An abortion clinic fights to stay open amid new proposed restrictions in North Dakota while Kansas lawmakers spar over new proposed restrictions on using state money for the procedure in that state.
The Associated Press: Abortion Proposal Faces Legal Challenges
Nearly two dozen women get abortions on an average Wednesday at the lone North Dakota clinic that performs them, often spending scarce resources to travel long distances to the Fargo building, where volunteers escort them through a crowd of protesters lining the street outside. The Red River Valley Women's Clinic, which opened under another name in 1981, is the only place within 230 miles where abortions are performed legally -- an estimated 1,200 a year. Now clinic officials fear they may need to go to court just to stay in business (Kolpack, 2/21).
Kansas City Star: Proposed Abortion Law Draws Heated Debate In Kansas House Committee
A bill forbidding the use of state money, tax credits or tax exemptions for abortion drew heated debate Wednesday in the House Federal and State Affairs Committee. ... It revises a law requiring doctors to give women certain information before terminating their pregnancies. And it includes language indicating that "the life of each human being begins at fertilization." Anti-abortion advocates said that government money should not be allocated for abortion procedures and that the bill provides general protection and rights for the unborn. ... Elise Higgins, Kansas National Organization for Women lobbyist and state co-coordinator, said the bill triggers a "blanket ban on all abortions" based on pseudoscience rather than evidence (2/21).
And there's a new poll on Texans' access to birth control --
The Houston Chronicle: Poll Results: 'The Pill Is Not Fair Game In The Culture Wars'
The Texas Freedom Network, which describes itself as a watchdog monitoring far-right issues, released a poll Tuesday showing strong support among Texans for state-funded family planning and birth control. Among its findings, the poll said 73 percent of Texans favor or somewhat favor state-funded family planning services, including birth control, for women. The network said it found support among 77 percent of Hispanics, 69 percent of Republican women and 66 percent of born-again Christians. ... The Texas Freedom Network Education Fund comissioned the poll by Washington-based Democratic pollster Anna Greenberg and Maryland-based Republican pollster Bob Carpenter (2/19).
And Georgia public health officials worry that the CDC could cut funding for its STD programs --
Georgia Health News: Will CDC Cut Funds For STD Programs?
State public health officials are worried that Georgia will soon lose up to $1.5 million in CDC funds for treating sexually transmitted diseases. ... The funding cut would affect clinical services, including lab testing, nurses, lab positions, and gonorrhea and chlamydia testing kits for all 18 districts, [the state Department of] Public Health said. Georgia has one of the highest rates of STDs in the nation. A 2010 CDC report said Georgia was No. 3 among states in its syphilis rate, 13th in chlamydial infections and sixth in gonorrheal infections (Miller, 2/20).
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.