Monday, May 9, 2022 | California Healthline

On Mother’s Day Weekend, Protesters Rally For Abortion Rights: Across California, hundreds of protesters took to the streets over the weekend to defend a woman’s right to an abortion. In San Diego, at least 300 people of all backgrounds marched through Balboa Park. In San Francisco, dozens rallied at Embarcadero Plaza on Saturday. Also Saturday, pro-choice activists marched down Santa Monica Boulevard in West Hollywood in support of Roe v. Wade. Read more from the San Diego Union-Tribune, San Francisco Chronicle, and Los Angeles Times.

Pelosi Lashes Out At Newsom Over Abortion Fight: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Sunday appeared miffed that Gov. Gavin Newsom, her fellow California Democrat, would accuse the party of being too passive on abortion rights. “I have no idea why anybody would make that statement unless they were unaware of the fight that has been going on,” Pelosi said on CBS’ “Face the Nation” after viewing a clip of Newsom criticizing his own party last week. Read more from the San Francisco Chronicle. Keep scrolling for more abortion coverage. 

Below, check out the roundup of California Healthline’s coverage. For today’s national health news, read KHN’s Morning Briefing.

Abortion Rights Protesters Rally In Cities Around US 

Abortion rights protesters rallied in cities around the United States on Saturday, vowing to fight to ensure that abortion remains a legal option for women nationwide. Hundreds gathered in Chicago, Atlanta, Houston and other cities days after a draft U.S. Supreme Court opinion was leaked to the public suggesting the court is poised to overturn the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade case that legalized abortion nationwide. The draft opinion, which comes amid nearly 50 years of federal abortion protections, could change before the ruling is finalized in coming weeks. (5/7)

Abortion-Rights Protest Targets Homes Of Kavanaugh, Roberts

About 100 protesters took the battle over abortion rights to the homes of two conservative U.S. Supreme Court justices Saturday night, five days after a leaked draft opinion suggested the court is poised to overturn the landmark Roe v. Wade ruling. Bearing signs and chanting slogans, the group marched from Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s house in Chevy Chase, Maryland, to Chief Justice John Roberts’ residence about a half mile away. The protesters then returned to Kavanaugh’s before police ordered them to disperse. It wasn’t clear whether either justice’s family was home. (Stohr, 5/8)

Palm Springs Desert Sun:
Local Planned Parenthood CEO Reacts To Leaked Supreme Court Opinion: ‘We Will Continue To Fight For It Forever’

To say it’s been a difficult week for Darrah Johnson, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Pacific Southwest, is an understatement, but she’s not giving up the fight. On Monday, Politico published a story on a leaked draft opinion from the Supreme Court that would overturn Roe v. Wade. The 1973 landmark decision ruled that the Constitution of the United States protects a woman’s choice to have an abortion without excessive government restriction. (Sasic, 5/7)

PBS NewsHour:
California Wants To Be A Sanctuary For Abortion Rights. But In The Central Valley, Care Is Harder To Reach

A decade ago, Karina Gallardo-Montoya did not see the same support for reproductive health care access in Tulare County that she sees today. Sexual and reproductive health is a growing interest among many in the San Joaquin Valley, even if access to it still lags behind other parts of the state, Gallardo-Montoya said. The financial cost of accessing general medical care, she said, made her think twice in the past about seeing a doctor. When appointments were made for several weeks out, she opted for urgent care visits. Other times, she traveled far distances to nearby cities just to be seen. (Rodriguez-Delgado, 5/6)

U.S. Senate To Vote Wednesday On Abortion Rights Bill, Schumer Says

The U.S. Senate will vote on legislation to codify abortion rights into law on Wednesday in reaction to the leaked draft decision indicating the Supreme Court is poised to overturn its landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said on Sunday. “Every American will see how every senator stands,” Schumer said during a news conference with state leaders in New York. Republicans “can’t duck it anymore. Republicans have tried to duck it.” (5/8)

The Wall Street Journal:
Congress Set To Clash On Abortion Following Draft Opinion On Roe V. Wade 

The vote has no chance of succeeding in the 50-50 Senate. But Democrats think disagreement with Republicans on the issue could help them at the polls.
“If we are not successful, then we go to the ballot box,” Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D., Minn.) said Sunday on ABC’s “This Week.” “We march straight to the ballot box, and the women of this country and the men who stand with them will vote like they’ve never voted before.” (Hughes, 5/8)

The New York Times:
Senate Democrats Warn Of G.O.P. Effort To Restrict Abortion Nationwide 

Democrats rang alarm bells on Sunday about the likelihood that Republicans would try to restrict abortion nationwide, two days after an interview was published in which Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the minority leader, said a ban was “possible” if his party gained control in Washington. On the Sunday talk shows and in other public statements, Democratic senators said Republicans would not stop at letting the states decide the issue, but would most likely push for federal restrictions. That made it paramount, they said, that the Democratic Party maintain control of the Senate as it tries to codify abortion rights into federal law. (Broadwater, 5/8)

Roe V. Wade: U.S. Military Risks A Drop In Female Troops Under Abortion Rollback

U.S. troops could see their access to abortion severely curtailed if the Supreme Court overturns its landmark ruling on reproductive rights, potentially hurting military recruitment and the retention of women. As employees of the federal government, doctors on military bases are already banned from performing abortions so female troops — and the female spouses of troops — must seek out the procedure on their own. That would become much more difficult if the Supreme Court overturns the precedent set in its Roe v. Wade ruling almost five decades ago, as a leaked draft ruling indicates it’s likely to do. (Tiron, 5/6)

Abortion Adds To Biden’s All-But-Impossible To-Do List 

President Joe Biden’s list of impossible tasks keeps getting longer. Despite lofty promises he’s made, from the campaign trail through his first year in office, he has limited power to safeguard voting rights or expand the fight against climate change on his own. And now it’s become clear that Biden has no good options for preserving abortion access as the Supreme Court appears poised to overturn Roe v. Wade. (Megerian, 5/6)

The Hill:
NPR Reporter Says ‘Leading Theory’ On SCOTUS Leak Is Conservative Clerk

A clerk for a conservative justice is the “leading theory” amid intense speculation about who released a draft opinion authored by Justice Samuel Alito showing the court is set to overturn Roe v. Wade, according to legal affairs correspondent Nina Totenberg of NPR. Totenberg said on ABC’s “This Week” that the prevailing theory is that a conservative clerk released the decision in an attempt to lock in the five justices who voted to support overturning Roe as Chief Justice John Roberts reportedly attempts to pull his colleagues toward a more moderate position. (Dress, 5/8)

USA Today:
Jane Roe Daughter Slams Supreme Court Leaked Abortion Opinion

The daughter of the woman who became the face of the 1973 Roe v. Wade case that granted Americans a constitutional right to abortion said overturning the decision was dangerous and her mother would be furious with the Supreme Court for doing so. “I think mom would be turning in her grave because she was always pro-woman,” Melissa Mills told USA TODAY in an exclusive interview. Mills said she was in shock when she got a text message Monday night and learned a leaked draft opinion indicated the Supreme Court is poised to overturn the landmark decision. (Ruiz-Goiriena, 5/6)

The New York Times:
If Roe Falls, Is Same-Sex Marriage Next? 

When the Supreme Court heard arguments in December over the fate of the constitutional right to abortion, it was already clear that other rights, notably including same-sex marriage, could be at risk if the court overruled Roe v. Wade. The logic of that legal earthquake, Justice Sonia Sotomayor predicted, would produce a jurisprudential tsunami that could sweep away other precedents, too. (Liptak, 5/8)

Bay Area News Group:
Bay Area Is California’s COVID Hotspot As Cases Rise Again

If you’re worried about COVID, it might be time to dig out that mask again. California’s case rates have nearly tripled since late March, and in a newly emerging dynamic, the Bay Area’s rates are higher than the state’s. “It’s the first time we’ve seen that,” said John Swartzberg, professor emeritus of infectious disease and vaccinology with UC Berkeley. “It’s always been the other way around.” (Rowan and Woolfolk, 5/6)

What To Know Around Masks, Testing, Vaccinations As Cases Rise Again In Sacramento

While COVID-19 transmission increases heading into summer, mask mandates remain patchwork across the Sacramento region, though some resources remain in place for testing and vaccination regardless of insurance or citizenship status. When a judge in Florida overturned the federal government’s guidance mandating masks on public transportation on April 18, it launched a wave of lifting mandates throughout the country that same day. Requiring masks on public transit is now up to individual agencies. (Salanga, 5/6)

San Francisco Chronicle:
How The Pandemic Divided The California County Where 1 In 300 People Died Of COVID

The pandemic came late to Tuolumne County. Health officials there logged cases as early as March 2020, but for all the work preparing for the sort of chaos playing out in New York City and elsewhere, it seemed to miss this picturesque county — “The Gateway to Yosemite” — located about 100 miles east of San Francisco. (Kost, 5/8)

White House Warns Of Covid Surges In The Winter 

Covid cases surged during the last two winters and are likely to again this year — unless the country can prepare and act, White House Covid-19 response coordinator Ashish Jha said Sunday morning. “If we don’t get ahead of this thing, we’ll have a lot of waning immunity, this virus continues to evolve and we may see a pretty sizable wave of infections, hospitalizations and deaths this fall and winter,” Jha said on ABC’s “This Week.” (Farrow, 5/8)

The Bakersfield Californian:
Hospital Visitation Times May Be Opening Up, But Visitor Guidelines Remain Stringent

If you have a loved one in the hospital and you show up to have a little visit, and maybe bring some flowers, don’t be surprised when they ask to see proof that you’re fully vaccinated — or that they require a recent COVID test if you’re not vaccinated. Out in the world, it definitely feels like life is beginning to return to some sense of normalcy, said Jan Emerson-Shea, vice president of external affairs for the California Hospital Association. (5/6)

Immunocompromised Cal State Students Fear COVID

Students at Chico State University are no longer required to mask up indoors in order to prevent COVID-19. But Chico State public health professor Lindsay Briggs still requires students to wear masks in her class out of concern for her immunocompromised wife, who has lung problems. “I told my students: ‘If you bring COVID into my classroom, and I bring it home, it is likely my wife will die,’ ” Briggs said. (Mendoza, 5/6)

The Washington Post:
People Who Never Get The Coronavirus Could Teach Us More About Coronavirus 

Scientists around the world are investigating how a dwindling number of people have managed to dodge the coronavirus for more than two years, even after the highly transmissible omicron variant drove a record-shattering surge in cases this winter. (Shepherd and Heim, 5/8)

San Francisco Chronicle:
Millions Of People Suffer From Long COVID. Why Is There Still No Treatment?

Shelley Hayden of Sonoma has a case of long COVID so serious that her “brain is broken,” she said. The 54-year-old marketing coach asked not to be interrupted in conversation so she wouldn’t lose her train of thought. Tyler Gustafson of Berkeley recovered from COVID-19 in 2020, then got hit last summer with what felt like a heart attack: deep, aching chest pain. His body tingled. His blood pressure soared. His left side grew numb, and his thinking slowed. Even his vision became distorted. Worst of all, the symptoms never let up, so the management consultant took medical leave. He was 30 years old. (Asimov, 5/7)

NBC News:
More People Now Incorrectly Blame Asian Americans For Covid Than At Height Of Pandemic

More Americans are now blaming Asian Americans for Covid-19 than at the height of the pandemic in 2021, according to a report released Wednesday by Asian American advocacy groups. More than 20 percent of respondents said this year that people of Asian descent are at least partly responsible for Covid-19, compared to 11 percent who said last year that the community was to blame. The study, released by Leading Asian Americans United for Change ( and The Asian American Foundation (TAAF), also showed higher levels of distrust of Asian Americans. (Bellamy-Walker, 5/5)

3 COVID Vaccine Doses Appear To Protect Against Omicron Subvariants 

Three new studies report on COVID-19 vaccine effectiveness (VE) and antibody responses to Omicron, with one from Sweden finding a drop in two-dose VE against severe disease after the transition from the BA.1 to the BA.2 subvariant but three-dose protection remaining above 80% against severe disease. Also, a study from Hong Kong shows good antibody response against BA.2 after three doses, and one from the United States finds that nursing home patients who received a third dose had a 47% lower risk of Omicron infection. (Van Beusekom, 5/6)

Modern Healthcare:
FDA’s Limitations On J&J Vaccine Haven’t Disrupted Providers

The Food and Drug Administration’s decision to limit the use of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine won’t have a significant impact on health systems. The FDA scaled back the emergency use authorization of the vaccine developed by J&J and its Janssen Pharmaceuticals subsidiary because it caused a rare blood clotting disorder in 60 patients out of 18.7 million doses administered. The vaccine should only be used for adults who would otherwise go unvaccinated or who cannot have the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, the agency said. (Kacik, 5/6)

San Francisco Chronicle:
What’s Next For COVID Vaccines This Year? Here’s A Tentative Timeline

More than two years into the COVID-19 pandemic, most Americans are now vaccinated — with rates particularly high, between 80% to 90%, in most parts of the Bay Area. There is still much to come with vaccines, however. Children younger than 5 can’t so far get immunized, though that could change in the next several weeks. Additional booster shots for older adults may be coming by the fall or winter. And federal health officials believe the vaccine could become a periodic, even annual shot. (Ho, 5/7)

COVID Vaccine Makers Shift Focus To Boosters

COVID-19 vaccine makers are shifting gears and planning for a smaller, more competitive booster shot market after delivering as many doses as fast as they could over the last 18 months. Executives at the biggest COVID vaccine makers including Pfizer Inc and Moderna Inc said they believe most people who wanted to get vaccinated against COVID have already done so – more than 5 billion people worldwide. In the coming year, most COVID vaccinations will be booster shots, or first inoculations for children, which are still gaining regulatory approvals around the world, they said. (Erman and Misra, 5/9)

USA Today:
Nasal Vaccines May Be The Next Generation Of Protection Against COVID

Current vaccines are great at stopping severe disease. But people can still catch COVID-19, even after two, three or more shots. Researchers hope a different delivery system will make for a vaccine that is better at preventing transmission and infections. By putting the vaccine directly into the nose, it might prevent the virus from taking hold in the mucus membranes, where it first enters the body. (Weintraub, 5/8)

San Francisco Chronicle:
CDC Probes More Cases Of Unusual Pediatric Hepatitis, Including Nine In California

Nine cases of the unusual hepatitis, or liver inflammation, have been reported in California, according to the state public health department. None of the California cases have resulted in deaths. The World Health Organization had earlier reported cases in at least 12 countries around the world. (Ho, 5/6)

CDC Says Hepatitis Outbreak In Kids Up To 109 Cases In 25 States

There have been five reported deaths among the cases and 14% of the patients needed liver transplants, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Friday. About half of the suspected cases were linked to adenovirus, which the agency said is at the “top of the list” of viruses of interest.  “What makes this unusual is not the number of cases, but the possible association with adenovirus,” Jay Butler, CDC deputy director for infectious diseases said in a call with reporters. (Muller and Baumann, 5/6)

San Gabriel Valley Tribune:
Cedars-Sinai Workers To Walk Out Monday, Protesting Unfair Labor Practices

Hundreds of healthcare workers at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center plan to kick off a five-day strike beginning Monday, May 9, claiming they’re underpaid, understaffed and struggling to provide adequate patient care. The employees — including maintenance workers, service staff and clinical support workers — are among more than 2,000 Cedars employees represented by SEIU-United Healthcare Workers West. They have accused the Los Angeles hospital of unfair labor practices and are urging the facility to bargain in good faith. (Smith, 5/6)

Fertility Treatment Costs: Should Insurers Pay For Them?

Californians seeking to start a family with the help of in vitro fertilization are often on the hook for the full cost of treatment, in the range of tens of thousands of dollars. The cost could deter some people from having children, and it could leave others in exorbitant debt. While 17 states have laws that require health insurers to cover fertility treatments, most of which include in vitro, California does not. (Ibarra, 5/9)

Modesto Bee:
Modesto Company Opens Clinic For Its Truckers, Other Workers

The truckers and warehouse workers at Dot Foods can now get basic health care right at the south Modesto business. So can their spouses and children, under a concept that Dot is spreading across its 12 distribution centers in the United States, at minimal cost to families. (Holland, 5/6)

San Diego Union-Tribune:
White House Drug Czar Announces New Plan To Address Meth Crisis During San Diego Visit 

The director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy visited San Diego on Saturday to announce the administration’s plan to address the methamphetamine crisis, both by increasing resources for drug treatment and continuing to target cross-border smuggling operations. San Diego continues to be a major corridor for meth trafficked from Mexico, and Dr. Rahul Gupta was given a tour of a border drug tunnel in Otay Mesa before discussing the White House plan at a press conference. (Mapp, 5/7)

The Bakersfield Californian:
TYM4Change Receives $1M To Help Fight Substance Abuse 

Transitional Youth Mobilizing for Change, or TYM4Change, ShePower Leadership Academy and the MLKcommUNITY Initiative have been awarded $1 million through Elevate Youth California for youth substance abuse prevention activities, according to a news release Friday. The money is to help study the barriers to equity, inclusion and access for youth and families living in Southeast Bakersfield through youth-led research and filmmaking. (5/7)

Fox News:
California’s Drug Cartel Crisis Fueling National Fentanyl Epidemic 

California has a vast network of highways and interstates that run through nearly the entire country. Law enforcement sources say because of weak drug laws in the state coupled with the access to major highway systems and its proximity to the border, California has become a prime location for cartels to set up shop and distribute deadly drugs. Inside a small warehouse that reeks of marijuana just outside the capital city in California, the reality Sacramento County residents are faced with is exposed. The floors in one room are covered with thousands of pounds of illegally grown marijuana. Hundreds of guns, some semi-automatic that were used for murder, hang from steel bars that line an entire room, waiting to be destroyed. In another garage-style warehouse room, there are thousands of boxes filled with paperwork and evidence gathered at crime scenes. (Lieggi, 5/6)

Fox News:
California County Grapping With Drug Crisis Calls On San Francisco DA To Take Action Against Offenders 

Officials in one California county called on San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin to get tough on drug offenders, Friday, blaming the city’s crisis for a rise in fentanyl deaths in their jurisdiction. Humboldt County, nearly 300 miles north of the city, reported seeing a spike in fentanyl arrests and deaths in 2021 linked back to San Francisco, with one incident resulting in three deaths in one hour. (Coggins, 5/6)

The Bakersfield Californian:
Conditions That Contributed To Wildfires In Years Past Return In 2022 

Extreme drought, a hot summer ahead and dry forest conditions have fire officials reminding residents about doing their part to mitigate damage from Kern’s “year-round” wildfire reality. While Kern County Fire Department officials cannot predict when or where the next spark might ignite a destructive blaze, they can observe where environmental factors have caused wildfires in years past. (Desai, 5/8)

Sacramento Bee:
Why Is Smog So Bad In Sacramento? Health Risks, How To Help

Sunny skies and sizzling temperatures are coming Sacramento’s way — but the summer weather also brings the dangers of smog looming across the capital region. The haze is more than a blemish on the skyline — the lingering brownish-gray air presents an inescapable cloud of risks to humans and plants. Smog, or ground-level ozone, is dependent on a variety of factors including temperature, wind, time of day and driving patterns, according to the United States Environmental Protection Agency. (Taylor, 5/9)

USA Today:
Baby Formula Shortage Worsens; CVS, Target, Walgreens Limit Sales

The ongoing infant formula shortage isn’t over yet – and appears to be getting worse. Nearly 40% of popular baby formula brands were sold out at retailers across the U.S. during the week starting April 24, according to an analysis by Datasembly, which assessed supplies at more than 11,000 stores. That’s up from an already-high out-of-stock percentage of 31% two weeks ago, Datasembly said. Major retailers including CVS, Target and Walgreens are limiting the amount of formula shoppers can purchase. (Snider, 5/7)

San Diego Union-Tribune:
An Unexpected Mother’s Day Arrives After A Very Difficult Pregnancy 

Maria Gelastopoulos didn’t expect to be a mother this Mother’s Day. But a difficult pregnancy — one that included seven blood transfusions and a three-week hospital stay — brought her daughter Athena into her arms 10 weeks earlier than her May 28 due date. Now weighing just a bit more than six pounds with a shock of dark hair, she is ready to deliver a bouquet of disarming smiles Sunday, a few leg kicks and arm waves thrown in for variety, as families gather to honor all those who have brought life into the world. (Sisson, 5/8)

Los Angeles Daily News:
For Older Americans Month, Questions About Aging In Place And Staying At Home

Older adults are taking center stage, not as members of a dance troupe, chorale or symphony, but to be the featured players for Older Americans Month. May is set aside to celebrate older Americans from the past and those alive today for their contribution to society. (Dennis, 5/8)

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