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Health Highlights: Feb. 25, 2019

Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:

New Trump Policy Further Reduces Access to Abortion

Another Trump administration policy that reduces access to abortion has been condemned by the American Medical Association and abortion rights groups.

The new rule would forbid taxpayer-funded family planning clinics from making abortion referrals, bar federally funded family planning clinics from being housed in the same locations as abortion providers, and require stricter financial separation, the Associated Press reported.

Clinic staff would still be allowed to discuss abortion with clients, along with other options, but doing so would no longer be required.

The new rule was released Friday and is certain to be challenged in court, the AP reported.

The effects of the new rule would extend well beyond abortion, potentially affecting health care services clinics currently provide to low-income women, including birth control, cancer screenings, and testing and treatment for sexually transmitted diseases, the American Medical Association warned.

"This is the wrong prescription and threatens to compound a health equity deficit in this nation," AMA president Barbara McAneny said in a statement. "Women should have access to these medical services regardless of where they live, how much money they make, their background, or whether they have health insurance."

Various groups and Democratic-led states are expected to sue to block the rule, the AP reported.

"I want our patients to know this -- we will fight through every avenue so this illegal, unethical rule never goes into effect," said Planned Parenthood President Leana Wen, the AP reported.

She warned that the new rule would prevent doctors from referring women for abortions "even if your life depended on it."

The rule is not official until it appears in the Federal Register, and the U.S. Health and Human Services Department said there could be "minor editorial changes," the AP reported.

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Peter Frampton Has Rare Muscular Disease

Rock musician Peter Frampton says he'll stop touring because he has a rare degenerative muscular disease.

He was diagnosed with inclusion body myositis -- incurable inflammatory condition that causes muscles to weaken slowly -- about three and a half years ago after a fall on stage, CBS News reported.

Frampton said his next tour will be his last and that he has been recording as much music as possible since he was diagnosed.

"Between October and two days ago, we've done like 33 new tracks," he said in an interview Friday on CBS This Morning: Saturday. "I just want to record as much as I can, you know, now, for obvious reasons."

"What will happen, unfortunately, is that it affects the finger flexors," Frampton said. "That's the first telltale sign is the flexors, you know. So for a guitar player, it's not very good."

He already feels the effects in his fingers but is still able to play guitar well for now, said Frampton, whose 1976 "Frampton Comes Alive" is one of the best-selling live albums of all time, CBS News reported.

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Posted: February 2019

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