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dkfielding/iStock(WASHINGTON) -- A unanimous Supreme Court has blocked, for now, a class-action lawsuit against pharmaceutical giant Merck over "atypical femoral fractures" caused by osteoporosis drug Fosamax.

More than 500 Fosamax users from 45 states contend the company failed to warn them or their doctors of the danger, despite early evidence suggesting the increase potential for spontaneous bone breaks without any previous stress.

Merck, which does not dispute the risk and has included a warning with prescriptions since 2010, argued it cannot be held liable for damages in state courts because the Food and Drug Administration in 2009 rejected a proposed warning to patients.

"When the FDA exercises this authority, it makes careful judgments about what warnings should appear on a drug's label for the safety of consumers," Justice Stephen Breyer writes in the court's opinion.

"For that reason, we have previously held that 'clear evidence' that the FDA would not have approved a change to the drug's label preempts a claim, grounded in state law, that a drug manufacturer failed to warn consumers of the change-related risks associated with using the drug," he wrote.

The case was returned to a lower court for further proceedings.

The justices clarified that it should be left to a judge, not a jury, to decide the preemption question in class-action drug-harm suits, as occurred in this case. But they left the door open for patients to challenge drug companies on the facts surrounding information provided to the FDA -- up front -- ahead of a labeling decision.

Patient advocates have said a decision siding with Merck in the case would embolden drug manufacturers to provide insufficient and misleading information to FDA, in effect insulating themselves from potential legal liability. "It's the pharmaceutical company's job to write the drug label," said Medshadow's Sue Robotti.

Manufacturers are required by law to inform patients of potential adverse reactions to their drugs as soon as reasonable evidence exists. But the FDA has ultimate authority to approve or reject the wording that appears on drug labels.

In a 2008 application to the FDA, Merck proposed revising the warning language for Fosamax, describing a heightened risk of “stress fractures.”

One year later, the FDA rejected that draft language, saying the warning was “not warranted and is not adequately supported by the available literature” and asked for revised language.

Merck said the FDA’s conclusion, based on available evidence at the time, means the company cannot be held liable for failing to warn consumers as required under state law because the federal government wouldn’t allow it.

On Monday, the Supreme Court agreed.

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SOURCE: Centers for Disease Control as of May 17, 2019. (ABC News)(NEW YORK) -- The number of measles cases in the U.S. continues to climb but at a slightly slower rate than previous weeks.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said there have been 880 cases in the U.S. since January.

The number of measles cases in 2019 has already blown past the reported cases in recent years.

In early May, there were 60 new cases in a week, and in late April, that number jumped to 78 cases in one week. There were 71 new cases the week before that.

The latest numbers through May 17 show that there was an increase of 41 cases from the prior report.

Oklahoma reported its first measles diagnosis, bringing the total to 24 states with reported cases.

The majority of the reported cases are in New York. New York City health officials say there have been a total of 498 confirmed cases in Brooklyn and Queens since the outbreak there began in September. There have been been 231 confirmed cases as of May 17 in New York's Rockland County.

Washington state was home to a significant outbreak earlier in 2019 and there have been a total of 78 cases in the state this year.

In California, there have been 45 reported cases in four outbreaks.

The CDC said the majority of people who got measles were unvaccinated.

Measles was eliminated in the country in 2000 but the CDC notes that measles is still common in many parts of the world and travel is one reason why it has returned to the U.S.

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ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- Janne Kouri, who was paralyzed in 2006, has accomplished what most able-bodied people will never do. He completed a 3,100-mile ride across the country, from California to Washington, D.C.

Kouri completed the ride to raise money and awareness for people living with paralysis. He used a specialized power chair and was surrounded by family and friends on his two-month journey.

One of those friends was ABC News correspondent Will Reeve, whose own father, the late Christopher Reeve, was paralyzed in a horse riding accident in 1995.

"People used to tell my dad, 'You were meant for this to happen to you,'" Reeve recalled. "And he was like, 'What do you mean? I had a life. I had plans and now they've completely changed.'"

When Reeve asked Kouri if he has found himself equipped to handle all he has been through, Kouri replied, "Definitely."

"I knew it happened for a reason," Kouri said of the 2006 accident that left him instantly paralyzed when he dove into a sandbar in the Pacific Ocean.

Kouri said his "reason" is NextStep Fitness, the Los Angeles-based non-profit organization he founded in 2008 to make rehabilitation and fitness available to individuals living with paralysis. Today there are seven NextStep Fitness gyms across the country and there are plans to expand.

"Insurance on average only covers 36 days of rehab for people, and then you're sent home with access to nothing," Kouri said.

NextStep is a member of the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation NeuroRecovery Network (NRN), a network of rehabilitation centers founded by Will Reeve's late parents.

Kouri's own commitment to exercise and physical therapy has brought him personal returns, too. In May 2009, Kouri took his first steps in three years with the assistance of a walker.

At the time of his accident, Kouri, a former star defensive tackle for Georgetown University's football team, was told he would never walk again.

"What I love and miss and I'm so grateful in that moment is just how tall he is," said Kouri's wife, Susan, who was his girlfriend at the time of his accident. "I forget that most days and it's just great to see him in that way, to see him standing and see him be as large in stature as he is in his heart."

Kouri said his greatest physical milestone recently has been his ability to ride across the country. The ride raised over $350,000 for people living with paralysis.

He has another major goal planned for 2021, he told Reeve, but has not yet revealed the details.

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ABC(NEW YORK) -- The View co-host Whoopi Goldberg was joined by her doctors, Dr. Jorge Rodriguez and Dr. Martin Greenberg, on Monday morning to share the story of how close she was to death's door during her battle with double pneumonia and sepsis earlier this year.

Goldberg said that she had felt "sick for a while" since at least November 2018, and it "kept going" until Donald Trump's State of the Union Address.

"This can't be the only reason I'm feeling sick," Goldberg said she thought to herself while watching the president on television.

Eventually Goldberg got on the phone with her primary physician, Dr. Jorge Rodriguez, who said he could "barely understand what she was saying" during their conversation, because her teeth were chattering from her uncontrollable shivering.

"She was gasping for air" prior to going to the hospital, Dr. Rodriguez said.

When Goldberg told her doctor she was unable to walk and wanted to go to sleep, Dr. Rodriguez knew "it sounded very serious," he said.

"She couldn't breathe," the doctor said. "Her teeth were chattering, she was obviously in what we call rigors," which he described as an episode of shaking chills.

Every episode of ABC's award-winning talk show "The View" is now available as a podcast! Listen and subscribe for free on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, TuneIn, Spotify, Stitcher or the ABC News app.

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Seattle Children's(SEATTLE) -- Emma Krall has spent much of the first 23 months of her life in a hospital.

The Seattle, Washington, toddler was born nine weeks premature on June 20, 2017, and spent the next eight months in the hospital.

She was born with campomelic dysplasia, a potentially life-threatening disorder that affects development of the skeleton, reproductive system and other parts of the body, according to the National Institutes of Health.

Emma returned to Seattle Children's in March, six weeks before she underwent major spinal surgery. She spent her time in the hospital before surgery in halo-gravity traction in order to stabilize her spinal cord and prevent her from becoming paralyzed, according to her pediatric neurosurgeon, Dr. Samuel Browd.

The Disney princess-obsessed toddler passed the time at the hospital by watching Disney movies and dreaming of princesses, according to her mother, Rachel Krall.

"We watch Disney movies all the time at our house and the hospital," said Krall, noting Emma especially loves Tangled and The Little Mermaid. "Emma has always loved flowers and pink and really anything girly."

Emma then underwent a nearly five-hour spinal surgery last month. During her recovery, her mom and nurses decorated her halo with flowers and a paper crown.

When she was finally strong enough to leave Seattle Children's in May, her doctors and nurses gave her a send-off worthy of a princess.

In fact, they brought in Rapunzel from the Disney movie Tangled to surprise Emma in her hospital room.

"Her reaction to Rapunzel coming through the door was kind of, 'Whoa, who is this girl?,' and then she really had fun," Krall said of Emma, who cannot talk due to a tracheostomy tube. "She played peek-a-boo with her and counted, and those are her two favorite things."

Then, Emma's entire medical team of doctors and nurses arrived in her room wearing tiaras and carrying magic wands themselves.

"It was definitely the first time I've had a tiara on, but we've done some fun stuff for kids over the years," said Browd. "That's what really special about children's hospitals, the ability to think of them as kids instead of just patients and to create some fun for them under what are really trying circumstances."

Emma's pediatric orthopaedic surgeon, Dr. Klane White, said special moments of fun like the princess surprise they created for Emma are more important to a patient's recovery than most people realize.

"I've spent my entire career devoted to taking care of kids who have chronic, life-threatening diseases and these types of acts, they add up and they make a big difference," he said. "For Emma and her family, it's just some recognition of what they've been through and what they have ahead."

Krall, who has been by her only child's side for every moment of her treatment, described the surprise princess send-off as "a really sweet moment."

"It was really touching that they had thought so much about Emma and wanted to give back to her in a certain way, with princesses," she said. "It was a touching and humbling experience and I just hope Emma has given joy to others too."

Disney is the parent company of ABC News.

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iStock/AndreyPopov(CHICAGO) -- Health officials in Chicago have confirmed the city's first case of measles, the latest in the worst outbreak in the U.S. in the last 25 years.

The Chicago Department of Public Health said officials identified an individual with the virus on Friday.

In a statement, the city said additional "exposures may have occurred" Thursday at O’Hare International Airport, the University of Illinois Chicago (UIC) campus and the Chicago Loop. Residents may have also been exposed in Millennium Park, retail establishments on State Street between Monroe and Randolph Streets, and on South Canal Street, according to the city.

“Measles is a serious yet preventable disease through a safe, effective and universally available vaccine,” said CDPH Commissioner Julie Morita, M.D. “Chicagoans should make sure their children and family members are up to date on vaccines now. Vaccination is the best way to protect against measles.”

The city said its health officials are monitoring high-risk locations to contain exposure.

In 23 states across the country, there have 839 cases of measles documented as of May 10, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The spike in measles cases this year marks the highest number of infections since 1994.

New York has the highest number of reported measles cases in the U.S., according to health officials. Since September, New York City has had nearly 500 confirmed cases, according to the city's health department.

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iStock/torwai(NEW YORK) -- Teen suicide trends have long shown differences between the sexes: While girls have been more likely to attempt suicide, boys have died by suicide at higher rates. This disparity, however, may be getting smaller.

Suicide rates among both girls and boys ages 10 to 19 had been on a downtrend throughout most of the 1990s until 2007, when they began increasing. However, they rose at a higher pace among girls compared to boys, a new study has found.

The authors of the study from Nationwide Children’s Hospital explained that the narrowing of the gap was related to changes in the method of suicide. Whereas girls had been more likely to die by suicide from poisoning in the past, the study’s findings suggested they had shifted to more lethal means, including suffocation and hanging.

“One of the potential contributors to this gender paradox is that males tend to use more violent means, such as guns or hanging,” said Jeff Bridge, co-author of the study and director of the Center for Suicide Prevention and Research at Nationwide, in a press release. “That makes the narrowing of the gender gap in suicide by hanging or suffocation that we found especially concerning from a public health perspective.”

The researchers discovered the trend after looking at data on over 85,000 teen suicides that occurred between 1975 and 2016.

Bridge emphasized the importance of parents speaking to their kids and noticing the signs of suicidal thoughts and behavior.

“Parents need to be aware of the warning signs of suicide, which include a child making suicidal statements, being unhappy for an extended period, withdrawing from friends or school activities or being increasingly aggressive or irritable,” Bridge said. “If parents observe these warning signs in their child, they should consider taking the child to a mental health professional.”

If you or someone you know is having suicidal thoughts, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) where you’ll be put in touch with a local crisis center.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


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Jessica Rinaldi/The Boston Globe via Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The abortion debate in America has lately been dominated by news that conservative lawmakers in Alabama, Georgia, Ohio and Missouri had approved sweeping new restrictions to abortion access. But meanwhile, several states with Democratic majorities have been pushing through bills that fortify abortion rights.

While proponents of abortion rights had few outright victories, they say they are making progress.

On Tuesday, the Vermont House gave final approval to H.57, a bill that states abortion is a "fundamental right" and also protects the right to contraception, sterilization and family planning.

"Thank God for Vermont," state Sen. Virginia Lyons told ABC News on Friday. "We're a bastion of sanity and understanding of reproductive rights and process."

Lyons is also sponsoring Proposal 5, which would amend the state's Constitution to declare abortion a right. That proposal passed in the state House and Senate, but must be approved again by a majority in both houses in the next legislative session before it can go before voters in a referendum. Its proponents hope to see it on the ballot in 2022.

It's not just Vermont.

In Illinois, the Reproductive Health Act would establish reproductive health, including abortion, as a fundamental right. The bill has stalled since its introduction in February, and this week, its sponsor State Rep. Kelly Cassidy held a protest to call for movement on the act.

"The more we hear stories like Alabama, like Ohio, the more frustrating it becomes, because the threat is very real," she told ABC News, adding that watching the string of anti-abortion bills in another states is "the nightmare."

The bill has been sitting in a subcommittee and needs to be moved to a substantive committee for action to take place on it, The State Journal-Register reported. The Executive Committee has indicated they would take it as early as next week.

"I think that there is a lack of understanding of the urgency," Cassidy said, because the state has a Democratic majority. But, "this threat" to reproductive rights "is real," she said.

Cassidy supports the bill not just to preserve abortion access for the people of Illinois, she said, but also for the people from neighboring states, where restrictions are harsher, who go to Illinois for abortions. In 2017, over 5,500 women came to Illinois to get abortions, the Chicago Tribune reported.

Other states, though, have stumbled in their attempts to enact laws protecting abortion rights.

A Rhode Island Senate bill was voted down in committee this week. State Sen. Stephen Archambault, a Democrat, said the bill went too far and wasn't strict enough where it concerned abortion in later stages of a pregnancy.

"I wasn't comfortable with that," he told ABC News, acknowledging that he is "pro-choice," but had "serious concerns in the event that there is a post-viability, late-term abortion."

Archambault did draft an amendment that would codify Roe v. Wade in the state, but with stricter language around abortion in the later stages of a pregnancy. That amendment and a House bill "are still very much alive," he said.

Maryland House of Delegates Speaker Michael Busch withdrew a measure that would make abortion rights part of the state's constitution in February, saying he recognized it would not pass in both chambers of the State House and that he plans to reintroduce it in 2020, according to The Baltimore Sun.

Meanwhile, efforts to widen abortion access in Virginia led to a showdown between Gov. Ralph Northam and President Donald Trump. Since then, Trump has used increasingly violent and misleading language around "late-term abortions."

Conversations around "late-term abortion" were prompted in part by a long-awaited victory for abortion rights advocates in New York, where Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed the Reproductive Health Act in January. That act codifies abortion as a right in the state and legalized abortion in New York after 24 weeks of pregnancy if the patient's health or life is at risk or if the fetus is not viable.

State Sen. Liz Krueger, a sponsor of the bill, told ABC News it has been "extr1emely disturbing" to see the recent anti-abortion laws pass and be signed in other states.

"I am fairly mortified that state after state, it is older men who are trying to dictate what kind of health care doctors can perform in their state and what kind of health care rights women of fertility age can access," she said. "Who are these men who think they have the right to determine what every women are choosing for themselves in coordination with their doctors? How dare these men tell doctors we will throw you in jail for providing basic health care services?"

She added that in addition to a lack of apparent understanding of reproductive health some anti-abortion lawmakers have shown, they are also acting against the wishes of the people. While an equal percentage of Americans self-identified as "pro-choice" and "pro-life" in a 2018 Gallup poll, a total of 79% of Americans said they believe abortion should be legal under any or certain circumstances.

"I hope it does backfire on [the anti-abortion lawmakers]," Krueger said, "and I hope more and more states realize following New York's path is in the best interest of their residents."

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


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iStock/Southern Drone Group(WASHINGTON) -- Amid a wave of new anti-abortion laws passed in several states this week, celebrities — from A-list musicians like Lady Gaga and Rihanna to Hollywood heavyweights like Kerry Washington, Reese Witherspoon and Jordan Peele — are using their platforms to express their outrage.

But as "heartbeat" abortion bans face legal challenges across the country, Hollywood's influence is coming into particular focus in Georgia, where enticing tax incentives have helped transform the state into a production and filming oasis.

The Georgia Entertainment Industry Investment Act, which was signed into law in 2008, provides a 20% tax credit for companies that spend $500,000 or more in the state and grants an additional 10% tax credit if the project includes a promotional logo provided by the Peach State.

As activists prepare for what is set to be a prolonged legal battle -- which could make it all the way to the Supreme Court -- the "Hollywood of the South" is becoming a battleground where the entertainment industry is split on, among other issues, whether to boycott the state.

Why Hollywood has sway in Georgia

Earlier this month, Georgia became the fourth state this year alone to pass a "heartbeat" abortion ban when the state's Republican Gov. Brian Kemp signed a law that bans abortions after six weeks of pregnancy. Kentucky, Mississippi and Ohio also passed laws this year that ban abortion after a fetal heartbeat can be detected, which can happen about a month and a half after a woman becomes pregnant.

Before signing the law, Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp acknowledged that the state would likely face legal challenges.

"I realize that some may challenge it in a court of law but our job is to do what is right not what is easy," Kemp said.

Georgia is home to a multi-billion dollar film industry and, according to a study by the non-profit FilmL.A., more best performing films were made in Georgia in 2016 than any other state or country. Twelve of the 100 best performing films were made in California that year, while 17 were made in Georgia, which ranked in first place.

According to Project Casting, dozens of films and TV shows are filming in Georgia in May alone, including one of the most popular -- the Netflix hit "Stranger Things."

Then-Gov. Nathan Deal announced in April 2018 that the state's film and TV industry generated a total economic impact of $9.5 billion during the 2018 fiscal year, with 455 productions shot in the state representing $2.7 billion in direct spending.

But the abortion debate has forced companies to question whether they should continue doing business in the state. While several production studios indicated they would not film in Georgia in light of the anti-abortion bill, the biggest production companies have remained silent so far, as they track how the law will play out in court.

“Film and television production in Georgia supports more than 92,000 jobs and brings significant economic benefits to communities and families. It is important to remember that similar legislation has been attempted in other states, and has either been enjoined by the courts or is currently being challenged," a spokesman for the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) told ABC News. "The outcome in Georgia will also be determined through the legal process. We will continue to monitor developments.”

The MPAA is a trade association founded in 1922 and now represents the five major film studios in Hollywood — Walt Disney Studios, Paramount Pictures, Sony Pictures, Universal Pictures, Warner Bros., and Netflix — a leader in the streaming service industry. ABC News is owned by Disney.

To boycott or not to boycott

Actress Alyssa Milano — an outspoken political activist who has also been vocal in the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements — was one of the first to call for a boycott of Georgia, telling The Wrap, "I will do everything in my power to get as many productions as possible — including ‘Insatiable’ — to move out of this state which continues to put forth oppressive, hurtful policy that contradicts everything the entertainment industry stands for."

Several smaller production companies, including “The Wire” creator David Simon's Blown Deadline Productions, Mark Duplass and his Duplass Brothers Productions, Killer Films and CounterNarrative Films slammed the law and vowed to boycott the state.

"I can’t ask any female member of any film production with which I am involved to so marginalize themselves or compromise their inalienable authority over their own bodies. I must undertake production where the rights of all citizens remain intact. Other filmmakers will see this," Simon tweeted.

"Killer Films will no longer consider Georgia as a viable shooting location until this ridiculous law is overturned," CEO Christine Vachon tweeted.

"Don’t give your business to Georgia. Will you pledge with me not to film anything in Georgia until they reverse this backwards legislation?" Duplass wrote.

"No Georgia filming on any of our projects until the unconstitutional & anti-woman law is gone," Neal Dodson, who runs CounterNarrative Films with J. C. Chandor, tweeted.

And actor Jason Bateman, who is starring in Netflix' “Ozark” and HBO's “The Outsider," which are currently filming in Georgia, told The Hollywood Reporter on Thursday that he will boycott Georgia if the “heartbeat bill” goes into effect.

“If the ‘heartbeat bill’ makes it through the court system, I will not work in Georgia, or any other state, that is so disgracefully at odds with women’s rights,” he said.

ABC News has reached out to the governor's office, but a request for comment on the proposed boycotts was not immediately returned.

However, some of the biggest critics of the anti-abortion legislation fear that the boycott could backfire.

A group of women from the Georgia film and media industry, who oppose the anti-abortion legislation, urged Hollywood not to boycott the state in a petition that has garnered nearly 2000 signatures.

"It would be a great comfort to move to another place where the fights felt fair and the battles were easier to win. But that would be giving up and we are not quitters. To those who choose not to come to Georgia because of the actions of our government, we understand your reasoning," the petition says. "But please know this: Georgia’s hardworking women and many men in this industry will continue to be the resistance from the inside.

"With our voices, our art, and our daily boots on the ground, we’ll keep working for the leadership we deserve," the petition continued. "Your condemnation is understandable, but what we really need most is allies. Change is coming. Your support and encouragement is appreciated, however you can give it."

Former Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams -- who has also been rumored to be considering a run for the presidency -- echoed the sentiment and urged producers not to boycott Georgia. Instead, she urged supporters to help local organizations that are fighting the legislation.

“While I support those who want to live their values by not bringing their resources here, I do not want to harm the citizens of Georgia who are doing this work,” Abrams told MSNBC on Thursday.

"I appreciate the energy & passion of those who have called for a boycott - publicly or quietly. While we differ on strategy, we are in solidarity," Abrams also tweeted. "Your determination to bring attention to their hateful works & right this wrong should be lauded. Looking at you @Alyssa_Milano."

In response to an Abrams tweet, Milano pledged to donate $10,000 to "the grassroots orgs on the ground fighting against hurtful policies in Georgia" and challenged corporations that she has partnered up with in Georgia to match her donation.

Directors J.J. Abrams of Bad Robot Productions and Jordan Peele of Monkeypaw Productions announced in a joint statement that they will continue filming HBO’s “Lovecraft Country” in Georgia, but pledged to donate their salaries to the American Civil Liberties Union and Fair Fight Georgia.

“Governor Kemp’s ‘Fetal Heartbeat’ Abortion Law is an unconstitutional effort to further restrict women and their health providers from making private medical decisions on their terms," they said. "Make no mistake, this is an attack aimed squarely and purposely at women. We stand with Stacey Abrams and the hardworking people of Georgia, and will donate 100% of our respective episodic fees for this season to two organizations leading the charge against this draconian law: the ACLU of Georgia and Fair Fight Georgia. We encourage those who are able to funnel any and all resources to these organizations.”

And Georgia state representative Dar'shun Kendrick, a Democrat who is critical of the law, urged Hollywood not to boycott the state.

"I have constituents who benefit from the film and industry in GA. So instead of boycotting, I am advocating for taking BACK the House and Senate to majority democrats," Kendrick tweeted.

Several celebrities, including Kerry Washington, have pledged to donate to grassroots organizations to fight the law, but as this plays out in court, it has yet to be seen how the biggest players will respond.

Missouri became the latest state on Friday to push controversial anti-abortion laws forward when the Republican-led House passed a series of sweeping abortion restrictions, including an 8-week ban. The legislation, which includes an exception for medical emergencies, but not for cases of rape or incest, is set to be signed by the state's Republican Gov. Mike Parson.

"I’m beyond upset about the passing of new abortion bans in Alabama, Kentucky, Mississippi, Georgia, and Ohio. This is Unconstitutional and Abhorrent. We can not tolerate this attack on women’s fundamental rights," Witherspoon tweeted.

And on Wednesday, Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey signed a controversial abortion ban into law that makes it a felony for doctors in the state to perform abortions in all cases, with the only exception being when the life of the mother is threatened. It does not include exceptions for cases of rape or incest.

Ivey also acknowledged that the law will face legal challenges in a statement on Wednesday.

"No matter one’s personal view on abortion, we can all recognize that, at least for the short term, this bill may similarly be unenforceable. As citizens of this great country, we must always respect the authority of the U.S. Supreme Court even when we disagree with their decisions. Many Americans, myself included, disagreed when Roe v. Wade was handed down in 1973," she wrote. "The sponsors of this bill believe that it is time, once again, for the U.S. Supreme Court to revisit this important matter, and they believe this act may bring about the best opportunity for this to occur."

Oscar-nominated director DuVernay cautioned that what happened in Alabama could impact the nation.

"Don’t shake your head at Alabama and then keep going about your day. Realize that this is a warning. It’s Alabama and abortion today. It’s you and your rights tomorrow. Your silence will not save you. So speak up," she tweeted.

And several celebrities, including Rihanna and Lady Gaga, slammed the male lawmakers who voted for the laws.

"Take a look. these are the idiots making decisions for WOMEN in America. Governor Kay Ivey...SHAME ON YOU!!!!" Rihanna wrote, along with a photo of all 25 white, male Alabama state senators who voted for the bill.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


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ABC News(NEW YORK) -- A 9-year-old boy who was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in November received a life-changing surprise Friday on ABC News' Good Morning America.

The boy, Eli Morgan, met the Labrador retriever who will soon be his constant companion as his diabetes alert dog.

Eli and his family had been on a wait list for a diabetes alert dog for the past four months. Their new dog, Polar, will now undergo anywhere from eight to 12 months of training before he returns to Eli full-time.

Polar will be specially trained to smell Eli's scent and be able to notice changes in his blood sugar. Those changes can be life or death for a person with type 1 diabetes, a chronic condition in which the body can't make insulin, the hormone that regulates blood sugar.

"It’s peace of mind, just the security of knowing someone else is looking out for him too," said Eli's mom, Brooke Morgan. "And empowering him to just kind of, you know, take control of his disease."

Polar will be able to go to school with Eli and will allow him to once again be able to go to sleepovers at friends' houses, something Eli said he is looking forward to.

For someone like Eli with type 1 diabetes, a missing drop in their glucose can end up becoming a matter of life and death if hypoglycemia, the medical term for low blood sugar, sets in, according to ABC News' chief medical contributor Dr. Jennifer Ashton. Symptoms of hypoglycemia can include confusion, blurred or impaired vision, seizures -- and if not treated immediately it can lead to death.

"It can be dangerous if your blood sugar goes very, very high, which it can, and it can be very dangerous if it goes very, very low," Ashton said Friday. "With type 1 diabetes, different than type 2 [diabetes], your body is not making enough insulin so [people with type 1] need to take insulin in, which they do constantly."

People with type 1 diabetes must check their blood sugar levels constantly by pricking their fingers for blood and testing with a device called a glucometer. They must also deliver insulin into their bodies, through either shots or an insulin pump.

Having a trained dog like Eli soon will with Polar does not mean that a person with diabetes can stop monitoring their blood glucose levels, Ashton warns. It's incredibly important to remember that these dogs provide an added layer of protection, but it's still important to continue careful and diligent monitoring in case the dog ever does miss a sign.

Moreover, a medical alert dog can't deliver insulin or count carbohydrates. The person with diabetes still needs to do that work.

Matt Tarro, who has type 1 diabetes, brings his diabetic alert dog, Forrest, with him where ever he goes.

"It's a team," Tarro told GMA. "You need to have trust ... a great deal of trust with your partner."

Tarro said Forrest alerts him to changes around six times a day, indicating with his paw to tell him that he needs "to be mindful of what my blood glucose is right now."

Since he met Forrest two years ago, Tarro says he no longer feels alone in the fight.

"To have somebody with me all the time whose only job is to squeeze my arm when something's wrong," he said. "There's nothing better in the world."

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


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The Food and Drug Administration(WASHINGTON) -- Food and Drug Administration officials recalled several types of tattoo ink this week over worries that they could be contaminated with dangerous bacteria.

The Food and Drug Administration issued the warning to tattoo artists, ink retailers and anyone "considering a new tattoo," saying the inks could cause serious infections or other injuries.

It said six inks manufactured by Scalp Aesthetics, Dynamic Color and Color Art could be contaminated with microorganisms that can be dangerous when injected into the skin.

"Tattoo inks contaminated with microorganisms can cause infections and lead to serious health injuries when injected into the skin during a tattooing procedure, since there is an increased risk of infection any time the skin barrier is broken," the FDA said in a statement Wednesday.

The FDA said it became aware of the contaminated inks through routine surveys and inspections. It said consumers should ask their tattoo artists about the inks they're using before getting any work done.

"Consumers who have experienced symptoms of infection or an injury after administration of a tattoo should consult their healthcare professional and inform their tattoo artist," the statement said. "Ask the tattoo artist or studio about the tattoo inks they use and avoid the tattoo inks listed above, due to risk of infection and injury."

FDA officials said they are working with manufacturers and retailers to remove the contaminated products from the market.

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Moussa81/iStock(NEW YORK) -- Five more states are suing OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma for its alleged role in the U.S. opioid crisis, the states' attorneys general announced on Thursday.

West Virginia, Maryland, Kansas, Iowa and Wisconsin are filing lawsuits against the company which manufactures and markets the painkiller.

"The opioid epidemic was not inevitable," Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul said at a press conference announcing his case. "This epidemic has torn families apart. It has led to the overdose deaths of thousands of Wisconsinites. It has strained our foster care services. It has strained our health care system. It has strained our criminal justice system."

In the lawsuit, Kaul added that the drug crisis also had a major impact on the state’s economy, writing that "between 1999 and 2015, Wisconsin has lost 45,200 workers due to opioids."

Wisconsin is the only state of the five that is also suing Richard Sackler, the former president of Purdue Pharma, personally

In his lawsuit, Kaul wrote that as the former CEO of Purdue, Sackler "directed the deceptive sales and marketing practices within Purdue" and that he "knew and intended" that doctors and patients in the states would "rely on Purdue's deceptive sales campaigns to prescribe and take Purdue opioids."

The news comes one day after New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art announced it was following other cultural institutions in severing ties with the Sackler family, who have been prolific donors to the museum.

A representative for the Sackler family did not immediately return ABC News’ request for comment.

In a statement to ABC News on Thursday, Purdue said it "vigorously denies the allegations in the lawsuits filed on Thursday and will continue to defend itself against these misleading attacks."

"These complaints are part of a continuing effort to try these cases in the court of public opinion rather than the justice system. The states cannot link the conduct alleged to the harm described, and so they have invented stunningly overbroad legal theories," the statement said.

Purdue also noted that the state of North Dakota recently dismissed a lawsuit filed by that state's attorney general with regard to the company's alleged role in the opioid crisis.

"The recent decision by the North Dakota court to dismiss all the claims filed by the Attorney General of North Dakota against Purdue is a significant legal victory for the Company that has potential far-reaching ramifications for both the state lawsuits filed today and for the claims pending in the multi-district litigation (MDL)," Purdue said in its statement.

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Daisy-Daisy/iStock(NEW YORK) -- The World Health Organization has released new guidelines to help people reduce their risk of dementia.

The organization said in a news release Tuesday that dementia is not inevitable and pointed to regular exercise, quitting smoking, avoiding “harmful” use of alcohol and eating a healthy diet as ways for people to protect themselves from the illness, which the agency characterized as a “deterioration in cognitive function beyond what might be expected from normal ageing.”

The agency’s director-general cautioned that in the next three decades, the number of people with dementia is expected to triple.

“We need to do everything we can to reduce our risk of dementia," said WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. "The scientific evidence gathered for these Guidelines confirm what we have suspected for some time, that what is good for our heart, is also good for our brain."

The World Health Organization also recommended against using vitamin supplements to reduce risk.

In Tuesday's news release, the agency said that these new guidelines were meant for health care providers “to advise patients on what they can do to help prevent cognitive decline and dementia.”

Dementia affects memory, thinking, orientation, comprehension, calculation, learning capacity, language and judgement. The illness is caused by damage to or loss of nerve cells in the brain, and there are different versions of it, including Alzheimer's disease.

Dementia affects around 50 million people globally, the agency said, and there are nearly 10 million new cases every year.

In October, retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, 88, the first woman ever to serve on the highest court in the land, announced in a public letter that she'd been diagnosed with dementia and was battling the early stages of what is probably Alzheimer's disease.

She'd retired from the Supreme Court in 2006 to take care of her husband, John, who also suffered from Alzheimer's.

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globalmoments/iStock(NEW YORK) -- Cellphone use while driving is a major contributor to motor vehicle accidents across the United States, yet a new study finds that despite widespread public health warnings about distracted driving, the majority of parents are still using their phones on the road, with one group in particular facing the most risk: millennials.

As more millennials become parents, researchers from Harvard’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital were interested in seeing if their driving habits were any different from older parents given their use of technology.

The researchers found that even though 52 percent of millennial parents -- ages 22 to 37 years in 2018 -- and 57 percent of parents over 37 years old said it was “never” safe to text and drive, nearly two-thirds of all parents admitted to reading text messages while driving and over half said they sent text messages, too.

This compulsion to use our cellphones while driving comes from the modern-day need to “always be reachable,” the study’s lead author Dr. Regan Bergmark, of the Center for Surgery and Public Health at Brigham and Women's Hospital, told ABC News.

But using your phone while driving, Bergmark said, hinders three key components of safe driving: attention, vision and hands on the wheel. She said that when these aren’t prioritized, drivers face the highest risk of getting in a crash.

Motor vehicle accidents consistently rank among the top causes of death across age groups.

The study, published in JAMA Pediatrics, involved a nationally representative group of over 400 parents who took part in the Distracted Driving Survey, which asked them about their behaviors while driving, including whether they texted or used email, social media or maps. It also asked about their cellphone use with and without children in the car and the speeds they reached while carrying out these activities.

Although the majority of adults involved in the study indicated that they drove distractedly, millennial parents were most likely to be distracted by risky activities beyond texting, such as responding to emails and using maps.

About 16 percent of millennial parents had been in at least one crash in the year prior to taking the survey compared to 10 percent of older parents, but this difference was not significant, the study said.

Although the American Academy of Pediatrics routinely highlights the importance of using the correct car safety seat and seatbelt, discussions around the dangers of distracted driving don’t always make it to the doctor’s office. In fact, only 20 percent of adults surveyed said they remember their children’s pediatrician talking about these issues.

Bergmark said that doctors could put more effort into reminding parents not to text and drive, but she also pointed out that technology doesn’t always have to be a threat to safety -- it can be the solution, too.

Many phones, for example, come with “Do Not Disturb” functions that can be turned on while driving. When turned on, this setting prevents notifications from lighting up the screen. There are also apps -- some of which integrate with GPS systems -- that reward drivers for safer driving habits.

Millennial parents, more than any other generation, are looking to the internet for everything, including advice on raising healthy and safe children. When it comes to driving, that advice likely includes putting the phone away -- it can wait.

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Courtesy Jim Watson(CANTON, Ohio) -- Michael Watson, 18, battled his weight his entire life but decided to make a lasting change when he looked in a mirror his sophomore year of high school.

“When I looked in the mirror I was really ready to get it done and thought, ‘I can’t just fail anymore on my diet,’” Watson said. “I need to actually do this.”

Watson, now a high school senior in Canton, Ohio, started by walking to and from school every day, more than 40 minutes round trip.

He walked to school every day of his junior year, no matter whether it was hot, raining or snowing.

“When I took the bus to school, I’d want to sit by a kid and they’d say, ‘No, go sit somewhere else because I was so big,’” Watson recalled. “When I started walking, I didn’t even know what time the bus came and that was my motivation, ‘I have to walk.’”

Watson also changed his diet, working with his dad to learn how to count calories and then forgoing his normal fast food meals for salads, oatmeal and soup.

“It was extremely hard, especially at first,” said Watson, who also worked at a local Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant during his weight loss. “What motivated me was stepping on the scale.”

“I’d see that I was 290 [pounds] and say, ‘Let’s get to 280, come on Michael, you got this,’” he said.

Watson started at his highest weight of 325 pounds. He now weighs 210 pounds, achieving a 115 pound weight loss.

In addition to walking, Watson now lifts weights in a home gym he created in his family's garage.

“I lost a lot of my insecurities when I lost all that weight,” he said. “You work for it and you get it, so it feels amazing for sure.”

Watson’s father, Jim Watson, said he notices his son walk around now with “more confidence,” allowing him to show his “funny and outgoing” personality to more people.

Watson’s accomplishment caught the attention of his classmates and teachers at McKinley Senior High School, from which he will graduate later this month.

"His story stuck with me," said Terrance Jones, a family support specialist at McKinley who nominated Watson for the school's "Senior Limelight" recognition.

"Michael is a young man who aspired to be able to be a better person for himself. We're not talking about athletic accomplishments or academic accomplishments, this is a personal development success," he said. "We need to pay more attention to personal development successes with students."

Watson plans to find a full-time job after graduation, possibly in the food industry. He studied in his school's culinary program during his weight loss and credits his teacher in the program with helping him learn more about healthier food choices and cooking.

"I hope I can be an inspiration to others," Watson said, adding that he achieved his weight loss by reminding himself that "every day is a new day."

"That’s what I said on my diet all the time because I’d mess up some days," he said. "I'd tell myself, 'Tomorrow is a new day. You’ve’ got to start over and eat the oatmeal in the morning."

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