USA – Patients face higher fees and longer waits after Planned Parenthood quits federal program

Patients face higher fees and longer waits after Planned Parenthood quits federal program
The agency forfeited millions after refusing to comply with what it calls a Trump administration ‘gag rule’ regarding abortion referrals.

By Ariana Eunjung Cha and Sheila Regan
August 24, 2019

In Cleveland, a Planned Parenthood mobile clinic that tests for sexually transmitted diseases has reduced its hours and may shut down. In Minneapolis, women and girls used to free check-ups are now billed as much as $200 per visit on a sliding fee scale. And in Vienna, West Va., Planned Parenthood employees are marking boxes of birth control pills with “Do not use” signs because they were paid for with federal grants the organization can no longer accept.

Planned Parenthood’s decision this week to quit a $260 million federal family planning program rather than comply with what it calls a “gag rule” imposed by the Trump administration on abortion referrals is creating turmoil in many low-income communities across the United States.

Continued: https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2019/08/24/patients-face-higher-fees-longer-waits-after-planned-parenthood-quits-federal-program/

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USA – States Lead the Way in Promoting Coverage of Abortion in Medicaid and Private Insurance

States Lead the Way in Promoting Coverage of Abortion in Medicaid and Private Insurance

Adam Sonfield, Guttmacher Institute
Elizabeth Nash, Guttmacher Institute
First published online: June 24, 2019

Advocates and policymakers working to ensure that everyone can afford an abortion scored a number of important victories within just a few days of each other: On June 13, Maine Gov. Janet Mills signed a law expanding abortion coverage in private insurance and Medicaid. Just one day earlier, Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker had signed a law expanding private insurance coverage of abortion as part of a broader abortion rights law. The same week, New York City allocated $250,000 to a nonprofit abortion fund to directly assist patients, including patients traveling from other states.

This burst of action builds on a nationwide push to overturn the Hyde Amendment, which currently bans abortion coverage under Medicaid and other federal health coverage programs. Expanding coverage will help people overcome one substantial barrier to abortion—the cost of abortion services—and will be particularly important for people with low incomes, people of color and people with disabilities.

Continued: https://www.guttmacher.org/article/2019/06/states-lead-way-promoting-coverage-abortion-medicaid-and-private-insurance

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Trump’s anti-abortion agenda emboldened an all-out war on women’s rights in dozens of states

Trump's anti-abortion agenda emboldened an all-out war on women's rights in dozens of states
Pro-lifers think they now have the Supreme Court votes to overturn Roe v. Wade. And they're setting up the legal fights to get there.

April 15, 2019
By Jill Filipovic

It’s been a rough two years for reproductive rights. Since Donald Trump took office, a series of attacks on both abortion and contraception have come from the state and federal levels. A re-emboldened anti-abortion movement has emerged, and they’re gunning for major legal changes — and, they hope, a Supreme Court that would overturn the landmark Roe v. Wade decision that made abortion broadly legal across the United States.

What triggered this shift? Trump’s Supreme Court judges — including, most recently, Brett Kavanaugh. How appropriate that opponents of a woman’s right to decide what happens to her body have decided that their best hope is in a Supreme Court made more conservative by a judge accused of sexual assault.

Continued: https://www.nbcnews.com/think/opinion/trump-s-anti-abortion-agenda-emboldened-all-out-war-women-ncna994661

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USA – Senators Introduce Legislation to Finally Repeal the Hyde Amendment and End Wide-Ranging Federal Abortion-Funding Ban

Senators Introduce Legislation to Finally Repeal the Hyde Amendment and End Wide-Ranging Federal Abortion-Funding Ban

March 12, 2019
by Christine Grimaldi

Holly Alvarado realized she might be pregnant while standing in the middle of a Walmart near Grand Forks Air Force Base, where she was stationed in 2009. Alvarado, then 22, was struggling to afford the supplies, like socks, underwear, and boots, she would need for at least six months in the Middle East. She had emptied her apartment of most belongings except for the sleeping bag she crawled into at night and crammed the rest in a storage unit, an expense that would grow over time. Alvarado had two weeks left in North Dakota before pre-deployment training began in Texas. From there, she would go on to serve her country. Alvarado knew she wanted an abortion almost as soon as she experienced her first wave of nausea in the Walmart. But Tricare, the military’s health-insurance program, would not cover the procedure.

Continued: https://www.vogue.com/article/each-woman-act-hyde-amendment-senate-announcement-end-federal-abortion-ban

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USA – States Flout Abortion Coverage Requirements, Federal Investigators Say

States Flout Abortion Coverage Requirements, Federal Investigators Say

By Robert Pear
Feb. 17, 2019

WASHINGTON — Federal health officials are not enforcing requirements for Medicaid coverage of abortion in the limited circumstances where it is legal, congressional investigators have found.

At least 13 states are flouting a requirement to cover abortion-inducing pills, and one state, South Dakota, has for 25 years failed to provide the required coverage for abortion in cases of rape or incest, the Government Accountability Office, a nonpartisan investigative arm of Congress, said in a report made public this month.

Continued: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/02/17/us/politics/states-abortion-coverage-medicaid.html

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Where U.S. Battles Over Abortion Will Play Out In 2019

Where U.S. Battles Over Abortion Will Play Out In 2019

January 8, 2019
Julie Rovner

With Democrats now in control of the U.S. House of Representatives, it might appear that the fight over abortion rights has become a standoff.

After all, abortion-rights supporters within the Democratic caucus will be in a position to block the kind of curbs that Republicans advanced over the past two years when they had control of Congress.

Continued: https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2019/01/08/682452994/where-u-s-battles-over-abortion-will-play-out-in-2019

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USA – Voters in Two States Approved Abortion Restrictions on Tuesday

Voters in Two States Approved Abortion Restrictions on Tuesday

By Abigail Abrams
Nov 7, 2018

Two out of three states that were considering adding restrictions on abortion approved ballot measures on Tuesday.

In Alabama and West Virginia, voters approved measures that would set the stage for significantly restricting access to the procedure if Roe v. Wade is overturned by the Supreme Court. Another measure in Oregon failed.

Continued: http://time.com/5447142/abortion-restrictions-ballot-measures/ Voters in Two States Approved Abortion Restrictions on Tuesday

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USA – Women in tech are mobilizing to improve access to abortion providers

Women in tech are mobilizing to improve access to abortion providers
In the face of a U.S. administration increasingly hostile to a woman’s right to choose, a number of organizations are finding new and clever ways to deliver access.

By Rina Raphael
Nov 1, 2018

In 2016, the National Network of Abortion Funds (NNAF), a network of 70 organizations supporting access to abortion, was putting together its annual fundraising Bowl-a-Thon, a coordinated nationwide series of games that featured a night full of drinks, gutter balls, and striped shirts—all in the name of reproductive rights. Women across the country gathered together to play and pick pun-heavy team names like Kiss Our Uter-Ass, Bowl V. Wade, and The Fempire Strikes Back.

But in the weeks leading up the fundraising event, the Bowl-a-Thon suffered a devastating setback: It was hacked. Not by bored teenagers, North Korean hackers, or the Russians—but by pro-life activists.

Continued: https://www.fastcompany.com/90254094/how-tech-is-helping-abortion-providers-overcome-barriers-to-access

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USA – Low-income women’s access to contraception is under attack

Low-income women’s access to contraception is under attack

By Kathleen Sebelius
October 23, 2018

Congressional candidates have deluged voters in recent weeks with debates about the Trump administration’s efforts to peel away protections for Americans with pre existing health conditions. Yet there is another, equally insidious effort from the administration that could undermine access to health care, and Americans have no idea it is happening: a proposal to drastically reduce information on and access to contraception.

Decades of health data make it clear that helping young women avoid unwanted pregnancies can be a critical factor in their success in life. With freedom from an unexpected pregnancy, they can finish school, pursue a career and better prepare for parenting.

Continued: https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/low-income-womens-access-to-contraception-is-under-attack/2018/10/23/f9e696f4-d2e0-11e8-a275-81c671a50422_story.html

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How anti-abortion activists use cutting edge science to justify ever stricter laws

How anti-abortion activists use cutting edge science to justify ever stricter laws
As neonatal science advances, anti-abortion activists are looking to these new techniques to push for more restrictions

Jessica Glenza
Fri 13 Jul 2018

Dr Edward Bell treats the tiniest babies at University of Iowa children’s hospital, pre-term infants who weigh one pound or less, and whose chances of survival are minute.

One of his pet projects is tracking the smallest in the world, which sometimes attracts attention from abortion opponents. But the visitors he received in August 2016 still surprised him.

Joni Ernst, the fiercely anti-abortion Republican US senator from Iowa, sent her staffers to interview Bell. Of interest was an article published in the New England Journal of Medicine, which reignited debate about whether infants as young as 22 weeks old may survive if aggressively treated.

Continued: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/jul/13/how-anti-abortion-activists-use-cutting-edge-science-to-justify-ever-stricter-laws

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