Christine Vestal covers mental health and drug addiction for Stateline.
Gun deaths drive historic spike in U.S. child mortality rates
By: Christine Vestal and Tim Henderson - April 25, 2023
This story was first published by Stateline, an initiative of The Pew Charitable Trusts. After decades of steady improvement, the death rate of America’s children and teens shot up between 2019 and 2021 — and COVID-19 wasn’t the reason. Gun-related deaths represented the largest share of the increase — by far. According to an analysis of the […]
Child vaccination rates, already down because of COVID, fall again
By: Christine Vestal - January 17, 2023
Child vaccination rates dipped into dangerous territory during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic, when schools were shuttered, and most doctors were only seeing emergency patients. But instead of recovering after schools reopened in 2021, those historically low rates worsened, according to new data from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Experts fear that the skepticism of science and distrust of government that flared up during the pandemic are contributing to the decrease.
Abortion rights advocates look to build on recent electoral successes using 2024 ballot measures
By: Christine Vestal - November 23, 2022
Encouraged by six victories — and zero defeats — in this month’s midterm elections, abortion rights advocates are considering another round of ballot measures in 2024 that would enshrine reproductive freedom in state constitutions. This time, they’re mostly aiming at states with tight abortion restrictions already on the books, hoping to outflank anti-abortion state lawmakers and courts that are out of step with most residents.
North Carolina and Florida become southern abortion havens
By: Christine Vestal - July 27, 2022
[This story was first published by Stateline, an initiative of The Pew Charitable Trusts.] In the month since the U.S. Supreme Court ended the federal right to abortion, red states in the Deep South have been one-by-one criminalizing nearly all abortions. As of this week, most abortions are banned in Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi and South […]
If SCOTUS reverses Roe, state courts could overturn abortion bans in red states
By: Christine Vestal - May 31, 2022
Some say NC is a state in which reproductive freedom is implied in its constitution If the federal right to abortion is erased by the U.S. Supreme Court in a few weeks as expected, the legal spotlight will shift immediately to state courts, where experts say judges in some conservative states could surprise everyone and uphold the right to abortion.