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Fetal heart beats and abortion in Texas and Israel — 10 takes



The recently enacted Texas Heartbeat Act, a de facto ban on abortion in the Lone Star State, put in place a system whereby members of the public can sue abortion providers and facilitators for at least $ 10,000 if an abortion is performed after a fetal heartbeat has been identified.

Now President Joe Biden is looking for ways to challenge the law that makes no exception for rape and prohibits abortion even before some women know they are pregnant.

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Right or wrong, the Jerusalem Post tried to explain the “Heartbeat Act” with the help of two top doctors and to explain what it really means for women and babies from a medical point of view: Dr. Benny Chayen, Director of Women’s Health at Meuhedet Services, and Dr. Ido Solt, Director of Maternal and Fetal Medicine at the Rambam Health Care Campus.

1 – When can you hear the fetus’s heartbeat?

The fetal heartbeat can usually be seen after about six weeks. Hearing the fetal heartbeat is a sign of pregnancy viability.

“At six weeks we can only say whether a baby is viable or not,” stressed Chayen.

Wu Tianyang, who is five months pregnant with her second child, is taking a sonogram at a local hospital in Shanghai on September 12, 2014. (Image: CARLOS BARRIA / REUTERS)

2 – What does the fetus look like after six weeks?

According to Chayen, by six weeks the fetus is not in the shape of a human.

“It looks like a blob of tissue,” he said. “You can’t see a head, a body, or any limbs.”

At this stage, the fetus measures just a few inches, Solt said, explaining that the fetus is measured along its longest access to get what is known as the crown-rump length, or CRL.

3 – How is gestational age calculated and is it really possible that after six weeks a woman does not even know that she is pregnant?

The gestational age of a fetus is calculated based on the first day of the last menstrual cycle minus two weeks. So if a woman’s period starts before eight weeks, the gestational age of the fetus is six weeks.

Chayen said that if a woman doesn’t have a regular cycle or doesn’t know the date of her previous period, an ultrasound can usually tell the age of the fetus in about six weeks plus or minus a few days.

Some women, especially those undergoing fertility treatment, know the date of ovulation, which usually occurs around 14 days after their period starts. This means that the gestational age of the period can be calculated from this day onwards.

4 – How early can you know if you have a fetal abnormality? When and how are these evaluated?

Fetal abnormalities could not be detected until after 11 weeks at the earliest, Solt said, and this would be done via a neck transparency scan, which shows fluid build-up under the skin behind the fetal neck. If this scan shows that there may be some abnormalities, a woman can do an amniocentesis test to check if the baby has a genetic or chromosomal disorder, such as Down syndrome.

Later, after about 14 to 17 weeks, and then again after about 21 to 24 weeks, the mother-to-be can have a more detailed ultrasound that can reveal other potential birth defects such as spina bifida, club feet, cleft lip, or even kidney defects.

If malformations are discovered in Israel, a woman can terminate her pregnancy even in the third trimester, Chayen said.

5 – When does a fetus medically become a baby?

Usually about 24 weeks, Chayen said, “because that’s the time the fetus could stay alive after it was born.”

He said that at 24 weeks, “the baby already has a chance. He or she would be taken to the neonatal intensive care unit and treated there and the baby could survive. “

However, Solt said that because of new technologies that improve the viability of premature babies, such as radiofrequency ventilation, that definition is starting and going to change sooner.

Nonetheless, there is usually a “price to be paid” to save these babies, he said. Defects can include intraventricular bleeding, bleeding within or around the ventricles in the brain; severe eye problems; or respiratory distress syndrome, said Solt.

6 – And what is an embryo?

The embryo is the state before the fetus forms – “it’s just a few cells,” Chayen said, noting that an embryo is usually called that during the first week or two of pregnancy.

7 – What methods of abortion are there in Israel?

There are two types of legal abortion in Israel: surgical and pharmaceutical.

Surgical abortion is usually done between 11 and 14 weeks and involves “vacuum aspiration,” where the doctor numbs a woman’s cervix and then essentially aspirates the contents of the uterus, Solt said.

In the pharmaceutical approach, a normal pregnancy that a woman wants to terminate is first given an anti-progesterone drug that blocks the progesterone hormone, which helps early pregnancy and usually leads to miscarriage. After about 48 hours, Solt explained, the woman would then be given a second drug, usually Cytotec, which “tells the uterus to evaluate the pregnancy”.

There are four conditions under Israeli law under which a woman can legally terminate a pregnancy:

1: If a woman is under the legal minimum age for marriage (18) or over 40 years old.

2: When a woman becomes pregnant by someone other than her husband, for example through rape, incest or even adultery, or when she is not married.

3: If the baby were born with a genetic abnormality.

4: If the mother has a physical or mental illness that would endanger her life.

8 – Could a woman have health problems that would require an abortion?

“A woman could have medical problems such as heart or kidney problems, and pregnancy could cause the condition to worsen,” Chayen said. “In these cases, a doctor might recommend an abortion.”

Other examples could be women with multiple sclerosis.

“A woman would get worse much faster than without the pregnancy. But the woman could choose to want the baby and not terminate the pregnancy, even if that puts her at risk, ”he said.

In order to have an abortion in Israel, a woman has to go to a committee and explain herself. Until week 23, she will go before a standard committee made up of two doctors and a social worker. According to Solt, more than 99% of abortion requests are approved in the first trimester.

There are about 40 such committees in hospitals and other medical centers across the country.

As of week 24, a special committee with five members will be convened to discuss the application, Solt said.

“You need to demonstrate that the fetus has a serious abnormality that causes the child to be more than 30% severely disabled before the committee approves the abortion after 24 weeks,” he said.

However, he also noted that “we do not know about all abortions and some are performed without the approval of these committees.”

9 – How many abortions are performed in Israel each year?

Around 20,000 abortions are performed annually in Israel, 10% of the number of births, which is around 200,000, according to Solt.

10- Could the Texas Heartbeat Act Ever Happen in the Jewish State?

The doctors had only one answer to this question: As in Texas, it’s not about health, but about politics.

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Women’s Health

In Response to NH Executive Council Vote to Defund Granite State Family Planning Organizations, NH Delegation Urges Biden Admin to Swiftly Award Supplemental Assistance Directly to Impacted Providers




(Manchester, NH) – U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) headed a letter today with U.S. Senator Maggie Hassan (D-NH) and Representatives Annie Kuster (NH-02) and Chris Pappas (NH-01) The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra urged HHS to make additional grants directly to the New Hampshire family planning providers that were recently withdrawn by the New Hampshire Executive Council and are not receiving Title X program funding.

On Wednesday, the delegation slammed the Executive Board after it voted to terminate several contracts for family planning organizations, effectively cutting off critical services to women’s health care providers across New Hampshire, such as planned parenting.

Today the delegation wrote: “As a result of the actions of the Executive Board, several family planning providers are facing budget constraints that will affect the availability of health care for thousands of granite staters, mostly women, who rely on family planning providers for their vital health. “Including breast cancer screening, cervical cancer screening, birth control and other reproductive health services. Low-income women and rural women will be disproportionately affected by the reckless decision of the Executive Board. We are deeply concerned about the health care gap that will be inevitable without immediate federal support. “

They continued, “With the situation looming in New Hampshire, we ask HHS to review all available means to provide immediate support to affected family planning providers in our state. We appreciate HHS efforts to repeal the harmful Title X-Gag rule and restore federal funding for family planning providers in New Hampshire and across the country. However, the family planning providers in New Hampshire need immediate help. We therefore demand that the providers be provided with additional funds quickly and directly in order to close the funding gap they are confronted with. “

You can read the letter in full here.

Wednesday’s Executive Council vote is particularly egregious as it follows the Trump administration’s years of attacks on women’s reproductive health, particularly President Trump’s implementation of the Title X Gag Rule, which controls the majority of family planning providers in New Hampshire rules out federal grants. In June, Senator Shaheen sent a letter to Secretary of Health and Welfare Xavier Becerra urging him to support family planning providers in New Hampshire who will lose government funds under the New Hampshire Draft Budget. This support is urgently needed to help these vendors fill the funding gap until the Biden administration can complete its repeal of the Trump administration rule.

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Women’s Health

Taliban Seize Women’s Ministry Building for Use by Religious Police



KABUL, Afghanistan – The Taliban have converted the women’s ministry building into offices for the Religious Morality Police, which once fueled fears of their oppression of women and the brutal enforcement of Sharia law by the militant government two decades ago in Afghanistan.

The renovation of the building in Kabul, the country’s capital, indicated at least a symbolic slap in the face from a ministry that embodied the rise of women in Afghanistan after the Taliban was ousted in 2001.

A video posted by Reuters showed women employed by the ministry protesting in front of the building because the Taliban had denied them entry and told them to go home.

It remains unclear whether the Department of Women was abolished by the Taliban, who regained power after the collapse of the US-backed government last month. But when the Taliban announced their incumbent cabinet members for the new government earlier this month, there was no appointment to oversee women’s affairs.

And in another ominous sign of renewed gender discrimination among the Taliban, the Ministry of Education ordered male teachers back to work and said secondary school classes for boys would resume on Saturday. There was no talk of girls.

The Ministry of Women’s new resident, the Ministry of Inviting, Guiding, and Promoting Virtue and Preventing Vice, appears to be just a slightly renamed name for the notorious Taliban standards of conduct enforcer who made the group a global pariah in the 1990s.

The Ministry’s police officers have been known to beat or flog women who ventured outside their homes without full body covering and male escorts. They banned girls from school after elementary school and banned women from looking for work. Unmarried couples risked death by stoning for adultery.

While the Taliban leaders have recognized that Afghanistan has evolved after two decades of American-led occupation, they have also left women fearful of what the future may bring. No women have been appointed to positions of authority under the new Taliban government, and steps have been taken to separate men and women in public spaces.

Earlier this week, Minister of Higher Education Abdul Baqi Haqqani said women could continue to study in universities and postgraduate courses, but only in gender-segregated classrooms in appropriate Islamic clothing.

The building that formerly housed the Ministry of Women is in a former liberal district of Kabul that is full of cafes and a popular Turkish-run shopping mall with clothing stores, a counterfeit Apple store, and restaurants ranging from fast food chains to high profile Restaurants littered -end steak house.

Now a white Taliban flag is waving over the armored gate of the building complex, adorned with a sign for the ministry, who is its new resident, while Taliban security forces stand guard.

Understanding the Taliban takeover in Afghanistan

Map 1 of 6

Who are the Taliban? The Taliban emerged in 1994 amid the unrest following the withdrawal of Soviet forces from Afghanistan in 1989. They used brutal public punishments, including flogging, amputation and mass executions, to enforce their rules. Here is more about their genesis and track record as rulers.

Who are the Taliban leaders? These are the top leaders of the Taliban, men who for years have been on the run, in hiding, in prison and dodged American drones. Little is known about them or how they plan to govern, including whether they will be as tolerant as they say they are. A spokesman told the Times the group wanted to forget about their past, but there would be some restrictions.

The walls surrounding the site are still adorned with murals and signs depicting the work of the Ministry of Women, but some have had women’s faces vandalized, a type of vandalism that has occurred elsewhere in Afghanistan since the Taliban regained power is to be observed.

A sign that reads “Supporting women who are victims of violence is our human duty” shows a woman with a black eye. Another is from the United States Agency for International Development, which has been a major resource for Afghanistan, and read, “Keep your city green and clean.”

Even critics of the American military’s long stay in Afghanistan have recognized the progress made by Afghan women over the past two decades. Under the Ministry of Women’s Affairs, women’s health, literacy rates and employment all rose. Assistance and shelter were given to abused women. Women entered the legislature and other positions of power.

A revealing barometer of growth was shown in the changing composition of the workforce. A World Bank study found that women made up 22 percent of the workforce in 2019, compared to 15 percent in 2009. A survey conducted two years ago by the Asia Foundation also showed growing public support for women in the workplace, with 76 percent of Afghans support women’s right to work outside the home.

The news of the Taliban’s conversion of the Ministry of Women came when the United Nations Security Council reassigned the organization’s six-month mission to Afghanistan. The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), which was established in the aftermath of the US invasion in 2002, is the primary tool for monitoring Taliban’s behavior following the chaotic US military withdrawal last month.

Stéphane Dujarric, the UN spokesman in New York, said he knew nothing about the development of the Ministry of Women and could not comment on it. Nevertheless, there have been “worrying developments in recent times, but we are continuing our dialogue and our advocacy for women’s rights, for girls’ rights, especially in the field of work and education”.

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Women’s Health

Addressing the pandemic’s toll on women’s health in the workplace



Released: September 18, 2021

Alex Perry, CEO at Bupa UK Insurance

September 16, 2021

The global pandemic was a world changing event and it is inevitable that it has had, and will continue to have, an impact on almost every segment of society. While it continues to affect lives and livelihoods around the world, we can already see the resulting consequences affect gender equality. McKinsey estimates that women’s jobs are 1.8 times more vulnerable to this crisis than men’s jobs; The burden of unpaid childcare during school closings and the care of relatives during the lockdown was disproportionately borne by women with the closure of schools, and unfortunately the rate of domestic violence is also increasing.[1]

The pandemic is adding to another area of ​​gender inequality – health. It has shed a harsh light on some of the persistent health inequalities, and research by Bupa in the 2021 Census of Workplace Wellbeing found that a significantly larger proportion of women than men think the pandemic is negatively affecting them Life has an impact on health and wellbeing – two-thirds of women (66%) versus 57% of men.

While it is inevitable that the scale of a global pandemic will affect almost everyone, its impact on women and their working lives is undeniable – our census showed that a third (32%) of women felt that their mental health was affecting their work , and many are struggling with the transition to working from home. A quarter (26%) have seen blurred lines between work and personal life with the World Health Organization (WHO)[2] This suggests that many women find themselves in an impossible situation of multiple caring responsibilities, with some returning to traditional household roles as well as their professional workload. While every woman’s situation is different, it is clear that COVID-19 continues to exacerbate existing inequalities for many. In addition, the long-term effects of the pandemic will have social and economic repercussions for women for many years to come.

[3]How can organizations react effectively and create conditions for optimal equality for women? In recent years, companies have recognized the importance of diversity and inclusion in the workplace. This is stronger today than ever as companies with more diversity are more likely to outperform less heterogeneous ones in terms of profitability. The pandemic is therefore providing a unique opportunity for companies to rethink how they can support women at all stages of life so they can realize their career potential, with no better starting point than women’s health. Employers have a responsibility to support their employees and create an inclusive culture where everyone can thrive and do their best mentally and physically.

There are still some taboos and information gaps surrounding women’s health. One of the few benefits of the pandemic is that we are prioritizing our health more than ever. Let’s take this golden opportunity to rethink how we can better support the health and wellbeing of women, starting in the workplace.


Effects of COVID-19 on Women and Gender Equality | McKinsey during-the-covid-19-pandemic-and-beyond

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