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.
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Daily Women's Health Policy Report by the National Partnership for Women & Families
Updated: 21 min 54 sec ago

Op-Ed: Ala. Inmate Was Denied Her Rights While Seeking Abortion Care

Thu, 08/06/2015 - 14:22

An Alabama inmate who last week was seeking access to abortion care had her reproductive "rights ... dangled above her while she was under lock and key," Susan Watson, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Alabama, writes in a Huntsville Times opinion piece.

Op-Ed: Ala. Inmate Was Denied Her Rights While Seeking Abortion Care

August 6, 2015 — An Alabama inmate who last week was seeking access to abortion care had her reproductive "rights ... dangled above her while she was under lock and key," Susan Watson, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Alabama, writes in a Huntsville Times opinion piece.

According to Watson, the inmate, called Jane Doe, "lacked the freedom to obtain the abortion she was legally entitled to because the Lauderdale County Sheriff's Office refused to transport her to a health clinic." As a result, Watson writes that ACLU of Alabama "brought suit in federal court to ensure that Jane Doe would be able to exercise her constitutional right to an abortion."

However, "[t]he case took a sideways turn" when "[t]he state sought to terminate Jane Doe's parental rights while she was pregnant, and it asked to have a lawyer appointed to represent the interests of Jane Doe's fetus," Watson writes. She notes, "Indeed, the Lauderdale County District Attorney seized upon the opportunity to make the most private of matters spotlighted in the public eye by announcing that he was charging her with chemical endangerment of her fetus and seeking the termination of parental rights."

"This move aimed to set a scary precedent and one that, we don't think, has ever played out in the history of our courts," Watson writes. She explains, "If our client lost parental rights to the fetus, the district attorney could have argued that her uterus was essentially a ward of the state, and that she would no longer be allowed to make decisions about her own body, including getting an abortion." Further, such a ruling also "might have allowed a judge to make other medical decisions on [the inmate's] behalf if she carried the pregnancy to term, including how often to take prenatal vitamins, whether to have an epidural, or whether to have a C-section."

However, Watson writes that the inmate "suddenly" changed her mind about having an abortion in an affidavit submitted by "[a]n attorney who was appointed to represent [her] in the parental rights case -- someone right out of law school and the vice chancellor of a Christian school whose website includes a link to an anti-abortion site." Meanwhile, "the termination of parental rights case [was] placed on hold," Watson writes.

According to Watson, ACLU is "deeply concerned about whether those who held the key to Jane Doe's cell coerced or pressured her to carry her pregnancy to term."

Watson notes that the case likely generated widespread coverage "because it is rare that systematic failures of justice are so exposed." She writes, "Courts should not be appointing lawyers for fetuses," and "[t]he state should not be seeking to terminate parental rights of pregnant women." According to Watson, "It's bad enough that the state has put roadblock on top of roadblock in the path of women seeking abortion," but the state in this case "took it to a new level by pulling out all of the stops to try to force a pregnant woman to carry to term."

"We wish Jane Doe well on whatever path she embarks on," Watson writes, adding, "We wish only that it's a path wholly of her choosing" (Watson, Huntsville Times, 8/4).


Ohio Clinic Files New Request Seeking Exemption From Antiabortion-Rights Regulations

Wed, 08/05/2015 - 20:00

Last month, an abortion clinic in Ohio again filed for an exemption to state regulations mandating that it have a patient transfer agreement in place with a nearby hospital, the AP/Idaho Statesman reports.

Ohio Clinic Files New Request Seeking Exemption From Antiabortion-Rights Regulations

August 5, 2015 — Last month, an abortion clinic in Ohio again filed for an exemption to state regulations mandating that it have a patient transfer agreement in place with a nearby hospital, the AP/Idaho Statesman reports.

According to the AP/Idaho Statesman, the clinic, Women's Med Center in Dayton, could face closure if its variance request is denied (AP/Idaho Statesman, 8/3).

State TRAP Requirements

Under Ohio's 2014-2015 budget (HB 59), signed in 2013, abortion clinics in the state are required to have a patient transfer agreement with a hospital. Clinics are prohibited from making such arrangements with public hospitals.

Further, Gov. John Kasich (R) recently signed into law a state budget (HB 64) that requires abortion clinics to arrange a patient transfer agreement with a hospital no more than 30 miles away. The budget also includes a provision that requires the state health director to grant or deny a clinic's variance request within 60 days. Clinics unable to obtain a variance within 60 days would be required to close, although they would be permitted to reopen if they obtain approval at a later time.

Initial Request Denied

Women's Med Center originally filed a variance request from the 2013 requirements two years ago. The clinic has contended that the two physicians, from Wright State University, who have agreed to provide emergency care for clinic patients sufficiently ensure patient safety.

However, the Ohio Department of Health in late June rejected the clinic's variance request on the grounds that the two physicians do not adequately guarantee patients' safety. ODH gave the clinic 30 days to file a new variance request or risk closure (Women's Health Policy Report, 7/17).

New Request

In its latest request, Women's Med Center said it had arranged for a third physician to provide emergency care if necessary. Valerie Haskell, spokesperson for the clinic, said it is difficult to predict the response from ODH officials, but the "application is not different from others [ODH has] approved in the past."

Meanwhile, a spokesperson for ODH said the agency is reviewing the variance (AP/Idaho Statesman, 8/3).


Ala. Lawmakers Introduce Two Antiabortion-Rights Bills

Wed, 08/05/2015 - 20:00

Alabama lawmakers on Monday filed two antiabortion-rights bills during a special session on the state's General Fund budget, the TimesDaily reports.

Ala. Lawmakers Introduce Two Antiabortion-Rights Bills

August 5, 2015 — Alabama lawmakers on Monday filed two antiabortion-rights bills during a special session on the state's General Fund budget, the Florence TimesDaily reports.

The Senate bills were referred to the Senate General Fund Committee, which met Tuesday (Sell, Florence TimesDaily, 8/3).

Bill Details

One bill (SB 44, HB 38), introduced by state Sen. Bill Hightower (R) and state Rep. Jack Williams (R), would make it a felony to offer or accept money in exchange for fetal tissue resulting from abortion. According to the Alabama Media Group, the bill would classify such actions as a Class B felony, which is punishable by between two to 20 years in prison.

Under federal law, fetal tissue resulting from abortion can be donated if it meets certain criteria. Organizations that donate the tissue are permitted to be reimbursed for the cost of preserving the tissue and transporting it (Cason, Alabama Media Group, 8/4).

The bill comes in the wake of a series of misleading videos targeting Planned Parenthood (Florence TimesDaily, 8/3).The videos, which depict Planned Parenthood staff discussing fetal tissue donation, were released by an antiabortion-rights group called the Center for Medical Progress. CMP secretly filmed the videos by meeting with Planned Parenthood staff while posing as buyers of fetal tissue (Women's Health Policy Report, 8/4). On Tuesday, CMP released a fifth video targeting the organization (Scott, CNN, 8/4).

Planned Parenthood has stated that the videos were heavily edited and that the filmed officials did not conduct any illegal activities. The organization said it does not profit from fetal tissue donations and only receives reimbursement for costs associated with such donations, which is legal. Meanwhile, supporters of Planned Parenthood said the videos are part of a decades-long campaign against the organization (Women's Health Policy Report, 8/4).

Separately, state Sen. Gerald Dial (R) introduced a bill (SB 26) that would eliminate a provision in the Code of Alabama that prohibits prosecution for abortion-related conduct if the pregnant woman consents (Florence TimesDaily, 8/3).


NY Times Op-Ed: Abortion-Rights Movement Must Break From 'Defensive Mode,' Combat Abortion Stigma

Wed, 08/05/2015 - 16:06

Katha Pollitt -- a columnist at The Nation and author of "Pro: Reclaiming Abortion Rights" -- discusses how the abortion-rights "movement so often find[s] itself in a defensive crouch" and urges advocates to break free from that "narrow path" in a New York Times opinion piece.

NY Times Op-Ed: Abortion-Rights Movement Must Break From 'Defensive Mode,' Combat Abortion Stigma

August 5, 2015 — Katha Pollitt -- a columnist at The Nation and author of "Pro: Reclaiming Abortion Rights" -- discusses how the abortion-rights "movement so often find[s] itself in a defensive crouch" and urges advocates to break free from that "narrow path" in a New York Times opinion piece.

Pollitt suggests "two reasons [why] abortion rights activists have been boxed in." First, she notes that advocates have "been reactive rather than proactive," adding, "To deflect immediate attacks, we fall in with messaging that unconsciously encodes the vision of the other side." For example, Pollitt notes that abortion-rights supporters might bring up instances of "rape, incest, fatal fetal" anomalies, and "life-risking pregnancies" when opponents claim that "[w]omen have abortions because they have irresponsible sex."

While such responses to antiabortion-rights claims "aren't false," Pollitt notes that they exclude women "who had sex willingly, made a decision to end the pregnancy and faced no special threatening medical conditions." Abortion-rights supporters instead "need to say that women have sex, have abortions, are at peace with the decision and move on with their lives," Pollitt continues, adding, "We need to say that is their right, and, moreover, it's good for everyone that they have this right: The whole society benefits when motherhood is voluntary." She writes, "When we gloss over these truths we unintentionally promote the very stigma we're trying to combat."

According to Pollitt, the second reason abortion-rights supporters are "stuck in a defensive mode is that too many pro-choice people are way too quiet." She cites data that found that nearly one-third of women will have at least one abortion in their lifetime, adding that she suspects many women had "someone who helped them," such as a spouse, friend or parent, and questions, "Why don't we hear more from them?" She writes, "It's not that [women] think they did something wrong," as research has found that 95% of women "felt the abortion was the right decision, both immediately after the procedure and three years later." Rather, it is because "[t]hey've been shamed into silence by stigma," Pollitt writes.

Meanwhile, "opponents are delighted to fill that silence with testimony from their own ranks," Pollitt continues, adding, "Make no mistake: Those voices are heard in high places." For example, she writes that Justice Anthony Kennedy "specifically mentioned the 'unexceptionable' likelihood that a woman might come to regret her choice" in a 2007 ruling banning a certain type of abortion procedure. "That women need to be protected from decisions they might feel bad about later -- not that there was any evidence supporting this notion -- is now a legal precedent," she writes.

Pollitt urges "women who have ended pregnancies" to speak out in support of abortion rights, noting, "Without the voices and support of millions of ordinary women behind them, providers and advocates can be too easily dismissed as ideologues out of touch with the American people." Similarly, she calls for support from "men grateful not to be forced into fatherhood," physicians "who object to the way anti-abortion lawmakers are interfering with the practice of medicine" and from the scientific community conducting fetal tissue research.

According to Pollitt, the misleading videos targeting Planned Parenthood "and the congressional scrutiny Planned Parenthood now faces" are not merely about the organization itself, but "about whether Americans will let anti-abortion extremists control the discourse and dictate the agenda around reproductive rights, medicine and scientific research" (Pollitt, New York Times, 8/5).


Study: Many Patients Do Not Receive Effective Type of Ovarian Cancer Treatment

Wed, 08/05/2015 - 14:44

Many patients with ovarian cancer are not receiving a certain type of treatment for the disease that has been found to be very effective in extending the lifespan of patients, according to a study published on Monday in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, the New York Times reports.

Study: Many Patients Do Not Receive Effective Type of Ovarian Cancer Treatment

August 5, 2015 — Many patients with ovarian cancer are not receiving a certain type of treatment for the disease that has been found to be very effective in extending the lifespan of patients, according to a study published on Monday in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, the New York Times reports.

Background

According to the Times, the National Cancer Institute in 2006 issued a "clinical announcement" that recommended changing medical practice for treating ovarian cancer. The announcement followed a study that found directly pumping chemotherapy into a patient's abdomen -- in addition to the typical intravenous method -- could add 16 months or more to a patient's life.

In the latest study, researchers examined the use of the abdominal treatment -- called intraperitoneal or IP -- at six cancer hospitals between 2003 and 2012, as well as patient survival rates. All of the hospitals were members of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, an association of 26 centers that develops widely used guidelines for cancer treatment, including the use of IP, according to the Times.

Key Findings

The researchers found that IP use at the NCCN centers between 2003 and 2006 increased from 0% to 33% of patients, just as research started showing the benefits of the treatment. Further, the researchers found that IP use increased to 50% between 2007 and 2008, after the major study was released and NCI released its clinical announcement.

However, the recent study found that IP use leveled in the years following that time period, with IP use rates varying at hospitals from between 4% to 67% of patients. According to the researchers, rates tend to be lower at smaller, less well-known hospitals.

In addition, the study reaffirmed that IP use helps extend patients' lifespans. The researchers found that 81% of women who received IP treatment were alive three years after treatment. By contrast, 71% of women who underwent only intravenous chemotherapy were alive three years post-treatment.

Comments

According to the Times, experts have cited several possible reasons why IP treatment is underused, such as the difficulty in administering the treatment, provider doubts about its efficacy or concerns about its toxicity. Further, some physicians might not think the treatment provides enough of a financial incentive because it involves a time-consuming process and uses generic drugs.

Maurie Markman, the president of medicine and science at Cancer Treatment Centers of America, also noted that manufacturers provide advice and instructions for new drugs and devices. However, since IP does not involve new products, there is less of a push to teach physicians about it, according to the Times. Markman added that if a physician does not provide IP, the patient's best solution is to find one who does.

Meanwhile, some experts have suggested that offering IP for ovarian cancer should be included as a basic "quality measure" used by payers, such as Medicare, to evaluate hospital performance (Grady, New York Times, 8/3).


Ohio Clinic Files New Request Seeking Exemption From Antiabortion-Rights Regulations

Wed, 08/05/2015 - 14:41

Last month, an abortion clinic in Ohio again filed for an exemption to state regulations mandating that it have a patient transfer agreement in place with a nearby hospital, the AP/Idaho Statesman reports.

Ohio Clinic Files New Request Seeking Exemption From Antiabortion-Rights Regulations

August 5, 2015 — Last month, an abortion clinic in Ohio again filed for an exemption to state regulations mandating that it have a patient transfer agreement in place with a nearby hospital, the AP/Idaho Statesman reports.

According to the AP/Idaho Statesman, the clinic, Women's Med Center in Dayton, could face closure if its variance request is denied (AP/Idaho Statesman, 8/3).

State TRAP Requirements

Under Ohio's 2014-2015 budget (HB 59), signed in 2013, abortion clinics in the state are required to have a patient transfer agreement with a hospital. Clinics are prohibited from making such arrangements with public hospitals.

Further, Gov. John Kasich (R) recently signed into law a state budget (HB 64) that requires abortion clinics to arrange a patient transfer agreement with a hospital no more than 30 miles away. The budget also includes a provision that requires the state health director to grant or deny a clinic's variance request within 60 days. Clinics unable to obtain a variance within 60 days would be required to close, although they would be permitted to reopen if they obtain approval at a later time.

Initial Request Denied

Women's Med Center originally filed a variance request from the 2013 requirements two years ago. The clinic has contended that the two physicians, from Wright State University, who have agreed to provide emergency care for clinic patients sufficiently ensure patient safety.

However, the Ohio Department of Health in late June rejected the clinic's variance request on the grounds that the two physicians do not adequately guarantee patients' safety. ODH gave the clinic 30 days to file a new variance request or risk closure (Women's Health Policy Report, 7/17).

New Request

In its latest request, Women's Med Center said it had arranged for a third physician to provide emergency care if necessary. Valerie Haskell, spokesperson for the clinic, said it is difficult to predict the response from ODH officials, but the "application is not different from others [ODH has] approved in the past."

Meanwhile, a spokesperson for ODH said the agency is reviewing the variance (AP/Idaho Statesman, 8/3).


Ala. Lawmakers Introduce Two Antiabortion-Rights Bills

Wed, 08/05/2015 - 14:36

Alabama lawmakers on Monday filed two antiabortion-rights bills during a special session on the state's General Fund budget, the TimesDaily reports.

Ala. Lawmakers Introduce Two Antiabortion-Rights Bills

August 5, 2015 — Alabama lawmakers on Monday filed two antiabortion-rights bills during a special session on the state's General Fund budget, the Florence TimesDaily reports.

The Senate bills were referred to the Senate General Fund Committee, which met Tuesday (Sell, Florence TimesDaily, 8/3).

Bill Details

One bill (SB 44, HB 38), introduced by state Sen. Bill Hightower (R) and state Rep. Jack Williams (R), would make it a felony to offer or accept money in exchange for fetal tissue resulting from abortion. According to the Alabama Media Group, the bill would classify such actions as a Class B felony, which is punishable by between two to 20 years in prison.

Under federal law, fetal tissue resulting from abortion can be donated if it meets certain criteria. Organizations that donate the tissue are permitted to be reimbursed for the cost of preserving the tissue and transporting it (Cason, Alabama Media Group, 8/4).

The bill comes in the wake of a series of misleading videos targeting Planned Parenthood (Florence TimesDaily, 8/3).The videos, which depict Planned Parenthood staff discussing fetal tissue donation, were released by an antiabortion-rights group called the Center for Medical Progress. CMP secretly filmed the videos by meeting with Planned Parenthood staff while posing as buyers of fetal tissue (Women's Health Policy Report, 8/4). On Tuesday, CMP released a fifth video targeting the organization (Scott, CNN, 8/4).

Planned Parenthood has stated that the videos were heavily edited and that the filmed officials did not conduct any illegal activities. The organization said it does not profit from fetal tissue donations and only receives reimbursement for costs associated with such donations, which is legal. Meanwhile, supporters of Planned Parenthood said the videos are part of a decades-long campaign against the organization (Women's Health Policy Report, 8/4).

Separately, state Sen. Gerald Dial (R) introduced a bill (SB 26) that would eliminate a provision in the Code of Alabama that prohibits prosecution for abortion-related conduct if the pregnant woman consents (Florence TimesDaily, 8/3).


Featured Blog

Tue, 08/04/2015 - 18:16

"Texas Pro-Choice Groups Help Navigate an Anti-Choice Landscape," (Grimes, RH Reality Check, 7/31).

August 4, 2015

FEATURED BLOG

"Texas Pro-Choice Groups Help Navigate an Anti-Choice Landscape," Andrea Grimes, RH Reality Check: "A coalition of Texas groups have come together this summer to launch two new efforts intended to help residents access legal abortion care and to communicate more broadly about Texans' families, their lives, and their reproductive decisions," Grimes writes. According to Grimes, the "pro-choice efforts come as state lawmakers conduct politically motivated 'investigations' into fetal tissue donation programs and Texas abortion providers look to the Supreme Court for relief from the state's omnibus anti-choice law." One effort, "[a] joint effort between NARAL Pro-Choice Texas and the Lilith Fund, NeedAbortion.org," is "a one-stop clearinghouse for facts about where to get an abortion in a tumultuous legal landscape" as well as "information about how Texas' growing web of anti-choice laws affect people who need the procedure." Meanwhile, another effort called Illuminate RJ -- a collaboration between NARAL, the Texas Freedom Network and Shift -- is "an art and activist project meant to tackle abortion stigma and reproductive justice issues." Citing Heather Busby, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Texas, Grimes writes that the initiative is "a creative -- rather than expressly political -- approach" to the topics. According to Grimes, Illuminate RJ will serve as "a way for Texans to talk about a full spectrum of experiences with reproductive issues with personal, artistic expressions 'instead of chants and slogans and protest signs'" (Grimes, RH Reality Check, 7/31).

La. Gov. Blocks Medicaid Funding for Planned Parenthood

Tue, 08/04/2015 - 18:16

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) has ended a state contract under which Planned Parenthood received state Medicaid funds, citing CMP's secretly filmed videos, The Hill reports.

La. Gov. Blocks Medicaid Funding for Planned Parenthood

August 4, 2015 —  Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) has ended a state contract under which Planned Parenthood received state Medicaid funds, citing CMP's secretly filmed videos, The Hill reports.


Jindal said in a statement that the agreement permits "either party ... to cancel the contract at will after providing written notice." According to state officials, the state has given Planned Parenthood 30 days' notice of the change.

According to The Hill, past attempts by states to block Medicaid funding from going to Planned Parenthood have resulted in legal battles, which have favored Planned Parenthood (Sullivan, The Hill, 8/3).


Blogs Comment on Boosting HPV Vaccine Uptake, Abortion-Rights Initiatives in Texas, More

Tue, 08/04/2015 - 16:15

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

Blogs Comment on Boosting HPV Vaccine Uptake, Abortion-Rights Initiatives in Texas, More

August 4, 2015 — Read the week's best commentaries from bloggers at Mother Jones, RH Reality Check and more.

ADOLESCENT SEXUAL HEALTH: "The HPV Vaccine Prevents Cancer. So Why Aren't Most Teens Getting It?" Gabrielle Canon, Mother Jones: "According to [the] latest National Immunization Survey, released by [CDC] Thursday, around 60 percent of teenage girls and 78 percent of teenage boys haven't received all three of the recommended doses of the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine, which helps prevent reproductive cancers and genital warts caused by the virus," Canon writes. "[M]any parents are deciding to pass" on the vaccine, Canon notes, citing a 2013 study that found "the reasons most cited [by parents] included unwarranted fears about vaccine safety and disbelief that their kids would be sexually active." Further, Canon notes opposition to the vaccine among some conservative lawmakers, writing that "[d]espite [its] proven safety and effectiveness, the vaccine has become a politically divisive issue." Canon writes that the NIS survey found "big gains in some parts of the country" -- such as Illinois, Montana, North Carolina and Utah -- but she also cites Anne Schuchat, assistant surgeon general and director of CDC's National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Disease, who said in a statement on the report that more needs to be done "'to protect the next generation from cancers caused by HPV'" (Canon, Mother Jones, 7/31).

ABORTION-RIGHTS MOVEMENT: "Texas Pro-Choice Groups Help Navigate an Anti-Choice Landscape," Andrea Grimes, RH Reality Check: "A coalition of Texas groups have come together this summer to launch two new efforts intended to help residents access legal abortion care and to communicate more broadly about Texans' families, their lives, and their reproductive decisions," Grimes writes. According to Grimes, the "pro-choice efforts come as state lawmakers conduct politically motivated 'investigations' into fetal tissue donation programs and Texas abortion providers look to the Supreme Court for relief from the state's omnibus anti-choice law." One effort, "[a] joint effort between NARAL Pro-Choice Texas and the Lilith Fund, NeedAbortion.org," is "a one-stop clearinghouse for facts about where to get an abortion in a tumultuous legal landscape" as well as "information about how Texas' growing web of anti-choice laws affect people who need the procedure." Meanwhile, another effort called Illuminate RJ -- a collaboration between NARAL, the Texas Freedom Network and Shift -- is "an art and activist project meant to tackle abortion stigma and reproductive justice issues." Citing Heather Busby, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Texas, Grimes writes that the initiative is "a creative -- rather than expressly political -- approach" to the topics. According to Grimes, Illuminate RJ will serve as "a way for Texans to talk about a full spectrum of experiences with reproductive issues with personal, artistic expressions 'instead of chants and slogans and protest signs'" (Grimes, RH Reality Check, 7/31).

What others are saying about abortion rights:

~ "4 Ways To Tell Congress To Not Defund Planned Parenthood & Defend Women's Health," Hope Racine, Bustle.

ANTIABORTION-RIGHTS MOVEMENT: "Planned Parenthood and the Politics of Conservative Resentment," Amanda Marcotte, RH Reality Check: "[T]he multi-week assault on Planned Parenthood's funding kickstarted by hoax videos made by an anti-choice group called the Center for Medical Progress isn't really about abortion," but rather "about trying, in any and every way possible, to make it harder for low-income and young women to access sexual health care," Marcotte writes. According to Marcotte, this strategy ultimately is "part of a larger conservative attempt to use 'abortion' -- and other gambits like 'religious freedom' -- as cover to make healthy sexuality a luxury for the wealthy and inaccessible to everyone else." For example, Marcotte notes that conservative lawmakers' response to the videos has not been to restrict "the use of fetal tissue for research," but instead "to attack contraception funding"; that many of the conservative lawmakers who are "attacking Planned Parenthood support fetal tissue research"; and that conservative lawmakers' response to the videos "is part of a larger pattern of targeted attacks on contraception." However, Marcotte writes that conservative lawmakers are careful not to frame the issue as an attack on individuals' personal choice but rather "refram[e] this issue in terms of politics of resentment" by "insinuating that someone else, someone 'less deserving,' is getting something for 'free' or having some kind of fun that you don't get." She writes, "In the end, this is just like every other attack on insurance plans or health-care centers that make contraception affordable: It's about undermining access to that care and reserving healthy sexuality as a privilege for the well-off, instead [of] a right for us all" (Marcotte, RH Reality Check, 8/3).

POLITICS AND ELECTIONS: "Republicans Repeatedly Voted To Use Aborted Fetuses for Scientific Research," Tara Culp-Ressler, Center for American Progress' "ThinkProgress": Although conservative lawmakers "have a long history of targeting" Planned Parenthood, "the specific focus on" Planned Parenthood's fetal tissue donation program "is new," Culp-Ressler writes, citing a measure (S 1881) to defund Planned Parenthood that was proposed in the wake of several misleading videos targeting the organization's fetal tissue donation program. According to Culp-Ressler, "just a few years ago, the practice of donating fetal tissue for research purposes enjoyed broad bipartisan support -- including from some of the [conservative lawmakers] who are currently calling to crack down on Planned Parenthood." For example, she notes that "in 1993, members of Congress on both sides of the aisle voted to legalize fetal tissue research, even in cases when the samples were obtained from legal abortion procedures, when they approved the National Institutes of Health Revitalization Act," and "a bipartisan majority indicated support for the practice" several more times during the 1990s. While conservative lawmakers have claimed that the defunding effort does not specifically target fetal tissue research, Culp-Ressler notes that "the political campaign against Planned Parenthood could have big consequences." She writes that "while Congress likely won't have the votes to officially strip funding from Planned Parenthood, the national conversation may reinvigorate efforts to target family planning networks on the state level" (Culp-Ressler, "ThinkProgress," Center for American Progress, 8/3).


Senate Blocks Measure To Defund Planned Parenthood; Conservative Lawmakers Mull Other Tactics

Tue, 08/04/2015 - 16:01

The Senate on Monday blocked legislation (S 1881) that would defund Planned Parenthood, in a 53-46 vote, the AP/New York Times reports.

Senate Blocks Measure To Defund Planned Parenthood; Conservative Lawmakers Mull Other Tactics

August 4, 2015 — The Senate on Monday blocked legislation (S 1881) that would defund Planned Parenthood, in a 53-46 vote, the AP/New York Times reports.

According to the AP/Times, supporters of the legislation fell seven votes short of the 60 votes needed to advance the measure. However, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) voted to block the bill in a procedural move that allows him to schedule the measure for another vote at a later time (AP/New York Times, 8/3).

Background

Senators who oppose abortion rights introduced the measure last week. The bill would cut off more than $500 million in federal funding for Planned Parenthood and redirect the funds to other women's health programs. The bill was introduced in the wake of a series of misleading videos targeting Planned Parenthood.

The videos, which depict Planned Parenthood staff discussing fetal tissue donation, were released by an antiabortion-rights group called the Center for Medical Progress. CMP secretly filmed the videos by meeting with Planned Parenthood staff while posing as buyers of fetal tissue.

Planned Parenthood has stated that the videos were heavily edited and that the filmed officials did not conduct any illegal activities. The organization said it does not profit from fetal tissue donations and only receives reimbursement for costs associated with such donations, which is legal. Meanwhile, supporters of Planned Parenthood said the videos are part of a decades-long campaign against the organization (Women's Health Policy Report, 7/31).

Measure's Failure Could Set Up Defunding Fight Through Budget Process

According to Politico, the defunding measure's failure could set up a fight over whether to include funding for Planned Parenthood in the federal budget this fall (Everett/Bresnahan, Politico, 8/3).

Conservative lawmakers in the House and Senate have voiced opposition against any government spending measures that allocate funding for Planned Parenthood, which could lead to another government shutdown dispute in the fall. Congress faces a Sept. 30 deadline to pass spending legislation to keep the government in operation (Women's Health Policy Report, 8/3).

For example, Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) said the issue now "almost certainly becomes part of any final decision about how to move forward on funding," adding, "There will be a larger discussion on this." Separately, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) said lawmakers opposed to abortion rights "should use any and every procedural means we have available to end funding for Planned Parenthood."

However, some conservatives in the Senate are hoping to avoid such a fight. For example, Sens. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) are proposing an alternative measure that would require Congress to complete a 90-day investigation into the organization and to then defund any branches of the group that took part in illegal activities (Politico, 8/3).

Meanwhile, the White House has said President Obama will not support efforts to defund the organization (Women's Health Policy Report, 7/31).

CBO Says Defunding Measure Would Result in Less Medicaid Use, More Pregnancies

The Congressional Budget Office has said defunding Planned Parenthood could result in lower use of Medicaid services and more pregnancies, Politico Pro reports.

According to CBO's scoring of S 1881, defunding Planned Parenthood would cause a decline in Medicaid utilization because people who previously received certain Medicaid-covered services from Planned Parenthood would have to seek out many of those services at other medical facilities.

In addition, CBO said there could be a decline in the use of services that help women avoid pregnancy. "Reduced use of such services would be expected to lead to additional births, increasing federal spending, primarily for Medicaid," CBO said, adding that "some of those children would themselves qualify for Medicaid and possibly for other federal programs," which could also affect spending (Politico Pro, 8/4).

Richards Responds to Ongoing Attack

In related news, Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards on Monday discussed the ongoing attack against Planned Parenthood, the New York Times reports.

Richards said, "There hasn't been a moment in [Planned Parenthood's] history, when we were pushing forward on reproductive health care rights and access for women, that someone wasn't after us." Further, she noted that CMP's videos are "part of a much larger and longer campaign to try to end access to both safe and legal abortion" and "certainly to end access to Planned Parenthood." She noted, "The depravity of these tactics and the invasion -- the willingness of this group to invade the most personal, private space and to violate the medical relationships -- I've never seen anything as low."

Richards added that Planned Parenthood will continue to donate fetal tissue. "I feel strongly that even though [fetal tissue donation] is a very small part of what Planned Parenthood does, that women and families who choose to make fetal tissue donations, that decision or that choice that they have made is really important to them," she said, adding, "And that research is really important to millions of Americans" (Calmes, New York Times, 8/3).

Lawmakers Call For Other Efforts Targeting Planned Parenthood

Senators who oppose abortion rights also are proposing other measures targeting Planned Parenthood, The Hill's "Floor Action" reports.

For example, Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.) has introduced a bill that would require the federal government to appoint a special prosecutor to look into whether Planned Parenthood violated federal law, such as by altering abortion procedures to procure fetal tissue or by selling tissue for profit. The bill would fund the investigation by cutting off funding for Planned Parenthood. According to "Floor Action," the bill would also authorize investigations into other groups that fund abortion care or provide abortions (Carney, "Floor Action," The Hill, 8/3).

Meanwhile, Rep. Kevin Yoder (R-Kan.) has introduced a bill (HR 3429) that would prohibit the sale or exchange of funds for fetal tissue, even if the funds are intended solely to cover procurement and transportation costs. According to The Hill's "Floor Action," the measure currently has 24 co-sponsors (Marcos, "Floor Action," The Hill, 8/3).

Federal Judge Extends Restraining Order Blocking Videos

In related news, a federal judge on Monday extended a temporary restraining order that blocks CMP from releasing videos recorded at meetings of the National Abortion Federation, the AP/San Francisco Chronicle reports (Leff, AP/San Francisco Chronicle, 8/4).

Federal Judge William Orrick on Friday issued a restraining order against CMP hours after NAF filed a lawsuit against the antiabortion-rights group. The order blocks CMP from releasing any video footage recorded at NAF's annual meetings in 2014 and 2015, as well as from releasing dates of NAF's future meetings and the names and addresses of NAF members.

NAF requested the restraining order against the videos on Friday in a San Francisco-based federal court, charging that CMP had infiltrated NAF meetings and recorded NAF members. The group expressed concern that the members could be in danger if the videos are released (Women's Health Policy Report, 8/3).

During a hearing in the case on Monday, Orrick extended the restraining order to remain in place until Aug. 27, when a hearing on NAF's request for a permanent injunction against the videos will occur (AP/San Francisco Chronicle, 8/4).

La. Gov. Blocks Medicaid Funding for Planned Parenthood

Meanwhile, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) has ended a state contract under which Planned Parenthood received state Medicaid funds, citing CMP's secretly filmed videos, The Hill reports.

Jindal said in a statement that the agreement permits "either party ... to cancel the contract at will after providing written notice." According to state officials, the state has given Planned Parenthood 30 days' notice of the change.

According to The Hill, past attempts by states to block Medicaid funding from going to Planned Parenthood have resulted in legal battles, which have favored Planned Parenthood (Sullivan, The Hill, 8/3).


Proposals To Eliminate Title X Are 'Baffling,' NY Times Op-Ed States

Tue, 08/04/2015 - 14:07

"It's baffling" and "moronic" that conservative lawmakers in the House "are trying to eliminate" the Title X federally funded family planning program, Nicholas Kristof writes in a New York Times opinion piece.

Proposals To Eliminate Title X Are 'Baffling,' NY Times Op-Ed States

August 4, 2015 — "It's baffling" and "moronic" that conservative lawmakers in the House "are trying to eliminate" the Title X federally funded family planning program, Nicholas Kristof writes in a New York Times opinion piece.

According to Kristof, defunding the program would result in "more pregnancies, more abortions, more AIDS, more sexually transmitted infections and more women dying of cervical and breast cancer." Further, he notes that "[e]nding the program would impoverish young mothers."

Kristof explains, "Today, 4,100 clinics supported by Title X provide family planning and also often test for HIV, cure sexually transmitted infections and screen for cervical and breast cancer." He illustrates the effects of eliminating Title X funding by detailing two women's experiences at a Title X clinic in Baltimore. One instance involves a 16-year-old patient who received STI treatment and condoms, while another involves a patient who was diagnosed and treated for "possible cervical cancer" following a pelvic exam.

Nonetheless, Kristof notes that "inflation-adjusted spending on Title X family planning has fallen by two-thirds" since 1980, and "[n]ow the House proposes eliminating it altogether, while the Senate proposes a 10 percent cut."

Citing the Guttmacher Institute, Kristof writes, "Title X family planning centers prevent about one million unintended pregnancies a year ... avert some 53,000 cases of chlamydia and 8,800 cases of gonorrhea, and save the lives of 1,100 women who would otherwise die of cervical cancer." Further, Kristof writes that "[f]amily planning investments also offer hedge fund-like returns," noting that "a condom or IUD can avert more than $12,000 in average Medicaid spending on a childbirth" and citing Guttmacher calculations that find "every $1 invested in public family planning services saves $7 in public expenditures." Kristof states, "This is a program that saves money as well as lives."

Kristof questions people who oppose Title X funding, writing, "Do you really want to increase the odds that kids ... will get pregnant, will spread disease, will become impoverished single mothers, will get mired in a cycle of poverty, will get abortions -- or will die of breast or cervical cancer -- and do you really think this is moral behavior to be proud of?" (Kristof, New York Times, 8/1).


NY Times Op-Ed Urges Indian Lawmakers Not To 'Play Politics' With Women's Health

Tue, 08/04/2015 - 14:04

While state legislatures throughout the U.S. "have tried to curb abortion by placing severe restrictions on providers and clinics ... despite opposition from the American Medical Association and other groups," the opposite is occurring in India, where"[t]he government is trying to reduce the qualifications required of providers so that poor women will have easier access to abortions" despite pushback from doctors who "oppos[e] this relaxation of rules," Manil Suri writes in a New York Times opinion piece.

NY Times Op-Ed Urges Indian Lawmakers Not To 'Play Politics' With Women's Health

August 4, 2015 — While state legislatures throughout the U.S. "have tried to curb abortion by placing severe restrictions on providers and clinics ... despite opposition from the American Medical Association and other groups," the opposite is occurring in India, where"[t]he government is trying to reduce the qualifications required of providers so that poor women will have easier access to abortions" despite pushback from doctors who "oppos[e] this relaxation of rules," Manil Suri writes in a New York Times opinion piece.

Suri writes that while abortion is legal in India, it remains "taboo in the religiously conservative country." As a result, "[w]omen must often deal with unwanted pregnancy in secret, a problem compounded by unmet contraception needs and widespread gender subjugation," he writes. According to Suri, "[t]he lack of adequate medical facilities in rural areas and urban slums forces many women to try to terminate pregnancies themselves, or to seek the services of quacks and untrained midwives."

To address this issue, the Indian government in October 2014 "proposed an amendment that would, among other things, allow abortions to be performed by specially trained registered nurses and licensed practitioners of traditional and alternative medicine systems," Suri writes. He notes that "[s]everal developing countries have already been safely employing these extended cadres" and "[f]easibility trials in India demonstrated that nurses and ayurvedic doctors performed first-trimester abortions as effectively as doctors."

Nonetheless, Suri writes that while "women's groups hailed the proposal, the Indian Medical Association undertook a vigorous campaign against it," as did the Federation of Obstetric and Gynecological Societies of India. "The primary reason advanced for this opposition -- concern for women's health -- is just as specious in India as it is in America," Suri writes. He adds that concerns about a potential increase in abortions based on the sex of the fetus are similarly unfounded given that the proposal would only "expan[d] the provider pool" for first-trimester abortions, while "most gender determination ... occurs during the second trimester."

Rather, Suri notes that the actual underlying contention against the proposal is over "the government's promotion of alternative medicine as a medically equivalent but cheaper alternative to allopathic (modern) medicine." He writes, "It is unfortunate that the abortion amendment, with its limited scope and clear potential to save lives, is caught up in these larger turf wars." He notes, "The government has scaled back its proposal to include only drug-induced procedures, a compromise allopathic doctors should accept." Suri concludes, "They should take heed, even if American legislators haven't, of the fact that playing politics with health issues hurts the poorest segments of society the most" (Suri, New York Times, 8/3).


Federal Judge Dismisses Ala. Inmate's Abortion Request After Inmate Opts To Continue Pregnancy

Mon, 08/03/2015 - 18:49

A federal judge on Friday dismissed a lawsuit brought by an Alabama inmate seeking access to abortion care after the inmate said she had decided to continue the pregnancy, the New York Times reports.

Federal Judge Dismisses Ala. Inmate's Abortion Request After Inmate Opts To Continue Pregnancy

August 3, 2015 — A federal judge on Friday dismissed a lawsuit brought by an Alabama inmate seeking access to abortion care after the inmate said she had decided to continue the pregnancy, the New York Times reports.

Case Background

The woman, anonymously identified as Jane Doe in court documents, was arrested earlier this summer after her bond in an ongoing drug case was revoked. The woman had been charged with chemical endangerment of a fetus for ingesting Adderall and methamphetamine during her pregnancy.

According to the Times, the state Supreme Court in 2014 ruled that the chemical endangerment law could be applied to fetuses. It originally was written to deter people from bringing children to areas such as methamphetamine labs, the Times reports (Blinder, New York Times, 7/31).

Last month, the American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit against Lauderdale County Sheriff Rick Singleton (R) on behalf of the inmate, who at the time had requested access to abortion care. According to the lawsuit, the inmate asked for transportation to obtain an abortion and was denied by Singleton, who informed her that she needed to get a court order instructing him to transport her. Singleton contended that he did not "deny" her request for an abortion but was following longstanding departmental policy.

However, Randall Marshall, legal director for the American Civil Liberties Union of Alabama, said ACLU stands by its position that the inmate should not have to obtain a court order for a "constitutional procedure she has a right to." The lawsuit stated that the inmate has a constitutional right to an abortion, and denying it would be considered "cruel and unusual punishment of a prisoner" (Women's Health Policy Report, 7/30).

Dismissal Details

According to the Times, federal district court Judge Abdul Kallon on Friday dismissed the lawsuit after questioning the inmate about whether she had been pressured to continue her pregnancy (New York Times, 7/31). Prior to the dismissal, the inmate filed a court document on Wednesday asking to drop her request to obtain an abortion. The inmate's statement had not disclosed whether the state had influenced her decision to forgo an abortion (Women's Health Policy Report, 7/30).

Meanwhile, Lauderdale County District Attorney Chris Connolly (R) said the state will suspend its effort to terminate the woman's parental rights while the woman undergoes in-patient treatment for drug dependency. Further, the state plans to delay prosecuting the two drug-related charges against her at least until she has finished treatment. According to Connolly, the charges could be dismissed if the woman does well in treatment (Reeves, AP/San Francisco Chronicle, 7/31).

Comments

Singleton said jail policy regarding voluntary medical procedures will not change as a result of the court case. "We've had a policy that's been in place for many, many years, and it's been applied in every other situation where an inmate requested a voluntary medical procedure," he said. He added, "This is the first time in the history of the county we've had this type of request, and we may never have another one ... If it is [an issue in the future], we'll cross that bridge when we come to it" (New York Times, 7/31).

Meanwhile, Marshall expressed suspicions that the inmate might have been pressured to continue her pregnancy (AP/San Francisco Chronicle, 7/31). He said, "The amount of pressure that can be brought to bear on an individual held in jail by officials is indeed heavy pressure." Nonetheless, Marshall noted that the woman "has a constitutional right" to decide whether to have an abortion, "and we support that 100 percent" (New York Times, 7/31).


More States Call for Investigations into Planned Parenthood

Mon, 08/03/2015 - 18:49

More states have called for investigations into Planned Parenthood following the videos' release, CQ News reports.

More States Call for Investigations Into Planned Parenthood

August 3, 2015 — An effort by congressional lawmakers who oppose abortion rights to defund Planned Parenthood could violate Medicaid laws, Politico reports (Pradhan, Politico, 8/3).

Background

The Senate on Monday is scheduled to hold a procedural vote on legislation that would defund Planned Parenthood.

Further, conservative lawmakers in the House and Senate have voiced opposition against any government spending measures that allocate funding for Planned Parenthood, which could lead to another government shutdown dispute in the fall. Congress faces a Sept. 30 deadline to pass spending legislation to keep the government in operation (Women's Health Policy Report, 7/31).

Medicaid Law Protects Beneficiaries' Provider Choice

Congress controls funding allocation, and could "stop the flow" of Title X money if any defunding measure were approved, though it faces both political and administrative obstacles, Politico reports. Additionally, Congress could face legal challenges if it tries to cut off Planned Parenthood's Medicaid funding because Medicaid law protects beneficiaries' rights to select their health care providers, as long as the providers accept Medicaid.

According to Politico, efforts to cut off Medicaid funding -- such as those in Arizona, Indiana, North Carolina and Tennessee -- have been blocked by the courts. Susan Fogel, director of reproductive health for the National Health Law Program, said, "The cases where states have tried to take away Medicaid funding from Planned Parenthood have all failed in one way or another."

She added that stripping the organization's Medicaid funding likely would be ruled discriminatory. "Shutting down family planning clinics because of taking away money from Planned Parenthood only hurts the individuals who need those services," she said, adding, "I'm sure that there would be immediate litigation to stop it in the courts."

Meanwhile, Cindy Mann -- a former CMS deputy administrator and currently an attorney at Manatt, Phelps & Phillips -- said protections on beneficiaries' provider choice are particularly strong regarding family planning services. She said, "That's been an important provision to ensure access and allow women to make their own decisions about who to go to."

According to Planned Parenthood, state and federal Medicaid funding accounts for roughly 75% of the organization's government-based funding (Politico, 8/3).

Defunding Planned Parenthood Could Lead to Gap in Women's Health Services

Meanwhile, the Senate bill designed to redirect Planned Parenthood funding to other women's health providers, if successful, would not necessarily cover the resulting gap in women's health services, the National Journal reports.

According to National Journal, Planned Parenthood provides preventive health services -- such as cancer screenings, family planning, testing and treatment for sexually transmitted infections, and well-woman exams -- for roughly 2.7 million people annually. Alina Salganicoff, vice president and director of women's health policy at the Kaiser Family Foundation, said, "Community health centers provide really critically important services to low-income women in this country, but it's not clear all of them are equipped to provide the full range of sexual and reproductive services that women need."

For example, only 19% of community health centers report that their largest clinics prescribe and dispense all types of contraceptive methods on-site. According to National Journal, many community health centers give patients referrals for certain contraceptive methods.

Further, Planned Parenthood clinics currently account for 10% of all federally funded health centers in the U.S. and serve 36% of total clients who seek care at facilities that receive public funding. Dawn Laguens, executive vice president of the Planned Parenthood Action Fund, said, "More than half of Planned Parenthood's nonprofit health centers are in rural or medically underserved areas, and millions rely on us each year for care. If this bill went into effect, blocking our health centers from serving patients who rely on publicly funded programs for health care, millions of people would struggle to access quality reproductive health care -- period" (Owens, National Journal, 8/2).

More States Call for Investigations into Planned Parenthood

More states have called for investigations into Planned Parenthood following the videos' release, CQ News reports (Evans, CQ News, 7/31).

Last week, an Indiana investigation into Planned Parenthood clinics in the state cleared the organization of any wrongdoing in how fetal tissue is handled (Women's Health Policy Report, 7/31). In addition, Massachusetts has closed an investigation of the group, which also cleared Planned Parenthood of any wrongdoing.

Nonetheless, according to CQ News, other states have announced similar investigations, including Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Missouri, Ohio, Kansas, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas (CQ News, 7/31).

Defunding Planned Parenthood Could Violate Medicaid Laws

Mon, 08/03/2015 - 17:09

An effort by congressional lawmakers who oppose abortion rights to defund Planned Parenthood could violate Medicaid laws, Politico reports.

Defunding Planned Parenthood Could Violate Medicaid Laws

August 3, 2015 — An effort by congressional lawmakers who oppose abortion rights to defund Planned Parenthood could violate Medicaid laws, Politico reports (Pradhan, Politico, 8/3).

Background

The Senate on Monday is scheduled to hold a procedural vote on legislation that would defund Planned Parenthood.

Further, conservative lawmakers in the House and Senate have voiced opposition against any government spending measures that allocate funding for Planned Parenthood, which could lead to another government shutdown dispute in the fall. Congress faces a Sept. 30 deadline to pass spending legislation to keep the government in operation (Women's Health Policy Report, 7/31).

Medicaid Law Protects Beneficiaries' Provider Choice

Congress controls funding allocation, and could "stop the flow" of Title X money if any defunding measure were approved, though it faces both political and administrative obstacles, Politico reports. Additionally, Congress could face legal challenges if it tries to cut off Planned Parenthood's Medicaid funding because Medicaid law protects beneficiaries' rights to select their health care providers, as long as the providers accept Medicaid.

According to Politico, efforts to cut off Medicaid funding -- such as those in Arizona, Indiana, North Carolina and Tennessee -- have been blocked by the courts. Susan Fogel, director of reproductive health for the National Health Law Program, said, "The cases where states have tried to take away Medicaid funding from Planned Parenthood have all failed in one way or another."

She added that stripping the organization's Medicaid funding likely would be ruled discriminatory. "Shutting down family planning clinics because of taking away money from Planned Parenthood only hurts the individuals who need those services," she said, adding, "I'm sure that there would be immediate litigation to stop it in the courts."

Meanwhile, Cindy Mann -- a former CMS deputy administrator and currently an attorney at Manatt, Phelps & Phillips -- said protections on beneficiaries' provider choice are particularly strong regarding family planning services. She said, "That's been an important provision to ensure access and allow women to make their own decisions about who to go to."

According to Planned Parenthood, state and federal Medicaid funding accounts for roughly 75% of the organization's government-based funding (Politico, 8/3).

Defunding Planned Parenthood Could Lead to Gap in Women's Health Services

Meanwhile, the Senate bill designed to redirect Planned Parenthood funding to other women's health providers, if successful, would not necessarily cover the resulting gap in women's health services, the National Journal reports.

According to National Journal, Planned Parenthood provides preventive health services -- such as cancer screenings, family planning, testing and treatment for sexually transmitted infections, and well-woman exams -- for roughly 2.7 million people annually. Alina Salganicoff, vice president and director of women's health policy at the Kaiser Family Foundation, said, "Community health centers provide really critically important services to low-income women in this country, but it's not clear all of them are equipped to provide the full range of sexual and reproductive services that women need."

For example, only 19% of community health centers report that their largest clinics prescribe and dispense all types of contraceptive methods on-site. According to National Journal, many community health centers give patients referrals for certain contraceptive methods.

Further, Planned Parenthood clinics currently account for 10% of all federally funded health centers in the U.S. and serve 36% of total clients who seek care at facilities that receive public funding. Dawn Laguens, executive vice president of the Planned Parenthood Action Fund, said, "More than half of Planned Parenthood's nonprofit health centers are in rural or medically underserved areas, and millions rely on us each year for care. If this bill went into effect, blocking our health centers from serving patients who rely on publicly funded programs for health care, millions of people would struggle to access quality reproductive health care -- period" (Owens, National Journal, 8/2).

More States Call for Investigations into Planned Parenthood

In other related news, more states have called for investigations into Planned Parenthood following the videos' release, CQ News reports (Evans, CQ News, 7/31).

Last week, an Indiana investigation into Planned Parenthood clinics in the state cleared the organization of any wrongdoing in how fetal tissue is handled (Women's Health Policy Report, 7/31). In addition, Massachusetts has closed an investigation of the group, which also cleared Planned Parenthood of any wrongdoing.

Nonetheless, according to CQ News, other states have announced similar investigations, including Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Missouri, Ohio, Kansas, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas (CQ News, 7/31).

Washington Post Calls on Politicians To Stop 'Vendetta Against Planned Parenthood'

A Washington Post editorial calls on conservative lawmakers to stop "the vendetta against Planned Parenthood."

According to the Post, the videos showcase "distorted" information "to paint an inaccurate and unfair picture of a health organization that provides valuable services to women -- as well as to demonize research that leads to important medical advances -- [which] doesn't matter to antiabortion activists. Or, sadly, to the politicians who pander to them." The Post continues, "None of the videos released shows anything illegal and, in fact, the full footage of Planned Parenthood executives meeting with people presumed to be buyers for a human biologics company include repeated assertions that clinics are not selling tissue but only seeking permitted reimbursement costs for expenses."

According to the Post, "No federal money is used by Planned Parenthood to provide abortions except in some rare exceptions. So cutting off government funds, mostly through Medicaid and grants, would only hurt the thousands of people, most of them low-income women, who each day depend upon Planned Parenthood for birth control, cancer screenings, testing and treatment for sexually transmitted infections and other health services." Further, the Post notes, "Given that many of the clinics are in medically underserved areas, it's a myth ... that other providers can fill the gap" if Planned Parenthood is defunded and closing Planned Parenthood clinics only would "make it harder for many women to obtain birth control."

The editorial urges lawmakers who support abortion rights "and others [to] continue to stand up for Planned Parenthood and the women whose health depends upon its services" ("The Post's View," Washington Post, 7/31).


National Abortion Federation Gets Restraining Order Against Antiabortion-Rights Video

Mon, 08/03/2015 - 16:31

A federal judge on Friday issued a temporary restraining order against the Center for Medical Progress, blocking the antiabortion-rights group from releasing videos targeting the National Abortion Federation, the AP/New York Times reports.

National Abortion Federation Gets Restraining Order Against Antiabortion-Rights Video

August 3, 2015 — A federal judge on Friday issued a temporary restraining order against the Center for Medical Progress, blocking the antiabortion-rights group from releasing videos targeting the National Abortion Federation, the AP/New York Times reports (AP/New York Times, 8/1).

Background

CMP recently released four misleading videos targeting Planned Parenthood that depict Planned Parenthood staff discussing fetal tissue donation. CMP secretly filmed the videos by meeting with Planned Parenthood staff while posing as buyers of fetal tissue.

Planned Parenthood has stated that the videos were heavily edited and that the filmed officials did not conduct any illegal activities. The organization said it does not profit from fetal tissue donations and only receives reimbursement for costs associated with such donations, which is legal. Meanwhile, supporters of Planned Parenthood said the videos are part of a decades-long campaign against the organization (Women's Health Policy Report, 7/31).

Last week, the Los Angeles Superior Court issued a temporary restraining order blocking CMP from releasing any footage featuring executives from a California-based company, StemExpress, which supplies fetal tissue for research. One of the videos includes commentary from an individual identified as a former StemExpress staff member (Women's Health Policy Report, 7/30).

Latest Order

Federal Judge William Orrick issued a restraining order against CMP hours after NAF filed a lawsuit against the antiabortion-rights group, the AP/Times reports. The order blocks CMP from releasing any video footage recorded at NAF's annual meetings in 2014 and 2015, as well as from releasing dates of NAF's future meetings and the names and addresses of NAF members.

NAF requested the restraining order against the videos on Friday in a San Francisco-based federal court, charging that CMP had infiltrated NAF meetings and recorded NAF members. The group alleged the members could be in danger if the videos are released.

In his order, Orrick wrote that NAF could suffer irreparable harm "in the form of harassment, intimidation, violence, invasion of privacy, and injury to reputation" if the videos were released. Orrick also wrote that NAF has demonstrated a strong likelihood that it would prevail in the case because it "made it clear both in its written documents and also all kinds of other releases how important it was that everything about the meeting be confidential" (AP/New York Times, 8/1).

According to Reuters, the order is effective pending a hearing scheduled for Monday. In addition to blocking the videos, NAF is seeking punitive and compensatory damages (Stempel, Reuters, 7/31).

Comments

NAF President and CEO Vicki Saporta said, "The safety and security of our members is our top priority. That security has been compromised by the illegal activities of a group with ties to those who believe it is justifiable to murder abortion providers."

Meanwhile, David Daleiden, a CMP leader who was named in the suit, said CMP "follows all applicable laws in the course of our investigative journalism work" (AP/New York Times, 8/1).


Federal Judge Dismisses Ala. Inmate's Abortion Request After Inmate Opts To Continue Pregnancy

Mon, 08/03/2015 - 15:58

A federal judge on Friday dismissed a lawsuit brought by an Alabama inmate seeking access to abortion care after the inmate said she had decided to continue the pregnancy, the New York Times reports.

Federal Judge Dismisses Ala. Inmate's Abortion Request After Inmate Opts To Continue Pregnancy

August 3, 2015 — A federal judge on Friday dismissed a lawsuit brought by an Alabama inmate seeking access to abortion care after the inmate said she had decided to continue the pregnancy, the New York Times reports.

Case Background

The woman, anonymously identified as Jane Doe in court documents, was arrested earlier this summer after her bond in an ongoing drug case was revoked. The woman had been charged with chemical endangerment of a fetus for ingesting Adderall and methamphetamine during her pregnancy.

According to the Times, the state Supreme Court in 2014 ruled that the chemical endangerment law could be applied to fetuses. It originally was written to deter people from bringing children to areas such as methamphetamine labs, the Times reports (Blinder, New York Times, 7/31).

Last month, the American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit against Lauderdale County Sheriff Rick Singleton (R) on behalf of the inmate, who at the time had requested access to abortion care. According to the lawsuit, the inmate asked for transportation to obtain an abortion and was denied by Singleton, who informed her that she needed to get a court order instructing him to transport her. Singleton contended that he did not "deny" her request for an abortion but was following longstanding departmental policy.

However, Randall Marshall, legal director for the American Civil Liberties Union of Alabama, said ACLU stands by its position that the inmate should not have to obtain a court order for a "constitutional procedure she has a right to." The lawsuit stated that the inmate has a constitutional right to an abortion, and denying it would be considered "cruel and unusual punishment of a prisoner" (Women's Health Policy Report, 7/30).

Dismissal Details

According to the Times, federal district court Judge Abdul Kallon on Friday dismissed the lawsuit after questioning the inmate about whether she had been pressured to continue her pregnancy (New York Times, 7/31). Prior to the dismissal, the inmate filed a court document on Wednesday asking to drop her request to obtain an abortion. The inmate's statement had not disclosed whether the state had influenced her decision to forgo an abortion (Women's Health Policy Report, 7/30).

Meanwhile, Lauderdale County District Attorney Chris Connolly (R) said the state will suspend its effort to terminate the woman's parental rights while the woman undergoes in-patient treatment for drug dependency. Further, the state plans to delay prosecuting the two drug-related charges against her at least until she has finished treatment. According to Connolly, the charges could be dismissed if the woman does well in treatment (Reeves, AP/San Francisco Chronicle, 7/31).

Comments

Singleton said jail policy regarding voluntary medical procedures will not change as a result of the court case. "We've had a policy that's been in place for many, many years, and it's been applied in every other situation where an inmate requested a voluntary medical procedure," he said. He added, "This is the first time in the history of the county we've had this type of request, and we may never have another one ... If it is [an issue in the future], we'll cross that bridge when we come to it" (New York Times, 7/31).

Meanwhile, Marshall expressed suspicions that the inmate might have been pressured to continue her pregnancy (AP/San Francisco Chronicle, 7/31). He said, "The amount of pressure that can be brought to bear on an individual held in jail by officials is indeed heavy pressure." Nonetheless, Marshall noted that the woman "has a constitutional right" to decide whether to have an abortion, "and we support that 100 percent" (New York Times, 7/31).


Canada Approves Medication Abortion Drug

Mon, 08/03/2015 - 15:05

Canada's public health ministry, Health Canada, on Monday approved mifepristone, one of the drugs involved in a medication abortion, Huffington Post Canada reports.

Canada Approves Medication Abortion Drug

August 3, 2015 — Canada's public health ministry, Health Canada, on Monday approved mifepristone, one of the drugs involved in a medication abortion, Huffington Post Canada reports (Raj, Huffington Post Canada, 7/30).

According to the AP/Sacramento Bee, Canadian health officials have been assessing the drug since 2012. The drug's approval now aligns Canada with roughly 60 other countries where mifepristone has been legal for some time, including Australia, the U.S. and many countries in Europe (Noronha, AP/Sacramento Bee, 7/30).

Drug Approval in Canada

The drug will be available in Canada beginning in 2016 via prescription. It will be sold under the brand name Mifegymiso and be packaged with another medication abortion drug, misoprostol. According to the Post, women prescribed a medication abortion will first take the mifepristone and then take misoprostol one to two days later.

Mifegymiso will be prescribed until seven weeks of pregnancy. Patients must undergo an ultrasound prior to being prescribed the drug, and they must give written consent before taking the drug. Further, physicians are required to make sure that patients have access to emergency care in the 14 days following ingestion, and they must schedule a follow-up visit one to two weeks after the treatment. The drug will not be prescribed in cases of ectopic pregnancies or to women with intrauterine devices.

Meanwhile, the drug's manufacturer, Linepharma International Limited, will develop a program for educating and registering prescribers. It also will establish a patient support line and conduct a post-approval study to assess the drug's safety (Huffington Post Canada, 7/30). According to AP/Bee, studies have shown mifepristone is a safe and effective method of abortion through 70 days of gestation (AP/Sacramento Bee, 7/30).

Vicki Saporta, president of the National Abortion Federation, praised the decision, saying, "Mifepristone will allow women to access abortions much earlier on in their pregnancies and will help improve access for women in more rural areas, where there may not be a full-time abortion provider in their community" (Huffington Post Canada, 7/30).


CDC: HPV Vaccination Among U.S. Teens Remains Low Despite Slight Increase

Mon, 08/03/2015 - 15:01

The vaccination rate for the human papillomavirus remains lower than the rate of other vaccinations among U.S. teenagers, although it increased slightly last year, according to CDC data released Thursday, Reuters reports.

CDC: HPV Vaccination Among U.S. Teens Remains Low Despite Slight Increase

August 3, 2015 — The vaccination rate for the human papillomavirus remains lower than the rate of other vaccinations among U.S. teenagers, although it increased slightly last year, according to CDC data released Thursday, Reuters reports (Gumpert, Reuters, 7/30).

Background

The vaccine protects against several strains of HPV, which can lead to cervical, anal, penile and throat cancer. The first vaccine became available in 2006. Shortly thereafter, CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommended vaccination for all children ages 11 or 12 (Women's Health Policy Report, 7/16).

For the study, CDC analyzed data from the 2014 National Immunization Survey, which included data on 20,827 teenagers.

Vaccination Rates

According to CDC, the proportion of girls ages 13 to 17 who received at least one dose of the immunization increased to 60%, up by 3.3 percentage points. Meanwhile, the percentage of boys in the same age group who received at least one dose of the vaccine increased to 41.7%, up by 8.1 percentage points.

Further, the study found that the percentage of girls who received all three doses of the vaccination increased by 2.9 percentage points, up to 39.7%. The percentage of boys in that age group who received all three doses increased by 8.2 percentage points, to 21.6% (Reuters, 7/30).

CDC found that about 40% of teen girls and 60% of teen boys have not received the vaccination (Yang, "Shots," NPR, 7/30). Meanwhile, the study found that 87.6% of U.S. teenagers ages 13 to 17 had received a Tdap immunization, which protects against diptheria, pertussis and tetanus (Reuters, 7/30). The rate marks an increase from 2013, when 84.7% received at least one Tdap shot. Further, the study found that the rate for the meningococcal vaccine increased to 79.3% in 2014, up from 76.6% in 2013.

Vaccination Rates Vary Widely

Anne Schuchat, who directs CDC's National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, called the increase in HPV vaccination rates "patchwork progress," adding, "There's quite a range in HPV vaccination coverage around the country."

According to NPR's "Shots," there is a 37.7% difference between the state with the highest HPV vaccination uptake -- Rhode Island, at 76% -- and the state with the lowest, Kansas, at 38%. Meanwhile, two cities -- Washington, D.C., and Chicago -- as well as four states -- Illinois, Montana, North Carolina and Utah -- all reported increases of around 20% ("Shots," NPR, 7/30).

The study also found that vaccination rates were higher among teens from families with lower incomes (Reuters, 7/30). Specifically, 67.2% of girls ages 13 to 17 whose family incomes fell below the federal poverty level received at least one dose of the vaccine, while 51.6% of boys from low-income families received the first dose. For teenagers whose family incomes were at or above the poverty line, uptake rates were 57.7% for girls and 39.5% for boys ("Shots," NPR, 7/30).

The trend was credited to public health programs that offer coverage for vaccinations for low-income residents, such as Vaccines for Children (Reuters, 7/30). In addition, Schuchat said providers might more strongly encourage vaccinations among low-income families because they are unsure if they will see the patients again to provide the immunizations at a later date ("Shots," NPR, 7/30).

Reasons Behind Lagging Vaccination Rates

Schuchat said the lagging rate likely is not linked to cost barriers, but rather to physicians' hesitation about recommending the HPV vaccine as forcefully as they do other immunizations.

Carol Baker, executive director of Texas Children's Hospital's Center for Vaccine Awareness and Research, said, "The vaccine got off on the wrong foot with the public, but with physicians too because a fair number thought they would have to talk about sexual contact and they were reluctant to" (Reuters, 7/30). Further, according to NPR, some parents thought the vaccine would encourage risky sexual behaviors, although research has demonstrated it does not ("Shots," NPR, 7/30).