Longer Looks: Interesting Reads You Might Have Missed
Each week, KHN finds longer stories for you to enjoy. This week's selections include stories on the fall of Roe v. Wade, IVF, covid, the mental health crisis, and more. Plus, The New York Times takes a deeper dive into McKinsey’s unknown work for opioid makers.
How Mississippi Brought Down Roe
The state of Mississippi has just one abortion clinic: Jackson Women’s Health Organization, better known as the Pink House. And this very clinic was at the center of the recent Supreme Court decision that overruled Roe v. Wade: After Mississippi had passed a law banning abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy, the clinic sued a state health official, with the case going to the high court’s docket—and the conservative majority ruling in favor of the state, and against abortion. How did Mississippi in particular become the state that would scuttle the constitutional right to an abortion? (Harris, 6/28)
The New York Times:
For Many Women, Roe Was About More Than Abortion. It Was About Freedom.
Millions of American women spent the past five days absorbing the news that the Supreme Court had overturned Roe v. Wade, erasing the constitutional right to a legal abortion that had held for nearly a half-century. The decision instantly reordered the lives of women across the country. (Bosman, 6/29)
States Say Abortion Bans Don't Affect IVF. Providers And Lawyers Are Worried Anyway.
Arkansas' abortion ban, which went into effect on Friday, defines an "unborn child" as starting at fertilization. That left Dean Moutos, who runs Arkansas Fertility & Gynecology, the state’s sole provider of in vitro fertilization, with questions. The law makes no mention of IVF, but Moutos immediately wondered: Could his patients’ frozen embryos be defined as unborn children under the law? Could discarding those embryos be considered an abortion? (Bendix, 6/29)
How To Undo The Supreme Court’s Mistakes
What happens when the Supreme Court gets it wrong? Misguided court decisions have altered the path of the nation in sadly demonstrable ways. And the question arises again from the series of sharply divisive rulings by the current court. (Canellos, 6/29)
In A Doctor's Suspicion, A Glimpse Of Budding Medical Mistrust Over Abortion
The idea that she might be pregnant hadn’t crossed Janneke Parrish’s mind. She used contraceptives and trusted them. Now, sitting on the examining table with the doctor telling her there were pregnancy hormones in her system, she panicked. She’d had nightmares about this. They emerged whenever she was stressed out, any and all worries transformed into her biggest worry, of becoming a mom against her will. Some parasite would be eating her from the inside, and she’d have no way to get it out. She’d be entrusted with some delicate being, and no matter how careful she was, it would shatter. (Boodman, 6/29)
The New York Times:
Behind the Scenes, McKinsey Guided Companies at the Center of the Opioid Crisis
Much has been disclosed over the years about McKinsey’s relationship with Purdue Pharma, including the consulting firm’s recommendation that the drug maker “turbocharge” its sales of OxyContin. But The Times found that the firm played a far deeper and broader role in advising clients involved in the opioid crisis than was publicly disclosed. Newly released McKinsey records include more than 15 years of emails, slide presentations, spreadsheets, proposals and other documents. (Hamby and Forsythe, 6/29)
The Washington Post:
Vivek Murthy Wants To Fix Our Mental Health Crisis. But How Much Can He Do?
America has a mental health crisis, and Vivek Murthy wants to talk about it. When he was first named surgeon general in 2014, he traveled the country for a listening tour to learn how he could help. The “Nation’s Doctor” heard about addiction, obesity, cancer and heart disease — and, to his surprise, loneliness. “It resonated with me personally, because I certainly struggled with loneliness throughout my own life,” says Murthy. “It’s so hard to tell from the outside world what’s happening inside. Many of us just try to put on a brave face.” (Roberts, 6/27)
A Viral Reprise: When COVID-19 Strikes Again And Again
For New York musician Erica Mancini, COVID-19 made repeat performances. March 2020. Last December. And again this May. “I’m bummed to know that I might forever just get infected,” said the 31-year-old singer, who is vaccinated and boosted. “I don’t want to be getting sick every month or every two months.” But medical experts warn that repeat infections are getting more likely as the pandemic drags on and the virus evolves – and some people are bound to get hit more than twice. Emerging research suggests that could put them at higher risk for health problems. (Ungar, 6/29)
New Hampshire Public Radio:
Life And Death At A Human Decomposition Facility
Few bear witness to human decomposition. We embalm and seal bodies in caskets, and bury them six feet underground. Decomposition happens out of sight and out of mind — or, in the case of cremation, is skipped over entirely. But at human decomposition facilities, sometimes known as "body farms," students and researchers see rotting corpses every day. They watch as scavengers and bacteria feast on them. And when it's all over, they clean the skeletons, and file them away in a collection. (Poon, 6/27)
The New York Times:
Centenarian Tortoises May Set The Standard For Anti-Aging
Despite their wrinkled skin and toothless gums, species like Galápagos giant tortoises seem unscathed by the ravages of aging. Some show few signs of slowing down as they plod into their 100s. To determine what drives these ageless wonders, two groups of researchers examined turtles, tortoises and their ectothermic, or coldblooded, brethren in a pair of studies published Thursday in the journal Science. Prior aging research has largely revolved around warm-blooded animals like mammals and birds. (Tamisiea, 6/23)