KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Abortion Opponents Focus On State Law

"At least 11 states have passed laws this year regulating or restricting abortion, giving opponents of abortion what partisans on both sides of the issue say is an unusually high number of victories," The New York Times reports. "In four additional states, bills have passed at least one house of the legislature. … The new laws range from an Arizona ban on coverage of abortion in the state employees' health plan to a ban in Nebraska on all abortions after 20 weeks, on the grounds that the fetus at that stage can feel pain."

The Times continues: "While opponents of abortion rights hope ultimately to overturn Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decision that guarantees a woman's right to an abortion, they have made the most impact at the state level, where laws passed in one state often appear in other legislatures in subsequent years. State laws also have the potential for national consequences by setting off court battles that challenge or limit the scope of Roe" (Leland, 6/2).

In South Carolina, for instance, "legislators still don't agree on a bill requiring a 24-hour wait before a woman could have an abortion," The Associated Press/Spartanburg Herald-Journal reports. "A committee of House and Senate members tried again Wednesday morning to hash out differences in the versions each chamber passed. But, as in previous attempts, no progress was made. The bill's chances of passing this year are dwindling. The regular session is to end Thursday" (6/2).

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