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Stories You Might Have Missed This Week

OxyContin's maker contemplates bankruptcy, anti-abortion bills move forward in Georgia and Tennessee, and women will take a walk in space.
An astronaut conducts a spacewalk at the International Space Station in 2005.

An astronaut conducts a spacewalk at the International Space Station in 2005.

This week at Pacific Standard, we brought you stories on efforts to fight the anti-vaccine movement, the hidden battle threatening the future of America's public lands, and the anti-immigrant amendment tucked into Democrats' gun-control bill.

But as usual, there was a lot of news to keep up with this week. Here are a few more stories we've been watching.

Purdue Pharma Might File for Bankruptcy

The company that makes the prescription pain medication OxyContin is looking into filing for bankruptcy as a way of halting the lawsuits against it, Reuters reports. Purdue is facing more than 1,600 lawsuits, which allege that it played a role in the United States' opioid crisis.

"Purdue lined its own pockets by deliberately exploiting our communities, fueling a crisis that has devastated NY families," New York Attorney General Barbara Underwood wrote in a tweet when New York became the 27th state to sue the company last August. "We are holding them to account."

'Fetal Heartbeat' Abortion Bills Move Forward in Georgia and Tennessee

On Wednesday, the Georgia House's Health and Human Services Committee approved a bill that would ban abortions after a fetus' heartbeat can be detected. On Thursday, the Tennessee House of Representatives passed a similar bill.

Such laws would effectively ban abortion after about six weeks, a time when many women don't yet know that they're pregnant. The American Civil Liberties Union of Tennessee has called the state's bill "flatly unconstitutional" and vowed to sue if it passes.

NASA's First All-Female Spacewalk Will Take Place This Month

On March 29th, the first-ever all-female crew will conduct a spacewalk at the International Space Station, CNN reports. NASA astronauts Anne McClain and Christina Koch will be the ones doing the walking, with support from a female flight director and flight controller. The news first emerged when Canadian Space Agency flight controller Kristen Facciol tweeted about her excitement after finding out she'd be providing support for the spacewalk.

A NASA spokeswoman said the spacewalk was "not orchestrated to be this way," but it will still be one small step—or several—for womankind.