Health Highlights: May 14, 201405/14/14
Here are some of the latest health and medical news
developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:
Injuction Against Abortion Drug Rules Back in Court
Arguments for and against continuing an injunction against
Arizona's strict restrictions on the use of abortion drugs were
heard Tuesday by a federal appeals court.
The Arizona regulations - the strictest in the nation -- forbid
women from taking the widely-used abortion drug RU-486 after the
seventh week of pregnancy, and also require that the drug be given
only at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration-approved dosage and
that both doses be taken at a clinic, the
The typical dosage is lower than the FDA-approved amount and the
drug is usually taken at home. Previously, women in Arizona had
been allowed to take RU-486 through nine weeks of pregnancy.
The new regulations were approved by the state legislature in
2012 and took effect for one day in April, before the 9th Circuit
Court of Appeals issued an injunction against the rules. The court
said the restrictions were likely to cause women irreparable harm,
The legal challenge was launched by Planned Parenthood of
Arizona. On Tuesday, the group asked the appeals court to keep the
injunction in place while it pursues its lawsuit, which contends
that the new restrictions are unconstitutional.
Two of the three judges seemed to be in favor of continuing the
injunction against the new rules and questioned their
"One could look at this legislation as pretextual and an effort to flat out reduce the number of abortions by any means," Judge Susan Graber said. "That's one concern I have."
The rules are not unconstitutional and were created to protect
women's health, according to Arizona Solicitor General Robert
Ellman. "The primary, if not the sole purpose, of this legislation
is maternal health," he told the court.
The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals will release a written decision
in the coming weeks, the
Ohio Measles Outbreak Largest Since Mid-1990s
A measles outbreak in Ohio has reached 68 cases, making it the
largest outbreak in any state since 1996, when Utah had more than
100 cases, according to health officials.
Measles is a growing concern in the United States, which could
end up having the worst year since home-grown measles outbreaks
were eradicated in 2000,
As of Friday, there had been 187 cases nationwide, which is
close to last year's total of 189, the Centers for Disease Control
and Prevention said. California has had 59 cases so far this
All of the measles cases in Ohio have been among Amish people.
The outbreak began after unvaccinated Amish missionaries returned
from the Philippines, where there is a major measles outbreak. The
California outbreak is also linked to the Philippines,
A mumps outbreak is also hitting Ohio, with more than 300 cases.
With the two outbreaks, state health officials want families to be
sure they are up to date on vaccinations before kids head off to
summer camp and people get together for large gatherings.
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