How Texas' New Abortion Restrictions Have Actually Impacted Access to the Procedure

Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas
Planned Parenthood's new Dallas ambulatory surgery center
The number of abortions being performed in Texas has dropped moderately, clinics offering abortions are vanishing rapidly and women seeking abortions must travel much farther to get an abortion, according to almost 18 months of data compiled by researchers looking at the effects of Texas' passage of some of the most restrictive abortion regulations in the country.

A group made up primarily of researchers from the Texas Policy Evaluation Project and Ibis Reproductive Health document the law's impact in a report to be published in an upcoming issue of Contraception, an academic journal. Over the course of the team's study, which concluded in April, almost half of the state's women's health clinics that provided abortions closed.

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Communist-Led Anti-Patriarchy Protesters Don't Give a Crap if Texas Feminists Are Offended By Its Abortion Rights Freedom Ride

Categories: Healthcare

This man in Seattle supports the Texas Abortion Freedom ride, but Texas feminists aren't so sure.
In 2011, there were 44 abortion clinics in Texas. By September, providers expect that number to drop to somewhere around six. While big-name health organizations like Planned Parenthood are trying to open new clinics that comply with strict state laws or challenge lawmakers in court, a scrappy protest group Stop Patriarchy has simpler strategy: getting the people who support abortion to be as loud, and perhaps as obnoxious, as they feel the anti-abortion crowd has been acting.

"The people who support abortion are very timid about saying so," says Sunsara Taylor, head of Stop Patriarchy. She's referring to the people she meets on the street, when her group travels the country and approaches strangers to talk to them one-on-one about the dwindling number of abortion clinics nationwide. "People who are against abortion are very unafraid. They really feel that they have the moral high ground right now."

So while abortion opponents might hold photographs of dead fetuses in front of clinics, Stop Patriarchy organizes demonstrations like the Bloody Coat Hanger Street Actions. They'll go on tours across the country and stand, hangers in hand, in front of institutions that lobby against abortion access.

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Children's Medical Center Worries Selfies Fuel Narcissism, Heavily Promotes its Concern

Categories: Healthcare

The White House
Selfies, the photographic expression used by teenage girls and brilliant minds across the world.
Forget the measles and chikungunya. If you've perused the Children's Medical Center website in the last few weeks, you know that there's another, more troubling outbreak threatening to undo us all: selfies.

The hospital has devoted itself of late to the psychology of selfies. Doctors there are worried about their effect on narcissism, social relationships, and poor body image that can be related to kids taking selfies.

"It's definitely something that is very widespread among the adolescents we see," says Dr. Celia Heppner, a psychologist in the craniofacial plastic surgery division at the Children's Medical Center. "In terms of my patients, there are specific concerns of body image, things like that."

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It Really Sucks to Be a Kid In Texas

Dallas County kids are some of the poorest in the country, but recent grassroots programs are helping to improve those numbers.
And we're not just talking about the unaccompanied Central American variety. A new report by the Center for Public Policy Priorities zeroes in on a national study ranking child well-being. Several factors come into play, including health care, education, parental employment, and standard of living.

See also:
- It Really Sucks to Be Old In Texas
- It Really Sucks to Be Mentally Ill In Texas

Texas ranks 43rd in overall child well-being, with roughly a quarter of Texas children live below the poverty line. Specifically, Texas ranks 47th in the Family and Community category, with 19 percent of kids living in high-poverty neighborhoods.

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FDA Really Wants Dallas' NuVision Pharmacy to Quit Making Drugs Contaminated by Endotoxins

Categories: Healthcare

Flickr user anika
If you more than glance at the website for NuVision Pharmacy, you might start having second thoughts about having the Dallas-based company compound your pharmaceuticals. Why, you might wonder by looking at the home page, did quality testing have to be expanded to check for endotoxins? Why is the "about us" section so keen to point out that the company "is not recalling all sterile injectables." And this "FDA response letter" certainly should give one pause:

There is no evidence to support the FDA's claim that our products lack sterility assurance. ...The FDA did not receive reports about fever, flu-like symptoms, and soreness at the injection site associated with the methylcobalamin injection product. This is information we voluntarily provided to the FDA. The FDA inspectors had no knowledge of this incident prior to our disclosure. ...Neither the FDA nor our pharmacy uncovered any evidence that the symptoms were caused by our product and were not due to an unknown alternative source.
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Newly Insured Texans Having Problems Navigating Blue Cross Blue Shield Coverage

Categories: Healthcare

It all stems from a positive thing, really.

Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, more people have health insurance. A lot more. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas, the state's largest provider of health and accident insurance, picked up 700,000 subscribers during the ACA's first enrollment period.

In the months since, various local outlets have reported the rapid rise in complaints about BCBSTX filed with the Texas Department of Insurance. Last year, there were 162 complaints lodged against the insurer. This year, through July 11, that number has already more than tripled, to 553 complaints.

The complaints, which you can download in spreadsheet form from the TDI's website, are pretty mundane. Slow responses to customer inquiries are a big issue, as is the initial denial of coverage for procedures and visits that should be covered by a new member's plan. When BCBSTX catches the issues, it has done what it can to fix the problems, but the complaints continue to pile up nonetheless.

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Planned Parenthood Will Open a New Dallas Abortion Clinic to Clear Texas' New Hurdles

Categories: Healthcare

Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas
The yet-to-open clinic.
Planned Parenthood plans to open a new clinic in southern Dallas that will meet the stringent requirements imposed on abortion providers by the state of Texas, ensuring that Dallas has at least one clinic that can perform abortions under the new rules.

The regulations, which were passed in the Wendy Davis-filibustered Senate Bill 5 and take effect this fall, require any clinic wishing to provide the procedure to be a certified ambulatory surgical center. The requirements include specific sizes for rooms and doorways, separate locker rooms for male and female employees as well as backup generators and an air sterilization system. Of the 21 Texas health service providers that perform abortions, seven, including the new Planned Parenthood, will meet the new standards.

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Greg Abbott Not Totally Afraid of Lady Parts, Takes on Big Pharma Over Vaginal Mesh

Categories: Healthcare

Future Texas Governor Greg Abbott hates nothing more than he hates abortions, Planned Parenthood and other women's-health-related things, leading the Texas Democratic Party to describe him as "public enemy number one for women in Texas." But now, in a major national fight pitting women's health advocates against a corporate giant, Abbott appears to have jumped in bed with women and their bodies.

For the past two years, the Texas Attorney General's office has been quietly leading an investigation into Johnson & Johnson's Ethicon subsidiary, after thousands of women nationwide alleged in lawsuits and complaints to the FDA that the company's pelvic mesh products are defective.

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Careful Coordination Leads to Successful Delivery of Quintuplets at Parkland

Categories: Healthcare

Library and Archives Canada
The first documented case of quintuplets known to survive infancy were the Dionne quints from Canada, born in 1934. They were often exploited for their rarity, and their childhood home became a major tourist attraction known as "Quintland."

For Ofa and Rex Clark of Allen, the typical newbie parent worries were multiplied by five on June 17 with the birth of their three daughters and two sons: The third set to arrive at Parkland Hospital in the hospital's history. The babies -- Vianca, Alessandra, Perrin, Noah and Scarlett -- are still in the NICU at Parkland. It will be awhile before they can come home. Perrin has already undergone successful surgery to repair a bowel abnormality, and each baby was born under 3 pounds.

Yet it has never been a better time for the birth of quintuplets. Dr. Myra Wyckoff, neonatal specialist and UT Southwestern pediatrics professor, discussed ways in which preemie care has advanced over just the past 25 years. "Non-invasive ventilation strategies, surfactant, intravenous nutrition to supplement the small amount of milk that the premature baby may be able to take initially," she told Unfair Park, listing specific improvements.

"Better understanding of how to best prevent infection, and better imaging techniques of the brain have contributed to improved survival of premature infants over the past decades," she said. But Wyckoff downplayed the physical coordination between doctors that was required to deliver the five babies.

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Dallas County Health Director Disputes Misuse of AIDS Funds, Calls Media "Racist"

Dallas County
Health Department Director Zach Thompson says there's no investigation into the department. But questions and concerns remain.
Dallas County Health Director Zachary Thompson gathered the media on Monday to address reports, from Unfair Park and others, that there was a federal investigation into the department's use of funding designed to treat people with HIV. To be clear, Dallas County Health Department Director Zach Thompson declared, there is no investigation into the department. And, he said, it was racist to report otherwise.

This began a couple weeks back, when NBC5 broke the news that federal health officials would look into how money is being distributed by the Ryan White Planning Council, a committee, appointed by County Judge Clay Jenkins, that distributes federal money to poor HIV patents.

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