KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

North Dakota Abortion Clinic Pledges To Fight New State Law

Meanwhile, lawmakers in Washington state, Kansas and Oregon debate proposals to strengthen or weaken abortion rights.

Reuters: North Dakota Abortion Clinic Vows Fight Against Tough New State Laws
North Dakota's only clinic that offers abortion services is vowing to challenge the state's adoption of new restrictions that its backers say imperil its ability to operate. The Red River Women's Clinic, which is tucked inside a downtown Fargo building that once housed one of the state's first beauty shops, is the only alternative for women seeking abortion services for hundreds of miles (Nelson, 4/1).

The New York Times: In Washington, Abortion Debate Counters Trend
The legality or availability of abortion is under challenge from North Dakota to Arkansas this spring as conservative state legislatures throw down roadblocks. But here (in Washington state) in this corner of the Far West, winds may blow the other way. Washington already was the only state ever to have legalized abortion through a popular vote — in 1970, three years before the United States Supreme Court defined the national legal terrain on the issue in Roe v. Wade — and is now debating a law that would require health insurers to pay for an elective abortion (Johnson, 4/1).

The Associated Press: GOP Senators Block Abortion Insurance Bill
Despite a majority of Washington state senators having signed a letter in support of a measure requiring insurers to cover abortion, a key lawmaker said Monday it will not advance from her committee. Republican Sen. Randi Becker, of Eatonville, chairwoman of the Senate Health Care Committee, announced hours after her panel heard testimony on the bill that it would not move forward (Kaminsky, 4/1).

Kansas City Star: Kansas Senate Passes Anti-Abortion Bill Defining Life As Beginning At Fertilization
A bill defining human life as beginning at fertilization and outlawing any direct or indirect state support for abortions cruised to Senate approval Monday. But not before outnumbered Democrats forced Republicans into politically risky roll-call votes over birth control and whether to exempt victims of rape and incest from state abortion restrictions (Lefler, 4/2).

Oregonian: Abortion Rights Resolution In Oregon House Sparks Controversy, Accusations Of Politics
A divisive informational meeting on an abortion rights resolution stirred controversy and sparked Republican accusations of political maneuvering by Democrats, who won control of the House in the November elections. The controversy centered on House Concurrent Resolution 6, which would reaffirm a woman's right to make reproductive decisions. "It is vital to women's health and well-being that abortion remain a safe and legal medical procedure for a woman to consider, if and when she needs it," the resolution reads (Zheng, 4/1).

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