KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

Abortion, Contraception Coverage Fights Continue As Roe V. Wade Birthday Nears

Abortion and contraception coverage make news in Texas, Virginia and Pennsylvania while both sides prepare for the 40th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision.

Reuters: Judge Keeps Planned Parenthood Out Of Texas Program
A Texas judge on Friday denied a Planned Parenthood request to be allowed to offer health services to low-income women through a state program. Texas now excludes abortion providers and affiliates from the program and Planned Parenthood has been fighting to become a provider again (MacLaggan, 1/11).

The Associated Press: Va. GOP Walks Gingerly Around Congraception Proposals
Gov. Bob McDonnell didn't utter a syllable about abortion legislation in his 50-minute State of the Commonwealth speech Wednesday. House Speaker Bill Howell and other GOP House leaders didn't raise it in a press conference the next morning outlining a sober, mainstream policy agenda of jobs, schools and roads. But it's there, just as sure as Del. Bob Marshall is: more Republican-authored legislation that would restrict abortion and, for some, contraception coverage through employers' health insurance plans (Lewis, 1/13).

CQ HealthBeat: Mennonite-Owned Company Loses Request For Injunction From Birth Control Rule
A federal district court judge in Pennsylvania on Friday turned down a request for a temporary injunction filed by a company owned by Mennonites who object to an Obama administration requirement that they provide no-cost birth control coverage in employee health plans. ... The owners asked in December for an injunction and Judge Mitchell S. Goldberg on Dec. 28 granted a temporary stay while arguments were heard (Norman, 1/11).

The Washington Post: Roe At 40: 'It's Never Been This Frightening Before.'
On a cold morning before dawn, one of the nation’s oldest abortion clinics is getting ready for its newest patients. ... It's been almost 40 years since the Supreme Court legalized abortion on Jan. 22, 1973, galvanizing people on both sides. Abortion clinics sprang up across the country. The National Right to Life Committee was founded. Opponents and proponents girded for an epic conflict. But today, the battle is a slog of legislative fights and piecemeal regulations (Kliff, 1/13).

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