South Dakota Makes It Even Harder To Get A Medication Abortion
Women seeking medication-based abortions must now receive drugs at a licensed abortion facility, instead of just meeting with a physician in person once. Grants for West Virginia health centers, fentanyl seizures on Texas' Mexican border and more are also in the news.
South Dakota Places Further Restrictions On Medication Abortions
Women in South Dakota who are seeking a medication abortion will face additional restrictions later this month after state lawmakers approved a new rule from the state's health department. Current state law allows for the medical abortion process to begin 72 hours "after the physician physically and personally meets with the pregnant mother," except in medical emergencies, and usually only required one more visit to a licensed facility to receive the necessary drugs for the process. But on Thursday, state lawmakers on a rules review committee approved the South Dakota Department of Health's rule requiring that women receive both drugs used in a medication abortion -- mifepristone and misoprostol -- in person at a licensed abortion facility. (Stracqualursi, 1/8)
In other news from across the U.S. —
5 WVa Health Centers To Receive $8.3 Million In Grants
Five health centers in West Virginia will receive a total of $8.3 million from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. West Virginia’s two U.S. senators, Democrat Joe Manchin and Republican Shelley Moore Capito, announced the funding. (1/10)
Virginia Vaccination Coordinator Steps Down From His Job
Dr. Danny Avula, who has overseen Virginia’s vaccination efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic, has stepped down from his position. The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports that Avula, who was named state vaccination coordinator a year ago, said he has taken on other responsibilities in the Virginia Department of Health and returned to his position as director of the Richmond City and Henrico County health districts. Avula said the job switch was his decision. (1/9)
Border Patrol Reports 1,066% Increase In Fentanyl Seized In South Texas
U.S. Customs and Border Protection reported a 1,066% increase in fentanyl seized in south Texas during fiscal year 2021, the agency said this week. Border patrol officers at eight ports of entry from Brownsville to Del Rio seized 87,652 pounds of narcotics, including marijuana, cocaine and fentanyl with an estimated estimated street value of $786 million. (Doherty, 1/8)
Anchorage Daily News:
Anchorage Downtown Partnership Ends Safety First Program, Citing Unintended Negative Consequences
The Anchorage Downtown Partnership has changed how its safety ambassadors patrol downtown’s streets, ending a program model its executive director says resulted in some unintended negative consequences, like gaps in crime data, and increasingly led to ambassadors dealing with situations better handled by police or social service providers. Safety ambassadors are the partnership’s paid security guards who patrol downtown, working closely with the Anchorage Police Department and other emergency services. The Downtown Partnership, a nonprofit, discontinued its Safety First program on Jan. 1. The program was a collaboration with the Anchorage Community Development Authority that began in 2016. ACDA’s Easy Park ran a hotline that dispatched the safety ambassadors in response to calls about problems downtown. (Goodykoontz, 1/9)
Florida School Bans Teaching CRT, Gender Fluidity, And 'Mainstream Narrative Surrounding Covid'
A Florida school has a policy against teaching critical race theory, arguing that such curriculum is the result of a "controlled" message from the media. "As a school, we do not subscribe to or promote Critical Race Theory, Gender Fluidity, or the mainstream narrative surrounding Covid, all hot topics that many schools are now choosing to teach as factual rather than as the theories they are," reads a section of the website for the Centner Academy, a private school in Miami, Florida. (Lee, 1/9)