Mississippi governor signs bill to ban abortion after 15 weeks

JACKSON, Miss. — Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant signed into law March 19 the most restrictive state abortion bill in the nation because it bans abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy.

The owner of the state's only abortion clinic, Jackson Women's Health Organization, filed suit immediately after Bryant signed the bill, claiming it is unconstitutional.

City board of aldermen step closer to buffer zone bill

Two Missouri lawmakers have filed legislation that would pre-empt local governments from enacting laws restricting a person's First Amendment rights.

Rep. Holly Rehder (R-Sikeston) has filed HB 2589, which says that "no city, town or village shall pass or enforce any law, ordinance or resolution that restricts a person from exercising a right enumerated in Amendment 1 of the Constitution of the United States while such a person is on a public sidewalk, street, avenue, alley, or other public place unless state law authorizes such a restriction."

St. Louis aldermanic committee passes buffer-zone bill

A proposed City of St. Louis ordinance that would create a buffer zone around "health care facilities" was recently passed by an aldermanic committee. That ordinance would include Planned Parenthood, according to testimony in the committee meeting.

The Public Safety Committee on Feb. 14 passed Board Bill 34 by a vote of 5-2. It now is expected to go to the full board for consideration. (Watch for updates.)

Congress urged to ‘fix fundamental flaws’ in final tax reform bill

Graduate students rallied against the proposed federal tax reform bill Nov. 29 in New York City. Congress must “fix the fundamental flaws” in both the Senate and House versions of the tax bill as lawmakers try to reach an agreement on a final bill, said the chairman of the U.S. bishops’ domestic policy committee.

WASHINGTON — In a new letter to members of Congress, Bishop Frank J. Dewane of Venice, Fla., outlined a sweeping package of changes in pending tax reform legislation to ensure the final bill is "morally acceptable."

Partisan disagreement hobbles health care conversation

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., arrived to speak with reporters following a vote to open debate on a health care bill at the U.S. Capitol July 25.

WASHINGTON — When the vice president has to cast a vote to break a tie in the Senate on whether to debate U.S. health care policy, it's obvious that passing legislation related to the Affordable Care Act is going to be a heavy lift in Congress.

Democrats, who boasted of a veto-proof majority to avoid a Senate Republican filibuster, got the ACA passed in 2010. Now, they're in the minority in both the Senate and the House.

Yet in the rush to reject the ACA, there lacks unanimity among Republicans in each chamber to make changes.

Catholic leaders react to House bill to repeal, replace health care law

U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price gestured at a stack of papers that he said was the Affordable Care Act at a March 7 press briefing. Republicans in the U.S. House have introduced a measure to repeal and replace the federal health care law.

WASHINGTON — Calling health care "a vital concern for nearly every person in the country," the U.S. Catholic bishops said March 8 they will be reviewing closely a measure introduced in the House March 6 to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.

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