KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

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Congress Advances Measures Giving Women In The Military Greater Access To Contraceptives

The House's defense policy bill says military clinics and hospitals must offer any method of contraception approved by the Food and Drug Administration. Similar efforts are moving in the Senate too. Also on the issue of contraception, a federal court has denied for the second time Notre Dame's challenge to the contraception-coverage requirements in the health law.

The New York Times: Lawmakers Back Broader Access To Contraceptives For Women In The Military
Both houses of Congress are moving to guarantee greater access to contraceptives for women in the military, actions that lawmakers say are prompted in part by concern about unplanned pregnancies in the armed forces. The annual defense policy bill, passed on Friday by the House, says military clinics and hospitals must be able to dispense any method of contraception approved by the Food and Drug Administration. Women have complained that they are sometimes unable to obtain contraceptives prescribed by their doctors, especially when they are deployed overseas. (Pear, 5/19)

The Wall Street Journal: Appeals Court Denies Notre Dame’s Challenge To Health Law’s Contraception Mandate
A federal court again denied the University of Notre Dame’s challenge to the health law’s contraception provision, saying a compromise arrangement offered by the Obama administration appears adequate to meet the Catholic institution’s religious objections to covering birth control for students and staff. Notre Dame has been fighting the Affordable Care Act’s requirement that most employers include contraception in health plans with no out-of-pocket costs, arguing that the federal government is forcing it to violate its beliefs. (Radnofsky and Kendall, 5/19)

And in Florida, two college students have filed a lawsuit over an invasive vaginal procedure they were required to undergo as part of their training -

The Associated Press: Lawsuit: Ultrasound Students Pressured Into Procedure
Two former students in a Florida community college ultrasound program say they were punished for objecting to a policy that encouraged students to undergo an invasive vaginal procedure to become better technicians. The two unnamed female students filed a federal lawsuit last week against Valencia State College in Orlando, claiming the policy violated their civil rights under the First and Fourth amendments. (Schneider, 5/19)

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