KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

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High Court’s Abortion Case: Assault On Access? Attempt To Make Women Safer?

Newspapers around the country provide opinions about the abortion case pending before the Supreme Court and other related issues.

The Washington Post: Texas’s Assault On Abortion Access
Before the Supreme Court on Wednesday, Texas is set to argue that new regulations on abortion clinics in the state are designed to protect patient health. The justices should see through that pretext. Texas’s restrictions are an assault on abortion access dressed up as concern for pregnant women. Previous court rulings barred laws that place an “undue burden ” on women seeking abortions. If this precedent has practical meaning, it should rule out what Texas is trying to do. (2/29)

USA Today: Texas Law Makes Women Safer: Opposing View
When a case about Texas’ ability to regulate abortion clinics is argued before the Supreme Court on Wednesday, few Democrats will be supporting Texas, but they ought to. The much needed law at issue is consistent with Democratic Party principles, which favor the underdog, the disenfranchised and the rights of the consumer over those of business. Texas is seeking to prevent the harm that happens when an industry gets a pass on government oversight. (Kristen Day, 2/29)

USA Today: Reproductive Rights Under Siege: Our View
When the Supreme Court guaranteed the right to abortion 43 years ago in the landmark Roe v. Wade ruling, the court meant it to be a right for all women. But as abortion foes have piled on one onerous restriction after another, this constitutional right increasingly depends on where a woman lives or on her financial resources. Whether that unjust trend continues will be the issue Wednesday when the Supreme Court hears arguments on a 2013 Texas law. (2/29)

Bloomberg: Texas Abortion Case Tests Kennedy's Commitment
With a new Supreme Court balance somewhere on the horizon, the end is coming for Justice Anthony Kennedy’s dominance of the court. The abortion case Whole Women’s Health v. Hellerstedt may be his swan song, and his last chance to leave a long-term impact on abortion rights. That’s hugely significant for the case that’ll be argued Wednesday. The fate of Texas’s restrictive abortion laws turns on the interpretation of the 1992 decision in Planned Parenthood v. Casey. And Casey was the case in which Kennedy first formulated the vision of autonomy and dignity that led him to become a pioneer of constitutional rights for gay people. Casey is the heart of Kennedy’s legacy -- and he’ll want to preserve it. (Noah Feldman, 2/28)

The Washington Post: An Anti-Poverty Agenda That Excludes Access To Reproductive Health Care Is Woefully Incomplete
I’ve written extensively in this column about anti-poverty policy. I’ve underscored the importance of minimum wages, work supports including child care and wage subsidies, SNAP (food stamps), housing and health care. I’ve often stressed the critical role for criminal justice reform. I never shut up about the benefits of full employment. But I’ve never said a word about reproductive rights. I have long supported such rights. And I’ve long recognized the decline in teenage pregnancy, particularly among poor girls, as an important advance for social policy (see Belle Sawhill’s work on access to contraception and its positive impacts on child/parent outcomes). But I’ve failed to connect the dots between access to comprehensive reproductive health care, including abortion, and economic security. (Jared Bernstein, 3/1)

Louisville Courier-Journal: Women Must Stop 'Band Of Buffoons'
News flash: a woman does not wake up one day and say to herself, "I will need to get milk on the way home from work, and also be sure to get pregnant, so I can have an abortion." No one believes in abortion. The belief is that all women must have the legal right to make that very personal and private decision. And that hard choice for a woman is predicated on so many complex and individual factors that are too long to list here. But fanatical hard-line opponents have turned this arduous medical decision into a political hot button, filled with hypocrisy that defies any rational reasoning. (Honi Marleen Goldman, 2/29)

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