Roundup: Seven States Take Bush’s HHS Regulations to Court; Sharp Health Disparities in Utah


Seven States Take Bush’s Provider Conscience Regulations to Court

The San
Francisco Chronicle reports
on the lawsuit filed by California and six other states in
opposition to HHS’s expanded provider conscience regulation.  The states "laim the federal rule, issued by
the Bush administration last month and set to take effect Tuesday, would trump
state laws protecting women’s access to birth control, reproductive health
services and emergency contraception," reports the Chronicle. "California
has carefully and thoughtfully struck a balance between the right to use
contraceptives and the right of health care providers to abstain from
administering them," said California Attorney General Jerry Brown in a
statement. "This illegal and stealth regulation threatens to erode women’s
hard-fought privacy rights."

To the Washington Post, Rebecca Ayer, a spokeswoman for the Department of Health and Human Services, said officials "have not had
an opportunity to review the lawsuits, and we will respond to the court
on any pending litigation. The department followed appropriate
procedures to put the regulation in place, and the regulation is fully
supported by law."


African-Americans Living in Utah Face Serious Health Disparities

Nearly half of all African-American women in Utah
don’t get adequate prenatal care, reports the Salt Lake
Tribune
, "[a]nd a black baby has twice
the risk of death than babies of other races." 
Says the Tribune, "One of the state’s main areas of concern is births. Laurie Baksh, a
state reproductive health epidemiologist, said much of the high rate of infant
death is due to the similarly high rate of premature births among blacks. In
general, half of premature births are from maternal or fetal illnesses and the
other half have no explanation."

Pregnancy A Serious Health Risk to Women in the Developing World

A recent UNICEF
State of the World Report
found that pregnancy is one of the most significant health risks to women in
the developing world. Women in the developing
world are 300 times more likely to die of pregnancy-related complications than
women living in the developed world.  "The
health and survival of mothers and their newborns are linked, and many of the
interventions that save new mothers’ lives also benefit their infants," reports
ABS CBN News
.

Student Anti-Choice Groups at Dallas Public Schools

Students at several public high schools in the Dallas
area have formed anti-abortion student groups, reports
the Dallas Morning News
.  So far, the
public schools have not bestowed official recognition on the clubs.

Federal law and U.S. Supreme Court decisions
generally require public schools to provide equal access to religious and
political clubs.

Coppell and other school districts believe they can refuse official status
to religious and political clubs if they are not tied directly to school
curriculum.

But there aren’t recognized
pro-choice groups, either –  "If you have the pro-life club, there’s going to be a
group that wants to have a pro-choice club," said Coppell High School
principal Brad Hunt. "We don’t want anything derogatory toward any
group."

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