Category Archives: National news

SCOTUS hears the EMTALA case

Hope for the best, but be prepared for the worst. The Supreme Court appeared split Wednesday in a case over whether a federal law requiring hospitals to provide appropriate stabilizing medical treatment for patients could in some cases overrule a … Continue reading

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Trying again on judge shopping

If at first you don’t succeed… U.S. Senate leaders introduced legislation to end “judge shopping” — a practice that’s made a federal courthouse in Amarillo with a Trump-appointed judge a destination for conservative litigants challenging Biden administration policies. Senate Majority … Continue reading

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More Census changes coming

This seems like a good idea. On the next U.S. census and future federal government forms, the list of checkboxes for a person’s race and ethnicity is officially getting longer. The Biden administration has approved proposals for a new response … Continue reading

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SCOTUS seems likely to dump the mifepristone ban case

Some good news. For this Supreme Court to reject abortion restrictions, the argument has to be pretty bad. “That it?” Justice Amy Coney Barrett cut in tersely as anti-abortion group lawyer Erin Hawley (yes, that Hawley) enumerated the supposed harms … Continue reading

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The problem of inadequate police responses to mass shootings is national

More great reporting from ProPublica, The Texas Tribune, and FRONTLINE on how police departments across the country have no idea how to react to mass shootings. During an October conference to prepare law enforcement for dealing with an active shooter, … Continue reading

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Christmas trees and climate change

Sorry to be a grinch. Christmas tree breeder Jim Rockis knows what it looks like when one dies long before it can reach a buyer. Rockis farms trees in West Virginia and Pennsylvania, where he and other producers often grow … Continue reading

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Republicans are not going to do anything to loosen abortion restrictions

Even those who want to do so will be forced to back down. The only way forward is to win more elections. When the Supreme Court struck down the constitutional right to abortion last year, strict abortion bans in more … Continue reading

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SCOTUS takes up mifepristone appeal

Get ready. The Supreme Court announced Wednesday that it will hear arguments on the accessibility of the abortion drug mifepristone in the biggest abortion case since Dobbs. The case stems from a widely panned decision handed down by notorious Donald … Continue reading

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The state of healthcare for trans kids today

It’s bad. In the past three years alone, life as a young transgender person in the U.S. has changed dramatically. Before 2021, gender-affirming medical care was legal in all 50 states. None had even tried to ban it. Today, 22 … Continue reading

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Where the abortions are happening now

Fascinating. A new report reveals the reality of the United States post-Dobbs: abortion deserts, especially concentrated in the southeast, forcing women to flee to nearby states that provide care. “The Monthly Abortion Provision Study shows that many states that are … Continue reading

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Lots of people will not get that latest COVID shot

Sadly not a big surprise. We could move this at the margins, but not as long as any part of government is in Republican control. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends new covid-19 booster vaccines for all — … Continue reading

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Time for your next COVID shot

I’m ready. The U.S. approved updated COVID-19 vaccines Monday, hoping to rev up protection against the latest coronavirus strains and blunt any surge this fall and winter. The Food and Drug Administration decision opens the newest shots from Moderna and … Continue reading

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The fight over abortion access in New Mexico

Great story from the AP. The sanctuary in Grace Covenant Reformed Church was packed. People stood shoulder to shoulder wherever they could — near the stained glass windows depicting scenes from the Bible, behind the neatly lined rows of chairs … Continue reading

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It’s going to be a challenge tracking changes in the maternal mortality rate

We expect maternal deaths to rise post-Dobbs, especially in states that have effectively banned abortions. But collecting the data to document what’s happening will not be easy. Since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade last year, doctors have warned … Continue reading

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Fifth Circuit rejects some mifepristone restrictions, upholds others

Typical. A Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals panel handed down a decision Wednesday batting down challenges to the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) initial approval of abortion drug mifepristone, but reinstituting restrictions that the agency has lifted in recent years. … Continue reading

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Over the counter birth control pill approved

A big deal, and a long time coming. The Food and Drug Administration approved the first ever over-the-counter birth control pill in the United States Thursday, a huge advancement in contraceptive accessibility amid an ever more restrictive abortion landscape. “Approval … Continue reading

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The Jovita Idar quarter

Cool. As part of a series honoring women in history, the U.S. Mint will release a new quarter in mid-August depicting early 1900s South Texas journalist-activist Jovita Idar. Often associated with her early life in Laredo, she lived her last 25 … Continue reading

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Malaria

Time for something new to worry about. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is warning doctors and public health officials about a handful of locally acquired cases of malaria. There hasn’t been a case of malaria caught locally … Continue reading

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Texas to invest in microchips

Cool. Leaders in the semiconductor industry and their Texas allies were alarmed by supply chain disruptions to the sector during the pandemic. Now the state is seeking to turn the lessons learned in the past three years into an opportunity. … Continue reading

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Please get an mpox vaccine if you are at risk

Let’s avoid a summer surge. On the heels of a cluster of new mpox infections in Chicago this month, the CDC is urging at-risk populations to get fully vaccinated. One year ago Thursday, the Centers for Disease Control released its … Continue reading

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The national cannabis oversupply problem

A fascinating look at a big problem in the cannabis market. Along the West Coast, which dominated U.S. marijuana production long before states began to legalize it, producers face what many call the failed economics of legal pot. There is … Continue reading

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FDA set to approve over the counter birth control pill

Good. An influential advisory panel recommended that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approve an oral contraceptive pill for over-the-counter use without an age restriction. While hormonal birth control is available without a prescription in many other countries, this medication, … Continue reading

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Feds rebuke hospitals that didn’t do emergency abortions

Relevant to our interests. Two hospitals that refused to provide an emergency abortion to a pregnant woman who was experiencing premature labor put her life in jeopardy and violated federal law, a first-of-its-kind investigation by the federal government has found. … Continue reading

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Feds take steps to protect abortion health data

Good. The Biden administration released a raft of proposals related to keeping abortion-related health information private Wednesday morning. Some of the measures are specifically targeted to shield providers from prosecution, so far the primary way red states are seeking to … Continue reading

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Founder of that voter roll maintenance program that election denialists hate has stepped down

I’m sure this will calm everyone down and restore the faith everyone once had in this program. Right? David Becker, an election law advocate who helped create the Electronic Registration Information Center (ERIC), is vacating his position on its board … Continue reading

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What does Florida have against bloggers?

These are the questions we must ask ourselves these days. Florida Sen. Jason Brodeur (R-Lake Mary) wants bloggers who write about Gov. Ron DeSantis, Attorney General Ashley Moody, and other members of the Florida executive cabinet or legislature to register … Continue reading

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A bigger House

Proposals like this come along every few years. The size of the House of Representatives hasn’t kept up with population growth for a very long time—in fact, it hasn’t even tried to—but one congressman has a solution. Democratic Rep. Earl … Continue reading

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FDA suggests annual COVID booster

I like the idea of this, which is to make COVID shots simpler and thus hopefully more likely to be taken, but it seems to be more nuanced than that. The US Food and Drug Administration wants to simplify the … Continue reading

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Emergency miscarriage care

Here’s another thing most of us have not had to think much about in the past when abortion was generally legal. [A uterine aspiration (also commonly known as a D&C) or the removal of tissue from the uterus via suction] is a … Continue reading

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Mifepristone can now be offered at retail pharmacies

Good news, for at least some of the country. For the first time, retail pharmacies, from corner drugstores to major chains like CVS and Walgreens, will be allowed to offer abortion pills in the United States under a regulatory change … Continue reading

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Ike Dike authorization officially passed

Took a roundabout route to get there, but here we are. With the stroke of a pen, President Joe Biden authorized a $34 billion proposal to build a massive storm surge protection system on the Texas coast and around Galveston … Continue reading

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Electoral Count Act included in must-pass budget bill

It’s not nearly enough to shore up voting rights, but it’s still vitally necessary and clearly the best we could do. After months of negotiations, it now appears to be official: The Electoral Count Reform Act has hitched a ride … Continue reading

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A non-prescription pill

This sounds like a good idea. If you’re one of the estimated 10 million people in the United States taking oral contraception, you probably needed a prescription to get it. But that could soon change: In July, a Paris-based company, HRA Pharma, announced it … Continue reading

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The environmental attack on abortion

It’s ridiculous. Abortion opponents and their allies in elected office are seizing on an unusual strategy after suffering a wave of election defeats — using environmental laws to try to block the distribution of abortion pills. The new approach comes … Continue reading

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