KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

States Are Battlegrounds For Planned Parenthood Funding, Abortion Issues

Roll Call: Some Hope To Add Abortion To Debt Vote
Speaker John Boehner (Ohio) has thus far refused to make social issues central in his agenda, focusing instead on spending and the debt. But the House today will briefly wade into the social wars of the 1990s, bringing up a controversial anti-abortion bill. The measure, which is expected to pass, would prohibit federal funding for abortions and create new controls on private companies that offer insurance plans that cover abortions (Palmer and Stanton, 5/4). 

Roll Call: CBC Women Urge Senate Democrats To Fight D.C. Abortion Restrictions
The female members of the Congressional Black Caucus on Tuesday sent a letter to the Democratic women of the Senate asking them to speak out against restrictions on abortion funding in Washington, D.C. Though the CBC women lauded the Senators for protesting attempts to cut funding for Planned Parenthood, they wrote that they are "deeply disappointed" that Senate Democrats allowed a rider restricting abortion funding in the District (Newhauser, 5/3). 

Meanwhile, on the state level -

Los Angeles Times: Indiana Opening New Front In Abortion Battle
Opening a new front in the battle over abortion, Indiana might soon become the first state to cut off federal funding to Planned Parenthood clinics - a move that could boost the presidential aspirations of Gov. Mitch Daniels while creating a dilemma for the Obama administration (Savage, 5/3).

The Connecticut Mirror: Planned Parenthood Funding Enters Connecticut's Budget Debate
One month after Congressional House Republicans attempted to defund Planned Parenthood, that same debate has come to Connecticut's State Capitol as the Democratic-controlled Senate moves forward with adopting a final budget. State Sen. Leonard Suzio, R-Meriden, is planning to introduce an amendment that eliminates all $1 million the state spends on Planned Parenthood each year. ... The State's 18 Planned Parenthood across the state serve almost 65,000 women a year and have a total budget of $25 million. The centers provide patients with birth control, cancer screening and other medical services and, for fewer than 10 percent of visits, abortions (Rabe, 5/3).

The Texas Tribune: Planned Parenthood Again In Lawmakers' Crosshairs
GOP lawmakers' battle against Planned Parenthood resumed today, as members of a Senate subcommittee passed out a bill that would renew the Texas Women's Health Program but prohibit the country's most prominent family planning organization from participating. When the Women's Health Program was founded in 2005, it came with explicit restrictions: Participating clinics cannot perform, promote or be "affiliates of entities that perform or promote elective abortions." Sen. Bob Deuell, R-Greenville, says this provision should exclude Planned Parenthood already - but hasn't. More than 40 percent of patients in the Women's Health Program currently receive services from a Planned Parenthood clinic. Participating clinics do not provide abortions (Aaronson, 5/3).

Des Moines Register: Abortion Bill Moves In Iowa Senate, But Debate In Doubt
A bill that would ban most abortions after 20 weeks got a fresh chance on Tuesday to pass the Iowa Legislature, thanks to a rarely used legislative maneuver that forced the stalled measure out of a Senate committee. The move sends the proposal to the full Senate, where it could come up for a vote next week (Petroski, 5/4).

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