National News

Dramatic footage shows shootout between bus driver, passenger

Charlotte Area Transit System

(CHARLOTTE, N.C.) -- Newly released surveillance footage shows a dramatic shootout between a North Carolina public bus driver and passenger while the bus was in motion.

The shooting occurred on May 18 on a Charlotte Area Transit System (CATS) bus, after the passenger asked the driver to get off between stops near the Steele Creek Premium Outlet Mall, the transportation agency said.

During an approximately two-minute exchange, the passenger, identified by authorities as 22-year-old Omarri Shariff Tobias -- can be heard saying, "I dare you. I dare you to touch me. I'm going to pop your a--," in the footage, released Friday by CATS.

Tobias then walks away and can be seen pulling a firearm out of his jacket pocket, as two other passengers are visible seated on the bus, before moving back towards the front door of the bus and turning to face the driver.

The driver, identified by CATS as David Fullard, then pulls out his own firearm and both exchange rapid gunfire. CATS said it has been unable to determine who fired first. Multiple bullet holes can be seen in a transparent partition that separates the driver from passengers.

The driver then stopped the bus and left his seat as Tobias crawled his way toward the rear of the bus. The two bystander passengers had also quickly moved to the rear of the bus during the exchange of gunfire.

The driver continued to fire his gun after the initial exchange, the video shows. While standing in the aisle, he fired toward the rear of the bus where Tobias was ducking for cover. After Tobias and another bystander were able to open the rear door and exit, Fullard exited from the bus' front door and fired at Tobias again, CATS said.

Both men were struck by gunfire in the shooting -- the driver in the arm and the passenger in the abdomen -- and transported to a local hospital, CATS said. Both are expected to recover from their injuries, the agency said.

One of the bystanders could be seen tumbling to the ground as Tobias exited the bus, though both bystanders were unharmed in the incident, CATS said.

Officers from the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department responded to the scene and confiscated both firearms, police said.

CATS interim CEO Brent Cagle called the incident a "tragic expression of the gun violence in our community."

"We will not be able to solve this problem on our own. However, CATS is committed to doing what we can to address this with our partners at CMPD, and our partners at RATP Dev who employ and manage our bus operators," Cagle said in a statement on Wednesday.

Tobias has since been arrested and charged with assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injuries, communicating threats and carrying a concealed firearm, police said. He is currently detained at the Mecklenburg County jail, online inmate records show. It is unclear if he has an attorney who can speak on his behalf.

The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department has not yet announced whether charges will be brought against Fullard, who has been fired, CATS said.

Fullard was an employee of RATP Dev/Transit Management, which does not allow employees to carry weapons while working, CATS said.

Fullard's attorney said he had the gun because he didn't feel safe on the job, ABC Charlotte affiliate WSOC reported.

CATS said it also determined that Fullard did not follow standard safety protocols, including de-escalation, during the altercation.

"Ninety-nine percent of CATS transit happens without any operator needing to engage emergency protocols. In this case, the operator did not leverage any," CATS said, noting that Fullard could have just let the passenger off the bus between the stops in an attempt to de-escalate the situation.

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Family of man fatally shot by Walgreens security guard files $25M wrongful death lawsuit

San Francisco District Attorney's Office

(SAN FRANCISCO) -- The family of a man fatally shot by a security guard in a San Francisco Walgreens last month during an apparent shoplifting altercation has filed a $25 million wrongful death lawsuit.

Banko Brown, 24, died on April 27 following an altercation with the guard, police said. The guard, 33-year-old Michael Earl-Wayne Anthony, has not been charged in the shooting.

Attorneys for Banko's parents announced Friday they have filed a civil lawsuit in San Francisco Superior Court against Walgreens, Anthony and Kingdom Group Protective Services, which provides security for Walgreens and employs Anthony.

"Deadly force was not the way to handle this," civil rights attorney John Burris told reporters during a Friday press briefing, calling it a "petty theft situation."

"You're talking about taking a person's life in connection with $15, $14," Burris said.

The lawsuit claims that Walgreens and Kingdom Group Protective Services have encouraged their armed security officers to use force to detain suspected shoplifters.

"Walgreens is responsible," Burris said. "It's Banko's blood that's on their heart and on their conscious and on their hands."

A Walgreens spokesperson told ABC News they are not commenting on the lawsuit. ABC News has reached out to Kingdom Group Protective Services.

A Walgreens spokesperson previously told ABC News: "We are offering condolences to the victim's family during this difficult time. The safety of our patients, customers and team members is our top priority, and violence of any kind will not be tolerated in our stores."

A spokesperson for Kingdom Group Protective Services told ABC News previously that it is "fully cooperating with law enforcement in the investigation of this extremely unfortunate incident and are deeply saddened by the loss of Banko Brown’s life. At this time, we are not permitted to comment further."

ABC News was unable to reach Anthony for comment.

The incident took place at a Walgreens in downtown San Francisco on April 27 just after 6:30 p.m. PT, according to the police report. The surveillance video, which does not have sound, purportedly shows Brown attempting to leave the store without paying for a bag full of items. The on-duty and lawfully armed security guard, Anthony, stops Brown then the two engage in a struggle. The two struggle for less than a minute until Anthony pins Brown to the ground, as shoppers continue to enter and exit the store.

The video then purportedly shows Anthony letting go of Brown, who picks up the bag and heads for the exit. Brown turns around and walks backward out the door then appears to step toward Anthony. Anthony lifts his gun and fires a single shot, striking Brown in the chest. Brown falls to the ground just outside the store.

In an interview with police, Anthony said he told Brown to "put the items back" but that Brown "refused" and was "aggressive." Anthony said he went to take the items but that Brown fought to keep them and repeatedly threatened to stab him as a struggle ensued. Police said a knife was not found on Brown.

Attorneys for Brown's family also pushed back against claims that Brown threatened to stab the guard, saying Friday that witnesses have not corroborated that.

Brown, who struggled with homelessness, worked as a community organizer for the Young Women's Freedom Center, a San Francisco-based nonprofit that provides support for young women and transgender youth across California.

In seeking at least $25 million in damages, Burris said they want the lawsuit to send a message that "the value of a human life cannot be diminished because of their station in life, who they are."

"This was a young person, 24 years old, whose life was taken unnecessarily so," Burris said.

The San Francisco District Attorney's Office declined to file criminal charges against the security guard, citing insufficient evidence that Anthony was not acting in lawful self-defense.

California Attorney General Rob Bonta this week agreed to review the district attorney's office's decision this week to see whether it was an "abuse of discretion," ABC San Francisco station KGO reported.

Brown's parents are calling for murder charges against the guard.

"I would like him to go to prison for life," Brown's mother, Kevinisha Henderson, told "Good Morning America."

Brown's funeral service was held Thursday, a month after he was killed.

"[I'm] in a state of shock, it's still hard to believe," Henderson said. "It's very hard for me."

ABC News' Morgan Winsor and Tenzin Shakya contributed to this report.

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Basketball coach found dead in park nearly week after going missing: Police

Delray Beach Police Department

(DELRAY BEACH, Fla.) -- A missing youth basketball coach in Florida was found dead nearly a week after police said he was last seen going for a run.

Makuach Yak, 31, was found dead Friday evening inside the Delray Oaks Natural Area, a park in Delray Beach, Florida, local authorities said.

"Right now, it appears his death is not criminal in nature," the Delray Beach Police Department said in a social media post.

The medical examiner will determine Yak's cause of death, and the investigation remains open, police said.

Yak, a youth basketball coach from Delray Beach, was supposed to coach on May 20 but was nowhere to be found, his friend and business partner, Tate VanRoekel, told ABC West Palm Beach affiliate WPBF.

Home security footage shared with WPBF recorded Yak in his front yard around 6:30 a.m. that day in a purple shirt and black shorts, the station reported.

VanRoekel told WPBF that Yak's wallet, keys, cellphone and Apple Watch were "all on the counter, just sitting there."

In the days since he was reported missing, friends and family have held search parties throughout Delray Beach, a city on Florida's east coast located between West Palm Beach and Boca Raton.

Friends also spread the word through a Facebook group, Missing: Find Coach Yak.

"We ask that you pray for his family and all who loved him. We are devastated," the group posted on Friday.

Yak, a native of South Sudan who was also known by the name Paul, coached youth basketball in the South Florida region. He competed in cross country at Augustana University in South Dakota and once had ambitions to compete in the Olympics, according to a 2018 Des Moines Register profile of the runner.

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The nation's top teachers share their biggest challenges: Burnout, student mental health and more

Ariel Skelley/Getty Images

(NEW YORK) -- Top teachers across the country say they face major hurdles in the classroom -- including staffing shortages, the pinch of low pay and addressing students' mental health -- many of which stem from closures during the COVID-19 pandemic, a recent ABC News survey found.

"I think teachers are just the fabric of our communities," Rebecka Peterson, the 2023 educator of the year, told ABC News earlier this year. "And I think we have to think of big and small ways that we can wrap our arms around teachers and remind them how important they are to us individually and to us as communities."

For this story, ABC News solicited responses from each state teacher of the year winner to see what they viewed as the greatest current challenge facing educators.

Thirty-five out of the 55 teachers answered and the rest elected not to participate, according to a spokesperson for the Council of Chief State School Officers, which runs the state teacher of the year program.

The issues that the group highlighted include navigating advancements in technology, teaching larger class sizes and more.

The two most common answers were meeting students' social, emotional and academic needs and solving the staffing shortage.

Despite emerging cultural flashpoints in the classroom like instruction on LGBTQ topics, book bans and the appropriateness of discussing critical race theory, the teachers instead pointed to student mental health, low pay and burnout as causes for concern.

Iowa's teacher of the year, Krystal Colbert, described the latter as a "real" and "recognizable" crisis that deserves more attention.

Meeting students where they are

Nine respondents said what deserves the most attention is how to reach students who may be struggling amid broader emotional challenges, whether it's what they called a youth mental health crisis or trauma brought on by the pandemic.

Maine's Matt Bernstein believes it's time to maximize this moment.

"Meeting the needs of all students is a responsibility that educators are proud to take on, but it is challenging and takes a lot of work, energy, and dedication," Bernstein, a professional learning coach, wrote in the survey.

He and other educators stressed how cultivating relationships is also a solution for a problem they described as largely created by social isolation and distance learning when schools shuttered three years ago to limit the health risks of COVID-19.

"By building solid relationships and comprehensively investing in education, we have a better chance of ensuring that every student can achieve their full potential and contribute to the success of our society," wrote Alabama fifth-grade teacher Reggie LeDon White.

Washington, D.C.'s Jermar Rountree, a health and physical education teacher and 2023 national finalist, explained that kids also need movement, which will help them handle their emotions.

"We as teachers need the support to be able to handle the traumatic experiences that our students are coming to school with," Rountree wrote "Teachers are constantly swimming upstream to meet students where they are, but after the pandemic we do not even know where to begin. However, one place to start would be to prepare our new teachers on what to expect and how they can be severely helpful to our veteran teachers. Giving all teachers the tools to be successful increases the [professional] lifespan of a teacher 2 times over."

Teachers have to accommodate students not only in their lessons but in all aspects of life, according to Stephane Camacho Concepcion, a Guam elementary school teacher.

"Educators have to be able to be counselors, social workers, and etc to ensure that they [children] have all they need to have a successful academic journey," she wrote.

Recruiting and retaining teachers

According to experts, education departments, agencies and associations, 42 states and territories report ongoing shortages this school year.

Seven teacher of the year respondents -- from rural Alaska to New Jersey -- indicated they're feeling that strain.

"Shortages have always been fairly normal, but the past few years have seen the shortages drastically increase," wrote Alaska first-grade teacher Harlee Harvey, a 2023 national finalist. "This provides issues for several reasons. First, students are without highly qualified teachers in their classrooms, which will negatively impact the quality of instruction. Second, it puts an additional burden on teachers and paraeducators who have stayed, increasing the stress of their jobs and the likelihood that they will step away from our schools as well," she added.

Arizona's Ty White, who teaches high school chemistry, explained that the "massive" shortage is more pronounced in rural districts in the U.S., especially for aspiring educators.

"Since most university driven teaching programs are located in larger cities, many teachers aren't familiar with rural communities to begin with," White wrote. "When these new teachers start job searching and find rural job postings, they are often less attractive because in states with Local Education Agency control, salaries are not competitive with larger communities."

In New Jersey, where state officials have said special education, science and math teachers are in high demand, Christine Girtain called for better funding practices that would help instructors earn more amid the shortage.

The National Education Association (NEA) found that teachers make thousands less than they did a decade ago when adjusted for inflation. The average salary of classroom teachers declined by an estimated 6.4% over the past decade, according to NEA data.

"Teachers should not have to work 2nd & 3rd jobs to afford to live," Girtain, a high school science teacher and director of authentic science research, wrote. "We need larger nationwide investment in funding education and paying teachers a living wage."

School safety

Two respondents included school safety in their answers to this survey. Still, recent fears of gun violence also has other teachers on edge.

Melissa Collins said learning loss was this nation's greatest education challenge. But in the wake of the mass shooting at the Covenant School in Nashville, Tennessee, Collins said she hopes the massacre prompts legislators to pass more gun reform.

"I don't have a hand to carry a gun," the state's teacher of the year told "Good Morning America" in March. "My hands are full because I am carrying our future leaders."

Respecting the profession

Respect remains a major challenge facing public educators, too, the surveyed teachers said.

Rebecka Peterson, this year's national teacher of the year, aims to use her platform to share positive messages about education. But recently she told ABC News that many teachers still feel they aren't valued as much as they should be.

"What every teacher says when I ask them the recruit and retain [question], right, they come back to respecting and appreciating the profession," Peterson said last month before being honored with a crystal apple at the White House.

Most teachers in Peterson's cohort agree: The lack of appreciation is undeserving of the job.

"In any other profession, professionals are treated with respect and dignity," Kentucky sixth-grade English Language Arts teacher Mandy Perez wrote in the ABC News survey. "We deserve to be treated with the same importance and value," she wrote.

Tara Hughes believes respecting education could even improve working conditions for teachers. "Uplifting the education profession and retaining teachers will lead to smaller class sizes, resulting in higher student engagement, the ability to meet academic and social-emotional needs, and a decrease in teacher burnout," Hughes, who teaches Pre-K in New Mexico, wrote.

Working with the community to respect and prioritize students' needs is at the top of Missouri English teacher Christina Andrade Melly's agenda.

"Public education is a public good - we have to respect it and invest in it for our students to thrive," Melly wrote, adding, "All of us want our students to be successful, and we must remember how to work together towards that goal."

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Board game designers aim to make tackling climate change fun

Richard Reininger

(NEW YORK) -- Board games like Monopoly, Clue and The Game of Life are iconic in many Americans' lives and in pop culture. Now some designers are exploring a wider range of topics, including how to use games to spark discussion about bigger issues.

One of those games, Daybreak, is set to launch this spring after years of development to tackle one of the most complex topics of all, how to bring the world together to combat climate change.

"The game started from a conversation on what could we do about climate change as game designers," game designer Matteo Menapace told ABC News. "We felt we can use games to talk about climate change, to model this big problem in a way that is playable, that is understandable by players and in a way that gives people agency over their choices."

In Daybreak, players take on the role of world powers like the United States, European Union and China and have to negotiate ways to achieve drawdown, which is the point when greenhouse gas emissions are reduced enough to prevent temperatures from continuing to rise. Instead of playing against each other players work together to win against the game, but the whole group will lose if any player has too many communities in crisis from the impacts of climate change.

Designers Menapace and Matt Leacock, who also designed the game Pandemic, said they were overwhelmed by all the problems associated with climate change at first, but wanted to use their skills to help do something about it.

They said the game became a way for them, and they hope for players as well, to process their feelings about climate change and better understand the possible solutions.

"I think that just watching it kind of play out through the dynamics of the game made it also easier to kind of understand and get my arms around and feel better about. So it was a very positive thing for me to develop it. And I'm kind of hoping that people who play the game will have a similar experience," Leacock said.

Board games surged in popularity in recent years, with a 33% increase in sales in the first year of the pandemic, according to market research firm Circana. Several independently designed games like Cascadia and Wingspan have taken on nature-related themes and have been recognized with multiple design awards.

But even with the gains in popularity, it actually isn't the first time board games have been used to help players interact with or learn more about nature.

Sherri Sheu curated an exhibit at the Science History Institute in Philadelphia focused on environmental board games. Sheu's work as a historian focuses on environmental history and she said there are clear parallels between what you see in games from decades like the 1960s and 70s and the conversation about environmental issues going on at the time.

"I think most people tend to think of board games as fun family entertainment. As things that we're just we play on a Saturday night with our friends or we're playing at home with our families and usually we're thinking more about, more in terms of who's cheating at Monopoly than we're thinking about what we're learning from these games," Sheu said.

"But what we discovered is actually that game makers and game designers have just been fascinated by environmental issues and have made a lot of games about environmental issues over the last 50 years," Sheu said.

She said some of those games, like Litterbug a children's game that teaches about the consequences of littering or Clean Water, a game created after the passage of the Clean Water Act, came at a time in the 1970s when people were becoming a lot more politically engaged and aware of environmental issues.

"These board games really serve as a way of both harnessing this really strong energy that people are having about protecting the environment, that they want to get out there, that they want to do something about it, and also showing that these issues can often be quite complex," she told ABC News.

Adam Procter, a professor at the University of Southampton's Winchester School of Art who teaches game design, said he sees a similar energy in his students today who come to work with him because of his focus on using gameplay to tackle difficult topics.

Procter and his students helped test Daybreak. In those sessions, he said he noticed that even losing the game sparked conversations that relate to climate solutions in the real world.

"Afterwards, the conversation about what they think they should do better and that .. they want to play like almost straight away again, too, because they suddenly realize 'oh okay, we need to collaborate on this. We should definitely have done more of that. I think we need to invest in this technology or these things'," Procter told ABC News.

"And so the conversation after the game is really interesting because they certainly are having conversations about the climate crisis, which is not just, it's not a topic you just want to bring up," Procter said.

Leacock and Menapace said that despite the serious nature of the subject matter, the game had to be fun. And that in addition to providing a fun experience with friends and family, the game can help people navigate the anxiety and sense of overwhelm that's often connected to climate change.

Leacock said the game provides a safe space to talk about climate-related topics and they also plan to include links to resources to learn about the real world equivalents of the scenarios in the game.

"You're seeing that you can actually make a difference or that people, society can make a difference. So you're less likely to be caught up in a feeling of doom and that can feel pretty empowering," he said.

Daybreak will be shipped to people who pre-ordered it in June and is expected to be available online and in stores later this spring.

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Feds charge climate protesters for allegedly defacing Edgar Degas exhibit at National Gallery of Art

Nick Ansell/PA Images via Getty Images

(WASHINGTON) -- Two members of a climate activist group were arrested and charged Friday for allegedly defacing an art exhibit at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., during a protest last month.

Timothy Martin of North Carolina, and Joanna Smith of New York, both 53, surrendered to authorities after they were indicted on conspiracy to commit an offense against the United States and injury to a National Gallery of Art exhibit, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Columbia.

On April 27, the pair, members of climate activist group Declare Emergency, allegedly entered the gallery and threw red and black paint on the case of the Edgar Degas sculpture "Little Danger Aged Fourteen," according to prosecutors.

The pair then sat in front of the defaced exhibit with the paint still on their hands and posed for photos, which were later posted on Declare Emergency's site, investigators said.

"The conspiracy specifically targeted the Little Dancer based on her fragility," the U.S. Attorney's office said in a statement.

Prosecutors said Martin and Smith's alleged actions caused approximately $2,400 in damage and the exhibit was removed from public display for 10 days so that it could be repaired.

Attorney information for the defendants wasn't immediately available.

Other protesters who were involved in the museum defacing haven't been named or charged.

If convicted, Martin and Smith face up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.

A few days before the museum incident, Declare Emergency shut down a section of the George Washington Memorial Parkway, causing heavy traffic jams around Washington, D.C.

Museums and art exhibits have become a growing target for climate activists around the world in the last couple of months.

In October, climate activists threw soup over Vincent van Gogh's "Sunflowers" in London's National Gallery to protest fossil fuel extraction.

In November, two climate activists were arrested after they tried to glue themselves to Edvard Munch's "The Scream" in an Oslo, Norway, museum.

Later that month, protesters from threw a black oily liquid on Gustav Klimt's painting "Tod und Leben" at the Leopold museum in Vienna, Austria, before gluing their hands to the frame.

ABC News' Julia Jacobo contributed to this report.

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Player faints during LSU Tigers’ national title celebration at the White House

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

(WASHINGTON) -- The LSU Tigers women's basketball team’s national championship celebration at the White House on Friday was marked by a scary moment when a player fainted during the event.

Sa'Myah Smith, a freshman forward, seemed to signal she was in distress before she collapsed. The event paused for several moments while medical staff attended to her,

Eventually, applause broke out when Smith was helped to a chair and wheeled out of the event. Later on, head coach Kim Mulkey assured the crowd she was alright and more embarrassed than anything.

"That's not the first time that's happened," President Joe Biden said. "Not to her but to a lot of folks standing on that stage."

Aside from the scare, the event also saw some mending of fences between team co-captain Angel Reese and Dr. Jill Biden.

The tiff began after the first lady suggested she would invite both LSU and the team it defeated to the White House. Reese called that a "joke" and suggested that she would not come to the White House before ultimately agreeing to attend.

Reese helped present jerseys to the Bidens and gave them hugs.

"Watching you was pure magic," the first lady said of the team’s performance in the NCAA championship. "The way you pass, like you can read each other's thoughts. The air crackling with the electricity of that connection. The crowd seemed to breath with one breath. Our hearts racing to the rhythm of each thump of the ball."

"Every basket was pure joy, and I kept thinking about how far women's sports have come," she continued.

The president also gave Reese a shout out in his remarks, saying he "wasn't surprised" when she was named the most outstanding player.

"You know, you made it more expensive for people to come. The cost of tickets went up 10 times. 10 times. And more than the men's games," Biden said to laughter.

Present at the event were two top debt ceiling negotiators and Louisiana natives: Rep. Garret Graves and Office of Budget and Management Director Shalanda Young. Both took a break from ongoing talks to commemorate the team.

"She's now helping lead the critical budget talks we're in the middle of now. But she said, 'I'm not - I'm leaving the talks to be here,'" Biden said of Young in what was his only reference to the budget talks during the event.

The Tigers dominated the Iowa Hawkeyes to win their first basketball title in school history.

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'I would have nothing': Low-income older people fear debt default that stops Social Security

VioletaStoimenova/Getty Images

(NEW YORK) -- The threat to Social Security payments posed by a debt ceiling impasse keeps Linda Stanberry, 76, dwelling on her worst fear: the loss of the home she has lived in for 48 years.

Stanberry, who depends entirely on about $1,800 she receives in federal benefits each month, said she hardly saves anything after expenses like food, utilities, prescription drugs and supplemental insurance for cancer coverage.

The federal government could fail to pay some of its bills as soon as June 1, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen warned this week. If that shortfall interrupts Social Security, Stanberry would need emergency cash, she said.

"I would have nothing," Stanberry, who lives in Southwest Virginia, told ABC News. "There's no way I could keep my home."

Stanberry is one of millions of low-income older Americans who rely on Social Security for almost the entirety of their funds. In all, roughly 1 in 7 Americans age 65 or older depend on the federal benefits for 90% or more of their income, Social Security Administration data shows.

If the U.S. fails to make Social Security payments next month, or even delays payments for a few days, low-income older people would face dire circumstances, foregoing basic necessities like food and medical care, experts and advocates told ABC News.

"For older adults living paycheck to paycheck, this debt ceiling process has been absolutely terrifying," Ramsey Alwin, the president and CEO of nonprofit National Council on Aging, told ABC News. "Losing that check means they wouldn't be able to put food on the table."

A failure to make Social Security payments would hit some older Americans by next week.

The federal government is scheduled to make payments on June 1 to enrollees in a supplemental social security program for low-income older people with disabilities. The following day, a batch of Social Security payments totaling $25 billion is scheduled to go out to general recipients, targeting the most vulnerable such as older enrollees.

Additional payments are scheduled to go out on June 14, June 21 and June 28, each of which amounts to about $25 billion.

"This could be absolutely disastrous," Peter Kempner, the legal director at New York City-based Peter Kempner Volunteers of Legal Service, who works closely with older adults in poverty, told ABC News.

Many low-income older people lack savings, leaving them especially vulnerable to a financial shock, he added.

"They live government paycheck to government paycheck," Kempner said. "They don't have reserves to float themselves for a couple months in case benefits are suspended because of what's going on in Washington."

As a debt default nears, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy told reporters on Friday that he remained confident that negotiators would soon strike a deal.

Negotiators "made progress" overnight, McCarthy said, declining to offer specifics of the potential agreement.

McCarthy is commiting to provide House members 72 hours to review the bill before bringing it to the floor for a vote, leaving little time for a deal to be ratified before a potential cash shortfall on June 1.

Even a delay in Social Security payments of a few days could put low-income older people in an agonizing position of prioritizing their little remaining spending between rent, food and transportation to medical appointments, experts and advocates told ABC News.

"Every single day that goes by makes a difference," Cindy Cox-Roman, the president and CEO of advocacy group HelpAge USA, told ABC News.

Charles Turner, 74, relies solely on some $1,000 in Social Security that he receives each month, he said.

Since he suffers from a disability that limits his mobility and use of public transportation, Turner depends on rideshare services that cost as much as $25 each way to get to weekly doctor's appointments and Tai Chi classes at a senior center, he said.

"It would be a challenge to just even go shopping for food and get to physical therapy appointments," said Turner, who lives in Washington D.C.

Policymakers engaged in debt ceiling negotiations, he added, overlook these direct consequences for older people.

"They don't see us," Turner said. "We're just lost in the lurch."

ABC News' Katherine Faulders, Gabe Ferris, Allison Pecorin and Alexandra Hutzler contributed reporting.

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After man opens plane door mid-flight, flyers ask: How can that happen?

Rafael Henrique/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

(NEW YORK) -- A South Korean man faces 10 years in prison after he allegedly opened an emergency exit door while the plane was still in the air preparing to land.

The incident had flyers on Friday asking: How could that happen?

The aircraft landed safely at the Daegu airport, but officials said 12 people were taken to the hospital for respiratory issues.

The Asiana Airlines Airbus A321 was reportedly about 800 feet above the ground when the passenger opened the door.

Witnesses told local media other passengers tried to restrain the passenger.

Dramatic video shows extreme wind blowing passengers in the final moments of the flight.

Opening an aircraft door is impossible while the plane is at cruising altitude or above 10,000 feet due to air pressure.

However, as the plane gets lower, experts say it is possible for a door to open as the pressure outside equalizes with the pressure inside the plane.

"At cruising altitude there is enough pressure inside the cabin that it pushes the door against the hull of the airplane but, as the airplane descends, then the pressure begins to equalize. It is possible at very low altitudes as we've seen here for that door to be opened while the aircraft is still in flight," ABC News contributor and former Marine Col. Steve Ganyard explained.

"The fact that this happened in very low altitude just prior to touch down means that everybody should have been belted in. Nobody was going to get sucked out of the airplane but the person who opened the door certainly was in danger of falling out," he said.

The Asiana Airlines flight had 194 passengers and six crew members on board.

South Korean transportation officials say they are investigating exactly how the door opened.

Officials have not released a motive, but said the man did not appear to be intoxicated.

The domestic flight was traveling to Daegu from the resort island of Jeju.

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Judge grants injunction, allows abortions to resume in South Carolina

ftwitty/Getty Images

(NEW YORK) -- A South Carolina judge has granted abortion providers' request to block a newly enacted six-week abortion ban while a legal challenge proceeds, Planned Parenthood South Atlantic confirmed to ABC News.

Planned Parenthood, one of the providers involved in the lawsuit, celebrated the decision on Twitter.

The ban was signed into law by Gov. Henry McMaster on Thursday after passing in the state Senate earlier this week.

The new ban prohibits all abortions after fetal cardiac activity is detected, which generally occurs at six weeks of pregnancy, with limited exceptions. Anyone who violates the ban is guilty of a felony and, upon conviction, must be fined $10,000, face prison time of up to two years or both.

Physicians or medical providers found guilty of performing illegal abortions will also have their licenses revoked.

The suit challenging the ban was filed by Planned Parenthood and Greenville Women's Clinic. It claims the ban violates constitutional rights to privacy, equal protection and substantive due process.

"Today the court has granted our patients a welcome reprieve from this dangerous abortion ban. Our doors remain open, and we are here to provide compassionate and judgment-free health care to all South Carolinians. While we have a long fight ahead, we will not stop until our patients are again free to make their own decisions about their bodies and futures," Jenny Black, the president and CEO of Planned Parenthood South Atlantic, said in a statement Friday.

McMaster had signed a previous so-called "heartbeat ban" into law in 2021, but it was struck down by the state's Supreme Court in January.

Fifteen states have ceased nearly all abortion services since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, ending federal protections for abortion rights.

The White House criticized the ban in a statement late Thursday. White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said South Carolina's "extreme and dangerous" ban on abortions past six weeks " will criminalize health care providers and cause delays and denials of health and life-saving care."

"South Carolina's ban will cut off access to abortion for women in the state and those across the entire region for whom South Carolina is their closest option for care," Jean-Pierre said.

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Investigation finds multiple problems with grueling 'Hell Week' for Navy SEALs

U.S. Navy

(NEW YORK) -- A Navy investigation found that the already tough selection course for Navy SEALs had become dangerous with lax oversight and medical care as course instructors pushed SEAL candidates to their physical limits, leaving some injured and hospitalized, and leading some to use performance enhancing drugs they believed would help them pass the course.

The Navy has committed to putting in place the investigation's recommendations that followed earlier changes prompted by the investigation of the February, 2022 death of SEAL candidate Kyle Mullen.

The 24-year-old former Yale football team captain died just hours after having successfully completed the grueling "Hell Week" that is part of the Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL course, known as BUD/S, that selects sailors to become elite SEALs.

His death triggered investigations into how he had died and a broad command investigation of the entire BUD/S program.

The report into Mullen's death led to changes that included better oversight of course instructors, more thorough medical screenings for cardiac conditions, updated medical policies, and more authorization to screen for performance enhancing drugs.

The nearly 200-page command investigation released Thursday identified "failures across multiple systems that led to a number of candidates being at a high risk of serious injury," Rear Adm. Peter Garvin, the commander of Naval Education and Training Command, wrote in a summary accompanying the report.

Garvin said the safety risk to SEAL candidates amounted to "a near perfect storm" that resulted from "inadequate oversight, insufficient risk assessment, poor medical command and control, and undetected performance enhancing drug use," and "wholly inadequate" medical monitoring and care following Hell Week.

He also described "a degree of complacency and insufficient attentiveness to a wide range of important inputs meant to keep the students safe."

Already a grueling course, the investigation found that in recent years the SEAL selection process had become dangerous with poor leadership and little medical oversight.

Inexperienced instructors focused on "weeding out" candidates and "hunting the back of the pack" instead of fostering teamwork that led to a significant increase in attrition rates from the course.

One commander urged instructors to keep pushing the SEAL candidates whom he described as having "less mental toughness" than previous generations.

The change in tone increased the risks for potential injury to SEAL candidates as the medical care available to them was insufficient and inadequate according to the report.

Garvin described the course's medical care as "poorly organized, poorly integrated, and poorly led" a situation that "put candidates at significant risk."

The investigation also found what Garvin described as "strong indicators" of the use of performance-enhancing drugs (PEDS) in BUD/S by some SEAL candidates who believed they could help improve their chances of making it through the course.

"Illicit PEDS use represents a significant hazard to candidate health, and is also contrary to the SEAL ethos and the Navy's core values," wrote Garvin who supports the investigation's recommendations to put in place a "robust" and increased education program to eliminate its use.

The report also provided additional details about the circumstances surrounding Mullen's death, noting that in his final medical check after completing the course his lungs were weak and his legs were so swollen that he was sent back to his barracks in a wheelchair.

Once back at the barracks, there were delays in getting Mullen the medical care he needed and by the time emergency medics arrived he was already "without a pulse," the report said. He died shortly after having been taken to a hospital.

"We want to make sure people are getting adequate care and not being left to die on the ground," T.J. Mullen, Kyle Mullen's brother, told ABC News in an exclusive interview. "We just need medical to look at these guys, it's utterly pathetic that they weren't being taken care of."

Based on the report's conclusions, Garvin determined that "accountability actions are also necessary." A Navy spokesman told ABC News that some Navy personnel could face "potential accountability actions."

"From our perspective, many people were involved and many people tried to cover up committed wrongdoings and accountability has not come," T.J. Mullen told ABC News.

"We've been waiting for a year and a half almost at this point since my brother passed, and no one has gotten in trouble," he added.

Following the Navy investigation of Mullen's deat, three Navy officers who oversaw the program received administrative "non-punitive" letters. Earlier this month, two of the officers who headed the program were pulled from their jobs two months ahead of schedule.

"In the case of the training death of Seaman Mullen, the investigation revealed a lack of leadership and medical oversight and support," said Eric Oehlerich, an ABC News contributor and a former SEAL commander. "It's tragic, but where required, accountability is occurring."

"We will honor Seaman Mullen's memory by ensuring that the legacy of our fallen teammate guides us towards the best training program possible for our future Navy SEALs," said Rear Adm. Keith Davids, commander, Naval Special Warfare Command, in a statement.

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Unprecedented ruling about releasing evidence in Nashville school shooting could lead to 'slippery slope': Experts

Metropolitan Nashville Police Dept.

(NASHVILLE, Tenn.) -- A Tennessee judge's unprecedented ruling granting parents the legal right to object to the release of police evidence in a Nashville school mass shooting case could produce a chilling effect on what law enforcement officials make public about violent crime in the future, experts told ABC News.

Davidson County Chancery Court Judge I'Ashea L. Myles ruled on Wednesday that the parents of students who were killed or traumatized by the March 27 massacre at the Covenant School have a legal standing to intervene on behalf of their children in lawsuits requesting evidence, including the shooter's writings, be released to the public.

"There's no roadmap on this," Deborah Fisher, executive director of the Tennessee Coalition on Open Government, a nonprofit that advocates for transparency in government, told ABC News.

The Covenant School parents filed a motion to be heard in a now consolidated lawsuit filed against the Nashville Metropolitan Government by media companies, the Tennessee Firearms Association Inc. and a private investigator for the National Police Association to compel the police department's release to the public evidence collected in an ongoing investigation of the school shooting that left three 9-year-old students and three adults, including the head of the school, dead.

An attorney for the parents said at a court hearing before Myles this week that the parents don't want to see any of the police evidence ever made public, specifically the journals of the alleged shooter, 28-year-old Audrey Hale, who was killed by police.

Police have not commented on a motive for the attack.

Attorney Eric Osborne, who said he represents 100 families affected by the school shooting, said during Monday's hearing that the parents fear the evidence, if made public, could inspire copycat attacks and add additional pain to the children who survived the rampage.

"We are grateful for the opportunity to enter this case on behalf of our children and loved ones," Brent Leatherwood, a Covenant School parent who attended the Monday hearing, said in a statement to The New York Times. "Our intention is to safeguard our families and do all we can to prevent this horror from spreading to any other community."

In their motion, the parents cited the Tennessee Crime Victims' Bill of Rights which says victims "have the right to be free from harassment, intimidation, and abuse throughout the criminal justice system."

"Let me be clear, what would create a slippery slope is if she (Myles) decides that victims have a right to prevent access to police records," Fisher said. "I think we're about to hear, according to what the lawyers said, testimony from witnesses that say why the writings of mass shooters should not be released."

Myles has scheduled a June 8 "show cause" hearing for attorneys on both sides of the issue to make arguments.

Osborne said many of the Covenant School parents want to address the court on why they don't want the records released. He also said he'd like to call expert witnesses to explain how such a release of information could leave the victims open to "harassment, intimidation, and abuse."

In addition to the parents, Myles granted the Covenant Presbyterian Church and its school the right to intervene in the litigation.

During a hearing on Monday, lawyers for the church and school argued they don't want the evidence seized in the investigation released because the material contains the school's safety plan and other documents pertaining to health and social security records of school and church employees.

In her ruling, Myles wrote that "the court was stirred" by the argument that the public release of sensitive private documents could have "harmful and irreversible consequences."

"We're interested because we're used to police being able to release things about crimes," Fisher said. "We don't know what will happen if victims could, basically, prevent the release of police information, any police information. If that were the case, the police's hands will be tied on releasing information without the consent of the victim."

Fisher noted that two days after the mass shooting, Metropolitan Nashville Police Department released body camera footage of police officers charging into the school and killing the shooter. Police officials also released surveillance camera footage of Hale firing an AR-15-style rifle through the school's glass doors and stalking the hallways looking for victims to shoot.

"Even though it's graphic and scary to see that, police released it and it made them look like heroes and they were. They really went into that situation, and you could see what police had to do," Fisher said. "That video of the shooter going through the school, I don't know what the parents think about that being released."

John Lott, president of the Crime Prevention Research Center, a national gun rights advocacy group, told ABC News that it's "incredibly unusual" that the Covenant School shooter's writings haven't already been released.

"To me, the important thing is to learn the motivation why the person picked the particular place they did to attack," Lott said.

The Covenant parents' motion to have a say in the release of the police evidence was filed two days after more than 60 members of the Tennessee House Republican Caucus signed a letter they sent to Chief John Drake of the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department, asking him to release Hale's writings. The lawmakers wrote that Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee has called upon the General Assembly to hold a special session to consider public safety legislation in response to the shooting.

"In order for this special session to be successful, it is paramount we understand the behavior and motives of the Covenant School perpetrator," the letter said.

Copyright © 2023, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Montana’s new law banning climate impact reviews sparks backlash from environmental experts

UCG/Universal Images Group via Getty Images, FILE

(HELENA, Mont.) -- The federal government has made a push toward enacting policies addressing climate change in recent years, but state lawmakers in Montana are bucking the trend, recently passing a law curbing climate impact reviews in the state.

State Rep. Josh Kassmier last month introduced House Bill 971, an amendment to the Montana Environmental Policy Act that changes the process of how large projects are reviewed by preventing state regulators from considering greenhouse gas emissions and climate impacts when conducting environmental reviews.

Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte signed the bill into law on May 10.

The move comes in a state is known for its outdoor recreation and vast landscapes, with diverse terrain ranging from the Great Plains to the Rocky Mountains and several national and state parks, including a portion of Yellowstone, the first plot of land in the U.S. to be designated as federally protected.

"Montanans have a very strong connection to the land," Anne Hedges, director of policy and legislative affairs for the Montana Environmental Information Center, told ABC News. "You don't live here unless you like being outdoors and recreating and enjoying the scenery."

But, in a state filled with such natural resources, the extraction of coal, oil and other natural gases and the resulting financial boon is also popular, Robin Saha, a professor of environmental studies at the University of Montana, told ABC News.

Passage of the law was a "knee-jerk reaction" after the permit for the construction of a NorthWestern Energy methane gas plant outside of Laurel, Montana, was revoked by a district judge in Yellowstone County on April 6, Saha said.

Local residents had argued for years that the power plant was poorly located and posed threats to the public health and quality of life, according to the Billings Gazette.

Methane is one of the most powerful greenhouse gas emissions, measuring more 25 times more potent than carbon dioxide in terms of how much warming it can contribute to the atmosphere over time, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Methane emissions contribute to at least a quarter of today's climate warming, the Environmental Defense Fund says.

"I think they saw the requirements to assess greenhouse gas emissions as sort of a roadblock and decided that, since it was slowing down the process for NorthWestern energy, they would just make sure that didn't happen again," Saha said of the lawmakers who voted for the bill.

Jenny Harbine, managing attorney for nonprofit Earthjustice's Northern Rockies office, described the law to ABC News as "cynical."

She said, "Rather than taking that issue back to the state regulator, and just doing the work to look at the climate impacts, the legislature said, 'Well, let's not look at climate impacts at all.'"

Some environmental experts in Montana likened the new legislation to part of a long trend of climate denialism in the state, accusing state leaders of turning a blind eye to the impact on climate change to appease major industries.

"This is just an effort to bury Montanans heads in the sand," Saha said.

Critics argue the bill also violates the 50-year-old Montana state constitution, which guarantees Montanans the right to a "clean and healthful environment."

The state clause is the "strongest constitutional provision" in the U.S. for protecting the environment, Hedges said. It is also the strongest argument environmentalist have to challenge House Bill 971 in court, Michelle Bryan, a professor at the University of Montana's natural resources and environmental law program, told ABC News.

The law will likely be challenged as a violation of the state constitution, Bryan said, adding that in the past when the state legislature has attempted to amend the Montana Environmental Protection Act and was challenged in court, the amendment failed.

But even if the law is upheld, it will be difficult to enforce because of the "clean and healthful environment" clause in the state constitution, Bryan said.

Critics say Montana is already experiencing the effects of climate change, pointing to a whiplash of severe weather events like constant flooding on the Yellowstone River, extreme heat, one of the largest snowpacks to fall in the last decade, decades-long drought and wildfires raging more than a month before the dry season officially begins. There have been several climate assessments done in the state on these weather events, Bryan said.

Last week, air quality alerts were issued in Montana due to the early season wildfires burning in Canada -- a clear consequence of warming temperatures, critics argued.

"Montana is experiencing pretty, pretty severe, serious effects of climate change," Saha said. "The people of Montana have an interest in good decisions being made that aren't going to worsen climate change."

The effects the bill has on the state's $7.2 billion annual outdoor economy and the tens of thousands of jobs it supports will also be "severe and drastic," Alsentzer said.

The state is currently being sued by 16 youth plaintiffs over its pro-fossil fuel policies. In the complaint brought by environmental group Our Children's Trust, one plaintiff who engages in regular outdoor recreation said climate change was affecting ski conditions. Another plaintiff, who is Native American, said their ability to harvest berries has been impacted. Another plaintiff who works on a ranch said climate change was affecting agricultural operations. Trial will start for that case in June.

"You can't have a rational environmental decision-making process without a consideration of climate impacts," Harbine said. "'See no evil' is not an environmental policy. But that's not what the legislature intends."

Representatives for Kassmier and Gianforte did not immediately respond to ABC News' requests for comment.

Proponents of the bill, including Kassmier, said the new law addresses the conflict between the legislative and judiciary branches in the state, ensuring that lawmakers, not judges, set policy on critical issues like the permitting for the NorthWestern energy plant, according to the Montana Free Press.

Kaitlin Price, a spokesperson for Gianforte, told the Montana Free Press that the bill ensures that regulation of greenhouse gas emissions remains under federal regulatory frameworks.

"House Bill 971 re-established the longstanding, bipartisan policy that analysis conducted pursuant to the Montana Environmental Policy Act does not include analysis of greenhouse gas emissions," Price said. "The bill would allow evaluation of GHGs if it is required under federal law or if Congress amends the Clean Air Act to include carbon dioxide as a regulated pollutant."

Copyright © 2023, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Man who disarmed Monterey Park shooter surprised with scholarships

ABC News

(NEW YORK) -- This AANHPI Heritage Month, ABC News' Good Morning America is honoring the 26-year-old hero who disarmed a mass shooter in California earlier this year during Lunar New Year celebrations.

Brandon Tsay was at his family's dance hall, Lai Lai Ballroom & Studio in Alhambra, California, on the night of Jan. 21 when a man armed with a gun went inside. After what he described as a "struggle," Tsay was able to pull the gun away from the man before he could fire it.

"I realized I needed to get the weapon away from him or else everybody would have died," Tsay told Good Morning America back in January.

The gunman, who had already killed 11 people and injured nine others minutes before in a shooting at another dance studio in nearby Monterey Park, fled and later took his own life as police closed in.

Tsay was recognized for his courage by the White House which honored him in February with an invitation to President Joe Biden's State of the Union address. The White House credited him with "preventing the gunman, who had killed 11 people and injured 10 others, from carrying out a second attack in Alhambra."

Tsay joined GMA Friday and said he, his sister Brenda Tsay and their grandmother have been helping to get Lai Lai Ballroom and their community dancing again.

"The dance community here is like a second home," Tsay said. "Everyone here is my family. And dancing has helped shape our journey and passion in such profound ways."

Tsay also said his newfound fame has helped push him out of his shell and he's now thinking about his goals again, including finishing college, something he put on pause when he was 19 to care for his late mother, who was diagnosed with lung cancer and died in 2017.

"He's always put my mom first, my grandma first, me first ... the ballroom first. Everyone. Everyone first," Brenda Tsay told GMA.

Now, she and their family say it's his turn.

"I would really like for Brandon to finally lead his own life and to follow his dreams, whatever they may be. And I know he's always wanted to continue his education so I hope he has the opportunity to do that," Brenda Tsay said.

To recognize and celebrate all Tsay has done for his community, Gold House, a nonprofit that works with top Asian Americans across different fields, is giving back to him in return.

Gold House teamed up with GMA to surprise Tsay with a $10,000 scholarship to get him started with school and Sallie Mae, an education solutions company, also wanted to celebrate Tsay and is chipping in with another $20,000 scholarship for Tsay's studies.

"I'm so appreciative. It's such an honor to receive this and I'm so glad I'm here today with everybody to share this moment," Tsay said.

"This means so much to me. Honestly, I can't believe that somebody will get out of their way to just help us out," he added.

Copyright © 2023, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Indiana reprimands doctor for talking publicly about Ohio 10-year-old rape victim's abortion

Rawlstock/Getty Images

(INDIANAPOLIS) -- The Indiana Medical Licensing Board decided late Thursday to reprimand and fine a doctor after ruling that she violated patient privacy laws by talking to a newspaper reporter about providing an abortion to a 10-year-old rape victim from neighboring Ohio.

After an hourslong hearing, the board voted to issue Indianapolis obstetrician-gynecologist Dr. Caitlin Bernard a letter of reprimand and a fine of $3,000, but refused a request from Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita to suspend Bernard's license. The board dismissed Rokita's allegations that Bernard violated state law by not reporting the child abuse to Indiana authorities.

Bernard has become a flashpoint in the national debate on abortion rights since performing the procedure on the Ohio girl last June, not long after the United States Supreme Court overturned the landmark Roe v. Wade case that legalized abortion nationwide nearly 50 years ago. The unprecedented Supreme Court decision put into effect an Ohio law that banned abortions after six weeks of pregnancy. Bernard said the girl was six weeks and three days into her pregnancy when she traveled across state lines to Indiana, which at the time allowed abortions to be performed up to 20 weeks after fertilization.

The physician has been under fire from Rokita, a Republican who opposes abortion, and the two have been in a dispute for months. The Indiana attorney general submitted a complaint against Bernard to the state medical licensing board in December, claiming that she violated federal and state law relating to patient privacy and reporting child abuse.

A judge then threw out a lawsuit filed by Bernard and her colleague, Dr. Amy Caldwell, against Rokita to prevent his office from accessing patients' medical records and investigating abortion providers. The judge declined to provide a preliminary injunction against Rokita due to his referral of investigations into Bernard to the Indiana Medical Licensing Board, saying the board now has jurisdiction over the investigations.

Bernard's lawsuit had accused Rokita of infringing on patient-doctor confidentiality and claims that he is targeting physicians who provide legal medical care including abortions, according to court filings.

An Ohio investigation ultimately resulted in a 27-year-old man being charged with the rape of the 10-year-old girl.

Bernard told the Indiana Medical Licensing Board that she complied with the investigation. She said the patient was hospitalized after being given a medication abortion so that the fetal remains could be collected and submitted as evidence.

In her testimony at a hearing in Indianapolis on Thursday, Bernard heavily criticized Ohio and Indiana politicians for politicizing the case.

"I think that if the Attorney General, Todd Rokita, had not chosen to make this his political stunt we would not be here today," Bernard said. "I don't think that anyone would have been looking into this story as any different than any other interview that I have ever given if it was not politicized the way that it was by public figures in our state and in Ohio."

Bernard argued that she does not see abortion as a political issue, but rather a part of comprehensive reproductive healthcare. Bernard said she was one of only two complex family specialists in Indiana and has done interviews with reporters in the past that have not received as much attention.

Bernard told the board that she did not reveal any identifiable information about the patient to the press, but thought it was important for the public to know the impact abortion bans could have on care in the state. She said a hypothetical would not have sent across that message.

"I think that it is incredibly important for people to understand the real-world impacts of the laws of this country about abortion or otherwise," Bernard said in her testimony. "I think it is important for people to know what patients will have to go through because of legislation that is being passed and a hypothetical does not make that impact."

"It does not help people understand what is happening and I think people need to know, again, the real-life impacts of those laws so that they could make their own determinations about whether to support or oppose them, again. Particularly if those laws are about to be passed in their own states," she added.

Bernard also told the board she properly reported the case of child abuse in line with her hospital's guidelines when she reported it to Ohio authorities. Ohio is where the patient lived at the time and where the abuse occurred.

Both institutions where Bernard works, Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Indiana University Health, issued statements supporting her after the medical board issued its decision.

"The fight to do what’s right isn’t easy. Dr. Bernard has repeatedly placed her profession, her reputation, and her livelihood on the line in her efforts to advance public health and serve her community. It is an honor to work with and support providers like Dr. Bernard -- who are committed to care no matter what," Rebecca Gibron, the CEO of Planned Parenthood Great Northwest, Hawaii, Alaska, Indiana, Kentucky, said in a statement Friday.

"Dr. Bernard’s unwavering dedication to her patients and profession is laudable, but the lengths she was forced to go to continue to deliver safe and legal care while experiencing abusive and hostile conditions is unacceptable. This could have all been avoided had Indiana AG Todd Rokita not made a mockery of his office–no provider should ever have to face politically motivated attacks simply for doing their job," Gibron said. "Every person, in every circumstance, deserves access to health care when and where they need it. Dr. Bernard is an example of what it takes to make this basic human right a reality."

Indiana University Health said it did not agree with the medical board's decision.

"We appreciate the Medical Licensing Board’s time dedicated to understanding the issues involving our colleague Dr. Caitlin Bernard. We are pleased she will continue to be a member of our medical team and provide compassionate care to her patients. We do not agree with the Board’s decision regarding patient privacy regulations and stand by the HIPAA risk assessment. We believe Dr. Bernard was compliant with privacy laws," Indiana University Health said in a statement.

Copyright © 2023, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.



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