KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Maryland’s Action May Offer Middle Ground In Abortion Clinic Debate

After a woman was hurt during an abortion, the state tightened its oversight. Americans continue to hold complex views on the subject, even as lawmakers on Capitol Hill gear up for a possible Senate fight on a bill banning abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy.

The New York Times: Maryland's Path To An Accord In Abortion Fight
The 18-year-old woman arrived at Johns Hopkins Hospital by medevac helicopter in critical condition. Her uterus and bowel had been pierced during a late-term abortion that had started in New Jersey and ended at an unmarked, unregulated clinic in Elkton, in northeastern Maryland. ... The near disaster in an Elkton mall led to something rare in this era of polarized abortion politics -- sharply tightened oversight of Maryland abortion clinics that came into full force this year and won praise from both sides of the political divide (Eckholm, 7/10).

The Washington Post: Four Decades After Roe V. Wade, Views Of Most Americans Still Complex, Conditional
The absolutist voices have always dominated the abortion debate. But as it flares again in Congress and in legislatures across the country, the fight this time is heading into complicated political terrain, stirring the ambivalence that most Americans feel about the issue. ... Fine lines are not something activists on either side often recognize. But four decades after the Supreme Court’s landmark decision in Roe v. Wade, the views of most of Americans on abortion remain complex and conditional (Tumulty, 7/10).

Politico: Marco Rubio: Abortion Bill A 'Work In Progress'
Sen. Marco Rubio is "very supportive" of the effort to introduce a bill banning abortion after 20 weeks, and is working with other senators on the bill, he told Politico. The Florida Republican wouldn't say whether he will be a lead sponsor of the proposed legislation (Everett, 7/10).

Politico: Democrats Say GOP Playing Politics With Abortion
Senate Democrats on Wednesday sharply criticized a House-passed bill that would ban abortions after 20 weeks, disparaging it as an "extreme and dangerous" attack on women's health. The bill stands no chance of passing the Democratic-controlled Senate but has nonetheless incensed abortion rights activists and others on the left (Delreal, 7/10).

Meanwhile, in Texas, House lawmakers there passed a bill further regulating the procedure, including banning it after 20 weeks of pregnancy, and sent it to the Senate, where it could be voted on as soon as Friday.

The New York Times: Texas House Passes Measure Tightening Clinic Rules And Restricting Access To Abortion
The Texas House of Representatives passed a vigorously contested bill on Wednesday restricting access to abortion. ... The bill, like its predecessor, would ban abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy and hold abortion clinics to the same standards as hospital-style surgical centers, among other requirements. Its supporters argue that the heightened requirements will protect women’s health; opponents counter that the restrictions are intended solely as a burden on the clinics that perform abortions and will impose expenses that will force many of them to close (Schwartz, 7/10).

Los Angeles Times: Texas Abortion Bill Headed To Senate After House Votes 
A restrictive abortion bill is heading to the floor of the Texas Senate after the state's House of Representatives approved the legislation Wednesday on a 96-49 vote. The Republican-dominated House voted mostly along party lines, a day after more than 10 hours of debate. Lawmakers rejected all proposed amendments to the bill. ... The Senate is expected to take up the bill Thursday and could vote on it as early as Friday (Kelly, 7/10).

Dallas Morning News: Texas House Gives Final Approval To Abortion Restrictions, Setting Up Quick Senate Action
Far-reaching legislation to restrict abortions in Texas won final approval from the House on Wednesday, setting up the prospect that the Senate could send it to Gov. Rick Perry in a few days for his signature. Abortion-rights advocates nonetheless continued their push against the bill. Planned Parenthood officials brought their statewide tour to Dallas, drawing about 150 people protesting the legislation (Stutz and Fancher, 7/10).

Texas Tribune: House Approves Abortion Restrictions
The House voted 96-49 on Wednesday to give final approval to proposed abortion regulations in Texas. House Bill 2, which would ban abortion at 20 weeks and enact some of the strictest regulations in the country on abortion providers and facilities, now heads to the Senate. "If we’re going to ask for more children to come into this world, we should provide for them," said state Rep. Ruth Jones McClendon, D-San Antonio. She offered an amendment, which lawmakers tabled, that would have extended state benefits to children put into the foster care and adoption system by women who could not access abortion as a result of the legislation (Aaronson, 7/10).

Texas Tribune: Dewhurst Confident Of Abortion Bill Vote
On the eve of an expected vote on controversial abortion restriction legislation, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst said Wednesday that he is confident the legislation will make it to the governor’s desk for signature during the current 30-day special session. "I'm excited about this opportunity and want to get this bill passed," Dewhurst said during the Laura Ingraham Show (Ura, 7/10).  

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