KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Federal Judge To Decide Wednesday On Miss. Abortion Law

The Republican-appointed judge is expected to rule this week whether to block a law that could effectively shutter the state's only abortion clinic. Abortion politics could also affect the availability of services in Indiana and D.C.

Stateline: New Anti-Abortion Strategy Pays Off
By the end of this week, Mississippi may be the only state in the nation to have no abortion clinic within its borders. A federal judge will decide on Wednesday whether or not to continue blocking a new law that would effectively shut down the one such clinic remaining. The law, signed by Governor Phil Bryant in April, requires doctors performing abortions to be board-certified OB-GYNs and to have admitting privileges at local hospitals. That is a condition that the Jackson Women’s Health Organization says it cannot meet (Wiltz, 7/9).

The Associated Press: Miss. Abortion Case Heard By GOP-Appointed Judge
Although restricting abortion has long been a conservative goal in Mississippi, the Republican-appointed judge considering the constitutionality of the state's stringent new abortion law doesn't play politics in the courtroom, according to those who know him. U.S. District Judge Daniel P. Jordan III temporarily blocked the new law that, if enforced, could shut down the state's only abortion clinic (Pettus, 7/8).

The Associated Press: Medicaid Official Rules Against Ind. Abortion Law
Indiana's decision to deny Planned Parenthood Medicaid funds because it performs abortions denies women the freedom to choose their health care providers, a federal hearing officer said. The state had asked the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services in Chicago to reconsider its June 2011 ruling that found changes in Indiana's Medicaid plan unacceptable. But a hearing officer recommended in documents released Friday that a CMS administrator uphold the agency's initial decision (Wilson, 7/8).

Politico Pro: 'Personhood' Movement Not Quitting
The "personhood" anti-abortion movement isn't quitting. But it might be revising its timetable by a few years. Last week the anti-abortion group Personhood USA, which seeks to ban abortion by giving full legal rights to an embryo, fell short of collecting enough signatures in Ohio to get a state constitutional amendment on the ballot this November. The group did not get enough signatures to get on the ballot in Nevada or California. The abortion rights group NARAL Pro-Choice America sees limits to Personhood’s reach (Smith, 7/9).

Roll Call: D.C. Abortion Measure Set For Markup
For the past several months, a bill that would ban abortions after 20 weeks in the District of Columbia has been a centerpiece of the rhetoric of anti-abortion forces, abortion-rights proponents and D.C. autonomy activists. The talk turns into action Tuesday, when the House Judiciary Committee is scheduled to consider the measure. "We will continue to press this issue … building towards ultimate enactment," National Right to Life Committee Legislative Director Douglas Johnson said. "We will counter them every step of the way," NARAL Pro-Choice America spokesman Ted Miller said. …The legislation, sponsored by Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.), is based on the argument by some medical experts that 20 weeks is the threshold after which a fetus can begin to feel pain (Dumain, 7/9).

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