KFF Health News’ ‘What the Health?’: Anti-Abortion Hard-Liners Speak Up

The Host Julie Rovner KFF Health News @jrovner Read Julie's stories. Julie Rovner is chief Washington correspondent and host of KFF Health News weekly health policy news podcast, What the Health? A noted expert on health policy issues, Julie is the author of the critically praised reference book Health Care Politics and Policy A to Z, now in its third edition.

With abortion shaping up as a key issue for the November elections, the movement that united to overturn Roe v. Wade is divided over going further, faster including by punishing those who have abortions and banning contraception or IVF. Politicians who oppose abortion are already experiencing backlash in some states.

Meanwhile, bad actors are bilking the health system in various new ways, from switching peoples insurance plans without their consent to pocket additional commissions, to hacking the records of major health systems and demanding millions of dollars in ransom.

This weeks panelists are Julie Rovner of KFF Health News, Alice Miranda Ollstein of Politico, Rachel Roubein of The Washington Post, and Joanne Kenen of the Johns Hopkins schools of public health and nursing and Politico Magazine. Panelists Alice Miranda Ollstein Politico @AliceOllstein Read Alice's stories. Joanne Kenen Johns Hopkins University and Politico @JoanneKenen Read Joanne's articles. Rachel Roubein The Washington Post @rachel_roubein Read Rachel's stories.

Among the takeaways from this weeks episode: It appears that abortion opponents are learning its a lot easier to agree on what youre against than for. Now that the constitutional right to an abortion has been overturned, political leaders are contending with vocal groups that want to push further such as by banning access to IVF or contraception. A Louisiana bill designating abortion pills as controlled substances targets people in the state, where abortion is banned, who are finding ways to get the drug. And abortion providers in Kansas are suing over a new law that requires patients to report their reasons for having an abortion. Such state laws have a cumulative chilling effect on abortion access. Some Republican lawmakers seem to be trying to dodge voter dissatisfaction with abortion restrictions in this election year. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas and Sen. Katie Britt of Alabama introduced legislation to protect IVF by pulling Medicaid funding from states that ban the fertility procedure but it has holes. And Gov. Larry Hogan of Maryland declared he is pro-choice, even though he mostly dodged the issue during his eight years as governor. Former President Donald Trump is in the news again for comments that seemed to leave the door open to restrictions on contraception which may be the case, though he is known to make such vague policy suggestions. Trumps policies as president did restrict access to contraception, and his allies have proposed going further.

Also this week, Rovner interviews Shefali Luthra of The 19th about her new book on abortion in post-Roe America, Undue Burden. Email Sign-Up

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Plus, for extra credit, the panelists suggest health policy stories they read this week that they think you should read, too: 

Julie Rovner: The 19ths What Happens to Clinics After a State Bans Abortion? They Fight To Survive, by Shefali Luthra and Chabeli Carrazana. 

Alice Miranda Ollstein: Stats How Doctors Are Pressuring Sickle Cell Patients Into Unwanted Sterilizations, by Eric Boodman.  

Rachel Roubein: The Washington Posts What Science Tells Us About Biden, Trump and Evaluating an Aging Brain, by Joel Achenbach and Mark Johnson.  

Joanne Kenen: ProPublicas Toxic Gaslighting: How 3M Executives Convinced a Scientist the Forever Chemicals She Found in Human Blood Were Safe, by Sharon Lerner; and The Guardians Microplastics Found in Every Human Testicle in Study, by Damian Carrington.

Also mentioned on this weeks podcast: NPRs Republicans Try To Soften Stance on Abortion as Abolitionists Go Farther, by Sarah McCammon. KFF Health News Biden Leans Into Health Care, Asking Voters To Trust Him Over Trump, by Phil Galewitz. KFF Health News Exclusive: Senator Urges Biden Administration To Thwart Fraudulent Obamacare Enrollments, by Julie Appleby. KFF Health News KHNs What the Health?: Un-Trumping the ACA, featuring an interview with journalist Marshall Allen. Credits Francis Ying Audio producer Emmarie Huetteman Editor

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And subscribe to KFF Health News’ “What the Health?” on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Pocket Casts, or wherever you listen to podcasts. Related Topics Aging Courts Elections Insurance Medicaid Medicare Multimedia Public Health States Abortion Contraception Kansas KFF Health News' 'What The Health?' Louisiana Podcasts Pregnancy Reproductive Health Texas Women's Health Contact Us Submit a Story Tip