KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Catholic University Ends Birth Control Coverage

A Catholic University in Ohio ends its health plan coverage of birth control, and Texas is planning to apply for federal block grants to free up money to use on its Women's Health Program, which is closing.

Reuters: Catholic University In Ohio Ends Birth-Control Coverage
Xavier University, one of the oldest Roman Catholic colleges in the United States, will cut off birth-control coverage for its employees in July, a move that has divided faculty members and students on the Cincinnati campus. The abrupt cancellation of insurance benefits at the Jesuit university in Ohio comes amid a furious dispute between the Obama administration and the nation's Catholic bishops over contraception (Simon, 4/3).

The Texas Tribune: Texas Could Use Feds' Grants to Free Up Women's Health Money
In a fiscal switcheroo, Texas could free up state dollars to fund the embattled Women's Health Program by seeking federal block grants for other programs, the state's health commissioner wrote in a letter to House Democrats on Tuesday. Texas is losing more than $30 million in annual federal funding for the Women's Health Program over the state's decision to force Planned Parenthood clinics out of the Medicaid program. Gov. Rick Perry has vowed that the state will find the (Ramshaw, 4/3).

In the meantime, WBUR examines birth control and its history in the United States.

WBUR: The History Of Birth Control In The U.S.
Today’s hand-wringing about birth control is nothing new. Did you know, for instance, that the birth control pill was not allowed in Massachusetts as recently as 1970? At one point, the Pittsburgh branch of the NAACP charged that Planned Parenthood clinics were in effect using the pill as an instrument of racial genocide. Andrea Tone, professor of history & Canada Research Chair in the social history of medicine at McGill University in Montreal, Canada, says that when the pill was first put on the market, there was a unique debate (Young, 4/3).

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