Daily Women's Health Policy Report

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Daily Women's Health Policy Report by the National Partnership for Women & Families
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N.M. House Passes 20-Week Ban, Parental Involvement Bills

Tue, 03/10/2015 - 18:41

The New Mexico House on Friday passed a bill (HB 390) that would ban abortions at 20 weeks pregnancy and a measure (HB 391) that would require parental involvement in minors' abortion decisions, the Albuquerque Journal reports.

N.M. House Passes 20-Week Ban, Parental Involvement Bills

March 10, 2015 — The New Mexico House on Friday passed a bill (HB 390) that would ban abortions at 20 weeks pregnancy and a measure (HB 391) that would require parental involvement in minors' abortion decisions, the Albuquerque Journal reports. The bills are now headed to the state Senate (Baker, Albuquerque Journal, 3/6).

Neither bill would apply in cases of rape, incest or other sexual abuse, or in cases of endangerment to a woman's life. Physicians found to violate either measure could face a civil penalty of $5,000 or more and lose their medical licenses for at least one year (Women's Health Policy Report, 3/3).

The parental involvement bill would require a parent's notification at least 48 hours prior to a minor receiving an abortion (Jolly, AP/Silver City Sun-News, 3/7). Under the bill, minors could petition a court for an exemption to the notification requirement (Albuquerque Journal, 3/6).

Debate Over Refusal Provision

Both measures include a provision that would allow medical professionals to refuse to provide services, including dispensing medication, for religious or moral reasons (Wright, New Mexico Political Report, 3/7). Prior to passage, both bills were amended to remove language that would have allowed providers to cite "personal conviction" as a reason for refusing services.

State Rep. Brian Egolf (D) described the provision as "a sweeping change to the law," saying that the measures still permit providers to deny emergency contraception. Even with the change, "[i]t is giving unprecedented power to the cashier at the drug store to disallow sales" of EC, he said (AP/Silver City Sun-News, 3/7).

The abortion bills are part of a push from a new Republican majority in the state House, according to the Journal (Albuquerque Journal, 3/6). Meanwhile, Democrats hold a majority in the state Senate (AP/Silver City Sun-News, 3/7).

Alternative Rejected

As an alternative to the 20-week ban, lawmakers who support abortion rights proposed a substitute measure at the last minute, according to the New Mexico Political Report. The bill would have expanded access to contraception as well as increased funding to state programs for infants and young children. Egolf, who introduced the replacement, said it aimed "[t]o make sure that we're taking reasonable and responsible steps to reduce the number and need for abortion services."

The alternative did not pass, with state House Speaker Don Tripp (R) rejecting the amendment on a rules basis, according to the Political Report (New Mexico Political Report, 3/7).


NPR: States Direct Funding to Antiabortion-Rights Crisis Pregnancy Centers

Tue, 03/10/2015 - 18:40

Some states that are working to cut funding for women's health clinics like Planned Parenthood are also boosting support for antiabortion-rights crisis pregnancy centers, NPR's "Shots" reports.

NPR: States Direct Funding to Antiabortion-Rights Crisis Pregnancy Centers

March 10, 2015 — Some states that are working to cut funding for women's health clinics like Planned Parenthood are also boosting support for antiabortion-rights crisis pregnancy centers, NPR's "Shots" reports.

About CPCs

CPCs are private, not-for-profit organizations that counsel pregnant women, oftentimes trying to dissuade them from having an abortion. The clinics are often religiously affiliated. Although CPCs are not medical centers, many provide ultrasounds.

According to "Shots," the number of CPCs has grown in recent years. Several thousands of such clinics are estimated to exist in the U.S., meaning that they greatly outnumber abortion clinics.

State Funding for CPCs

According to data from the Guttmacher Institute, seven states included line items in their budgets related to CPCs. For example, Texas provided more than $5 million over a two-year period for CPCs, while Ohio included $250,000 for CPCs in its 2013 budget. Abortion-rights opponents in Ohio are expected to increase their state budget request for the centers to $1 million this year. Ohio and almost two dozen other states sell license plates that say "Choose Life," with the proceeds from sales going to CPCs.

Meanwhile, some states are trying to compel more women to go to CPCs through legislation. For example, a South Dakota law (HB 1180) requires women to have a consultation at a CPC before an abortion. However, courts have temporarily blocked the provision while it is being challenged.

Critics Say CPCs Offer Misinformation

Critics of CPCs have noted that the centers are not licensed or regulated and sometimes offer inaccurate or misleading information about abortion. In addition, critics have said that CPC volunteers will sometimes use delay tactics to push a woman's decision to have an abortion into her second trimester, when abortion is more costly and carries greater risk of complications.

NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio sent undercover women to 55 CPCs in Ohio and found that counselors at the centers told women the medically unsupported claims that abortion can lead to breast cancer, depression, infertility and substance use disorders. Further, the counselors did not offer advice about contraceptives when the women asked how to avoid becoming pregnant and instead recommended abstinence.

Some States Attempt Regulation

To combat these practices, some states have tried to regulate the centers by requiring them to provide medically accurate information, disclose whether they have a medical professional on site and clearly state that they do not offer contraception or abortion.

Courts have halted most of such efforts after the centers challenged the laws on free-speech grounds. However, a judge in February ruled that a San Francisco ordinance (212-11) barring CPCs from using misleading or false advertisements is not unconstitutional because the First Amendment does not protect "false and misleading commercial speech" (Ludden, "Shots," NPR, 3/9).


Federal Judge Denies Request for Injunction Against Pittsburgh 'Buffer Zone'

Tue, 03/10/2015 - 18:39

A federal judge on Friday denied five abortion-rights opponents' request for an injunction to block enforcement of a Pittsburgh "buffer zone" ordinance, the AP/York Enquirer Herald reports. However, the judge permitted the underlying case to move forward.

Federal Judge Denies Request for Injunction Against Pittsburgh 'Buffer Zone'

March 10, 2015 — A federal judge on Friday denied five abortion-rights opponents' request for an injunction to block enforcement of a Pittsburgh "buffer zone" ordinance, the AP/York Enquirer Herald reports. However, the judge permitted the underlying case to move forward (AP/York Enquirer Herald, 3/6).

Background

The Pittsburgh buffer zone law is a modified version of a 2005 ordinance that the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals struck down in 2009. In that ruling, the appeals court said the ordinance was illegal because it barred protesters from leafleting and other forms of free speech within a 15-foot zone around any "hospital or health care facility" and also barred protesters from coming within an 8-foot "bubble zone" of women who were within 100 feet of a clinic.

After the 2009 ruling, the city decided to drop the bubble zone provision. Further, another federal judge ruled that protesters could distribute leaflets and converse with women on a one-on-one basis as long as they did not "knowingly congregate, patrol, picket or demonstrate" in the buffer zone.

The abortion-rights opponents, represented by the Alliance Defending Freedom, claim that the law violates a unanimous Supreme Court ruling that struck down a Massachusetts law barring protesters from entering a 35-foot buffer around abortion clinics. Meanwhile, Pittsburgh city attorneys have said the city's ordinance does not raise the First Amendment issues the high court noted in the Massachusetts case (Women's Health Policy Report, 12/23/14).

Ruling Details

In her ruling, U.S. District Court Judge Cathy Bissoon wrote that the buffer zone did not violate the protesters' First Amendment rights. She wrote, "While plaintiffs' message is restricted in that they cannot continue to walk alongside women as they approach within fifteen feet of the entrance, that method of communication is not foreclosed or effectively stifled."

She dismissed several of the plaintiffs' claims against the buffer zone (Ove, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 3/6).

However, she said there was not enough evidence to indicate whether Pittsburgh officials have selectively enforced the buffer zone (AP/York Enquirer Herald, 3/6). As a result, she ruled that the underlying suit could continue on the plaintiffs' claim that individuals associated with Planned Parenthood who escort women into clinics are able to gather inside the buffer zones and speak with the women, while abortion-rights opponents are not.

In addition, Bissoon dismissed the Pittsburgh City Council as a defendant in the case, ruling that while the council passed the ordinance, it is not charged with enforcing it. She allowed Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto (D) to remain a defendant in the case.

Next Steps

The city has until March 20 to file court documents responding to the claim that the buffer zone has been selectively enforced (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 3/6).

Meanwhile, ADF said it is considering whether to appeal Bissoon's decision (AP/York Enquirer Herald, 3/6).


Federal Judge Denies Request for Injunction Against Pittsburgh 'Buffer Zone'

Tue, 03/10/2015 - 18:22

A federal judge on Friday denied five abortion-rights opponents' request for an injunction to block enforcement of a Pittsburgh "buffer zone" ordinance, the AP/York Enquirer Herald reports. However, the judge permitted the underlying case to move forward.

Federal Judge Denies Request for Injunction Against Pittsburgh 'Buffer Zone'

March 10, 2015 — A federal judge on Friday denied five abortion-rights opponents' request for an injunction to block enforcement of a Pittsburgh "buffer zone" ordinance, the AP/York Enquirer Herald reports. However, the judge permitted the underlying case to move forward (AP/York Enquirer Herald, 3/6).

Background

The Pittsburgh buffer zone law is a modified version of a 2005 ordinance that the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals struck down in 2009. In that ruling, the appeals court said the ordinance was illegal because it barred protesters from leafleting and other forms of free speech within a 15-foot zone around any "hospital or health care facility" and also barred protesters from coming within an 8-foot "bubble zone" of women who were within 100 feet of a clinic.

After the 2009 ruling, the city decided to drop the bubble zone provision. Further, another federal judge ruled that protesters could distribute leaflets and converse with women on a one-on-one basis as long as they did not "knowingly congregate, patrol, picket or demonstrate" in the buffer zone.

The abortion-rights opponents, represented by the Alliance Defending Freedom, claim that the law violates a unanimous Supreme Court ruling that struck down a Massachusetts law barring protesters from entering a 35-foot buffer around abortion clinics. Meanwhile, Pittsburgh city attorneys have said the city's ordinance does not raise the First Amendment issues the high court noted in the Massachusetts case (Women's Health Policy Report, 12/23/14).

Ruling Details

In her ruling, U.S. District Court Judge Cathy Bissoon wrote that the buffer zone did not violate the protesters' First Amendment rights. She wrote, "While plaintiffs' message is restricted in that they cannot continue to walk alongside women as they approach within fifteen feet of the entrance, that method of communication is not foreclosed or effectively stifled."

She dismissed several of the plaintiffs' claims against the buffer zone (Ove, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 3/6).

However, she said there was not enough evidence to indicate whether Pittsburgh officials have selectively enforced the buffer zone (AP/York Enquirer Herald, 3/6). As a result, she ruled that the underlying suit could continue on the plaintiffs' claim that individuals associated with Planned Parenthood who escort women into clinics are able to gather inside the buffer zones and speak with the women, while abortion-rights opponents are not.

In addition, Bissoon dismissed the Pittsburgh City Council as a defendant in the case, ruling that while the council passed the ordinance, it is not charged with enforcing it. She allowed Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto (D) to remain a defendant in the case.

Next Steps

The city has until March 20 to file court documents responding to the claim that the buffer zone has been selectively enforced (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 3/6).

Meanwhile, ADF said it is considering whether to appeal Bissoon's decision (AP/York Enquirer Herald, 3/6).


N.M. House Passes 20-Week Ban, Parental Involvement Bills

Tue, 03/10/2015 - 18:22

The New Mexico House on Friday passed a bill (HB 390) that would ban abortions at 20 weeks pregnancy and a measure (HB 391) that would require parental involvement in minors' abortion decisions, the Albuquerque Journal reports.

N.M. House Passes 20-Week Ban, Parental Involvement Bills

March 10, 2015 — The New Mexico House on Friday passed a bill (HB 390) that would ban abortions at 20 weeks pregnancy and a measure (HB 391) that would require parental involvement in minors' abortion decisions, the Albuquerque Journal reports. The bills are now headed to the state Senate (Baker, Albuquerque Journal, 3/6).

Neither bill would apply in cases of rape, incest or other sexual abuse, or in cases of endangerment to a woman's life. Physicians found to violate either measure could face a civil penalty of $5,000 or more and lose their medical licenses for at least one year (Women's Health Policy Report, 3/3).

The parental involvement bill would require a parent's notification at least 48 hours prior to a minor receiving an abortion (Jolly, AP/Silver City Sun-News, 3/7). Under the bill, minors could petition a court for an exemption to the notification requirement (Albuquerque Journal, 3/6).

Debate Over Refusal Provision

Both measures include a provision that would allow medical professionals to refuse to provide services, including dispensing medication, for religious or moral reasons (Wright, New Mexico Political Report, 3/7). Prior to passage, both bills were amended to remove language that would have allowed providers to cite "personal conviction" as a reason for refusing services.

State Rep. Brian Egolf (D) described the provision as "a sweeping change to the law," saying that the measures still permit providers to deny emergency contraception. Even with the change, "[i]t is giving unprecedented power to the cashier at the drug store to disallow sales" of EC, he said (AP/Silver City Sun-News, 3/7).

The abortion bills are part of a push from a new Republican majority in the state House, according to the Journal (Albuquerque Journal, 3/6). Meanwhile, Democrats hold a majority in the state Senate (AP/Silver City Sun-News, 3/7).

Alternative Rejected

As an alternative to the 20-week ban, lawmakers who support abortion rights proposed a substitute measure at the last minute, according to the New Mexico Political Report. The bill would have expanded access to contraception as well as increased funding to state programs for infants and young children. Egolf, who introduced the replacement, said it aimed "[t]o make sure that we're taking reasonable and responsible steps to reduce the number and need for abortion services."

The alternative did not pass, with state House Speaker Don Tripp (R) rejecting the amendment on a rules basis, according to the Political Report (New Mexico Political Report, 3/7).


Blogs Comment on International Women's Day, Abortion Bans 'Putting Women Behind Bars,' More

Tue, 03/10/2015 - 16:00

Read the week's best commentaries from bloggers at the Huffington Post, Law Students for Reproductive Justice and more.

Blogs Comment on International Women's Day, Abortion Bans 'Putting Women Behind Bars,' More

March 10, 2015 — Read the week's best commentaries from bloggers at the Huffington Post, Law Students for Reproductive Justice and more.

INTERNATIONAL WOMEN'S DAY: "This International Women's Day, Stop Attacks on Women's Health," Hal Lawrence, Huffington Post blogs: Lawrence, executive vice president and CEO of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, commemorates International Women's Day by examining the state of women's health globally and in the U.S. He writes that women around the world face "overwhelming shortages of care," with "more than 280,000 women d[ying] every year due to complications in pregnancy and childbirth." Meanwhile, Lawrence notes that women in the U.S. also are facing "attacks on [their] access to care," such as how the King v. Burwell lawsuit against the Affordable Care Act (PL 111-148) "threaten[s] to cut short [the law's] improved access to coverage, leaving millions of American women without the ability to stay healthy and prevent both illness and unintended pregnancy." He touches on several other "attacks on health" in the U.S., including how "some of the most effective methods of birth control, like intrauterine devices and implants, have been misrepresented and criticized" and how antiabortion-rights "lawmakers seeking restrictions on needed abortion care" are making "safe, legal abortion less safe" (Lawrence, Huffington Post blogs, 3/6).

CONTRACEPTION: "Access to Contraception an Issue for Female Servicemembers," Elise Foreman, Law Students for Reproductive Justice's "Repo Repro": Foreman writes about recently introduced federal legislation (HR 742, S 358) that "would ensure that [contraceptive] options available through the Affordable Care Act would be available through the military's healthcare plan, TRICARE." She notes that currently, "certain methods are left off the list of covered birth control methods" in TRICARE, "even though service women are at higher risk for unplanned pregnancies." Foreman argues, "Impeding access to contraception for American service women denies not only their reproductive rights but similarly places additional barriers on their ability to perform their duties effectively" (Foreman, "Repo Repro," Law Students for Reproductive Justice, 3/6).

ACCESS TO CARE: "Bipartisan Bill in Congress Would Send More OB-GYNs to Underserved Rural Areas," Emily Crockett, RH Reality Check: "A new bipartisan bill [HR 1209, S 628] introduced in Congress last week aims to improve access to maternity care in rural and underserved areas" by "identify[ing] which areas of the country have maternity care shortages and help[ing] send OB-GYNs to those underserved areas," Crockett writes. The bill, called the Improving Access to Maternity Care Act, was introduced by Sens. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) and Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) and Reps. Michael Burgess (R-Texas) and Lois Capps (D-Calif.), with support from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. The bill would create a new maternity care designation in the National Health Service Corps, which "offers doctors scholarships and loan repayments in exchange for serving two-to-four years in areas with provider shortages," Crockett writes. She notes that with the new designation, NHSC would "identify areas with maternity health provider shortages, and ... send specialists to those areas" (Crockett, RH Reality Check, 3/9).

ABORTION RESTRICTIONS: "Abortion Bans Are Putting Women Behind Bars," Tara Culp-Ressler, Center for American Progress' "ThinkProgress": As the result of abortion restrictions, women around the world, including in the U.S., are being arrested "based on the way their pregnancies ended, providing hundreds of well-documented cases of women being imprisoned for the crime of seeking reproductive health care," Culp-Ressler writes. She discusses such cases in Bolivia, Ecuador, El Salvador, Malaysia, Mexico, the Philippines and the U.S. For example, she writes about how the "increased scrutiny around women's pregnancies" has led to several arrests in El Salvador, where abortion "can carry a sentence of eight years in prison" and "[w]omen accused of inducing a miscarriage can even be charged with 'aggravated assault against a family member,' a different crime that can land them in prison for up to 50 years." Similarly, Culp-Ressler notes that pregnant women in the U.S. increasingly face "the threat of prosecution" if they use drugs, if they purchase medication abortion drugs online or if they are accused of "seeking to harm their fetuses by attempting suicide, using illicit drugs, or even falling down the stairs" (Culp-Ressler, "ThinkProgress," Center for American Progress, 3/9).

What others are saying about abortion restrictions:

~ "West Virginia Republicans Override Their Governor To Pass 20-Week Abortion Ban," Culp-Ressler, Center for American Progress' "ThinkProgress."

'BUFFER ZONE' LAWS: "Judge Upholds Pittsburgh Buffer Zone in First Federal Ruling Since McCullen," Women's Law Project blog: "A federal judge has upheld the constitutionality of a 15-foot buffer zone ordinance that protects health care facilities in Pittsburgh," the blog states, adding that the decision "is the first federal ruling on the constitutionality of a clinic buffer zone since" the Supreme Court's decision in McCullen v. Coakley, which involved a Massachusetts law. According to the blog, U.S. District Court Judge Cathy Bissoon in her ruling denied five abortion-rights opponents' request for a preliminary injunction to block enforcement of a Pittsburgh "buffer zone" ordinance. Specifically, Bissoon "held that the protesters were unlikely to be able to prove that the Pittsburgh ... ordinance was unconstitutional" under the McCullen decision, WLP writes. According to WLP, Bissoon "dismissed all of the protesters' claims except for an allegation that a police officer did not enforce the law evenhandedly, which could not be resolved without additional evidence" (Women's Law Project blog, 3/9).


NPR: States Direct Funding to Antiabortion-Rights Crisis Pregnancy Centers

Tue, 03/10/2015 - 15:55

Some states that are working to cut funding for women's health clinics like Planned Parenthood are also boosting support for antiabortion-rights crisis pregnancy centers, NPR's "Shots" reports.

NPR: States Direct Funding to Antiabortion-Rights Crisis Pregnancy Centers

March 10, 2015 — Some states that are working to cut funding for women's health clinics like Planned Parenthood are also boosting support for antiabortion-rights crisis pregnancy centers, NPR's "Shots" reports.

About CPCs

CPCs are private, not-for-profit organizations that counsel pregnant women, oftentimes trying to dissuade them from having an abortion. The clinics are often religiously affiliated. Although CPCs are not medical centers, many provide ultrasounds.

According to "Shots," the number of CPCs has grown in recent years. Several thousands of such clinics are estimated to exist in the U.S., meaning that they greatly outnumber abortion clinics.

State Funding for CPCs

According to data from the Guttmacher Institute, seven states included line items in their budgets related to CPCs. For example, Texas provided more than $5 million over a two-year period for CPCs, while Ohio included $250,000 for CPCs in its 2013 budget. Abortion-rights opponents in Ohio are expected to increase their state budget request for the centers to $1 million this year. Ohio and almost two dozen other states sell license plates that say "Choose Life," with the proceeds from sales going to CPCs.

Meanwhile, some states are trying to compel more women to go to CPCs through legislation. For example, a South Dakota law (HB 1180) requires women to have a consultation at a CPC before an abortion. However, courts have temporarily blocked the provision while it is being challenged.

Critics Say CPCs Offer Misinformation

Critics of CPCs have noted that the centers are not licensed or regulated and sometimes offer inaccurate or misleading information about abortion. In addition, critics have said that CPC volunteers will sometimes use delay tactics to push a woman's decision to have an abortion into her second trimester, when abortion is more costly and carries greater risk of complications.

NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio sent undercover women to 55 CPCs in Ohio and found that counselors at the centers told women the medically unsupported claims that abortion can lead to breast cancer, depression, infertility and substance use disorders. Further, the counselors did not offer advice about contraceptives when the women asked how to avoid becoming pregnant and instead recommended abstinence.

Some States Attempt Regulation

To combat these practices, some states have tried to regulate the centers by requiring them to provide medically accurate information, disclose whether they have a medical professional on site and clearly state that they do not offer contraception or abortion.

Courts have halted most of such efforts after the centers challenged the laws on free-speech grounds. However, a judge in February ruled that a San Francisco ordinance (212-11) barring CPCs from using misleading or false advertisements is not unconstitutional because the First Amendment does not protect "false and misleading commercial speech" (Ludden, "Shots," NPR, 3/9).


Calif. Bill Aims To Support Breastfeeding Among Teen Mothers Attending School

Tue, 03/10/2015 - 14:14

A California lawmaker has introduced legislation (AB 302) that aims to make it easier for teens with infants to breastfeed while attending school, KQED's "State of Health" reports.

Calif. Bill Aims To Support Breastfeeding Among Teen Mothers Attending School

March 10, 2015 — A California lawmaker has introduced legislation (AB 302) that aims to make it easier for teens with infants to breastfeed while attending school, KQED's "State of Health" reports.

Barriers Common

Breastfeed LA's Genevieve Colvin said that although California has some of the nation's most stringent policies to support employees who are breastfeeding, the state has "very little substantive language in our education code that actually provides students with the same accommodations." According to Colvin, just 18% of Los Angeles County's school districts have policies regarding lactation accommodations, and there is a similar lack of consistent standards throughout California.

"State of Health" profiles a student who said it was difficult to find a private area to breastfeed or pump while at school. She also faced resistance from school administrators about missing time in class, and they recommended she transfer to a continuation school that is usually reserved for at-risk students. The student found that the new school was not academically challenging.

According to Colvin, such experiences are common. Students who are breastfeeding "are worried about completing their assignments and not having appropriate accommodations," she said.

Bill Details

California Assembly member Cristina Garcia (D) proposed the breastfeeding measure, which would strengthen the state's education code to require schools to create accommodations for lactating students. Garcia said the bill aims to ensure that students who are breastfeeding are not placed at a disadvantage.

The bill would not require all schools to have lactation areas but rather that schools "create accommodations" if they have a student who is breastfeeding, she said ("State of Health," KQED, 3/6).


N.H. Senate Tables Bill on Employer Disclosure of Contraceptive Coverage Options

Mon, 03/09/2015 - 17:45

The New Hampshire Senate on Thursday in a 12-12 vote tabled a bill (SB 42) that would have required employers to inform job candidates whether they offer contraceptive coverage in employee health plans, AP/Miami Herald reports.

N.H. Senate Tables Bill on Employer Disclosure of Contraceptive Coverage Options

March 9, 2015 — The New Hampshire Senate on Thursday in a 12-12 vote tabled a bill (SB 42) that would have required employers to inform job candidates whether they offer contraceptive coverage in employee health plans, AP/Miami Herald reports (Ronayne, AP/Miami Herald, 3/5).

It is unlikely that senators will consider the bill again during this legislative session, according to the New Hampshire Union Leader.

Background

New Hampshire law requires employer health plans to cover family planning services, including contraception. In addition, the Affordable Care Act (PL 111-148) includes federal contraceptive coverage requirements for employer-sponsored health plans (Rayno, New Hampshire Union Leader, 3/5).

However, the Supreme Court last year in Hobby Lobby v. Burwell ruled that Hobby Lobby, a private company, could refuse to include contraceptive coverage in its employee health plans because of its owners' religious objections to contraception (Women's Health Policy Report, 6/30/14).

Debate

Supporters of the New Hampshire bill have said that women should be informed if their employer similarly opposes contraception and does not offer the coverage (AP/Miami Herald, 3/5).

State Sen. David Pierce (D), the bill's main sponsor, said, "Workers have a right to know if their employers are restricting the availability of a full range of family planning coverage."

Opponents said that the state should not tell businesses what information to disclose to potential employees. "New Hampshire workers are perfectly capable of understanding the benefits provided by their employers," state Sen. Sharon Carson (R) said (New Hampshire Union Leader, 3/5).


Iowa Abortion Restrictions Fail To Meet Legislative Deadline

Mon, 03/09/2015 - 17:44

Multiple proposed abortion restrictions in Iowa are effectively dead for this legislative session after the measures were not approved by state's Legislature first deadline to advance bills on Thursday, the Des Moines Register reports.

Iowa Abortion Restrictions Fail To Meet Legislative Deadline

March 9, 2015 — Multiple proposed abortion restrictions in Iowa are effectively dead for this legislative session after the measures were not approved by state's Legislature first deadline to advance bills on Thursday, the Des Moines Register reports.

The "funnel" deadline is meant to narrow the list of bills introduced in the state House and Senate at the beginning of the legislative session, according to the Register. Legislation that is not approved at least on the committee level is usually no longer eligible for further action during the rest of the legislative session.

Among the measures that failed to meet the deadline is a bill (SF 11) that would have banned the use of telemedicine in abortion care. According to the Register, the bill failed to advance out of a subcommittee.

Further, a measure (SF 44) that would have banned abortions based on a fetus' sex also failed to make it out of a subcommittee (Pfannenstiel/Petroski, Des Moines Register, 3/6).

Bills that would have expanded employers' ability to refuse to offer health coverage for abortion and contraception (SF 118), barred entities that receive state funds from offering abortion services (HF 422) and restricted abortions later in pregnancy (SF 91) were among some of the other abortion-related measures that did not meet the deadline (Boshart, Cedar Rapids Gazette/KCRG, 3/5).

Ultrasound Bill Meets Deadline

Meanwhile, a bill (HF 58) that would require a woman to undergo an ultrasound before an abortion advanced out of a House subcommittee on Wednesday (AP/Telegraph Herald, 3/5).

The bill went on to pass the full committee, meaning it survived the legislative deadline (Cedar Rapids Gazette/KCRG, 3/5).

However, the bill is not likely to pass the Democrat-controlled state Senate, according to the AP/Telegraph Herald (AP/Telegraph Herald, 3/5).


W.Va. Lawmakers Override Veto of 20-Week Abortion Ban, Allowing Bill To Become Law

Mon, 03/09/2015 - 17:43

A West Virginia bill (HB 2568) banning abortion at 20 weeks of pregnancy is set to take effect on May 26 after the state Senate on Friday voted 27-5 to override the governor's veto of the legislation, Reuters reports.

W.Va. Lawmakers Override Veto of 20-Week Abortion Ban, Allowing Bill To Become Law

March 9, 2015 — A West Virginia bill (HB 2568) banning abortion at 20 weeks of pregnancy is set to take effect on May 26 after the state Senate on Friday voted 27-5 to override the governor's veto of the legislation, Reuters reports (Daley, Reuters, 3/6).

The state House on Wednesday voted 77-16 to override the veto.

Bill Details and Background

The law is based on the premise that fetuses can feel pain at 20 weeks gestation. However, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists has said that there is no legitimate scientific evidence showing that fetuses are capable of feeling pain at 20 weeks.

The law will allow exceptions to the ban for medical emergencies but not for instances when the woman faces severe psychological distress. Physicians who violate the measure would not face any criminal penalties, but they could have their medical licenses suspended or revoked.

West Virginia Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin (D) vetoed the bill on Tuesday, marking the second year in a row that he has rejected such legislation. Tomblin said in a statement that he vetoed the measure on the grounds that it is unconstitutional. The Supreme Court in Roe v. Wade said that states cannot ban abortion before fetal viability, which is considered around 24 weeks of pregnancy.

However, West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey (R) said in a statement Tuesday that he would defend the measure if it is challenged in court. "It is long-past time that limits are placed on abortions in West Virginia," he said, adding, "While no one can predict with certainty how a court will rule, I believe that there are strong, good-faith arguments that this legislation is constitutional and should be upheld by the courts" (Women's Health Policy Report, 3/4).

Comments

State Senate President Bill Cole (R) said Friday that the chamber had "advice from the [state] attorney general that he felt [the bill] was constitutional and he could defend it. I frankly hope we don't have to try that out in court, but we'll see" (Mattise, AP/Charleston Daily Mail, 3/6).

Meanwhile, Center for Reproductive Rights President and CEO Nancy Northup said that "Tomblin was right to veto this callous, cruel and unconstitutional attack on health care for women facing complicated and sometimes dangerous situations in their lives and pregnancies." She added that the veto override shows "how far" some legislators "are willing to go to advance their ideological agenda at the expense of women's rights, lives and safety" (Bassett, Huffington Post, 3/6).


Supreme Court Sends Notre Dame Contraceptive Coverage Case Back To Federal Appeals Court

Mon, 03/09/2015 - 16:04

The Supreme Court on Monday vacated a ruling by the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that rejected the University of Notre Dame's request for an injunction against the federal contraceptive coverage rules, Reuters reports.

Supreme Court Sends Notre Dame Contraceptive Coverage Case Back To Federal Appeals Court

March 9, 2015 — The Supreme Court on Monday vacated a ruling by the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that rejected the University of Notre Dame's request for an injunction against the federal contraceptive coverage rules, Reuters reports.

In its order, the Supreme Court said the 7th Circuit should reconsider its ruling in light of the high court's 2014 decision in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, which found that that closely held corporations cannot be required to provide contraceptive coverage in their employer-sponsored health plans if the corporations' owners have religious objections to contraception.

The 7th Circuit's ruling pre-dated the high court's Hobby Lobby decision (Hurley, Reuters, 3/9).

Case Background

Notre Dame objects to an accommodation under the Affordable Care Act's (PL 111-148) contraceptive coverage rules that applies to not-for-profits that hold themselves out as religious and oppose contraception.

The accommodation enables such not-for-profits to notify their insurers or third-party administrators of their objection so the insurers or third-party administrators can facilitate contraceptive coverage for members of their health plans. To claim the accommodation, the not-for-profits may either complete a form to send to the insurers or third-party administrators or send a letter to HHS stating that they object to offering contraceptive coverage in their health plans. HHS announced the latter option in August 2014 in an effort to address ongoing court challenges over the rules (Women's Health Policy Report, 1/20).

Notre Dame in October 2014 asked the high court to review its case in light of the Hobby Lobby decision (Women's Health Policy Report, 10/8/14). A three-judge panel of the 7th Circuit previously rejected the university's challenge and its subsequent request for a full-panel hearing of the case (Women's Health Policy Report, 5/8/14).


More Steps Needed To Help Women Access ACA's Breastfeeding Benefits

Mon, 03/09/2015 - 16:02

While many women are benefiting from Affordable Care Act (PL 111-148) provisions that improve breastfeeding-related health coverage and support workers who breastfeed, some women still struggle to access such benefits for a variety of reasons, Politico Pro reports.

More Steps Needed To Help Women Access ACA's Breastfeeding Benefits

March 9, 2015 — While many women are benefiting from Affordable Care Act (PL 111-148) provisions that improve breastfeeding-related health coverage and support workers who breastfeed, some women still struggle to access such benefits for a variety of reasons, Politico Pro reports.

U.S. breastfeeding rates have increased steadily since 2002, and about 79% of babies born in 2011 were initially breastfed, according to CDC data. However, only about 25% of women continued breastfeeding their infants for a full 12 months, as recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics (Mershon, Politico Pro, 3/8).

Breastfeeding Provisions in the ACA

The ACA's preventive services provision, which took effect in 2012, requires insurers to cover a range of services, including comprehensive coverage of breastfeeding equipment and support, without copayments or deductibles (Women's Health Policy Report, 8/1/12).

Further, under the ACA, certain employers are required to provide time and space for women to express breast milk until their child's first birthday. The ACA also stipulates that employers must give women a "reasonable amount of time" to pump or breastfeed; allow them to do so as often as necessary; and provide a private, clean room that is not a restroom.

In addition, if employers compensate other employees for break times, they also are required to compensate women who use their break time to breastfeed or pump. Further, women who work while they express milk must be paid normally, according to the ACA.

However, employers with fewer than 50 workers can qualify for an exemption from the law's breastfeeding requirements if the rules pose an "undue hardship" for the employer (Women's Health Policy Report, 8/7/14).

Some Health Plans Lack In-Network Lactation Consultants

Despite the ACA requirements, many women are still not receiving access to breastfeeding services. According to Politico Pro, one issue is that many health plans do not have lactation counselors or consultants who are in-network (Politico Pro, 3/8).

HHS has told insurers they must cover out-of-network lactation consultants if they do not have a trained provider in their normal network (Women's Health Policy Report, 10/2/13).

However, the National Breastfeeding Center's 2014 scorecard gave only 20 out of more than 100 insurers an "A-" grade or better for the breastfeeding support offered by their plans. According to Politico Pro, many insurers improved the services they offered from the previous year, but 26 insurers scored still received no better than a "D" grade.

Breastfeeding USA Director Genevieve Colvin said, "There's no clear guidance on what good coverage looks like." She added that insurers also do not have an incentive to improve "since they're not required to measure their performance."

National Breastfeeding Center Executive Director Beverly Curtis said that while there had been "quite a bit of progress," there still is "a ways to go." She said, "We need to move forward and get some of these policies a little more evidence-based and more specifically tailored to the needs of mothers."

Curtis added that advocates had made "huge" steps in the past few years and that if there is the same level of progress made in the next three to four years, advocates "should see quite a bit of change, especially with insurers."

Lack of Lactation Consultants, Physician Training

Clare Krusing, an America's Health Insurance Plans spokesperson, said that while insurers are required to comply with the ACA, part of the issue with breastfeeding-related services is that there is a shortage of lactation consultants.

Politico Pro reports that the U.S. has fewer than 15,000 licensed lactation consultants and that some states have fewer than 50 consultants.

In addition, Krusing noted that many physicians -- including obstetricians, gynecologists and pediatricians -- have not received sufficient training related to breastfeeding services.

For example, about one-third of obstetrics and gynecology residents surveyed in a 2014 poll said that they thought they received adequate breastfeeding training. According to Stephanie Mass, who represents gynecologists on the U.S. Breastfeeding Committee, many doctors are attempting to educate themselves about such services.

Some Employers Not Offering Services

Meanwhile, while "[m]any, many employers are doing the right thing" and providing the required services, "all too often ... workers in a range of industries ... are not being accommodated despite the very clear requirements in the ACA to provide that break time," according to Liz Watson, director of the workplace justice program at the National Women's Law Center.

In addition, some employers are imposing "ridiculous" hurdles for women to access such services, she said.

Further, the law's requirements on having access to time and a place to pump at work only apply to hourly workers, according to Politico Pro. Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) and Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) this year plan to reintroduce the Supporting Working Moms Act, which they first proposed in 2013, to expand the rules to apply to salaried employees.

Some Women Not Aware of Breastfeeding Benefits

Meanwhile, many women might not be aware of the ACA's breastfeeding benefits or how to access such services, according to Politico Pro.

Maloney said, "Far too many women are still unaware of their rights. We can and should do more to make sure women know their rights when they return to work and what their health insurance covers as it relates to lactation."

Overall, Curtis said that it would take a collaborative effort. She said, "Everyone can make breastfeeding easier, from the insurer to the doctor to the health care facility and the community. In a sense, it does take an entire village to help a mother breastfeed" (Politico Pro, 3/8).


W.Va. Lawmakers Override Veto of 20-Week Abortion Ban, Allowing Bill To Become Law

Mon, 03/09/2015 - 15:27

A West Virginia bill (HB 2568) banning abortion at 20 weeks of pregnancy is set to take effect on May 26 after the state Senate on Friday voted 27-5 to override the governor's veto of the legislation, Reuters reports.

W.Va. Lawmakers Override Veto of 20-Week Abortion Ban, Allowing Bill To Become Law

March 9, 2015 — A West Virginia bill (HB 2568) banning abortion at 20 weeks of pregnancy is set to take effect on May 26 after the state Senate on Friday voted 27-5 to override the governor's veto of the legislation, Reuters reports (Daley, Reuters, 3/6).

The state House on Wednesday voted 77-16 to override the veto.

Bill Details and Background

The law is based on the premise that fetuses can feel pain at 20 weeks gestation. However, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists has said that there is no legitimate scientific evidence showing that fetuses are capable of feeling pain at 20 weeks.

The law will allow exceptions to the ban for medical emergencies but not for instances when the woman faces severe psychological distress. Physicians who violate the measure would not face any criminal penalties, but they could have their medical licenses suspended or revoked.

West Virginia Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin (D) vetoed the bill on Tuesday, marking the second year in a row that he has rejected such legislation. Tomblin said in a statement that he vetoed the measure on the grounds that it is unconstitutional. The Supreme Court in Roe v. Wade said that states cannot ban abortion before fetal viability, which is considered around 24 weeks of pregnancy.

However, West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey (R) said in a statement Tuesday that he would defend the measure if it is challenged in court. "It is long-past time that limits are placed on abortions in West Virginia," he said, adding, "While no one can predict with certainty how a court will rule, I believe that there are strong, good-faith arguments that this legislation is constitutional and should be upheld by the courts" (Women's Health Policy Report, 3/4).

Comments

State Senate President Bill Cole (R) said Friday that the chamber had "advice from the [state] attorney general that he felt [the bill] was constitutional and he could defend it. I frankly hope we don't have to try that out in court, but we'll see" (Mattise, AP/Charleston Daily Mail, 3/6).

Meanwhile, Center for Reproductive Rights President and CEO Nancy Northup said that "Tomblin was right to veto this callous, cruel and unconstitutional attack on health care for women facing complicated and sometimes dangerous situations in their lives and pregnancies." She added that the veto override shows "how far" some legislators "are willing to go to advance their ideological agenda at the expense of women's rights, lives and safety" (Bassett, Huffington Post, 3/6).


Iowa Abortion Restrictions Fail To Meet Legislative Deadline

Mon, 03/09/2015 - 14:15

Multiple proposed abortion restrictions in Iowa are effectively dead for this legislative session after the measures were not approved by state's Legislature first deadline to advance bills on Thursday, the Des Moines Register reports.

Iowa Abortion Restrictions Fail To Meet Legislative Deadline

March 9, 2015 — Multiple proposed abortion restrictions in Iowa are effectively dead for this legislative session after the measures were not approved by state's Legislature first deadline to advance bills on Thursday, the Des Moines Register reports.

The "funnel" deadline is meant to narrow the list of bills introduced in the state House and Senate at the beginning of the legislative session, according to the Register. Legislation that is not approved at least on the committee level is usually no longer eligible for further action during the rest of the legislative session.

Among the measures that failed to meet the deadline is a bill (SF 11) that would have banned the use of telemedicine in abortion care. According to the Register, the bill failed to advance out of a subcommittee.

Further, a measure (SF 44) that would have banned abortions based on a fetus' sex also failed to make it out of a subcommittee (Pfannenstiel/Petroski, Des Moines Register, 3/6).

Bills that would have expanded employers' ability to refuse to offer health coverage for abortion and contraception (SF 118), barred entities that receive state funds from offering abortion services (HF 422) and restricted abortions later in pregnancy (SF 91) were among some of the other abortion-related measures that did not meet the deadline (Boshart, Cedar Rapids Gazette/KCRG, 3/5).

Ultrasound Bill Meets Deadline

Meanwhile, a bill (HF 58) that would require a woman to undergo an ultrasound before an abortion advanced out of a House subcommittee on Wednesday (AP/Telegraph Herald, 3/5).

The bill went on to pass the full committee, meaning it survived the legislative deadline (Cedar Rapids Gazette/KCRG, 3/5).

However, the bill is not likely to pass the Democrat-controlled state Senate, according to the AP/Telegraph Herald (AP/Telegraph Herald, 3/5).


N.H. Senate Tables Bill on Employer Disclosure of Contraceptive Coverage Options

Mon, 03/09/2015 - 14:13

The New Hampshire Senate on Thursday in a 12-12 vote tabled a bill (SB 42) that would have required employers to inform job candidates whether they offer contraceptive coverage in employee health plans, AP/Miami Herald reports.

N.H. Senate Tables Bill on Employer Disclosure of Contraceptive Coverage Options

March 9, 2015 — The New Hampshire Senate on Thursday in a 12-12 vote tabled a bill (SB 42) that would have required employers to inform job candidates whether they offer contraceptive coverage in employee health plans, AP/Miami Herald reports (Ronayne, AP/Miami Herald, 3/5).

It is unlikely that senators will consider the bill again during this legislative session, according to the New Hampshire Union Leader.

Background

New Hampshire law requires employer health plans to cover family planning services, including contraception. In addition, the Affordable Care Act (PL 111-148) includes federal contraceptive coverage requirements for employer-sponsored health plans (Rayno, New Hampshire Union Leader, 3/5).

However, the Supreme Court last year in Hobby Lobby v. Burwell ruled that Hobby Lobby, a private company, could refuse to include contraceptive coverage in its employee health plans because of its owners' religious objections to contraception (Women's Health Policy Report, 6/30/14).

Debate

Supporters of the New Hampshire bill have said that women should be informed if their employer similarly opposes contraception and does not offer the coverage (AP/Miami Herald, 3/5).

State Sen. David Pierce (D), the bill's main sponsor, said, "Workers have a right to know if their employers are restricting the availability of a full range of family planning coverage."

Opponents said that the state should not tell businesses what information to disclose to potential employees. "New Hampshire workers are perfectly capable of understanding the benefits provided by their employers," state Sen. Sharon Carson (R) said (New Hampshire Union Leader, 3/5).


Featured Blog

Fri, 03/06/2015 - 18:49

"Reproductive Rights Shouldn't Be Just for the Rich," (Amiri, "Blog of Rights," ACLU, 3/3).

March 6, 2015

FEATURED BLOG

"Reproductive Rights Shouldn't Be Just for the Rich," Brigitte Amiri, American Civil Liberties Union's "Blog of Rights": Amiri discusses her recent efforts as "part of the team that is fighting" a law in Alaska that, if allowed to take effect, would "withhol[d] almost all Medicaid coverage for abortion from qualified women." She writes that if her team does not win a lawsuit challenging the law, "the consequences will be devastating," noting that "[w]ithout Medicaid coverage for abortion, some women will be forced to carry a pregnancy to term, despite the consequences to their families and their physical and mental health." Amiri cites several abortion patients who testified at the trial about how "even the smallest unexpected expense can send a family into financial chaos, and patients routinely delay or forgo health care because they can't afford it." She discusses other state abortion restrictions and an investigation from Center for American Progress' "ThinkProgress" into "the consequences [of such] restrictions" on low-income women, concluding, "What was true before Roe v. Wade is true today: Rich women will always have access to abortion, while low-income women may not" (Amiri, "Blog of Rights," ACLU, 3/3).

Texas Lawmakers Consider Changes to State's Sex Ed Rules

Fri, 03/06/2015 - 18:47

A Texas House committee this week opened debate on a bill (HB 467) that would modify the state's sexual education requirements, KEYE TV reports.

Texas Lawmakers Consider Changes to State's Sex Ed Rules

March 6, 2015 — A Texas House committee this week opened debate on a bill (HB 467) that would modify the state's sexual education requirements, KEYE TV reports.

Bill Details

The bill, introduced by state Rep. Donna Howard (D), would remove language from the state's current sexual education code that states that "sexual activity before marriage is likely to have harmful psychological and physical consequences." The measure would not change many of the other current requirements, including an emphasis on abstinence as the only method that is completely effective against avoiding pregnancy and the transmission of sexually transmitted infections (Dryer, KEYE TV, 3/3).

Debate on the Measure

Opponents of the measure have argued that it would not do enough to encourage abstinence. For example, Jonathan Saenz, president of Texas Values, said, "The message is that there's really not as much to be concerned about" from having sex, adding, "These are harmful consequences that come at very high statistics to young people. Giving them a substantial warning, I think, has tremendous value."

However, Howard said education programs under the bill would continue to "emphasiz[e] the importance of abstinence and more precisely stat[e] the consequences that can result from sexual activity among adolescen[ts]."

Meanwhile, some state lawmakers recommended that instead of removing the language about the potential consequences of engaging in sexual activity before marriage, the statement should instead be amended to say that such activity "may" have such consequences (Wallace, TWC News, 3/3).


Iowa House Panel Advances Mandatory Ultrasound Bill

Fri, 03/06/2015 - 18:46

An Iowa House subcommittee on Wednesday voted 2-1 to advance a bill (HF 58) that would require women to undergo an ultrasound before receiving an abortion, the Davenport Quad-City Times reports.

Iowa House Panel Advances Mandatory Ultrasound Bill

March 6, 2015 — An Iowa House subcommittee on Wednesday voted 2-1 to advance a bill (HF 58) that would require women to undergo an ultrasound before receiving an abortion, the Davenport Quad-City Times reports.

The legislation now heads to the full state House Human Resources Committee for consideration (Boshart, Davenport Quad-City Times, 3/4). The full committee has a Friday deadline to advance the legislation. According to the AP/Washington Times, the legislation would be unlikely to pass the state Senate.

Bill Details

The bill would require physicians to conduct an ultrasound on women seeking abortions. A physician would then be required to ask women if they want to view the ultrasound images or have fetal heartbeat made audible (Rodriguez, AP/Washington Times, 3/4).

Physicians who violate the measure would be subject to up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.

Supporters, Opponents Comment

Supporters of the measure said it would result in women having more information to make abortion decisions. Further, Norm Pawlewski of the Iowa Right to Life Committee and the Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition, said the bill would ensure "that what [physicians are] doing is appropriate for the age of the gestation of the [fetus]."

However, Erin Davison-Rippey, a lobbyist for Planned Parenthood of the Heartland, said the bill would "sen[d] the message that we don't trust a woman to make decisions about her health care and that we don't trust a physician to provide appropriate information."

Meanwhile, state Rep. Beth Wessel-Kroeschell (D) said the measure would be "shaming," "demeaning" and would create a "dangerous precedent" for the state Legislature to be involved in personal medical decisions (Davenport Quad-City Times, 3/4).


Ark. Senate Panel Advances Bill To Block Funding to Women's Health Clinics

Fri, 03/06/2015 - 18:45

An Arkansas Senate panel on Wednesday advanced a bill (SB 569) to the full chamber that would bar the state from distributing grants to individuals or entities that offer abortion services, counseling or referrals, or that have affiliations with such individuals or entities, the Arkansas News Bureau/Southwest Times Record reports.

Ark. Senate Panel Approves Bill To Block Funding To Abortion Providers, Regulate Tissue Disposal

March 6, 2015 — An Arkansas Senate panel on Wednesday advanced a bill (SB 569) to the full chamber that would bar the state from distributing grants to individuals or entities that offer abortion services, counseling or referrals, or that have affiliations with such individuals or entities, the Arkansas News Bureau/Southwest Times Record reports (Lyon, Arkansas News Bureau/Southwest Times Record, 3/5).

The measure would not apply to funds provided through the state's Medicaid program (AP/KAIT, 3/4).

Planned Parenthood of the Heartland spokesperson Angie Remington noted that "[t]here are already laws preventing the use of public funds for abortion, with rare exceptions." She added, "It's difficult to understand why people who are opposed to abortion want to undermine funding for programs that work to prevent unintended pregnancy and the need for abortion."

State Sen. Gary Stubblefield (R), who is sponsoring the bill, argued that even if funds do not directly go toward abortion, he believes that no taxpayer money should go to entities that provide the procedure.

Stubblefield in 2013 sponsored a similar measure that failed to pass.

Tissue Disposal Bill Advances

In addition, the Senate panel on Wednesday voted to advance to the full Senate a bill (HB 1407) that would restrict how health care facilities, including abortion clinics, dispose of human tissue, the Times Record reports.

The bill would require physicians and facilities to dispose of human tissue "in a respectful and proper manner." Under the bill, respectful is defined as burial, cremation, incineration or release to a person authorized by the patient (Arkansas News Bureau/Southwest Times Record, 3/5).