KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Supreme Court Likely To Rule On Abortion Laws, Contraception Mandate In New Term

The Supreme Court's new session will almost certainly see a ruling on state power to limit the use of some abortion-inducing drugs and one on Arizona's law outlawing abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy. The court is also expected to rule on the health law's mandate that almost all employer health plans cover contraception.

The New York Times: Supreme Court Has Deep Docket In Its New Term
The court has two cases concerning abortion on its docket. One of them, McCullen v. Coakley, No. 12-1168, is a challenge to a Massachusetts law that restricted protests near reproductive health care facilities. The court upheld a similar Colorado law in 2000 in Hill v. Colorado. … The second one concerns whether states may limit the use of abortion-inducing drugs. The case, Cline v. Oklahoma Coalition for Reproductive Justice, No. 12-1094, has taken a detour to the Oklahoma Supreme Court, which has been asked for a clarification (Liptak, 10/7).

Los Angeles Times: In New Term, Supreme Court May Steer To Right On Key Social Issues
And last month, Arizona's attorneys asked the court to uphold the state's ban on abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy, a measure that was blocked on the basis of Roe vs. Wade. By next spring, the justices are likely to revisit part of President Obama's healthcare law to decide a religious-rights challenge to the requirement that large private employers provide their workers with coverage for contraceptives. Dozens of employers who run for-profit companies have sued, contending that providing health insurance that includes a full range of contraceptives violates their religious beliefs (Savage, 10/6).

The Washington Post: Political Gridlock Puts Supreme Court At Center Of Controversial Social Issues
A year ago, some conservatives outraged by Roberts’s vote finding Obama’s health-care law constitutional openly wondered whether they had been duped by President George W. Bush’s nominee. Roberts dispelled any fears that he had gone “wobbly” by sharply criticizing Congress’s actions in reauthorizing the Voting Rights Act and objecting to the decision in the DOMA case. He filed a dissent in the latter, attempting to limit the reach of the ruling. (Barnes, 10/6).

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