KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Abortion Fights In The States Turn To Digital World

Eleven states now ban abortion by telemedicine, the Guttmacher Institute says in a new study. In the meantime, the Government Accountability Office is investigating how Planned Parenthood and other related organizations spend public money.

USA Today: New Abortion Restrictions Take A Digital Turn
The war over abortion is going digital. Missouri last month joined six other states that have enacted bans this year on abortion by telemedicine. That's a process in which women take pregnancy-ending medication that a doctor remotely administers during a video conference. The practice, available to women in their first nine weeks of pregnancy, is now prohibited in 11 states, according to the Guttmacher Institute, a research group that supports abortion rights (Railey, 8/11).

Politico: Government Accountability Office Probing Planned Parenthood
Spurred by a group of anti-abortion lawmakers, the Government Accountability Office is investigating how Planned Parenthood, the Guttmacher Institute, and other prominent family planning-related organizations spend public funds, the GAO confirmed Friday. ... Chuck Young, GAO managing director of public affairs, said the scope of the investigation was still being determined, and no completion date had been set. Planned Parenthood Federation of America Vice President Eric Ferrero said in a statement that the move was not an investigation, but instead "a routine report by GAO in response to a request by opponents of Planned Parenthood in Congress" (Drusch, 8/9).

And a Colorado college files a lawsuit seeking to avoid having to provide emergency contraception under the health law --

Medpage Today: College Renews Fight Over Birth Control Mandate
The nonprofit Colorado Christian University (CCU) has again filed suit against the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), trying to avoid an Affordable Care Act mandate to provide emergency contraceptives in its health plans. CCU asked the U.S. District Court in Colorado on Wednesday to declare an HHS rule requiring them to seek third-party coverage of certain contraceptives unconstitutional and to issue an injunction against its enforcement in the meantime. The school is the first nonprofit to challenge the rule, which became final in late June, according to the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, who is representing the university in the case (Pittman, 8/9).

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