KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Texas Abortion Vote Near; N.C. House Passes Restrictions

Reuters: Texas Posed To Enact Abortion Restrictions Despite Opposition
Texas on Friday is poised to enact a ban on most abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy, ending a bitter political fight that stirred national debate over what critics see as laws threatening the right to abortion in the United States. The Republican majority in the Texas Senate is expected to vote Friday or early on Saturday to impose the ban on late-term abortions, and enact tough new regulations for clinics performing the procedure, and restrict administration of the so-called "abortion pill," RU486 (MacLaggan, 7/12).

Dallas Morning News: Texas Senate Republicans Poised To Send Abortion Bill To Perry
To mark the importance of the coming vote, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst and several lawmakers held a Capitol news conference Thursday. ... Dewhurst emphasized that he will not allow a replay of what happened in a special session in June. Loud protesters in the Senate gallery drowned out a final vote on an abortion bill just as the clock ran out on the 30-day session (Stutz, 7/11).

CNN: Texas Abortion Bill A Step Closer To Law
The bill originally failed to pass during the previous special session because of a filibuster from Democratic Sen. Wendy Davis. ... [Dewhurst]  blamed the media for lionizing Davis and accused the senator of being out of the American mainstream. ... Critics of the measure say it would shut down most abortion clinics in Texas -- denying access to many in rural communities -- and force women to seek dangerous back-alley abortions (Rubin, 7/11).

Bloomberg: Texas Threat To Abortion Clinics Dodged At Flea Markets
At an open-air flea market outside McAllen, Texas, near the Mexican border, shoppers can buy a goat and get their car windows tinted. Tables with handwritten signs touting Viagra) are stocked with herbal remedies promising to burn fat and boost breast size. You can also find pills to end a pregnancy. Bazaars like this have become home to a black market where women too poor to afford an abortion at a clinic or deterred by state mandates (Deprez, 7/12).

The New York Times: North Carolina House Passes New Restrictions On Abortion
Legislation that would impose new restrictions on abortion clinics moved out of the North Carolina House of Representatives on Thursday in a form that would give wide power to Gov. Pat McCrory’s administration. The bill became the focus of battling factions in the Republican Party this week, with a series of public legislative debates and back-room maneuvering over how to create new limits that would appeal to the governor, who is a Republican (Blinder, 7/11).

CNN: N.C. House Passes Restrictive Abortion Bill
The bill would place requirements on clinics that family planning advocates say would make it hard for them to stay in business. Among the requirements is the presence of a doctor when an abortion is being performed. The bill allows North Carolina's health department to make temporary new rules for the state's 31 abortion clinics as it sees fit (Brumfield, 7/11).

Meanwhile --

Reuters: Parent Must Be Told Before Teen Abortion In Illinois: Court
A parent must be notified 48 hours before a girl under the age of 18 gets an abortion in Illinois, the state Supreme Court ruled on Thursday, ending nearly two decades of legal wrangling over the issue. The Illinois court decision is the latest in a series of state measures adopted recently to restrict abortion. Texas and North Carolina are currently considering more restrictions on abortion and Republicans across the United States have championed similar measures (O’Brien, 7/11).

The New York Times: Ready Access To Plan B Pills In City Schools
Last month, the Obama administration seemingly changed the landscape of access to emergency contraception across the country when, in a reversal, it agreed to allow the best-known pill, Plan B One-Step, to become available to all ages without a prescription. Until recently, only those 17 and older could buy it over the counter. But New York City had long ago come to an accommodation with the idea that girls as young as 13 or 14 should have easy access to the pill. Through a patchwork of nurses’ offices and independent clinics operating in schools, students can now get free emergency contraceptives like Plan B One-Step in more than 50 high school buildings (Hartocollis and Bond, 7/11).

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