The Weekly Pulse: 2021 “Most Hostile” for Abortion; FDA Bans Menthol Cigarettes; Advocates Urge Biden to End Helms and Step Up Global Vaccine Campaign

This week: The 2021 legal session is the “most hostile” for reproductive rights in at least a decade; reproductive health advocates urge the Biden administration to take up the mantle of abortion care, starting with the repeal of the Helms Amendment; the FDA moves to ban menthol cigarettes and flavored cigars within the next year; and the global vaccination effort remains slow due to a lack of support from developed countries.

The Weekly Pulse: Birth Control Users Question J&J Vaccine Pause; Biden Reverses Domestic Gag Rule

For The Weekly Pulse, we’ve scoured the most trusted journalistic sources—and, of course, our Twitter feeds—to bring you this week’s most important news stories related to health and wellness.

This week: updates on the pandemic as cases rise worldwide; birth control users question the FDA pause on distribution of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine; the Biden administration bolsters reproductive health by lifting medication abortion restrictions and undoing the domestic gag rule; and more.

The Weekly Pulse: Science and Health Take Center Stage Under Biden Administration; Abortion Under Attack

Following the inauguration of President Biden, many of the executive orders signed on his first days in office will have large impacts on national and global health. Many of the executive orders are aimed at addressing the coronavirus pandemic and ramping up vaccine distribution updates on the coronavirus.

Meanwhile, reproductive rights remain under attack—but the new administration offers hope to advocates.

Dr. Rochelle Walensky Appointed CDC Director: “Leading With Science Is the Only Way To Deliver Breakthroughs”

“I never anticipated I would take on a role helping lead our national response, and government service was never part of my plan. But every doctor knows that when a patient is coding, your plans don’t matter. You answer the code. And when the nation is coding, if you are called to serve, you serve,” Dr. Rochelle Walensky said. Joe Biden tapped Walensky to head up the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as director.