What Was Lost When Embryos Were Destroyed? Facilities’ ‘Catastrophic Failures’ Spark Emotionally Charged Legal Debate
The legal implications over what the would-be-parents are owed for the loss of their embryos could be huge, especially for abortion rights. In other women's health news: marijuana and breast milk, a Kansas City clinic's license, and abortion pills.
The Washington Post:
These Would-Be Parents’ Embryos Were Lost. Now They’re Grieving — And Suing.
Colorful umbrellas dotted an otherwise bleak cemetery landscape as chaplains led a crowd of about 50 people in prayer. Kate Plants, the organizer of the memorial service, stood by an ash tree, crying. The ceremony was a memorial for the potential souls lost in one of the biggest mishaps in the history of modern reproductive technology, the “catastrophic failure” of a cryogenic tank at the University Hospitals Fertility Center in Cleveland. Four-thousand eggs and embryos had been destroyed in a single weekend. Five of them belonged to Plants, 33. (Cha, 8/24)
The Associated Press:
Mind-Altering Breast Milk? New Pot Study Poses That Question
Marijuana's main mind-altering ingredient was detected in nursing mothers' breast milk in a small study that comes amid evidence that more U.S. women are using pot during pregnancy and afterward. Experts say the ingredient, THC, has chemical properties that could allow it to disrupt brain development and potentially cause harm, although solid evidence of that is lacking. (Tanner, 8/27)
Kaiser Health News:
Pediatricians Put It Bluntly: Motherhood And Marijuana Don’t Mix
The strong direction to women and pediatricians comes as more than half of states, including California, have legalized marijuana for medical or recreational use, and studies show that a growing number of babies are being exposed to the drug. The march toward marijuana legalization has outpaced scientific research about its effects. Because marijuana is a Schedule 1 drug — by definition, one with potential for abuse and no approved medical use — federal law has limited research on it. But in a detailed review of the existing safety data published Monday in the journal Pediatrics, researchers concluded that enough concerns exist about both short-term growth and long-term neurological consequences for children to recommend against it. (Gold, 8/27)
Planned Parenthood's Midtown Kansas City Clinic Loses Abortion License
Planned Parenthood’s midtown Kansas City clinic can no longer perform medication abortions after its license officially expired on Aug. 10. Clinic officials say they sought timely renewal of its license, but state health officials delayed it after saying they were unable to conduct a complete inspection of the facility in June. The clinic had no abortion provider on the premises at the time, having stopped performing medication abortions on March 29 when its previous provider left. (Margolies, 8/24)
The New York Times:
England To Allow Women To Take Early Abortion Pill At Home
The British government announced on Saturday that women in England would legally be allowed to take an abortion pill at home for the first time, following in the footsteps of decisions by Scotland and Wales. Under the new regulation, set to take effect by the end of this year, women will be able to take the second of two early abortion pills “in the safe and familiar surroundings of their own home,” the government said. Currently, women seeking to terminate a pregnancy in the first 10 weeks must take two pills — mifepristone and misoprostol — at a clinic, 24 to 48 hours apart. (Joseph, 8/25)