Meanwhile, access to abortions and funding for women's health are areas of continued focus in states and localities.
The Associated Press: Senators Ask HHS To Warn States Who Cut Funding
Some Democratic senators are asking a top government health official to warn states that if they try to exclude family planning clinics like Planned Parenthood from Medicaid and Title X funding, they'll face penalties from the federal government (5/27).
National Journal: Senate Democrats Push Back On Indiana Abortion Law
Senate Democrats pushed back against states trying to keep federal money from reaching abortion providers on Thursday, asking the government to notify state Medicaid programs that there will be penalties for withholding funds. Gov. Mitch Daniels, R-Ind., signed a law earlier this month to cut off federal funding from Indiana clinics that perform abortions. The law is primarily aimed at the state’s Planned Parenthood clinics, which get federal family-planning grants to administer non-abortion services (McCarthy, 5/26).
The Texas Tribune: Women's Health Program Stands, But Questions Remain
The Women's Health Program — long believed to require legislative renewal — lives on, at least for now, in the form of a budget rider. Jose Camacho, executive director of the Texas Association of Community Health Centers, said the rider directs the Health and Human Services Commission to renew the program. But he said recent opinions by the attorney general's office would apply — which means that Planned Parenthood and other clinics "affiliated" with organizations that provide abortions would likely be forced out. ... But Camacho said there are lingering questions. For example, the Women's Health Program, which receives $9 in federal funds for every $1 the state puts up, requires a federal waiver, and it's unclear who has the authority to submit that waiver (Ramshaw, 5/26).
Georgia Health News: Health Workers Say Title X Funds Are Vital (video)
The attempt by congressional Republicans to stop all $327 million of federal Title X money — while targeting Planned Parenthood as an abortion provider — endangered funding for women’s health services at clinics in Hall County, public health workers say. Those clinics are partly funded by Title X money. Signed by President Richard Nixon in 1970, Title X was established to provide free reproductive health care, including birth control, to women living at or below the poverty level. Although it has never underwritten abortion, some conservatives want to end Title X as a way of cutting federal funds to agencies involved in abortion (Abree, 5/26).
The Associated Press/The Boston Globe: NH Legislature OK's Abortion Consent Rule
The Legislature has passed a bill to reinstate a requirement that parents be notified before a girl can get an abortion. Wednesday's 17-to-7 Senate vote follows a House vote for the bill and sends the legislation to Governor John Lynch, a Democrat who has not said whether he supports the measure (5/26).