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'Fetal Homicide' Bill Proposed In Vt. Legislature

A ‘ fetal homicide’ bill recently introduced in the Vermont Legislature would establish stiff penalties for the death of a fetus caused by a car accident, WPTZ reports. The bill is a response to the death of Patricia Blair’ s twin fetuses, which were killed in a car accident in August 2009. Although the driver of the car that caused the accident is facing a series of charges, none relate to the demise of the fetuses because a fetus is not considered a person under Vermont law. The bill -- sponsored by state Sen. Vince Illuzzi (R), who supports abortion rights -- would modify current Vermont statutes that address "grossly negligent" operation of a vehicle or "DUI-Death Resulting.

Obama To Re-Nominate Johnsen To Head DOJ Office Of Legal Counsel

President Obama plans to re-nominate Dawn Johnsen as his choice for the head of the Department of Justice's Office of Legal Counsel after the Senate failed to take action on her nomination last year, according to a White House official, CQ Today reports (Perine, CQ Today, 1/7). Some Senate Republicans have argued that Johnsen is too controversial for the post given her criticism of legal memorandums OLC issued during the Bush administration. She also has drawn fire for her earlier work in support of abortion rights ( CQ Today, 1/7). Johnsen, an Indiana University law professor who served as acting head of OLC during the Clinton administration, was approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee in March 2009.

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Appeals Court Reinstates More Than 100 Lawsuits Against Makers Of HRT Prempro

The 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Louis on Wednesday reinstated more than 100 lawsuits against pharmaceutical companies filed by women or their surviving relatives claiming that the companies' hormone replacement therapy drugs caused breast cancer, the AP/San Francisco Chronicle reports. The AP/Chronicle reports that the women -- whose ages ranged from their 30s to their 80s -- received the HRT drugs, such as the combination estrogen-progestin drug Prempro, to treat symptoms of menopause. There are several thousand similar lawsuits filed nationwide. The appellate court's decision overturns a 2008 district court's dismissal of the cases that prevented them from being heard in state courts in Arkansas and Minnesota.

Salt Lake City Medical Research Center Tests New Drug To Treat Painful Menstrual Cramps

A leading clinical research center in Salt Lake City has joined an international trial program to test an experimental new drug designed to treat painful menstrual cramps, or dysmenorrhea, a condition that affects between 45 and 90 percent of women of childbearing age in the United States. Although not life threatening, dysmenorrhea can be debilitating and psychologically taxing and is one of the leading causes of absenteeism from work and school. Current therapies for the condition (including NSAIDs and 'off label' oral contraceptives) are not completely effective for all women and sometimes do not provide satisfactory relief of symptoms, particularly in women with more severe pain.

Obama Administration Supports Cairo Conference Goals, Clinton Says

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton on Friday "reiterated the Obama administration's support" for universal access to family planning, improving maternal health care and other goals outlined at the 1995 International Conference on Population and Development Action Plan held in Cairo, Egypt, All Headline News reports. "Too often, still today in 2010, women and girls bear the burdens of regional and global crises, whether it's an economic downturn or climate change or political instability ... And 15 years after the Cairo conference, far too many women still have little or no access to reproductive health services, including family planning and maternal healthcare, " Clinton said, noting that "more than 215 million women worldwide" do not have access to "modern contraception.

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Stopping Post-Birth Bleeding: Misoprostol Tablets Can Be Used As An Alternative To Intravenous Oxytocin

Two articles published Online First and in The Lancet consider the use of misoprostol in tablet form for treatment of post-birth bleeding. They compare it with oxytocin and aim to define the potential roles of both drugs in treating excess bleeding after childbirth in different health care settings. Currently, Oxytocin is the gold-standard treatment for post-birth bleeding, but it requires refrigeration, intravenous infusion, and skilled health-care workers for optimum use. The two articles are the work of a team of authors at Gynuity Health Projects, New York, USA and their international colleagues. They describe two large randomized controlled trials that compare the efficacy and acceptability of 800 mcg of oral misoprostol to 40 IU intravenous oxytocin to control postpartum bleeding.

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