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What We’re Reading: Georgia Abortion Ban Overturned; COVID-19 Funding Sought; US Preterm Births Up


A Superior Court judge overturned Georgia’s ban on abortion after 6 weeks of pregnancy; President Joe Biden would veto any Senate resolution to terminate the national emergency declared for the COVID-19 pandemic and is also requesting more funding; preterm births increased in 2021, marking the highest rate since 2007.

Abortion Ban Overturned in Georgia

A Superior Court judge ruled that Georgia’s ban on abortions after 6 weeks was unconstitutional and violated Supreme Court precedent when enacted 3 years prior, according to the Associated Press. The ruling takes effect immediately and abortions after 6 weeks may resume as early as today. The state attorney general’s office has appealed the ruling. The move comes as Catholic bishops in the United States have reaffirmed their goal of ending abortion in the country. The new president and vice president of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops plan to redouble their efforts to make abortion illegal throughout the country, according to The New York Times.

COVID-19 National Emergency Will Not End Soon

The White House said that President Joe Biden would veto any proposed Senate resolution that would end the national emergency in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, a national emergency declared in 2020. Senator Roger Marshall, R-Kansas, had previously called for a vote to end the declaration after Biden stated in an interview that the pandemic was “over,” although he has since altered his stance, according to Reuters. The White House is currently requesting $8.25 billion from Congress to help fund a successor to Operation Warp Speed called “Project Covid Shield” that would develop new vaccines and treatments for the evolving virus, according to The Washington Post.

Increase in Preterm Births Across the United States

A new report from March of Dimes found that there was a 4% increase in preterm births in 2021 compared with the previous year, according to NPR. The preterm birth rate of 10.5% is the highest rate since 2007 and increases were found in 45 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. The March of Dimes 2022 Report Card, which grades the country, individual states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico based on the health of mothers and babies, found that the United States’ overall score fell from a C- to a D+, with only Vermont earning a score in the A range. The report card also found that racial disparities in maternal and infant health had also worsened.

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