Daily Women's Health Policy Report

  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /usr/www/users/simps90n/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /usr/www/users/simps90n/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /usr/www/users/simps90n/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /usr/www/users/simps90n/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /usr/www/users/simps90n/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /usr/www/users/simps90n/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /usr/www/users/simps90n/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /usr/www/users/simps90n/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /usr/www/users/simps90n/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /usr/www/users/simps90n/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /usr/www/users/simps90n/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /usr/www/users/simps90n/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /usr/www/users/simps90n/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /usr/www/users/simps90n/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /usr/www/users/simps90n/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /usr/www/users/simps90n/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /usr/www/users/simps90n/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /usr/www/users/simps90n/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /usr/www/users/simps90n/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /usr/www/users/simps90n/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /usr/www/users/simps90n/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /usr/www/users/simps90n/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /usr/www/users/simps90n/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /usr/www/users/simps90n/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /usr/www/users/simps90n/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /usr/www/users/simps90n/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /usr/www/users/simps90n/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /usr/www/users/simps90n/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /usr/www/users/simps90n/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /usr/www/users/simps90n/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /usr/www/users/simps90n/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /usr/www/users/simps90n/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /usr/www/users/simps90n/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /usr/www/users/simps90n/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /usr/www/users/simps90n/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /usr/www/users/simps90n/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /usr/www/users/simps90n/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /usr/www/users/simps90n/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /usr/www/users/simps90n/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /usr/www/users/simps90n/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /usr/www/users/simps90n/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /usr/www/users/simps90n/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /usr/www/users/simps90n/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /usr/www/users/simps90n/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /usr/www/users/simps90n/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /usr/www/users/simps90n/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /usr/www/users/simps90n/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /usr/www/users/simps90n/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /usr/www/users/simps90n/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /usr/www/users/simps90n/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /usr/www/users/simps90n/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /usr/www/users/simps90n/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /usr/www/users/simps90n/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /usr/www/users/simps90n/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /usr/www/users/simps90n/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /usr/www/users/simps90n/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /usr/www/users/simps90n/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /usr/www/users/simps90n/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /usr/www/users/simps90n/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /usr/www/users/simps90n/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /usr/www/users/simps90n/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /usr/www/users/simps90n/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /usr/www/users/simps90n/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /usr/www/users/simps90n/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /usr/www/users/simps90n/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /usr/www/users/simps90n/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /usr/www/users/simps90n/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /usr/www/users/simps90n/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /usr/www/users/simps90n/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /usr/www/users/simps90n/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /usr/www/users/simps90n/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /usr/www/users/simps90n/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /usr/www/users/simps90n/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /usr/www/users/simps90n/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /usr/www/users/simps90n/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /usr/www/users/simps90n/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /usr/www/users/simps90n/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /usr/www/users/simps90n/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /usr/www/users/simps90n/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /usr/www/users/simps90n/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /usr/www/users/simps90n/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /usr/www/users/simps90n/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /usr/www/users/simps90n/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /usr/www/users/simps90n/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /usr/www/users/simps90n/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /usr/www/users/simps90n/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /usr/www/users/simps90n/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /usr/www/users/simps90n/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /usr/www/users/simps90n/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /usr/www/users/simps90n/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /usr/www/users/simps90n/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /usr/www/users/simps90n/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /usr/www/users/simps90n/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /usr/www/users/simps90n/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /usr/www/users/simps90n/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /usr/www/users/simps90n/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /usr/www/users/simps90n/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /usr/www/users/simps90n/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /usr/www/users/simps90n/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /usr/www/users/simps90n/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /usr/www/users/simps90n/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /usr/www/users/simps90n/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /usr/www/users/simps90n/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /usr/www/users/simps90n/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /usr/www/users/simps90n/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /usr/www/users/simps90n/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /usr/www/users/simps90n/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /usr/www/users/simps90n/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /usr/www/users/simps90n/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /usr/www/users/simps90n/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /usr/www/users/simps90n/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /usr/www/users/simps90n/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /usr/www/users/simps90n/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /usr/www/users/simps90n/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /usr/www/users/simps90n/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /usr/www/users/simps90n/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /usr/www/users/simps90n/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /usr/www/users/simps90n/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /usr/www/users/simps90n/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /usr/www/users/simps90n/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /usr/www/users/simps90n/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /usr/www/users/simps90n/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /usr/www/users/simps90n/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /usr/www/users/simps90n/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /usr/www/users/simps90n/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /usr/www/users/simps90n/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /usr/www/users/simps90n/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /usr/www/users/simps90n/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /usr/www/users/simps90n/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /usr/www/users/simps90n/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /usr/www/users/simps90n/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /usr/www/users/simps90n/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /usr/www/users/simps90n/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /usr/www/users/simps90n/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /usr/www/users/simps90n/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /usr/www/users/simps90n/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /usr/www/users/simps90n/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /usr/www/users/simps90n/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /usr/www/users/simps90n/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /usr/www/users/simps90n/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /usr/www/users/simps90n/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /usr/www/users/simps90n/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /usr/www/users/simps90n/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /usr/www/users/simps90n/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /usr/www/users/simps90n/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /usr/www/users/simps90n/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /usr/www/users/simps90n/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /usr/www/users/simps90n/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /usr/www/users/simps90n/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /usr/www/users/simps90n/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /usr/www/users/simps90n/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /usr/www/users/simps90n/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /usr/www/users/simps90n/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /usr/www/users/simps90n/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /usr/www/users/simps90n/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /usr/www/users/simps90n/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /usr/www/users/simps90n/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /usr/www/users/simps90n/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /usr/www/users/simps90n/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /usr/www/users/simps90n/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /usr/www/users/simps90n/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /usr/www/users/simps90n/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /usr/www/users/simps90n/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /usr/www/users/simps90n/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /usr/www/users/simps90n/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /usr/www/users/simps90n/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /usr/www/users/simps90n/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /usr/www/users/simps90n/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /usr/www/users/simps90n/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /usr/www/users/simps90n/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /usr/www/users/simps90n/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /usr/www/users/simps90n/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /usr/www/users/simps90n/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /usr/www/users/simps90n/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /usr/www/users/simps90n/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /usr/www/users/simps90n/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /usr/www/users/simps90n/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /usr/www/users/simps90n/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /usr/www/users/simps90n/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /usr/www/users/simps90n/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /usr/www/users/simps90n/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
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  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /usr/www/users/simps90n/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /usr/www/users/simps90n/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /usr/www/users/simps90n/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /usr/www/users/simps90n/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
Syndicate content
Daily Women's Health Policy Report by the National Partnership for Women & Families
Updated: 1 hour 28 min ago

Editorial Calls on Iowa Board of Medicine To Base Rules on 'Evidence, Not Politics'

Tue, 06/30/2015 - 14:54

The Iowa Board of Medicine's "ultimate goal is to help protect the health and safety of Iowans," but several board members in 2013 instead passed "an administrative rule crafted by anti-abortion activists ... to eliminate a safe, time-tested, telemedicine system connecting doctors with patients seeking" medication abortion, a Des Moines Register editorial states.

Editorial Calls on Iowa Board of Medicine To Base Rules on 'Evidence, Not Politics'

June 30, 2015 — The Iowa Board of Medicine's "ultimate goal is to help protect the health and safety of Iowans," but several board members in 2013 instead passed "an administrative rule crafted by anti-abortion activists ... to eliminate a safe, time-tested, telemedicine system connecting doctors with patients seeking" medication abortion, a Des Moines Register editorial states.

According to the editorial, the state Supreme Court "has now deemed that rule unconstitutional." As a result, women in the state, "particularly those in rural areas, will continue to have access to an FDA-approved drug that has been used around the world for decades" for medication abortion.

However, the editorial contends that the "remaining board members who voted to approve the administrative rule two years ago should resign." According to the editorial, the board in approving the rule did not aim "to protect the health of women" but instead sought "to prevent women from exercising their right to an abortion."

The editorial urges Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad (R) to "appoint replacements who understand the professional, non-political nature of a state board." Afterward, the board "should work to restore the public's confidence by focusing only on patient safety" and "undo the damage done [by] fixating on pursuing a political agenda while contaminating a larger public discussion in [Iowa] about safely using telemedicine for other health services," the editorial states.

The editorial concludes, "Members who don't understand that" the board "should make decisions about standards of care based on evidence, not politics" should not serve on the panel (Des Moines Register, 6/27).


Ohio Officials Deny Abortion Clinic's Request for Exemption From Transfer Agreement Rules

Mon, 06/29/2015 - 18:48

The Ohio health director on Thursday denied a request from a local abortion clinic, Women's Med Center in Dayton, for an exemption from the state's transfer agreement requirement, the AP/Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports.

Ohio Officials Deny Abortion Clinic's Request for Exemption From Transfer Agreement Rules

June 29, 2015 — The Ohio health director on Thursday denied a request from a local abortion clinic, Women's Med Center in Dayton, for an exemption from the state's transfer agreement requirement, the AP/Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports (AP/Seattle Post-Intelligencer, 6/26).

Background

Under the state's 2013 budget (HB 59), abortion clinics in the state are required to obtain a transfer agreement with a private hospital. Clinics are prohibited from making such arrangements with public hospitals.

Several clinics have asked the Ohio Department of Health for a variance from the law. Women's Med filed its request two years ago (Women's Health Policy Report, 6/19). According to the AP/Post-Intelligencer, Women's Med said two physicians could provide emergency care for patients (AP/Seattle Post-Intelligencer, 6/26).

Meanwhile, state lawmakers last week approved a compromise budget that includes a provision that would require abortion clinics to arrange a patient transfer agreement with a hospital no more than 30 miles away (Women's Health Policy Report, 6/25). The compromise budget also includes a provision that requires the state health director to grant or deny clinic's variance requests within 60 days (AP/Seattle Post-Intelligencer, 6/26).

The 30-mile patient-transfer provision could affect an abortion clinic in Toledo, Capital Care Network, because it has an agreement with a hospital 50 miles away. Earlier this month, an Ohio judge overturned a 2014 Ohio Department of Health order that would have closed down the clinic because it does not have a transfer agreement with a nearby hospital (Women's Health Policy Report, 6/22).

Decision Details

Ohio Health Director Richard Hodges on Thursday denied Women's Med's request on the grounds that the clinic would not do enough to ensure patient safety.

Hodges said the clinic had 30 days to file a new request. According to the AP/Post-Intelligencer, the clinic could lose its license if it fails to file a new request (AP/Seattle Post-Intelligencer, 6/26).

Editorial Calls on Ohio Gov. To Reject Antiabortion-Rights Budget Provisions

"As they did two years ago, Ohio lawmakers want to use the new state budget to trample on women's constitutional right to safe, legal abortion," a Toledo Blade editorial states.

According to the editorial, if the proposed budget's "medically unsupported anti-abortion provisions become law, they almost certainly would shut down the only clinic that performs abortions in Toledo." The editorial urges Gov. John Kasich (R) to "use his line-item veto to reject these extreme measures," including the budget's transfer-agreement provision.

According to the editorial, "[m]edical authorities overwhelmingly agree that transfer agreements aren't necessary because abortion is one of the safest medical procedures." State lawmakers who oppose abortion rights "know this requirement has no basis in medicine," but they are using it "to shut down abortion clinics across the state," the editorial states.

Further, the editorial notes that state lawmakers are inserting the provision in the state budget to make "irrelevant" a recent court decision to keep the Toledo clinic open. In that decision, a Lucas County judge "argu[ed] that state law is inconsistent with the constitutional right to end an unwanted pregnancy upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court."

Meanwhile, the proposed budget also includes a provision "that would reject requests for variances that permit abortion clinics to stay open if the state does not approve such variances within two months," the editorial continues. According to the editorial, the "new measure could shut down clinics in Dayton and Cincinnati, and make Cincinnati the largest metropolitan area in the country with no abortion provider."

"The governor knows that the General Assembly's anti-abortion extremism is out of step with Ohioans' preferences and with women's constitutional rights," the editorial states. The editorial calls on Kasich to reject the provisions "and affirm women's right to make their own health-care choices" (Toledo Blade, 6/28).


Judge Temporarily Blocks Tenn. Law, Allows Two Abortion Clinics To Stay Open

Mon, 06/29/2015 - 18:48

A federal judge in Nashville on Friday temporarily blocked a Tennessee law (SB 1280) from taking effect this week that would require abortion clinics in the state to be licensed as ambulatory surgical centers, allowing two clinics to remain open, Reuters reports.

Judge Temporarily Blocks Tenn. Law, Allows Two Abortion Clinics To Stay Open

June 29, 2015 — A federal judge in Nashville on Friday temporarily blocked a Tennessee law (SB 1280) from taking effect this week that would require abortion clinics in the state to be licensed as ambulatory surgical centers, allowing two clinics to remain open, Reuters reports (Wisniewski/Bailey, Reuters, 6/26).

U.S. District Judge Kevin Sharp, who granted the preliminary injunction against the law, will decide whether to extend the delay at a July 9 hearing (Wadhwani, Tennessean, 6/26).

Background

The law, which was scheduled to take effect on July 1, will require all facilities or physician offices that perform more than 50 surgical abortions annually to be licensed as ambulatory surgical centers.

Four of the six abortion clinics in the state that provide surgical abortions currently meet the licensing standards, while a fifth provider, in Knoxville, only provides medication abortion and is, therefore, not subject to the requirement. Bristol Regional Women's Center and the Women's Center in Nashville are the two remaining clinics that provide surgical abortions and are not licensed as ambulatory surgical centers.

Lawsuit Details

The Center for Reproductive Rights earlier this month filed a lawsuit against three antiabortion-rights laws, including the ambulatory surgical licensing requirement, in Tennessee on behalf of three abortion clinics and an ob-gyn in the state.

CRR filed suit on behalf of Bristol Regional Women's Center; the Women's Center in Nashville; CHOICES, the Memphis Center for Reproductive Health; and Wesley Adams, an ob-gyn who provides abortion care at the Bristol and Nashville clinics. CRR asked the court to block the ambulatory surgical center requirement while the lawsuit against all three laws continues.

According to lawsuit, the Bristol and Nashville clinics risk closure because they do not meet the ambulatory surgical center standards. The plaintiffs said the state Department of Health blocked their efforts to comply with the law by not making the necessary application available until June 16 and then refusing to process the submitted applications until the clinics also provided renovation plans, finished the renovations and had the renovations pass state inspection. They said the requirements "could not possibly be completed" in the 15-day timespan between the application being made available and July 1, when the law was scheduled to take effect (Women's Health Policy Report, 6/26).

Latest Ruling

Sharp granted a preliminary injunction, ruling in his order that "[i]t is simply not possible to complete this [clinic licensing] process in the time available before the law takes effect" (Reuters, 6/26). He also cited the "harm ... [to] the public [who] uses these services" if the clinics shut down because they did not have time to comply with the regulations.

The preliminary injunction does not apply to the two other laws being challenged, including an admitting privileges requirement enacted in 2012 and a 48-hour mandatory delay (SB 1222) that takes effect on July 1.

Comments

Scott Tift, an attorney who represents the plaintiffs in the lawsuit, called the injunction "a huge win for women in that neck of the state." According to Tift, women in Bristol seeking an abortion would have to travel more than 100 miles if the city's clinic were to close (Tennessean, 6/26).

Similarly, CRR attorney Stephanie Toti said, "Tennessee women have been granted a temporary reprieve from the tidal wave of clinic shutdown laws sweeping the South" (Reuters, 6/26).


Judge Temporarily Blocks Tenn. Law, Allows Two Abortion Clinics To Stay Open

Mon, 06/29/2015 - 15:44

A federal judge in Nashville on Friday temporarily blocked a Tennessee law (SB 1280) from taking effect this week that would require abortion clinics in the state to be licensed as ambulatory surgical centers, allowing two clinics to remain open, Reuters reports.

Judge Temporarily Blocks Tenn. Law, Allows Two Abortion Clinics To Stay Open

June 29, 2015 — A federal judge in Nashville on Friday temporarily blocked a Tennessee law (SB 1280) from taking effect this week that would require abortion clinics in the state to be licensed as ambulatory surgical centers, allowing two clinics to remain open, Reuters reports (Wisniewski/Bailey, Reuters, 6/26).

U.S. District Judge Kevin Sharp, who granted the preliminary injunction against the law, will decide whether to extend the delay at a July 9 hearing (Wadhwani, Tennessean, 6/26).

Background

The law, which was scheduled to take effect on July 1, will require all facilities or physician offices that perform more than 50 surgical abortions annually to be licensed as ambulatory surgical centers.

Four of the six abortion clinics in the state that provide surgical abortions currently meet the licensing standards, while a fifth provider, in Knoxville, only provides medication abortion and is, therefore, not subject to the requirement. Bristol Regional Women's Center and the Women's Center in Nashville are the two remaining clinics that provide surgical abortions and are not licensed as ambulatory surgical centers.

Lawsuit Details

The Center for Reproductive Rights earlier this month filed a lawsuit against three antiabortion-rights laws, including the ambulatory surgical licensing requirement, in Tennessee on behalf of three abortion clinics and an ob-gyn in the state.

CRR filed suit on behalf of Bristol Regional Women's Center; the Women's Center in Nashville; CHOICES, the Memphis Center for Reproductive Health; and Wesley Adams, an ob-gyn who provides abortion care at the Bristol and Nashville clinics. CRR asked the court to block the ambulatory surgical center requirement while the lawsuit against all three laws continues.

According to lawsuit, the Bristol and Nashville clinics risk closure because they do not meet the ambulatory surgical center standards. The plaintiffs said the state Department of Health blocked their efforts to comply with the law by not making the necessary application available until June 16 and then refusing to process the submitted applications until the clinics also provided renovation plans, finished the renovations and had the renovations pass state inspection. They said the requirements "could not possibly be completed" in the 15-day timespan between the application being made available and July 1, when the law was scheduled to take effect (Women's Health Policy Report, 6/26).

Latest Ruling

Sharp granted a preliminary injunction, ruling in his order that "[i]t is simply not possible to complete this [clinic licensing] process in the time available before the law takes effect" (Reuters, 6/26). He also cited the "harm ... [to] the public [who] uses these services" if the clinics shut down because they did not have time to comply with the regulations.

The preliminary injunction does not apply to the two other laws being challenged, including an admitting privileges requirement enacted in 2012 and a 48-hour mandatory delay (SB 1222) that takes effect on July 1.

Comments

Scott Tift, an attorney who represents the plaintiffs in the lawsuit, called the injunction "a huge win for women in that neck of the state." According to Tift, women in Bristol seeking an abortion would have to travel more than 100 miles if the city's clinic were to close (Tennessean, 6/26).

Similarly, CRR attorney Stephanie Toti said, "Tennessee women have been granted a temporary reprieve from the tidal wave of clinic shutdown laws sweeping the South" (Reuters, 6/26).


Ohio Officials Deny Abortion Clinic's Request for Exemption From Transfer Agreement Rules

Mon, 06/29/2015 - 15:34

The Ohio health director on Thursday denied a request from a local abortion clinic, Women's Med Center in Dayton, for an exemption from the state's transfer agreement requirement, the AP/Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports.

Ohio Officials Deny Abortion Clinic's Request for Exemption From Transfer Agreement Rules

June 29, 2015 — The Ohio health director on Thursday denied a request from a local abortion clinic, Women's Med Center in Dayton, for an exemption from the state's transfer agreement requirement, the AP/Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports (AP/Seattle Post-Intelligencer, 6/26).

Background

Under the state's 2013 budget (HB 59), abortion clinics in the state are required to obtain a transfer agreement with a private hospital. Clinics are prohibited from making such arrangements with public hospitals.

Several clinics have asked the Ohio Department of Health for a variance from the law. Women's Med filed its request two years ago (Women's Health Policy Report, 6/19). According to the AP/Post-Intelligencer, Women's Med said two physicians could provide emergency care for patients (AP/Seattle Post-Intelligencer, 6/26).

Meanwhile, state lawmakers last week approved a compromise budget that includes a provision that would require abortion clinics to arrange a patient transfer agreement with a hospital no more than 30 miles away (Women's Health Policy Report, 6/25). The compromise budget also includes a provision that requires the state health director to grant or deny clinic's variance requests within 60 days (AP/Seattle Post-Intelligencer, 6/26).

The 30-mile patient-transfer provision could affect an abortion clinic in Toledo, Capital Care Network, because it has an agreement with a hospital 50 miles away. Earlier this month, an Ohio judge overturned a 2014 Ohio Department of Health order that would have closed down the clinic because it does not have a transfer agreement with a nearby hospital (Women's Health Policy Report, 6/22).

Decision Details

Ohio Health Director Richard Hodges on Thursday denied Women's Med's request on the grounds that the clinic would not do enough to ensure patient safety.

Hodges said the clinic had 30 days to file a new request. According to the AP/Post-Intelligencer, the clinic could lose its license if it fails to file a new request (AP/Seattle Post-Intelligencer, 6/26).

Editorial Calls on Ohio Gov. To Reject Antiabortion-Rights Budget Provisions

"As they did two years ago, Ohio lawmakers want to use the new state budget to trample on women's constitutional right to safe, legal abortion," a Toledo Blade editorial states.

According to the editorial, if the proposed budget's "medically unsupported anti-abortion provisions become law, they almost certainly would shut down the only clinic that performs abortions in Toledo." The editorial urges Gov. John Kasich (R) to "use his line-item veto to reject these extreme measures," including the budget's transfer-agreement provision.

According to the editorial, "[m]edical authorities overwhelmingly agree that transfer agreements aren't necessary because abortion is one of the safest medical procedures." State lawmakers who oppose abortion rights "know this requirement has no basis in medicine," but they are using it "to shut down abortion clinics across the state," the editorial states.

Further, the editorial notes that state lawmakers are inserting the provision in the state budget to make "irrelevant" a recent court decision to keep the Toledo clinic open. In that decision, a Lucas County judge "argu[ed] that state law is inconsistent with the constitutional right to end an unwanted pregnancy upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court."

Meanwhile, the proposed budget also includes a provision "that would reject requests for variances that permit abortion clinics to stay open if the state does not approve such variances within two months," the editorial continues. According to the editorial, the "new measure could shut down clinics in Dayton and Cincinnati, and make Cincinnati the largest metropolitan area in the country with no abortion provider."

"The governor knows that the General Assembly's anti-abortion extremism is out of step with Ohioans' preferences and with women's constitutional rights," the editorial states. The editorial calls on Kasich to reject the provisions "and affirm women's right to make their own health-care choices" (Toledo Blade, 6/28).


Senate Committee Rejects Title X Funding Amendment in Labor-HHS-Education Bill

Mon, 06/29/2015 - 14:45

The Senate Appropriations Committee in a markup Thursday voted 16-14 to report a fiscal year 2016 budget proposal after rejecting an amendment that would have compensated for proposed funding cuts to the Title X family planning program, CQ HealthBeat reports.

Senate Committee Rejects Title X Funding Amendment in Labor-HHS-Education Bill

June 29, 2015 — The Senate Appropriations Committee in a markup Thursday voted 16-14 to report a fiscal year 2016 budget proposal after rejecting an amendment that would have compensated for proposed funding cuts to the Title X family planning program, CQ HealthBeat reports.

The underlying bill is the FY 2016 Labor-HHS-Education bill, which would cut spending from the FY 2015 level by about $4 billion to $153 billion. According to CQ HealthBeat, the House proposal allocates about the same amount (Young, CQ HealthBeat News, 6/25).

Background on House, Senate Title X Funding Cuts

The House and Senate budget proposals would decrease or terminate funding for Title X. The program, which mostly serves low-income people, funds clinics that provide services for family planning and preventive care, as well as testing and treatment for sexually transmitted infections.

Specifically, the Senate's proposed budget would cut $28.7 million in funding for Title X, reducing overall funding for the program to $257.8 million. Meanwhile, a budget proposed by House lawmakers would eliminate all funding for the Title X family planning program. The legislation also would increase funding for abstinence-only education while cutting almost $100 million from sexuality education programs that are part of an initiative designed to help prevent teenage pregnancy (Women's Health Policy Report, 6/24).

Markup Details

During the markup, the Senate committee rejected an amendment, proposed by Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.), that would have provided alternate funding to compensate for budget's proposed cuts to the Title X program.

Specifically, the measure would have allocated $28 million from an administrative fund for HHS to the Title X program (CQ HealthBeat, 6/25).


Study: Women in Developed Countries Face Barriers to Abortion Care

Mon, 06/29/2015 - 14:42

In developed countries, women continue to face barriers to obtaining abortion care during the first three months of pregnancy, even though such countries impose fewer legal restrictions on the procedure than others, according to an analysis in the Journal of Family Planning and Reproductive Health Care, Medical Xpress reports.

Study: Women in Developed Countries Face Barriers to Abortion Care

June 29, 2015 — In developed countries, women continue to face barriers to obtaining abortion care during the first three months of pregnancy, even though such countries impose fewer legal restrictions on the procedure than others, according to an analysis in the Journal of Family Planning and Reproductive Health Care, Medical Xpress reports.

Study Details

For the analysis, researchers looked at evidence published between 1993 and 2014 to determine what factors influence abortion access during the first trimester in developed countries. The researchers collected 2,511 articles and assessed 38 that addressed abortion during the first three months of pregnancy and the perspectives of the woman and provider.

Key Findings

The researchers found that the primary obstacle to abortion access among health care providers was providers' personal opposition to the procedure. According to the researchers, provider opposition rates varied from more than one out of every three physicians surveyed in rural Idaho compared with about one in every five physicians in the United Kingdom.

The researchers found several other provider-related obstacles, including a lack of adequate training, a shortage of providers who are capable and willing to perform an abortion, harassment from abortion-rights opponents and resource constraints.

Meanwhile, the study found that one of the primary obstacles to abortion care among women was providers' attitudes against the procedure, which also influenced how women experienced an abortion. For example, one Canadian study found that more than 10% of women reported that clinic staff were rude, and a separate study found that almost 50% of women said they did not have support from clinic staff.

According to the researchers, other issues that hindered abortion access among women were costs -- particularly in North America -- and lack of local services. They noted that the lack of local services was "a particular issue" for low-income women, those from minority groups and those living in rural areas.

Conclusions, Recommendations

The researchers wrote, "Despite fewer legal barriers to accessing abortion services, the evidence from this review suggests that women in developed countries still face significant inequities in terms of the level of quality and access to services as recommended by the (WHO)."

They gave several recommendations for boosting access, such as improving the range of available services, making abortion care more affordable and increasing provider training. The researchers also recommended that abortion care be included in multidisciplinary facilities to combat sigma and help integrate abortion care with general health care services. In addition, they called for clear guidance on abortion care that establishes referral protocols for providers who oppose abortion rights (Medical Xpress, 6/25).


Blogs Comment on Expanding Access With 'Abortion Drone,' Repro Rights in the U.S., More

Fri, 06/26/2015 - 17:00

Read the week's best commentaries from bloggers at the Center for American Progress' "ThinkProgress," Bustle and more.

Blogs Comment on Expanding Access With 'Abortion Drone,' Repro Rights in the U.S., More

June 26, 2015 — Read the week's best commentaries from bloggers at the Center for American Progress' "ThinkProgress," Bustle and more.

ABORTION-RIGHTS MOVEMENT: "The 'Abortion Drone' Is Bringing Women a Safe Way To End an Early Pregnancy," Tara Culp-Ressler, Center for American Progress' "ThinkProgress": "A coalition of reproductive rights group[s] is re-purposing drone technology with a new goal in mind: Expanding women's access to a safe method of ending an early pregnancy," Culp-Ressler writes. According to Culp-Ressler, "The world's first 'abortion drone'" on Saturday will deliver packages of medication abortion from Germany, where abortion is legal, "to Poland, where women are subject to some of the strictest abortion laws in the world." The delivery effort is being led by "Rebecca Gomperts, who founded the nonprofit organization Women on Waves to find creative ways to expand access to medication abortion." The flight is intended to make "more of a symbolic statement than a practical difference," and Gomperts' goal is to "spark a broader conversation about the lack of abortion rights in Poland -- as well as potentially expand the use of new technology in the other countries that are more well known for their restrictive laws," Culp-Ressler writes. Culp-Ressler adds that while "countries have been gradually expanding women's access to" medication abortion, the U.S. "has been moving in the opposite direction" (Culp-Ressler, "ThinkProgress," Center for American Progress, 6/24).

REPRODUCTIVE JUSTICE: "These 15 States Got a Failing Grade for Reproductive Rights," Sarah Sloat, Bustle: "While the country as a whole was awarded a meager C, 15 states received 'failing grades' for their stance on reproductive health rights," according to the Population Institute's 2014 report card, Sloat writes. The report card "judged the nation and each state on a four-part criteria: effectiveness, prevention, affordability, and access." Sloat notes that while "a falling teen pregnancy rate and increased access to reproductive health care via the Affordable Care Act [PL 111-148] raised the U.S. grade this year from a C- to a C, the harsh measures against reproductive choice and sex education in many states leaves much to be desired from the country as a whole." Sloat lists the 15 states with failing grades -- including Alabama, Idaho, Indiana and Kansas -- and explains how they have fallen short on reproductive health care, such as by failing to require comprehensive sexuality education, imposing abortion restrictions and opting not to expand Medicaid under the ACA (Sloat, Bustle, 6/22).

INSURANCE COVERAGE: "Roberts Court Once More Rules in Favor of the Affordable Care Act," Jessica Mason Pieklo, RH Reality Check: "The Supreme Court on Thursday ruled the Affordable Care Act [PL 111-148] does not prevent tax subsidies from going to help poor and middle-class people buy health insurance in states that have refused to set up insurance exchanges under the health-care reform law," Mason Pieklo writes. She explains that the case, King v. Burwell, centered on wording in the ACA that plaintiffs claimed barred U.S. residents from using tax subsidies to purchase health care coverage off of the federal insurance marketplace. According to Mason Pieklo, Chief Justice John Roberts in the majority opinion rejected the plaintiffs' "'interpretation because it would destabilize the individual insurance market in any State with a Federal Exchange, and likely create the very "death spirals" that Congress designed the [ACA] to avoid.'" However, the ruling "does not mark the end of conservatives' legal challenges to the ACA," Mason Pieklo writes, adding, "More than 40 challenges to the birth control benefit's accommodation process are pending in federal courts, with at least one request before the Supreme Court to intervene in those challenges" (Mason Pieklo, RH Reality Check, 6/25).

What others are saying about insurance coverage:

~ "Drawing on Lessons Learned To Improve Open Enrollment for 2016," Lauren Birchfield Kennedy, National Partnership for Women & Families blog.

CONTRACEPTION: "The 'Dangers of Contraception' Revisited," Robert Walker, Huffington Post blogs: Walker discusses how conservative lawmakers have taken action on "'dangers of contraception' rhetoric," noting that the "House Appropriations Committee this month has taken up arms against Title X, the federal program that has been supporting family planning clinics serving low-income communities for nearly half a century." He adds that while "[t]his is not the first time that the House has tried to ax Title X ... this time around the Senate could easily concur." Further, he notes that the "House and Senate Appropriations Committees are also taking dead aim at sex education in schools," with the House proposal "eliminat[ing] all funding for the Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program" and the Senate bill cutting program funding by 80%. In addition, the House proposal also would cut funding for international family planning and reproductive health programs by $150 million, "eliminat[e] all funding for the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and reinstat[e] the Global Gag Rule, which bars U.S. foreign assistance to family planning providers who advocate for abortion rights." Walker questions why conservative lawmakers treat contraception as if it is "'dangerous,'" but he concludes, "The war on contraception, whatever the motivating fears or concerns, is not just rhetoric" (Walker, Huffington Post blogs, 6/24).

What others are saying about contraception:

~ "Joining Team IUD," Patrice Bendig, Huffington Post blogs.

FEDERAL BUDGET PROPOSAL: "The Wrong Way," Debra Ness, Huffington Post blogs: A fiscal year 2016 House funding proposal for the Departments of Labor, HHS, Education and related agencies "ignores the public's priorities, misdirects precious resources, and demonstrates contempt for programs that show promise or have track records of success," Debra Ness, president of the National Partnership for Women & Families, writes. She adds that the proposal "prioritizes ideology over good governance, at the expense of the public good." Ness notes that the budget "would end -- not cut, but end -- the federal family planning program" that provides preventive health services, such as cancer screenings and contraceptives, to low-income women, "who would otherwise go without reproductive and other health care." In addition, the proposal would "slash funds for comprehensive, medically accurate sexuality education programs that have been proven to work," while "increase[ing] funds for programs that promote abstinence-only-until-marriage, even though research has shown, time and again, that they don't," Ness writes. Further, she notes that the measure would undermine preventive care coverage under the Affordable Care Act (PL 111-148) and "continue the discriminatory Hyde Amendment," among other damaging provisions (Ness, Huffington Post blogs, 6/25).


Tenn. Abortion Clinics File Legal Challenge Against Three Antiabortion-Rights Laws

Fri, 06/26/2015 - 16:15

The Center for Reproductive Rights on Wednesday filed a lawsuit against three antiabortion-rights laws in Tennessee on behalf of three abortion clinics and an ob-gyn in the state, the Tennessean reports.

Tenn. Abortion Clinics File Legal Challenge Against Three Antiabortion-Rights Laws

June 26, 2015 — The Center for Reproductive Rights on Wednesday filed a lawsuit against three antiabortion-rights laws in Tennessee on behalf of three abortion clinics and an ob-gyn in the state, the Tennessean reports.

Background on Laws

One of the laws, enacted in 2012, requires physicians who provide abortion care to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital. According to CRR's lawsuit, two clinics already have closed under the law.

Meanwhile, the two other laws are scheduled to take effect on July 1 (Wadhwani, Tennessean, 6/25).

One (SB 1280) of the new laws will require all facilities or physician offices that perform more than 50 surgical abortions annually to be licensed as ambulatory surgical centers. Four of the six abortion clinics in the state that provide surgical abortions currently meet the licensing standards, while a fifth provider, in Knoxville, only provides medication abortion and is, therefore, not subject to the requirement. The two remaining clinics that provide surgical abortions and are not licensed as ambulatory surgical centers are the Bristol Regional Women's Center and the Women's Center in Nashville (Women's Health Policy Report, 5/11).

The second new law (SB 1222) will require that women receive in-person counseling from a physician prior to having an abortion, forcing women to make an additional trip to the clinic prior to the abortion procedure. In the case of a medical emergency, the counseling requirement will be waived. Physicians who are found to violate the counseling requirement could be charged with a misdemeanor or felony and have their medical licenses revoked.

The second law also includes a "spring-back" provision that would reduce the delay to 24 hours if the measure is stayed or struck down by a court. In addition, the remainder of the law would stay in effect if any portion of the measure is found invalid (Women's Health Policy Report, 5/19).

Lawsuit Details

CRR filed suit on behalf of Bristol Regional Women's Center; the Women's Center in Nashville; CHOICES, the Memphis Center for Reproductive Health; and Wesley Adams, an ob-gyn who provides abortion care at the Bristol and Nashville clinics (Tennessean, 6/25). CRR is asking the court to block the ambulatory surgical center requirement while the lawsuit against all three laws continues (CRR press release, 6/25).

According to lawsuit, the Bristol and Nashville clinics risk closure because they do not meet the ambulatory surgical center standards. The plaintiffs said the state Department of Health blocked their efforts to comply with the law by not making the necessary application available until June 16 and then refusing to process the submitted applications until the clinics also provided renovation plans, finished the renovations and had the renovations pass state inspection. They said the requirements "could not possibly be completed" in the 15-day timespan between the application being made available and July 1, when the law is scheduled to take effect.

In addition, CRR asked the court to move up the first court date, which currently is scheduled for Aug. 24 (Tennessean, 6/25).


Ore. Senate Advances Bill To Improve Contraception Access

Fri, 06/26/2015 - 14:38

The Oregon Senate on Wednesday voted 24-4 to approve a bill (HB 2879) that would authorize pharmacists to prescribe and dispense birth control, the AP/Washington Times reports.

Ore. Senate Advances Bill To Improve Contraception Access

June 26, 2015 — The Oregon Senate on Wednesday voted 24-4 to approve a bill (HB 2879) that would authorize pharmacists to prescribe and dispense birth control, the AP/Washington Times reports.

The bill allows women ages 18 and older to obtain oral contraception and contraceptive patches directly from a pharmacist after completing a risk assessment survey (AP/Washington Times, 6/24). A pharmacist can prescribe birth control to a woman under age 18 if contraception previously has been prescribed to her by a traditional provider (Women's Health Policy Report, 6/4).

The bill now advances to the state House for a concurrence vote (AP/Washington Times, 6/24).


Kan. Judge Delays Ban on Abortion Procedure While Legal Challenge Continues

Fri, 06/26/2015 - 14:36

A Kansas judge on Thursday temporarily blocked a state law (SB 95) that would bar physicians from performing a certain type of abortion procedure, the New York Times reports.

Kan. Judge Delays Ban on Abortion Procedure While Legal Challenge Continues

June 26, 2015 — A Kansas judge on Thursday temporarily blocked a state law (SB 95) that would bar physicians from performing a certain type of abortion procedure, the New York Times reports.

The law was scheduled to take effect on July 1. Meanwhile, a similar ban in Oklahoma (HB 1721) is scheduled to take effect on Nov. 1 (Eckholm, New York Times, 6/25).

Law Details

The law, which was drafted by the National Right to Life Committee, will permit exceptions only if continuing the pregnancy would result in a woman's death or the irreversible physical impairment of a major bodily function. The law does not include exceptions for cases of incest or rape. It also does not include an exception if a woman is experiencing mental health issues (Women's Health Policy Report, 6/2).

In April, Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt (R) told state legislators it could cost the state up to $450,000 to defend the law (Women's Health Policy Report, 4/29).

Details of Lawsuit

The Center for Reproductive Rights filed the lawsuit in Shawnee County District Court on behalf of Herbert Hodes and Traci Nauser, ob-gyns at the Center for Women's Health in Overland Park, Kan. Their clinic is one of only three abortion facilities in the state. The lawsuit asks the district court to block implementation of the law and to declare it unconstitutional.

The providers contend that, under the law, doctors would be forced to change their manner of providing abortion care, resulting in practices that increase the complexity of abortions and the health risks to women (Women's Health Policy Report, 6/2). Further, they said Supreme Court precedent prohibits states from banning the most commonly used procedure for abortion. According to CRR, the banned procedure is used in 95% of abortions that take place during the second trimester.

Latest Ruling

On Thursday, Shawnee County District Court Judge Larry Hendricks issued a temporary injunction on the law, stating that the plaintiffs likely would win their lawsuit.

He said while alternative abortion methods would remain legal under the law, those "alternatives do not appear to be medically necessary or reasonable." In addition, he noted that the state constitution protects women's right to abortion at least to the extent that the U.S. Constitution does (Hanna, AP/Yahoo! News, 6/25).

Comments

CRR President and CEO Nancy Northup said, "We will continue fighting this law until it is permanently struck down as a clear violation of women's rights and the doctor-patient relationship." She added, "Women, with their trusted physicians, have a right to make the very personal, private decision to end a pregnancy without political meddling" (New York Times, 6/25).

Meanwhile, Eileen Hawley, spokesperson for Gov. Sam Brownback (R), said the governor was disappointed by Hendricks' ruling (AP/Yahoo! News, 6/25).


UCSF Launches Large-Scale LGBT Health Study

Fri, 06/26/2015 - 14:35

The University of California-San Francisco on Thursday launched a study to develop the largest database of mental, physical and social issues affecting LGBT individuals, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.

UCSF Launches Large-Scale LGBT Health Study

June 26, 2015 — The University of California-San Francisco on Thursday launched a study to develop the largest database of mental, physical and social issues affecting LGBT individuals, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.

According to the Chronicle, the Population Research in Identity and Disparities for Equality, or PRIDE, study aims to identify health issues among LGBT individuals and create strategies to respond to some of those concerns.

Study Details

Participants can use either an iPhone app or the PRIDE study website to provide health and demographic information for the study. According to the Chronicle, participants could begin registering for the study on Thursday.

During the first six to nine months of the study, participants will suggest areas of research and best practices for gathering health data from LBGT individuals. Juno Obedin-Maliver, study co-director and an ob-gyn at UCSF, said that participants might select areas of research that researchers could otherwise overlook.

Mitchell Lunn, study co-director and a nephrologist at UCSF, said, "Ideally we would like to get tens of thousands of participants and follow people for decades, something like 30 years." He added, "The goal is to figure out how being a sexual or gender minority influences physical or mental health."

Study Implications

Lunn and Obedin-Maliver said the study could address the dearth of information on LGBT health issues.

The Institute of Medicine in 2011 recommended more targeted study of LGBT health, noting a "scarcity of research." Industry experts have noted that the medical community historically has not expressed interest in LGBT health issues. For example, according to the Chronicle, gender and sexual orientation usually are not examined in large clinical studies, and no large trials with only LGBT participants have been implemented. Obedin-Maliver also noted that the lack of such research could stem from LGBT individuals' concern that health care providers will discriminate against them or dismiss their concerns.

Liz Margolies -- executive director of the National LGBT Cancer Network in New York, who was not involved in the study -- said health data specific to LGBT individuals "really matters." For example, she noted that "we know that white women are far more likely to be diagnosed with breast cancer and black women are more likely to die from it. But we know nothing about lesbians" (Allday, San Francisco Chronicle, 6/25).


Datapoints: Dwindling Abortion Access in Texas, Multistate Repercussions of Ga.'s 20-Week Ban

Thu, 06/25/2015 - 17:52

In today's graphics, we examine how HB 2 has restricted abortion access in Texas and how it could reduce further the number of abortion clinics in the state if a certain part of the law is not blocked by the Supreme Court. We also look at how Georgia's 20-week abortion ban is blocking women's access to abortion care in several states across the U.S.

Datapoints: Dwindling Abortion Access in Texas, Multistate Repercussions of Ga.'s 20-Week Ban

June 25, 2015 — In today's graphics, we examine how HB 2 has restricted abortion access in Texas and how it could reduce further the number of abortion clinics in the state if a certain part of the law is not blocked by the Supreme Court. We also look at how Georgia's 20-week abortion ban is blocking women's access to abortion care in several states across the U.S.

Texas, Before and After HB 2



This New York Times graphic shows how abortion access in Texas has changed since part of an omnibus antiabortion-rights law (HB 2) was implemented in 2013, as well as how access could be further restricted under the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals' recent ruling upholding a provision in the law. If the ruling is not overturned, the number of abortion clinics in the state would decline from 41 in 2012 to no more than 10 (Fernandez/Eckholm, New York Times, 6/9).

Providers in Texas have appealed to the Supreme Court to block the law from taking effect as scheduled on July 1 (Women's Health Policy Report, 6/22).


Ga.'s 20-Week Abortion Ban Restricts Abortion Access in States Across U.S.



In this map, Advancing New Standards in Reproductive Health examines how a 20-week abortion ban (HB 954) in Georgia that has been partially implemented could restrict abortion access in other states. According to ANSIRH, the law as of 2013 bars providers in the state from offering abortion care 24 weeks after a woman's last menstrual period, or LMP.

The map shows how women around the U.S. travelled to Georgia to receive such care prior to the ban. Before the ban took partial effect, Georgia was the only state in the Midwest and Southeast that allowed abortion care after that point of gestation. If the full ban takes effect, there will be only one state in the Southeast that permits abortion care at 20 weeks (ANSIRH infographic, June 2015).


More U.S. Residents Identify as 'Pro-Choice'



According to the latest Gallup poll on abortion, more U.S. residents identify as "pro-choice" than "pro-life" for the first time in seven years, with 50% of people identifying as pro-choice and 44% describing themselves as pro-life. The poll noted that aside from 2012 -- when a majority of people in the U.S. identified as pro-life -- U.S. residents since about 2010 have been relatively evenly divided between the two labels (Gallup poll, 5/29).


Supreme Court Upholds ACA Tax Credits

Thu, 06/25/2015 - 17:30

The Supreme Court on Thursday voted 6-3 to uphold the Affordable Care Act's (PL 111-148) tax credits to help U.S. residents purchase coverage through the federal health insurance marketplace, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Supreme Court Upholds ACA Tax Credits

June 25, 2015 — The Supreme Court on Thursday voted 6-3 to uphold the Affordable Care Act's (PL 111-148) tax credits to help U.S. residents purchase coverage through the federal health insurance marketplace, the Wall Street Journal reports.

According to the Journal, the ruling leaves the law "on a firmer footing" for President Obama's remaining time in office (Kendall/Radnofsky, Wall Street Journal, 6/25).

Background

At issue in the case was a sentence in the statute that says the tax credits are available to help certain U.S. residents purchase coverage offered through a marketplace, also known as an exchange, that is "established by the State." The plaintiffs argued that the clause should have been interpreted literally, meaning that the tax credits would not have been available to individuals purchasing coverage through the federal marketplace and could have been used only in states that have established their own exchanges (Women's Health Policy Report, 3/5).

In July 2014, the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in support of the ACA's tax credits. The court held that that "the applicable statutory language is ambiguous and subject to multiple interpretations" and therefore the government and its regulators had legal precedent to determine how to implement the law.

The plaintiffs then appealed to the Supreme Court (Koff, Northeast Ohio Media Group/Cleveland Plain Dealer, 6/25).The high court heard oral arguments in the case in March (Women's Health Policy Report, 3/5).

Ruling Details

The high court's opinion -- delivered by Chief Justice John Roberts and joined by Justices Stephen Breyer, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Elena Kagan, Anthony Kennedy and Sonia Sotomayor -- affirmed the tax credits. The justices wrote, "Congress passed the [ACA] to improve health insurance markets, not to destroy them" (Wall Street Journal, 6/25). They added, "If at all possible, we must interpret the act in a way that is consistent with the former, and avoids the latter" (Liptak, New York Times, 6/25).

The opinion stated that striking down the subsidies "would destabilize the individual insurance market in any State with a Federal Exchange, and likely create the very 'death spirals' that Congress designed the [ACA] to avoid."

The justices added, "The combination of no tax credits and an ineffective coverage requirement could well push a State's individual insurance market into a death spiral ... It is implausible that Congress meant the [ACA] to operate in this manner. Congress made the guaranteed issue and community rating requirements applicable in every State in the Nation. But those requirements only work when combined with the coverage requirement and tax credits. So it stands to reason that Congress meant for those provisions to apply in every State as well" (Stern, "The Slatest," Slate, 6/25).

Meanwhile, Justice Antonin Scalia filed the dissenting opinion which was joined by Justices Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas (New York Times, 6/25).

Women's Health Supporters Applaud Decision

Debra Ness, president of the National Partnership for Women & Families, praised the ruling. "Our nation will be healthier and families stronger and more economically secure because the U.S. Supreme Court ruled against the challengers in King v. Burwell today," she said, noting that the "case posed a direct threat to the health insurance subsidies that make coverage affordable for the roughly 6.4 million people in 34 states who enrolled in coverage through the federal marketplace."

Ness added, "Women, in particular, can breathe a sigh of relief today. Women are 54 percent of those purchasing coverage through the federal marketplace and would have been hurt the most by an adverse ruling." She said the law "has been the greatest advance for women's health in a generation," with provisions covering "preventive care, including contraceptive services, with no additional out-of-pocket costs" and barring insurers from charging "women more than men for the same health insurance policies," among other benefits (NPWF press release, 6/25).

Similarly, Clare Coleman, president and CEO at the National Family Planning & Reproductive Health Association, said, "Today's ruling by the high court in King v. Burwell is a major victory in the efforts to improve the quality, affordability, and accessibility of preventive health services, including contraception, in the country" (NFPRHA press release, 6/25).

Sasha Bruce, vice president of campaigns and strategy at NARAL Pro-Choice America, also applauded the ruling. "The Supreme Court's decision validates what we've always known to be true, the [ACA] is both constitutional and it is working for Americans who need it most," she said, adding, "Without the [ACA], women would be charged more for health insurance and expected to pay out of pocket for the ability to decide, when, if, and how to have a child" (NARAL Pro-Choice America press release, 6/25).


Advocates Urge Lawmakers To Reject Title X Funding Cuts

Thu, 06/25/2015 - 17:30

Reproductive rights advocates are urging congressional lawmakers to reject proposed budget cuts to the Title X family planning program, contending that the cuts would restrict contraceptive access and increase the teenage pregnancy rate, CQ News reports.

Advocates Urge Lawmakers To Reject Title X Funding Cuts

June 24, 2015 — Reproductive rights advocates are urging congressional lawmakers to reject proposed budget cuts to the Title X family planning program, contending that the cuts would restrict contraceptive access and increase the teenage pregnancy rate, CQ News reports.

According to CQ News, roughly 30,000 people as of Tuesday had added their signatures to a petition urging congressional lawmakers to reject any proposed funding cuts for the family planning program. Meanwhile, Planned Parenthood earlier this week rolled out an online campaign that urges women to share how they have benefited from contraception.

Details on Proposed Senate, House Budgets

The House and Senate budget proposals would decrease or terminate funding for Title X, according to CQ News. The program, which mostly serves low-income people, funds clinics that provide services for family planning and preventive care, as well as testing and treatment for sexually transmitted infections.

Specifically, the Senate's proposed budget would cut $28.7 million in funding for Title X, reducing overall funding for the program to $257.8 million. According to CQ News, the Senate Appropriations Labor-HHS-Education Subcommittee approved the proposal earlier this week, and the Senate Appropriations Committee is scheduled to markup the measure on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, a budget proposed by House lawmakers would eliminate all funding for the Title X family planning program. The legislation also would increase funding for abstinence-only education while cutting almost $100 million from sexuality education programs that are part of an initiative designed to help prevent teenage pregnancy.

Advocates Voice Concerns

Planned Parenthood Action Fund and the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy said the proposed cuts would increase the number of unintended pregnancies by almost 66%. The advocates attributed the current 40-year low in the teenage pregnancy rate to programs that provide comprehensive sexuality education and facilitate affordable contraceptive access. They also noted that the program serves individuals who would otherwise not receive certain health care services, adding that the Title X program in 2014 provided care for 4.6 million individuals.

Cecile Richards, president of PPAF, said, "Congress is taking an ax to one of the most successful programs in America." She added, "If politicians think they can take away millions from programs that reduce teen pregnancy, they have another thing coming."

National Campaign CEO Sarah Brown added, "The cost of the programs is modest compared to the overall budget, and the payoff is immense." According to advocates, the federal government saves about $7 for every $1 invested in family planning.

Meanwhile, the Office of Management and Budget on Tuesday sent a letter to House appropriators, voicing "serious concerns" about the proposal (Zanona, CQ News, 6/23).


5th Circuit Rejects Texas Clinics' Stay Request; Op-Ed: SCOTUS Should Use HB 2's 'Disingenuous' Purpose To Overturn Law

Thu, 06/25/2015 - 17:30

Abortion providers in Texas asked the Supreme Court to block a lower court ruling that would close several clinics in the state after the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals declined the providers' request for a stay, the Los Angeles Times reports.

5th Circuit Rejects Texas Clinics' Stay Request; Op-Ed: SCOTUS Should Use HB 2's 'Disingenuous' Purpose To Overturn Law

June 22, 2015 — Abortion providers in Texas asked the Supreme Court to block a lower court ruling that would close several clinics in the state after the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals declined the providers' request for a stay, the Los Angeles Times reports (Shepherd, Los Angeles Times, 6/19).

The lower court ruling to uphold portions of the law is scheduled to take effect on July 1 (Ura, Texas Tribune, 6/19). If the provisions take effect, about 50% of the remaining abortion clinics in the state could be at risk of closing.

Background

The case centered on a provision in an omnibus antiabortion-rights law (HB 2) that requires abortion clinics in the state to meet the same building standards as ambulatory surgical centers. The case also examined whether abortion facilities in El Paso and McAllen should be exempt from a separate provision in the law that requires abortion providers to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals.

Earlier this month, the 5th Circuit ruled that the state had a "legitimate" purpose in implementing the legislation. Specifically, the court upheld the law's ambulatory surgical centers provision and admitting privileges requirements except in the case of one clinic, Whole Woman's Health in McAllen, Texas.

The Center for Reproductive Rights, which represents the abortion providers, on June 11 asked the 5th Circuit to stay the decision while the clinics appeal the decision to the Supreme Court (Women's Health Policy Report, 6/11). The 5th Circuit on Friday rejected the request (Texas Tribune, 6/19).

CRR Requests Stay From Supreme Court

Following the 5th Circuit's action, CRR filed an emergency request with the Supreme Court to stay the lower court's ruling and allow the clinics to remain open pending CRR's appeal (Los Angeles Times, 6/19).

CRR President Nancy Northup said it is "imperative" that the Supreme Court intervene. "No woman should be forced to cross state lines or travel hundreds of miles for essential health care," she said, adding, "And millions of Texas women cannot simply wait for months as this legal battle continues, with severely restricted options for safe and legal abortion services in the state" (Texas Tribune, 6/19).

Further, CRR has noted that many of the clinics that will be forced to close under HB 2 may not be able to reopen, even if the Supreme Court strikes down the law (Los Angeles Times, 6/19).

Supreme Court Mulling Appeal

The Supreme Court could indicate by the end of June whether it will hear the case, the AP/New York Times reports.

According to the AP/Times, the high court might be take up the case because it will allow the justices to refine their 1992 decision in Planned Parenthood v. Casey, which held that in regulating abortion, the state may not place an "undue burden" on a woman's right to the procedure. Priscilla Smith, a professor at Yale Law School, said, "Courts have been fumbling for years about what does it mean to be undue under Casey."

At an earlier point in the case, Justice Stephen Breyer wrote that the court probably would want to evaluate some of the law's provisions. In an opinion supported by three other justices, Breyer wrote that the law's constitutionality presents "a question ... that at least four members of this court will wish to consider irrespective of the 5th Circuit's ultimate decision."

Overall, according to the AP/Times, the high court's ruling in the case -- if the justices agree to consider it -- likely will hinge on Justice Anthony Kennedy's views. Kennedy was one of three authors in the Casey opinion that upheld women's right to abortion, although he also wrote the opinion that upheld a federal ban on a certain type of abortion procedure in a 2007 case (AP/New York Times, 6/22).

Planned Parenthood: No Immediate Plans for More Texas Clinics

In related news, Planned Parenthood Action Fund President Cecile Richards on Saturday said her organization will not immediately open any new abortion clinics in Texas, citing difficulties meeting HB 2's requirements, AP/ABC News reports.

Richards said, "We can build compliant facilities, but unless there is a local hospital that would give admitting privilege -- which is a highly political issue, not a medical issue -- it's very difficult."

However, Richards did not exclude the possibility of opening clinics in the future, particularly if smaller clinics could not afford to incorporate the building upgrades necessary to comply with the law. "We have in other states, and if we have to in Texas, we will," she said.

According to AP/ABC News, the clinics that would remain if HB 2's restrictions take effect are all located in large cities (AP/ABC News, 6/20).

Op-Ed: SCOTUS Should Overturn HB2 Based on Law's 'Disingenuous' Intent

The "only place" where it "isn't obvious" that HB 2 "is designed to prevent women from getting abortions ... is the one place it matters: in court," columnist Gilad Edelman writes in opinion piece for The New Yorker.

He explains that "Texas can't admit that H.B. 2's real purpose is to make it harder for women to get an abortion," because that would put the law in violation of the Casey standard and require "even the conservative Fifth Circuit ... to strike down the law." Instead, the court has "[focused] on the 'effect' part of Casey's vague standard."

Specifically, he writes that a three-judge panel on the 5th Circuit ruled that the law did not unduly burden a sufficiently "'large fraction' of women" to violate precedent, while "refus[ing] to see through the state's justifications." He explains, "[T]he most telling evidence that H.B. 2's purpose is to restrict abortion access is the fact that" state lawmakers "knew H.B. 2 would close all but a handful of abortion providers without making abortions safer," which "strongly implies that preventing abortions was the purpose of the law, not a side effect."

Edelman writes, "If the Supreme Court does weigh in and find H.B. 2 unconstitutional, it will most likely do so by endorsing" a balancing test between the law's purpose and effect, rather than "by finding an unconstitutional purpose." He writes that such a ruling "would be a missed opportunity" because while "[s]triking down these sham laws using a balancing test may get the right result ... it invites states to keep tweaking the balance of interests versus burdens until it finds a formula ... that passes muster in court." He adds, "It's up to judges to defend constitutional rights from these disingenuous attacks" (Edelman, The New Yorker, 6/19).


LA Times Op-Ed Affirms Push for OTC Contraceptive Access, Cautions Against Conservative Proposal

Thu, 06/25/2015 - 17:30

A proposal (S 1532) that would require insurers to cover over-the-counter access to oral contraceptives would better ensure access and affordability than an alternative conservative proposal (S 1438), Daniel Grossman, a clinical professor at University of California-San Francisco and vice president of research at Ibis Reproductive Health, writes in a Los Angeles Times opinion piece.

LA Times Op-Ed Affirms Push for OTC Contraceptive Access, Cautions Against Conservative Proposal

June 23, 2015 — A proposal (S 1532) that would require insurers to cover over-the-counter access to oral contraceptives would better ensure access and affordability than an alternative conservative proposal (S 1438), Daniel Grossman, a clinical professor at University of California-San Francisco and vice president of research at Ibis Reproductive Health, writes in a Los Angeles Times opinion piece.

Grossman explains drugmakers might be wary of applying for FDA approval to make oral contraception available OTC because they "fear ... political interference -- and the costs and uncertainty it introduces -- in the FDA approval process." For example, he writes that when lawmakers changed the FDA's approval process to make Plan B emergency contraception available OTC, progress slowed down, resulting in "an unreasonable age restriction ... that was lifted only after a 10-year legal battle."

According to Grossman, the conservative proposal "would also interfere with the FDA process" by "giv[ing] priority FDA review and waiv[ing] the filing fee only for an OTC pill to be sold to those older than 17." Grossman notes there is no medical need for such an age restriction. Further, the bill's requirement that people "show proof of age" before accessing OTC oral contraception could deter "people with the most to gain from the non-prescription pill," such as undocumented immigrants, and might "creat[e] extra work for pharmacists," potentially "increas[ing] the cost of the pill and limit[ing] access to it."

In addition, Grossman writes that the conservative proposal would allow people to "use pretax dollars in flexible spending accounts or health savings accounts to buy over-the[-]counter medications without a prescription," which he notes "is unlikely to help women who struggle to pay for birth control." By contrast, the bill proposed by Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) is would improve access to contraception because "it would extend the contraceptive coverage guarantee under the Affordable Care Act [PL 111-148] to include the FDA-approved [OTC] pill," he writes.

Grossman writes, "[OTC] access to the pill could be a game-changer for public health, eliminating an unnecessary barrier to a highly effective form of birth control" and "[t]he support of politicians from both sides of the aisle to help make this a reality is welcome." However, he adds that lawmakers "must stay out of the drug regulatory process and let the FDA do its job" (Grossman, Los Angeles Times, 6/19).


Blogs Praise 4th Circuit Ruling Overturning N.C. Ultrasound Law, Blast Sexist Rationale Behind Abortion Restrictions, More

Thu, 06/25/2015 - 17:30

Read the week's best commentaries from bloggers at the National Women's Law Center's "Womenstake," RH Reality Check and more.

Blogs Praise 4th Circuit Ruling Overturning N.C. Ultrasound Law, Blast Sexist Rationale Behind Abortion Restrictions, More

June 19, 2015 — Read the week's best commentaries from bloggers at the National Women's Law Center's "Womenstake," RH Reality Check and more.

ABORTION RESTRICTIONS: "Supreme Court Lets Doctors Practice Medicine, Not Politics," Rachel Easter, National Women's Law Center's "Womenstake": This week, the Supreme Court announced it would not "review the Fourth Circuit's decision striking down a coercive North Carolina law [SL 2011-45] that inserted politicians' views where they don't belong," Easter notes, calling the decision "good ... for women's health and the integrity of the doctor-patient relationship." According to Easter, the 2011 law "would have subjected every woman in North Carolina to an unnecessary and invasive procedure before she could get an abortion" and "forced doctors to prioritize the messages of anti-abortion politicians over good medicine." She writes that "[e]very court" that has heard a case on the law has "found it unconstitutional," and "[t]he Supreme Court's decision not to review the case leaves these earlier court decisions in place so the law will not go into effect," marking "a victory for North Carolinians and women everywhere" (Easter, "Womenstake," National Women's Law Center, 6/16).

What others are saying about abortion restrictions:

~ "When Will the Supreme Court Stop Avoiding Abortion?" Dahlia Lithwick, Slate's "Jurisprudence."

~ "Lawmakers Should Take a Walk in Her Shoes," Chavi Koneru, National Partnership for Women & Families' blog.

~ "NEWSFLASH: Texas Anti-Choice Law Targets Teens," Anita Little, Ms. Magazine blog.

GLOBAL: "Around the World, Women Are Forced To Justify Their Reasons for Abortion," Amanda Marcotte, RH Reality Check: Marcotte comments on a "fascinating op-ed" in the New York Times "about the pointless, aggravating, and insulting [approval] process that women in Israel have to endure in order to get an abortion," noting that similar requirements are imposed "in a lot of Western European countries." Marcotte writes that while these processes "rarely impede actual access to abortion," they "sho[w] that attitudes about abortion are actually shaped by attitudes about sex and gender roles," such as how "[w]omen are supposed to want babies, and if they don't, they're supposed to be apologetic and do penance for defying their 'natural' role." Further, while women in the U.S. currently "are protected from having to give their reasons for an abortion in the first trimester ... this idea that women should have to justify their desire to abort is baked right into the debate over abortion access in this country nonetheless," Marcotte writes. She calls on U.S. abortion law to reflect the complexity of women's lives "by acknowledging that a woman -- not a third party, not a politician -- is the expert in her own life and what she needs when facing an unintended pregnancy" (Marcotte, RH Reality Check, 6/17).

What others are saying about global abortion access:

~ "Not Only Voiceless, but Choice-less: The Impregnated Victims of Boko Haram," Akila Radhakrishnan/Kristina Kallas, Ms. Magazine blog.

CONTRACEPTION: "House Republicans Try To Zero Out Funding for Family Planning," Marcotte, Slate's "The XX Factor": "The House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies just offered a budget proposal that would end federal family planning programs," Marcotte writes. According to Marcotte, the proposal would end funding for Title X of the Public Health Service Act -- "the only federal program dedicated solely to providing contraception and other preventive reproductive health services -- as well as other reproductive health care programs for low-income patients." Marcotte writes, "No doubt the word 'abortion' is going to be tossed around to justify this defunding effort ... but this is not about abortion," because "Title X funds do not and cannot fund abortion." Rather, "[t]his is about sex and sending the message that you shouldn't be having it for any reason but procreation," she writes. For example, she notes that the proposed budget "also cuts spending on sex education programs for teenagers by 81 percent, while doubling the budget for abstinence-until-marriage programs." Marcotte cites research that finds "mak[ing] contraception free or at least more affordable lower[s] the abortion rate," concluding, "If you sincerely care about preventing abortion, you should want to grow Title X so that no woman in this country skips using contraception because she can't afford it" (Marcotte, "The XX Factor," Slate, 6/16).

What others are saying about contraception:

~ "You Oughta Know: We've Been Fighting the Same Fight to Protect Title X for 20 Years," Sharon Levin, National Women's Law Center's "Womenstake."

~ "House Funding Bill Puts Family Planning, Public Health in Peril," Clare Coleman, Huffington Post blogs

~ "Breaking: IUDs Contribute Hugely To Reducing Unintended Pregnancies," Jenny Kutner, Salon.

ABORTION PROVIDERS: "JUSTICE, ACCESS, SUPPORT: A CONVERSATION WITH THE BOSTON DOULA PROJECT," Reina Gattuso, Feministing: Gattuso interviews Sarah Whedon, co-director of "the Boston Doula Project, the Boston manifestation of a national movement for 'full-spectrum' doula care -- or doulas who provide support across a full range of pregnancy experiences, including abortion." According to Whedon, the Boston Doula Project provides "free doula support for people who are having abortions, and ... train[s] people in those skills." In the interview, Whedon explained that such care "is compassionate, non-medical support," such as "physical support, emotional support, informational support, spiritual support, and sometimes practical support." Whedon added that such support is important both because it helps "kee[p] abortion safe and accessible and legal," but also because the holistic support provided by a doula for all of a woman's reproductive choices could help women "'be more bold about speaking publicly about the importance of abortion access" (Gattuso, Feministing, 6/17).

What others are saying about abortion providers:

~
"Focus on a Provider: Honor MacNaughton," Reproductive Health Access Project blog.


Op-Ed: House Budget Proposal Would 'Render Devastating Cuts' to Family Planning, Sexuality Education

Thu, 06/25/2015 - 17:30

A fiscal 2016 budget proposed by a House subcommittee "would render devastating cuts to [the Title X Family Planning] program, along with other health care services currently reaching 4.6 million people," while also "eliminat[ing] nearly all federal funding for teen pregnancy prevention and sex education programs," columnist Stephanie Castillo writes in a Medical Daily opinion piece.

Op-Ed: House Budget Proposal Would 'Render Devastating Cuts' to Family Planning, Sexuality Education

June 23, 2015 — A fiscal 2016 budget proposed by a House subcommittee "would render devastating cuts to [the Title X Family Planning] program, along with other health care services currently reaching 4.6 million people," while also "eliminat[ing] nearly all federal funding for teen pregnancy prevention and sex education programs," columnist Stephanie Castillo writes in a Medical Daily opinion piece.

Castillo discusses the funding cuts with Leslie Kantor, vice president of education for Planned Parenthood Federation of America, who noted that "funding for the teen pregnancy initiative would go from $105 million to $10 million -- 'only about as much money to keep the office open and keep the staff in place.'" Kantor explains that the remaining funding would be redirected "to something called 'sexual risk avoidance,' which is just another way to say abstinence-only sex ed."

According to Kantor, "the teen pregnancy initiative was 'a very important step forward for pregnancy prevention and sex ed in the country'" because it marked "the first time federal resources had been devoted to sex ed other than abstinence-only programs," Castillo writes. Kantor said the program allocated "funding for organizations to replicate programs that have been found to work, programs that have been proven in rigorous studies that delay sex until older or use contraception when they do."

By contrast, Castillo notes that abstinence-only sexuality education programs diverge from CDC recommendations on "effective sex ed programs" and "provide misinformation and purposefully withhold medically-accurate information necessary for young men and women to make healthy, informed choices when it comes to sex," a fact that "more people are realizing." She cites a recent California case that found abstinence-only sexuality education fell short of the state's comprehensive sexuality education standards, as well as research supporting students' interest in and benefits from comprehensive sexuality education.

Further, Castillo touches on the media's misinformed portrayal of sex, which either "confuse[s] young women" or "shames them" by suggesting that "sex before marriage automatically makes women dirty and worthless" and "devalu[ing] rape victims." In addition, she cites a 2012 CDC report that found "states with higher rates of unintended pregnancies and STIs were covering a limited amount of topics" in their sexuality education courses "compared to states with lower rates." Kantor noted, "You can't say this is causal ... but you can say 'look, there's an association between states not teaching them very much about sex.'"

Castillo continues, "According to Kantor, Title X is one of the most successful programs in government history" and "extremely cost-effective," as "every dollar funded into family planning is estimated to save consumers about seven dollars." Castillo notes that such cuts -- while unlikely to be included in the Senate proposal -- would undermine not only women's "affordable access to birth control and tests ... but [contribute to a] lack of knowledge in general" (Castillo, Medical Daily, 6/21).


Iowa Supreme Court Strikes Down State Rule Banning Telemedicine Abortion

Thu, 06/25/2015 - 17:30

The Iowa Supreme Court unanimously ruled against a state rule banning the use of telemedicine in abortion services, the Des Moines Register reports.

Iowa Supreme Court Strikes Down State Rule Banning Telemedicine Abortion

June 19, 2015 — The Iowa Supreme Court unanimously ruled against a state rule banning the use of telemedicine in abortion services, the Des Moines Register reports (Leys, Des Moines Register, 6/19).

Case Background

The Iowa Board of Medicine in 2010 ruled that doctors at Planned Parenthood of the Heartland could continue to dispense medication abortion drugs via its telemedicine system. However, Gov. Terry Branstad (R) later replaced all of the board members, who then approved rules barring PPH from administering medication abortions through the system. PPH challenged the ban in court.

In September 2014, the Iowa Supreme Court stayed the ban as the case proceeded through the legal system. The court in March 2015 heard oral arguments over whether the ban was a legitimate exercise of state authority or an unconstitutional restriction on women's access to abortion. The case was heard by six justices, with one justice recusing himself from the case.

The case is the first involving abortion rights to reach the state Supreme Court in more than 40 years and has been watched nationally by stakeholders on both sides of the abortion-rights debate (Women's Health Policy Report, 3/12).

Ruling Details

The justices ruled that women's rights under both the Iowa and U.S. constitutions were violated by the ban.

According to the justices, health care providers use telemedicine to provide several different types of health care services. As a result, IBM's rule restricting solely telemedicine abortion made "[i]t ... difficult to avoid the conclusion that the board's medical concerns about telemedicine are selectively limited to abortion," they wrote.

Overall, the justices ruled that the requirement imposed an "undue burden" on women's right to the procedure. According to the court, national standards on medication abortion do not require providers to perform physical exams prior to administering the drugs. Further, they noted that clinic staff can perform any required physical testing and submit the results to the physicians. An in-person physical exam would not "provide any measurable gain in patient safety," the justices wrote.

The state Supreme Court did not address PPH's request that they establish abortion as a right under the state constitution, noting that it did not need to respond to that question since the board's rule violated the U.S. Constitution (Des Moines Register, 6/19). The justices wrote, "Because the Board agrees the Iowa Constitution protects a woman's right to terminate her pregnancy to the same extent as the United States Constitution, we find the rule violates the Iowa Constitution" (AP/CBS News, 6/19).