KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

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Fla. Panel Passes Bill To End Almost All Abortions, But Its Chances Are Slim In Full Legislature

In other news, Hawaii lawmakers introduce a bill to allow pharmacists to prescribe birth control; a Senate committee in Ohio is slated to take up a Planned Parenthood defunding bill; Massachusetts ends its practice of sending addicted women to prison instead of offering them treatment; and a new study finds large disparities in women who have access to minimally invasive hysterectomies.

The Associated Press: Committee Passes Bill That Would Ban Nearly All Abortions
A House committee passed a bill Monday that would ban nearly all abortions in Florida, but even backers of the bill say its chances of passage, or of surviving a court challenge if it became law, likely are slim. House Bill 865 defines human life as beginning at conception, and would make it a crime to perform an abortion unless two physicians certify in writing that it's needed to prevent death or serious, permanent injury to the mother. (March, 1/26)

The Associated Press: BIll Would Let Hawaii Pharmacists Prescribe Birth Control
Hawaii lawmakers introduced legislation that would make it easier for adult women in Hawaii to get birth control. Right now, women can only get certain contraceptives through a physician. If passed, the bill would allow women older than 18 to get hormonal contraceptives such as birth control pills, patches and rings directly from pharmacists without having to visit a doctor. (Riker, 1/25)

The Associated Press: Law Ends Practice Of Sending Addicted Women To State Prison
Massachusetts is ending its longstanding practice of sending women with alcohol or substance abuse problems but who have committed no crimes to the state prison for women in Framingham. Republican Gov. Charlie Baker on Monday signed a bill approved last week by the Democratic-controlled Legislature that will give women access to addiction treatment services at Shattuck and Taunton state hospitals. (LeBlanc, 1/25)

The Baltimore Sun: Study Finds Poor, Minority Women Not Getting Safer Minimally Invasive Hysterectomies
When Bonita "Bonnie" Hudak had a hysterectomy three years ago after being diagnosed with endometrial cancer, she recovered faster and suffered less pain than when she delivered a child by cesarean section many years before. The C-section required a large cut that took weeks to heal and left an unattractive scar. For the hysterectomy, Hudak's doctor performed a robotic surgery that required only small incisions. (McDaniels, 1/24)

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