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A Preview of the Dangerous Future of Abortion Bans -- Texas Senate Bill 8

Source: NE Journal of Medicine



We interviewed 25 clinicians from across Texas about how SB8 has affected their practice in general obstetrics and gynecology, maternal and fetal medicine (MFM), or genetic counseling. We concurrently interviewed 20 Texans who had medically complex pregnancies and sought care either in Texas or out of state after September 1, 2021. Although aimed at clinicians who provide abortion care, SB8 has had a chilling effect on a broad range of health care professionals, adversely affecting patient care and endangering people’s lives.

Some Texas clinicians still provide abortion counseling and referrals, believing that the law does not limit their free speech, while also noting that such freedom depends on a clinician’s willingness to assume possible legal risk. On the basis of legal guidance, other Texas clinicians believe they are not even allowed to counsel patients regarding the availability of abortion in cases of increased maternal risks or poor fetal prognosis, although before SB8 they would have done so. Many clinicians have also been advised that they cannot provide information about out-of-state abortion facilities or directly contact out-of-state clinicians to transfer patient information. These fears have disrupted continuity of care and left patients to find services on their own.



Clinicians we interviewed recounted a variety of circumstances in which a patient could have received hospital-based abortion care before SB8 but was now denied that care. Patients with a life-limiting fetal diagnosis, such as anencephaly or bilateral renal agenesis, are only being counseled to continue their pregnancy and offered neonatal comfort care options after delivery. All hospitals where our respondents practiced have prohibited multifetal reduction, even though in some cases (e.g., complications of monochorionic twins) failure to perform the procedure could result in the loss of both twins.

Patients with pregnancy complications or preexisting medical conditions that may be exacerbated by pregnancy are being forced to delay an abortion until their conditions become life-threatening and qualify as medical emergencies, or until fetal cardiac activity is no longer detectable. An MFM specialist reported that their hospital no longer offers treatment for ectopic pregnancies implanted in cesarean scars, despite strong recommendations from the Society for Maternal–Fetal Medicine that these life-threatening pregnancies be definitively managed with surgical or medical treatment.4 Some clinicians believe that patients with rupture of membranes before fetal viability are eligible for a medical exemption under SB8, while others believe these patients cannot receive an abortion so long as there is fetal cardiac activity. In multiple cases, the treating clinicians — believing, on the basis of their own or their hospital’s interpretation of the law, that they could not provide early intervention — sent patients home, only to see them return with signs of sepsis. An obstetrician–gynecologist recalled only one patient who was able to obtain an abortion at their hospital under SB8’s maternal health exemption, because her severe cardiac condition had progressed to the point that she was admitted to the intensive care unit. As an MFM specialist summarized, “People have to be on death’s door to qualify for maternal exemptions to SB8.”



Read more: https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMp2207423



Really good survey of the effects of HB8 on maternal care in TX. It is worse than you think.

Pelosi receives Communion in Vatican amid abortion debate

Source: AP

ROME (AP) — U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi met with Pope Francis on Wednesday and received Communion during a papal Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica, witnesses said, despite her position in support of abortion rights.

Pelosi attended the morning Mass marking the feasts of St. Peter and St. Paul, during which Francis bestowed the woolen pallium stole on newly consecrated archbishops. She was seated in a VIP diplomatic section of the basilica and received Communion along with the rest of the congregants, according to two people who witnessed the moment.

Pelosi’s home archbishop, San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone, has said he will no longer allow her to receive the sacrament in his archdiocese because of her support for abortion rights. Cordileone, a conservative, has said Pelosi must either repudiate her support for abortion or stop speaking publicly of her Catholic faith.

Read more: https://apnews.com/article/abortion-pope-francis-politics-religion-nancy-pelosi-249a32b2af9de647f1bae94aacb60c6e



Pelosi was banned from taking communion by her SF bishop, so she had to go to Rome. Just goes to prove that rich women will be able to get communion regardless.

Edit: I was trying to make a comment about Pelosi's boss move by going over the Bishop's head and going to his' boss, as well as a sad comment on the state of abortion law as it currently exists in my state. I'm leaving the comment for context but I didn't mean anything against Pelosi.

Chattanooga Finds Fresh Identity as a Tech, VC Hub

Source: WSJ

Chattanooga, Tenn., one of the first places in the nation to install a citywide fiber-optic gigabit-speed internet cable, boomed during the pandemic thanks to an influx of remote workers and venture capital-backed startups, its mayor said.

Tim Kelly, a businessman and startup founder who was inaugurated in April of last year, said the city received approximately 10,000 new residents between March 2020 and August 2021, according to a survey of people who initiated electric service at that time. He credited remote working during the pandemic for the increase, adding that transplants were drawn to Chattanooga by its superfast internet and high quality of life.



Chattanooga is one of the many smaller U.S. cities whose populations grew or held steady last year, while most of the country’s biggest cities experienced deepening population declines as the pandemic continued to encourage Americans to search for more space, according to census estimates released Thursday. As of July 2021, Chattanooga had about 182,000 people, up slightly from July 2020, the census figures showed.

The city made early tech investments in 2010 when EPB of Chattanooga, the city-owned power distribution and telecommunications company, rolled out a gigabit-speed fiber-optic backbone. In 2015, the network was juiced to offer speeds of up to 10 gigabits a second.



Read more: https://www.wsj.com/articles/chattanooga-finds-fresh-identity-as-a-tech-vc-hub-11653645602?mod=hp_minor_pos5



Also noted all students on free/reduced lunch get high speed internet free.

Medicare Advantage Plans Often Deny Needed Care, Federal Report Finds

Source: NY Times

Every year, tens of thousands of people enrolled in private Medicare Advantage plans are denied necessary care that should be covered under the program, federal investigators concluded in a report published on Thursday.

The investigators urged Medicare officials to strengthen oversight of these private insurance plans, which provide benefits to 28 million older Americans, and called for increased enforcement against plans with a pattern of inappropriate denials.

Advantage plans have become an increasingly popular option among older Americans, offering privatized versions of Medicare that are frequently less expensive and provide a wider array of benefits than the traditional government-run program offers.



The industry’s main trade group claims people choose Medicare Advantage because “it delivers better services, better access to care and better value.” But federal investigators say there is troubling evidence that plans are delaying or even preventing Medicare beneficiaries from getting medically necessary care.



Read more: https://www.nytimes.com/2022/04/28/health/medicare-advantage-plans-report.html

Best Resources for following the War?

I've been strangely glued to twitter and some other sites trying to follow some of what's going on in Ukraine. I wanted to pass along who is a former Army soldier and has been doing updates daily that have been much better than I've seen anywhere else.

His maps and relatively neutral tone make it fairly easy to get a feel for how things are going, although his pronunciation can best be described as earnest.

Three Russian cosmonauts just launched to the International Space Station on a Russian rocket

https://twitter.com/SciGuySpace/status/1504940601334194176?s=20&t=zaCWRuysTrxpXv6RYLs81g

Interesting color selection for the space suits.

German / Italian led no-fly zone?

I get that we don't want to directly involve ourselves in a no-fly zone due to MAD, but would it be possible for non-nuclear powers to institute it? Germany / Italy / Turkey / Spain / maybe baltic or nordic countries? We could provide a lot of the support and armaments just like we are currently for Ukraine.

THERANOS FOMO KEPT THE DEVOS FAMILY FROM DOING ITS INVESTMENT HOMEWORK

https://www.theverge.com/2021/10/26/22747918/theranos-devos-due-diligence-fraud-trial

The verge has been covering the Holmes trial, and this stood out for me on their way to losing 100 million:

Theranos said a lot of things to Lisa Peterson that made the company seem credible when she evaluated it on behalf of the crazy-wealthy DeVos family. One of the things that stood out as a reason to trust Theranos and Elizabeth Holmes? Its devices didn’t need FDA approval.

That made it seem more credible that the machines worked, said Peterson, who works on investments for the DeVos clan (including former secretary of education Betsy DeVos), and who testified today during US v. Elizabeth Holmes.

FBI, others crush REvil using ransomware gang's favorite tactic against it

Source: Ars Technica



Well, apparently, whoever relaunched REvil wasn’t the brightest bulb. Last night, Reuters reported that several countries working together took down the ransomware gang using one of the criminal organization’s favorite tactics—compromised backups.

Though the FBI isn’t commenting on the matter, private-sector cybersecurity experts and a former US official confirmed the operation, Reuters reports. “The FBI, in conjunction with Cyber Command, the Secret Service, and like-minded countries, have truly engaged in significant disruptive actions against these groups,” Tom Kellermann, VMware’s head of cybersecurity strategy and an adviser to the US Secret Service on cybercrime investigations, told Reuters. “REvil was top of the list.”



The newfound success against the slippery gang stems in part from the new legal freedom to pursue such criminal operations. US Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco recently determined that ransomware attacks on critical infrastructure are a national security threat on par with terrorism. That allowed the Justice Department to bring in assistance from the Pentagon and US intelligence agencies.

“Before, you couldn’t hack into these forums, and the military didn’t want to have anything to do with it,” Kellermann said. “Since then, the gloves have come off.”



Read more: https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2021/10/fbi-others-crush-revil-using-ransomware-gangs-favorite-tactic-against-it/?comments=1&start=40



So Biden has unleashed the hounds as it were. I'm not sure how I feel about offensive cyberoperations being carried out by the military / NSA against Russian civilians, but maybe this will have an effect.

Taylor Swift fans are getting caught up in the Virginia gubernatorial race

https://www.theverge.com/2021/10/5/22710848/taylor-swift-scooter-braun-masters-glenn-youngkin-virginia-mcauliffe

Weeks before Virginia’s gubernatorial election, the campaign for Democratic candidate Terry McAuliffe is reaching out to an unexpected constituency: Taylor Swift fans.

On Tuesday, the McAulliffe campaign launched a series of Facebook, Instagram, and Google search ads highlighting his opponent Glenn Youngkin’s role in the controversial purchase of Taylor Swift’s master recordings in 2019. The buyout of Swift’s masters has been a point of bitter contention for the singer and her fans and could be an unexpected liability in the upcoming race.

Last year, Youngkin — the Republican nominee for Virginia governor — retired as co-CEO of the private equity firm The Carlyle Group before launching his 2021 gubernatorial bid. At Carlyle, Youngkin worked with the media executive Scooter Braun to acquire Big Machine Label Group, taking control of all of Swift’s master recordings and, for a time, refusing to sell them back to the singer. Several months later, Swift called on Carlyle to intervene in the deal, saying that the acquisition made it more difficult for her to perform her own music and produce her Netflix documentary named after her record Reputation.

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