Health News Roundup

On Juneteenth weekend, Black activists march for abortion rights, and more in this week’s roundup

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On Juneteenth weekend, Black activists march for abortion rights
Sarah McCammon, NPR, June 19
With the Supreme Court poised to issue a decision that could soon ban abortion in some two-dozen states, reproductive justice leaders say they’re preparing to do whatever is necessary to help people of color access abortion. Some advocates also worry that as states enact laws criminalizing abortion, people of color will also be disproportionately targeted for prosecution.

Access, hesitancy loom over COVID-19 vaccine rollout for toddlers
Ariel Cohen, Roll Call, June 15
As vaccines for kids under 5 become available, public health experts warn that vaccinating the population won’t be as simple as sticking a few needles in arms. It’ll be less convenient for the under-5 age group to receive the vaccine, thanks to complications presented by federal law, vaccine hesitancy, and the logistics surrounding the dosages for the pediatric age group.

What will it take to level the playing field for Black residents?
Usha Lee McFarling, STAT, June 21
Black doctors are terminated from or leave their training programs in far higher numbers than white physicians, a problem that has long been hidden and ignored. Scholars and physicians working to address the issue are advocating for collecting and making data publicly available; improving due process protections for those facing discrimination; providing mentorship and coaching for Black residents; and increasing oversight of residency programs.

Expectant Black mothers, facing higher mortality rates, turn to doulas and midwives for support
Kandis Mascall, Candace Smith, Meagan Redman, and Haley Yamada, ABC News, June 17
Ebon’Nae Bradley has been a licensed doula for more than a decade and has seen doctors dismiss patients’ concerns rather than listen to them. Black doulas like Bradley are helping pregnant people reclaim their child birthing process by empowering them to make decisions about their own health care.

100 million people in America are saddled with health care debt
Noam M. Levey, Kaiser Health News, June 16
In the past five years, more than half of U.S. adults report they’ve gone into debt because of medical or dental bills, according to a new poll. The burden is forcing families to cut spending on food and deepening racial wealth disparities. The poll also found that debt from health care is nearly twice as common for adults under 30 as for those 65 and older.