KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Mississippi Gov. Signs Landmark Anti-Abortion Law

The state's new law could effectively close the state's only clinic. Meanwhile, a law in Idaho designed to limit abortions is being challenged.

The Associated Press: Miss. Gov Signs New Limits On Abortion Providers
Mississippi's already strict abortion laws have become even tighter after Gov. Phil Bryant signed a bill that will place new regulations on the state's only abortion clinic. Effective July 1, the new law says anyone performing abortions in an abortion clinic must be an obstetrician-gynecologist who has admitting privileges at a local hospital. The Republican governor signed the bill Monday (Pettus, 4/16).

Politico: Miss. Governor Signs Abortion Law
Jackson Women's Health Organization in Jackson, Miss., is the only abortion facility in the state, and its owner recently told POLITICO that two of its three physicians do not have the now-required admitting rights. Diane Derzis had predicted that once signed into law, H.B. 1390 could force her clinic to close (Lee, 4/16).

CNN: Mississippi Governor Signs Bill Tightening Restrictions On Abortion Providers
Seven other states require abortion providers to have hospital privileges, but no other state requires that an abortion provider be an OB/GYN, said Elizabeth Nash, state issues manager for the Guttmacher Institute in Washington (4/17).

Los Angeles Times: Mississippi Adopts New Abortion Restrictions
The law is one of several recent state measures championed by antiabortion activists and passed largely by Republican allies. Last week, Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer signed a law that banned most abortions after 20 weeks. In March, Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell signed a bill requiring women to undergo an ultrasound before having an abortion (Fausset, 4/17).

Earlier, related KHN story: Mississippi Legislature Passes Abortion Clinic Bill (Hess, 4/4)

Kaiser Health News: Capsules: Wash. Abortion Coverage Bill Placed On Hold
A special session of the Washington legislature ended Wednesday without the Reproductive Parity Act reaching a vote. The bill would require private insurers that provide maternity coverage to also cover abortion (Torres, 4/16).

The Associated Press: Idaho Doctor-Lawyer Fights Fetal Pain Abortion Law
Rick Hearn, the lawyer in the center of this fight, represents an Idaho woman challenging her state's abortion laws in an effort to avoid future prosecution. The same Rick Hearn, who also is a physician, is attempting to jump into the case as a plaintiff using his status as a doctor, even though he has never terminated a pregnancy, in an effort to make sure that if the case is successful, it applies broadly enough to get his client off the hook for good. ... More than a half-dozen states, including Arizona and Georgia this month, have recently banned abortion after more than four months of pregnancy (Boone, 4/17).

Meanwhile --

Arizona Republic: Arizona Panel Endorses Change To Contraception Bill
A legislative conference committee made up of House and Senate Democrats and Republicans has amended House Bill 2625 to limit the type of business that can seek an exemption from covering contraception medication in health-care plans. The bill originally applied to any Arizona business or insurance company. Under the amendment, it would only be applied to "religiously affiliated" businesses (Rau, 4/16).

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