What's Causing A 20% Drop In Indiana's Abortion Rate

Jul 2, 2015
Alice Harold /

Abortion rates are on the decline  across the country.

A recent Associated Press survey revealed abortion rates on average dropped 12-percent nationally. In Indiana the decline was even more dramatic. 

Indiana Public Broadcasting’s Gretchen Frazee reports on what’s likely causing the decline and what that means for young women in Indiana.

Brandon Smith / Indiana Public Broadcasting

The U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling upholding the Affordable Care Act's tax subsidies was a major victory for the Obama administration. The healthcare law is now two-for-two surviving challenges before he nation’s highest court. Butother lawsuits that could gut the bill still loom -- including a challenge out of Indiana.  

Indiana Republicans opposed the passage and implementation of the Affordable Care Act, including their refusal to create a state-run insurance marketplace.  Now, an impending Supreme Court decision could leave thousands of Hoosiers without subsidies to help pay for that health care.  And partisan differences are once again shaping the debate on how to respond if the state loses those subsidies.

When IU School of Social Work Professor Heather McCabe found out Indiana would not create a state-run exchange under the Affordable Care Act, she was surprised.

Stan Jastrzebski / WBAA News

Tens of thousands of people across Indiana are waiting on the U.S. Supreme Court to decide the fate of their federal health insurance subsidies.

The Supreme Court will rule within the next several days on a lawsuit claiming the Affordable Care Act doesn’t allow enrollees in states that chose not to operate state-run health care exchanges to access subsidies that reduce the cost of insurance. 

Scott County HIV Outbreak Subsiding

Jun 18, 2015
Barbara Harrington /

State health officials say the HIV outbreak in Scott County has leveled off. 170 cases have been diagnosed in Scott County this year, but Deputy State Health Commissioner Jennifer Walthall says new cases are becoming less frequent.

"The number of new cases per week since the middle of April has dramatically decreased from a peak of around 23 in the late part of April in one week to zero cases, one case, two cases," Walthall says.

State Health Department Creating Trauma Guidebook

Jun 5, 2015
Luigi Scorcia /

The Indiana State Department of Health plans to target preventable injuries with a resource guide for emergency rooms and child-welfare caseworkers.

Officials plan to complete a guidebook by the end of the month, spelling out strategies for preventing 10 common injury sources, from child abuse to senior citizen falls. 

Some of those topics are what the Centers for Disease Control classify as "winnable battles" -- areas where the solution is to simply not do something. Other areas will offer proactive suggestions, says injury prevention epidemiologist Jessica Skiba.

Fayette County Considers Needle Exchange To Prevent HIV

Jun 3, 2015
Gretchen Frazee / IPBS

Fayette County health officials in Eastern Indiana are trying to learn from the HIV outbreak in Scott County as they consider implementing a needle exchange of their own.

Scott County created a needle exchange under recently passed legislation to combat an HIV epidemic that’s infected more than 160 people and it seems to be working. The spread of the virus is tapering off.

Indiana Trains Prisoners To Combat Avian Flu

Jun 2, 2015

Indiana is training 300 prisoners how to euthanize and properly dispose of poultry infected by viruses.

It’s one of several precautions the state is taking to prevent a new strain of the avian flu from taking hold in the state.

Indiana has been lucky so far. Two strains of avian flu have killed about 10 percent of the poultry industry’s laying flock nationally.

Indiana had only one case last month in a backyard flock.

But Indiana State Poultry Association Vice President Paul Brennan says the virus could hit Indiana hard any day.

Barbara Harrington /


Needle exchanges are controversial. Critics say handing out clean needles enables drug use, while others point to evidence, showing that exchanges reduce the spread of disease.

For the past several weeks, Scott County, Indiana has been operating a needle exchange, to combat an outbreak of HIV linked to injection drug abuse. It’s the first of its kind in Indiana, and it recently received approval from the state to run for a year. But getting the community to accept the idea was a process -- and in some ways, one that’s ongoing.

ZaldyImg /

Indiana State Health Commissioner Jerome Adams testified Thursday before the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations in Washington D.C about the HIV outbreak in southern Indiana.

Adams says the number of positive cases is up to 160.

He suggests a three-part system for dealing with the drug abuse that led to the epidemic.