Overnight Healthcare

Overnight Health Care — Presented by Campaign for Accountability — Momentum builds for federal laws enshrining abortion rights | Missouri lawmakers approve bill banning abortions at 8 weeks | Warren unveils plan to protect abortion rights

Welcome to Friday's Overnight Health Care.

We're still seeing the fallout from Alabama's abortion ban law. Today, another state passed a bill meant to severely restrict abortion, and 2020 Democrats are pushing to enshrine abortion rights.

We'll start with the idea of legislating Roe v Wade...


Momentum builds behind push to pass laws enshrining abortion rights

Does there need to be a law that protects a constitutionally guaranteed right? Some 2020 Democratic candidates think so.

The Democratic hopefuls vying to take on President Trump are leading a push to enshrine abortion rights in federal law in response to a series of states passing legislation to ban the procedure.

The candidates want to codify the Roe v. Wade decision with legislation as a way of highlighting their support for abortion rights, and in direct response to an Alabama state measure that would outlaw almost all abortions, even in cases of rape and incest.

Who supports this move so far: Six candidates so far have backed the idea in some capacity: Sens. Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), as well as former Rep. Beto O'Rourke (D-Texas), former Sen. Mike Gravel of Alaska (D) and former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper (D).

Campaign messaging: Congress won't pass a bill to codify the legality of abortion if Republicans keep control of the Senate in 2020, but presidential candidates are putting the stake in the ground now ahead of a Democratic primary where women are expected to once again make up the majority of voters.

Specific examples: Warren on Friday called for Congress to pass a law that parallels Roe v. Wade. The law would prevent states that "functionally limit" access to abortion and would guarantee reproductive health coverage be included in all health coverage.

Gravel has proposed passing a constitutional amendment guaranteeing Americans personal autonomy "including the rights to contraception, to safe and legal abortion, and to gender transition."

But not everyone is on board yet: Other Democrats running for president have been noncommittal or silent on the issue. South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg said this week that the idea should be "taken seriously" while condemning the Alabama law, but did not directly say whether he supported it.

Harris says on her campaign website that she is fighting to ensure "reproductive rights are not just protected by the Constitution of the United States but guaranteed in every state," but has not laid out details on a policy proposal.

Read more on the candidates' views here.



Abortion crackdown in another state: Missouri lawmakers approve bill banning abortions at 8 weeks

The latest state to pass a highly restrictive abortion law is Missouri.

The Missouri state House on Friday voted overwhelmingly for a bill banning abortions in the state after eight weeks.

The Republican-led legislature passed the bill by a 110-44 vote. The bill already sailed through the state's GOP-controlled Senate on Thursday in a 24-10 vote.

It now heads to the desk of Gov. Mike Parson (R), who is expected to sign it into law.

The governor has said the law would make Missouri "one of the strongest pro-life states in the country."

Missouri far from alone: In addition to Alabama's almost total abortion ban this week, the Republican governors in Ohio and Georgia have also passed similar measures in their states seeking to ban abortions once a fetal heartbeat is detectable, which typically occurs at six weeks into a pregnancy, before many women know they're pregnant.

Read more here.


2020 Dems getting involved...Warren rolls out a plan

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) unveiled an abortion plan to:

  • Codify Roe v. Wade in federal law
  • Overrule state laws that impose restrictions on abortion access
  • Repeal the Hyde Amendment, which limits federal funding for abortion
  • Overturn the Trump administration's restrictions on Title X family planning funding

"These extremist Republican lawmakers know what the law is -- but they don't care. They want to turn back the clock, outlaw abortion, and deny women access to reproductive health care. And they are hoping the Supreme Court will back their radical play," Warren wrote.

The politics: A wide array of 2020 Democratic presidential candidates are seeking to show how strong they are in protecting abortion rights after the firestorm over Alabama's law.  

Read more on Warren's plan here.


More from The Hill

California lawmaker discusses personal experience with abortion

Ron Howard to shoot 'Hillbilly Elegy' in Georgia despite abortion bill boycott

Alabama doctor explains why she won't stop providing abortions despite ban

Swalwell pledges to appoint Supreme Court justices who defend Roe v. Wade



The Trump administration is quietly giving away millions of dollars intended for family planning services to a religious organization that refuses to provide contraception. Learn more.


What we're reading

Here's where every 2020 Democrat stands on abortion policy (Vox.com)

Democrats grapple with fully embracing Medicare for All (Associated Press)

Dude, where's my regulatory framework? As CBD gains popularity, Washington struggles to keep up (Stat)

With more than 1,100 dead, Congo's Ebola outbreak is only getting worse. Now doctors are forced to go undercover (The Washington Post)


State by state

Will Washington state's new 'public option' plan reduce health care costs? (NPR News)

Delaware House approves proposed tax on opioids (Associated Press)

Opioid prescriptions drop sharply among state workers (California Healthline)