KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

States Cut Birth Control Subsidies; Impact Of Abortion Laws Hard To Ascertain

Reuters reports that states are cutting birth control subsidies while The Associated Press writes that it's difficult to gauge what impact anti-abortion laws have on reducing the procedure. The Arizona House gave initial approval to blocking abortion providers from getting federal funding for family planning services through the state. A similar move in Texas, which is now in effect, reverberates.

Reuters: States Slash Birth Control Subsidies As Federal Debate Rages
Even as a national debate rages over contraception insurance, tens of thousands of low-income women and teenagers across the United States have lost access to subsidized birth control as states slash and restructure family planning funds. Montana and New Jersey have eliminated altogether their state family planning programs. New Hampshire cut its funding by 57 percent and five other states made more modest program trims. But the biggest impact, by far, has been in Texas (Simon, 3/2).

The Associated Press: Impact Of State Anti-Abortion Laws Hard To Gauge
When lawmakers take aim at abortion, they draw on an ever-growing arsenal of restrictions and mandates imposed on women, doctors and clinics. But do these measures reduce abortions? It's a question with no simple answer. Abortion providers and abortion-rights advocates say many of the laws — those requiring ultrasounds, waiting periods and specific types of counseling — are burdensome and demeaning, but rarely dissuade women who want the procedure (Crary, 3/2).

The Associated Press/Arizona Republic: Arizona House Gives Initial OK To Anti-Abortion Measure
Abortion providers in Arizona would be barred from receiving federal government funding through the state for family planning services under a bill that received preliminary approval from the state House on Friday. State law already prohibits using tax dollars to fund abortions, but Rep. Kimberly Yee, R-Phoenix, said the bill is needed to cut off what she called "backdoor funding" for organizations that provide abortions that are morally objectionable to many taxpayers (Davenport, 3/2).

The Texas Tribune: Planned Parenthood Laments End Of Women's Health Program
The WHP is an extension of the Medicaid program, and is a federally funded program that delivers $9 from the feds for every $1 spent by Texas on women's health. When Texas decided to exclude Planned Parenthood, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services informed HHSC that it would be violating the guidelines of the program and would be ineligible to receive federal funding. That would mean the end of the program, which provides services to about 130,000 Texas women (Theobald, 3/2).

This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.