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September 3, 2013

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 "End the DC Abortion Ban," Eleanor Hinton Hoytt/Jessica González-Rojas, The Hill 's "Congress Blog": "Every year, Congress passes the Hyde Amendment and withholds federal funding for insurance coverage of abortion for low-income women," write Hinton Hoytt, president and CEO of the Black Women's Health Imperative, and González-Rojas, executive director of the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health. Although states may decide to use their own funds to cover such care, "Congress prevents D.C.'s locally elected officials from making internal decisions about how to spend their health care funds" and bars "Medicaid coverage for abortion services." Noting that people of color comprise 94% of the individuals affected by the ban, Hinton Hoytt and González-Rojas urge lawmakers to end the policy. "It's time for politicians in Congress to bring their lofty promises of freedom, and democracy, and human dignity beyond the marble halls of Congress and into the communities outside," they write (Hinton Hoytt/González-Rojas, "Congress Blog," The Hill, 9/2).

What others are saying about abortion bans:

~ "POLL: Americans Oppose 20-Week Abortion Bans When They’re Given More Context About The Issue," Culp-Ressler, Center for American Progress' "ThinkProgress."

~ "Anti-Choicers Secure Needed Signatures on 20-Week Abortion Ban Petition in Albuquerque," Grimes, RH Reality Check.

 "Why Telemedical Abortions are the Future," Kelly Bourdet, Motherboard: "Where women's health care and abortion and contraceptive access is concerned, it's obvious that science does not often prevail," writes Bourdet, adding that the sentiment applies to efforts in Iowa to prohibit the use of telemedicine in abortion care. A Planned Parenthood program that allows women in remote areas to access medication abortion via telemedicine has helped expand the number of clinics offering abortion services in the state from six to 15. Although the program has been in effect since 2008 and proven safe, the Iowa Board of Medicine is working to end it, Bourdet notes. "Partly the pushback in Iowa is due to the age-old impulse to control women and their reproduction, but I think we've also got the added layer of squeamishness around how much of our lives, things that once seemed so personal, are conducted through the internet," Bourdet writes. She notes that while telemedicine is a relatively new "concept that not everyone has fully grasped," the "problem is when legislators, who should be as objective as possible, are swayed by an emotional response, an issue that's forever fueled the abortion debate" (Bourdet, Motherboard, 8/30).

What others are saying about telemed abortion care:

~ "Despite Greater Access, Iowa Abortions Drop Thirty Percent," Laura Beck, Jezebel.

 "Texas State Health Services Council Refuses To to Vote on Implementation of Omnibus Anti-Abortion Law," Andrea Grimes, RH Reality Check: "In a highly unusual, but largely symbolic, move, eight members of the Texas Department of State Health Services Council (DSHS) Thursday morning declined to vote on proposed rules that would put an omnibus anti-abortion bill signed into law this summer into action," writes Grimes. She explains that DSHS has been tasked with implementing HB 2, which mandates that abortion clinics meet the standards of ambulatory surgical centers, requires that abortion providers have admitting privileges at hospitals within 30 miles and bans abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy. Although the "rules will take effect with or without the council's approval," the lack of a vote suggests its members do not approve of the restrictions, according to Grimes (Grimes, RH Reality Check, 8/29).

What others are saying about state abortion restrictions:

~ "Colorado 'Brady Amendment' is Really a 'Personhood' Initiative," Jason Salzman, RH Reality Check.

~ "In Wisconsin, GOP Lawmakers Weigh How Much To Emphasize Abortion," Robin Marty, RH Reality Check.

~ "Here's How Much That Anti-Abortion Law Will Cost You," Katie Baker, Jezebel.

~ "Video Game Would Make Players Navigate Abortion Access in Texas," Beck, Jezebel.