KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

Abortion Opponents Use Regulation As Weapon Against Clinics

Abortion opponents have shifted their strategies away from pursuing outright bans to using regulations to hamper the availability of the procedure, Stateline reports. In Mississippi, a judge has stopped part of a state law that would have likely forced the closure of the state's only abortion clinic.

Stateline: Fight Over Abortion Rules Could Reverberate Widely
Republicans in many states have tackled abortion head on this year with new laws that would prohibit the procedure after a pregnancy reached a certain number of weeks. A more nuanced tactic is underway in a handful of states, using regulations as an anti-abortion weapon. Mississippi has landed in court to defend a slate of tough provider requirements that advocates on both sides say could ultimately force the state’s only abortion-providing clinic to close. Alabama and North Dakota have adopted similar laws in recent weeks (Grovum, 4/16).

The Hill: States Ramping Up Push To Restrict Abortion
This year could bring an especially strong push in the states to restrict abortion access, according to a new report by the Guttmacher Institute. Several states have passed measures in the past few years requiring women to obtain ultrasounds before receiving an abortion, or imposing new restrictions on clinics (4/16).

The New York Times: Judge Prevents Closing Of Mississippi's Sole Abortion Clinic
A federal judge in Mississippi on Monday blocked part of a state law that would have forced the closing of the state’s only abortion clinic (Robertson, 4/15).

The Associated Press: Only Mississippi Abortion Clinic Gets License Reprieve
A federal judge on Monday temporarily blocked Mississippi from revoking the license of the state's only abortion clinic. U.S. District Judge Daniel P. Jordan III extended an injunction he issued several months ago, which blocks the state from closing the clinic while it tries to fulfill a 2012 state law (4/16).

In Pennsylvania, lawmakers are advancing a bill that would disallow abortion coverage from the state's health insurance exchange --

The Associated Press/USA Today: Bill To Limit Abortion Coverage In Pa. Advances
Republicans in the Pennsylvania House on Monday pushed out of committee a bill that would prevent most coverage for abortions under the health exchange in Pennsylvania being set up as part of the federal health care overhaul. The Health Committee voted 15-9 in favor of the proposal that provides exceptions only for victims of rape and incest or when the mother's life is in peril. One Democrat voted for it (4/15).

And an abortion doctor's murder trial continues --

Reuters: Media Spotlight Falls On Philadelphia Abortion Doctor On Trial For Murder
A city medical examiner described fetal body parts stored in pet food containers during his testimony on Monday at a murder trial that has drawn a national spotlight after anti-abortion groups complained that it was being ignored. The graphic testimony came in the fifth week of the murder trial of Dr. Kermit Gosnell, 72, who faces the death penalty if convicted of charges he killed seven infants and a female patient at what a grand jury described as his squalid abortion clinic in urban West Philadelphia (Warner, 4/15).

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