On Thursday, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas, to block the Biden administration’s demanding that healthcare providers provide abortions in medical emergencies.
Paxton’s suit argues federal law does not include the right to an abortion. On Monday, Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra “warned hospitals and physicians that they are required to provide abortions in medical emergencies where it is necessary treatment to protect the life of a pregnant woman. Becerra said hospitals and physicians who refuse to comply could have their Medicare provider agreements terminated and face financial penalties” reports CNBC.
Becerra’s comments came quickly after President Joe Biden issued an executive order last week directing HHS to protect access to abortion.
Becerra said his requirement is protected under the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act law, and that it pre-empts state laws which restrict abortion access in emergency situations.
Paxton argues the law does not mandate any specific “treatment” such as abortion, therefore rendering the HHS requirement unlawful, unconstitutional and unenforceable.
Abortion became illegal in Texas under a law from 1925 after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade last month, which protected access to the procedure as a constitutional right for nearly 50 years. The ban is enforced right now through fines and lawsuits…
…At least nine states have banned abortion in the wake of the Supreme Court’s ruling. Several other states have tried to ban the procedure but their laws have been blocked by state courts.
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WHO declares Monkeypox global health emergency: Five deaths worldwide
The World Health Organization (WHO) Saturday declared a global health emergency over the rapid spread of monkeypox. The designation is based on the spread of the virus, and not the total number of deaths, which amount to only five globally, according to reports.
Currently, there are more than 16,000 reported cases of the disease in 75 countries, states the WHO. Five deaths have been attributed to the exotic disease, officials with the health organization noted. So far there are 2,400 reported cases of monkeypox in the United States.
MONKEYPOX INFO FROM WHO:
- Vaccines used during the smallpox eradication programme also provided protection against monkeypox. Newer vaccines have been developed of which one has been approved for prevention of monkeypox
- Monkeypox is caused by monkeypox virus, a member of the Orthopoxvirus genus in the family Poxviridae.
- Monkeypox is usually a self-limited disease with the symptoms lasting from 2 to 4 weeks. Severe cases can occur. In recent times, the case fatality ratio has been around 3–6%.
- Monkeypox is transmitted to humans through close contact with an infected person or animal, or with material contaminated with the virus.
- Monkeypox virus is transmitted from one person to another by close contact with lesions, body fluids, respiratory droplets and contaminated materials such as bedding.
- Monkeypox is a viral zoonotic disease that occurs primarily in tropical rainforest areas of central and west Africa and is occasionally exported to other regions.
- An antiviral agent developed for the treatment of smallpox has also been licensed for the treatment of monkeypox.
- The clinical presentation of monkeypox resembles that of smallpox, a related orthopoxvirus infection which was declared eradicated worldwide in 1980. Monkeypox is less contagious than smallpox and causes less severe illness.
- Monkeypox typically presents clinically with fever, rash and swollen lymph nodes and may lead to a range of medical complications.
WHO June 27, 2022 Meeting Conclusions:
“The Committee noted that many aspects of the current multi-country outbreak are unusual, such as the occurrence of cases in countries where monkeypox virus circulation had not been previously documented, and the fact that the vast majority of cases is observed among men who have sex with men, of young age, not previously immunized against smallpox (knowing that vaccination against smallpox is effective in protecting against monkeypox as well). Some Members suggested that, given the low level of population immunity against pox virus infection, there is a risk of further, sustained transmission into the wider population that should not be overlooked. The Committee also stressed that monkeypox virus activity has been neglected and not well controlled for years in countries in the WHO African Region.
The Committee also noted that the response to the outbreak requires collaborative international efforts, and that such response activities have already started in a number of high-income countries experiencing outbreaks, although there has been insufficient time to have evaluated the effectiveness of these activities.”
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