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Health Highlights: May 31, 2019

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

Louisiana Abortion Bill Signed Into Law

A ban on abortion as early as six weeks of pregnancy was signed into law Thursday by Louisiana's Democratic Governor John Bel Edwards.

There are no exceptions for pregnancies from rape or incest, the Associated Press reported.

Louisiana, which has three abortion clinics, is the fifth state to enact a law banning abortion when a fetal heartbeat is detected. The others are Mississippi, Kentucky, Ohio and Georgia.

Alabama has banned virtually all abortions, the AP reported.

Despite the governor's signing of the bill, the Louisiana law takes effect only if the law in next-door Mississippi, recently blocked by a federal judge, is upheld by a federal appeals court.

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U.S. Anti-Vaccination Controversy Boosted by Russian Trolls

The anti-vaccination controversy in the United States has been boosted by Russian Twitter trolls, according to a new study.

It found that they posted about the issue far more than the average Twitter user last year, using "sophisticated" bots to share opinions from both sides of the vaccination debate, CBS News reported.

The trolls' activities are similar to those used in the past to heat up controversial issues in the United States by amplifying different opinions, the George Washington University researchers said.

Tech companies have clamped down on the spread of misinformation surrounding vaccinations, CBS News reported.

The United States is struggling with its worst measles outbreak in 25 years and health officials say misinformation from anti-vaxxers has contributed to the problem.

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FDA to Hold First Public Meeting on CBD

A public meeting on CBD products will be held Friday by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, with the goal of gathering information on products that contain CBD.

It's the FDA's first public meeting on CBD and the first step toward regulating it, NBC News reported.

CBD products are increasingly popular and include items such as oils, capsules, lotions and gummies.

The dozens of scheduled speakers at the meeting include doctors, consumers and cannabis industry members, NBC News reported.

"We are reviewing available databases and medical literature about CBD's safety. Thus far, the data appear insufficient," the FDA's principal deputy commissioner, Dr. Amy Abernethy, recently wrote on Twitter.

"What happens if you eat food with CBD in it, use CBD-infused skin cream, and use other CBD-based products on the same day? What if you use these products daily for a week or a month, or longer?" she tweeted, NBC News reported.

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Posted: May 2019

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