KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

N.D. Lawmakers Pass ‘Heartbeat’ Abortion Ban

North Dakota lawmakers have passed a bill that would ban abortions there, with few exceptions, after a fetal heartbeat can be detected -- after about six weeks. The ban would one of the most restrictive abortion laws in the nation.

Politico: North Dakota Passes Restrictive Abortion Law
The North Dakota Legislature has approved a bill that would ban abortions at approximately six weeks. That would be the earliest abortion ban in the nation and likely set up a clash with the Supreme Court's long-established Roe v. Wade precedent. The bill, passed by the state Senate on Friday after passage in the House last month, is one of a half-dozen strict anti-abortion bills the Legislature is considering this session. It would ban most abortions after a heartbeat is detected -- which is typically six weeks to seven weeks into a pregnancy -- with an exception for the health or the life of the mother (Smith, 3/18).

Reuters: North Dakota Senate Approves 'Heartbeat' Abortion Ban
The North Dakota Senate approved what would be the most restrictive abortion law in the United States on Friday, a measure banning the procedure in most cases once a fetal heartbeat can be detected, as early as six weeks. Senators also approved a second bill on Friday that bans abortions based solely on genetic abnormalities, the first state ban of its kind if signed into law (Thompson, 3/15).

In San Francisco, a city leader wants to expand the "bubble" around abortion clinics from anti-abortion protesters --

San Francisco Chronicle: Measure Expands Abortion Clinic 'Bubble'
Anti-abortion protesters will no longer be able to stand directly in front of Planned Parenthood and other San Francisco clinics that offer reproductive services if one city supervisor has his way. Supervisor David Campos is planning to introduce legislation Tuesday that would create a 25-foot buffer zone around the entrances, exits and driveways of those facilities, excluding hospitals. He and supporters of the proposal say it would spare women who use the facilities from harassment. … A city law passed in 1993 created an 8-foot "bubble zone" around anyone who is within 100 feet of a health care facility, but Campos said that has been ineffective. Demonstrators, he said, get around the law by staying in one spot and not approaching clinic visitors (Riley, 3/17).

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