World Cancer Day

World Cancer Day

Yesterday, on February 4th, the world celebrated World Cancer Day. Initiated in February 2000 at the World Summit Against Cancer for the New Millennium in Paris, the event is an initiative of the Union for International Cancer Control. The Paris Charter aims to promote research, prevent cancer and raise awareness. 2019 marks the beginning of the organization's "I Am and I Will" campaign, which will last till 2021 and emphasize each individual's personal commitment to reducing cancer's impact. In concurrence with World Cancer Day, the UN World Health Organization released a statement explaining that incidences of cervical cancer will likely increase by almost 50 percent in 2040. It noted that the number of new cases could be reduced if all girls between the ages of 9 and 14 are vaccinated for HPV. The organization stressed the importance of collaboration between governments, UN agencies and healthcare professionals to preventing increased rates of cervical cancer....
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New York State Passes Reproductive Health Act

New York State Passes Reproductive Health Act

On the 46th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the New York legislature passed a law protecting a woman's right to abortions. The most controversial aspect of the law is its provision for abortions after 24 weeks, in cases of fetal in-viability or danger to the woman's life or heath. According to the Guttmacher Institute, only slightly more than one percent of abortions are performed during or after 21 weeks of pregnancy. The law also took abortion off of the state's criminal code, which prevents medical professionals from being criminally prosecuted. The pro-choice community has lauded the law's passage, considering it a protection against possible future decisions by the Supreme Court. The Catholic Bishops of New York State denounced the law, and many critics claim it is too far-reaching....
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How Climate Change May Affect the Gender of Newborns

How Climate Change May Affect the Gender of Newborns

Author and founder of the M&K Health Institute in Hyogo, Japan, Dr. Misao Fukuda, led a study with results that stated, “temperature fluctuation may play a role in the recent decrease in the sex ratios of births.” Since the mid-20th century, climate change has been a direct result of human activity and has caused a warming trend of the planet. Extreme weather has a connection to human stress which is likely to impact the birth sex ratio. Climate change very well may affect the number of male newborns; more male newborns are predicted to be born in areas with rising high temperatures. Scientist Steven Orzack of the Fresh Pond Research Institute in Cambridge, Massachusetts claims that sex ratio is equal at conception, but there are external factors throughout birth and childhood which cause the ratio to differ. Specifically, senior researcher in the Section of Ecology, Department of Biology at the University of Turku in Finland, Samuli Helle, discovered evidence that...
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Judges Block Trump Birth Control Policy

Judges Block Trump Birth Control Policy

This Monday, Philadelphia District Judge Wendy Beetlestone decided to block a Trump administration rule that would allow employers to decline contraceptive healthcare coverage on religious grounds. While the Women's Health Amendment of the Affordable Care Act originally required employer-provided healthcare plans to include free or affordable birth control, the current administration amended the ACA to expand religious-based exemptions. The Trump administration's rules would have impacted tens of hundreds of childbearing-age women, increasing pressure on state-funded healthcare services. This nationwide injunction followed a similar decision earlier in the day, in which a California judge blocked the new rules for 13 states and the District of Columbia. After this decision, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra said in a statement that “the law couldn’t be clearer – employers have no business interfering in women’s healthcare decisions. Today’s court ruling stops another attempt by the Trump Administration to trample on women’s access to basic reproductive care. It’s 2019, yet the Trump Administration is still trying to roll...
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California Right to Access Act Revisited

California Right to Access Act Revisited

Story by Karina Moreno Bueno, T'21 There was a recent attempt in September to require California to provide medical abortion in public colleges and universities. Medical abortion is otherwise known as the abortion pill. Unfortunately, this bill was not signed by by Governor Jerry Brown. California’s governor announced that he vetoed the bill because “the services required by this bill are widely available off-campus” within five to seven miles off California state university campuses, meaning that he found it an unnecessary government expenditure. The problem with going off-campus to seek these services is that half of students in the California state university school-system are low-income students, meaning that they are likely to struggle to pay for abortions off-campus. Furthermore, the majority of these students do not have a car, making transportation very difficult and not accessible to everyone. Reproductive health rights activists have not given up, as there has been an introduction of updated version of the bill into the state’s legislature...
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Intake of caffeine during pregnancy and neonatal outcomes

Intake of caffeine during pregnancy and neonatal outcomes

Story by Karina Moreno Bueno, T'21 Experts are beginning to warn pregnant mothers who drink coffee on the daily in heavy loads about potential impacts on their pregnancy. Researchers at the University College Dublin have found results that have correlated increased consumption in caffeine during pregnancy to premature births. The National Health Service (NHS) of the UK suggests to that the safe caffeine intake for pregnant women should be kept at around 200 mg, or about 2 regular cups of coffee. Their data suggests that even drinking the below what is considered the “safe” cutoff for caffeine during pregnancy, it may still lead to giving birth to a small baby. The study consisted of 941 mother-baby pairs born in Ireland. Tea was the source of caffeine to 48% of mothers, and coffee was the source of caffeine for 38% of mothers. Results at the end of the study indicated that for the first trimester for every additional 100 mg of caffeine consumed...
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Nesterone, a birth control gel for men, could come to the market soon

Nesterone, a birth control gel for men, could come to the market soon

Story by Karina Moreno Bueno, T'21 A new form of contraceptive for men might be out on the market soon, in the form of a birth control gel. This gel is called NES/T and is rubbed on the back and shoulders on a daily basis to be absorbed by the skin. This gel is supposed to reversibly lower sperm count to a very they cannot get a woman pregnant. It contains segesterone acetate — which contains progestin — and a dose of testosterone and is made under the brand name Nestorone. Testosterone production in the testes is hindered by progestin, which results in very low sperm production. This gel is very similar to a vaginal ring used as a female contraceptive, which contains Nestorone combined with a hormone called estradiol. The hormone mimics pregnancy in women, which causes women to stop releasing eggs. If there aren’t any eggs released, she can’t get pregnant. In men, the hormone makes the body think it...
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New Drugs for Resistant Strains for Gonorrhea

New Drugs for Resistant Strains for Gonorrhea

Story by Karina Moreno Bueno, T'21 About 78 million people around the world are infected with gonorrhea according to the World Health Organization (WHO). In 2017, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported gonorrhea as the most common sexually transmitted disease in the United States. According to WHO, two-thirds of the world’s countries have reported antibiotic-resistant gonorrhea to all antibiotics. This may result in not being able to treat gonorrhea at all. Although a gonorrhea infection is not life-threatening, it can lead to many health problems such as pelvic inflammatory disease which can lead to ectopic pregnancy and infertility in women. In men, untreated gonorrhea can lead to epididymitis which can also lead to infertility. The problem with the bacteria is that rather than losing resistance after not being exposed to an antibiotic, they instead retain their resistance genes. This allows for gonorrhea strains to become more resistant and transfer their genes to other strains, thus, allowing for gonorrhea...
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The Effects of Complete Ban on Abortion in El Salvador

The Effects of Complete Ban on Abortion in El Salvador

Story by Karina Moreno Bueno, T'21 With the reality overturning Roe vs Wade becoming increasingly likely, El Salvador can teach us what some of the consequences might be to that. El Salvador is one of six countries in Latin America that has an absolute ban on abortion. They imposed a total ban on abortion since 1998 and are very strict about the enforcement. There isn’t an exception, whether rape or incest was involved, or even if the pregnancy is life-threatening to the mother, an abortion remains completely legal. One of the biggest problems with this law, is that many times when a woman has a miscarriage, doctors can falsely assume that the woman had an aborted pregnancy, when in fact it was a miscarriage. Others can also report someone suspected of having an abortion, even if it was a miscarriage, and the woman can be prosecuted for an abortion. Many women have been incarcerated for supposed abortions. Many women’s rights groups...
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Kikis with Louie: YouTube promotes Sexual and Reproductive Health for LGBTQ

Kikis with Louie: YouTube promotes Sexual and Reproductive Health for LGBTQ

Story by Karina Moreno Bueno, T'21 “Kiki with Louie” is a new YouTube show meant to provide sexual and reproductive health to LGBTQ. Advocates for Youth, a national nonprofit that focuses on SRH rights, is helping provide this YouTube show. “Kiki” is a term used by the Queer community as a word for a conversational get-together with friends in which there might be gossip, politics, and/or advice. The show is based on the Youth Director for Advocates for Youth, Louie Ortiz has kikis with “young activists from the LGBTQ community”. Many of the guests include trans actors/actresses, musicians, and other youth from the LGBTQ community, among others. Louie and guests discuss dating, sexual health, consent, contraceptives, among other things that are pertinent for SRH education. Ortiz says that he is really excited to see the impact that this show will have on LGBTQ youth’s knowledge on reproductive health since much of the available sex education doesn’t focus on LGBTQ. Ortiz brings up...
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