KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Ariz. Gov. Signs Law Aimed At Abortion Providers; Court Orders Texas To Keep Paying Planned Parenthood

Reuters: Arizona Bans Funding To Planned Parenthood In Abortion Fight
Arizona Governor Jan Brewer on Friday signed into law a bill banning abortion providers like Planned Parenthood from receiving money through the state, her office said in a statement. The Republican-backed Whole Woman's Health Funding Priority Act cuts off funding for family planning and health services delivered by Planned Parenthood clinics and other organizations offering abortions. ... Arizona joins six other states with similar laws, officials said. But three of those states -- Indiana, Kansas and North Carolina -- are facing legal challenges (Schwartz, 5/5).

Arizona Republic: Arizona Abortion-Services Bill Signed Into Law
Planned Parenthood officials said the bill essentially would no longer allow them or other groups that also provide abortions to seek reimbursement from the state for non-abortion services provided to residents enrolled in the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System, the state's Medicaid program. However, a spokeswoman for AHCCCS told The Republic late last month it is doubtful the bill would affect its services because the program sends public dollars to private providers, who can choose which partners to work with. The spokeswoman said the agency is still analyzing the bill's potential effects (Wingett Sanchez, 5/4).

Meanwhile, in Texas -

Los Angeles Times: Federal Judges Lift Texas Stay On Planned Parenthood Funding
A panel of federal appeals court judges ruled Friday that Texas cannot ban Planned Parenthood from receiving state funds while a federal lawsuit over funding is pending. The lawsuit, filed last month, concerns a law Texas legislators passed last year that would have eliminated funding to 49 Planned Parenthood clinics Tuesday. On Monday, before that could happen, a federal judge in Austin granted an injunction barring the state from enforcing the law ... Within 24 hours, the state had appealed and a federal appeals court judge had stayed the injunction. Shortly before 5 p.m. Friday, a three-judge panel of the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals based in New Orleans effectively overruled the appeals court judge (Hennessy-Fiske, 5/4).

The Houston Chronicle: Appeals Panel Backs Planned Parenthood In Texas
Planned Parenthood again can provide services through a key health program for low-income women — at least temporarily thwarting Texas' efforts to exclude the group — after a Friday ruling by an appeals court panel. ... Nearly 130,000 women are enrolled in the program, which offers contraceptive and health-screening services. The lawsuit challenges Texas' ban on clinics taking part in the program if they are affiliated with abortion providers -- even if the clinics do not provide abortions. Planned Parenthood said the ban violates its constitutional rights. The state disagrees (Fikac, 5/4).

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