The Supreme Courts conservative majority handed anti-abortion forces a major victory in a decision that bans a controversial abortion procedure and sets the stage for further restrictions. For the first time since the court established a womans right to an abortion in 1973, the justices upheld a nationwide ban on a specific abortion method, labeled partial-birth abortion by its opponents. The 5-4 decision written by Justice Anthony Kennedy said the Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act that Congress passed and President Bush signed into law in 2003 does not violate a womans constitutional right to an abortion. Doctors who violate the law face up to two years in federal prison.
The American Red Cross has selected Mark Everson, the commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service, to be its new president, filling the post as the charity restructures itself after intense criticism over its response to Hurricane Katrina. The Red Cross had been led by an interim president, Jack McGuire, since December 2005, when Marsha Evans resigned because of friction with the charitys board of governors. Everson, 52, who will take the Red Cross post on May 29, has served as IRS commissioner since May 2003.
More than four decades after its inception, the federal-state Medicaid program is rife with poor quality of care, limited patient access and paltry reimbursement rates, according to a new report by the consumer-advocacy group Public Citizen. The study of all 50 states and the District of Columbia showed that the Medicaid program, which covers about 55 million mostly poor Americans, has failed to deliver adequate services to millions of individuals because of a wide-variance in eligibility requirements and other adverse factors. The study ranked state-operated Medicaid programs using data from 2004 and 2005.
Send us a letter
Have an opinion about this story? Click here to submit a Letter to the Editor, and we may publish it in print.