NPR Health

Goats and Soda
5:40 pm
Thu January 22, 2015

30-Year Sentence Lifted For Woman In El Salvador Abortion Case

In November, women in El Salvador marched for the freedom of 17 women accused of abortion, including Carmen Guadalupe Vasquez Aldana. She was pardoned this week.
Luis Galdamez Xinhua /Landov

Seven years ago, Carmen Guadalupe Vasquez Aldana went to jail in El Salvador. She was initially charged with abortion but prosecutors elevated the charge to aggravated homicide, arguing that the fetus was viable. Vasquez always contended that she did not have an abortion but had lost her unborn son due to medical complications late in the pregnancy.

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Shots - Health News
5:07 pm
Thu January 22, 2015

States Continue Push To Ban Abortions After 20 Weeks

Anti-abortion activists participate in the annual "March for Life" in Washington, D.C., on Thursday.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Thu January 22, 2015 8:32 pm

House Republicans decided Wednesday night to shelve a bill that would have banned abortion at 20 weeks post-conception. But 10 states already ban abortions at 20 weeks and two others are defending such laws in court.

Activists are pushing for bans in at least three more states; a panel in the South Carolina Legislature passed one Thursday.

But under the 1973 Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade, a woman has the right to an abortion for several weeks after that, until the point when the fetus is considered viable.

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Shots - Health News
4:39 pm
Thu January 22, 2015

Obama's Big Bid To Change Sick-Leave Laws May Hinge On Small Business

One demonstrator advocates for paid sick leave at a 2013 rally outside New York's city hall. The city is now one of several in the U.S. to have passed a measure mandating paid sick days.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Originally published on Mon January 26, 2015 12:17 am

In his State of the Union speech earlier this week, President Obama pitched a plan to boost what he called "middle-class economics." He asked Congress to help him make community college free, cut taxes for the middle class — and also do this:

"Send me a bill that gives every worker in America the opportunity to earn seven days of paid sick leave," Obama said. "It's the right thing to do."

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Shots - Health News
4:18 pm
Thu January 22, 2015

Finding Crime Clues In What Insects Had For Dinner

A scorpion fly perches on a leaf at the research farm where Lindgren studied the decomposition of human remains. Scorpion flies are among the first insects to visit a corpse.
Courtesy of Natalie Lindgren

Originally published on Fri January 23, 2015 5:41 pm

As any CSI enthusiast understands, the tiniest details can help forensic scientists figure out how and when people died. These days, investigators are taking advantage of information about microbes that live on human bodies and the insects that come to feed on corpses to crack cases.

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Shots - Health News
3:45 pm
Thu January 22, 2015

Maybe Early Humans Weren't The First To Get A Good Grip

An example of a human precision grip — grasping a first metacarpal from the thumb of a specimen of Australopithecus africanus that's thought to be 2 to 3 million years old.
T.L. Kivell & M. Skinner

Originally published on Fri January 23, 2015 12:55 pm

The special tool-wielding power of human hands may go back farther in evolutionary history than scientists have thought.

That's according to a new study of hand bones from an early relative of humans called Australopithecus africanus. Researchers used a powerful X-ray technique to scan the interior of the bones, and they detected a telltale structure that's associated with a forceful precision grip.

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