US District Court Judge Catherine Eagles issued a preliminary injunction yesterday against a provision in a North Carolina abortion law that would require abortion providers to perform an ultrasound at least four hours prior to an abortion. The law, scheduled to take effect today, would also require that providers describe the images in the ultrasound to the woman and offer patients the opportunity to hear the fetal heartbeat. Judge Eagles indicated that the plaintiffs in the case would likely prove these portions of the law unconstitutional. Judge Eagles did not however block a provision of the law that imposes a 24 hour waiting period on women seeking abortions.
Melissa Reed, vice president for public policy at Planned Parenthood Health Systems, stated, "Today the court stood on the side of women and health care providers who are faced with personal, private and very complicated medical decisions every day."
In July, the North Carolina General Assembly voted to override Governor Beverly Perdue's (D-NC) veto of an abortion bill. It is estimated that the new requirements would lead to around 2,900 additional births annually and would cost taxpayers $6.7 million in the first year and $35 million over five years.
Media Resources: Washington Post 10/26/11; Reuters 10/25/11; Feminist Daily Newswire 7/28/11
4/15/2014 Virginia Bishops Advocate More Abortion Restrictions for Poor Women - Using the Medicaid expansion debate as a platform, the Virginia Catholic Conference issued a statement Friday calling for the repeal of a Virginia law that allows state funding of abortion care for Medicaid recipients in situations where the fetus exhibits a "gross and totally incapacitating physical deformity" or a "gross and totally incapacitating mental deficiency."
Bishop Francis DiLorenzo of the Diocese of Richmond and Bishop Paul Loverde of the Diocese of Arlington authored the statement which urges Virginia lawmakers to act to expand Medicaid to cover more of Virginia's poor. . . .
4/14/2014 Kathleen Sebelius Resigns as Secretary of Health & Human Services - President Barack Obama last week announced the resignation of Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Kathleen Sebelius.
Noting that she will "go down in history" for "serving as the Secretary of Health and Human Services when the United States of America finally declared that quality, affordable health care is not a privilege, but it is a right for every single citizen of these United States of America," President Obama praised Secretary Sebelius for guiding the implementation of the landmark Affordable Care Act (ACA).
At least 7.5 million Americans have now signed up for health coverage through health insurance marketplaces created by the ACA. . . .