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What We're Reading: Idaho Abortion Law; Severe COVID-19, Mental Health; Suicide Rose Among Japanese Women


Idaho legislature passed Texas-inspired abortion law banning the procedure after 6 weeks of pregnancy; patients who were bedridden with severe cases of COVID-19 had increased risks of anxiety and depression more than a year later; number of deaths by suicide in Japanese women rose for second straight year.

Idaho Passes Texas-Inspired Abortion Law

With a 51-14 vote in the Republican-led state House, the Idaho legislature passed a bill yesterday that mirrors the controversial Texas abortion law in banning the procedure after 6 weeks of pregnancy. NBC News is reporting that some differences exist between the 2 laws: there are exceptions for rape and incest in the Idaho bill but also narrower and harsher punishments that would grant a minimum of $20,000 in damages to the potential father, grandparents, siblings, aunts, and uncles of a "preborn child" within 4 years of an abortion. The Texas law allows any citizen to file a lawsuit, with the potential of being awarded $10,000 by a court.

Severe COVID-19 May Increase Long-Term Risk of Anxiety, Depression

A study published yesterday by The Lancet Public Health found that patients who were bedridden for a week or more with severe cases of COVID-19 exhibited increased risks for anxiety and depression more than a year later. The first study was the first to follow large groups of people long-term who were infected but not hospitalized for COVID-19, and USA Today reported that there was a 43% to 61% increased risk of depression or anxiety 16 months later in patients who spent 7 or more days lying in bed. Conversely, mild cases of COVID-19 were indicated to lower risk of these mental health symptoms by 17% to 23%.

Number of Deaths by Suicide in Japanese Women Rise For Second Straight Year

Reuters reported that the number of women who died by suicide in Japan increased for the second straight year in 2021, whereas the overall number of cases decreased across the country. The National Police Agency from Japan did not provide explanations for the differences in rates of death by suicide, but women have been associated with extra stresses amid the pandemic related to job losses in the service and retail sectors where they predominantly work. Increased risk of death by suicide has long been cited in Japan, whose rates have decreased by roughly 40% over the past 15 years but still top those of the Group of 7 Nations.

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