KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

Sole Abortion Clinic In Miss. Remains Open After Judge Blocks State Law

Mississippi's sole abortion clinic remains open after a U.S. district judge blocked -- for now -- a state law that would require the clinic's doctors have admitting privileges at local hospitals. State officials had a hearing planned to consider revoking the clinic's license if it had not complied with the law.

The Wall Street Journal: Mississippi Clinic Gets A Reprieve From Judge 
Prior to the injunction granted earlier this week by U.S. District Judge Daniel Jordan III in Jackson, Miss., the state had scheduled a hearing this Thursday to consider revoking the license of the Jackson Women's Health Organization. The Mississippi Department of Health hearing was to determine whether the clinic was complying with a state law passed last year mandating that all doctors who practice at abortion clinics must have admitting privileges at a local hospital. If the clinic was found to be in violation, the state was expected to begin revoking the clinic's license (McWhirter, 4/16).

Kaiser Health News: Mississippi's Lone Abortion Clinic Is Still Open And Still Controversial
Protesters clashed Tuesday outside the Jackson Women's Health Organization, the only abortion clinic in Mississippi, which won a victory in federal court that allows the facility to continue to operate, at least for now. The legal victory for the clinic came Monday when U.S. District Judge Daniel Jordan III temporarily blocked a state law that requires all the doctors at the facility to have admitting privileges at a local hospital. The judge is preventing the law from taking effect until a legal challenge against it is settled (Hess, 4/17).

In Arkansas, abortion-rights groups are suing to stop a new state law that bans most abortions after 12 weeks of pregnancy --

The New York Times: Suit Seeks To Block Arkansas Abortion Law 
Supporters of abortion rights on Tuesday filed a challenge to the new Arkansas law banning most abortions at the 12th week of pregnancy, calling it a "violation of over 40 years of settled United States Supreme Court precedent" and a threat to "the rights, liberty and well-being of Arkansas women and their families" (Eckholm, 4/16).

The Associated Press/Washington Post: Groups Sue To Overturn Arkansas' New 12-Week Abortion Ban, Saying It's Unconstitutional 
The American Civil Liberties Union of Arkansas and the Center for Reproductive Rights, which filed the suit on behalf of Dr. Louis Jerry Edwards and Dr. Tom Tvedten, who provide abortions at a Little Rock clinic, say Arkansas' ban clearly contradicts the standard of viability established by the U.S. Supreme Court's landmark Roe v. Wade decision (4/16).

Reuters: Arkansas Sued Over Ban On Abortion After 12 Weeks Pregnancy
Groups supporting the right to abortion filed suit on Tuesday challenging an Arkansas law that would ban most abortions after 12 weeks, seeking to block one of the nation's most restrictive abortion measures before it takes effect in July. The Republican-controlled Arkansas legislature overrode Democratic Governor Mike Beebe's veto of the controversial measure in March (Parker, 4/16).

And North Dakota's governor has signed a measure into law that outlaws abortions there after 20 weeks of pregnancy --

The Associated Press/Washington Post: North Dakota Governor Signs 'Fetal Pain' Measure That Outlaws Abortions After 20 Weeks 
Republican Gov. Jack Dalrymple signed into law a measure that outlaws abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy based on the disputed premise that at that point a fetus can feel pain. The law signed Tuesday is the latest among a raft of measures passed in North Dakota this session that are meant to challenge the U.S. Supreme Court's 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling that legalized abortion up until viability, usually at 22 to 24 weeks (4/16).

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