On Tuesday, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in Ohio upheld a 2004 Ohio law that restricts the use of the drug RU-486, also known as mifepristone or the "abortion pill". The ruling bans the use of RU-486 beyond seven weeks, making a surgical procedure the only option for women seeking to terminate a pregnancy.
This puts women at greater risk due to the more invasive nature of a surgical abortion. Judge Karen Nelson Moore, who cast the lone dissenting vote in the decision, wrote, "We simply should not conclude as a matter of law that every woman who would prefer a medical abortion would be equally likely to obtain a surgical abortion." Gary Dougherty, Planned Parenthood state legislative director said, "This decision puts ideology over science, and bans a safe method of abortion early in pregnancy."
In early September, an Idaho court blocked the case of a woman who had been criminally charged for terminating her pregnancy with RU-486 instead of traveling to a clinic or hospital as required by state law. The court found that this Idaho law does not apply to pregnant women themselves, but rather to professionals like doctors who conduct abortion procedures.
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. . . .