KQED’s ‘This Week’ To Discuss Lockyer Suit To Block Abortion Amendment in Appropriations Bill
KQED's "This Week in Northern California" on Friday will include a discussion of Attorney General Bill Lockyer's (D) suit against the Bush administration alleging that an amendment to the fiscal year 2005 federal omnibus appropriations bill -- the Hyde-Weldon Amendment, which eliminates federal funding to agencies that require health care providers to provide abortions or referrals in some situations -- is unconstitutional (Davis, "This Week in Northern California," KQED, 1/28).
The $388 billion federal spending bill includes an amendment under which federal, state or local agencies cannot force physicians, hospitals, health insurers, HMOs or other health care entities to provide abortion services or referrals. The provision will extend to many health care providers a "conscience protection" that previously was reserved for medical students who oppose receiving abortion training.
The amendment will affect all states but mostly those, including California, that use state funds to finance abortion-related services for Medicaid beneficiaries. Forty-five states currently allow health care providers to refuse to offer abortion services without penalty.
Under the provision, states that enforce laws relating to the provision of abortion services against hospitals, clinics and insurers that oppose abortion will become ineligible for some federal funds for education, labor, health and human services programs (California Healthline, 1/26).
Guests on the segment will include Bob Egelko, federal courts reporter for the San Francisco Chronicle ("This Week in Northern California," KQED, 1/28). Check local listings for show times.