Down syndrome diagnosis – Nova Scotia Down Syndrome Society http://www.novascotiadownsyndromesociety.com/ Tue, 24 May 2022 09:42:20 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.9.3 https://www.novascotiadownsyndromesociety.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/icon-2021-07-30T230350.091.png Down syndrome diagnosis – Nova Scotia Down Syndrome Society http://www.novascotiadownsyndromesociety.com/ 32 32 Hancock County Sheriff’s Reserves Host First ‘Touch a Truck’ Event at Tomlinson Run State Park | News, Sports, Jobs https://www.novascotiadownsyndromesociety.com/hancock-county-sheriffs-reserves-host-first-touch-a-truck-event-at-tomlinson-run-state-park-news-sports-jobs/ Tue, 24 May 2022 06:42:12 +0000 https://www.novascotiadownsyndromesociety.com/hancock-county-sheriffs-reserves-host-first-touch-a-truck-event-at-tomlinson-run-state-park-news-sports-jobs/ Manchester’s new volunteer firefighter, Malachi Stewart, prepares to let the children see inside the fire engine. HANCOCK, W.Va. – Hancock Country Sherriff Reserves Sgt. Roger Stewart Jr. planned the county’s first-ever “Touch a Truck” event to help raise awareness of the Project Lifesaver program. The event also allowed children with special […]]]>

Manchester’s new volunteer firefighter, Malachi Stewart, prepares to let the children see inside the fire engine.

HANCOCK, W.Va. – Hancock Country Sherriff Reserves Sgt. Roger Stewart Jr. planned the county’s first-ever “Touch a Truck” event to help raise awareness of the Project Lifesaver program. The event also allowed children with special and sensitive sensory needs to see fire trucks and meet first responders.

The community was invited to Tomlinson Run State Park last Sunday to participate in the free event.

Stewart explained how some children are afraid of sirens, lights and uniformed first responders. None of the fire trucks or police cars had their lights or sirens on, and those in uniform took their time showing the children the fire trucks, police cars and explaining their jobs. Stewart says the event was an opportunity for the children to “see beyond the uniform” and hopefully know they can trust first responders and not be afraid in an emergency. While the children received a “In the wings” visits of trucks and cruisers, parents received information on the Lifesaver project.

Project Lifesaver is a search and rescue system that benefits people with Alzheimer’s disease, autism, Down syndrome, traumatic brain injury, or other cognitive impairments that can cause a person to mislead. The program uses radio transmitters and electronic tracking equipment. A cognitively impaired person is given a wristband transmitter to wear, and if the person gets lost, specially trained electronic search specialists use Project Lifesaver equipment to locate them safely.

“At the moment, we do not charge for the program [Project Lifesaver]. We have enough donations and sponsors through Project Lifesaver that we don’t have to charge families to enroll them in the program,” said Stewart. He encourages anyone interested in enrolling or learning more about the program to contact him by calling 304-564-4100 or emailing rdstewart@gmail.com.

The program has helped the community since its launch in Hancock County in 2014. “We conducted three searches and we found them all [lost individuals] In 20 minutes,” said Stewart. He went on to say, “You are doing research that can take days or weeks. You know? You never know how long the search for a missing person will take, and this program cuts it down to 20-30 minutes. You reduce labor and costs.

Project Lifesaver is an international program and has been used since 1999 to find people with dementia. Internationally, the program has found 3,906 people since its inception. “The Lifesaver Project was a 100% success with zero fatalities,” said Stewart.

The New Manchester, Newell and Lawrenceville Volunteer Fire Departments were among the first responders to show their support at the event. Hancock County deputies and officers were also present. Tomlinson Run State Park donated a miniature golf course and the space where the event was held. Sparkle Market donated hot dogs and refreshments. The whole event was free.

With huge community support, Stewart wants to make “Touch a Truck” an annual event. Events like these bring knowledge to the community, Stewarts says, and he says he wants people to know about the programs Hancock County has to offer. “I want more people to know about the program and not be afraid to contact someone. Everyone has a hard time with their loved ones sometimes,” Steward concluded. For more information, please visit sheriffweb.hancockcoingov.org/reserve-division.




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Local contest-winning mom writes book inspired by son with Tourette syndrome – The Oakland Press https://www.novascotiadownsyndromesociety.com/local-contest-winning-mom-writes-book-inspired-by-son-with-tourette-syndrome-the-oakland-press/ Sun, 22 May 2022 12:07:20 +0000 https://www.novascotiadownsyndromesociety.com/local-contest-winning-mom-writes-book-inspired-by-son-with-tourette-syndrome-the-oakland-press/ Clarkston resident Anne Baldwin found herself like many of us during the COVID lockdown, homeschooling her sons Levi, 9, and Gus, 7, doing their homework virtually and hardly leaving the house. home. Baldwin began to feel depressed and not be as usual. One day, while browsing Instagram, information about the Ms. Michigan America pageant popped […]]]>

Clarkston resident Anne Baldwin found herself like many of us during the COVID lockdown, homeschooling her sons Levi, 9, and Gus, 7, doing their homework virtually and hardly leaving the house. home. Baldwin began to feel depressed and not be as usual.

One day, while browsing Instagram, information about the Ms. Michigan America pageant popped up. Baldwin, who holds a bachelor’s degree in fashion merchandising management from the Fashion Institute of Technology, thought this would be a good opportunity for her to get back into top mental and physical shape. So she entered the Ms. Michigan America 2021 pageant – and won the title of Ms. Michigan American 2021 as the first runner-up.

Baldwin earned the title “Mrs. Michigan American” as the first runner-up in the 2021 Mrs. Michigan America pageant. (Photo courtesy of Anne Baldwin)

“What I love about Mrs. Pageants is that it’s such a vibrant group of women who are wives, mothers, business owners, activists and so much more. juggle everything!” said Baldwin.

The contest gave Baldwin a bigger stage to stand up for something close to his heart, supporting his loved one with Tourette Syndrome. Her son Levi was diagnosed with Tourette Syndrome just before his 6th birthday. He has also been diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), anxiety, and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD), which are common co-morbid conditions in people with Tourette Syndrome.

Tourette syndrome (TS) is a neurodevelopmental disorder, often diagnosed in early childhood or adolescence, that is characterized by motor and vocal tics. When Levi started kindergarten, Baldwin began noticing behaviors such as eye blinking and head shaking, which they later learned were tics associated with TS.

“When Levi was first diagnosed with TS, the school he was at wouldn’t believe the diagnosis and we were struggling to get him a place to stay,” she said. “I realized that I didn’t want another family to feel like we were and decided to do something about it by pleading in different ways.”

“What Makes Me… Me” is for kids ages 1 to 10, according to Baldwin. (Photo courtesy of Anne Baldwin)

Baldwin recently released a children’s picture book called “What Makes Me…Me” — just in time for Tourette Syndrome Awareness Month — which celebrates those who are different and what makes them special. The book is aimed at children ages 1-10 and introduces TS to those who may not have heard of it before and serves as a springboard for children to learn the basics.

“I didn’t just want the kids to understand what neurological differences are, I want to teach them compassion for others who might not look or act like them,” Baldwin said.

For every book purchased, Baldwin donates two books to a school or organization. To date, she has donated over 450 books to schools across the state and to small free libraries in every state.

Baldwin continues her journey by entering the Mrs. US Continental in Florida this summer with the title of Mrs. Midwest US Continental 2022.

Baldwin’s book, “What Makes Me…Me,” can be purchased online at Amazon.com.

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Determined teen does A-levels from her hospital bed after her body ‘shuts down’ https://www.novascotiadownsyndromesociety.com/determined-teen-does-a-levels-from-her-hospital-bed-after-her-body-shuts-down/ Fri, 20 May 2022 14:44:00 +0000 https://www.novascotiadownsyndromesociety.com/determined-teen-does-a-levels-from-her-hospital-bed-after-her-body-shuts-down/ A teenager refuses to let her chronic illness get in the way of her exams by taking her A-levels from her hospital bed. Ella McKee, 17, suffered years of pain, but the last fight saw her body “stop”, her mother says. And while in the past she recovered to a point, she is currently unable […]]]>

A teenager refuses to let her chronic illness get in the way of her exams by taking her A-levels from her hospital bed. Ella McKee, 17, suffered years of pain, but the last fight saw her body “stop”, her mother says.

And while in the past she recovered to a point, she is currently unable to leave the hospital because she is so sick. Her mother, Joanne McKee, said: “It has devastated us. She has been bad for seven years.

“We thought she was doing poorly before this admission but now everything has changed and she is very unlikely to get better,” she told LeedsLive. Joanne, who says she spends 11 hours a day, seven days a week in hospital, added: “She still managed to get some amazing GCSE results and is now trying to do her A levels from her bed.

“She has an infectious smile and a cheeky nature. I want to see that side regularly instead of the pain and tears I see every day. I can’t let her story end here. Someone, some part, can find a beautiful end for us.”

Ella, who is from Tingley, was first diagnosed with severe myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME) and chronic fatigue syndrome at age 11. Following this diagnosis, the former ‘fit and healthy girl’, now spends much of her time bedridden in Leeds General Infirmary.

Joanne said her daughter’s bladder “closed” in 2019 and she was also diagnosed with postural tachycardia syndrome (PoTS) in 2021 – an abnormal increase in heart rate when sitting or standing. Additionally, she has been stricken with a number of urinary tract infections and is now completely dependent on tube feeding.

Joanne said: “My beautiful daughter Ella was a fit and healthy girl. She loved sports and gymnastics and would always be on the move and full of energy.

“She still recovered to some degree, weaker than before but still came home. But this time she has so many medical issues with her and I can’t bring her home.

“She is bedridden, in constant pain, suffers from severe migraines, total weakness, is unable to walk, sensitive to lights and sounds, celiac, brain fog, unable to eat or drink and even unable to care for herself. We know there will be more, that’s expected.”

Ella’s battle kept her out of school for the past three years. Joanne believes her daughter has a rare disease that has yet to be identified in her body.

The hopeful mum is now trying to raise £25,000 to help fund life-saving treatment for Ella. It would also help make their home more suitable to his needs.

Joanne said: “The future looks very uncertain right now, but I know I can’t do it alone. We need to find experts on rare diseases and gut failure.



Joanna McKee and her daughter Ella

“She has just turned 17 and her age makes everything very difficult in the NHS. She is currently on a children’s ward, but in the future she is too old for pediatrics and too young for adult wards.

“We have found an expert in intestinal failure, but he has a private practice in London and would therefore have to pay for consultations. Additionally, the ground floor of the house will need to be modified to take on his new non-mobile condition. We we struggled so much before that.

“We need sterile areas, an extension for the downstairs bathroom, a change from dining room to bedroom, equipment, rewiring and additional power outlets, etc. ., so many things are on the list. But the most important and first on the list is getting a diagnosis and seeing experts who can treat all of your conditions.”

For Ella’s birthday, Joanne put out a call for the community to send her birthday cards. The “fantastic” response led to 1,297 cards being sent to the hospital. Now Joanne hopes she can be home for future celebrations with the family.

She said: “Please help us keep fighting for the answers, to make the changes and to cover the cost of whatever is needed along the way so that I can hopefully- le, bring my beautiful daughter home before Christmas. We are mighty warriors, but even they need a helping hand from time to time.”

To help Ella and donate to her Go Fund Me page, click here.

For more stories of where you live, visit InYourArea

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COVID-19 and intestinal parasites: risk or additional protection? https://www.novascotiadownsyndromesociety.com/covid-19-and-intestinal-parasites-risk-or-additional-protection/ Tue, 17 May 2022 23:25:23 +0000 https://www.novascotiadownsyndromesociety.com/covid-19-and-intestinal-parasites-risk-or-additional-protection/ Parasitic infections of the intestines are usually caused by two types of organisms: Protozoa. These single-celled organisms can live and multiply inside your body. Infections caused by protozoa include giardiasis, an infection you can get from drinking water infected with Giardia protozoa. Helminths. These multicellular organisms, commonly called worms, can live inside or outside your […]]]>

Parasitic infections of the intestines are usually caused by two types of organisms:

  • Protozoa. These single-celled organisms can live and multiply inside your body. Infections caused by protozoa include giardiasis, an infection you can get from drinking water infected with Giardia protozoa.
  • Helminths. These multicellular organisms, commonly called worms, can live inside or outside your body.

On 3 1/2 billion people in the world are affected by intestinal parasites. People living in developing countries are disproportionately affected.

A recent study found that intestinal parasites can reduce the severity of coronavirus disease 19 (COVID-19). However, other studies have shown that parasitic infections can prevent the immune system from responding effectively to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the virus that causes COVID-19.

For scientists, this topic of debate is complex and difficult to study. Much more research is needed to determine how intestinal parasites may affect a person’s immune response to SARS-CoV-2 infection.

In this article, we review what we currently know about how intestinal parasites affect the immune system, SARS-CoV-2 infections, and COVID-19 vaccines. Keep reading to learn more.

When we talk about the effect of intestinal parasites on the human immune system, we often talk about helminths or parasitic worms.

Helminths consist of several cells and are rather large. In fact, they can often be seen with the naked eye. Here are some examples of helminths that can infect humans:

Potential benefits

Simply put, it has been observed that helminths can dampen specific parts of the immune response. Obviously, this is beneficial for the parasite, as it means the immune system is less likely to attack and kill it.

However, it may also have a beneficial effect on humans. This dampened immune response can help protect a person against things like allergies, autoimmune diseases, and certain inflammatory diseases.

In fact, a decrease in helminth infections has been proposed as a contributing factor to the increase in allergic and inflammatory diseases in developed countries. This is called the “hygiene hypothesis”.

Potential disadvantages

Despite the potential immune benefits of helminths, there are also some big downsides. Helminths can cause serious damage to the human host. As they grow, they can cause blockages in internal organs such as the intestines or bile ducts.

A 2017 study also found that helminth infection can increase the risk of cancer.

In addition to causing serious diseases themselves, helminths can aggravate certain infectious diseases. And they can decrease the effectiveness of vaccines.

In severe cases of COVID-19, high levels of inflammation may be present in the body. This is called “cytokine storm” and can lead to serious complications such as acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS).

Could the moderating effects of intestinal parasites on the immune system help protect against these high levels of inflammation?

Although there is some evidence that intestinal parasites may be associated with reduced severity of COVID-19, there is also evidence that intestinal parasites may impair the immune system’s ability to ward off SARS-CoV infection. -2. At the end of the line : more research still needs to be done.

Research showing that parasites can reduce the severity of COVID-19

A study 2021 was conducted in Ethiopia from July 2020 to March 2021. A total of 751 people with laboratory confirmed COVID-19 were included in the study.

Of 751 people, 284 (37 4/5 percent) also had a parasitic infection. Regarding the severity of COVID-19, only 10 3/5% of people with severe COVID-19 had a parasitic infection. Moreover, none of these people died from COVID-19.

The researchers suggest that the higher prevalence of intestinal parasites in developing regions of the world, particularly in Africa, may contribute to the lower prevalence and severity of COVID-19 in these regions.

However, the study has some limitations, including:

  • a small number of participants
  • potential bias

Conflicting views and research

A 2022 letter expresses skepticism of the above findings. In it, the authors express concerns about potential study bias, as participants were first tested for SARS-CoV-2 before being tested for intestinal parasites.

Additionally, a 2020 review notes that parasitic infections, particularly with helminths, have already been shown to increase the severity of other infectious conditions, such as HIV, tuberculosis and malaria.

As such, the reviewer notes that it is possible that a parasitic infection could potentially prevent the immune system from responding effectively to COVID-19. It can actually increase the severity of the disease in some cases.

Vaccination is the most effective way to protect against serious illness and death from COVID-19. However, to be effective, vaccines must initiate an immune response. Could the immune effects of intestinal parasites affect this?

There is in fact evidence that parasitic infections can decrease the effectiveness of vaccines. However, no research has specifically evaluated the effect of parasites on COVID-19 vaccines.

Research studies show parasites lead to poorer vaccine outcomes

A 2020 review of studies sought to dig deeper into the topic of parasites and vaccines. A total of 50 articles were analyzed. The researchers note that several parasite- and vaccine-related factors can affect vaccination, such as:

  • specific type and stage of parasite infection
  • the time of infection, for example whether it is acute or chronic
  • type of vaccine and mode of administration
  • type of immune response the vaccine aims to generate

After the analysis was completed, it was found that having a parasitic infection at the time of receiving a vaccine resulted in a poorer vaccine outcome. Chronic helminth infections are more likely to negatively affect the effectiveness of vaccination.

You may have a few more questions about intestinal parasites. Let’s answer some of them now.

How do you catch intestinal parasites?

Often the eggs of an intestinal parasite pass in a person’s stool. You can catch an intestinal parasite if you ingest these eggs.

This can happen by coming into contact with fecal particles in the environment, especially soil, and then touching your mouth without washing your hands first. Consumption of contaminated food and water can also spread these parasites.

Certain types of intestinal parasites, such as Strongyloides species, are transmitted through the soil. In this case, contact with contaminated soil allows the larvae of this parasite to burrow into your skin and travel to your intestines.

What are the symptoms of an intestinal parasitic infection?

The exact symptoms of an intestinal parasite infection can vary depending on the specific parasite. Some people may not even have any significant symptoms. When symptoms are present, some to watch out for include:

What happens if an intestinal parasitic infection is not treated?

If you suspect you have an intestinal parasitic infection, it is important to see a doctor for diagnosis and treatment. When an intestinal parasitic infection is left untreated, it can lead to complications such as:

Does an intestinal parasitic co-infection affect the treatment of COVID-19?

At this time, the effect a parasitic infection may have on COVID-19 treatments is unclear. Research on the interaction between intestinal parasites and COVID-19 is still in its infancy.

Intestinal parasites can dampen certain aspects of the immune response to avoid being attacked by the immune system. This effect can protect against certain diseases but can also aggravate others.

There is evidence that intestinal parasites can reduce the severity of COVID-19. However, these data come from a single study and further research on this topic needs to be done.

If left untreated, intestinal parasitic infections can lead to complications. See a doctor if you have symptoms such as severe abdominal pain, diarrhea, or nausea and vomiting. They can help you find out what may be causing your symptoms.

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British Columbia to launch support centers for neurodiverse children but parents have many questions https://www.novascotiadownsyndromesociety.com/british-columbia-to-launch-support-centers-for-neurodiverse-children-but-parents-have-many-questions/ Mon, 16 May 2022 11:49:39 +0000 https://www.novascotiadownsyndromesociety.com/british-columbia-to-launch-support-centers-for-neurodiverse-children-but-parents-have-many-questions/ Emerson and Amelia Nelson. Both have ADHD.Rochelle Hepworth/The Canadian Press British Columbia is set to launch one-stop support centers for children with issues like ADHD, autism and Down syndrome, but parents say promises of a no-wait system that will not require assessments or diagnosis seem unrealistic due to a shortage of health-care professionals. The plan […]]]>

Emerson and Amelia Nelson. Both have ADHD.Rochelle Hepworth/The Canadian Press

British Columbia is set to launch one-stop support centers for children with issues like ADHD, autism and Down syndrome, but parents say promises of a no-wait system that will not require assessments or diagnosis seem unrealistic due to a shortage of health-care professionals.

The plan is to open 40 so-called family connection centers, or hubs, across the province.

Four are expected to provide services under a pilot program starting next year – three in northwestern British Columbia and another in the central Okanagan.

The province has given community organizations until July to bid on the initial implementation of the program, and contracts are expected to be awarded in the fall. Further proposals will be sought for the remaining centers which are due to start operating by 2024 to support neurodiverse children and young people up to the age of 19.

Families of children with autism will then no longer receive current funding of up to $22,000 per year until age six and $6,000 per year until age 18. Instead, they will receive services through the new system.

Julia Boyle, executive director of Autism BC, said the province has not provided information on staffing and protocols for the “complex transition” to a new system that could have parents of thousands of neurodiverse children “knocking at the doors of these centers”.

There isn’t enough time for consultations with advocacy groups before the pilot program begins, and the full shift of individualized funding for children with autism to the new centers is another major change in two years, Boyle said. .

“It makes more and more sense to have a phased rollout,” she said. “That’s ultimately what I’m pushing for.”

The government’s “twist” on autism funding has created divisions over inequity because many parents of children with other needs have paid out of pocket, Boyle said. This has led some to accuse the autism community of being “selfish”, she said.

“It’s up to the government to find solutions,” Boyle said, suggesting funding could have been provided more equitably to all families in need, instead of being taken away from those who fought for it. .

The first four hubs will be in Prince Rupert, Terrace, Smithers and Kelowna. But many parents of autistic children in those communities are unlikely to choose to forego funding immediately and switch to hubs, Boyle said, because participation in the pilot program will be optional.

This could hamper the evaluation of hubs before the province-wide program launches, she said.

Mitzi Dean, Minister for Children and Family Development, said his ministry “will observe where families are able to make this transition and what is working for this transition”.

Dean said the goal of the new system is to give families access to a team of service providers ranging from speech pathologists and occupational therapists to behavioral interventionists and to replace a patchwork of programs that “don’t work for far too many people.” families”.

“Each family will have a core member of a team they will connect with, and they will work together to design the circle of care to surround their children and young people with support needs,” she said.

Dean did not respond directly to whether psychologists and psychiatrists would be on those teams, but said support and mental health professionals would be available without referral.

Parents can access the centers when they start noticing their child is not meeting certain milestones, she said.

“The problem at the moment is that services are stuck behind a diagnosis,” she said. “And it limits access to services when a parent or family might recognize that there might be a need or a problem. Then it also causes this bottleneck. Then, even depending on the diagnosis you get, you might still not get services, or you’ll become a case manager for your own child.

Dean said parents are ‘exhausted’ trying to find and coordinate support on their own and will no longer need to make that effort under the new system, which aims to provide disability services and supporting about 28% more children earlier in life. development.

Regarding staffing, she said the province is working with service providers to bring together multidisciplinary teams.

“By building a system and allowing local community agencies to employ a range of healthcare professionals and also contract with others who are able to provide services in the community, that’s how we’re going to be able to provide this system and work in partnership with community organizations.

Candice Murray, a licensed psychologist and clinical teacher at the University of British Columbia, wondered how a child with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, which is her specialty, would get help in a hub without having undergone an assessment, which can be time-consuming and complicated. .

Behavior, medications, sleeping and eating habits, parenthood and triggers are among the many factors that need to be considered during an assessment, said Murray, former head of the BC ADHD clinic. Children’s Hospital. The most effective intervention strategies were based on such an assessment, she said.

“Who will work in the hubs? Child and adolescent mental health teams do not take children with ADHD,” Murray said of the service currently provided by the Children’s Ministry.

“I don’t know if they would be involved in any centres, but they don’t have any experience or training, so that’s another concern I have. Where will all these people come from and who will train them?

ADHD is not officially recognized as a disability, so children often don’t get the support they need in school, even after their parents have spent thousands of dollars on assessments through the system. private, she said.

“I’m afraid this is a watered down version of a proper assessment,” she said of the hubs.

Children with ADHD who don’t get help can end up with disruptive behavior problems, Murray said. Some later suffer in silence until depression and anxiety set in, so their needs must be adequately met in the new system, she added.

Jaymie Nelson, whose two children, Emerson, 12, and Amelia, eight, both have ADHD, said it was hard to believe there wouldn’t be waiting lists in hubs “because there are waiting lists for everything, even paying privately, there is a waiting list.

Nelson said her children have a relationship with their occupational therapist and speech therapist, and she worries about losing access to those professionals under the hub system.

She attended a town hall last fall after the government announced the hubs and said she hoped children and young people with ADHD could finally get support, which is not provided in most schools because many teachers are not trained in basic knowledge of the disease. .

“It wasn’t clear on the details,” she said. “There was really nothing ironed out. At first it was like, hey guys, this is great. But it’s really not. There are so many worries.”

We have a weekly Western Canada newsletter written by our British Columbia and Alberta bureau chiefs, providing a comprehensive package of news you need to know about the region and its place in the issues facing Canada. confronted with. register today.

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Hundreds attend ‘Bans Off Our Bodies’ rally in Harrisburg https://www.novascotiadownsyndromesociety.com/hundreds-attend-bans-off-our-bodies-rally-in-harrisburg/ Sat, 14 May 2022 21:05:25 +0000 https://www.novascotiadownsyndromesociety.com/hundreds-attend-bans-off-our-bodies-rally-in-harrisburg/ Hundreds of lawyers took to the steps of the Pennsylvania Capitol on Saturday, reacting to a leaked draft opinion showing the US Supreme Court is apparently set to overturn the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion. With “prohibition of our bodiesAs a rallying cry, organizers and lawmakers urged Pennsylvanians to voice their […]]]>

Hundreds of lawyers took to the steps of the Pennsylvania Capitol on Saturday, reacting to a leaked draft opinion showing the US Supreme Court is apparently set to overturn the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion.

With “prohibition of our bodiesAs a rallying cry, organizers and lawmakers urged Pennsylvanians to voice their opposition to a series of abortion restriction proposals circulating in the Republican-controlled General Assembly and vote in the current election cycle.

“I’ve taken it for granted all my life that women should have choice about their reproductive health,” Cheryl Tierney, 51, a pediatrician at Penn State Health, told the Capital-Star.

And if the Supreme Court decides to overturn the 1973 decision, Pennsylvania could enact legislation limiting access to abortion throughout the Commonwealth.

“Generations before us have fought tirelessly to win and protect the rights we have today,” Planned Parenthood Pennsylvania Advocates executive director Signe Espinoza said to an angry crowd. , frustration and fear of what might happen if access to abortion were restricted.

Governor Tom Wolf, Democrat and former Volunteer for family planning, vetoed three proposals and vowed to block future legislation restricting the procedure while in office. But as the governor prepares to step down in January 2023, existing abortion regulations could tighten if a Republican is elected governor in the November general election.

“If the Supreme Court adopts this decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, it will jeopardize the right of every American — every American — to make their own private medical decisions,” Wolf said, describing the leaked draft opinion as a punch”.

Although the leaked draft notice does not change current Pennsylvania law, Wolf warned protesters about what could happen if the case is overturned.

“That’s no excuse for complacency,” he said. “It will be a fight.”

Thirteen states have passed so-called trigger laws, which would ban abortions if the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade. Pennsylvania is not among them, but all nine GOP gubernatorial candidates have called for additional restrictions on abortion. At least five said they would support a complete ban on the proceedings with no exceptions for rape, incest or health risks.

Attorney General Josh Shapiro, Pennsylvania’s only Democratic gubernatorial candidate, has vowed to veto any legislation restricting access to abortion.

Harrisburg Republicans wrote legislation which would impose a ban on abortion once cardiac activity is detected. They wrote a invoice to prohibit the procedure after a diagnosis of Down syndrome.

Last year, Senator Judy Ward, R-Blair, introduced a proposed constitutional amendment, which the governor cannot veto. If approved by voters, he would update the state’s guiding document to declare that there is no constitutional right to abortion or public funding for the procedure.

Organizers urged attendees to contact Ward and the proposed amendment’s co-sponsors, urging them to vote against the legislation passing the General Assembly. They also encouraged people to share their abortion stories and donate to an abortion fund.

When she took to the podium, Dr. Sarah Horvath, Medical Director of Planned Parenthood Keystone, was wearing her white lab coat and a purple superhero armband – a gift from her four-year-old daughter. As someone who has administered abortions for more than a decade, Horvath said he heard countless stories from his patients, who shared their traumas and struggles.

Some tell Horvath about abusive partners or rapes. Others say their partners are sick, away, or got someone else pregnant at the same time. Patients report that they have finally returned to school or are about to graduate. Some work three jobs to get by; others are caring for three children and cannot afford another.

“And I’ve had patients who haven’t shared their stories because they don’t want to because they don’t have to,” Horvath said. “Abortion is personal because you don’t have to prove to me or anyone else that you need an abortion. Abortion is personal. Abortion is the Abortion is freedom, and abortion is health care.

Sheryl Lee Ralph, actress and wife of State Sen. Vincent Hughes, D-Philadelphia, said Planned Parenthood takes care of communities.

“No matter what you believe, I believe it’s my body. It’s my choice. No one else should have the right to tell me what to do with my own body,” Ralph said, adding, ” No more wire hangers. We have work to do.

Hundreds of protesters gather in Harrisburg on Saturday, May 14, 2022 to promote access to abortion. (Capital-Star photo by Marley Parish)

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Signs and symptoms of brain tumor in parents whose baby boy’s behavior has been branded as ‘attention seeking’ https://www.novascotiadownsyndromesociety.com/signs-and-symptoms-of-brain-tumor-in-parents-whose-baby-boys-behavior-has-been-branded-as-attention-seeking/ Fri, 13 May 2022 03:30:43 +0000 https://www.novascotiadownsyndromesociety.com/signs-and-symptoms-of-brain-tumor-in-parents-whose-baby-boys-behavior-has-been-branded-as-attention-seeking/ Devastated parents have explained that doctors called their baby boy’s behavior ‘attention seeking’ when he was actually suffering from a brain tumour. Three-year-old Arthur Ridout’s parents have spent months begging doctors to take the little boy’s symptoms seriously. His mother Lauren, from the UK, took her son to the doctor after he repeatedly complained of […]]]>

Devastated parents have explained that doctors called their baby boy’s behavior ‘attention seeking’ when he was actually suffering from a brain tumour.

Three-year-old Arthur Ridout’s parents have spent months begging doctors to take the little boy’s symptoms seriously.

His mother Lauren, from the UK, took her son to the doctor after he repeatedly complained of dizziness and headaches, but claims he was simply told to ‘keep an eye on him’.

For more health and wellness news and videos, check out Health and Wellness >>

He was referred to a pediatrician after a second visit to the GP.

But before he could be seen, he was rushed to the emergency room after falling ill in the park with Lauren on February 5.

Arthur Ridout. Credit: Brain Tumor Research/SWNS

“Lauren went down a slide with him on his lap and when they got to the bottom he was dizzy and wanted to lie down in the dirt,” said the boy’s father, Simon.

“When they got to A&E, they saw several different doctors and one of them suggested Arthur might have been looking for attention, which really upset us.”

Arthur returned to the hospital two days later to see an optometrist and had a CT scan the next day.

It was then that his parents finally learned what had made their little boy sick.

Arthur Ridout undergoes grueling treatment for a brain tumor.
Arthur Ridout undergoes grueling treatment for a brain tumor. Credit: Brain Tumor Research / SWNS

The scan revealed that Arthur’s symptoms had been caused by a plum-sized brain tumor called aggressive medulloblastoma – the most common type of cancerous brain tumor in children.

Simon said: “It was a huge shock. We cried a lot.

“They sent us by ambulance down the M5 to Bristol Royal Hospital for Children.

“When we got there, we met a surgeon, who explained to us that Arthur’s tumor was causing hydrocephalus, a buildup of fluid causing pressure on the brain.”

The toddler underwent five lumbar punctures in five weeks to confirm that the cancer had not spread to his spine before undergoing emergency surgery to relieve cranial pressure on February 8.

Two days later, the brave little boy was back in theater for a 13-hour operation to remove the tumor.

His mother Lauren repeatedly took her son to hospital after he complained of dizziness, nausea and headaches.
His mother Lauren repeatedly took her son to hospital after he complained of dizziness, nausea and headaches. Credit: Brain Tumor Research / SWNS

Although the operation was a success, he developed posterior fossa syndrome – a common occurrence when removing medullablastoma in children – and had to relearn how to eat, talk, move and move. to walk.

After a grueling six-week course of radiotherapy to the head and spine, brave Arthur can now move around with the help of a walker and is starting to form sentences again.

However, the fight is far from over for the little boy who will soon start eight cycles of chemotherapy to prevent the tumor from growing back.

Inspired by his brave boy, Dad Simon raises funds for brain tumor research.

Arthur was eventually diagnosed with aggressive medulloblastoma - the most common type of cancerous brain tumor in children.
Arthur was eventually diagnosed with aggressive medulloblastoma – the most common type of cancerous brain tumor in children. Credit: Brain Tumor Research / SWNS

“The last few months have been life changing for my family and it has given me a new perspective on everything,” the father added.

“Before Arthur’s diagnosis, I spent a lot of my life working and probably not enough time with my wife and kids. I’m reassessing everything now and family life will definitely take priority.

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Stem cell transplantation retains its position as the initial treatment for hematological malignancies https://www.novascotiadownsyndromesociety.com/stem-cell-transplantation-retains-its-position-as-the-initial-treatment-for-hematological-malignancies/ Tue, 10 May 2022 22:00:00 +0000 https://www.novascotiadownsyndromesociety.com/stem-cell-transplantation-retains-its-position-as-the-initial-treatment-for-hematological-malignancies/ In hematological malignancies, grafting has been used for more than 40 years, according to Robert J. Soiffer, MD. Today, transplantation remains the standard of care for many hematological malignancies, but in the near future, chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy may change that. From non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma to leukemia and multiple myeloma, CAR T-cell products have […]]]>

In hematological malignancies, grafting has been used for more than 40 years, according to Robert J. Soiffer, MD. Today, transplantation remains the standard of care for many hematological malignancies, but in the near future, chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy may change that.

From non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma to leukemia and multiple myeloma, CAR T-cell products have been approved by the FDA, primarily for treatment in last-line settings.1

In multiple myeloma, idecabtagen vicleucel (ide-cel; Abecma) and ciltacabtagen autoleucel (cilta-cel; Carvykti) are FDA-approved for the treatment of relapsed or refractory (R/R) disease after 4 lines of prior treatment, which includes an immunomodulatory agent, a proteasome inhibitor and an antidCD38 monoclonal antibody.

For large B-cell R/R lymphoma after two or more lines of systemic therapy, FDA-cleared CAR T-cell therapy options include lisocabtagene maraleucel (liso-cel; Breyanzi) and axicabtagene ciloleucel (axi- cel; Yescarta).

Finally, tisagenlecleucel (tisa-cel; Kymriah) is an FDA-cleared CAR T-cell product for BR/R diffuse large cell lymphoma and young adults up to age 25 with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) R/ R. Brexucabtagene autoleucel (brexu-cel; Tecartuc) is FDA-approved for the treatment of patients with R/R mantle cell lymphoma and R/RB precursor cell ALL.

Even with all the available CAR T-cell therapies that have shown their efficacy in hematological malignancies, autologous and allogeneic stem cell transplantation remains the only curative treatment used in the first line. Next-generation agents such as CD19 and B cell maturation antigen-driven CAR T cells could change the gold standard.

In an interview with Targeted Oncology™, Soiffer, Chair of the Clinical Programs Executive Committee, Vice Chair of the Department of Medical Oncology, Chief of the Division of Hematological Malignancies and Physician at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, along with du Worthington and Margaret Collette, Professor of Medicine in Hematological Oncology, Harvard Medical School, discussed the evolving role of stem cell transplantation in hematological malignancies as CAR T-cell therapies begin to reshape landscapes treatment.

TARGETED ONCOLOGY: What was the role of stem cell transplantation in the treatment of hematological malignancies before the availability of CAR T-cell products?

Thirst: We have been practicing transplantation for nearly 40 years. There are 2 types of grafts. There is the autologous transplant, that is to say someone who uses their own stem cells. Stem cells are collected before the transplant and are usually frozen. And then we give the patient high doses of chemotherapy or chemotherapy and radiation, and then we reinfuse those stem cells, like a kind of stem cell rescue. These transplants are usually done for conditions such as non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and multiple myeloma.

In terms of allogeneic transplantation where we use someone else’s cells, usually for a disorder where the bone marrow is heavily involved in a malignancy, this includes acute myeloid leukemia and other stem cell disorders like myelodysplastic syndrome and myelofibrosis.

Allogeneic transplants are more toxic than autologous transplants, they risk causing graft versus host disease. But they play an important role in the treatment of patients with blood cancers. They have become part of the standard of care for patients with hematological malignancies over the past 3 decades, and their use has increased year by year. They increased it to a certain extent, because we are now able to offer allogeneic transplants to elderly patients, well into their late 60s. People who are relatively fit in their late 70s can undergo a successful transplant. This has opened up opportunities that weren’t open many years ago.

Also, in terms of allogeneic transplantation when we use a donor. When I started 40 years ago, we were limited to young patients who had identical siblings. Over the course of my career, we have been able to expand this to use other sources of stem cells, either stem cells from unrelated donors as volunteers around the world, who are selflessly willing to donate their metabolic stem cells to a stranger, or a haploidentical transplant which is a half-match transplant, using siblings, parents or children. This is due to some of the excellent work that has been done from Johns Hopkins and other institutions.

Transplantation is still the only initial therapy and the only therapy to achieve remission for many hematological malignancies. Can you explain for which diseases this is true?

I will put it in the context of different parameters. Let’s talk about non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. It is now considered, or has been considered the standard of care for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma patients who have relapsed after their initial treatment, especially large cell lymphoma patients, once they have achieved a second remission, switch to an autologous transplant. And that’s cured between 40% and 60% of patients who are successful in having a transplant, and that’s in the setting of lymphoma.

In the world of multiple myeloma, autologous transplantation, using your own stem cells, is often used upstream. It may or may not be a curative therapy, but it is certainly something that prolongs progression-free survival and allows patients to live for a long time without intervention.

On the side of acute leukemia, and let’s say spinal disorders like MDS, allogeneic transplantation can be curative for a variety of these disorders. The likelihood of recovery depends very much on the molecular and genetic make-up of the leukemia itself. Thus, people with very high-risk leukemias will fare poorly with standard treatment. They’ll do a little better with an allograft. In patients with, say, intermediate-risk leukemias who do modestly with chemotherapy alone, do even better with an allograft.

What role does transplantation play in the post-CAR-T context?

It’s an evolving field, and I think if we had had this discussion last year, the response would have been different. And if we were to have this discussion again next year, the response would be different again, so it’s a snapshot in time.

CAR T cells were approved for the treatment of acute lymphoma and leukemia about 3 or 4 years ago, and they work for patients who didn’t have a transplant and were refractory, or who relapsed after their transplant. CAR T cells are commonly used for patients who have had an autologous transplant, for example for lymphoma, or now for multiple myeloma, they relapsed after that and they may have received other therapies afterwards, but they can be treated with CAR T cells. There are a number of products that can be successfully treated to induce remissions and, in many patients, long-term remissions. It is for patients with recurrent disease after auto or allograft.

There were 3 exciting presentations at ASH, several just published, that looked at whether CAR T-cell therapy could replace 1 of these transplants, specifically autologous transplant, and the studies were designed, there were 3 of them, with the 3 different CAR T-cell products. The studies were designed to take high-risk patients, who had relapsed with large cell lymphoma within the first year after diagnosis, either relapsed or never went into remission. .

What they’ve done with these patients is they’ve randomized the patients to receive CAR T cells immediately, perhaps with bridging chemotherapy, versus what’s considered therapy standard care. The standard treatment would be chemotherapy to decrease the amount of residual lymphoma present, followed by an autologous transplant. This was one side CAR T-cell therapy versus standard of care, which was cytoreduction with chemotherapy plus autograft. What 2 of the 3 studies showed, 1 with a product called axi-cel and 1 with a product called liso-cel, was an improved response rate for patients who received the CAR T-cell approach compared to the standard of care. Not only did this improve the response rate, but also the complete response rate and event-free survival, which is extraordinarily exciting.

With a paradigm-shifting approach for patients with refractory disease who have early relapse after initial treatment, it should be noted that 1 of 3 trials using tisa-cel did not show improvement. We really need to dig deeper and understand why 2 of the studies were positive and 1 negative. This is work that we need to do over the next year to try to understand the differences between these 3 studies.

How has the success of CAR T cells had an impact on global transplantation for these hematological malignancies?

I think right now, in terms of AML and MDS where we often do allogeneic transplants, CAR T cells haven’t had an impact yet. I think there are some challenges with CAR T-cell therapy for LAM in determining the correct target for LAM. There are also challenges in terms of concern about the consequences of successful eradication of CAR T cells in leukemia, as these CAR T cells may actually target normal hematopoietic stem cells and lead to prolonged aplasia and low blood counts. We may need to combine if we get to the point where we have successful CAR T cells for LAM. We may need to combine this with an integrated allogeneic transplant so that we have a sequential approach where we first remove the tumor with CAR T cells and then do an allogeneic transplant or possibly vice versa in the opposite direction.

So that’s the future. For now, I think we will have to decide as a community, how we are going to integrate CAR T-cell therapy for patients with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, high-risk large cell lymphoma, in particular. These are patients who will either be primary refractory or have had an early relapse after their initial treatment, current data from at least 2 of the products very strongly suggests that pure CAR T-cell therapy may be the best approach who is not going to assign reductive chemotherapy and autograft. And 1 of those products was also FDA approved for that very indication.

You mentioned that this conversation might be different next year. If you could make a prediction, where is the field heading?

I think what we will see in the next 5 years are more studies trying to assess the place of a CAR T-cell therapy in a variety of different diseases. This is an extraordinarily exciting and rapidly changing time. As I said, I believe that if we have this conversation in a year or two, it will be a different discussion.

REFERENCES

Young RM, Engel NW, Uslu U, et al. Next generation CAR T-cell therapies. Discovery of cancer. 2022. Published online ahead of print. doi: 10.1158/2159-8290.CD-21-1683.

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6 things you need to know about autism spectrum disorders https://www.novascotiadownsyndromesociety.com/6-things-you-need-to-know-about-autism-spectrum-disorders/ Sat, 07 May 2022 09:04:19 +0000 https://www.novascotiadownsyndromesociety.com/6-things-you-need-to-know-about-autism-spectrum-disorders/ 1 in 68 children is diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That’s a lot of people, making ASD one of the most common developmental disabilities in the United States. But what is it? And what does this mean for those diagnosed with it? Here are six […]]]>

1 in 68 children is diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That’s a lot of people, making ASD one of the most common developmental disabilities in the United States. But what is it? And what does this mean for those diagnosed with it?

Here are six things you need to know about autism spectrum disorders.

It’s very complex

ASD is a developmental disorder that affects the way people perceive and interact with the world around them. People with ASD may have difficulty communicating or interacting socially, and they may also struggle with things like sensory sensitivity and restrictive or repetitive behaviors.

However, it’s not just a disorder – it’s an umbrella term for several different conditions, which is why it’s called a ‘spectrum’. The autism spectrum includes conditions such as Asperger’s Syndrome and Pervasive Developmental Disorder-Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS), both of which are considered “high-functioning” autistic disorders.

Treatment options are limited

Unfortunately, there is no cure for ASD. A common treatment option is behavioral therapy, which can help people with ASD learn to communicate better and interact more effectively with the world around them. If you are interested, you can read more about ABA behavior therapy, its benefits and limitations. However, these are treatment options that can help people with ASD manage their symptoms and improve their quality of life.

ASD can also be treated with medication, although there is currently no single medication that can treat ASD symptoms – instead, doctors can give a person different medications to try to relieve certain symptoms or behaviors associated with ASD. For example, they may prescribe an antidepressant if a person is suffering from anxiety or depression. They could

Symptoms can vary greatly

Because ASD is such a complex disorder, symptoms can vary widely from person to person. For example, some people with ASD may be verbal and have no difficulty communicating, while others may be non-verbal and need help communicating.

Some people with ASD may have difficulty understanding social cues or they may seem uninterested in social interactions, while others may have issues with fine motor skills or sensory sensitivity. There is no “typical” person with ASD – symptoms can vary widely and are often severe enough that people need some form of support to navigate the world around them.

There is no known cause

Unfortunately, scientists still don’t know what causes ASDs. There may be a genetic component, meaning some people are more likely to develop ASD if they have a family member with the disorder. However, there is no single cause or risk factor for ASD – it is different for each person who has it.

Additionally, there are some myths about the causes of ASD, such as the idea that it is caused by vaccines, which is not supported by any scientific evidence. With more research and studies, scientists hope to learn more about the causes of ASD so they can develop better treatment options.

It can be diagnosed at any age

While it is true that children are more likely to be diagnosed with ASD, adults can be diagnosed with it as well. It just depends on what symptoms someone is showing and how severe those symptoms are. A diagnosis can be made as early as 18 months of age, although most children are diagnosed around 4 years of age.

On the other hand, some adults with ASD may not be diagnosed until they reach adulthood, which can be frustrating if they’ve struggled with symptoms all their lives and don’t know what it’s about. acted.

Early diagnosis is important

If you think your child may have ASD, it’s important to get them evaluated by a doctor as soon as possible. Early intervention is essential for people with ASD because it can help them learn important skills earlier in life that will carry over into adulthood. Early intervention also gives parents the opportunity to work with therapists and educators to develop strategies to help their child manage their symptoms, which can make things easier later on.

If you think you or someone you know might have ASD, it’s important to talk to a doctor or mental health professional. They can guide you through the diagnostic process and help you develop a treatment plan that best suits your situation. With more understanding and awareness, people with ASD can live happy and fulfilling lives, even if it’s different from what many of us consider “normal” or “typical.”

ASD is a complex disorder that affects people in different ways. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to diagnosis or treatment, but early intervention is important for people with ASD. With more understanding and awareness, people with ASD can live happy and fulfilling lives.

Remember that ASD is different for everyone – so don’t be afraid to ask for help if you or someone you know is struggling.

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SCOTUS opinion could put General Assembly in the driver’s seat on abortion rights https://www.novascotiadownsyndromesociety.com/scotus-opinion-could-put-general-assembly-in-the-drivers-seat-on-abortion-rights/ Thu, 05 May 2022 18:51:37 +0000 https://www.novascotiadownsyndromesociety.com/scotus-opinion-could-put-general-assembly-in-the-drivers-seat-on-abortion-rights/ A leaked Supreme Court draft opinion signaling the High Court’s move to strike down federal abortion protections has sparked new debate about abortion policy in Pennsylvania and underscored the role that State lawmakers could have in determining abortion access in the state for years to come. In the draft opinion, which was authored by Judge […]]]>

A leaked Supreme Court draft opinion signaling the High Court’s move to strike down federal abortion protections has sparked new debate about abortion policy in Pennsylvania and underscored the role that State lawmakers could have in determining abortion access in the state for years to come.

In the draft opinion, which was authored by Judge Samuel Alito and first reported by Politico, Alito writes that the Court’s decision on Roe v. Wade was “extremely wrong from the start” that the US Constitution does not explicitly protect the right to an abortion. The opinion does not represent the Court’s final decision, but would mark a major shift in abortion and leave it up to states to decide the issue of access to abortion – giving the General Assembly Pennsylvania a major power over what abortion access will look like in the Commonwealth if the Court decides to overturn the judgment.

Pennsylvania lawmakers are already bracing for what a post-Roe future might look like, with Democrats pledging to defend abortion rights at every turn. But Republicans who control the state legislature appear ready to rush the decision and achieve their long-sought goal of reducing abortions.

In a statement released this week, House Health Committee Chair Kathy Rapp, a key guardian of abortion law, said the draft opinion says “the scales of justice will weigh finally in favor of overturning Roe v. Wade”.

“Regardless of whether this leak, the United States Supreme Court’s preliminary ruling signals the final Armageddon for Roe v. Wade, as Majority Chairman of the House Health Committee and Majority Co-Chairman of the bipartisan Pro-Life Caucus, I can confirm that the Pennsylvania Legislature is already well positioned to successfully advance some of the strongest pro-life legislation in the history of our Commonwealth,” Rapp said in a statement.

All abortion-related bills must first pass through Rapp’s committee before being voted on by the State House, and Rapp has already led several bills through his committee that seek to restrict abortion. access to abortion.

This session, the House Health Committee approved several bills to ban abortion in certain circumstances. One, which was approved by the committee on May 25, 2021, would ban abortions based on a prenatal diagnosis of Down syndrome. This bill, House Bill 1500, was approved by House lawmakers last June. The second bill approved by the committee, a so-called Heartbill Bill sponsored by State Rep. Stephanie Borowicz, a Clinton County Republican, would ban abortions if heart activity can be detected in the uterus. This legislation, House Bill 904, was also defeated by the committee last May, but has yet to receive a vote in the House.

Any standard bill approved by lawmakers will be vetoed by Gov. Tom Wolf. At a press conference in Philadelphia on Wednesday, Wolf reiterated his opposition to any legislative effort that would limit access to abortion. He called the draft notice quashing Roe v. Wade of “un-American” and “unacceptable”.

“Abortion is health care, and it should remain safe and legal,” Wolf said. “If the Supreme Court adopts this decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, it will jeopardize the right of every American to make their own private medical decisions.”

Wolf has regularly vetoed legislation to outlaw abortion in certain circumstances throughout his tenure, though he will leave office in 2013 due to its limited term, raising the stakes in the race for victory. governorship this year. And if lawmakers choose to try to circumvent Wolf’s office with a constitutional amendment, the Democratic governor would be powerless to try to stop such an effort because he cannot veto constitutional amendments.

Constitutional amendments must be passed by both houses of the legislature in two consecutive legislative sessions and then approved by voters in a referendum. A governor cannot approve or veto proposed constitutional amendments.

State Senator Judy Ward, a Republican from Blair County, led an effort to codify language in the state constitution that would emphasize that Pennsylvanians do not have the right to abortion — or the taxpayer financing of abortion services.

She said in a statement Thursday that her measure would not further restrict access to abortion per se. “Currently, Medicaid covers both non-elective abortions and voluntary abortions involving cases of rape or incest, but still withholds funding from all other elective bodies. If the constitutional amendment is approved by voters, that will not change,” Ward said. “The abortion control law will also remain the law. The language does not ban abortions, but rather ensures that abortion policy in Pennsylvania emanates from elected representatives of the people A spokesman for the Senate Republican Caucus said the Senate’s priorities would not change based on a leaked draft decision. “This matter remains with the United States Supreme Court until a opinion be given,” said GOP Senate spokeswoman Erica Clayton Wright. “The primary goal of the Pennsylvania Senate is to address the structural imbalance in our state’s economy, which is masked by the influ of funding related to the COVID-19 pandemic. It is critical that we move Pennsylvania’s economy in the right direction and address the real effects that President Joe Biden’s economic plan is having on Pennsylvanians in the form of inflation, rising oil prices, energy and rising gas and food prices.

Jason Gottesman, spokesman for House Republicans, also said the House Republican Caucus was hesitant to base its decisions on the draft notice. Gottesman said a majority of Pennsylvanians oppose “unrestricted access to abortion,” citing a March 2022 Franklin & Marshall College poll that found 31% of voters support abortion under all circumstances — 53% think it should be legal in “certain circumstances” and 13% think it should be illegal.

“We will continue to review pending pro-life legislation and any further decisions will be made through the normal legislative process,” he said.

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