House Republicans Introduce Bill To Ban Abortion Meds

Morning Briefing – Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

KFF HEALTH NEWS – Mifepristone has been approved for 23 years for abortions until 10 weeks and the drugs have become the most common abortion method. In other news, a legal to-and-fro in Texas over Yelp and “crisis pregnancy centers.”

Politico: House Republicans Introduce National Ban On Abortion Pills

Rep. Andy Ogles (R-Tenn.), flanked by leaders of anti-abortion groups, introduced a bill Thursday that would ban abortion pills nationwide. “Banning these dangerous drugs for the purpose of chemical abortion is an important step in protecting life,” he told reporters.

“We have a duty to uphold the sanctity of life.” The new bill, which has 13 Republican co-sponsors as of Thursday, comes on the 23rd anniversary of the FDA approving the abortion drug mifepristone for terminating a pregnancy in the first 10 weeks. In recent years, the pills have become the most common method of abortion nationwide. (Miranda Ollstein, 9/28)

Meanwhile, so-called crisis pregnancy centers are at the center of a battle —

Fox News: Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton To Sue Yelp For ‘Misleading’ Disclaimers On Pregnancy Crisis Centers

Republican Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton will be filing a lawsuit against Yelp for allegedly for adding “inaccurate and misleading language” to pregnancy crisis centers listings on the platform, Fox News has learned.

The lawsuit comes after the business review site and aggregator’s CEO, Jeremy Stoppelman, said that Yelp needed to “take action” after the Supreme Court’s Dobbs Decision, which ruled that the Constitution does not protect access to an abortion. The decision effectively returned regulation of abortion to the states. (Christ, 9/28)

MoneyWatch: Yelp Sues Texas To Keep Crisis Pregnancy Center Description Labels

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Online business review site Yelp is suing Texas to defend its descriptions of crisis pregnancy centers which make clear to readers that the centers do not provide abortions or abortion referrals. Currently, Yelp applies an alert it calls a “Consumer Notice” to crisis pregnancy center listings reading, “This is a Crisis Pregnancy Center. Crisis Pregnancy Centers do not offer abortions or referrals to abortion providers.” (Cerullo, 9/28)

In other news relating to abortion —

Politico: Appeals Court Lifts Partial Block On Idaho Abortion Ban

A federal appeals court has lifted a lower court ruling that prevented the State of Idaho from enforcing aspects of its near-total ban on abortion. The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals issued an order Thursday granting Idaho officials’ request to put the injunction against the law on hold while the state appeals the lower judge’s decision. (Gerstein, 9/28)

AP: Republican Offers New Twist On Abortion Exceptions As Issue Stays At Forefront Of Kentucky Campaign

The complexities of abortion-related politics in the post-Roe v. Wade era continue to put the squeeze on Republican Daniel Cameron, who appeared to redefine his position on Kentucky’s strict anti-abortion law for the second time in two weeks while campaigning for governor.

After revealing last week that he would sign legislation adding rape and incest exceptions to the state’s abortion ban, Cameron seemed to take a more hardline stance Wednesday. He did so while trying to reassure someone who claimed to be concerned that he was weakening his anti-abortion position. Cameron indicated that he would support such exceptions “if the courts made us change that law.” (Schreiner, 9/29)

The Colorado Sun: Suit Against Colorado Abortion Pill “Reversal” Law Could Be A Big Deal

Lawyers for a national religious rights organization have filed a new motion for a preliminary injunction against Colorado’s law banning so-called abortion pill “reversal.” The motion, filed last week by lawyers from the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty on behalf of Catholic health clinic Bella Health and Wellness, says recent rulemaking by state medical boards has “doubled down” on the law’s alleged violations of religious freedom and free expression. (Ingold, 9/29)

AP: Judge Sentences A Woman Who Investigators Say Burned A Wyoming Abortion Clinic To 5 Years In Prison

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Emotional and physical abuse by parents who expected her to someday play a “supporting role” in her own life in deference to a future husband featured in the childhood of a woman who burned what was to be Wyoming’s first full-service abortion clinic in at least a decade, a judge said Thursday in handing down the minimum prison sentence for the crime. (Gruver, 9/29)

Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Abortions Increased Last Year In Georgia — Except For Black Women

As what was then known as House Bill 481 made its way through Georgia’s legislative process in 2019, abortion rights activists repeatedly said that enacting new restrictions would disproportionately affect Black women. That prediction looks to be coming true, with state Department of Public Health data showing that Black women were the only single-race demographic group to get fewer abortions in 2022 than in 2021. Black women still received the procedure at a higher rate in Georgia than any other racial group. (Prabhu, 9/29)

This is part of the Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.

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