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Texas Moves To Block Planned Parenthood From Medicaid Funds

Planned parenthood funding to be cut by TexasAfter more than a year of delays, Texas health officials are moving to block the women's health provider Planned Parenthood from receiving Medicaid funds beginning next month.

In October 2015, Texas officials told Planned Parenthood that the state intended to bar the organization from the public insurance program. Planned Parenthood responded with a lawsuit seeking an injunction against the state.

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Obama Administration Moves To Protect Planned Parenthood's Federal Funding

Obama moves to protect funding for Planned ParenthoodThe Obama administration is trying to protect Planned Parenthood's federal funding before the president turns over the reins of government to Republicans who have historically been hostile to the family planning group.

The Department of Health and Human Services finalized a regulation Wednesday that says states that award federally funded grants for women's health programs can't discriminate against Planned Parenthood. The regulation doesn't name Planned Parenthood, but it was clear the rule was written with the organization in mind.

Republicans in Congress have repeatedly threatened to cut off federal funding for Planned Parenthood because the family planning group performs abortions at some clinics.

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The Supreme Court Has Upheld a Billion-Dollar NFL Concussion Settlement

NFL concussion fine upheldThe Supreme Court on Monday rejected the final two challenges to the estimated $1 billion settlement between the NFL and thousands of its former players who have been diagnosed with brain injuries linked to repeated concussions. Players who already have been diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s or dementia could begin receiving payments in 90 to 120 days.

“This is a historical moment for the retired player community who, in the face of great adversity, took on the NFL,” said attorney Christopher Seeger, who represented the class of more than 20,000 former NFL players now eligible for payments for the next 65 years.

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Ohio Gov. John Kasich Signs 20-Week Abortion Ban

KasichOhio Gov. John Kasich (R) signed a 20-week abortion ban into law on Tuesday, making the state the 18th to do so.

At the same time, the governor vetoed a bill that would have banned abortions after six weeks of pregnancy― before many women even realize they’re pregnant. Nicknamed the “heartbeat bill,” it would have threatened doctors with up to a year in jail if they performed an abortion after detection of a fetal heartbeat. The law would have been the most extreme anti-abortion restriction in the country.

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Oklahoma Court Tosses Abortion Law on Hospital Privileges

Oklahoma court tosses abortion laThe Oklahoma Supreme Court on Tuesday threw out a law requiring abortion clinics to have doctors with admitting privileges at nearby hospitals, saying efforts to portray the measure as protecting women's health are a "guise."

The law would require a doctor with admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles be present for any abortion. The court found it violates both the U.S. and Oklahoma Constitutions. The U.S. Supreme Court earlier this year struck down a similar provision in Texas.

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Donald Trump Picks Fossil Fuel-Friendly Oklahoma Attorney General To Head EPA

Scott PruittPresident-elect Donald Trump has picked Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt to serve as the head of the Environmental Protection Agency, Reuters reported Wednesday.

Pruitt has been a vocal critic of EPA regulations and defender of fossil fuel interests. Lawyers for Devon Energy, one of his state’s biggest oil and gas companies, authored a letter Pruitt sent to the EPA criticizing estimates on emissions from natural gas drilling sites, The New York Times reported in 2014.

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Ohio 'heartbeat bill' abortion ban moves to governor

Ohio 'heartbeat' abortion billOhio would have the country's most restrictive abortion laws under a bill sent to Gov. John Kasich on Tuesday, as leading Republicans were emboldened by the anticipation of Donald Trump's upcoming federal and Supreme court appointments.

If signed by Kasich, the so-called "heartbeat bill" would ban abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected, which can be as early as six weeks' gestation. The proposal would not exempt pregnancies resulting from rape or incest, but does include an exception for an abortion to save the life of the pregnant woman.

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