Health

Supreme Court Upholds Religious and Moral Exemptions for ACA Birth Control Coverage

In a 7-2 decision, the Supreme Court upheld a Trump Administration rule which expands the types of organizations that can claim religious or moral exemptions under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The rule allows these organizations to refuse to cover birth control under their health insurance plans. Justice Thomas wrote the majority opinion, and was...

Millions of Dollars of Federal COVID-19 Aid Goes to U.S. Anti-Abortion Groups

Numerous Christian anti-abortion groups received millions of dollars in forgivable loans from the federal coronavirus aid program the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). Fortunately, money from this program also went to pro-choice, reproductive rights groups. Notably, Planned Parenthood received $80 million in PPP loans. This allocation of taxpayer-backed dollars comes in the context of a pandemic...

Dozens Killed by Gun Violence Over Independence Day Weekend

The United States experienced a wave of gun violence over the Fourth of July weekend in which dozens of people were killed and injured in both cities and rural communities. Amid national protests over police violence, the shootings have reignited calls for gun control from elected officials and activists. There were 63 shootings in New...

Georgia Healthcare Workers Petition the Governor for Stronger COVID-19 Restrictions

Last Thursday, around 1,400 Georgia healthcare workers petitioned Brian Kemp, Georgia’s governor, asking for further restrictions to slow the spread of COVID-19. In the letter, healthcare workers told the governor that the state is “simply not prepared,” asking the governor to close “bars and nightclubs and prohibit indoor gatherings of more than 25 people, including...

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis Signs Bill Requiring Parental Consent for Abortions

Yesterday, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed a bill that requires minors to have parental consent before having an abortion. This bill goes into effect today and could significantly obstruct abortion access in the state. The law states that a physician must “obtain written consent from a minor’s parent or legal guardian before performing or inducing...

Supreme Court Upholds Conditional Funding for Overseas Organizations

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Monday that allows the federal government to distribute AIDS funding to foreign affiliates of U.S. groups on the condition they explicitly oppose prostitution and sex trafficking. The 5-3 decision split along ideological lines with Justice Brett Kavanaugh writing for the majority. Justice Elena Kagan recused herself from the case because...

Judge Orders Release of Migrant Children from Family Detention Centers 

This Friday, Judge Dolly M. Gee, a federal judge of the Central District of California, ordered the release of migrant children from family detention centers, primarily citing the severity of the COVID-19 pandemic as her reasoning. This order demands that the children must be released by July 17. The ruling applies to children who have...

Trump Administration Urges the Supreme Court to Scrap the Affordable Care Act

On Thursday evening, in a filing to the Supreme Court, the Trump administration asked the court to terminate the Affordable Care Act, popularly known as Obamacare. Asserting that the ACA is illegal, the filing states that “the entire ACA must fall.” This filing was met with immediate criticism from prominent Democrats, as well as the...

Missouri Court Rules Against Johnson & Johnson in Ovarian Cancer Lawsuit

An appeals court in Missouri ruled against Johnson & Johnson in a civil suit, ordering them to pay billions in damages. The plaintiffs are women who say they have contracted ovarian cancer from the use of the company’s famous baby powder. The women believe the talcum Johnson & Johnson baby powder contains asbestos and is...

ACLU Secures the Release of 25 ICE Detainees in Rhode Island

The Wyatt Detention Center in Central Falls, Rhode Island has released 25 Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detainees since a class-action lawsuit was filed by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). Last month, the ACLU filed a federal class-action lawsuit asserting that it was not safe to keep detainees there amid the spread of COVID-19....

Lack of Access to “Non-Essential” Healthcare Severely Impacts Marginalized Communities

As COVID-19 cases surge in the United States, many states have shifted healthcare policies to place a greater focus on those who have been infected. In order to do this, states must determine what is essential and non-essential healthcare, impacting marginalized people, such as poor people, communities of color, and women in severe ways.  In...

House Democrats Urge ICE to Release Detainees Amid Spike in COVID-19 Cases

On Monday, Rep. Sylvia Garcia (D-TX) and Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-TX) called upon ICE to release detainees and improve conditions ICE detention centers as COVID-19 cases continue to increase. Since early 2020, the pandemic has taken the lives of nearly 120,000 Americans. States like Texas and Arizona house approximately 40 immigration detention centers, and are...

Trump Administration Ends Funding for New Lung Treatments Amid Pandemic

At its most severe, coronavirus attacks a patient’s lungs and fills them with fluid, causing a condition called acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). But the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), a federal health agency, recently halted funding for lung therapy treatments. The policy change was announced quietly on a government website on June...

SCOTUS Ruling Could Upend Trump Administration’s Attacks on the Trans Community

Monday’s Supreme Court ruling to protect LGBTQ+ individuals from discrimination in the workplace could derail the Trump administration’s latest restrictions on transgender rights in healthcare. In the Trump administration’s most recent attack on the LGBTQ+ community, the anti-discrimination policies that protect transgender people in healthcare settings have been reversed. Under the Affordable Care Act, healthcare...

Planned Parenthood Endorses Joe Biden for President

On Monday, Planned Parenthood Action Fund announced their endorsement of former Vice President Joe Biden for president. In a video statement, acting president of Planned Parenthood Action Fund, Alexis McGill Johnson, explains the decision. She cites the work done during the Obama-Biden administration. “While Joe Biden was Vice President, more people got insurance coverage than...

Trump Administration Removes Healthcare Protections for Transgender People

On Friday, June 12, the Trump administration rolled back rules that protected transgender people from being discriminated against in healthcare. The regulation was initially implemented by the Obama Administration as part of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The ACA prevents healthcare institutions that receive federal funding from discriminating on the basis of sex. Under the...

Governor Newsom Called On to Release Elderly Incarcerated Women

The Governor of California, Gavin Newsom, is facing pressure to release elderly and vulnerable incarcerated women amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. As of May 2020, 3,200 incarcerated people have tested positive for coronavirus, and 16 incarcerated people have died. LA County recently reported the first death of a pregnant woman related to the virus. The county...

Kentucky Governor Pledges Universal Health Care Coverage for Black Residents

Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear (D) announced plans to provide healthcare coverage to 100 percent of Black and African American Kentuckians in an effort to address racial inequalities in health care on Monday morning. The governor made the announcement during his daily COVID-19 press briefing. Beshear began the briefing by acknowledging the racial disparities in Kentucky’s...

Black Communities Battle for Their Lives Amongst COVID-19 and Police Brutality

The current civil unrest around systemic and institutional racism that has been present in America for over 400 years is deeply connected to the racial and health disparities exposed by the COVID-19 crisis. Thousands of people globally have marched in the streets to protest police brutality, and many are worried about the risk of COVID-19...

Medical Groups Sue FDA Over Abortion Pill Restrictions During Pandemic

Medical experts and reproductive rights advocates sued federal agencies yesterday, asking it to allow people to obtain abortion pills remotely during the pandemic. The suit accuses the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) of endangering public safety by disallowing doctors from distributing abortion pills through telemedicine...