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The rate of new thyroid cancer cases in the four counties just north of New York City, which was 22 percent below the U.S. rate in the late 1970s, has soared to 53 percent above the U.S. rate. This change may be a result of airborne emissions of radioactive iodine from the two Indian Point nuclear power reactors, at the crossroads of Westchester, Rockland, Orange and Putnam counties, and operating since the mid-1970s. Large increases occurred for both men and women in each county.
Childbirth is a painful and difficult experience for most women, but Toya Murray says for her, it was torture. Like many other incarcerated women across New York state, she was shackled immediately before and after giving birth. “When it was due for me to have my baby, they shackled my hands and feet when I went into labor to go to the hospital,” Murray said.