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Roe v. Wade Has Been Overturned: How The Future Of Abortion Care In The U.S. May Impact Mental Health, According To Experts

Mental health and abortion care has long been a topic of discussion, but with the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade on June 24—and effectively eliminating the constitutional right to an abortion—that conversation has become even more timely. But how does having an abortion actually impact mental health, and could a lack of access to such reproductive health care also play a role?

Here’s what you need to know about the future of abortion care in the U.S., and its potential to impact mental health across the nation.

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Restoring Hope for Mental Health and Well-Being Act Driven by Lawmakers’ Personal Stories

For many lawmakers, Wednesday’s vote on a package of addiction and mental health legislation will be personal.

For Rep. David Trone (D-Md.), it was his nephew who died overdosing on fentanyl. For Rep. Annie Kuster (D-N.H.), it was her brother who became addicted after being prescribed oxycodone and OxyContin for a series of surgeries. And for Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.), it was the shock of coming home to Levittown after 14 years in the FBI and realizing the magnitude of the problem.

he three House members and Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-Wash.) came together in March 2021 to create the Bipartisan Addiction and Mental Health Task Force, which has been a key player in promoting and pushing legislation on those issues. Trone said of the 145 lawmakers on the task force, “virtually everyone has experienced the loss of a loved one.”

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Senate passes gun safety legislation with Stabenow's mental health program

 The gun safety legislation passed late Thursday by the U.S. Senate would expand eligibility for a mental health program authored by Michigan Sen. Debbie Stabenow to all states. 

The vote was 65-33, with 15 Republican senators voting with Democrats in support of the package, which has been hailed as the most significant gun legislation in 30 years. The House is expected to take up the legislation Friday.

Stabenow's measure, co-written by Missouri Republican Sen. Roy Blunt, reimburses states through Medicaid for mental health and addiction services provided at federally qualified community health clinics that must offer 24-hour crisis services, among other elements.

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California may require labels on pot products to warn of mental health risks

Liz Kirkaldie's grandson was in the top of his class in high school and a talented jazz bassist when he started smoking pot. The more serious he got about music, the more serious he got about pot.

And the more serious he got about pot, the more he became paranoid, even psychotic. He started hearing voices.

"They were going to kill him and there were people coming to eat his brain. Weird, weird stuff," Kirkaldie says. "I woke up one morning, and no Kory anywhere. Well, it turns out, he'd been running down Villa Lane here totally naked."

Kory came to live with his grandmother for a couple of years in Napa, Calif. She thought maybe she could help. Now, she says that was naïve.

Kory was diagnosed with schizophrenia. Kirkaldie blames the pot.

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