Federal Judge Delays Enforcement of Alabama Abortion Law
US District Judge Myron Thompson has delayed the implementation of an Alabama law that would severely limit access to abortion services from August 2013 to March 24, 2014. The law, which mandates abortion clinics conform to the same standards as ambulatory care centers and requires doctors to attain admitting privileges at nearby hospitals, would eliminate three out of the five clinics in Alabama currently offering abortion services.
The American Civil Liberties Union and Planned Parenthood have filed a joint lawsuit against the law in an attempt to block the provision that requires doctors have admitting privileges in local hospitals. Currently, the majority of clinics in Alabama have doctors who travel from out of state perform procedures. These doctors partner with local doctors with admitting privileges to provide necessary follow-up care. With the new measure, the doctors themselves must have the admitting privileges. According to the lawsuit, many local hospitals deny these privileges to abortion doctors because the hospital is opposed to abortion or the clinic is too far away according to hospitals standards.
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. . . .