Tuesday, September 6, 2022 | Kaiser Health News

VA to provide abortions in some cases, even in states where it is prohibited

The Department of Veterans Affairs published a temporary final rule Friday that would offer abortion services nationwide to veterans and their recipients when medically necessary or in circumstances of rape or incest.

The Texas Tribune: VA will provide abortions even in states like Texas that prohibit them

The Department of Veterans Affairs said Friday that it will provide abortions to veterans and their recipients as medically necessary or in cases of rape or incest. The Department of Veterans Affairs said it plans to offer abortions across the country — including in states, such as Texas, that ban the procedure. (Erickson, 9/2)

NPR: The Department of Veterans Affairs says it will provide abortions in some cases even in states where they are prohibited

Now, the Department of Veterans Affairs says it is stepping in to offer abortions in order to protect the health and lives of veterans in places where they no longer have access to such reproductive care. Under a new temporary final rule, female veterans and beneficiaries will be able to assist veterans with abortions if their life or health is in danger if the pregnancy continues. Patients who became pregnant as a result of rape or incest would also be eligible for abortion. (Hernandez, 9/3)

In other miscarriage updates –

The Washington Post: Abortion upended the midterms with the onset of November

Kat Thomas used to call herself a political independent. But she has registered as a Democrat since she turned 18 this summer, fearing Pennsylvania Republicans would ban abortion. Rushed to re-enroll in her swinging new home days after Roe v. Wade was dropped, Hope Perotti, 20, is similarly concerned about abortion rights. The measure is legal in Pennsylvania, but Republicans could pass sweeping new restrictions if they win the gubernatorial race and continue to control the statehouse. (Knowles & Kitchener, 9/5)

KHN: In the rush to reduce abortion, states are adopting a jumbled mix of definitions for human life

As life-sustaining medical technology advanced in the second half of the 20th century, physicians and families faced a thorny decision, one with heavy legal and ethical implications: How should we determine when life ends? Heart-lung bypass machines can keep blood pumping and ventilators can keep breathing long after a patient’s normal ability to perform these vital functions has ceased. After decades of deliberation involving physicians, bioethicists, lawyers, and theologians, in 1981 a US presidential commission settled on a scientifically derived dividing line between life and death that has persisted nearly ever since: The brain—including the brainstem, its most primitive part—has not It no longer works, even if other vital functions can be maintained indefinitely through artificial life support. (Varney, 9/6)

Oklahoman: Oklahoma AG issues guidance on state abortion bans for law enforcement

Both the Oklahoma Attorney General’s office and the state’s medical boards have drafted guidelines intended to shed light on how Oklahoma’s multiple abortion laws should be interpreted by physicians and law enforcement agencies. Abortions in Oklahoma essentially stopped about three months ago, when Oklahoma banned the procedure at any time during pregnancy. (Branham, 9/1)

Missouri Independent: Abortion rights groups fear the outcome of St. Louis’ loss in federal court

When the attorney general’s lawsuit challenging St. Louis’ plan to use federal funds to support abortion access was taken to federal court, it didn’t garner much attention. But the move alarmed abortion rights advocates. (Weinberg, 9/2)

AP: The Lawyer’s Mission: Translating the Confusing Abortion Ban by Teen

Chloe Akers considers herself a grizzled criminal defense attorney. Until a few months ago, she hadn’t spent much time thinking about abortion — in her 39 years, abortion wasn’t a crime, so she never imagined having to defend someone accused of having one. That changed in June, when the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade. Akers sat in her law office and pulled Tennessee’s new criminal abortion law. You didn’t read it from a political perspective. It doesn’t matter if she likes the law – there’s a lot she doesn’t like. Instead, she read it as she would read it in any other law: what makes it illegal? How will it be applied? She was shocked. I read it maybe ten times more. Surely, she was missing something. (Gallofaro, 9/5)

In the news about access to contraceptives –

DALLAS MORNING NEWS: Rape victims can take Plan B instead of abortion, says Texas Gov. Greg Abbott

“We want to support these victims, but also for those victims to be able to access health care immediately, as well as report it,” Abbott said during a segment that will air Sunday on Lone Star Politics, a program produced by KXAS-TV (NBC 5). ) and The Dallas Morning News. “By getting access to healthcare right away, they can get the Plan B pills that can prevent pregnancy from happening in the first place. In terms of reporting this to law enforcement, that will ensure that the rapist is caught and prosecuted.” (Jeffers Jr., 9/2)

Texas Tribune: Plan B is not widely available to the poorest people in the state

On Friday, Gov. Greg Abbott told the Dallas Morning News that rape victims can take emergency contraception, such as Plan B, to prevent pregnancy. With abortion now banned in Texas, even in cases of incest or rape, the governor recommended the use of emergency contraception to ensure a rape victim did not become pregnant. (Milado, 9/3)

NPR: Access to birth control can be restricted in places with Catholic health systems

Last week, students returning to campus at Oberlin College, Ohio, were in for a shock: A local media outlet reported that student health services on campus would severely limit who could get prescriptions for contraception. They will only be given to treat health problems – not for the purpose of preventing pregnancy – and emergency contraception will only be available to victims of sexual assault. It turns out that the college has outsourced its student health services to a Catholic health agency — and like other Catholic health institutions, the college follows religious directives that prohibit contraceptives to prevent pregnancy. It also prohibits gender affirming sponsorship. (Godoy, 9/4)

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