KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Decision In N.Y. Case On Access To Emergency Contraception Could Impact Politics

Politico looks at how a court decision to make emergency contraception accessible to women younger than age 17 could put both President Barack Obama and GOP candidate Mitt Romney on the spot.

Politico: Contraception Lawsuit Puts Obama On The Spot
A ruling to strike the age 17 limit on "Plan B" — which, based on the judge's tone in a recent hearing, seems likely — could again force attention to reproductive politics at a time when both parties might prefer to focus on the economy. Throwing Plan B back in the spotlight has a risk for Mitt Romney, who is under fire from some anti-abortion groups because the chairman of Teva Pharmaceuticals, which makes Plan B, was set to host a fundraiser for him  Wednesday. But the stakes may be higher for President Obama, who would have to decide whether to appeal — possibly before November (Feder, 5/16).

Two other outlets also explore some reproductive health issues that may have an impact on the campaign.

The Hill: Poll: Voters Would Approve Of Ban On 'Sex-Selective' Abortions
Americans would support a ban on abortions that are performed solely because of the child's gender, according to a new poll from the anti-abortion-rights Susan B. Anthony List. SBA List just recently launched a new research arm, the Charlotte Lozier Institute, which it framed as a counterweight to the abortion research Guttmacher Institute (Baker, 5/16).

Modern Healthcare: Bishops To Sue Over Birth-Control Coverage Rule
The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, which sets official Catholic healthcare policy in the U.S., says it has no choice but to sue the federal government if Congress fails to rescind a rule that forces insurers for religious employers to offer contraception coverage. The Washington-based bishops' conference submitted a 21-page letter this week in response to a call for public comments on a revised HHS policy that calls for commercial health plans to offer contraception services free of charge as part of a requirement to provide preventive health services in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Carlson, 5/16).

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