Breaking News
March 20, 2019 - Leaky valve repair improves quality of life in heart failure patients
March 20, 2019 - Diattenuation Imaging offers structural information of difficult to access brain regions
March 20, 2019 - Early sports specialization linked to increased injury rates during athletic career
March 20, 2019 - Study brings clarity about milk intake for children with Duarte galactosemia
March 20, 2019 - Allergan Announces FDA Acceptance of New Drug Application for Ubrogepant for the Acute Treatment of Migraine
March 20, 2019 - Maternal smoking during pregnancy increases risk of ADHD among offspring up to three-fold
March 20, 2019 - Pioneering pediatric kidney transplant surgeon Oscar Salvatierra dies at 83 | News Center
March 20, 2019 - F.D.A. Approves First Drug for Postpartum Depression
March 20, 2019 - TB remains a major public health challenge in the European region
March 20, 2019 - Most pills contain common allergens, warn experts
March 20, 2019 - Researchers discover previously unknown mechanism by which cells can sense oxygen
March 20, 2019 - World’s leading source of data on diagnosis, treatments for aortic dissection
March 20, 2019 - Breast cancer relapse predictor may soon be a reality
March 20, 2019 - Researchers identify origin of chronic pain in humans
March 20, 2019 - Two-drug combinations containing calcium channel blocker significantly lowers BP
March 20, 2019 - King’s scientists to monitor air quality exposure of 250 children
March 20, 2019 - Preventative cardioverter defibrillator implantation is of little benefit to kidney dialysis patients
March 20, 2019 - Merck to collaborate with GenScript for plasmid and virus manufacturing in China
March 20, 2019 - FDA Approves Zulresso (brexanolone) for the Treatment of Postpartum Depression
March 20, 2019 - Study examines long-term opioid use in patients with severe osteoarthritis
March 20, 2019 - Retired Stanford professor Edward Rubenstein, pioneer in intensive care medicine, dies at 94 | News Center
March 20, 2019 - Aaron Diamond AIDS Research Center to Join Columbia University
March 20, 2019 - Call for halt to human gene editing and designer babies experiments
March 20, 2019 - Study illuminates how hot spots of genetic variation evolved in the human genome
March 20, 2019 - Roundworm study suggests alternatives for treatment of schizophrenia
March 20, 2019 - Sphingotec reports new applications of bio-ADM at 39th ISICEM
March 20, 2019 - Preventing falls through free community-based screenings for older adults
March 20, 2019 - AAOS: Supplement Use Low in Patients With Osteoporosis, Hip Fracture
March 20, 2019 - Does intensive blood pressure control reduce dementia?
March 20, 2019 - Nut consumption could be key to better cognitive health in older people
March 20, 2019 - Drinking hot tea associated with increased risk of esophageal cancer
March 20, 2019 - Androgen receptor plays vital role in regulating multiple mitochondrial processes
March 20, 2019 - NIH announces funding boost for Detroit Cardiovascular Training Program
March 20, 2019 - Study reveals another surgical option for patients with irreparable rotator cuff tears
March 20, 2019 - New robot-guided video game may be effective and low-cost solution for caregivers
March 20, 2019 - Heart Attacks Fall By One-Third Among Older Americans
March 20, 2019 - Data sharing uncovers five new risk genes for Alzheimer’s disease
March 20, 2019 - Does It Make Sense To Delay Children’s Vaccines?
March 20, 2019 - Lack of health insurance may increase Aging immigrants’ risk for cardiovascular disease
March 20, 2019 - Piece of puzzle unlocked in what drives alcohol addiction
March 20, 2019 - Researchers investigate whether Zika reservoirs are found in the Americas
March 20, 2019 - Compounds found in coffee may inhibit growth of prostate cancer
March 20, 2019 - Lab Innovations returns to the NEC on 30 & 31 October 2019
March 20, 2019 - How genes affect tobacco and alcohol use
March 20, 2019 - Osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis have similar impacts on patients
March 20, 2019 - Individuals with infection history have higher risk of developing Sjögren’s syndrome
March 20, 2019 - Nursing home residents benefit from individualized multi-component exercise program
March 20, 2019 - Plant cellulose bone implants are “viable” option to support new bone growth, study finds
March 20, 2019 - Older people living in retirement communities benefit from improved health
March 20, 2019 - UTSA professor helps train first responders to detect prescription opioid overdoses
March 20, 2019 - Biohaven’s Verdiperstat Receives Orphan Drug Designation From FDA For Multiple System Atrophy
March 20, 2019 - Smoking may limit body’s ability to fight dangerous form of skin cancer
March 20, 2019 - Researchers receive $9.7-million grant to develop new hearing-loss treatments for deaf
March 20, 2019 - TGen and ABL sign agreement to distribute new TB test technology
March 20, 2019 - UCD researchers lead development of new urine test to detect prostate cancer
March 20, 2019 - Miniature brains that can move muscles, grown in the lab
March 20, 2019 - Servier and Oncodesign announce research and drug development partnership
March 20, 2019 - FDA warns marketer of unapproved products claiming to treat addiction, chronic pain
March 20, 2019 - TB Medicine Pretomanid Enters Regulatory Review Process in the United States
March 20, 2019 - Breastfeeding can erase effects of prenatal violence for newborns
March 20, 2019 - Tens of Thousands of Heart Patients May Not Need Open-Heart Surgery
March 20, 2019 - Space worries – shingles affecting astronauts says NASA
March 20, 2019 - Study shows how AI can improve physicians’ diagnostic accuracy
March 20, 2019 - Dolomite Bio launches new scRNA-Seq Reagent Kit at AGBT 2019
March 20, 2019 - World’s oldest semen viable for artificial insemination
March 20, 2019 - FDA Approves Zulresso (brexanolone) for the Treatment of Post-Partum Depression
March 19, 2019 - How it manipulates us to tribalism
March 19, 2019 - How can doctors encourage patients to adopt healthier behaviors?
March 19, 2019 - Meet Hal: He's One Sick Robot
March 19, 2019 - Blood test and mathematical model can estimate preterm birth rate in low-resource countries
March 19, 2019 - TAVR procedure safe in patients with unusual valve anatomy
March 19, 2019 - Proteins in the eye may be potential source for cost-effective test to predict Alzheimer’s disease
March 19, 2019 - Opioid Prescriptions Dropped for New Users From 2012 to 2017
March 19, 2019 - New method may better predict the best treatment for burn wounds
March 19, 2019 - “Asian” isn’t specific enough for health data, research suggests
March 19, 2019 - ColumbiaDoctors Presents Honors for Outstanding Commitment to Patient Safety
March 19, 2019 - Innovative model identifies primate species with potential to transmit Zika in the Americas
March 19, 2019 - One-off surgery could offer hope to patients with high blood pressure
March 19, 2019 - Many pet owners interested in feeding their pets with plant-based diet
March 19, 2019 - How to Protect Your Kids From Drowning
In Trump’s first year, anti-abortion forces make strides despite setbacks

In Trump’s first year, anti-abortion forces make strides despite setbacks

image_pdfDownload PDFimage_print

One year into his presidency, three of those items remain undone. Nevertheless, abortion opponents have made significant progress changing the direction of federal and state policies on the issue.

Indeed, on Friday, as anti-abortion protesters gathered in Washington for the 45th annual March for Life, the Trump administration announced two new policies. One is a letter to states aimed at making it easier for them to exclude Planned Parenthood facilities from their Medicaid programs; the other is a proposed regulation to allow health care providers to refuse to perform services that conflict with their “religious or moral beliefs.”

“In my administration, we will always defend the very first right in the Declaration of Independence, and that is the right to life,” Trump said in a video address from the Rose Garden to the marchers.

Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the anti-abortion group the Susan B. Anthony List, led the Trump campaign’s Pro-Life Coalition. The then-candidate said he was committed to “nominating pro-life justices to the U.S. Supreme Court,” which happened with the nomination and confirmation of Justice Neil Gorsuch in April.

But despite many attempts, Congress did not pass a federal ban on abortions occurring after 20 weeks, did not cut off Planned Parenthood’s federal funding and did not write into permanent law the “Hyde Amendment,” which bans most federal abortion funding but needs annual renewal.

Still, there was progress on scaling back abortion and, in some cases, access to contraception at the federal level.

The administration made myriad changes. It reinstituted and expanded the “Mexico City Policy,” which forbids funding of international aid programs that “perform or promote” abortion. It issued rules aimed at allowing religious-affiliated and other employers to not offer contraceptive services if they have a “religious belief” or “moral conviction” against them, although federal courts have blocked the new rules from being implemented. And just last week it created a new “conscience and religious freedom” division in the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Civil Rights. That new division is designed to enforce both existing laws protecting the rights of conscience for medical personnel as well as the new regulations.

Most important, according to many in the anti-abortion movement, the president nominated and the Senate confirmed a dozen and a half federal district court and appeals court judges who are considered likely to rule in their favor.

Abortion rights supporters concede that while the priorities on their opponents’ wish list were not accomplished, plenty still happened.

“This administration is the worst we’ve ever seen for women and families,” said Kaylie Hanson Long of NARAL Pro-Choice America in a statement. “Its attacks on reproductive freedom are relentless, under the radar, and aren’t supported by the majority of Americans who believe abortion should remain legal.”

Dannenfelser said one of the biggest changes is the number of anti-abortion advocates now working in the Department of Health and Human Services in key roles. “I can say there is more unity in this administration than there has been in any presidency on this,” she said.

Abortion opponents know their biggest obstacle is the U.S. Senate, where they don’t have the 60 votes required for most legislation. “Without making advances in the Senate, it’s going to be really tough,” said Dannenfelser.

Meanwhile, outside Washington, states continued their efforts to restrict access to abortion and family planning. States have passed 401 separate measures since Republicans took over most state legislatures in 2011, according to the Guttmacher Institute, a reproductive rights research and advocacy group.

During 2017, 19 states enacted 63 separate restrictions, said Elizabeth Nash, who tracks state legislation for Guttmacher. Among the notable laws was one in Ohio to outlaw abortions of fetuses diagnosed with Down syndrome. Arkansas and Texas passed laws to ban “dilation and evacuation” abortions, a procedure that uses suction and medical instruments to remove the fetus and is the most common procedure for abortion after the first trimester of pregnancy. Both bans have been blocked by federal courts.

Some of the new restrictions came from states that have not been active on the issue in recent years. A Wyoming law requiring ultrasounds to be offered to pregnant women seeking an abortion was that state’s first in 30 years, Nash said.

But 2017 was also notable for states seeking to widen or ensure access to abortion and other reproductive services. For example, Delaware passed a law enshrining abortion rights, while Oregon and New York require private health plans to cover abortion without patients’ cost sharing. Legislators in California, which has a long history of protecting abortion rights, have been pushing a bill that would require public universities to provide abortion pills to female students who are less than 10 weeks pregnant. The bill stalled last year, but it is being picked up again this year.

As a result, said Nash, “we are really living in a bifurcated country. The states that are progressive are looking to protect access” to abortion and contraception. “The states that are conservative are looking to restrict it.”

In other words, a nation that looks a lot like it did 45 years ago, when the Supreme Court legalized abortion nationwide in Roe v Wade.

California Healthline Reporter Ana B. Ibarra in Sacramento, Calif., contributed to this article.

KHN’s coverage of women’s health care issues is supported in part by The David and Lucile Packard Foundation.


Kaiser Health NewsThis article was reprinted from khn.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.

Tagged with:

About author

Related Articles