Daily Women's Health Policy Report

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Daily Women's Health Policy Report by the National Partnership for Women & Families
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La. Rejects Planned Parenthood Clinic's Application To Provide Abortion Services

Wed, 01/21/2015 - 17:54

The Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals earlier this month rejected Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast's application to provide abortion services at a New Orleans health center that is scheduled to open later in 2015, the AP/San Francisco Chronicle reports.

La. Rejects Planned Parenthood Clinic's Application To Provide Abortion Services

January 21, 2015 — The Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals earlier this month rejected Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast's application to provide abortion services at a New Orleans health center that is scheduled to open later in 2015, the AP/San Francisco Chronicle reports.

The request was rejected under 2012 regulations issued by Gov. Bobby Jindal's (R) administration. The rules require clinics seeking to offer abortion services to carry out the same "facility need review" as state residential care facilities, such as hospice facilities or nursing homes.

Under the regulations, outpatient facilities that want to provide abortion services must prove that such services are needed to preserve access to care prior to applying for a license to perform the procedure.

Details of Application Rejection

Louisiana DHH Secretary Kathy Kliebert wrote in a letter rejecting PPGC's application, "Your application failed to establish the probability of serious, adverse consequences to recipients' ability to access outpatient abortion services if you are not allowed to apply for licensure."

PPGC's health center, which is currently under construction, would be the third clinic to provide abortions in the New Orleans area, the sixth abortion clinic in the state and the first Planned Parenthood clinic in Louisiana to provide the procedure. The health center will double the size of PPGC's current clinic in New Orleans, which offers several primary care services.

PPGC has 30 days from the date their application was rejected to appeal the state health department's decision to an administrative law judge. PPGC could also file a lawsuit challenging the decision.

Reaction

PPGC Louisiana State Director Melissa Flournoy said, "Politicians in Louisiana are using every trick in the book to eliminate access to safe, legal abortion in the state. Make no mistake, this fight is not over" (Deslatte, AP/San Francisco Chronicle, 1/16).


Va. Bill To Expand Access to Contraception Stalled

Wed, 01/21/2015 - 17:53

The Virginia Senate Commerce and Labor Committee on Monday effectively killed a state Senate bill aimed at expanding access to contraception by sending the measure to the state's Health Insurance Reform Commission, the Hampton Roads Daily Press reports.

Va. Bill To Expand Access to Contraception Stalled

January 21, 2015 — The Virginia Senate Commerce and Labor Committee on Monday effectively killed a state Senate bill aimed at expanding access to contraception by sending the measure to the state's Health Insurance Reform Commission, the Hampton Roads Daily Press reports.

The measure (SB 1277), introduced by state Sen. George Barker (D), would have required insurance policies with prescription drug benefits to cover all FDA-approved prescription contraceptives, as opposed to just one from each category. Specifically, the Contraceptive Equity measure would have "[r]equire[d] health insurance policies ... to include coverage for any prescribed drug, device, or product approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for use as a contraceptive."

Cianti Stewart-Reid, executive director of Planned Parenthood Advocates of Virginia, said that under the current law, a policy might not cover the treatment a physician has recommended for a particular patient.

According to the Daily Press, 28 states have laws that mandate insurance with prescription plans to cover all contraceptive options as opposed to just one from each category (Salasky, Daily Press, 1/19).


Democratic Lawmakers To Reintroduce Women's Health Protection Act

Wed, 01/21/2015 - 17:44

A group of Democratic lawmakers on Wednesday is reintroducing a measure aimed at protecting women's access to health care and limiting abortion restrictions, Politico's "Pulse" reports.

Democratic Lawmakers To Reintroduce Women's Health Protection Act

January 21, 2015 — A group of Democratic lawmakers on Wednesday is reintroducing a measure aimed at protecting women's access to health care and limiting abortion restrictions, Politico's "Pulse" reports (Villacorta, "Pulse," Politico, 1/21).

More than 200 state-level abortion restrictions have passed since 2010, when Republicans gained seats in state legislatures across the U.S., according to The Hill.

Sens. Richard Blumenthal (Conn.) and Tammy Baldwin (Wis.) are leading the group of Democrats sponsoring the measure in the Senate (Ferris, The Hill, 1/20).

Bill Background

Congressional Democrats also introduced the Women's Health Protection Act (S 1696, HR 3471) last session. The bill would have prohibited states from imposing burdensome restrictions that specifically target abortion providers. It also would have barred states from banning abortion prior to viability or if a doctor believes that continuing the pregnancy would harm a woman's health. In addition, the bill would have established guidelines for judges reviewing the constitutionality of state laws restricting abortion (Women's Health Policy Report, 11/14/13).

Comments

Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-Ohio), who is one of the lead sponsors in the House, said that state-level abortion restrictions have "diminished access to essential reproductive care."

Blumenthal in a statement on the bill said, "The protections in this measure are more necessary now than ever before in our history because an avalanche of restrictive, reprehensible state laws is drastically reducing fundamental health care rights" (The Hill, 1/20).


Obama Administration Issues Veto Threat of 20-Week Abortion Ban; House Leaders Press Ahead on Vote

Wed, 01/21/2015 - 16:31

The Obama administration on Tuesday issued a formal veto threat of a bill (HR 36) that would ban abortion at 20 weeks of pregnancy, the AP/U-T San Diego reports.

Obama Administration Issues Veto Threat of 20-Week Abortion Ban; House Leaders Press Ahead on Vote

January 21, 2015 — The Obama administration on Tuesday issued a formal veto threat of a bill (HR 36) that would ban abortion at 20 weeks of pregnancy, the AP/U-T San Diego reports (AP/U-T San Diego, 1/20).

Background

The House is expected to vote on the measure on Thursday, the anniversary of the Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade decision and the date of the antiabortion-rights March for Life. The measure would allow abortions after 20 weeks only in certain cases of rape and incest, and endangerment to a woman's life. The bill mandates that a rape survivor must formally report the rape to police in order to be able to legally have an abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy (Women's Health Policy Report, 1/20).

Details of Veto Threat

The White House in the veto threat wrote that HR 36 would represent an "assault" on abortion rights and that "unacceptably" infringes on reproductive rights and women's health care (AP/U-T San Diego, 1/20). In addition, the Obama administration said the bill would be a "direct challenge" to Supreme Court rulings on abortion.

The administration wrote, "Not only is the basis for H.R. 36 scientifically disputed, the bill disregards women's health and rights, the role doctors play in their patients' healthcare decisions, and the Constitution. If the president were presented with this legislation, his senior advisers would recommend that he veto this bill" (Ferris, The Hill, 1/20).

Further, the administration expressed concern about the measure's formal reporting requirements for rape survivors. The statement said, "[T]he provision that requires rape and incest survivors to report the crime to a law enforcement agency or child welfare authority in order to have access to an abortion after the 20-week mark demonstrates a complete disregard for the women who experience sexual assault and the barriers they may face in reporting. Research indicates that the majority of survivors have not reported their sexual assaults to law enforcement."

House Leaders Refuse To Change Language, Cancel Vote

Meanwhile, House GOP leaders said they will not change the measure's rape survivor reporting requirements and will push forward with a vote Thursday despite concerns, including some raised by conservative lawmakers, Politico reports.

Republican Reps. Renee Ellmers (N.C.) and Jackie Walorski (Ind.) on Tuesday removed their names from the House bill, and Ellmers is encouraging her colleagues to vote against the measure (Sherman/French, Politico, 1/20).

At least six conservative lawmakers, including Ellmers, expressed concern to House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) in a closed-door meeting last week that such a requirement could dissuade survivors from reporting rapes. They had urged Scalise to rewrite the legislation with a broader exemption for cases of rape (Women's Health Policy Report, 1/20).

However, the measure is still expected to pass the House, according to Politico (Politico, 1/20). Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) also plans to hold a vote on a 20-week ban sometime in the spring, according to aides and Republican senators. However, the legislation likely will fall short of the necessary votes for passage in the Senate (Women's Health Policy Report, 1/20).

CBO: 20-Week Ban Would Increase Deficit

Separately, the Congressional Budget Office on Tuesday estimated that the House's ban on abortions at 20 weeks of pregnancy would increase the deficit by $75 million through 2025, The Hill reports.

For its main estimate, CBO projected that about 75% of abortions that would otherwise occur after 20 weeks of pregnancy would instead take place earlier, while other pregnancies likely would be taken to term. CBO said that under such projections, there would be a $235 million increase in Medicaid spending between 2015 and 2025 and the deficit would increase by $75 million over 10 years.

CBO said that the bill could increase Medicaid spending up to $500 million over the next decade, depending on how many additional births occur. CBO wrote, "If 90 percent of women who would have sought an abortion 20 weeks or more after fertilization instead were to seek earlier abortions, federal spending would rise by about $100 million over 10 years. If only half of those women were to obtain earlier abortions, then federal spending would rise by nearly $500 million over 10 years" (Shabad, The Hill, 1/20).

SOTU, GOP Response Allude to Abortion-Rights Divisions

Both Obama in the State of the Union address and Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) in the Republican rebuttal on Tuesday evening touched on their sides' respective positions on abortion rights.

Obama said in his address, "We still may not agree on a woman's right to choose, but surely we can agree it's a good thing that teen pregnancies and abortions are nearing all-time lows" (Viebeck, The Hill, 1/20). He continued that there should also be common agreement "that every woman should have access to the health care that she needs" (State of the Union transcript, Washington Post, 1/20).

Ernst in the GOP rebuttal to Obama's address said that Republicans would "defend life, because protecting our most vulnerable is an important measure of any society" (Viebeck, The Hill, 1/20).


Va. Bill To Expand Access to Contraception Stalled

Wed, 01/21/2015 - 15:21

The Virginia Senate Commerce and Labor Committee on Monday effectively killed a state Senate bill aimed at expanding access to contraception by sending the measure to the state's Health Insurance Reform Commission, the Hampton Roads Daily Press reports.

Va. Bill To Expand Access to Contraception Stalled

January 21, 2015 — The Virginia Senate Commerce and Labor Committee on Monday effectively killed a state Senate bill aimed at expanding access to contraception by sending the measure to the state's Health Insurance Reform Commission, the Hampton Roads Daily Press reports.

The measure (SB 1277), introduced by state Sen. George Barker (D), would have required insurance policies with prescription drug benefits to cover all FDA-approved prescription contraceptives, as opposed to just one from each category. Specifically, the Contraceptive Equity measure would have "[r]equire[d] health insurance policies ... to include coverage for any prescribed drug, device, or product approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for use as a contraceptive."

Cianti Stewart-Reid, executive director of Planned Parenthood Advocates of Virginia, said that under the current law, a policy might not cover the treatment a physician has recommended for a particular patient.

According to the Daily Press, 28 states have laws that mandate insurance with prescription plans to cover all contraceptive options as opposed to just one from each category (Salasky, Daily Press, 1/19).


La. Rejects Planned Parenthood Clinic's Application To Provide Abortion Services

Wed, 01/21/2015 - 15:19

The Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals earlier this month rejected Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast's application to provide abortion services at a New Orleans health center that is scheduled to open later in 2015, the AP/San Francisco Chronicle reports.

La. Rejects Planned Parenthood Clinic's Application To Provide Abortion Services

January 21, 2015 — The Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals earlier this month rejected Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast's application to provide abortion services at a New Orleans health center that is scheduled to open later in 2015, the AP/San Francisco Chronicle reports.

The request was rejected under 2012 regulations issued by Gov. Bobby Jindal's (R) administration. The rules require clinics seeking to offer abortion services to carry out the same "facility need review" as state residential care facilities, such as hospice facilities or nursing homes.

Under the regulations, outpatient facilities that want to provide abortion services must prove that such services are needed to preserve access to care prior to applying for a license to perform the procedure.

Details of Application Rejection

Louisiana DHH Secretary Kathy Kliebert wrote in a letter rejecting PPGC's application, "Your application failed to establish the probability of serious, adverse consequences to recipients' ability to access outpatient abortion services if you are not allowed to apply for licensure."

PPGC's health center, which is currently under construction, would be the third clinic to provide abortions in the New Orleans area, the sixth abortion clinic in the state and the first Planned Parenthood clinic in Louisiana to provide the procedure. The health center will double the size of PPGC's current clinic in New Orleans, which offers several primary care services.

PPGC has 30 days from the date their application was rejected to appeal the state health department's decision to an administrative law judge. PPGC could also file a lawsuit challenging the decision.

Reaction

PPGC Louisiana State Director Melissa Flournoy said, "Politicians in Louisiana are using every trick in the book to eliminate access to safe, legal abortion in the state. Make no mistake, this fight is not over" (Deslatte, AP/San Francisco Chronicle, 1/16).


Iowa Sen. Introduces Two Antiabortion-Rights Measures for 2015 Session

Wed, 01/21/2015 - 15:17

An Iowa senator has introduced two antiabortion-rights measures for the 2015 legislative session, the Des Moines Register reports.

Iowa Sen. Introduces Two Antiabortion-Rights Measures for 2015 Session

January 21, 2015 — An Iowa senator has introduced two antiabortion-rights measures for the 2015 legislative session, the Des Moines Register reports.

State Sen. David Johnson (R) sponsored both of the bills. One measure (SF 11) would require medication abortion drugs to be provided, dispensed or administered by physicians. In addition, the bill would require medication abortions to take place at hospitals or clinics that have the surgical facilities necessary to intervene if severe bleeding or an incomplete abortion occur. According to Johnson, the bill aims to prevent telemedicine abortions.

The second measure (SF 12) would institute a mandatory delay period of 72 hours before a woman seeking an abortion can have the procedure. According to Johnson, the state Legislature passed similar requirements in 2001 and 2002, but they were vetoed by former Gov. Tom Vilsack (D). According to the Register, it is unlikely that either measure will receive serious consideration in the state Senate, which is controlled by Democrats. However, state lawmakers who do not support abortion rights say they will push for the measures' passage.

Reaction

Planned Parenthood of the Heartland President and CEO Suzanna de Baca said requirements such as those proposed in the bills "pose a risk to women's health by reducing timely access to safe and legal abortion, especially in rural areas where access to safe and legal abortion are already limited." She added that the group, "absolutely oppose[s] restrictions like these politicians are proposing to make abortion more difficult for women" (Petroski, Des Moines Register, 1/17).


Featured Blogs

Tue, 01/20/2015 - 19:45

"Virginia Lawmakers Roll Out Pro-Choice Legislative Agenda," (Liss-Schultz, RH Reality Check, 1/19); "Fetus Lawyers, Baby Daddies and 'Legitimate Rape': America's Craziest Abortion Bills," (Zadrozny, Daily Beast, 1/20); "'The Daily Show' Slams Appalling Alabama Law That Appoints Lawyers for Fetuses," (Gray, Salon, 1/16).

January 20, 2015

FEATURED BLOG

"Virginia Lawmakers Roll Out Pro-Choice Legislative Agenda," Nina Liss-Schultz, RH Reality Check: Liss-Schultz notes that "Virginia lawmakers on Wednesday filed a handful of bills related to reproductive and sexual health -- and they are almost all pro-choice, and could roll back anti-choice policies pushed through by Virginia Republicans in recent years." Specifically, she writes that state legislators "introduced at least eight bills [SB 733, SB 769, SB 920, SB 1277, HB 1524, HB 1541] related to reproductive health care," four of which "would repeal state regulations on abortion, while the others provide further access." However, "not every bill introduced so far in the 2015 [state legislative] session has been good for reproductive health," she writes. According to Liss-Schultz, the Virginia Legislature also on Wednesday "introduced HB 1456, which would allow child-protective services to investigate private property in response to a complaint that a pregnant person is using certain controlled substances that would 'render the woman's unborn child abused or neglected'" (Liss-Schultz, RH Reality Check, 1/19).

FEATURED BLOG

"Fetus Lawyers, Baby Daddies and 'Legitimate Rape': America's Craziest Abortion Bills," Brandy Zadrozny, Daily Beast: "[A]rmed with hundreds of pre-written bills -- drawn up by" antiabortion-rights groups, "state lawmakers are finding new ways to make an abortion even harder to get in the new year," despite ongoing legal challenges to abortion restrictions in Texas, Alabama and other states, Zadrozny writes. Zadrozny highlights several "states that have gotten an early start at" attempting to "rol[l] back Roe v. Wade, which she says are "almost guaranteed" to be challenged in court if passed: Missouri, where "Republicans have already introduced eight abortion bills," including a measure (HB 131) "that would require permission from a fetus's father before a woman could have an abortion"; Indiana, where a lawmaker has "introduced legislation [SB 334] that would make it a felony for providers to perform an abortion because of the sex of the fetus or a potential disability"; Tennessee, where lawmakers have "rall[ied] behind three different abortion bills that include a mandatory waiting period, new inspection requirements for clinics, and an 'informed consent' bill," in addition to a proposed ultrasound requirement (HB 2); and South Carolina, where lawmakers have "filed nine anti-abortion bills before the legislative session even began, four of which were proposals to outlaw abortions after 20 weeks." Zadrozny notes that "this state list is only partial, as some states haven't yet begun their legislative sessions" (Zadrozny, Daily Beast, 1/20).

What others are saying about abortion restrictions:

~ "Anti-Choice Legislators Try To Force Wedge Between Reproductive, Disability Rights Activists," David Perry, RH Reality Check.

~ "Legal Wrap: New Year, Same Old Anti-Abortion Tricks From the GOP," Jessica Mason Pieklo, RH Reality Check.

FEATURED BLOG

"'The Daily Show' Slams Appalling Alabama Law That Appoints Lawyers for Fetuses," Sarah Gray, Salon: Gray writes about a "Daily Show" segment in which Susan Wilson, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Alabama, describes a "baffling Alabama law" (HB 494) that uses state funds to provide lawyers for fetuses. Gray explains that Alabama requires minors to obtain "parental consent to get an abortion," but that if they cannot obtain such consent, they "can go to the courts." However, she explains that the law permits judges to "appoint the unborn fetus a lawyer, and put the teenager seeking an abortion on trial -- witnesses and all." According to Wilson, the law is "not only 'particularly insulting to women' -- denying a woman's right to choose -- it also takes funds away from people who need public defenders," Gray writes (Gray, Salon, 1/16).


Blogs Comment on Feminism Past and Present, Va. Abortion-Rights Bills, More

Tue, 01/20/2015 - 19:39

Read the week's best commentaries from bloggers at The Nation, RH Reality Check and more.

Blogs Comment on Feminism Past and Present, Va. Abortion-Rights Bills, More

January 20, 2015 — Read the week's best commentaries from bloggers at The Nation, RH Reality Check and more.

FEMINISM & THE ABORTION-RIGHTS MOVEMENT: "'She's Beautiful When She's Angry' Reveals the Radical Ordinary Women of 1960s Feminism," Dani McClain, The Nation: McClain discusses a new documentary called "She's Beautiful When She's Angry, which chronicles the movement for women's rights in the '60s and early '70s." She writes that the documentary "is nothing if not timely," since it is "touring the country just as the concept of the grassroots movement as the spark for social change is having a moment." According to McClain, the film "mixes the history you know and expect, like the burning of bras at the Miss America pageant in '68, with lesser-known stories, like the role women in the Young Lords played in exposing forced sterilization in Puerto Rico and New York City." In addition, she notes that it includes commentary from "women who made up the movement," such as "those who learned to provide safe, if not legal, abortions as part of the Jane Collective." McClain adds that the woman in the film "were dealing with many of the same messes and contradictions we still struggle with today" (McClain, The Nation, 1/16).

What others are saying about feminism and the abortion-rights movement:

~ "How Tennessee Awakened a New Wave of Pro-Choice Activism," Tara Culp-Ressler, Center for American Progress' "ThinkProgress."

ABORTION PROTECTIONS: "Virginia Lawmakers Roll Out Pro-Choice Legislative Agenda," Nina Liss-Schultz, RH Reality Check: Liss-Schultz notes that "Virginia lawmakers on Wednesday filed a handful of bills related to reproductive and sexual health -- and they are almost all pro-choice, and could roll back anti-choice policies pushed through by Virginia Republicans in recent years." Specifically, she writes that state legislators "introduced at least eight bills [SB 733, SB 769, SB 920, SB 1277, HB 1524, HB 1541] related to reproductive health care," four of which "would repeal state regulations on abortion, while the others provide further access." However, "not every bill introduced so far in the 2015 [state legislative] session has been good for reproductive health," she writes. According to Liss-Schultz, the Virginia Legislature also on Wednesday "introduced HB 1456, which would allow child-protective services to investigate private property in response to a complaint that a pregnant person is using certain controlled substances that would 'render the woman's unborn child abused or neglected'" (Liss-Schultz, RH Reality Check, 1/19).

ABORTION RESTRICTIONS: "Fetus Lawyers, Baby Daddies and 'Legitimate Rape': America's Craziest Abortion Bills," Brandy Zadrozny, Daily Beast: "[A]rmed with hundreds of pre-written bills -- drawn up by" antiabortion-rights groups, "state lawmakers are finding new ways to make an abortion even harder to get in the new year," despite ongoing legal challenges to abortion restrictions in Texas, Alabama and other states, Zadrozny writes. Zadrozny highlights several "states that have gotten an early start at" attempting to "rol[l] back Roe v. Wade, which she says are "almost guaranteed" to be challenged in court if passed: Missouri, where "Republicans have already introduced eight abortion bills," including a measure (HB 131) "that would require permission from a fetus's father before a woman could have an abortion"; Indiana, where a lawmaker has "introduced legislation [SB 334] that would make it a felony for providers to perform an abortion because of the sex of the fetus or a potential disability"; Tennessee, where lawmakers have "rall[ied] behind three different abortion bills that include a mandatory waiting period, new inspection requirements for clinics, and an 'informed consent' bill," in addition to a proposed ultrasound requirement (HB 2); and South Carolina, where lawmakers have "filed nine anti-abortion bills before the legislative session even began, four of which were proposals to outlaw abortions after 20 weeks." Zadrozny notes that "this state list is only partial, as some states haven't yet begun their legislative sessions" (Zadrozny, Daily Beast, 1/20).

What others are saying about abortion restrictions:

~ "Anti-Choice Legislators Try To Force Wedge Between Reproductive, Disability Rights Activists," David Perry, RH Reality Check.

~ "Legal Wrap: New Year, Same Old Anti-Abortion Tricks From the GOP," Jessica Mason Pieklo, RH Reality Check.

GLOBAL: "El Salvadoran Woman Denied Pardon in 30-Year Sentence for Miscarriage," Collier Meyerson, Jezebel: The Salvadoran Congress in a 43-42 vote on Friday denied a pardon to a "Salvadoran woman known as 'Guadalupe' currently serving a 30-year sentence for a 2007 miscarriage," Meyerson writes. Citing a Fusion report, Meyerson explains that Guadalupe was "convicted of murdering her unborn baby" after she collapsed one day at work and "was taken to the nearest clinic." Meyerson, quoting the report, notes that "'[a]ll forms of abortion are illegal in El Salvador'" and that although "'there was no indication that Guadalupe, a mother of one, intentionally terminated her pregnancy, the doctors snitched her out to save themselves from any criminal liability.'" Further, the report states that "'[a]t least 29 Salvadoran women are currently behind bars for having illegal abortions, but a dozen of them are still appealing their sentences in court'" (Meyerson, Jezebel, 1/17).

ABORTION IN THE MEDIA: "'The Daily Show' Slams Appalling Alabama Law That Appoints Lawyers for Fetuses," Sarah Gray, Salon: Gray writes about a "Daily Show" segment in which Susan Wilson, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Alabama, describes a "baffling Alabama law" (HB 494) that uses state funds to provide lawyers for fetuses. Gray explains that Alabama requires minors to obtain "parental consent to get an abortion," but that if they cannot obtain such consent, they "can go to the courts." However, she explains that the law permits judges to "appoint the unborn fetus a lawyer, and put the teenager seeking an abortion on trial -- witnesses and all." According to Wilson, the law is "not only 'particularly insulting to women' -- denying a woman's right to choose -- it also takes funds away from people who need public defenders," Gray writes (Gray, Salon, 1/16).


Ark. Legislators Introduce Bills To Ban Telemedicine Abortion Services

Tue, 01/20/2015 - 19:38

Arkansas lawmakers on Thursday proposed bills (SB 53, HB 1076) that would require physicians to administer medication abortion drugs in person and mandate in-person follow-ups, the Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports

Ark. Legislators Introduce Bills To Ban Telemedicine Abortion Services

January 20, 2015 — Arkansas lawmakers on Thursday proposed bills (SB 53, HB 1076) that would require physicians to administer medication abortion drugs in person and mandate in-person follow-ups, the Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports (Lauer, Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, 1/16).

State Sen. Missy Irvin (R) and state Rep. Julie Mayberry (R) proposed the bills. The measures would require abortion providers to administer the drugs in person and "make all reasonable efforts" to see a woman who took the drugs within 12 to 18 days for a follow-up. The bills would allow the woman who received the abortion or the men involved in the pregnancy to sue a physician who does not follow the requirements.

According to the AP/San Francisco Chronicle, the bills currently have more than 50 co-sponsors in the state House and Senate, including Arkansas Senate President Jonathan Dismang (R) (Merchant, AP/San Francisco Chronicle, 1/15). The measures have been assigned to the state House and Senate Public Health, Welfare and Labor committees and could be considered as early as this week, the Democrat-Gazette reports (Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, 1/16).

Bills Designed To Prevent Abortion Medication Via Telemedicine

Supporters say the measures will help protect women's health by preventing medication abortion from being administered through telemedicine services. Specifically, they said the measures will help prevent physicians from missing any complications from the procedure.

However, supporters acknowledged that they are unaware of any providers offering such services. Mayberry said, "We're trying to prevent it from happening" in the future (AP/San Francisco Chronicle, 1/15).

Separately, Irvin noted that Planned Parenthood of the Heartland, an abortion provider in the state, has administered telemedicine abortions in other states (Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, 1/16).

Reaction

PPH CEO Suzanna de Baca said the proposed legislation "is not about improving the lives or the safety of Arkansas women." She noted that women who receive medication abortions via telemedicine "receiv[e] the same counseling, exam and information face-to-face with a medical professional" as women "with an in-person visit with a doctor." PPH spokersperson Angie Remington added that PPH does not currently offer medication abortion in the state (AP/San Francisco Chronicle, 1/15).

Separately, Rita Sklar, executive director of the Arkansas chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, said "[O]bviously, there is one intention and that's to make access to safe, legal abortions more difficult. It has nothing to do with the safety of the woman" (Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, 1/16).

Meanwhile, Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R) said he has not yet reviewed the measures (AP/San Francisco Chronicle, 1/15).


Obama Administration Argues Hobby Lobby Ruling Does Not Apply To Not-For-Profits

Tue, 01/20/2015 - 18:48

The Obama administration on Thursday asked a federal judge not to grant not-for-profits that hold themselves out as religious and oppose contraception any additional accommodations under the federal contraceptive coverage rules, the Washington Times reports

Obama Administration Argues Hobby Lobby Ruling Does Not Apply To Not-For-Profits

January 20, 2015 — The Obama administration on Thursday asked a federal judge not to grant not-for-profits that hold themselves out as religious and oppose contraception any additional accommodations under the federal contraceptive coverage rules, the Washington Times reports (Howell, Washington Times, 1/15).

The Affordable Care Act's (PL 111-148) contraceptive coverage rules include an accommodation for not-for-profits that hold themselves out as religious and oppose contraception.

The accommodation enables such not-for-profits to notify their insurers or third-party administrators of their objection so the insurers or third-party administrators can facilitate contraceptive coverage for members of their health plans. To claim the accommodation, the not-for-profits may either complete a form to send to the insurers or third-party administrators or send a letter to HHS stating that they object to offering contraceptive coverage in their health plans. HHS announced the latter option in August in an effort to address ongoing court challenges over the rules.

Legal Background

The Roman Catholic Archbishop of Washington and Priests for Life challenged the latest accommodation in court, arguing that the accommodation process continues to force "religious believers to violate their sincere religious beliefs."

In November, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit unanimously ruled that the accommodation does not substantially burden the religious beliefs of the plaintiffs in violation of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (103-141) (Women's Health Policy Report, 11/25/14). PFL appealed the decision to the full court, arguing that the three-judge panel's ruling violated the Supreme Court's ruling in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby.

According to the Times, PFL does not have to follow the earlier ruling while the appeal is pending.

Government Response

Government attorneys on Thursday told the appeals court that PFL should not be granted any further accommodations under the contraceptive coverage rules because not-for-profits already are extended several accommodations for which Hobby Lobby, as a for-profit company, was not eligible.

The attorneys said, "The linchpin of the court's 'very specific' holding in Hobby Lobby was the existence of the opt-out alternative afforded to organizations such as the plaintiffs in this case."

The Obama administration also said not-for-profits cannot go beyond opting out of the rules. "On plaintiffs' reasoning, a conscientious objector to the draft can not only ... refrain from serving himself, but can also allege that his religion is substantially burdened if the government drafts a replacement to serve instead" (Washington Times, 1/15).


Rhode Island Man Files Federal Lawsuit Over Concerns About Abortion Coverage

Tue, 01/20/2015 - 17:52

A Rhode Island man on Thursday filed a lawsuit in federal court against the state's health insurance marketplace for not including any plans that do not cover abortion services beyond cases of rape, incest and endangerment to a woman's life, the Providence Journal reports.

Rhode Island Man Files Federal Lawsuit Over Concerns About Abortion Coverage

January 20, 2015 — A Rhode Island man on Thursday filed a lawsuit in federal court against the state's health insurance marketplace for not including any plans that do not cover abortion services beyond cases of rape, incest and endangerment to a woman's life, the Providence Journal reports (Salit, Providence Journal, 1/15).

Background

The Affordable Care Act (PL 111-148) does not prohibit abortion coverage and lets insurers determine whether they will offer it. However, the law requires health plans to segregate money collected for abortion coverage from other premiums. Insurers are not required to segregate the money for abortion coverage in cases of rape, incest or endangerment to the life of the woman (Women's Health Policy Report, 11/24/14).

The ACA requires marketplaces in all states by 2017 to include at least one multistate plan that does not cover abortion services beyond cases of rape, incest and endangerment to a woman's life. Rhode Island is one of four states that does not currently have such a marketplace plan available, according to the Journal.

Lawsuit Details

The lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court by the Alliance Defending Freedom on behalf of an anonymous man, identified as John Doe in court papers.

According to the suit, the man opposes abortion because of his religious beliefs. He elected not to sign up for coverage because there was not a plan on HealthSource RI that that did not cover abortion services beyond cases of rape, incest and life endangerment. The suit alleges that the man now faces a federal penalty because he did not purchase coverage.

According to ADF senior counsel Casey Mattox, the plaintiff has filed a motion to remain confidential because he is HIV-positive and needs medical coverage, which Mattox said was important to the case.

The lawsuit is supported by the Rhode Island Right to Life Committee. The committee's executive director, Barth Bracy, filed a similar lawsuit against Connecticut's marketplace. However, he dropped the suit after the marketplace during the 2015 open enrollment period began including plans that do not include abortion coverage beyond cases of rape, incest and life endangerment.

Meanwhile, Gov. Gina Raimondo's (D) administration said in a statement, "Governor Raimondo and [HealthSource RI] Director [Anya Rader] Wallack understand that this is a sensitive issue for many Rhode Islanders. HealthSource RI is working on addressing coverage options" (Providence Journal, 1/15).


CMS Administrator Tavenner To Step Down

Tue, 01/20/2015 - 17:52

CMS Administrator Marilyn Tavenner will step down from her position at the end of February, the Huffington Post reports.

CMS Administrator Tavenner To Step Down

January 20, 2015 — CMS Administrator Marilyn Tavenner will step down from her position at the end of February, the Huffington Post reports (Cohn/Young, Huffington Post, 1/16).

Tavenner made the announcement via an e-mail to her staff on Friday. She did not indicate why she was stepping down. She wrote, "We came together and faced the challenges and are now providing millions of people with access to an affordable, high quality -- and in some cases a lifesaving -- health care plan."

Background

Tavenner became acting CMS administrator in 2011 and was confirmed as the agency's administrator in 2013 (Wayne, Bloomberg, 1/16).

Stakeholders have said Tavenner has maintained good relationships with both Democrats and Republicans, according to the Huffington Post. America's Health Insurance Plans President Karen Ignagni said, "She's not been viewed in town as a particularly political figure. She's viewed as a manager, which says something about her leadership."

However, she has received some criticism, including for CMS' role in miscounting the number of U.S. residents who enrolled in health coverage through the Affordable Care Act's exchanges during its first open enrollment period.

Resignation Sets Up Confirmation Battle, Slavitt To Be Acting Administrator

Tavenner's departure will set up a potentially difficult confirmation battle with the GOP-controlled Senate, according to the Huffington Post.

Andy Slavitt, who has been CMS' principal deputy administrator since June 2014, will serve as acting CMS administrator until a permanent replacement is confirmed. Slavitt previously was an executive at Optum, a unit of UnitedHealth Group and a contractor that helped develop the federal exchange.

Reaction

HHS Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell on Friday said, "Marilyn Tavenner has devoted five years and countless hours to the cause of improving health care quality, holding down costs, protecting the Medicare Trust Fund and expanding access to affordable health care coverage to millions of Americans. In so doing, she delivered historic results that have impacted countless lives -- both today and for decades to come -- all for the better" (Huffington Post, 1/16).


Some Conservative Lawmakers Raise Concerns Over House 20-Week Abortion Ban

Tue, 01/20/2015 - 16:32

Several conservative lawmakers have raised concerns about plans to vote on a bill (HR 36) that would ban abortions after 20 week of pregnancy, National Journal reports.

Some Conservative Lawmakers Raise Concerns Over House 20-Week Abortion Ban

January 20, 2015 — Several conservative lawmakers have raised concerns about plans to vote on a bill (HR 36) that would ban abortions after 20 week of pregnancy, National Journal reports (Newhauser, National Journal, 1/16).

Background

The House is expected to vote on the measure on Thursday, the anniversary of the Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade decision and the date of the antiabortion-rights March for Life (French/Sherman, Politico, 1/16). The measure would allow abortions after 20 weeks only in certain cases of rape and incest, and endangerment to a woman's life.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) also plans to hold a vote on a 20-week ban sometime in the spring, according to aides and Republican senators. However, the legislation likely will fall short of the necessary votes for passage in the Senate (Women's Health Policy Report, 1/12).

Most Republicans support the bill, and a similar measure received the votes of all but six Republican House members in 2013, according to National Journal (National Journal, 1/16). The bill, which is based on the disputed notion that a fetus can feel pain at that point of development, is expected to pass the House (Women's Health Policy Report, 1/12).

Concerns Over Bill

Several GOP lawmakers in a closed-door meeting last week argued that bringing up the bill could hurt Republicans politically by decreasing support from young people and distracting from the party's message on the economy.

Rep. Renee Ellmers (R-N.C.) said, "I have urged leadership to reconsider bringing it up [this] week." She added, "We got into trouble last year, and I think we need to be careful again; we need to be smart about how we're moving forward. The first vote we take, or the second vote, or the fifth vote, shouldn't be on an issue where we know that millennials -- social issues just aren't as important [to them]" (National Journal, 1/16).

In addition, at least six conservative lawmakers, including Ellmers, have raised concern about the bill's language, which mandates that a rape survivor must formally report the rape to police in order to be able to legally have an abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy.

The lawmakers expressed concern to House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) during the meeting that such a requirement could dissuade survivors from reporting rapes. According to Politico, they are urging Scalise to rewrite the legislation with a broader exemption for cases of rape before it comes to the House floor.

Meanwhile, Democratic Reps. Louise Slaughter (N.Y.) and Diana DeGette (Colo.) said in a statement that the formal reporting requirement for rape survivors would be "unconscionable." They added, "Forcing women to go on-the-record about such a traumatic experience as a prerequisite to getting help is unconscionable, and adds to the pain of women who are survivors of rape or incest" (Politico, 1/16).

NYT: 20-Week Ban, State Restrictions Offer 'No Letup' in Abortion-Rights Restrictions

"The start of 2015 finds no letup in the attacks on a woman's constitutionally protected right to make her own childbearing decisions," states a New York Times editorial. The editorial adds that while abortion-rights supporters work "to block or at least minimize new restrictive laws" on abortion in Texas and other states, lawmakers in Congress and "legislatures in states like Missouri and Tennessee are gearing up to pile on more restrictions."

For example, the editorial notes that Congress has proposed "six bills reviving old, bad ideas," including a 20-week abortion ban that would "flou[t] the Supreme Court's standard of fetal viability, generally put at 22 to 24 weeks post-fertilization." According to the Times, the measure "contains no exception to protect a woman's health, as current law mandates, or for the majority of rapes and incest crimes that go unreported."

Instead, the legislation's "dangerously constricted exception for situations in which a woman’s life is in jeopardy would require women to wait until their condition becomes life-threatening before terminating a pregnancy." Further, the Times notes that the bill "would force women to decide whether to go forward with a pregnancy before learning of a major fetal abnormality or serious risks to their own health."

Meanwhile, the bill's "[c]riminal penalties, fines and reporting requirements would scare off doctors from helping women in need of competent and compassionate care," the Times continues.

The Times states, "Republicans scoff at accusations that they are waging a war against women. But this should not obscure a basic fact: The ability of women to control their reproductive lives is essential for their health, careers and equality" (New York Times, 1/20).


Ark. Legislators Introduce Bills To Ban Telemedicine Abortion Services

Tue, 01/20/2015 - 16:22

Arkansas lawmakers on Thursday proposed bills (SB 53, HB 1076) that would require physicians to administer medication abortion drugs in person and mandate in-person follow-ups, the Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports

Ark. Legislators Introduce Bills To Ban Telemedicine Abortion Services

January 20, 2015 — Arkansas lawmakers on Thursday proposed bills (SB 53, HB 1076) that would require physicians to administer medication abortion drugs in person and mandate in-person follow-ups, the Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports (Lauer, Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, 1/16).

State Sen. Missy Irvin (R) and state Rep. Julie Mayberry (R) proposed the bills. The measures would require abortion providers to administer the drugs in person and "make all reasonable efforts" to see a woman who took the drugs within 12 to 18 days for a follow-up. The bills would allow the woman who received the abortion or the men involved in the pregnancy to sue a physician who does not follow the requirements.

According to the AP/San Francisco Chronicle, the bills currently have more than 50 co-sponsors in the state House and Senate, including Arkansas Senate President Jonathan Dismang (R) (Merchant, AP/San Francisco Chronicle, 1/15). The measures have been assigned to the state House and Senate Public Health, Welfare and Labor committees and could be considered as early as this week, the Democrat-Gazette reports (Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, 1/16).

Bills Designed To Prevent Abortion Medication Via Telemedicine

Supporters say the measures will help protect women's health by preventing medication abortion from being administered through telemedicine services. Specifically, they said the measures will help prevent physicians from missing any complications from the procedure.

However, supporters acknowledged that they are unaware of any providers offering such services. Mayberry said, "We're trying to prevent it from happening" in the future (AP/San Francisco Chronicle, 1/15).

Separately, Irvin noted that Planned Parenthood of the Heartland, an abortion provider in the state, has administered telemedicine abortions in other states (Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, 1/16).

Reaction

PPH CEO Suzanna de Baca said the proposed legislation "is not about improving the lives or the safety of Arkansas women." She noted that women who receive medication abortions via telemedicine "receiv[e] the same counseling, exam and information face-to-face with a medical professional" as women "with an in-person visit with a doctor." PPH spokersperson Angie Remington added that PPH does not currently offer medication abortion in the state (AP/San Francisco Chronicle, 1/15).

Separately, Rita Sklar, executive director of the Arkansas chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, said "[O]bviously, there is one intention and that's to make access to safe, legal abortions more difficult. It has nothing to do with the safety of the woman" (Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, 1/16).

Meanwhile, Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R) said he has not yet reviewed the measures (AP/San Francisco Chronicle, 1/15).


Balquinta v. Texas Department of State Health Services

Mon, 01/19/2015 - 06:28

State court challenge to a Texas rule prohibiting Planned Parenthood affiliates and other entities affiliated with abortion providers from participating in Texas' Medicaid Women's Health Program as violating state law.

Balquinta v. Texas Department of State Health Services

State court challenge to a Texas rule prohibiting Planned Parenthood affiliates and other entities affiliated with abortion providers from participating in Texas' Medicaid Women’s Health Program as violating state law. The case was filed in December 2012. A state district court denied Plaintiffs’ request for a temporary restraining order and scheduled a hearing for January 11, 2013. The request for a temporary injunction was again denied following the January 2013 hearing. Current status: In April 2014, the Texas Court of Appeals dismissed Plaintiffs’ claims under the Uniform Declaratory Judgments Act for lack of jurisdiction, but upheld the court’s jurisdiction on the remaining claims. (See the petition for injunction here. See the order denying the temporary injunction here. See the Texas Court of Appeals opinion here.)

Kan. Antiabortion-Rights Group Introduces Bill To Ban Certain Second-Trimester Abortions

Fri, 01/16/2015 - 18:58

The antiabortion-rights group Kansans for Life is pushing legislation that would prohibit physicians from performing certain abortion procedures, the Wichita Eagle reports.

Kan. Antiabortion-Rights Group Introduces Bill To Ban Certain Second-Trimester Abortions

January 16, 2015 — The antiabortion-rights group Kansans for Life is pushing legislation that would prohibit physicians from performing certain abortion procedures, the Wichita Eagle reports (Lefler, Wichita Eagle, 1/14).

Specifically, the bill which was drafted by the National Right to Life Committee would ban a method of abortion called dilation and extraction. According to the Kansas Department of Health and Human Services, the method accounted for 578 of the roughly 7,500 abortions performed in the state in 2013 (Draper, AP/San Francisco Chronicle, 1/14).

Abortion-Rights Groups Respond

Abortion-rights advocates criticized the proposal and said it would interfere with women's right to an abortion. Trust Women -- an abortion-rights group affiliated with South Wind Women's Center, an abortion provider in the state -- said in a statement, "This bill is an inflammatory attempt to potentially ban most second-trimester abortion procedures in the state, creating a ban on abortions ahead of constitutional limits established by the United States Supreme Court."

Separately, Planned Parenthood Advocates of Kansas and Mid-Missouri President Laura McQuade said women do not "need more legislation intended to judge, coerce and restrict their decisions."

Bill's Prospects

State Sen. Mary Pilcher Cook (R), who chairs the state Senate Public Health and Welfare Committee, said there will be a hearing on the measure in the next few weeks. She said she expects that the bill will not "have any difficulty" being passed in the state's Republican-led Legislature.

According to the Eagle, state and national antiabortion-rights groups are hoping the measure will have similar success as federal legislation enacted in 2003 to ban a certain type of abortion procedure used later in pregnancy. The Supreme Court upheld the ban in 2007 (Wichita Eagle, 1/14).


Mont. Lawmakers Drafting Bills To Restrict Abortion Rights, But Gov. Resists Measures

Fri, 01/16/2015 - 18:57

Various Montana lawmakers are drafting legislation that would increase restrictions on abortion in the state, but Gov. Steve Bullock (D) is not likely to sign such measures, the Bozeman Daily Chronicle reports.

Mont. Lawmakers Drafting Bills To Restrict Abortion Rights, But Gov. Resists Measures

January 16, 2015 — Various Montana lawmakers are drafting legislation that would increase restrictions on abortion in the state, but Gov. Steve Bullock (D) is not likely to sign such measures, the Bozeman Daily Chronicle reports.

State Rep. Matthew Monforton (R) is drafting legislation that would amend the state's constitution to say that it does not protect a woman's right to abortion. Monforton said that judges in the state "have turned the Montana Constitution into a jobs bill for abortionists" because they have ruled to allow minors to obtain abortions in the state without their parents' involvement.

For example, Monforton pointed to a 2013 law (HB 391) that required girls under age 18 to receive parental consent before an abortion. Planned Parenthood of Montana challenged the law, and a judge ruled that such a requirement was already found unconstitutional in 1999. Montana Attorney General Tim Fox (R) appealed the ruling to the state's Supreme Court. A decision has not yet been made in the case.

Monforton acknowledged that passing his proposed amendment would be an uphill battle, despite the Republican majorities in the state House and Senate, because the state requires that 100 of its 150 state legislators vote in favor of a constitutional amendment before it is posed to voters in a referendum.

Other Bills

Meanwhile, state Sen. Cary Smith (R) is working on a bill that would affect health insurance coverage for abortion in the state. Details on the measure have not yet been released.

In addition, state Rep. Keith Regier (R) on Tuesday announced a bill (LC 2245) he drafted to ban the use of telemedicine in the administration of medication abortions.

Further, abortion-rights advocates have expressed concern over a bill (LC 2187) by state Rep. Albert Olszewski (R) titled, "Revise laws regarding pain capable unborn child protections." Details about the bill have not yet been released, but Olszewski told the Chronicle that he thinks physicians should have to administer pain medication to a fetus during invasive procedures, such as abortion and "fetal surgery," after 20 weeks of pregnancy.

Bills Unlikely To Be Enacted Under Gov. Bullock

According to the Chronicle, the measures are unlikely to be enacted while Bullock finishes the last two years of his term.

Dave Parker, a spokesperson for the governor, told the Chronicle, "As a father, a husband, and a son, Governor Bullock believes that our elected officials should be working together to find ways to ensure all women in Montana have access to basic health care services, like mammograms and family planning services." He added that Bullock "will resist any attempts to limit a woman's ability to make personal health care decisions with her doctor and her family" (Carter, Bozeman Daily Chronicle, 1/13).


Judge Rules To Maintain Hold on La. Admitting Privileges Law During Legal Challenge

Fri, 01/16/2015 - 18:56

A federal judge in Louisiana on Thursday said he will not drop a temporary order barring the state from enforcing an admitting privileges law (HB 388) while a legal challenge against the statute continues, the AP/Miami Herald reports.

Judge Rules To Maintain Hold on La. Admitting Privileges Law During Legal Challenge

January 16, 2015 — A federal judge in Louisiana on Thursday said he will not drop a temporary order barring the state from enforcing an admitting privileges law (HB 388) while a legal challenge against the statute continues, the AP/Miami Herald reports (AP/Miami Herald, 1/15).

The law requires abortion providers at the five clinics in the state to have admitting privileges at hospitals within 30 miles of the facility where they practice.

Case Background

Abortion clinics in Shreveport, Bossier City and Metairie filed suit against the law in August 2014. Delta Clinic of Baton Rouge and Women's Health Center in New Orleans filed a separate suit against the law the following month.

In August 2014, District Judge John deGravelles said the law could take effect as scheduled on Sept. 1, 2014, but he granted a temporary restraining order that blocks the state from enforcing the law. Specifically, the judge said the state could not penalize abortion providers who are in the process of applying for admitting privileges.

Last month, the Baton Rouge and New Orleans clinics requested their suit be dismissed, a move that attorney Ellie Schilling said was solely for cost reasons. DeGravelles had been considering the clinics' suit together with the lawsuit filed by the three other clinics in the state. The suit filed by the other three clinics will remain intact. DeGravelles has scheduled a trial in the case to start on March 30 (Women's Health Policy Report, 12/10/14).

Decision Details

On Thursday, deGravelles ruled that the order will remain in effect until the March 30 hearing, at which time he will consider whether to maintain the hold until a final verdict is reached.

According to the AP/Miami Herald, deGravelles had asked the lawyers whether the Baton Rouge and New Orleans clinics' decision to drop their suit should affect the hold.

He wrote in the ruling that he discovered just one of the six physicians who perform abortions in the state has the required admitting privileges, while the remaining five had applied for them. In addition, deGravelles said he learned that if the five physicians were denied the privileges, the sixth doctor would stop performing abortion out of fear for his safety. DeGravelles wrote that if that occurred, women in the state would be denied their constitutional right to abortion (AP/Miami Herald, 1/15).


Women's Health Policy Report Will Not Publish Jan. 19

Fri, 01/16/2015 - 18:38

The Women's Health Policy Report will not publish on Monday, Jan. 19, in observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day. The report resumes publication on Tuesday, Jan. 20.

Women's Health Policy Report Will Not Publish Jan. 19

January 16, 2015 — The Women's Health Policy Report will not publish on Monday, Jan. 19, in observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day. The report resumes publication on Tuesday, Jan. 20.