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ABC News(SPRING, Texas) -- A 9-1-1 dispatcher in Spring, Texas, helped one expectant mom deliver her baby over the phone this week.

The mother, Kioma, was on her living room floor and feeling contractions while listening to instructions from the dispatcher, Renae Whitehouse.

Whitehouse: Is anyone else with you?
Mom: No.
Whitehouse: You need to feel down there and see if you can feel anything.
Mom: I think I feel the head.

Whitehouse told ABC affiliate KTRK-TV that she did not expect Kioma to deliver the baby before the medic unit got to her house.

"At first I was like, it probably won't happen before the medic unit gets there," she said to KTRK-TV. "And then she just had contraction after contraction after contraction. It was like oh this is really happening."

And then Kennedy Bennet, now 2 days old, arrived just a few minutes before an EMT crew knocked on the door.

"I cried a little bit after it was done. I'm not gonna lie. I was just so happy," Whitehouse said to KTRK-TV.

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ABC News(NEW YORK) --  Dr. Ruth doesn’t quit: At 88 years old, the renowned sex therapist is still vocal about her favorite topic -- writing books, making appearances and lecturing on what she has coined “sexual literacy.”

Her career began in 1980 with a 15-minute taped radio program called “Sexually Speaking” and just one year later it became a live, two-hour show, giving listeners the opportunity to call-in. The show became a huge success lasting over 10 years and eventually becoming part of a communications network distributing Dr. Ruth's expertise via television, books, newspapers, games and videos.

She recently sat down with Rebecca Jarvis for an episode of "Real Biz With Rebecca Jarvis" to discuss her journey, from escaping the Holocaust to becoming Dr. Ruth and everything in between. Here are three things you might not know about Ruth Westheimer:

1. She's a survivor: Born in Germany in 1928, Dr. Ruth was forced to leave her home to escape the Holocaust, being sent to an orphanage in Switzerland when she was only 10 years old.

2. She was a sniper: Only a few years later at the age of 17, Dr. Ruth went to Israel and became a member of the Haganah (a Jewish paramilitary group), fighting for the country's independence and training as a sniper.

"I was a sniper in the underground in the Haganah in 1948. I’ve never killed anybody," Dr. Ruth commented. "But I was badly wounded on both legs; that’s not why I’m short -- I would’ve been short anyway."

3. There's an off-Broadway play about her life: “Becoming Dr. Ruth” opened in October 2013, with actress Debra Jo Rupp (who played Kitty on “That '70s Show”) starring as Dr. Ruth. The play chronicles her incredible story, while also highlighting her favorite subject with lines scripted straight from Dr. Ruth’s mouth.

“When I came to the country, they told me that I have to take speech lessons, but Debra Jo Rupp, who portrayed me, she had to go to a speech therapist to learn my accent!” Dr. Ruth told Rebecca Jarvis.

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iStock/Thinkstock(CHICAGO) -- Ongoing gun violence in Chicago, which has killed hundreds in 2016, has led to calls for action - as well as inspiring two doctors to start a program designed to help save lives in an emergency. The Chicago South Side Trauma First Responders Course focuses on training anyone to be able to give lifesaving treatment to trauma victims.

Started by Dr. Mamta Swaroop, assistant professor of surgery in trauma and critical care at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, and Dr. Leah Tatebe, a trauma and general surgeon at Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital in New York, the program was designed to train bystanders to take simple steps that may save lives after a shooting or other violent event before an ambulance even arrives.

Swaroop and Tatebe joined forces with the advocate group Cure Violence to understand how residents in Chicago's most violent neighborhoods could benefit from basic medical training. As a trauma surgeon, Swaroop said she had seen first-hand the toll shootings have taken on residents in Chicago.

"Last spring there was case after case that I kept seeing of patients who were dying ... it came to me that why not have a first responders course that [could] minimize people hemorrhaging out," said Swaroop. "It wasn't one particular case ... it was watching patients bleeding out and dying in the trauma [department.]"

Swaroop also pointed out that her hospital, which has treated many shooting victims, is about a 15-minute drive from the South Side of Chicago, where much of the violence has occurred. Even if an ambulance responded immediately to help a trauma victim, there would still be that 15-minute drive to the ER for treatment and possibly lifesaving surgery.

"Someone can bleed out their entire blood volume in a couple of minutes," Swaroop said.

The classes, scheduled to start later this month, were designed after working with the Cure Violence group and other community members to figure out the best way to empower any resident to feel that they can help save a life. The first students are expected to be from local community groups based in neighborhoods that have faced some of the worst gun violence.

"We asked people about what their experiences were with violence and with trauma," Swaroop said. She said many had experienced violent events without knowing how to respond to traumatic injuries. "The feeling of not knowing what to do ... you feel helpless in that situation."

Swaroop said simply teaching people how to properly apply pressure on a wound or helping open someone's airway can make a difference. She said that everyone in Chicago should have a basic understanding of what to do in case of an emergency.

"In this day and age you can be anywhere in Chicago and bullets are everywhere. ... You can be in the wrong place and the wrong time," she said. "A bullet does not discriminate one bit."

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Joi-Marie McKenzie/ABC News(NEW YORK) -- Babies and in particular ill or premature infants benefit from being fed human breast milk, research shows.

But when mothers can't produce enough breast milk to feed their ill or premature babies, including those in neonatal intensive care, who can they or their medical providers turn to for help?

In New York, it's the New York Milk Bank. The organization based north of New York City helps to collect, pasteurize and deliver donated breast milk to hospitals and other providers around the state.

But the center faces a challenge in getting the donated breast milk to various far-flung locations in a cost-effective and timely way.

"We wanted same-day service, and you can't have same-day service; they just charge a fortune for it," Julie Bouchet-Horwitz, New York Milk Bank's executive director told ABC News.

Then she got a novel idea while sitting in traffic.

"I saw motorcycles going in and out of lanes," she said. "And I thought, 'What a great idea! That's fabulous!' This thought of using motorcyclists was just brewing in my mind."

Bouchet-Horwitz, who is a nurse practitioner and lactation consultant, wanted to find an all-female organization to help. And after a quick search on Google, she found Siren’s Women’s Motorcycle Club of New York City.

Jen Baquial, the club's president, told ABC News that when she heard the idea for her organization's riders to distribute breast milk she "lit up."

The club, started in 1986, has about 50 members who range in age from 25 to 74 and welcomes women of all ethnicities, backgrounds and sexual orientations.

The organization alternates which of its riders help the New York Milk Bank on any given day. The motorcyclists pick up about 30 pounds of breast milk from different depots around the city, deliver it first to a pasteurizing center and later to hospitals and other locations.

Every rider delivering breast milk is required by the milk bank to have proof of insurance and a valid driver's license, among other criteria. The milk bank pays for their expenses, including gas and tolls.

Sandra Fleming, a member of the club who is known as "the Road Goddess," told ABC News on Friday that she had delivered breast milk that morning, before her day job as a social worker.

"It's giving us a reason -- a good reason -- to get together," Fleming, 52, said of she and her fellow club members. "We're doing something that contributes to women's causes."

Fleming said the club is also involved in other charitable work including efforts to address breast cancer and to help homeless girls and teens.

The milk bank's Bouchet-Horwitz said the partnership with the motorcycle club "just seemed like a great match, to have a group of women [help] ... They've embraced us and we've embraced them."

She said that in the future she hopes to welcome any riders, "even males," to help deliver breast milk.

"That's what I'd love to see," she said.

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iStock/Thinkstock(ATLANTA) — Florida health officials have announced continued progress in the fight against the Zika virus after a Miami neighborhood was declared free of ongoing Zika transmission Friday.

The Little River area of Miami is now free of active Zika transmission after no new cases were reported in the last 45 days, officials from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Friday.

It was the last area in Miami to have ongoing locally transmitted Zika virus.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott called the announcement "great news" but warned residents to remain "vigilant" about the possible return of the virus.

"I am proud to announce that the Little River area has been cleared of any ongoing active transmission of the Zika virus," he said in a statement today. "It is crucial that everyone remains vigilant and continues to do their part to wear bug spray and dump standing water so we can keep these areas clear, especially for pregnant women and their developing babies."

However, the Zika outbreak is not yet over in Florida, since the South Beach area of Miami Beach, a city separate from Miami, is still monitoring for local Zika transmission.

Florida has been grappling with the Zika outbreak centered in southern Florida since July of this year. There have been 244 cases of locally acquired Zika virus reported in Florida since the outbreak began.

The Zika virus is primarily spread by the Aedes aegypti mosquito. It mainly causes mild symptoms in adults. But when a pregnant woman is infected, it is associated with an increased risk of birth defects, including microcephaly, characterized by an abnormally small head or brain. It can result in diminished mental capacity or other developmental delays.

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ABC News(SAN BERNARDINO, Calif.) — Exactly one year after 14 people were killed and 22 more injured when ISIS-inspired terrorists went on a shooting rampage in San Bernardino, California, surviving victims are speaking out, saying that they are going through a second trauma: a betrayal.

In interviews with ABC News and affiliate stations, survivors say that the injuries they sustained in one of the deadliest terrorist attacks on American soil are being treated just like any other workers’ compensation and that they are regularly denied medical care.

With the shrapnel from two bullets still embedded in her leg, Amanda Gaspard, 32, walks with a cane and says she lives every day with pain — emotional and physical — after being shot by Syed Farook and his wife Tashfeen Malik.

While Gaspard was Farook’s partner at the San Bernardino County Health Department, leading the program at the gathering that tragic day, he did not spare her from the melee of bullets one year ago.

The attack has left her unable to walk without frequent breaks and suffering from post-traumatic stress so severe that she is incapable of speaking about the attack without breaking down.

But one year since the attack that saw her lose half her blood, Gaspard told ABC News that the county’s claims administrator told her that a surgery and other treatment she needs were too expensive and would not be approved under California’s workers’ compensation guidelines.

“They do not want to pay for it,” she told ABC News’ Brian Ross in an interview on Wednesday. “I am in pain every single day.”

Gaspard is not alone. Other survivors speak of denials for care and medicine.

“My medications got denied — like just cut off in October,” said Sally Cardinale, a program specialist for the county. “I was on anti-depressants, anti-anxiety, and...a blood pressure medicine to help level me out and help let me sleep without nightmares and things like that.”

“None of those three medicines are supposed to be cut off without any weaning or anything like that, and they just cut them off,” she said.

Ray Britain, who was the interim Division Chief for the Division of Environmental Health Services, said that “right now, the process is denying everybody medication, therapy and surgeries.”

“These are people that were shot. A lot of the things that we're talking about — we're talking about people having to fight for surgeries, for physical therapy to try and learn to walk again,” he said.

Asked about these allegations by ABC News, David Wert, a spokesman for San Bernardino County, said, “our county has not denied care to anyone,” and “denials are rare. When they occur, the county shares in the employees’ frustration.”

Noting the availability of an appeals process, he said, “so far, of the many hundreds of treatments submitted for review in connection with Dec. 2, only two denials have been appealed.”

On Monday, the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors said that it is now going to bring in a new outside set of claims adjusters to review the cases of those employees involved in the attack.

Gaspard says her frustrations with the bureaucracy and denials had added to her suffering over the past year.

Shortly after telling the county that ABC news was investigating, Gaspard says good news arrived.

On Thursday, she got word that the county had agreed to a deal with her hospital for her surgery to go ahead.

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DigitalVision/ThinkstockBy DR. JENNIFER ASHTON, ABC News Senior Medical Contributor

Women remain underrepresented in high-paying, math-intensive fields and they earn only 19 percent of bachelor’s degrees in engineering.

Now, a new study directs blame at biases among teachers and the educational system. This is against girls in the so-called STEM subjects: science, technology, engineering and math.

Previous research has shown that a gender gap develops in favor of males during the first four years of school and it develops first amongst the highest-achieving students. One way to combat this is to expose girls to positive role models in these STEM subjects.

Teachers also need to reexamine their own ideas of what the typical STEM student looks like. It should conjure an image of a girl or a boy.

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Ashley Newman(NEW YORK) -- A Tennessee woman gave birth to a daughter Wednesday just after being rescued from the devastation of a tornado that swept through her town.

Emergency rescue crews responded to a dispatch call around 1:30 a.m. Wednesday in Athens, Tennessee, that a 39-week pregnant woman needed help, according to Chief Billy Roach of the Englewood Fire Department.

Nearly 20 first responders from Englewood and the nearby Etowah Rural Fire Department drove as close as possible to the home of the pregnant woman, Amber Newman. They then walked nearly three miles to her home when their rescue trucks were blocked by debris.

Newman was inside her family’s home along with her parents, her teen sisters and 8-year-old brother, according to another sister, Ashley Newman, who was not at home at the time.

Ashley Newman told ABC News that the family hid in a bathroom as their home was thrown in the air and flipped several times before landing more than 200 feet away. Her mother, April Newman, who was in the home at the time said she "prayed to God" during the storm.

“Everything was shaking like an earthquake," April Newman told ABC News. "I remember hearing the wind and everything going around and around. I held on to my son the whole time and just prayed to God."

It took nearly four hours for first responders to get the Newman family to local hospitals; responders had to physically clear a path through tornado debris for the rescue vehicles to travel. Newman, who was not available for comment, gave birth via caesarean section to a healthy baby girl she named Ava.

Newman suffered a bad gash on her leg but is otherwise doing well, according to her sister. The siblings' parents needed stitches and suffered minor injuries. The Newman kids suffered injuries including a broken arm, torn ACL and broken foot.

“It’s a miracle,” Roach told ABC News, describing the work done by the first responders as "indescribable."

He added, “It’s just amazing what they did.”

Des Ferguson, a friend of Newman’s, posted photos on Facebook of the baby, Ava. She also put out a call to help Newman rebuild after the tornado.

Newman was originally due to give birth on Dec. 7, according to her mother.

The tornado that struck McMinn County, Tennessee, Wednesday was an EF-2 tornado that injured 20 people and damaged 30 structures, according to officials. McMinn County mayor John Gentry described Ava’s birth as a bright spot after the deadly tornado.

“We had 20 injured (in the tornado) and one brand new life. The Lord works in mysterious ways,” Gentry said during a press conference Wednesday.

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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- It's been 35 years since researchers from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention first reported on a mysterious illness that was infecting and killing healthy young men.

The CDC report from 1981 was the first time AIDS was ever mentioned in medical literature.

In those early days, little was known about AIDS. Today, researchers understand a great deal about how HIV (the human immunodeficiency virus) attacks the immune system and advances to become AIDS. While treatment, prevention and education have saved many lives, researchers continue to fight the spread of HIV and AIDS and find a cure.

Since that CDC report was published, the disease has claimed 35 million lives, according to the the World Health Organization.

Anti-retroviral medication has turned the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) from a death sentence into a chronic illness for many. However, less than half of the people worldwide with HIV get the treatments needed to prolong their lives.

Approximately 1.1 million people died worldwide from the disease last year, according to the United Nations.

A huge problem in the fight against HIV is the fact that people can go years without exhibiting symptoms. As a result, 12.5 percent of people in the U.S. with HIV are unaware they are infected, according to the CDC.

Worldwide, that number jumps to 40 percent, according to the WHO.

To combat that figure, the WHO announced this week new guidelines to encourage "self testing" for HIV.

People can now test for the virus via a simple oral swab or by pricking their finger from the privacy of their own home.

"Millions of people with HIV are still missing out on life-saving treatment, which can also prevent HIV transmission to others," Dr. Margaret Chan, WHO director-general, said in a statement. "HIV self-testing should open the door for many more people to know their HIV status and find out how to get treatment and access prevention services."

In the U.S., gay and bisexual men of color are at increased risk of contracting HIV. The lifetime risk for black men who are gay or bisexual is 1 in 2, according to the CDC.

Worldwide, more women than men are infected with the disease. HIV is the number one killer of women between the ages of 15 to 49, according to the American Foundation for AIDS Research.

Adolescents are also particularly vulnerable. According to one report, 41,000 adolescents between the ages of 10 to 19 died of the disease in 2015.

"The world has made tremendous progress in the global effort to end AIDS, but the fight is far from over – especially for children and adolescents,” UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake said in a statement Thursday. “Every two minutes, another adolescent – most likely a girl – will be infected with HIV. If we want to end AIDS, we need to recapture the urgency this issue deserves -- and redouble our efforts to reach every child and every adolescent.”

While there are no cures or vaccines to prevent HIV, there are multiple experimental vaccines currently in the early stages of testing across the globe.

Additionally, scientists are examining if gene therapy could someday lead to a "functional cure" of the virus.

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Courtesy Jenny Smith(NEW YORK) -- One Alabama mother has a warning for other parents: Photos of your children posted online may be appropriated by malevolent individuals.

According to Jenny Smith of Ranburne, Alabama, a photo of her terminally ill 3-year-old son was turned into an Internet meme after someone lifted a photo from Facebook.

"My husband and I are trying to use it as a positive example," Smith told ABC News. "No. 1, to let other families know that it can happen to them and, No. 2, try to educate people of children with special needs and that terminally ill children are not to be used for a gag or a laugh. This is someone's child and personal photo and not to be made into a joke."

Smith, a mom of four, said her son Grayson was born with 22 birth anomalies. He has suffered from epilepsy, cerebral palsy and a terminal condition in which his brain matter protrudes outside his skull.

On Sept. 13 he underwent his 24th brain and head surgery to improve his quality of life. Despite his severe health problems, Smith said he is "full of life."

"He is funny and sarcastic, very bossy," she said. "He does not act like he has a disability at all. Physically, he's not able to walk or crawl, but he's smart. He goes to pre-K. He's very involved in his class, especially with the girls. He's very loving. He'll tell me, 'I love you,' and give me a bear hug, and he's very attached to his daddy."

To gain support from others, Jenny Smith and her husband, Kendyl Smith, shared Grayson's journey on his YouCaring and Facebook pages.

But last month one of Grayson's more than 15,000 Facebook followers contacted Jenny Smith to alert her of a meme with one of his photos that has been circulating on the Internet.

"I was speechless and, honestly, didn't know what to think or feel at that moment," Smith said. "We were kind of horrified someone could be so cruel."

She said the Facebook user recognized Grayson in a picture taken from his first field trip, to a pumpkin patch in October 2015.

The mean-spirited meme pokes fun at his unique appearance, Smith said.

After Googling the image, Smith learned it has been shared across several websites. She believes the photo was lifted from her Facebook page, titled Grayson's Story.

She reached out to the sites, asking them to remove the meme. Some took it down, and some did not, but she'll never stop trying to have the meme deleted, she said.

"You have to stand up and fight for yourself and have love and care and respect for others, but I still want them to take it down, because it's not right," Smith said. "One by one, it might take me a long time, but Grayson's a fighter, so his father and I have to exemplify what he does for us."

She added, "There's always that chance that we could wake up one morning that he could not be there, so ... we enjoy every day with him."

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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — The North American Olive Oil Association (NAOOA) has filed a lawsuit against television talk show host Dr. Mehmet Oz after he said on his popular program that the majority of extra virgin olive oil sold in U.S. supermarkets may be "fake."

The legal moves comes after Oz said in a May 12, 2016, episode of the The Doctor Oz Show that "80 percent of the extra virgin olive oil that you buy everyday in your supermarket isn't the real deal, it may even be fake."

The TV host added that he was "curious if this was really true," so he then had a "certified olive oil expert" appear on the show for a blind taste and smell test of what he said were five popular Italian extra virgin olive oils available for sale in the U.S. The expert said on the show that only one out of the five oils was authentic extra virgin olive oil.

The American trade group of olive oil marketers, packagers, importers and producers argued in court documents filed on Tuesday that Oz and others "made a series of false statements regarding the quality and purity of olive oil sold in supermarkets in the United States." The group said in its filings that it monitors the olive oil market, and conducts independent tests on olive oils taken directly from store shelves. Its tests indicated that around 95 percent of the tested samples "meet or exceed IOC quality and purity standards." The group also argued that the "expert" on the show had a bias because she works for the California Olive Ranch, which the group says has an interest in promoting California olive oils instead of imported olive oils.

In court documents, NAOOA said that viewers of this episode "tuned into the program to receive information about health and well-being," and relied on Oz's advice "when making dietary choices, like selecting which olive oil to purchase." The group argued that Dr. Oz's statements caused harm to its business and reputation. The group is seeking damages and legal fees.

"Ultimately, too many consumers have been misled into buying a more expensive olive oil or not buying olive oil at all. Dr. Oz has a unique platform to help millions of people make better decisions about their health," NAOOA told Good Morning America, in a statement. "He should use that platform to provide accurate and properly documented information to consumers."

The Dr. Oz Show told GMA that it plans to defend its story.

"The Dr. Oz Show plans to aggressively defend the story which was covered by numerous other reputable news organizations including CBS News’ 60 Minutes, The New York Times and Time magazine. We intend to refute the allegations, some of which stem from the discredited and constitutionally questionable veggie libel statute,” the show said in a statement.

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iStock/ThinkstockBy DR. JENNIFER ASHTON, ABC News Senior Medical Contributor

Hundreds of children and teens are killed every year while walking roadside -- and school zones, in particular, remain a deadly hazard.

A study by Safe Kids Worldwide examined some of the contributing factors and found that almost 30 percent of high school students were distracted by their phones while walking to school. More than 40 percent of students failed to look before crossing the street.

Meanwhile, 1 in 10 drivers were distracted by mobile devices while arriving or departing from schools.

My prescription? While driving near schools, slow down and anticipate the unexpected. Encourage your kids not to use their phones while walking or crossing the street. It only takes one second for an accident to happen.

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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) --  Texas health officials have adopted a new rule that would require burials after many abortions conducted in the state -- a decision that could have a profound effect on providers there.

The rule, which was submitted to the Texas secretary of state by the Texas Department of Health Services last Monday, changes the manner in which fetal tissue can be disposed of following an abortion at a clinic, hospital or other medical setting.

While previously the tissue was to be disposed of in the same matter as most other medical waste in a sanitary landfill, state health officials are now requiring fetal tissue to be interred, regardless of the gestational duration, if a woman has an abortion in those settings.

There are some exceptions and the original proposed language was clarified so that women who are having a miscarriage or an abortion in the home are exempt from burial or cremation requirements. Additionally a birth and death certificate will not be needed to dispose of tissue, a spokesman for the Texas Department of Health Services told ABC News.

Reproductive rights groups have pointed to the rule as another restriction that will likely deter women from getting an abortion in the state. The rule change was initially proposed in July shortly after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned a Texas law that had added requirements for abortion clinics in the state, which led to many of them closing.

"This regulation is another blatant attempt to deceive and shame Texas women and block access to safe, legal abortion," Yvonne Gutierrez, Executive Director of Planned Parenthood Texas Votes said in a statement to ABC News. "Texas politicians are intent on interfering with it. These restrictions do not protect people’s health and safety -- just the opposite. Texans and the Supreme Court already saw through overtly political abortion restrictions that had nothing to do with women's health, and everything to do with a political agenda to ban abortion in this country."

 Whole Women's Health, which was a plaintiff in the U.S. Supreme Court decision that overturned the Texas law called HB2, said it would consider a lawsuit to stop the rule from taking effect.

"We see Texas’ profound disrespect of women’s health and dignity," Amy Hagstrom Miller, founder of Whole Women's Health, told ABC News. "It’s stunning that it has no bounds. It has absolutely no added benefit to women. It’s an undue burden that doesn’t further women’s health in any way. It’s a disregard of our win at the Supreme Court level. You can’t put undue burden in women’s safe abortion services unless you can ensure that it benefits women, and this has no added benefit to women."

The rule change was implemented to "protect public health in a manner that is consonant with the State's respect for life and dignity of the unborn," according to a preamble released by the Texas Health and Human Services Commission.

The rules were submitted last Monday to the Texas Secretary of State and will be implemented by Dec. 19, according to a spokeswoman from the Texas Department of Health Services.

“Governor Abbott believes human and fetal remains should not be treated like medical waste, and the proposed rule changes affirms the value and dignity of all life," a spokesman for the governor told ABC News. "For the unborn, the mothers and the hospital and clinic staff, the governor believes it is imperative to establish higher standards that reflect our respect for the sanctity of life. Further, it is Governor Abbott’s hope that the legislature will consider legislation next session to enshrine the new rules into state law.”

The proposed rule change led to a large outcry with more than 35,000 people leaving comments about the proposed change and two public hearings.

The Texas Medical Association and Texas Hospital Association also raised concerns in a public comment where they questioned who would pay for the "$1,500 to $4,000 cremation cost and the $7,000 to $10,000 funeral service fees," according to documents released by the Texas Department of Health Services.

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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Fewer people under the age of 65 are being burdened by medical bills, according to a report from the National Center for Health Statistics.

Federal researchers from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services examined data from the National Health Interview Survey and found that the percentage of people under age 65 in families having difficulty paying medical bills has decreased from 21.3 percent in 2011 to 16.2 percent in the first six months of 2016. The NHIS defines "family" "as an individual or a group of two or more related persons living together in the same housing unit," according to the report.

Decreases were seen in a variety of groups including people both with and without private insurance, people who were above and below the poverty line and both those under the age of 18 and those between the ages of 18 to 64. The researchers did not look at data for those over the age of 65 and did not speculate on why fewer people were having difficulty paying medical bills. They examined responses from the National Health Interview Survey starting in 2011 and ending during the first six months of 2016.

Karen Politz, senior fellow at Kaiser Family Foundation, said with the passage of the Affordable Care Act, the number of people without health insurance has declined, which has likely led to fewer people having issues paying medical bills.

"The highest incidence with people in medical bill problems has always been uninsured and we’ve seen that number declined substantially in last couple years," Politz told ABC News.

She said medical costs can still be a problem for people with insurance.

"Some people have health insurance who nonetheless experience cost problems," Politz said. She pointed out people sometimes accidentally go out of network "and get billed by people who you thought was in network."

Among people under 65, 28.5 percent of people who were in uninsured families had trouble paying medical bills as compared to 21.1 percent of people in families who had public coverage and 12.6 percent of people in families with private coverage. In addition, 24.9 percent people living near the poverty line (with incomes of 100 to less than 200 percent of the poverty threshold) had trouble paying these bills compared to 23.0 percent of people in families below the poverty threshold and just 12.6 percent of people whose incomes were 200 percent or more than the poverty threshold.

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Alex Scott/ABC(NEW YORK) --  John Mulaney, the Emmy Award-winning writer and comedian turned Broadway actor, said he was struggling with anxiety after his sitcom was canceled last year and turned to meditation to help get back on track.

In an interview with ABC News' Dan Harris for his "10% Happier" podcast, Mulaney said he first tried meditation while he was working on “Mulaney,” a Fox sitcom in which he starred as a fictionalized version of himself. At the time, Mulaney already had two acclaimed stand-up specials -- “The Top Part” in 2009, followed by the Comedy Central special “New in Town” in 2012. He is also known for his work on “Saturday Night Live” -- he starred as a “Weekend Update” correspondent and co-created the character Stefon with SNL alum Bill Hader.

The show "Mulaney" was granted a six-episode commitment at first, but then Mulaney said they waited almost three months to hear whether it would be extended before getting the green light to shoot seven more episodes.

“I was having anger for the first time, out loud, while working on the TV show,” he said. “I lost my temper, not the on the set but over the phone ... and it was weird and it felt out-of-body and it felt uncontrollable.”

 During that three-month break in between the show’s production, Mulaney started reading Harris’ book, “10% Happier: How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing My Edge and Found Self-Help That Actually Works – A True Story.”

“I was probably at peak stress, but peak ambition and on some level, just not at all liking the balance I had, and kind of feeling like ... I was living on Mars and I wasn’t comfortable there,” Mulaney said. “But I had the feeling that I could not be introspective or I would lose momentum.”

Harris’ book was a “jumping off point,” he said, to give meditation a try. But the first time, Mulaney said he tried meditating for a few minutes and hated it. But then later he decided to commit to trying it for 15 minutes a day, and after about five days, he said he noticed a difference.

“I got an email from-- regarding an edit of an episode that normally would of spike my anger levels out of control,” Mulaney said. “And I remember reading it and I was able to kind of process it and I was also able to separate the good experience of shooting the episode from the difficult experience of what was going to get edited down in the episode ... and I just remember thinking, ‘That does not change the fact that you had a good time making it.’”

Mulaney said he more or less gave up meditation when the show when back into production. “Mulaney” was poorly received by critics and canceled in January 2015 after one season and almost immediately, he decided to go back to doing what he knew best -- stand-up comedy.

"When you have something that you did so many jobs on, and were so front and center on, and then people dislike it, you want to learn lessons from it and you want to move on, and you want to move on too fast," he said. “[The show] was canceled and I went on the road four days later, thinking like, ‘I’m just going to leave this behind me and go back to being a stand-up and I’ve totally processed this experience,’... I hit a wall fast realizing I couldn’t outrun it.”

 While he was on the road for his tour, Mulaney said he started meditating again after having “a lot of episodes of panic,” in which he would feel very anxious all day before a show.

“I was doing shows in Sacramento and every bit of anxiety I ever had just came crashing down,” he said. “I was just sitting in the hotel being like, ‘Oh man, I’m done.’

Stand-up had always been something he loved performing, Mulaney said, but "walking around being like -- ‘Does everyone hate me? Have I totally ruined my life? Have I totally ruined my career? Is there any coming back from this? There’s probably no coming back from this. This is one of those things there’s no coming back from this’ -- having all those thoughts alone in a hotel room in Sacramento is ... it's physically-uncomfortable-for-me anxiety that ruined the whole experience leading up to a show."

 In addition to his stand-up tour, Mulaney found success with a third stand-up special on Netflix called “The Comeback Kid,” released in November 2015, and by December 2015, Mulaney said he had committed himself to a regular meditation practice.

“[Meditation] didn’t always help in the moment, and it didn’t always help that day,” he said. “But I think the cumulative effect of [practicing] was very, very good ... but I had days where I would meditate for 20 minutes at the hotel and then meditate for seven minutes backstage just to kind of ground [myself]...but I still would be-- 'I'm still flooded with all these thoughts.'"

There were many weeks where the practice felt “pointless,” he said, because he kept having feelings of self-doubt and anxiety every time he went to a new city on his stand-up tour, but he stuck with it.

“It was physically uncomfortable, the anxiety, enough that I was always happy to exercise or sit down meditate,” he said.

Mulaney says now he’ll notice if he hasn’t been meditating for a while because he’ll feel the anger and anxiety rise up again. He now meditates for 20 minutes every day, usually while sitting in a dark dressing room at the Lyceum Theater in New York City where he and his friend and fellow comedian, Nick Kroll, star in the two-man Broadway show they wrote together called “Oh, Hello,” now running performances until Jan. 22.

And his next step after this? "I'll be going on tour doing stand-up," he said.

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