Jun 19, 2018

Top pediatrician says family separation is "child abuse"

Tents to house unaccompanied migrant children are seen at the Tornillo-Marcelino Serna Port of Entry on June 18, 2018 in Tornillo, Texas. Photo: Christ Chavez/Getty Images

Separating children from their parents at the border and keeping them in temporary detention centers is a form of child abuse, the head of the American Academy of Pediatrics said yesterday.

What we're hearing: “This does amount to child abuse. These children have been traumatized in their trip up to the border, and the first thing that happens is we take away the one constant in their life that helps them buffer all of these horrible experiences,” AAP president Colleen Kraft said on CNN.

  • Kraft, who has visited one of the detention centers, was talking less about day-to-day functions like providing meals and changing diapers, and more about the separation from parents.
  • The process produces “toxic stress,” Kraft said. “It inhibits the development of their brains. It disrupts their brain architecture and keeps them from developing language and social, emotional bonds.”

Go deeper: If you’ve been confused about how this process unfolds and when the Department of Health and Human Services gets involved, Axios’ Stef Kight has you covered.

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 8 p.m. ET: 1,595,350 — Total deaths: 95,455 — Total recoveries: 353,975Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 8 p.m. ET: 461,437 — Total deaths: 16,478 — Total recoveries: 25,410Map.
  3. Public health latest: U.S. has expelled thousands of migrants under a CDC public health orderDr. Anthony Fauci said social distancing could reduce the U.S. death toll to 60,000.
  4. Business latest: The Fed will lend up to $2.3 trillion for businesses, state and city governments — After another 6.6 million jobless claims, here's how to understand the scale of American job decimation.
  5. States latest: FEMA has asked governors to decide if they want testing sites to be under state or federal control.
  6. World latest: Lockdowns have led to a decline in murders in some of the world's most violent countries — Boris Johnson is moved out of the ICU but remains in hospital with coronavirus.
  7. In Congress: Senate in stalemate over additional funding for small business relief program.
  8. 1 SNL thing: "Saturday Night Live" will return to the air this weekend with a remotely produced episode.
  9. What should I do? Hydroxychloroquine questions answeredPets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk.
  10. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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Gov. Greg Abbott. Photo: Tom Fox-Pool/Getty Images

A federal judge ruled Thursday that clinics in Texas can immediately offer medication abortions — a pregnancy termination method administered by pill — and can also provide the procedure to patients nearing the state's time limits for abortions.

Driving the news: The decision comes after federal appeals court ruled 2-1 on Tuesday in favor of an executive order by Republican Gov. Greg Abbott that prohibits abortions during the coronavirus outbreak.

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Where things stand: Nearly every country on Earth is still seeing their caseload increase, and a recent uptick in Singapore shows that apparent victory over the virus can be fleeting. But several countries are providing reason for optimism.

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