen it used in many, many non-human primates. Never saw a problem with it.”
n a latest announcement, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration gave a nod to Cologuard - first stool-based colorectal screening test that easily identifies the presence of red blood cells and DNA mutation that reveal the presence of certain kinds of abnormal growth that may be cancers like colon cancer or precursors to cancer.
Colorectal cancer is the third most common type of cancer and the second leading cause of cancer-related death in the United States. It affects people aged 50 years and older, reports the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CCD). Colorectal cancer is effective in lowering illness and death related to colon cancer. CDC estimates that everyone aged 50 years and older has to undergo regular screening tests as recommended. With this, nearly 60 percent of the cancer deaths can be avoided.
This cancer occurs in colon or rectum. It starts as abnormal raised or flat tissue growths on the inner lining of the large intestine or rectum. The newly approved Cologuard uses stool sample and detects haemoglobin - a protein molecule that is a component of blood.
No good deed goes unpunished, as they say. Phillip Morris certainly sets out to prove it as they threaten to sue the UK over its attempts to reduce the allure of smoking to children.
The UK government said in April it wanted to bring in plain packaging after a review found it could cut down the incidence of children taking up smoking.
In its submission to the Department of Health, Philip Morris said the value of compensation it would seek could total “billions of pounds”.