KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

Romney’s Positions On Abortion, Planned Parenthood Funding Draw Political Fire

Both the Obama and Romney campaigns are issuing new campaign ads related to women's health issues and attempting to stake out policy positions.

Politico (Video): Obama Campaign Hits Romney On Birth Control
In a new ad released Friday, the Obama campaign is renewing their criticism of Mitt Romney on the issue of women's health ... The ad is notable because of Democratic concerns that Obama's first debate performance failed to register well with unmarried women — a group he had been polling well among. Pollster Stan Greenberg told the Washington Post that in his dial sessions, unmarried women found nothing compelling about Obama's performance (Tau, 10/12).

The Hill: Obama Campaign Targets Women In Latest TV Ad
The Obama campaign's latest swing-state ad takes aim at Mitt Romney's pledge to cut off federal funding for Planned Parenthood ... Obama has benefitted from a sizable gender gap throughout the campaign, driven in part by Democrats' relentless attacks defending Planned Parenthood and the administration's contraception mandate. But a Pew Research Center poll last week showed Romney making enormous gains with female voters (Baker, 10/12).

CNN: Romney Mailer Vows To Protect Health Care 'Choice'
The message on the front of the brochure looks like something Planned Parenthood might send out to potential supporters. "It's your health," reads a strip of bolded text, placed just above an ominous-looking photo of two doctors in scrubs, shot from the perspective of an operating table. "Shouldn't it be your choice?" But this isn't a mailer from abortion rights supporters or President Obama's re-election campaign. It's a new mail piece in Virginia from Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, an abortion opponent (Hamby, 10/13).

The Hill: Top Adviser Gillespie Says Romney 'Will Be A Pro-Life President'
A senior adviser to Mitt Romney defended the Republican presidential nominee over abortion-rights issues on Sunday, saying Romney has "consistently" supported undoing the landmark court ruling making the procedure legal. "He is a pro-life candidate. He will be a pro-life president," said former Republican National Committee chairman Ed Gillespie of Romney during an appearance on CNN's State of the Union (Laing, 10/14).

The Hill: Abortion Groups Target Swing-State Voters
Groups on both sides of the abortion debate are focusing their advertising on swing-state voters in the closing weeks of the presidential campaign. As Mitt Romney nabbed headlines with his comment that abortion bills would not be part of his agenda, voters in four swing states were already viewing a slew of ads from Planned Parenthood's political wing, on the left, and the Susan B. Anthony (SBA) List, on the right. The two groups have spoken loudest for their sides of the abortion debate this presidential election, particularly through television spots aimed at convincing undecided voters of the dangers of the opposing candidate (Viebeck, 10/13).

Politico: Contraception Rule Opponents Feel 'Momentum' After VP Debate
Joe Biden and Paul Ryan tangled over the Obama administration's contraception coverage requirement Thursday night, but the real fight has headed to the courts — and the rule's opponents say they're gaining steam. They're certainly piling up lawsuits. But whether that’s real momentum — or just a growing stack of legal briefs — remains to be seen (Smith, 10/13).

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