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Abortion law in North Carolina makes it difficult to travel south for an abortion



As lawmakers in North and South Carolina work to introduce new abortion restrictions, the options for women seeking abortions in the South are rapidly shrinking.

In North Carolina, a ban on abortion after 12 weeks of pregnancy comes into force on July 1. Roy Cooper vetoed the bill, but on Tuesday the Republican-led State Assembly voted to override the veto.

Also on Tuesday, the South Carolina House of Representatives approved a six-week abortion ban, which is now being passed to the state Senate. And last month the governor of Florida. Ron DeSantis signed a bill banning most abortions after six weeks of pregnancy. The law will take effect if the Florida Supreme Court upholds the current 15-week ban as part of an ongoing legal battle.

“We will see many people forced to continue pregnancies against their will,” said Amy Hagstrom Miller, founder and CEO of Whole Woman’s Health, which operates two abortion clinics in Virginia, as well as clinics in Indiana, Maryland and Minnesota. New Mexico.

Miller said she’s bracing herself for more women who want abortions to travel to Virginia, which will likely soon be the last Southern state with no abortion restrictions.

North Carolina’s ban makes exceptions for rape, incest, and “life-limiting” fetal anomalies. Supporters of the law argue that it offers a compromise on abortion.

“What is contained in this bill is not an obstacle to abortion. These are precautionary measures. We are striving to balance protecting the unborn and providing safe care for mothers,” pro-Tem Speaker of the North Carolina House of Representatives Sarah Stevens said Tuesday night.

Even before the 12-week ban passed in North Carolina, Miller said her clinics in Virginia were accepting patients from all over the South. Since January, she said, her call center has received more than 6,000 phone calls from out-of-state people seeking help in Virginia.

Not all of these people make it to her clinics: Miller said that every day a patient cancels an appointment, often after several attempts to reschedule, due to factors that prevent the patient from traveling, such as a child being sick or a trip falling off. through.

“They tell us, ‘It will just be easier for me to have a baby. I can’t figure out how to get there,” she said.

The time it takes to make an appointment and arrange a trip also encourages some patients to delay abortion until the second trimester (on average, women do not know they are pregnant until between five and six weeks of pregnancy). In many cases, this entails a surgical abortion, as abortion pills are only approved for use up to 10 weeks of pregnancy.

The upcoming North Carolina ban could exacerbate these problems, Miller said.

Amber Gavin, vice president of protection and operations at A Woman’s Choice, which operates three abortion clinics in North Carolina, said her clinics are already seeing wait times of about 10 days.

Gavin said that expectation could increase after the 12-week ban goes into effect — even if the number of patients decreases — because the new law requires an in-person visit three days before an abortion and mandates that all abortions, even those done using pills, must be administered in person. .

“It just adds more administrative tasks to our doctors and our medical staff than necessary,” Gavin said.

She added that her clinics in North Carolina often see patients from Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina and Texas. Beginning July 1, clinics will begin referring women over 12 weeks pregnant to health care providers in Virginia, Maryland, Illinois and Washington, DC, she said.

“It will just have a devastating effect on the entire South,” Gavin said.

One remaining option is The Brigid Alliance, a service that provides travel, food, housing, childcare and other logistical support to people seeking abortions in the US.

Clinics and providers can refer people to a service that receives funding from private donors. The typical group customer travels over 1,300 miles round trip and spends about $1,400 per trip.

“Many of our clients haven’t even left their county,” said Serra Sippel, the alliance’s acting chief executive. “Many have never flown in an airplane before.”

In the long term, medical experts and political leaders also fear an exodus of doctors from states where abortion is illegal, which could limit access to both abortion and maternal health care in the South more broadly.

“A ban in North Carolina will harm patients and pose a threat to doctors providing essential care,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said in a statement. statements on Tuesday.

Dr. Katherine Kuhn, associate dean for graduate medical education at Duke University School of Medicine, said residents studying obstetrics, gynecology or family medicine may have to travel to other states to learn how to perform abortions in 12 weeks.

Kuhn added that North Carolina could also have difficulty attracting new medical talent if the state is deemed hostile to reproductive health. A survey of medical students released this week found that nearly 60% said they were unlikely or very unlikely to apply for a single residency program in a state with abortion restrictions.

“I am concerned that, especially in the area of ​​women’s and reproductive health, we will see a decline in applications and interest,” Kuhn said.


Sexual Desire in Older Women: Study Findings May Surprise You




According to a study that followed more than 3,200 women over a period of about 15 years, it is a myth that women lose interest in sex as they reach middle and older age.

“About a quarter of women consider sex very important, regardless of their age,” says the doctor. Holly Thomas, lead author of an abstract presented at the September 2020 Virtual Annual Meeting of the North American Menopause Society.

“The study showed that a significant number of women still value sex highly even as they get older, and that’s not abnormal,” said Thomas, an assistant professor of medicine at the University of Pittsburgh.

“If women can talk to their partner and make sure that sex is satisfying and enjoyable for them, then they are more likely to rate it as very important as they get older,” she said.

“It’s actually really nice that there is a quarter of women for whom sex is not only on the radar, but very important,” the doctor said. Stephanie Fobion, Medical Director of the North American Menopause Society, was not involved in the study.

“Studies like these provide valuable insights for healthcare professionals who might otherwise dismiss a woman’s waning sex drive as a natural part of aging.”

It’s true that past research has shown that women tend to lose interest in sex as they age. But women’s health practitioners say that attitude doesn’t match the reality they see.

“Some of the previous research suggested that sex downhill and all women lose interest in sex as they get older,” Thomas said. “That’s really not the story I hear from all my patients.”

One problem, she says, is that past studies have taken a snapshot of a woman’s desire at some point in her life and compared it to similar snapshots in later decades of her life.

“This type of longitudinal study will just show averages over time,” Thomas said. “And if you look at things on average, it might seem like everyone is going the same way.”

Study presented in 2020 used a different type of analysis that allowed researchers to trace the trajectory of a woman’s desire over time, Thomas said at the time.

“We wanted to use this different type of technique to see if these different patterns really exist,” she said. “And when you look for those trajectories, you see that there are significant groups of women who are following a different path.”

A study that analyzed data from a national multicenter study called SWAN, or women’s health survey in the countryfound three different trends in women’s attitudes towards the importance of sex.

About a quarter of women (28%) had a traditional opinion on this issue: they valued sex less in middle age.

However, another quarter of the women who participated in the study said the exact opposite. About 27% of them said that sex remains very important in their 40s, 50s and 60s – a surprising contradiction to the belief that all women lose interest in sex as they age.

“Sex will look different,” said Fobion, director of the Mayo Clinic Women’s Health Center.

“At 40, he will look different than at 20; at 60 she won’t look the same as she did at 40, and at 80 she won’t look the same as at 60,” she said. “We may have to make some changes, but in general, people who are healthy and in good relationships remain sexy.”

Women in the study who valued sex highly had the following characteristics: they were more educated, less depressed, and experienced greater sexual satisfaction before middle age.

“Women who had more satisfying sex when they were in their 40s were more likely to continue to appreciate sex as they got older,” Thomas said.

She also added that there could be socio-economic factors at play. For example, more educated women may have higher incomes and feel more stable in their lives with less stress.

“So they have more leeway to make sex a priority because they don’t have to worry about other things,” Thomas said.

The study found another factor that is important for both low and high interest paths is race and ethnicity.

African-American women were more likely to say that sex was important to them in middle age, while Chinese and Japanese women were more likely to say that sex was unimportant in middle age.

“I want to emphasize that this is more due to socio-cultural factors than to any biological factors,” Thomas said. “Women from different cultural backgrounds have different attitudes… different levels of comfort with aging… and whether it’s ‘normal’ for a woman to continue appreciating sex as she grows older.”

The majority of women (48%) chose the third path: they valued a healthy sex life during menopause, but gradually lost interest in it in their 50s and 60s.

Experts say there are a number of emotional, physical and psychological factors that can affect a woman’s attitude towards sex. Most of them can be divided into four categories:

Medical conditions: When women enter perimenopause in their 40s and 50s, they begin to experience hormonal changes that can make sex less satisfying or even painful.

The drop in estrogen causes the tissues of the vulva and vagina to become thinner, drier, and more easily broken, damaged, or irritated. Arousal may become more difficult. Hot flashes and other signs of menopause can affect mood and sleep quality, leading to fatigue, anxiety, irritability, mental fog, and depression.

Many diseases can arise or worsen in middle age, which can also affect libido.

“Do they have conditions like hip arthritis that cause pain during sex? Or hand arthritis, which can make things more difficult? Or things like diabetes where they don’t feel the same, or they have heart disease?” Phobion asked.

“But there is modifications that we talk about all the time to help people stay sexy even when paralyzed,” she said. “There are ways to stay sexy despite a disability.”

Mental and emotional considerations: The psychological component of sex can have a huge impact on a woman’s level of sexual desire. A history of sexual or physical abuse, struggles with substance abuse and depression, anxiety and stress are the main players in this category.

“I can’t tell you enough about the effects of anxiety and stress on sex,” Fobion said. “Think of this fight-or-flight mechanism—your adrenaline pumps you up so you’re back in your caveman days and you’re being chased by a lion.

“Are you going to lie down on a grass mound and have sex while the lion is chasing you? The answer is no. And women do that all the time, so anxiety is a huge, huge factor in whether women will be sexy.”

Although the study did not specifically look at anxiety, the results showed that women with more severe symptoms of depression were much less likely to prioritize sex in their lives. In addition to the emotional impact, reduced libido is a side effect of many antidepressants prescribed to treat depression.

Partner component: Middle-aged women may also face dramatic and troubling changes in their romantic lives that can take a toll on their interest in sex.

“Do they lose a romantic partner through divorce or death? Does a romantic partner develop health problems that make sex more difficult or uncomfortable? Are they busy with other aspects of their lives — careers, caring for grandchildren, or even adult children who are returning home? It makes it hard to prioritize sex,” Thomas said.

Even if they have a partner, there can be ups and downs in the relationship that can affect how a woman feels about intimacy with a significant other.

– Do you like your partner? Phobion asked. “Is your communication good? Even logistics can get in the way—are you in the same place at the same time?”

Social mores: Society also influences how a woman views sex. Religious, cultural and family values ​​in this topic can play a big role in sexual ease and satisfaction.

“Then there is what society teaches us about aging women,” Fobion said. “And so for some women, being sexy is somehow bad. Women shouldn’t like sex.”

“I have seen many women in my clinic in the 60 to 65 age group who have never received any sex education, their partners have never received any sex education, and they really don’t want to know about all of this.”

Of course, if a woman isn’t bothered by a lack of sex, then there’s no reason to see a doctor, Fobion and Thomas said. But they both said that past research has shown that 10% to 15% of women who have a lower interest in sex are concerned about it and would like to find a solution.

There are ways doctors can help, including medications and treatments, but first a woman should contact her doctor and talk to him.

“Previous research has shown that women are often really hesitant to see their doctors, perhaps because they are embarrassed or consider it part of normal aging and don’t think it’s worth talking about,” Thomas said.

Fobion added: “The bottom line: women should talk to their providers if they have concerns about their sexual health. It’s an important part of life and there are solutions for women who struggle with it.”

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Cate Blanchett in a Louis Vuitton dress with jeweled pockets on the red carpet at the Cannes Film Festival



All dresses should have pockets, especially if you’re walking the red carpet, and Blanchett’s dress doesn’t disappoint. The depth makes them the perfect size for hiding anything you might need at the last minute, like a quick lipstick refresh; Cate Blanchett was also given somewhere to put her hands when she posed for the cameras.

Lionel Khan/Getty Images

Cate Blanchett’s hair was tied back into a neat updo, and her makeup gently contrasted against the black and white color palette.

But did we mention…pockets?

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Feinstein’s health problems were much more serious than publicly reported: what do we know



Senator Dianne Feinstein, D-California, attends a Senate Judiciary Committee meeting on Capitol Hill Thursday. (Kent Nishimura/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

Senator Dianne Feinstein’s office on Thursday confirmed that the 89-year-old California MP’s complications from shingles were much more serious than previously thought.

The revelation came after a New York Times report that reported that Feinstein’s shingles had spread to her face and neck, “causing impaired vision and balance and facial paralysis known as Ramsay Hunt Syndrome” and caused a previously unreported case of encephalitis. a rare but potentially debilitating complication that causes brain inflammation.

Adam Russell, a spokesman for Feinstein, said in a statement that the encephalitis “resolved itself shortly after she was released from the hospital in March.” She still has complications from Ramsay Hunt Syndrome, Russell added in a statement following the Times article’s publication.

Here’s everything we know about Feinstein’s health and its impact on her Senate run, taken from original reporting and Yahoo News partners including the Times, Washington Post, and more.

How rare are Feinstein complications?

Senator Dianne Feinstein, D-California, returns to the Senate in a wheelchair after more than two months away on May 10.  (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Senator Dianne Feinstein, D-California, returns to the Senate in a wheelchair after more than two months away on May 10. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Very. In accordance with US Centers for Disease Control and Preventionshingles affects a third of Americans, but Ramsay Hunt syndrome and encephalitis are much less common and can be severe.

Michael Wilson, a physician who specializes in encephalitis at the University of California, San Francisco, told the Washington Post that the risk of post-shingles encephalitis is about “one in a thousand.”

Symptoms of encephalitis include “fever, headache, sensitivity to light or sound, stiff neck, or even seizures and loss of consciousness,” the document says.

Ramsey-Hunt syndrome, caused by the same virus that causes chickenpox and shingles, is also very rare. According to the Mayo Clinicit is more common in older people, usually in people over 60 years of age.

But young people can get it too. Last year, Justin Bieber, 29, announced that he was suffering from Ramsay Hunt Syndromewhich paralyzed one side of his face and forced him to postpone his trip.

How long has Feinstein been gone?

Senator Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., addresses a Senate Judiciary Committee meeting.

Senator Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., appears at a May 11 Senate Judiciary Committee meeting after more than two months away. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, file)

Feinstein, who sits on the influential Senate Judiciary Committee, returned to Washington last week after months away from the Senate as she recovered from her case of shingles, which was diagnosed in February. That same month, the six-term California Democrat announced that she would not seek re-election in 2024.

Her extended leave raised Democratic concerns about the missed votes and prompted numerous calls for her to resign. Her absence from the Judiciary Committee delayed President Biden-appointed judges and undermined the committee’s ability to issue subpoenas to investigate multiple allegations of Supreme Court corruption.

[Time: Why Diane Feinstein shouldn’t quit]

Feinstein said last month that her return was “postponed due to ongoing complications” due to her diagnosis of shingles and that doctors had not allowed her to travel.

She also asked Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer to “allow another Democratic senator to serve temporarily” on the committee “until I can resume serving on the committee.”

What happened when she returned to work?

Senator Dianne Feinstein, looking very fragile, stares up at the ceiling as Prauda speaks to her.

Feinstein, accompanied by Prauda (right), is pushed in a wheelchair as she leaves a gathering on Capitol Hill on Thursday. (Kent Nishimura/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

When she finally returned to Capitol Hill, she seemed remarkably weak.

“In a wheelchair, with the left side of her face frozen and her eye almost closed, she seemed disoriented as an aide led her through the marble corridors of the Senate, complaining loudly that something was stuck in her eye,” according to the Times.

And a few days later, speaking to a small group of reporters, Feinstein appeared baffled when asked about the well wishes she received from her Senate colleagues upon her return.

“I didn’t go anywhere,” she told the Los Angeles Times. “I was here. I voted. Please either know or don’t know.”

[Politico: Feinstein’s return leaves her party on edge]

The exchange did little to quell calls for Feinstein to step down, which she resisted.

“The senator still sees this job as her calling and is no more receptive to talk of resignation than she was in 2018, when she decided to run for re-election despite questions about her intelligence,” writes the New York Times, adding: “People close to her privately joke that maybe when Feinstein dies, she will start thinking about resigning.”

“I’m back in Washington, voting and attending committee meetings while I’m recovering from complications associated with my shingles diagnosis,” Feinstein said in a statement Thursday. “I keep working and getting results for California.”

Who is running for her?

Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., speaks during a January 6 committee meeting on Capitol Hill on June 21, 2022.  (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)

Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., addresses a January 6 committee hearing on Capitol Hill, June 21, 2022. (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters) #

Feinstein is not running for re-election next year, and three prominent members of the Democratic Party are vying for her seat.

Barbara Lee76-year-old member of Congress since 1998 representing the San Francisco Bay Area. Lee was the only member of Congress not to vote to authorize military force after the 9/11 attacks, and received support from progressives, the black congressional caucus, and senior California officials such as the state’s attorney general and the mayors of Los Angeles. Angeles and San Francisco.

[Yahoo News: The 2024 California Senate race could be Democrats’ next big civil war]

Kathy Porter, 49, entered Congress in what has been described as the 2018 Progressive Democrat blue wave, representing an Orange County constituency that is more competitive than those represented by her Senate rivals. Entering Congress, she quickly created reputation as a tough talker at committee hearings. Porter recently released a memoir and won the endorsement of Senator Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., who was her professor at Harvard Law School.

Adam Schiff, 62, has represented the Los Angeles County since 2001 and was the lead manager in the first impeachment of former President Donald Trump. The former House Intelligence Chair won the endorsement of former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and nearly two dozen other members of the California House of Representatives. having a significant fundraising advantage over his opponents.

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