KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

House To Vote On Bill Banning Abortions Based On Sex Of Fetus

According to rules governing the vote, the GOP will have to pick up about 50 Democrat votes to pass the bill. The vote may not be the end of abortion controversies on the Hill this year, however, as several measures have been inserted into national security bills, Politico Pro reports.

The Hill: House Plans Vote On Bill To Ban Sex-Selective Abortion
The House is set to vote Thursday on a controversial bill that aims to ban sex-selective abortions by fining or imprisoning doctors who perform them. Republicans must balance their need to appeal to female voters against pressure from conservatives on social issues. The GOP leadership will bring the bill to the floor under suspension of House rules, which means two-thirds of the chamber will have to express support for it to pass. This is unlikely, because it would require 50 Democrats to vote in favor (Viebeck, 5/29).

CQ HealthBeat: House To Vote On Sex-Selective Abortion Ban With Race References Removed
The House will vote Wednesday on a bill that would outlaw abortions sought on the basis of the fetus's sex, after dropping similar language for abortions sought on the basis of the race of the unborn child or its parent. It is unclear whether the move to focus the bill only on sex-selective abortions will win enough Democratic supporters for passage (Ethridge, 5/29).

National Journal: Republicans Leap On New Abortions Issue This Week
Unlike other abortion votes in the House, this bill is heading to the floor under suspension of the rules. It's a procedural maneuver typically reserved for less-controversial bills and requiring two-thirds of House members present and voting to pass. Somewhere around 287 members will have to vote "aye" in order for the bill to pass (depending how many members show up), meaning approximately 45 Democrats will have to sign on with Republicans. In other words, it's a higher bar to passing the bill (McCarthy, 5/29).

Politico Pro: Security Bills Latest Abortion Battlegrounds
Members on both sides of the Capitol -- and both sides of the aisle -- have inserted abortion provisions into several national security bills, setting the stage for political showdowns that could trip up the authorization and funding bills for some of the largest federal departments. The latest came late last week, when Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) succeeded in attaching an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act that would loosen strict limits on when the Defense Department will cover abortions for its service members and dependents. The department's current policy only covers abortion when the pregnancy is life-threatening. That makes it more restrictive than the limitations under the health plans that cover civilian federal workers and public programs governed by the Hyde Amendment, which also allow for abortions in cases of rape or incest (Feder, 5/29).

This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.