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Exclusive: This woman died because of an abortion ban. Americans fear they could be next. – TalkOfNews.com

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This woman died because of an abortion ban. Americans fear they could be next.

#woman #died #abortion #ban #Americans #fear

After the Supreme Court’s historic decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, some doctors are highlighting the 2012 death of a pregnant woman in Ireland and warning that the same thing could happen on a large scale in the United States.

Dr. Savita Halappanavar, a 31-year-old Indian-born dentist, died in 2012 in Galway, on Ireland’s west coast, after she was denied an abortion by doctors who cited the country’s strict laws, despite there being no chance of her baby’s survival, according to Ireland’s official report on the case.

Her death shook the foundations of the traditionally conservative and predominantly Roman Catholic country, and catalyzed its pro-abortion rights movement. In a 2018 referendum, Irish people voted by a two-thirds majority to legalize the procedure.

The avoidable death of Halappanavar, who was 17 weeks pregnant, proved that doctors  — not politicians, police and judges — should help decide the best course of action in similar cases, according to Dr. Sabaratnam Arulkumaran, the expert who in 2013 wrote the official report on the case.

“That’s why Biden said that the issue should be between the patient and the doctor, rather than with the law,” he told NBC News by phone, referring to President Joe Biden’s speech reacting to Roe v. Wade’s reversal June 24. 

In Halappanavar’s case, doctors opted against an abortion because the fetus had a heart rate and anyone carrying out a termination could theoretically have been prosecuted at a later date.

“Because the fetal heart rate was present all the time, the obstetrician did not do a termination. If someone decided that she had done it illegally, she would have gone to jail,” he said, referring to the doctor attending on Halappanavar. 

Arulkumaran, a professor emeritus of obstetrics and gynecology at St. George’s University of London, added that mothers’ lives are at stake in the United States.

“I think maternal mortality will go up,” he said. “I think those who are going to be affected are those from lower socioeconomic groups, adolescents, those who don’t have facilities to go for termination.”

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Back pain first sent Halappanavar to Galway University Hospital on Oct. 21, 2012. She was sent home but returned just hours later after she “felt something coming down” and said she had “pushed a leg back in.” A midwife confirmed no fetal parts could be seen, according to the official report. Later that day, she described the pain as “unbearable,” according to the official report. 

 She was admitted and on Oct. 23, a doctor told her a miscarriage was “inevitable” due to the rupturing of the membranes that protect the fetus in the womb, despite the fact that her baby was a normal size and was registering a heart beat. The medical team had decided to “monitor the fetal heart in case an accelerated delivery might be possible once the fetal heart stopped,” the official report said.In Halappanavar’s case, an accelerated delivery would likely have meant a medically induced miscarriage.  

When, on Oct. 23, Halappanavar and her husband, Praveen, asked about medically inducing the miscarriage instead of delaying the inevitable, a doctor told them: “Under Irish law, if there’s no evidence of risk to the life of the mother, our hands are tied so long as there’s a fetal heart[beat],” the official report said.

The report added that once their waters have broken, pregnant women are at very high risk of infection, which in some cases can be fatal.

On Oct. 28 at 1:09 a.m., having caught an infection and gone into septic shock, Halappanavar was pronounced dead.

“It was a life-threatening condition but they took the view of not doing anything because of the legal framework,” Arulkumaran said in the interview.

Praveen Halappanavar, who didn’t respond to a request for comment, told The Guardian newspaper in 2013 that the inquest into his wife’s death “vindicated” his version of events. He told the inquest that a doctor told him an abortion couldn’t be performed because “this is a Catholic country.

After the report was released University Hospital Galway apologized to Halappanavar’s family in a statement which said it “was clear” that “there were failures in the standards of care provided.”

“We can reassure all concerned that we have already implemented changes to avoid the repeat of such an event,” it added. 

Threat to a mother’s life

While some American states have enacted “trigger laws” banning abortion   — some offering exceptions such as in the case of rape or incest, and all currently allow abortion if the mother’s life is seriously at risk — many experts question how easy it will be to get such an exception. In addition, asking doctors to interpret complex legislation in the middle of a medical emergency can lead to dangerous decisions, they said.

Irish law in 2012 allowed abortion to prevent a “potential major hazard or threat to the mother’s life.” But the Halappanavar report said a doctor decided the point at which an abortion was “allowable in Irish law” had not been reached.

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This is not a theoretical scenario in the U.S., said Dr. Jen Gunter, an OB-GYN based in California and the author of “The Vagina Bible.”

“I’ve personally been in a situation where due to the state law, abortion was illegal at our medical center and we had a patient who needed one,” she said in an interview, declining to share any further details of the case aside from the fact that it was in Kansas, where abortion is legal up to 22 weeks with some restrictions.

“It wasn’t a pregnancy complication, her organs were failing because of the extra burden of pregnancy due to her underlying condition,” she added. 

The attorneys at the medical center in Kansas told Gunter she couldn’t perform the abortion unless the woman was in “imminent danger.” 

“I was like, ‘What does that mean?’ And their interpretation was that she was going to die in the next three minutes,” she said. Gunter said the hospital attorneys set up a call with the state politician involved in the legislation, who told her, “Do what you think is best, doctor.” 

“So I thought, ‘Then why do we have this law?’” she said.

An ectopic pregnancy — in which a fertilized egg  implants and grows outside the uterus, often in a fallopian tube, and can endanger the life of the mother — could cause added confusion and untenable delays in treatment under the new laws, she said.

Watch more from NBC News: More confusion on state abortion laws spreading following Roe v. Wade reversal

Gunter is unsparing in her prediction for what tighter abortion laws could mean in the U.S.

She said women could die despite better antibiotics to treat septic abortions.

“Halappanavar? That won’t ever change things in the States when that happens here, and it will happen.”

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Lawmaker Ivana Bacik, leader of the Irish Labour Party and a long-standing advocate of abortion rights, led a protest against the Supreme Court decision outside the American Embassy in Dublin on Monday “in solidarity for American women and girls.”

“Our experience here is that banning and criminalizing abortion puts women’s lives in danger. It’s very clear that’s the appalling reality now for American women,” she said. 

“If you remove the right to abortion from women and girls, you endanger lives. The reality is that there will be life-threatening conditions in pregnancy that will threaten lives and health.” 

Bacik said Halappanavar’s story was instrumental in turning public opinion toward a “yes” vote in 2018. As was the case of a brain-dead woman in Ireland whose life support machine was only turned off more than three weeks after she was declared clinically dead in 2014 following a protracted legal battle because she was 18 weeks pregnant.

In their submission to Ireland’s ongoing government review of abortion laws, a group of 20 women’s rights and heath care charities commissioned polling in March showing 67% of people across the island supported free access to abortion — mirroring the support for the “yes” vote in 2018.

Still, opponents to abortion rights in Ireland continue to fight. On Saturday, a Right to Life rally will take place in Dublin, where organizers are calling on sympathizers “to be a voice for the 6,500 babies being killed by abortion every year.”

Carol Nolan, an independent lawmaker representing the constituency of Laois–Offaly in the Irish midlands, opposed the law change in 2018 and argues that Halappanavar’s death has been “deliberately and continually” misrepresented by women’s rights campaigners.

“The factors that overwhelmingly contributed to Savita’s death were then, medical negligence and the mismanagement of maternal sepsis,” she said via email, adding that she believed the law prior to 2018 — known as the Eighth Amendment — was not a barrier to Halappanavar receiving proportionate and effective care. 

“Following the removal of the constitutional amendment, we have seen an explosion in the numbers of abortions and the application of relentless political and nongovernmental pressure to further widen the parameters of the post-2018 law,” Nolan said.

Watch more from NBC: How overturning Roe v. Wade affects access to medication abortion

There were 32 abortions in Ireland in 2018 and over 6,000 in each of the following two years, according to the latest figures available from the country’s government.  

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“This was entirely predictable,” Nolan added. “However, it has only served to vindicate my own view that the Eighth Amendment acted as a beacon of proportionality and sound law grounded in an authentic vision of human rights.” 

The sometimes deadly intersection of law and medicine in the debate preoccupied those who support abortion rights, too. 

Bacik, the Dublin lawmaker, cited the case of Andrea Prudente, an American woman who was denied an abortion after heavy bleeding in Malta on June 12. She was airlifted to Spain where she received treatment and the fetus was removed.

Multiple cases of women dying after being denied abortions have emerged from Poland, which has a near-total abortion ban. Last year, a 30-year-old woman known only as Izabela, who was 22 weeks pregnant, died of septic shock, her family said. Scans had shown multiple problems with the fetus but doctors refused to terminate while there was a fetal heartbeat, Reuters reported.

After fetal death, doctors could then legally operate. But Izabela’s heart stopped on the way to the operating theater to have a cesarean section. 

At subsequent mass protests in Poland, flags were raised bearing the slogan: “Her heart was beating too.

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Exclusive: Veterinary telehealth service Vetster launches in the UK, post expansion in the US – TalkOfNews.com

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Veterinary telehealth service Vetster launches in the UK, post expansion in the US

#Veterinary #telehealth #service #Vetster #launches #post #expansion

Vetster, a veterinary telehealth service which has raised $40M, is launching in the UK following expansion in the US.

Vetster connects licensed veterinarians with pet owners via video, voice and online chat.

It hopes to fill a yawning gap in provision. In the UK one in two veterinary clinics are overbooked and unable to take on more patients, according to research.

Vetster commissioned research through 3Gem with 150 vets in March 2022 and found vets are overwhelmed with pets, overbooked and unable to take on new patients. And many are looking to quit. So the Telehealth industry is probably arriving just in time.

Mark Bordo, CEO and coFounder of Vetster. “Veterinarians  are facing tremendous pressure to provide services to millions of pet owners. Vetster’s virtual care platform connects pet owners with licensed UK veterinarians to provide support when their clinic is closed, to answer a non-urgent question, and to improve  the health outcomes of their pet and help ensure owners can care for their animals.”
 
The pet telehealth service has been live in North America for over two years.

Vetster raised $30M USD in its Series B funding in April 2022.

Competitors include Televet (raised $7M) ,Dutch ($25M), and Pawp ($17.5M), among others.

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Exclusive: FDA Finalizes Rule To Make Hearing Aids Over-the-Counter – TalkOfNews.com

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FDA Finalizes Rule To Make Hearing Aids Over-the-Counter

#FDA #Finalizes #Rule #Hearing #Aids #OvertheCounter

On Tuesday, the FDA finalized a rule that will allow for hearing aids to be sold over-the-counter, theoretically cutting time and money from a multi-step, expensive process.

“Reducing health care costs in America has been a priority of mine since Day One and this rule is expected to help us achieve quality, affordable health care access for millions of Americans in need,” Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra said in the FDA’s release.

Why are hearing aids so expensive?

To get a hearing aid, you previously had to visit an audiologist to get your hearing evaluated and get them fitted, as well as obtain medical clearance from your doctor, according to Cleveland Clinic.

The actual devices, however, are not usually covered by insurance or Medicare and are sold by Audiologists, who usually charge $2,000 per hearing aid — so $4,000, roughly, for a pair, according to Forbes Health.

“The rule is expected to lower the cost of hearings aids,” the FDA added in its statement. Over-the-counter aids could be available — and thus more accessible for many — in stores by mid-October, it added.

People who are over 18 and who have “perceived mild to moderate hearing loss,” will be able to buy the devices over the counter, per the FDA.

Luis Medina, a pharmacist and owner of Baron II Drug & Surgical, a surgical supply store and pharmacy in Moonachie, New Jersey, told Entrepreneur he hopes to start selling hearing aids in his store because he often recommends them to customers.

Beyond that, he’s just happy his mother-in-law might finally be able to hear him talk — she balked at the initial price of around $2,000 per ear for her aids.

“This weekend was my mother-in-law’s 93rd birthday and all she said was ‘what?’ and ‘huh,’” he said.

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Exclusive: Behind the Brand with On Running’s Olivier Bernhard – TalkOfNews.com

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Behind the Brand with On Running’s Olivier Bernhard

#Brand #Runnings #Olivier #Bernhard

When On Running co-founder Olivier Bernhard was a child, running made him feel whole. He had trouble focusing in school, and says that in today’s society he would have probably been given medication to help him focus. Luckily, his parents saw the energy he needed to expel and put him in a running club. That changed everything. The experience of moving his body and running gave him a sense of belonging and place and eventually he would grow up to be a pro Swiss athlete. 

“I’ve been a runner all my life,” he says. “I would say I’ve had this DNA in me. I started racing when I was 5 or 6 years old, and I enjoyed it. Maybe not so much to climb the podium and claim a medal. It was more the feeling of running, the breathing and heartbeat.” 

Bernhard–a multi-championship Ironman–never intended to be at the helm of a disrupter or challenger brand, nor did he intend to create a running shoe company. The idea sort of found him when he was looking at ways not to create new running products but to create a different kind of running experience and feeling. 

“I always felt there was room not for another running shoe but for a different running feel,” he says. “I had no clue how to build or manufacture a running shoe, but I had this vision or dream that stuck with me [where] I really wanted to bring that different feel to life in a running shoe.”

At the time, Bernhard was sponsored by Nike, and he first approached the company with his idea. Unfortunately, or maybe fortunately, he was rejected and that resulted in his beginning his own project and, later, company. Bernhard admits that had he been in Nike’s position at the time, he might have laughed himself out of the room as well, because the shoe prototype he presented was, in his own words, hideous. 

The first prototype for the On Running sneaker was a Frankenstein of sorts. Bernhard says he glued pieces of a garden hose to a traditional running shoe to create a softer landing and a springboard-like mechanism to push off from while in motion, sort of like shocks on a car. It might have looked a bit slapdash when he put the sample together, but the sensation when using the shoe was exactly what he was looking for. 

Bernhard describes his current career to me as “surfing a dream,” and says he’s always been happy because he’s always done what he loves. Even after Nike said no to him, he was determined to get his idea off the ground. Years of professional athletics had taught him that no often meant not right now, so he stayed the course.

Bernhard presented his concept to two friends, David Allemann and Caspar Coppetti, and while these two men thought the shoe prototype was terrible, they were converts once they ran in it. The three friends formed the company On Holding AG in Zurich in 2010 and quickly developed a somewhat cult-like following among runners. Once people tried the shoes, they were hooked and had no problem paying whatever the price tag to get their hands on a pair. 

Bernhard says that many people warned him not to compete against established juggernaut brands like Nike, Adidas, or New Balance, but he had spent years training in the Swiss Alps and he’s not one to shy away from an uphill battle or discomfort. He says he liked to go to the mountains to test himself and improve, so it’s no wonder that he’d end up in a similar position with a product–pushing it to its limit to see how it could be better. 

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The On Running founders were less worried about competing in their chosen market and more concerned with creating a great product that they themselves would want to buy. By focusing on the product more than the market, they were able to not only find their unique niche in the athletic space, but also create a superior product and find immense revenue success.  

Just starting your own business and having it be successful is a win, but On Running was in motion and things were about to get even bigger. After some time, the guys were approached by tennis legend and fellow Swiss athlete Roger Federer. Federer wasn’t just a fan. He was interested in getting very involved. Was this a Michael Jordan Jumpman moment for On? Maybe. Federer is arguably the G.O.A.T., and collectively the Swiss countrymen had a lot in common in terms of vision and competitive DNA. 

“He kind of knocked on our doors by posting Instagram pictures about going into tournaments wearing our shoes, and what we often do with celebrities like him or actors, we send a care package,” Bernhard says. “He came back and said, ‘Hey, can we go out for dinner in Zurich?’ and of course we didn’t say no! And that’s how we met and talked, and it was nice, but only a week later he said, ‘Hey, could I actually be a partner?’”

Federer came on board and even invested his own money in the brand. Along with the On Running team, Federer started designing a tennis shoe and spent most of his pandemic lockdown working on that. I ask Bernhard if it was a planned trajectory to go from running shoes to tennis shoes, and he says that it sort of just happened. To him, any kind of body movement is good, and it seems that On Running is poised to jump in where the team sees opportunities.

Bernhard tells me that On Running’s mission is to ignite the human spirit through movement and that was put to the test in 2020. Like most active/athletic companies, On emerged from the pandemic well in the black, and its 2021 IPO proved the company is a top-tier competitor in the athletic market.

Noting that Bernhard started his company shortly after the recession, I ask if he has advice for entrepreneurs starting out now during uncertain financial times. He says it’s all about products that are recession-proof. He notes that even during tough financial times, people will invest money in their health, and he’s not wrong. Now more than ever, people want to spend more time outside versus on their sofa and are finding more ways to work out and stay healthy. 

“If things get tough, then you prove if you’re made out of steel or a little plastic piece,” he says. “I loved to compete in [difficult] conditions. Even in 2010, we knew that it was going to be super tough. But we looked at each other as athletes. We said, ‘We want to found the company right now, and if we can survive this, we can take any storm that hits our boat.’”

On has proved that it’s a brand that can weather the test of time. It began in a recession; it thrived during a global pandemic. The founders have shown that their products are the kind that people will invest in even during troubled times. But what troubles Bernhard these days now that he’s been in business for more than a decade? He tells me it’s knowing that his company contributes to waste. Bernard impressed me with his connection to the outdoors and care for the land that has given him so much. Our interview took place a day before his birthday, and I asked him how he was planning to celebrate. He let me know that his kids had planned a beautiful day together hiking in the Alps. No wonder he wants to walk the talk and do his part to help preserve what’s most important.

“I always had a hard time being an athlete and knowing that everything I have on my feet and everything I wear is actually ending up in a landfill,” he says. “And I didn’t think that was going to change. When we founded the company, I was super excited, but I also felt bad because I felt that now I’m playing into that. We are producing more waste.”

Bernhard says that he brought this up to his partners mostly thinking that things would remain the same as they always had, but these days the company is taking seriously its pledge to contribute less to waste and is starting to experiment with recycled materials. Bernhard also tells me that On is experimenting with the concept of a subscription service wherein a consumer can return a pair of shoes when they’ve worn them out and once On gets the pair back, the company will send the customer a new pair and recycle the old pair and put the materials toward new products. He describes this as the products becoming circular, and it’s not a bad idea. 

The market has shown that consumers are comfortable with subscriptions. We pay for streaming services, subscription boxes, even subscribe and save on items on Amazon. Why not on our footwear? On is successful because it is evolving with the times. The founders have watched the world and the market change in the 12 years they’ve been in business, and wherever the trends are heading, they’ll be running right after them.

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“We spend a lot of time in nature, training and moving, and we are very thankful that we can do that,” Bernhard says. “We want to help the planet to make sure that it’s going to stay for generations to come.”

The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.

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