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Missouri Senator plans to introduce new Bill in support of World War II Veterans

Around 60,000 Army and Navy troops were part of Mustard Gas experiment . This experiment sought to prepare US Military to face the mustard gas in the battlefield

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Senator Claire McCaskill speaking at the conference. Image source: Wikimedia commons
  • To help veterans who participated in mustard gas experiments, Senate of missouri plans to introduce new bill 
  • An investigation revealed only 40 living veterans are currently getting benefits
  • According to McCaskill’s investigation, 90% of applicants claims have been denied by the US Department of Veteran Affairs

Senator Claire McCaskill of Missouri is pushing to introduce a new bill which aims help World War II veterans exposed lethal mustard gas.

The US military conducted a classified experiment in which veterans were used and sworn to secrecy about their participation in the experiment.

It is said that around 60,000 Army and Navy troops were part of this experiment. The Mustard Gas experiment sought to prepare US Military to face the gas in the battlefield. Those veterans were sworn to secrecy until 1991.

Many Serious Illnesses like leukemia, skin cancer and chronic breathing problems can be caused by the exposure of mustard gas.

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A person exposed to Mustard gas. Image Source: Wikipedia

This bill will be named after Arla Harrel, a man who is said to be the last surviving Missourian participated in the mustard gas experiment. At the age 89 Harrell lives in a nursing home and his claims for compensation have been repeatedly denied by The U.S department of Veteran Affairs (VA).

McCaskill’s office launched its own investigation and  has found out that only 40 living veterans are currently getting benefits and the rest still have not received any compensation. According to the investigation a couple hundred veterans who took part in the experiment are still alive.

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Arla Harrel Act calls for establishment of a new policy for processing claims of the test subjects of this experiment and to reconsider all previously denied claims.

VA officials told NPR that McCaskill’s report is being reviewed by the agency and that it “greatly appreciates the service and sacrifices of every World War II Veteran, and any veteran who may have been injured in mustard gas testing.”

On Tuesday, McCaskill said that 90 percent of the claims by applicants have been denied by Veteran Affairs. Some even have struggled to get compensation for health issued caused due to the exposure. She said her bill will help the veterans but it is unclear that how many will get benefitted.

-by Bhaskar Raghavendran

Bhaskar is a graduate in Journalism and mass communication and a reporter at NewsGram. Twitter handle: bhaskar_ragha

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U.S.A: Missouri Rejects Planned Parenthood’s License to Perform Abortions

The rejection was the latest development in a long legal battle over the state’s last remaining abortion clinic

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Missouri, Planned Parenthood, License
Pro-choice and pro-life protesters stand outside of Planned Parenthood as a deadline looms to renew the license of Missouri's sole remaining Planned Parenthood clinic in St. Louis, Missouri, May 31, 2019. VOA

Missouri’s Department of Health and Senior Services rejected a license renewal Friday for a Planned Parenthood clinic in St. Louis, but the clinic can temporarily continue to provide abortions. The rejection was the latest development in a long legal battle over the state’s last remaining abortion clinic.

The health department told Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region that its license would be rejected, minutes before a court hearing for the organization was to begin.

Circuit Judge Michael Stelzer, who had previously granted Planned Parenthood a temporary injunction allowing the clinic to continue providing abortions when the health department refused to renew its license, ruled Friday that his injunction was to remain in effect until he presented both parties with a list of next steps.

Planned Parenthood advocates in Missouri alleged Friday that the health department “weaponized a regulatory process” as part of a broader campaign to end abortion access in the state.

Missouri, Planned Parenthood, License
Missouri’s Department of Health and Senior Services rejected a license renewal Friday for a Planned Parenthood clinic. Pixabay

A spokesperson for the health department told reporters the Planned Parenthood location had resolved only four of the 30 deficiencies the department had identified, prompting officials to deny the license renewal. The health department also cited the unwillingness of physicians at the location to sit for interviews with the health department.

Planned Parenthood asserts it cannot compel the physicians to testify, as they were not full-time staff.

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If the Planned Parenthood clinic were to lose its license, Missouri would be the first state since 1974 not to have an abortion provider. That’s a year after the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision. In recent months, states across the country have enacted laws to restrict abortion access, with some seeking to overturn the Supreme Court’s 1973 decision legalizing abortion nationwide. (VOA)