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Supreme Court Strikes Down Abortion Provisions: Monday’s Show (June 27, 2016)

The U.S. Supreme Court this morning (June 27, 2016), in a 5-3 ruling, struck down two provisions of a Texas law regulating abortion:  one requiring doctors who perform abortions to have hospital admissions privileges within 30 miles; the other requiring clinics that provide abortions to meet the standards of outpatient surgical centers. The state argued […]

The US Supreme Court building in Washington, DC. Photo: Wikipedia Commons/Public DomainThe U.S. Supreme Court this morning (June 27, 2016), in a 5-3 ruling, struck down two provisions of a Texas law regulating abortion:  one requiring doctors who perform abortions to have hospital admissions privileges within 30 miles; the other requiring clinics that provide abortions to meet the standards of outpatient surgical centers. The state argued the provisions were put in place to protect women’s health. Opponents argued the requirements were established in a thinly veiled attempt to close most clinics providing abortions in order to limit women’s access to the procedure, creating an “undue burden” on patients. Five Justices agreed. 

Writing for the majority, Justice Stephen Breyer declared “neither of these provisions offers medical benefits sufficient to justify the burdens upon access that each imposes. Each places a substantial obstacle in the path of women seeking a pre-viability abortion, each constitutes an undue burden on abortion access…and each violates the Federal Constitution.”

Breyer was joined by Justices Elena Kagan, Sonia Sotomayor, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Anthony Kennedy. Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas dissented.

On this edition of Houston Matters, we discuss the ruling with Josh Blackman, associate professor of law at the newly dubbed Houston College of Law (formerly the South Texas College of Law), and News 88.7’s health and science reporter Carrie Feibel.

Also this hour:

Why Asthma-Related Fatalities Strike African-Americans More Than Others

African-Americans are nearly three times more likely to die from asthma-related causes than the white population, according to 2013 data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A new study being conducted in Houston aims to address some of the reasons why. We discuss the study, and welcome your asthma-related health questions, as we talk with Dr. Nick Hanania, an associate professor of medicine at Baylor College of Medicine. He also directs the Adult Asthma Clinic at Ben Taub Hospital.

A New Eating Disorder Added to the DSM

Anorexia was added to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, known as the DSM, in 1952. That made the illness more recognizable by doctors and eventually the general public. The same recognition of the disorder bulimia came later — in 1980. Recently a new disorder has made it into the DSM. It’s called orthorexia nervosa. We find out what that is — and what it means for those who suffer from eating disorders — from Amanda Holben, a registered dietitian with Fork in the Road Nutrition Counseling.

An Astros Winning Streak Ends; Dwight Howard Heads to Free Agency

The Houston Astros saw their season-high seven-game winning streak come to an end Sunday but did manage to take two out of three on the road (and by large margins) against the world champion Kansas City Royals this weekend. Meanwhile, as expected, Rockets star Dwight Howard will become a free agent. And so, his current team drafted two big men. We talk over these and other developments in Houston sports with Jeff Balke.

Houston Matters offers a free daily, downloadable podcast here, on iTunes, Stitcher and various other podcasting apps.

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