Voters are split over a new Virginia law that mandates women get ultrasounds before an abortion. Abortion and contraception issues are also making news in Iowa, Idaho, Texas, Washington, Kansas and Utah.
NPR: Poll: Voters Split Over Virginia Abortion Ultrasound Bill
Voters in Virginia appear to be at odds with the state legislature and the governor over a new law that sets guidelines on ultrasounds and abortions, according to the results of the latest opinion poll from Quinnipiac University. The poll finds that 52 percent of Virginia voters polled disagree with a new law that requires women seeking an abortion to undergo an ultrasound examination at least 24 hours before the procedure. 41 percent of those polled agreed with the law (Trull, 3/21).
Politico: Virginia Poll: 52% Oppose Ultrasound Law
A majority of Virginians stand against the state's new law that requires women seeking an abortion to undergo an ultrasound before the procedure, a new survey shows. Fifty-two percent of voters said they opposed the law, compared with 41 percent who support it, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released Wednesday. Further, an overwhelming 72 percent of Virginians said that the government should not make laws aimed at changing the minds of women who are seeking abortions (Mak, 3/21).
Des Moines Register: Iowa Bishops Call For Spiritual Battle Against HHS Mandate
The four Catholic Bishops of Iowa -- Archbishop Jerome Hanus of Dubuque, Bishop Richard Pates of Des Moines, Bishop Martin Amos of Davenport and Bishop Walker Nickless of Sioux City -- have issued a joint letter calling for all Iowa Catholics to dedicate the traditional Lenten practices of prayer, abstinence and fasting on Friday, March 30 toward the resolution of ongoing religious liberty concerns related to the implementation of federal health care mandates (Erzen, 3/21).
The Associated Press: Abortion Foes Do Live Ultrasounds In Idaho Capitol
The Idaho Capitol was part medical clinic, part reality TV show and all cultural battlefield on Wednesday, as an anti-abortion advocate secured a basement meeting room to conduct live ultrasound procedures on six women before a mostly female audience of 150. Some were ejected from the room by Idaho State Police troopers after interrupting activist Brandi Swindell's descriptions of the ultrasound images shown on three projector screens (Miller, 3/21).
The Texas Tribune: Interactive: Texas vs. the Federal Government
Gov. Rick Perry has pitted the state's interests against those of the federal government on a variety of issues -- including health care reform and environmental standards -- arguing the 10th Amendment grants state governments more autonomy than many of the laws passed by the federal government allow. ... Texas filed another suit on March 16 to overturn the federal decision to cut funding for the Texas Women's Health Program. It's the second lawsuit involving women's health (Aaronson, Chang, Hasson and Wiseman, 3/21).
The Seattle Times: State To Appeal Judge's Ruling On Emergency Contraceptives
State officials announced Wednesday they will appeal a federal judge's ruling that Washington state cannot force pharmacies to sell Plan B or other emergency contraceptives. Gov. Chris Gregoire issued a statement announcing the action, saying she fully supports the appeal that will be filed by the office of Attorney General Rob McKenna on behalf of the state Department of Health and the state Board of Pharmacy (La Corte, 3/21).
The Kansas City Star: Miami [Kansas] County Again Decides To Forgo Contraceptive Funds
For a second time, Miami County commissioners have decided to forgo a government grant for contraceptives. More than 75 people packed a meeting Wednesday in Paola, Kan., where commissioners revisited an earlier decision not to seek the funds. After audience members spoke on both sides of the issue, commissioners reaffirmed their original position. That places in question an even greater amount of aid for family-planning services to the poor, according to a county commissioner. The board voted 3-2 earlier this month, on a motion by Commissioner Danny Gallagher, to delete about $9,000 from the county's annual grant request from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (Campbell, 3/22).
Stateline: Herbert Reverses Course, Vetoes Abstinence Education Bill
Republicans in Utah say they were caught off-guard last week when Governor Gary Herbert vetoed an abstinence-only sex education bill that had easily passed both chambers of the Republican-controlled legislature. ... The legislation, proposed by Representative Bill Wright, would have made it illegal to discuss contraception other than abstinence in the classroom (Wieder, 3/22).
This article was reprinted from kaiserhealthnews.org with permission from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent news service, is a program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan health care policy research organization unaffiliated with Kaiser Permanente.