May 8, 2019

Virginia expands range of medical professionals who can perform abortions

U.S. District Judge Henry E. Hudson issued the ruling Monday night. Photo: The Washington Post/Getty Images

U.S. District Judge Henry E. Hudson struck down a law that says only licensed physicians can perform abortions during the first trimester of a woman's pregnancy, reports AP.

Why it matters: This decision may increase access to abortions by allowing more medical professionals able to perform the procedure. It comes after a flurry of restrictive abortion bills have been passed across the country. Over 250 bills restricting abortion partially or completely have been filed in 41 states in 2019, according to Planned Parenthood.

Details: In his opinion, Hudson said the law "is unnecessary and provides minimal medical benefits with respect to first trimester abortions" increasing the burden to women who seek abortions, per AP. Midwives, nurse practitioners and physician assistants with the proper training will be permitted to perform abortions, the Washington Post reports.

Go deeper: Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp signs "fetal heartbeat" abortion ban into law

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Q&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

As the coronavirus continues to spread throughout the U.S., Axios is answering readers' questions about the pandemic — how it spreads, who's at risk, and what you can do to stay safe.

What's new: This week, we answer five questions on smokers' vulnerability, food safety, visiting older parents, hair cut needs, and rural vs. urban impact.

The other coronavirus test we need

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Researchers are racing to develop tests that detect whether someone may have developed immunity to the coronavirus, which could help society return to normal faster.

Why it matters: These tests could help people know if they are able to go back to work, as well as aid researchers in tracking the scale and death rate of the disease — key data for current and future pandemic policies.

Go deeperArrow13 mins ago - Health

What the U.S. can learn from other countries in the coronavirus fight

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Note: Cases are shown on a logarithmic scale; Chart: Naema Ahmed/Axios

The countries that have most successfully fended off the novel coronavirus have mainly done it with a combination of new technology and old-school principles.

Why it matters: There's a lot the U.S. can learn from the way other countries have handled this global pandemic — although we may not be able to apply those lessons as quickly as we'd like.

Go deeperArrow16 mins ago - Health