KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Wording In Contraception Conversations Marks Ideological Divides

Fighting over semantics prevails in conversations over both the FDA's definition of what the "morning-after pill" does as well as the Obama administration's rule that employers and insurers provide no cost contraception to their covered employees.

The Hill: Report: Pregnancy Line Was Struck From Guide To 'Morning-After Pill'
Federal health officials are heeding new doubts that emergency contraception actually scuttles pregnancies, according to a report.  Last week, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) allegedly edited its online description of how the "morning-after pill" works -- striking the potentially dubious detail that continues to inspire most of the backlash against the administration's birth control coverage mandate. According to The Daily Beast, the FDA's online guide to birth control methods used to state that emergency contraception might stop a pregnancy by preventing a fertilized egg from "implanting to the uterus." This was the prevailing view until experts recently told The New York Times that it has no scientific basis (Viebeck, 6/18).

CQ HealthBeat: Contraception Proposal Poses Definition Problems, Opponent Says
A lawyer representing a Catholic television network on Monday warned that the Obama administration's modified contraception coverage proposal, designed to answer criticisms from religiously affiliated institutions, instead leaves out some of the very groups that objected. Her comments came on the eve of Tuesday's deadline for public comment on the proposal, under which employers with religious affiliations that object to birth control would not have to directly pay for contraceptive coverage required under the health care law. Instead, their health insurers would foot the bill (Norman, 6/18).

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