October 2, 2015 — In today's clips, HuffPost Live reports on the likelihood of the Supreme Court considering a challenge to an accommodation to the federal contraception coverage rules. Elsewhere, Planned Parenthood Federation of America President Cecile Richards discusses her testimony before conservative lawmakers in Congress.
HuffPost Live's Alyona Minkovski talks with "ThinkProgress Justice" editor Ian Millhiser about the recent 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling against an accommodation to the federal contraceptive coverage rules, noting that "this latest decision could now mean a sequel to the Hobby Lobby case is headed to the Supreme Court."
According to Millhiser, the accommodation allows employers to opt out of the contraceptive coverage rules by sending a form to the federal government, which works with the company's health insurer to ensure female employees can obtain a separate plan that includes contraceptive coverage. He explains that "the good news for women ... and for anyone who believes in access to birth control is that there have been quite a few court of appeals decisions" supporting the accommodation and only one circuit, the 8th Circuit, ruled against it. "When there's a circuit split like that -- that's what it's called when U.S. Courts of Appeals disagree about the same question of law -- the Supreme Court almost always takes that case," he says, noting that Justice Anthony Kennedy could be the deciding factor in such a case (Minkovski, HuffPostLive, 9/21).
MSNBC's Rachel Maddow interviews Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, on her testimony before Congress in response to misleading, secretly recorded videos targeting the organization.
Richards said, "I was really glad -- to the extent that there was an opportunity to get a word in edgewise, or ever answer a question -- I was really thrilled to be able to talk about the incredible work that Planned Parenthood does around the country and the health care we provide to 2.7 million people, and I do think that point got across." She added, "I think the whole purpose of this hearing was to convince themselves that it was okay to deny women the ability to go to the health care provider of their choice."
On the topic of Planned Parenthood's federal funding, Maddow and Richards explain how the Hyde Amendment only allows federal funds to pay for abortion care in instances of rape or incest, or life endangerment, and they cite research showing how the conservative effort to defund Planned Parenthood would cause many individuals to "immediately lose access to health care." Richards said, "The vast majority of federal dollars that come to an organization like Planned Parenthood are reimbursement through Medicaid or Title X for family planning, breast exams, Pap smears, [sexually transmitted infection] testing and treatment, and that is actually what is at stake" in conservatives' efforts to defund Planned Parenthood (Maddow, MSNBC, 9/29).