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According to new research, about 8,000 women per month obtained abortion pills in late 2023, despite living in states that have bans or severe restrictions on telemedicine abortion or abortion access. The survey also found that the abortion rate in 2023 was slightly higher than in 2022, despite total abortion bans in more than a dozen states.

“The number of abortions in the United States remained consistently elevated compared to pre-Dobbs levels, even as 14 states have banned abortion completely,” reads a Tuesday press release. “This elevated volume of abortion may be due in part to the expansion of telehealth abortion care, which made up 19% of all abortion care nationwide by December 2023.”

After the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in June 2022, a rash of states jumped to ban abortion entirely or place severe restrictions on the practice. Nearly two years later, 14 states have completely banned abortion, and three more have banned it after six weeks into the pregnancy.

However, research has indicated that the total number of U.S. abortions didn’t necessarily go down following Roe ‘s overturn. In the one survey released Tuesday by the abortion-rights group Society of Family Planning, the total number of abortions seemed to increase modestly in 2023 when compared to the year before.

The survey, called #WeCount, found that in 2022, there were around 82,000 abortions per month. In 2023, the rate had gone up to 86,000even after excluding a bump in abortion numbers coming from women who obtained otherwise illegal telemedicine abortions under abortion-provider-protecting “shield laws.”

Further, the survey found that by December 2023, almost one in five U.S. abortions are provided through telehealth. Surprisingly, around half of these abortions occurred in states where telehealth abortion is otherwise illegal or severely restricted. While the survey found that around 17,000 women per month from October to December 2023 were prescribed abortion pills by telehealth, 8,000 of these prescriptions went to women who lived in states where telehealth abortion is banned.

How is this possible? The researchers suggest that the introduction of shield laws in a handful of states played a major role. So far, five states have passed laws protecting medical providers from possible prosecution for helping women obtain medication abortions that are illegal in another state. The shield laws prohibit officials from cooperating with investigations or prosecutions related to such abortions.

This led to a noted uptick in #WeCount’s numbers. “Part of the increase in 2023 is due to abortions being provided under shield laws, starting in July 2023, and #WeCount’s subsequent inclusion of these abortions,” the report states. “These abortions may have previously occurred outside the formal healthcare system prior to the use of shield laws.”

This latest research shows just how difficult it is to truly ban abortion as long as telehealth prescriptions for abortion pills remain readily available. Since the end of Roe , not only have women seeking to end their pregnancies frequently traveled out of state for abortion procedures, but they’ve also been able to get abortion pills delivered to their door. However, even the Society of Family Planning admits they can’t accurately estimate all abortions in the United States.

“Providers in the formal healthcare system, including those protected by shield laws, are not the only source of abortion medications,” reads Tuesday’s report . “We are unable to estimate the number of abortions that occurred outside clinician-provided care, including those provided by online stores that sell abortion medications, volunteer accompaniment networks, and other types of self-managed abortion.”

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Entertainment

Bruce Springsteen cancels shows over ‘vocal issues’

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Bruce Springsteen cancels shows over 'vocal issues'

Bruce Springsteen has cancelled a series of dates due to “vocal issues”, days after performing in what he described as “hellacious” weather in Sunderland.

The US star, 74, postponed shows in Marseille, Prague and Milan over the next fortnight, with his European tour set to resume in Madrid on 12 June.

In an Instagram post on Sunday, he said he was “recuperating comfortably” and he and the E Street Band “look forward to resuming their hugely successful European stadium tour”.

With “further examination” and “consulting”, the statement also said, doctors determined Bruce “should not perform for the next 10 days”.

Springsteen had played at Sunderland’s Stadium of Light on Wednesday, where he admitted the weather was particularly wet.

As he was honoured at London’s Ivor Novello Awards on Thursday, he said: “We just… came out of the plane in Sunderland last night, (it was) hellacious weather.

Dave Hogan/Hogan Media/Shutterstock

Ivor Novello Awards, Portrait Studio, Grosvenor House, London, UK - 23 May 2024
Bruce Springsteen with his Fellowship of The Ivors Academy and Sir Paul McCartney pose in the Studio at The Ivors with Amazon Music - May 23, 2024 in London United Kingdom. (Photo by Hogan Media/Shutterstock)

23 May 2024
Image:
Sir Paul McCartney presented Bruce Springsteen with the Fellowship of The Ivors Academy. Pic: Dave Hogan/Hogan Media/Shutterstock

“Driving rain storm, the wind blowing, blowing, blowing, and standing… in front of me, in the rain, I realised: these are my people.”

Springsteen also treated the audience to his song Thunder Road, after Sir Paul McCartney presented him with his Ivors Academy fellowship.

New dates for his postponed shows will be announced shortly, according to his Instagram account, and anyone seeking a refund “will be able to obtain it at their original point of purchase”.

Read more:
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He rescheduled dates in August last year in the US after he was taken ill, and cancelled planned concerts in March 2023 over other issues.

His first major tour in six years saw him play a headline gig in London’s Hyde Park in July 2023.

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Sports

Braves star Acuña out for season with torn ACL

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Braves star Acuña out for season with torn ACL

Atlanta Braves star outfielder Ronald Acuña Jr. will miss the rest of the season after he tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee during Sunday’s 8-1 victory at Pittsburgh.

The reigning NL MVP led off the game with a double to right-center field off Martin Perez. With Marcell Ozuna at the plate, Acuña started toward third on a stolen base attempt and his left knee gave way. Acuña remained down for several minutes while being treated, pointing at his left leg before walking off under his own power.

The Braves’ initial diagnosis was left knee soreness. But the team announced Sunday night that an MRI showed a complete ACL tear that will require season-ending surgery.

Acuña tore his right ACL on July 20, 2021. Wearing a brace in the clubhouse after Sunday’s win, the 26-year-old outfielder said this injury felt less severe.

“(I) don’t feel that painful, any pop or anything. … Don’t think it’s that bad,” Acuña said.

Acuña said he was looking to take third when he anticipated a slow throw back to the mound from catcher Joey Bart. The toss came in harder than expected, leading to an abrupt pivot back to second with his knee twisting.

Acuña is batting .250 with four homers and 15 RBIs in 49 games. The four-time All-Star hit a career-best .337 last season with 41 homers and 106 RBIs.

Atlanta already was missing All-Star right-hander Spencer Strider, whose season ended on April 13 when he had internal brace surgery to repair the ulnar collateral ligament in his pitching elbow. Third baseman Austin Riley is day to day with a left intercostal strain, and catcher Sean Murphy remains on the 10-day injured list with an oblique injury after he got hurt on opening day.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Politics

Could Trump’s win nix SEC crypto suits? Critics say he’s ‘pandering’ for votes

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Could Trump’s win nix SEC crypto suits? Critics say he’s ‘pandering’ for votes

One crypto lawyer thinks a Donald Trump election win would revert some SEC crypto lawsuits, but others note he hasn’t always kept campaign promises.

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