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What We're Reading: South Carolina Passes 20-Week Abortion Ban

AJMC Staff
What we're reading, May 26, 2016: South Carolina passes a 20-week abortion ban, while Georgia's own law faces a new challenge; the FDA delays its decision on a controversial drug for Duchenne muscular dystrophy; and report highlights how Cover Oregon was mishandled.
In South Carolina, a new bill signed into law makes abortion after 20 weeks illegal; meanwhile, in Georgia, a new challenge is being brought against the state's own 20-week abortion ban. The bill signed by South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley makes the law take effect immediagely with abortions only allowed after 20 weeks if the mother's life is in danger, according to CNN. There are no exceptions for rape or incest. The law in Georgia is similar: making an exception to protect the life of the mother, but not for rape or incest. However, the Georgia law also allows for abortion if the fetus has a defect so severe that it is unlikely to live. In 2012, when the law was passed, the American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit and was not informed that the case had been dismissed, reported ABC News. The lawyers are now fighting to suspend the law while they continue to fight it.

The FDA delayed its decision on whether or not to approve a controversial drug to combat Duchenne muscular dystrophy. STAT reported that this is the second time the agency has extended its time to decide on approving the treatment and there is speculation that the delays appear to reflect political pressure. Patients groups and lawmakers want the FDA to transform the process for approving new medical products, especially for diseases with unmet needs, but an FDA advisory panel last month voted not to recommend approving the medication.

Republicans on a US House committee released a report on the mishandling of Oregon’s health insurance website. The Republicans are asking for a criminal investigation regarding actions involving Cover Oregon and the millions of taxpayer dollars that were wasted, according to AP. The Republicans are claiming state officials misused federal money, but Democrats on the committee are blaming the state’s contractor for the trouble with the website, which failed to enroll a single person online.

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