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A summary of health news from this past week.

Photo by Myriam Zilles on Unsplash (rights-free)

As states move to restrict abortion access, neighboring states prepare for surges in demand

By: Tasnim Ahmed, CNN

Many Republican-led states have recently passed laws to restrict abortion access in their respective states. This has left neighboring stages to prepare for a higher demand for abortion care. Oklahoma, a republican-led state, has passed a bill that effectively outlaws abortion after 6 weeks, making any abortion performed after this time period punishable by a 10 year prison sentence. Oklahoma’s bill takes after a similar bill passed in Texas, and multiple other states are following suit. This does not lead to less abortions, though. Instead, women in Oklahoma will have to travel to neighboring states like New Mexico or Colorado to have access to safe abortion care. This issue will only get worse if Roe v. Wade is overturned in the future, which will lead to a predicted 26 states banning abortion at any point in time. Overall, limiting abortion access leads to less safe abortions rather than a reduced amount of abortions.

William G. Hamilton, Doctor to Dancers, Is Dead at 90

By: Clay Risen, New York Times

William G. Hamilton was an orthopedic surgeon to professional ballet dancers in New York City for over 40 years and a pioneer in dance medicine. He died in his home of congestive heart failure on March 29, 2022. Hamilton began treating ballet dancers at New York City Ballet in the 70s, before the field of dance medicine had been established. He studied the art form to understand how injuries occurred and could identify future issues by watching a dancer perform a few simple steps. Throughout his career, dancers from New York City Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, and their respective schools trusted and respected Hamilton for his treatment, therapies, and knowledge of ballet-specific injuries.

High hopes but tempered expectations as CDC launches review of agency’s structure and systems

By: Elizabeth Cohen and Danielle Herman, CNN

In early April, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced it would review its “structures, systems and processes,” according to Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky. The review will be overseen by Jim Macrae of the US Department of Health and Human Services. His review process will include input from key stakeholders and the CDC community. They hope to use the results of this review to improve the CDC’s work in delivering public health knowledge and programs to Americans.

Persistent Problem: High C-Section Rates Plague the South

By: Lauren Sausser, Kaiser Health News 

High rates of Cesarean section, or C-section, operations among pregnant women have been an ongoing concern across the country, especially more recently in the American South where rates are particularly alarming. Despite the evidence-backed risks associated with the procedure, including future pregnancy complications, infections, and longer recovery times, physicians in states like Alabama, Mississippi, and Texas still recommend expecting mothers to undergo C-section births, often more than necessary. Public health data show that the preference for C-sections among Southern populations may be the result of poorer health status and outcomes, which increase the chances of having a more complicated pregnancy and delivery. Yet, experts maintain that the rate of C-sections births in the Southern U.S. region is unnecessarily high, and, if not reduced, will continue to disproportionately impact particularly vulnerable populations, such as Black mothers and their babies.

Contributions by: Lexi Rosmarin, Gabrielle Stearns, Annika Urban, Zainab Molumo