What We're Reading: Abortion Pill at Pharmacies; US Life Expectancy; and Vaccinating for School

Doctors Urge FDA to Let Pharmacies Sell Abortion Pill

Mifepristone, the so-called abortion pill, was approved in the United States in 2000 with restrictions, and now the FDA is being urged to make it available in pharmacies. STAT reported that doctors and public health experts want the pill, which is currently only dispensed in clinics, hospitals, and doctors' offices, available by prescription in pharmacies. Providers who prescribe the drug must undergo a special certification process, and proponents claim reduced restrictions on the drug would increase the number of doctors willing to prescribe it.

US Life Expectancy Continues to Fall Behind

While life expectancy continues to climb for industrialized nations, the United States will only see minimal gains. According to The Washington Post, America’s life expectancy will soon be on par with Mexico and the Czech Republic, and will continue to fall behind most other high-income countries. Between 2010 and 2030, Americans will only gain a few years with life expectancy in the early 80s for women and late 70s for men. Meanwhile, in South Korea, women will live to an average of 90 years by 2030.

New Hampshire Bill Removes Some Required Vaccines for Schools

Vaccines for noncommunicable diseases could be removed from the list of required vaccinations for children in school settings in New Hampshire. The bill passed a state House committee by a 9-8 vote and targets lifestyle diseases, such as human papillomavirus and hepatitis B, according to the Concord Monitor. A group that opposes mandatory vaccinations of any kind and vaccinations in general for some cases supported the bill. Opponents of the bill say that providing these vaccines to children maximizes societal benefit and reduces diseases in high-risk populations that are unlikely to get vaccinated as they grow older.