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Thursday, Sep 18th

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The Rise of the DIY Abortion in Texas

misoprostolThe Alamo flea market sits right off South Texas’s lengthy Highway 83; a sprawling, dusty, labyrinth of a place. Under canopies in the converted parking lot, vendors in dark sunglasses stand behind tables heaped with piles of clothing, barking in Spanish and hawking their wares. The air is hot and muggy, thick with the scent of grilled corn and chili.

Customers browse simple items—miracle-diet teas, Barbie dolls or turquoise jeans stretched over curvy mannequins—but there are also shoppers scanning the market for goods that aren't displayed in the stalls. Tables lined with bottles of medicine like Tylenol and NyQuil have double-meanings to those in the know: The over-the-counter drugs on top provide cover for the prescription drugs smuggled over the border from nearby cities in Mexico. Those, the dealer keeps out of sight.

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Medical marijuana farmers' market to open in L.A.

medical marijuanaThis Fourth of July, Los Angeles will celebrate America's independence with the nation's first medical marijuana farmers' market.

Held July 4-6, the California Heritage Market aims to build relationships between patients and growers by directly connecting the two sides the pot sale.

"It's going to be so much easier for patients to get their medicine at a more affordable rate, and something that they can trust," California Heritage Market executive administrator Paizley Bradbury explained to TIME Magazine.

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Hormone-disrupting activity of fracking chemicals worse than initially found

stop frackingMany chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, can disrupt not only the human body's reproductive hormones but also the glucocorticoid and thyroid hormone receptors, which are necessary to maintain good health, a new study finds. The results were presented Monday at the joint meeting of the International Society of Endocrinology and the Endocrine Society: ICE/ENDO 2014 in Chicago.

"Among the chemicals that the fracking industry has reported using most often, all 24 that we have tested block the activity of one or more important hormone receptors," said the study's presenting author, Christopher Kassotis, a PhD student at the University of Missouri, Columbia. "The high levels of hormone disruption by endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) that we measured, have been associated with many poor health outcomes, such as infertility, cancer and birth defects."

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Shocking CDC anti-smoking campaign is back with new ads

CDC anti-smoking adsA government campaign designed to scare, shock and disgust smokers out of their deadly habit is back with several new ads.

The latest "Tips From Former Smokers" ads from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, released Tuesday, feature two middle-aged people who lost their teeth, a man with a hole in his throat and a woman who had a premature baby, all as a result of smoking.

The campaign also once again features Terrie Hall, a North Carolina woman who lost her larynx to oral and throat cancer. Her previous videos for the CDC have been seen more than 2 million times, the most of any in the campaign, says Tim McAfee, director of CDC's office on smoking and health.

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CDC: Up to 86 workers possibly exposed to anthrax

anthraxAs many as 86 Atlanta-based workers for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention may have been unintentionally exposed to anthrax, the agency says. This includes people who have come forward since the announcement Thursday, saying they were in the area during the time of exposure.

The workers are being monitored or provided antibiotics.

"Based on most of the potential exposure scenarios, the risk of infection is very low," the agency said in a statement.

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New York to legalize medical marijuana under new deal

Andrew CuomoNew York is poised to become the 23rd state to legalize medical marijuana.

Under the deal Gov. Cuomo and legislative Democrats announced Thursday, patients won’t be able to smoke the drug — instead, they’ll have to ingest it as food or through vaporization, oils or pills.

Cuomo, citing the state’s efforts to combat smoking, would not sign off on a deal unless it contained the ban on puffing.  “Medical marijuana has the capacity to do a lot of good for a lot of people who are in pain and suffering,” Cuomo said.

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Hospice, Inc.: How Dying Became A Multibillion-Dollar Industry

Hospice Inc.In a complaint letter to the Florida attorney general, Dunn alleges the company enrolled his grandmother “for the sake of billing the government for payment for their own financial gain.” The company misled the family about the purpose of hospice — emphasizing benefits such as at-home nursing care and free medications, without explaining that hospices don’t provide curative treatments, according to Dunn.

Once enrolled, Dunn alleges, Vitas gave Maples a powerful cocktail of drugs against the family’s wishes, and repeatedly bumped her up to the most intrusive and expensive levels of care.

The final straw was the apparent confusion over Maples’ “full code” status. It’s a designation rarely seen in hospice, because it means the family wants the kind of life-saving treatment that hospices don’t provide.

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