KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

State Lawmakers Wrestle With Planned Parenthood Funding, Contraception Coverage

Legislation in Pennsylvania would bar the use of state and federal funding by Planned Parenthood. Also, some Georgia physicians fear their opposition to a state abortion bill has triggered retaliation.

Philadelphia Inquirer: GOP's Metcalfe Moves To Axe Planned Parenthood Funding In Pa.
The legislation, similar to anti-abortion bills crafted in other states, would bar all federal and state funding to the nonprofit, which provides abortions along with an array of other women's health services. … Metcalfe said the bill … would not reduce overall levels of public funding for women's health services, but would "prioritize" the funding so that hospitals, health centers, and other clinics would receive money first. Representatives for House Majority Leader Mike Turzai (R., Allegheny) and Gov. Corbett said neither had seen the bill and had no comment. Past efforts by Metcalfe to cut off Planned Parenthood’s funding have failed in the General Assembly (Worden, 5/24).

The Associated Press: NH Lawmakers To Negotiate On Contraceptive Bill
The New Hampshire Senate has grudgingly agreed to negotiate with the House on a bill that would allow some employers to exclude contraceptive coverage from health plans if they have religious objections. The bill would apply to businesses partly or wholly owned by a religious society and those formed for a religious intent (5/23).

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution: OB-GYNS Worried Burglaries, Fires Are Retaliation
Doctors who expressed concerns about a controversial abortion bill at the State House say they have since been victims of a series of property crimes, the latest of which was a fire Wednesday at a Marietta abortion clinic. ... Police have not yet concluded the incidents are connected, nor have they determined a motive…. But physicians who practice obstetrics and gynecology, however, worry that the incidents -- three burglaries and two suspicious fires in all -- weren't a coincidence, but were committed by someone bent on retaliating against them for raising concerns about the so-called "fetal pain" bill that passed in March (Simmons, 5/23).

Meanwhile, Catholic church officials have chosen Baltimore to launch a national campaign aimed at "promoting religious liberty" -  

Baltimore Sun: Catholics To Launch National Campaign With Mass In Baltimore
The Catholic Church, embroiled in a dispute with the Obama administration over new health insurance rules, has chosen Baltimore to kick off a national campaign it says is aimed at promoting religious liberty. Archbishop William E. Lori is scheduled to celebrate mass at the Baltimore Basilica on June 21 to open the "Fortnight for Freedom," a two-week national campaign of special liturgies, prayer services and other events leading up to the Fourth of July (Brown, 5/23).

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