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Overturning Roe v. Wade would activate 'trigger laws,' that keep struggling families in poverty

States rush in where angels fear to tread.

Following the Supreme Court draft leak indicating the court's plan to overturn Roe v. Wade, supporters on both sides of the issue are making their opinions known across social media. Then there's the proposed laws coming out of some states, as well as trigger laws that will take effect immediately. When Roe v. Wade was challenged, the argument was centered around saving the unborn from abortion, but as new laws are discussed, more questions are being raised, especially concerning states with high poverty rates.

Louisiana has proposed a law that would classify voluntarily terminating a pregnancy as homicide and remove all exceptions for abortion; it also gives an egg personhood from the moment of fertilization. This means that even before the fertilized egg implants into the uterus, it is considered a child and terminating pregnancy would be considered homicide. A sweeping law like this could affect birth control devices and medical procedures that help a person become pregnant, such as in vitro fertilization (IVF). Birth control such as intrauterine devices (IUDs) might not be permitted as they do not stop eggs from being fertilized. The proposed law would also rule out the Plan B, sometimes known as the “morning after pill,” which is an emergency contraception in the event that another form of birth control fails, birth control is forgotten, or worse, a sexual assault occurs.


If a fertilized egg is considered the same as a living child outside of the uterus, what would that mean for miscarriages? This law would open up subjecting grieving parents to a murder investigation. It’s unclear if the law would also outlaw abortions in the case of a partial miscarriage, treated with a dilation and curettage (D&C) procedure that clears the remaining tissue in the uterus after a miscarriage. Under the proposed Louisiana law, would this be available to parents? The law raises questions, but it seems to be based on holding the person receiving an abortion to the same level of accountability as someone who murdered a child that lived without the assistance of another person’s body. If this law is passed it could have devastating effects on families, considering as many as 6 in 10 women who seek abortions are already parents.

Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

The Louisiana lawmakers hope for this bill to be passed before the Supreme Court rules on overturning Roe v. Wade. In Mississippi, the trigger law banning abortions at any stage in pregnancy will take effect immediately if Roe v. Wade is overturned, though the state does allow for a few exceptions, including when the life of the mother is in danger. From the extreme laws at the ready for the Supreme Court’s final ruling, it would be easy to assume that these laws are a southern states issue, but there are currently 26 states likely to ban abortions if Roe v. Wade is overturned. In Michigan, a state that started off very pro-life but has since become staunchly pro-choice, a 1931 trigger law banning abortions is still on the books, though the state's Democratic governor is suing to block the law from going into effect.

Since the draft was leaked, it’s not only laws that are already written that are causing concern but some of the language in the draft itself, especially that concerning adoption and the “domestic supply of infants.” Seeing infants next to the phrase "domestic supply" is quite jarring, and raises some questions about what exactly that means. It reads as though the concern is less about saving unborn babies and more about supply and demand of newborns.

In many of the states where abortion laws will be most restrictive, a large proportion of the population is already living in poverty. There are limited or no comprehensive sex education in schools, and places like Planned Parenthood, which is a provider of birth control that directly helps low-income people, are few and far between. Affordable child care, paid parental leave after giving birth, and free medical care to ensure a healthy pregnancy and delivery are things that are weak or even nonexistent in the states eager to enact these laws. Once the baby is born, it appears the family is expected to give the child up for adoption or go further into poverty to care for a child that they may not have felt ready for.

It seems like the people writing these laws are quick to forget that there are not just women who will bear the consequences, but entire family units in many cases. Birth control is never 100% effective and limiting birth control options is counterintuitive to reducing the rates of unwanted pregnancies, but some of these lawmakers are not focused on this aspect. Where is the responsibility on the part of the men who impregnate these women? The laws mention punishing the mothers and their doctors, but the potential fathers are notably absent from the list.

Before we start “leaving abortion up to the states,” there should be a responsibility to make sure that states have a secure safety net in place to help these families. If there’s no safety net to ensure that children being born will have a healthy existence, then we are only creating a larger problem that will put strain on the already overburdened foster care system. While they're setting families up to fail, the accountable parties will raise their hands as they shift the blame back onto the struggling families. The cycle of generational poverty needs to be broken, not compounded by extreme laws.

Pop Culture

Artist uses AI to create ultra realistic portraits of celebrities who left us too soon

What would certain icons look like if nothing had happened to them?

Mercury would be 76 today.

Some icons have truly left this world too early. It’s a tragedy when anyone doesn’t make it to see old age, but when it happens to a well-known public figure, it’s like a bit of their art and legacy dies with them. What might Freddie Mercury have created if he were granted the gift of long life? Bruce Lee? Princess Diana?

Their futures might be mere musings of our imagination, but thanks to a lot of creativity (and a little tech) we can now get a glimpse into what these celebrities might have looked like when they were older.

Alper Yesiltas, an Istanbul-based lawyer and photographer, created a photography series titled “As If Nothing Happened,” which features eerily realistic portraits of long gone celebrities in their golden years. To make the images as real looking as possible, Yesiltas incorporated various photo editing programs such as Adobe Lightroom and VSCO, as well as the AI photo-enhancing software Remini.

“The hardest part of the creative process for me is making the image feel ‘real’ to me,” Yesiltas wrote about his passion project. “The moment I like the most is when I think the image in front of me looks as if it was taken by a photographer.”

Yesiltas’ meticulousness paid off, because the results are uncanny.

Along with each photo, Yesiltas writes a bittersweet message “wishing” how things might have gone differently … as if nothing happened.
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All images provided by Adewole Adamson

It begins with more inclusive conversations at a patient level

True

Adewole Adamson, MD, of the University of Texas, Austin, aims to create more equity in health care by gathering data from more diverse populations by using artificial intelligence (AI), a type of machine learning. Dr. Adamson’s work is funded by the American Cancer Society (ACS), an organization committed to advancing health equity through research priorities, programs and services for groups who have been marginalized.

Melanoma became a particular focus for Dr. Adamson after meeting Avery Smith, who lost his wife—a Black woman—to the deadly disease.

melanoma,  melanoma for dark skin Avery Smith (left) and Adamson (sidenote)

This personal encounter, coupled with multiple conversations with Black dermatology patients, drove Dr. Adamson to a concerning discovery: as advanced as AI is at detecting possible skin cancers, it is heavily biased.

To understand this bias, it helps to first know how AI works in the early detection of skin cancer, which Dr. Adamson explains in his paper for the New England Journal of Medicine (paywall). The process uses computers that rely on sets of accumulated data to learn what healthy or unhealthy skin looks like and then create an algorithm to predict diagnoses based on those data sets.

This process, known as supervised learning, could lead to huge benefits in preventive care.

After all, early detection is key to better outcomes. The problem is that the data sets don’t include enough information about darker skin tones. As Adamson put it, “everything is viewed through a ‘white lens.’”

“If you don’t teach the algorithm with a diverse set of images, then that algorithm won’t work out in the public that is diverse,” writes Adamson in a study he co-wrote with Smith (according to a story in The Atlantic). “So there’s risk, then, for people with skin of color to fall through the cracks.”

Tragically, Smith’s wife was diagnosed with melanoma too late and paid the ultimate price for it. And she was not an anomaly—though the disease is more common for White patients, Black cancer patients are far more likely to be diagnosed at later stages, causing a notable disparity in survival rates between non-Hispanics whites (90%) and non-Hispanic blacks (66%).

As a computer scientist, Smith suspected this racial bias and reached out to Adamson, hoping a Black dermatologist would have more diverse data sets. Though Adamson didn’t have what Smith was initially looking for, this realization ignited a personal mission to investigate and reduce disparities.

Now, Adamson uses the knowledge gained through his years of research to help advance the fight for health equity. To him, that means not only gaining a wider array of data sets, but also having more conversations with patients to understand how socioeconomic status impacts the level and efficiency of care.

“At the end of the day, what matters most is how we help patients at the patient level,” Adamson told Upworthy. “And how can you do that without knowing exactly what barriers they face?”

american cancer society, skin cacner treatment"What matters most is how we help patients at the patient level."https://www.kellydavidsonstudio.com/

The American Cancer Society believes everyone deserves a fair and just opportunity to prevent, find, treat, and survive cancer—regardless of how much money they make, the color of their skin, their sexual orientation, gender identity, their disability status, or where they live. Inclusive tools and resources on the Health Equity section of their website can be found here. For more information about skin cancer, visit cancer.org/skincancer.

via Dion Merrick / Facebook

This article originally appeared on 02.09.21


At 1:30 am on Monday morning an AMBER Alert went out in southern Louisiana about a missing 10-year-old girl from New Iberia. It was believed she had been kidnapped and driven away in a 2012 silver Nissan Altima.

A few hours later at 7 am, Dion Merrick and Brandon Antoine, sanitation workers for Pelican Waste, were on their daily route when they noticed a vehicle that fit the description in the alert.

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Joy

Nurse turns inappropriate things men say in the delivery room into ‘inspirational’ art

"Can you move to the birthing ball so I can sleep in the bed?"

Holly the delivery nurse.

After working six years as a labor and delivery nurse Holly, 30, has heard a lot of inappropriate remarks made by men while their partners are in labor. “Sometimes the moms think it’s funny—and if they think it’s funny, then I’ll laugh with them,” Holly told TODAY Parents. “But if they get upset, I’ll try to be the buffer. I’ll change the subject.”

Some of the comments are so wrong that she did something creative with them by turning them into “inspirational” quotes and setting them to “A Thousand Miles” by Vanessa Carlton on TikTok.

“Some partners are hard to live up to!” she jokingly captioned the video.

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