KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

Hearing Set For Wednesday On Miss. Abortion Law

A federal judge today will hear arguments on letting an abortion law in Mississippi go into effect. Opponents say the law could shutter the state's only abortion clinic.

The Associated Press: Miss. Anti-Abortion Law Back Before Federal Judge
A hearing Wednesday will help a federal judge decide whether to keep blocking a Mississippi abortion law or let it go into effect. The state's only abortion clinic, Jackson Women's Health Organization, says it could be forced to close if the state is allowed to start enforcing the measure, which would require anyone performing abortions at the clinic to be an OB-GYN with privileges to admit patients to a local hospital (Pettus, 7/11).

In the meantime, a bill that would affect abortion in the District of Columbia has a hearing in the House.

The Hill: NOW Blasts 'Radical Right-Wing Men' Behind DC Abortion Bill
The National Organization for Women (NOW) slammed Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.) and other GOP lawmakers for supporting a new bill that would limit abortion rights in Washington, D.C. The House Judiciary Committee was scheduled to mark up Franks's bill, H.R. 3803, on Tuesday morning. The measure would criminalize abortions after 20 weeks in the District because, Republicans argue, some research suggests that fetuses can feel pain at that point. NOW President Terry O'Neill called the bill a "clear strike in the ongoing War on Women" (Viebeck, 7/10).

And Planned Parenthood in Iowa faces fraud allegations.

Des Moines Register: Planned Parenthood Of The Heartland Faces Medicaid Fraud Allegation
Planned Parenthood of the Heartland faces a lawsuit alleging nearly $28 million in fraudulent billing and health care practices, according to documents unsealed this week. Planned Parenthood of the Heartland President Jill June released a statement describing the suit as "a pattern of harassment against women’s health care and Planned Parenthood affiliates across the country." ... Susan Thayer, a former Planned Parenthood clinic director from Storm Lake, brought the lawsuit in March 2011 under state and federal whistle-blower laws that allow people with knowledge of fraud involving government contractors to bring allegations forward in the form of a lawsuit (Finney, 7/10).

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