Monday, June 27, 2022 | California Healthline

Monday, June 27, 2022 | California Healthline

California Taking Swift Action To Protect Abortion Rights: State lawmakers are expected as soon as today to put a state constitutional amendment on the ballot that would explicitly protect reproductive rights. On Friday, Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a bill to shield California abortion providers from prosecution related to out-of-state bans. He also announced an agreement with Oregon and Washington to establish a West Coast abortion firewall that would protect providers and patients from the legal reach of other states. Read more from The New York Times.

Abortion Access Is Uneven in California: California is already home to nearly 20% of U.S. abortion clinics. But more than half of California’s abortion clinics are concentrated in five counties, and 22 counties have no abortion clinics at all. Read more from the San Francisco Chronicle. Keep scrolling for complete abortion coverage. 

Below, check out the roundup of California Healthline’s coverage. For today’s national health news, read KHN’s Morning Briefing.

San Diego Union-Tribune:
San Diego’s Lawmakers Urge Constitutional Amendment In Wake Of Roe V. Wade Reversal 

San Diego County lawmakers on Friday called for action to guarantee abortion rights and reform the U.S. Supreme Court, after the court announced its decision to overturn the landmark 1973 abortion-rights ruling Roe v. Wade. The court decision, hinted at in a leaked draft ruling last month, upends federal protections for abortion rights and sends the matter back to states, about half of which have existing or prepared laws ready to restrict or ban abortions. (Brennan, 6/24)

Bay Area News Group:
The Supreme Court’s Roe Decision Affects California’s Politics

While the Supreme Court’s decision to eliminate the constitutional right to abortion after almost 50 years does not alter Californians’ access to services, it has quickly become a rallying cry for Democratic leaders and progressive activists across the Bay Area looking to energize voters in the months ahead. Standing in a sea of thousands of residents who gathered in front of San Jose City Hall on Saturday morning to protest the previous day’s decision, Milpitas councilwoman Karina Dominguez called on disheartened residents to make their voices heard. (Angst, Mukherjee and Jimenez, 6/26)

San Francisco Chronicle:
Abortion Access In California Isn’t Equal Statewide. These Maps Show Where Clinics Are Concentrated

California is already home to nearly 20% of U.S. abortion clinics. Now that the Supreme Court has struck down Roe v. Wade, it’s likely that ensuing closures across the nation will mean the state becomes host to a third of U.S. clinics within months. But within California, abortion access is uneven. More than half of the state’s abortion clinics are concentrated in five counties, and 22 counties have no abortion clinics at all. These 22 counties are concentrated along the state’s eastern flank, spanning Modoc in the north to Inyo in the south. (Neilson, 6/25)

Abortion Data: Why California Fails To Collect It

With federal abortion protections eliminated in a watershed U.S. Supreme Court decision, California is preparing for a flood of out-of-state women seeking abortions as it positions itself as a stronghold for reproductive rights. Most lawmakers are even willing to foot the multi-million-dollar bill. But amid all the politicking one crucial question remains unanswered: How does California plan for a significant increase when it doesn’t know how many abortions are currently performed in the state? (Hwang, 6/27)

Arizona Republic:
Many Arizona Women May Go To California For An Abortion

It’s a 250-mile drive from metro Phoenix, home to nearly five million people, to the Imperial County city of El Centro, population about 44,000. It’s there that Planned Parenthood operates the Imperial Valley Health Center, for most Arizonans the closest out-of-state clinic offering abortions. It sits in an ordinary-looking strip mall not far from the freeway, a few beige storefronts down from a Thai bistro. (Sainty, 6/25)

The Mercury News:
Here Are The States Impacted The Most By The Overturning Of Roe Vs. Wade

On Friday, June 24, the Supreme Court ended constitutional protections for abortion that had stood in America for nearly a half-century. It comes as no surprise since there was a breach of Supreme Court confidentiality and secrecy when Politico obtained a draft of a majority opinion on May 2. The decision by the court’s conservative majority overturned the landmark Roe v. Wade ruling and is expected to lead to abortion bans in roughly half the states. (Snibbe, 6/27)

Los Angeles Times:
A California Woman’s Illegal Abortion Paved The Way For Roe

 The college student lay down on an operating table, her legs trembling in the stirrups. The doctor warned her to remain absolutely silent. She was 22, terrified of needles but prepared to go through with the medical procedure no matter what. Her future depended on it. “I don’t think I was particularly afraid,” she said. “I had that strong determination. This was the right thing for me to do.” (Mejia, 6/24)

Los Angeles Times:
Abortion Rights Activists Protest Across Los Angeles Sunday

For the third day in a row, hundreds of demonstrators gathered in downtown Los Angeles on Sunday to express their grief and anger over the Supreme Court’s decision to end a constitutional right to abortion. Peaceful protesters assembled in the afternoon outside Los Angeles City Hall and then marched through downtown streets, waving signs lambasting the Supreme Court and listening to speakers from local reproductive rights groups. The crowd peaked at 450 people. (Sheets and Newberry, 6/26)

The (Santa Rosa) Press Democrat:
‘Everyone Needs This Right’: Hundreds March In Petaluma For Reproductive Rights

Hundreds of people showed up in Petaluma’s Penry Park Sunday to take part in a march supporting reproductive rights. At least 500 people, many of whom appeared to be members of families who brought along their children, joined in as the march began at about 10:30 a.m. Carrying signs that read, “Mind Your Own Uterus,” and “One Pissed Grandma, Watch Out,” along with “Men Not Supporting Reproductive Rights is Small *ick energy,” marchers chanted slogans as they made their way to Petaluma City Hall, in anticipation of a planned rally. (Constantino, 6/26)

‘I Knew It Was Coming, But I Still Can’t Believe It’

Here in California, abortion is still legal. And an overwhelming majority of Bay Area residents support the right to have one. Which is why, over the weekend, many people marched in protest against the Supreme Court’s decision to end federal abortion rights. In today’s episode, KQED reporter Adhiti Bandlamudi takes us to one protest in San Francisco. (Montecillo, Bandlamudi and Esquinca)

Voice of OC:
Orange County Sounds Off On Supreme Court Overturn: Roe V Wade

Americans woke to the news Friday morning that a 50 year old landmark decision, Roe v. Wade, had been reversed by a Supreme Court ruling. By that night, hundreds had taken to the streets to sound off. Residents gathered in the streets of Irvine, Fullerton and Laguna Beach to protest and advocate for abortion rights. (Leopo, 6/25)

Los Angeles Times:
Police Shove ‘Full House’ Star Jodie Sweetin At Roe Protest

“Full House” star Jodie Sweetin spoke out Sunday after police officers pushed her to the ground this weekend at an abortion rights demonstration in Los Angeles. On Saturday, L.A. photographer Michael Ade uploaded an Instagram video of LAPD officers shoving Sweetin, who was protesting the Supreme Court’s recent reversal of the landmark 1973 Roe vs. Wade decision. (Carras, 6/26)

As States Ban Abortion, Californians Open Their Arms And Wallets

As numerous states have started to ban abortion in wake of the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade, volunteers in California are mobilizing to help people who want to travel to their state for care. Californian Lee Mitchell posted a message on Facebook, written in code: « If you are a person who suddenly finds yourself with a need to go camping in another state friendly towards camping, just know that I will happily drive you, support you, and not talk about the camping trip to anyone ever. » (Dembosky, 6/27)

The Hill:
Most In New Poll Say Overturning Roe Is ‘Step Backward’

Over half of the Americans questioned in a new poll say the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade is a “step backward” for the U.S. In the CBS News-YouGov poll released Sunday, 52 percent of voters said the decision was a “step backward,” while 31 percent said it was a “step forward.” Seventeen percent said it was neither. (Scully, 6/26)

Los Angeles Times:
Churches Across Los Angeles React To The End Of Roe Vs. Wade 

For Pastor Netz Gómez and the 1,500 members of his Houses of Light church in Northridge, the Supreme Court’s ruling to overturn Roe vs. Wade was an answer to their prayers and decades of hard work. “We are thanking God that this injustice has finally been rectified, and that states have the right to decide how they want to proceed with abortion rights,” said the pastor, a Mexico native who started the church in his living room 22 years ago and has steadily immersed himself deeper into U.S. politics. “But we are really thanking God because we have prayed so much for the end of abortion. Abortion is injustice. Killing babies is injustice.” (Moreno, Reyes, Shalby and Netburn, 6/26)

Pro-Life Is Not Just Opposing Abortion, Vatican Says After U.S. Ruling 

Anti-abortion activists should be concerned with other issues that can threaten life, such as easy access to guns, poverty and rising maternity mortality rates, the Vatican’s editorial director said on Saturday. In a media editorial on the United States Supreme Court’s ruling to end the constitutional right to abortion, Andrea Tornielli said those who oppose abortion could not pick and choose pro-life issues. (Pullella, 6/25)

The Washington Post:
U.S. Abortion Decision ‘Horrific’ And ‘Appalling,’ World Leaders Say

World leaders and abortion rights advocates described the ruling as “horrific” and “appalling.” Crowds protested in cities including London, Paris and Ottawa. “One of the darkest days for women’s rights in my lifetime,” Scottish leader Nicola Sturgeon tweeted. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the decision “clearly has massive impacts on people’s thinking around the world.” He called it “big step backwards.” Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau described it as “horrific.” “No government, politician, or man should tell a woman what she can and cannot do with her body,” he tweeted. (Taylor, Cunningham, Tsui and Parker, 6/25)

Anti-Abortion States Split On How To Enforce Ban, Whether To Prosecute Or Surveil Doctors

The Supreme Court ruling overturning Roe v. Wade is not only splitting the country into states where abortion is legal and illegal. It is also illustrating sharp divisions between anti-abortion states on whether to allow exceptions and how to enforce the law. Nearly half of the states had “trigger laws” or constitutional amendments in place to quickly ban abortion in the wake of a Roe v. Wade ruling. Yet lawmakers and governors on Sunday illustrated how differently that may play out. (Repko, 6/26)

The Hill:
Next Big Fight Looms Over Abortion Pills

Immediately following the ruling, Attorney General Merrick Garland said the Justice Department will protect the right to an abortion, including medication abortion. “We stand ready to work with other arms of the federal government that seek to use their lawful authorities to protect and preserve access to reproductive care,” Garland said in a statement. “In particular, the [Food and Drug Administration] FDA has approved the use of the medication Mifepristone. States may not ban Mifepristone based on disagreement with the FDA’s expert judgment about its safety and efficacy,” Garland said. (Weixel, 6/24)

Biden’s DOJ Could Fight States’ Abortion Pill Restrictions, But It Won’t Be Easy

Attorney General Merrick Garland is hinting he’s ready to get tough on states that block access to an FDA-approved pill used to terminate pregnancies.
He’s got a lot of work ahead of him. On Friday, the Supreme Court ruled that the U.S. Constitution does not protect the right to an abortion, overruling the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade decision. In response, the Justice Department declared that it will “work tirelessly to protect and advance reproductive freedom.” Namely, it warned that states can’t restrict access to mifepristone, a drug approved by the FDA in 2000 to terminate pregnancies. (Florko, 6/24)

Supreme Court Decision Suggests Right To Contraception Is Under Threat

Over the past half century, Roe v. Wade has been a bedrock of constitutional rights extending beyond abortion. The Supreme Court decision overturning this ruling, issued Friday, makes clear that those other rights founded on the same principle of privacy, including gay sex, same-sex marriage, interracial marriage, and the freedom to use contraception, are now also called into question. Writing for the majority in Dobbs v. Jackson, Justice Samuel Alito states that “​​nothing in this opinion should be understood to cast doubt on precedents that do not concern abortion.” ​​But, in a solo concurring opinion, Justice Clarence Thomas explicitly calls on the Court to overturn other such constitutional rights. (Goldhill, 6/24)

The Wall Street Journal:
Abortion Opponents Consider How Far To Press After End Of Roe V. Wade

Now, having achieved a Supreme Court victory that overruled Roe and ended the constitutional right to an abortion, antiabortion advocates are considering what to do next. Some powerful voices in the movement urge a measured approach guided by political realities post-Roe, seeking to ban the procedure after the first trimester in more moderate states and maintaining meaningful exceptions for rape and incest. Others view this as a once-in-a-generation moment and moral imperative to push for a complete end to abortion, especially in states where conservatives hold political power. The staunchest opponents want states to treat it as murder. (Kusisto, 6/26)

The Hill:
Graham: Alito ‘Set The Right Tone’ In Roe Ruling By Arguing Same-Sex Marriage, Contraception Not In Jeopardy

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) on Sunday said Justice Samuel Alito “set the right tone” by writing in an opinion overturning Roe v. Wade that Supreme Court decisions protecting contraception and same-sex marriage are not in jeopardy. Graham made the remarks during an appearance on “Fox News Sunday” while noting that he respects Justice Clarence Thomas, who wrote that he wanted to take a look at contraception and same-sex marriage after overturning Roe and abortion protections. (Dress, 6/26)

ABC News:
Overturning Roe V. Wade Raises Stakes For Patients Who Need IVF, Experts Say 

Cara Skowronski and her husband are the parents of a 2-year-old daughter who was born through in-vitro fertilization (IVF) and a gestational surrogate, who carried their daughter. … Skowronski and her husband recently moved from Nebraska to Texas, where abortion will be banned under a trigger law that goes into effect 30 days after the Supreme Court’s decision. The couple’s remaining frozen embryos are in Nebraska, where Gov. Pete Ricketts has said he will push for the state legislature to pass a total abortion ban in the wake of Roe being overturned. (Kindelan, 6/27)

HIPAA Doesn’t Protect Reproductive Records From Prosecutors

With Roe v. Wade now overturned, patients are wondering whether federal laws will shield their reproductive health data from state law enforcement, or legal action more broadly. The answer, currently, is no. If there’s a warrant, court order, or subpoena for the release of those medical records, then a clinic is required to hand them over. And patients and providers may be made legally vulnerable by the enormous trail of health-related data we all generate through their devices every day. (Boodman, Bannow, Herman and Ross, 6/24)

The Wall Street Journal:
Period-Tracker Apps Aim For Anonymity Following Roe V. Wade Decision

Developers of period trackers and fertility apps are working on ways to anonymize user data in response to the Supreme Court’s ruling that struck down the constitutional right to an abortion. Millions of women use services such as Flo, Clue and Apple’s Health app to help them become pregnant, avoid pregnancy or know when their next period is due. The court’s decision brought more attention to the services, which hold sensitive data that could be used against people in states where abortion may be criminalized.  (James and Tibken, 6/26)

Bay Area News Group:
Alameda County Lifts Indoor Masking Requirement — Again

Alameda County is once again lifting a requirement for people to wear face masks in most indoor settings. The change was scheduled to take effect at 12:01 a.m. Saturday. The county on June 3 became the first in the Bay Area – and perhaps the state – to reimpose the face mask requirement. At the time, COVID-19 cases from new omicron variants were pushing hospitalizations to levels that alarmed local health officials. (Green, 6/24)

San Francisco Chronicle:
COVID Death Rates For Latinos Have Declined, But Advocates Say More Help Is Needed

The success of vaccination campaigns has narrowed disparities in COVID death rates in California, especially for the Latino community, which has been disproportionately affected with coronavirus infection during the pandemic. Since the state began tracking deaths in April 2020, more than 91,000 Californians have died from COVID-19 — approximately 230 deaths per 100,000 people — according to the Public Policy Institute of California, a policy research nonprofit with offices in San Francisco and Sacramento. (Narayan, 6/27)

The (Santa Rosa) Press Democrat:
Grand Jury Report Hammers Sonoma County Department Of Health Services

For the third time in six years, a Sonoma County Civil grand jury blasted the county’s Department of Health Services. This time, the subject was the department’s pandemic response. In a section titled “Dedication Overcame Dysfunction,” the report, published in May, describes what jury members called “a long-term pattern of poor communication, lack of collaboration, staffing challenges, and low employee morale that predated COVID” at the department. (Barber and Espinoza, 6/25)

The (Santa Rosa) Press Democrat:
Sonoma County Health Department Outlines New, Diminished Response To COVID

They were the proverbial boots on the ground during Sonoma County’s never-ending battles against COVID-19, temporary county health workers whose ranks fluctuated almost in concert with each pandemic surge over the past two years. They’ve been celebrated as heroes, essential troops in a now historic public health campaign that no one wants or expects to go on forever. (Espinoza and Barber, 6/25)

Pfizer: Omicron-Containing Boosters Outperform Current Vaccine 

Pfizer said Saturday that using new versions of its Covid-19 vaccine as boosters led to a superior antibody response against the Omicron variant compared to its current shot. The results in some ways mirror those released by Moderna earlier this month. Data from both companies will be evaluated on Tuesday by a panel of experts convened by the Food and Drug Administration in the hopes of deciding what strains of the SARS-Cov-2 virus should be included in booster shots for the fall. Companies will need lead time to manufacture doses of new vaccines if it is decided they are needed. (Herper, 6/25)

Army Guard Troops Risk Dismissal As Vaccine Deadline Looms

Up to 40,000 Army National Guard soldiers across the country — or about 13% of the force — have not yet gotten the mandated COVID-19 vaccine, and as the deadline for shots looms, at least 14,000 of them have flatly refused and could be forced out of the service. Guard soldiers have until Thursday to get the vaccine. According to data obtained by The Associated Press, between 20% to 30% of the Guard soldiers in six states are not vaccinated, and more than 10% in 43 other states still need shots. (Baldor, 6/25)

San Francisco Chronicle:
Monkeypox At ‘Critical Stage’ In The Bay Area: Here’s What You Need To Know

There are only a handful of confirmed monkeypox cases in the Bay Area, but following the lessons learned from the coronavirus pandemic, local health officials are scrambling to control the rapidly growing global outbreak. With 48 cases counted in California since early May, the state represents almost 28% of the total to date in the United States. Local health officials are advising Bay Area residents and their health care providers to look out for symptoms of monkeypox ahead of summer travel and other festivities, given that most of the cases identified so far are associated with possible sexual transmission. (Vaziri, 6/24)

Live Science:
Monkeypox May Have Undergone ‘Accelerated Evolution,’ Scientists Say

The monkeypox virus has mutated at a far faster rate than would normally be expected and likely underwent a period of « accelerated evolution, » a new study suggests. The virus, which has infected more than 3,500 people in 48 countries since its detection outside Africa in May, may be more infectious due to dozens of new mutations. In all, the virus carries 50 new mutations not seen in previous strains detected from 2018 to 2019, according to a new study published June 24 in the journal Nature Medicine(opens in new tab). Scientists usually don’t expect viruses like monkeypox to gain more than one or two mutations each year, the study authors noted. (Turner, 6/25)

Virus Causing Monkeypox Outbreak Has Mutated To Spread Easier

The authors said the outbreak was likely not caused by undetected silent spread, or from an animal-to-human crossover event. Instead, « Current data points for a scenario of more than one introduction from a single origin, with superspreader event(s) (e.g., saunas used for sexual encounters) and travel abroad likely triggering the rapid worldwide dissemination. » (Soucheray, 6/24)

WHO: Monkeypox Outbreak Not Yet A Global Health Emergency

The World Health Organization on Saturday declined to declare the unprecedented monkeypox outbreak that has spread around the world a public health emergency as of now. A public health emergency of international concern, or PHEIC, grants the WHO director-general certain powers, such as the ability to recommend how countries should respond. While it’s a legal lever the agency can use, it’s also a tool that can grab public attention and steer it to try to address burgeoning health threats. Such a declaration could further rally donors and member countries to increase funding. (Joseph, 6/25)

After KVPR Investigation Of Deaths, Coalinga State Hospital Patient Says Medical Care Still Flawed

Last July, a KVPR investigation revealed that an alarmingly high number of patients had died at Coalinga State Hospital (CSH), a state-run psychiatric hospital in western Fresno County. In 2020, the facility had the highest death rate of any state hospital or state prison, with the exception of a medical facility that takes on the state’s sickest prison inmates. Many at CSH pointed to inadequate medical care as a major culprit, which was confirmed by medical records and state documents. Now, state data reveal that although fewer CSH patients died in 2021 than in 2020, the death rate still remains the highest of almost any state-run facility in California. In this interview, KVPR’s Kerry Klein spoke about the hospital’s medical and psychiatric care with Michael St. Martin, a patient there who argues not much has changed in the last year. (Klein, 6/24)

The Mercury News:
Child Abuse: Hayward Girl Died Despite Multiple Reports To Alameda County

Inside the bathroom of the modest two-story home in north Merced, a tiny, 55-pound body lay decomposing in a tub. The roaring exhaust fan and burned incense failed to mask the putrid smell. In the backyard, soiled sheets, candy wrappers, and other food packaging littered a locked metal shed – used for punishment, police were later told. The outline of a small handprint blemished a dusty brown nightstand inside. (Angst, 6/26)

Sacramento Bee:
Farmworkers Lack Health Care As Population Gets Older

Many farmworkers in the state lack access to health care at a time when this group as a whole is aging, a new report says. The Public Policy Institute of California held an online forum on the topic Thursday, June 23. It included a grower representative based in Modesto and a labor attorney and a lawmaker from Fresno. (Holland, 6/27)

The Bakersfield Californian:
Training Provided To Downtown Businesses To Save Lives Of Opiate Overdose Victims 

If you knew there was a good chance you could save the life of an unresponsive person with the push of a button, would you try? What if the person was a stranger, or homeless or a drug addict? The answer to these questions appeared to be a resounding yes for about 20 downtown Bakersfield business owners who attended a training session Friday on the proper use of Narcan nasal spray to potentially save the lives of individuals who have overdosed on fentanyl or other opioids. (Mayer, 6/26)

California Colleges Are Leaping Onto The Cannabis Bandwagon

Humboldt Institute for Interdisciplinary Marijuana Research was formed in 2012 at Cal Poly Humboldt, making it the first academic institute devoted to cannabinoid research and analysis pertaining to information and issues surrounding the cannabis plant. Since then there has been a green rush at other colleges across California that have added their own courses dedicated to marijuana research, politics and policy. (California Student Journalism Corps, 6/27)

Court Rules Juul Can Still Sell E-Cigs While It Prepares Challenge To FDA Ban

Juul’s e-cigarettes won’t be pulled off the shelves just yet. A federal court ruled late Friday that the company’s vaping products can stay on the market while the company prepares its full legal challenge to this week’s Food and Drug Administration ban. The move is the latest in a whirlwind 24 hours for the vaping company, which was ordered to shut down all U.S. sales Thursday afternoon. The company sued the FDA over that decision Thursday evening. The company is also now considering bankruptcy, the Wall Street Journal reported. It remains unclear how long Juul will be able to stay on the market pursuant to the judge’s order, though it appears the company will gain at least another two weeks. (Florko, 6/24)

The Bakersfield Californian:
Air District OK’s Free In-Home Air Purifiers 

The San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District board has approved a Clean Air Rooms pilot program, giving people free in-home air purifiers to improve indoor air quality during wildfires. The pilot program will give about 1,500 free residential air purifier units with one additional replacement filter to residents throughout valley disadvantaged communities, according to an air district news release. (6/25)

Voice of OC:
Grand Jury: OC Falls Short On Housing And Shelter For Homeless People And Former Foster Youth

Orange County continues coming up short in housing and shelter for homeless people and foster youth once they become adults, according to a new grand jury investigation that is getting widespread support among local leaders. A host of local elected officials agreed with the findings from the Orange County Grand Jury, saying it’s time to step up and build a range of new housing and service centers aimed at getting people off the streets. (Gerda, 6/27)

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