Georgia Joins 7 States That Limit Abortion Coverage For State Employees

Meanwhile, The Texas Tribune looks at the impact of the Legislature's 2011 decision to drastically cut family planning funds, and The Associated Press reports on a lawsuit by abortion rights groups in Oklahoma.  

The Associated Press: Ga. To Limit Abortion Coverage In Employee Plan
Georgia will join seven other states that ban coverage of abortions in nearly all instances for those enrolled in the state employee health insurance plan. The decision Thursday by the board of the Department of Community Health means the policy will bypass state lawmakers, who didn't take action on similar legislation earlier this year (Cassidy, 8/8).

Georgia Health News: State Benefits Plan Is On Track For Controversy
Mixing a multibillion-dollar health contract with fierce industry protests and abortion politics is a sure recipe for turmoil. The new State Health Benefit Plan contract tops the charts on turbulence. It could also produce a significant realignment of the state’s health care landscape. ... Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia will be confirmed as the winner of two major contracts in the State Health Benefit Plan (SHBP), which covers more than 650,000 state employees, teachers, other school personnel, retirees and dependents. ... The abortion restriction surfaced as a surprise benefit change this week  (Miller, 8/8).

The Texas Tribune: New Abortion Limits, But More Money For Women’s Health
When Anastasia Tolmasoff went to a Planned Parenthood clinic in March to receive her quarterly injection of Depo-Provera, she discovered she could no longer afford to receive birth control there. …Tolmasoff is one of thousands of women affected by the Texas Legislature’s 2011 decisions to drastically cut family planning financing and remove “abortion affiliated providers” — namely, Planned Parenthood — from state health programs (Aaronson, 8/9).

The Associated Press: Lawsuit Would Block Okla. Morning-After Pill Law
A coalition of reproductive rights advocates filed a lawsuit Thursday to block enforcement of an Oklahoma law that restricts access to the morning-after emergency contraception pill. The lawsuit filed in Oklahoma County District Court alleges the law, approved by the Legislature in May and signed into law by Gov. Mary Fallin on May 29, is unconstitutional and discriminates against women by imposing restrictions on a form of contraception used only by women. It says the law is the only one of its kind in the nation (Talley, 8/8).

The Hill: Anti-Abortion Group Asks Supreme Court To Strike Limits On Political Speech
The Susan B. Anthony List plans to ask the Supreme Court to review a law that prohibits false political speech, which was used to block the anti-abortion-rights group from attacking a lawmaker who supported ObamaCare. Ohio's "false statements" law prohibits false attacks on political candidates, including inaccurate presentations of their voting records (Baker, 8/8).

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