State Medicaid in New Mexico to Cover Abortion Pill
In August, New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson rewrote state Medicaid rules to include coverage of abortion pills in cases that are deemed medically necessary. The Albuquerque Tribune reported that Gov. Richardson made changes to the rules because their vague wording precluded doctors from getting reimbursement for disbursing drugs, only pharmacists could be reimbursed for drug distribution. Because doctors must distribute the abortion pill mifepristone, commonly referred to as RU-486, the rule in effect barred Medicaid patients from receiving a medically necessary procedure. The new language was written broadly to cover all oral medications that are used for terminating a pregnancy to cover any pills that come into the market in addition to mifepristone.
The Associated Press reports that most private health insurance plans have covered mifepristone since 2000 when it went on the market. "For low-income women to not have this kind of insurance was a real slap in the face," Dr. Bruce Ferguson, an Albuquerque physician told the Albuquerque Tribune. "This is a big step forward. It gives the poor the same options as women who have jobs and insurance."
The Feminist Majority Foundation has been leading a campaign to increase clinical trials and research into the potential uses of mifepristone to treat fibroids, endometriosis, breast cancer, uterine cancer, ovarian cancer, and other serious illnesses. However, efforts by anti-abortion extremists, including a petition to the Food and Drug Administration asking for a review of FDA approval for the drug, have severely limited access for women in the US to a potentially lifesaving drug.
10/29/2014 North Dakota Supreme Court Upholds Abortion Restrictions - The North Dakota Supreme Court yesterday upheld a set of misguided restrictions on medication abortion, allowing what is effectively a ban on early, non-surgical abortions in the state to go into effect immediately.
The decision overturned a lower court order finding the law, known as HB 1297, unconstitutional and permanently blocking its enforcement. . . .
10/29/2014 Georgia Court Refuses to Recognize 40K Voter Registrations From Primarily People of Color and Young People - A state court judge on Tuesday refused to order the Georgia Secretary of State to add some 40,000 voters to the voter rolls, potentially disenfranchising thousands of African Americans and other people of color in the state.
Judge Christopher Brasher of the Fulton County Superior Court denied a petition from the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law (LCCR), the New Georgia Project and the Georgia branch of the NAACP asking the court to force Secretary of State Brian Kemp (R) to process an estimated 40,000 "missing" voter registrations.
More than 100,000 voters were registered by the three groups, but about a third of those registered never made the rolls. . . .