Genetics

Monday, June 6, 2022 | Kaiser Health News

Miss. Official Had No Say In Abortion Case, But It Carries His Name

Dr. Thomas Dobbs, Mississippi’s top public health official, is named in the case before the Supreme Court, Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which could lead the justices to overturn their landmark decision in Roe v. Wade. But Dobbs has not said what his views are on abortion, and it is the state attorney general who brought the suit. Also, how overturning Roe could affect IVF services; what corporate leaders are doing to prepare; and how Texas – where the Roe case originated – is still the center of the argument over abortion.

AP: Doctor Named In Abortion Case Has Nothing To Do With Lawsuit

Dr. Thomas Dobbs has never gotten involved in political fights over reproductive health, but his name has become shorthand for a legal case that could end abortion rights in the United States. If he has feelings about the situation, he pretty much keeps those to himself. Mississippi’s top public health official is named in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, a dispute over a state law that would ban most abortions after the 15th week but that could be used to overturn Roe v. Wade. (Pettus and Stobbe, 6/6)

The Hill: Five Biggest Issues To Watch At Supreme Court As High-Profile Term Ends

As the most controversial Supreme Court term in recent memory winds down, the justices have yet to decide a whopping 33 cases, including blockbuster disputes over abortion, religion and guns. The justices are expected to wrap up their work by late June or early July, which means the coming weeks will see the Supreme Court make headlines with a slate of opinions that have the potential to dramatically reshape American life. (Kruzel, 6/5)

AP: Abortion Rights Advocates Say They Need More Men’s Voices

If Donovan Atterberry thought about abortion at all as a young man, it was perhaps with some vague discomfort, or a memory of the anti-abortion protesters outside the clinic that he would pass on his way to the park as a child. It became real to him in 2013, when his girlfriend, now his wife, became pregnant with their first child together. She’d had a healthy pregnancy before, his stepdaughter, but this time genetic testing found a lethal chromosomal disorder in the developing fetus, one that would likely result in a stillbirth and also possibly put her life at risk during a delivery. (Hajela, 6/5)

Stat: How Overturning Roe Could Affect Testing Of Embryos In IVF Clinics

Through their foundation, Allie LaForce and Joe Smith have so far helped families have 17 healthy babies. The group works with would-be parents who have the fatal neurodegenerative condition Huntington’s disease in their families. If someone has the mutation that causes HD, a child has a 50% chance of inheriting it. The foundation, HelpCureHD, helps couples pay for a type of screening that lets them have kids without the mutation. Called preimplantation genetic testing, or PGT, the process involves making embryos through IVF and peering into the embryos’ DNA, then selecting only those without the mutation for transfer into a womb. … If the Supreme Court, as seems likely, overturns the constitutional right to abortion established in Roe v. Wade, some states could impose abortion restrictions that could impinge on other aspects of reproductive medicine – including IVF and PGT. (Joseph, 6/6)

NBC News: How Adoption Agencies Are Responding To Potential Overturning Of Roe V. Wade

With a staff of three, the Choice Network adoption agency in Columbus, Ohio, has diligently been working to raise money over the last few months to boost its visibility and fortify its services in anticipation of Ohio’s immediate ban on abortion if Roe v. Wade, the landmark ruling guaranteeing reproductive freedom, gets overturned. The agency, which also offers all-options counseling – including on abortion and parenting – anticipates an influx of women once that happens. (Ali, 6/4)

Politico: The Doctor Prescribing Abortions From Overseas

Within a few weeks, if Roe v. Wade is overturned as expected, a Dutch doctor named Rebecca Gomperts may quickly become the most controversial abortion provider in America – even though she is not in America. Gomperts and her organization, Aid Access, is already the only provider openly providing telehealth abortion in the 19 states that currently restrict access to such services; if you go [to] the website of Plan C, a group providing information about abortion pills by mail, Aid Access is the sole provider listed for many of them. (Conaboy, 6/3)

More on abortion and reproductive health –

Fortune: Abortion Benefits Are A Big Corporate Trend, But Most Companies Are Still Figuring Out How They Would Work

Following the memo leak that indicated the US Supreme Court may be poised to overturn Roe v. Wade, several major companies were quick to pledge their commitment to abortion rights, promising to cover employees’ travel expenses for abortion care. But much of the logistics remain in the works, and companies were tight-lipped about their plans to roll those offerings out in the coming months. HR experts say there will be plenty of pitfalls to consider as companies intending to do good by their employees have to navigate privacy concerns and limitations of overall health coverage in the process. (Gill, 6/4)

The Wall Street Journal: Wall Street Gets Forced Into The Abortion Debate

Shareholders have placed abortion-rights proposals on the proxies at three big retailers this spring: Walmart Inc .; Lowe’s Cos .; and TJX Cos., the owner of off-price chains including TJ Maxx. Many more could follow next year. … Activist investors submitted the shareholder proposals in December. Broadly, they ask each company to compile a report evaluating the risks and costs of restricted reproductive rights, including on employee hiring and retention. (Au-Yeung, 6/3)

The Washington Post: How Women’s Lives Were Different Before Roe V. Wade

It’s been 49 years since the Supreme Court’s landmark decision in Roe v. Wade allowed the right to an abortion. Since then, women have transformed their lives. They have seen their roles in the US workforce vastly expand and their economic power grow. Many women have far more input at home and in the workforce. Some see those changes at risk after a leaked draft of a Supreme Court suggested the right to an abortion could be overturned, limiting their decision on when or whether to have children. Do you know how many women’s lives have changed since before Roe ruling in 1973? (Shin, Siegel and Mellnik, 6/2)

And in state news on abortion –

Stateline: In Texas, Where Abortion Rights Began, GOP Builds New Barriers

Because Roe’s legal roots were planted in a Dallas courtroom, Texas could be described as the starting point for a half-century of legalized abortions in America. But in the decades since the decision, Republicans have steadily toppled Democrats to take over the state’s power structure. In recent years, Texas has produced some of the most restrictive anti-abortion laws in the country. (Montgomery, 6/3)

The CT Mirror: CT Abortion Providers Prepare For Influx Of Patients Seeking Safe Haven

Certified nurse-midwife Jennifer Love remembers a scene from a training rotation she did many years ago in Cartagena, Colombia, where abortion was illegal at the time. If women came in with complications after a miscarriage or a self-induced abortion, they had to wear a marked shirt and sit in a special area of ​​the obstetric emergency department, where Love worked. “The trauma and the stigma,” she said, “I never thought that we would be moving to where our patients would experience that same sense of fear and shame. It’s terrible. It just breaks my heart. (Jones, 6/5)

San Francisco Chronicle: Two Women Were Charged With Murder After Having Stillbirths. The Cases Are Rocking This California County

In early 2018, a 29-year-old Central Valley woman became the first person in decades to be jailed in California for the death of her stillborn infant. In late 2019, it happened again. Another pregnant woman who struggled with addiction delivered a stillborn baby who tested positive for methamphetamine at Adventist Health hospital in the Kings County seat of Hanford. She was also flagged by doctors, investigated by local law enforcement and charged with murder by District Attorney Keith Fagundes. The cases sparked national backlash from civil rights groups, which successfully fought to overturn the convictions. But now, as Gov. Gavin Newsom positions California as a reproductive rights sanctuary ahead of the Supreme Court’s anticipated reversal of Roe v. Wade, the cases are once again dividing residents in a bitter district attorney’s race in this corner of California’s heartland. (Hepler, 6/4)

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