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house Bill H.R. 3580

Should States Have to Report Abortion Data to the CDC in Order to Get Medicaid Funding for Family Planning Programs?

Argument in favor

Accurate abortion data is needed to inform a variety of federal public health policymaking decisions. Currently, the CDC’s abortion data isn’t accurate enough and some states don’t report abortion data to the agency at all. Withholding Medicaid funding for family planning programs from states that don’t report abortion data to the CDC would likely increase reporting.

Tooluser1's Opinion
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07/30/2019
We have to report all other deaths. Why not these?
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07/30/2019
Anything that helps end the selfish and senseless horrific violence that is terminating pregnancies. You already made your choice; now you have a baby. Do we need to explain to you again where babies come from? Keep your godless heathen cult out of our republic.
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JTJ's Opinion
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07/31/2019
You have no “right to privacy” when you demand that I pay for your “healthcare.”
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Argument opposed

Like Idaho’s implementation of a mandatory “complications from abortion” reporting requirement last year, this bill is an attempt to use government interference in women’s private medical decisions to intimidate women out of seeking abortions. While not all states report abortion data to the CDC, enough do to provide the federal government with enough abortion data for policymaking purposes.

NoHedges's Opinion
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07/30/2019
How about legislators focus less on making medical decisions for unborn children and more on legislative measures to protect living children. Like those being killed by assault rifles. What about their right to life?
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David 's Opinion
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07/30/2019
How come these white/Caucasian males have so much problem leaving women’s healthcare decisions to women? Power and control is the core belief and the core set of behaviors that drives these kinds of actions. You have to really wonder about the lack of emotional security and the image of masculinity that haunts men who think they need this kind of control.
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jimK's Opinion
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07/30/2019
Why? What ‘policy making decisions’ require this legislation? Irrespective of the fact that this legislation could only be used to attack lawful medical procedures, the stated rationale for the legislation makes no sense. Why not legislate reporting vasectomies, or bunion removals? Ok, republicans chant “state’s rights”, “keep feds out of our life’s”- and yet propose this legislation only as a justification to attack lawful abortions. Republicans, stop using double-speak titles to mislead people with regard to what you are trying to do. It is dishonest, dishonorable and despicable. Cut the crap.
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bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
  • The house has not voted
      house Committees
      Committee on Energy and Commerce
    IntroducedJune 27th, 2019

What is House Bill H.R. 3580?

This bill — the Ensuring Accurate and Complete Abortion Data Reporting Act of 2019 — would require states to report abortion data to the CDC in order to receive targeted Medicaid funding for family planning programs. It’d also ensure states are given technical assistance to help with data collection. 

Data points that would be required to be collected under this bill would include: 1) the number of abortions and 2) number of children who survived abortion attempts in each state. States that failed to collect this information, or which falsified this information, would be penalized by losing eligibility for family planning services funding from Medicaid for a time.

Impact

Women seeking abortions; abortion providers; states; abortion data collection by states; abortion data reporting by states; the CDC; and Medican funding to states for family planning programs.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 3580

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In-DepthRep. Ralph Norman (R-SC) introduced this bill to incentivize states to report abortion data to the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and ensure more accurate abortion counts across the country: 

“The reality is we have no idea how many abortions are actually performed each year in this country. States are asked to provide these numbers to the federal government, but they are not required to do so, which allows states like California and Maryland to intentionally withhold this data. Meanwhile, these states have no problem using federal tax dollars for family planning services. There’s a special provision in Medicaid that provides family planning funds to states, and those dollars can even be used by those who are not otherwise eligible for Medicaid.”

In an appearance on the Family Research Council’s podcast “Washington Watch with Tony Perkins,” Rep. Norman said the current data collection on abortion is voluntary. He also said current data isn’t necessarily accurate because it comes from Planned Parenthood affiliates that may not be trustworthy. 

Original cosponsor Rep. Gary Palmer (R-AL) expounds on the importance of accurate reporting on abortion:

“Accurate and transparent reporting on abortion and children who survive abortion attempts is essential to public health research and to determining sound policy. Reporting abortion data has been voluntary for too long, and this has led to states withholding many data points routinely requested by the CDC. We must standardize and enforce reporting processes in this area and ensure that states have necessary assistance in collecting the required abortion data. States should not be allowed to distort or provide faulty data in an effort to cover up the true numbers of innocent lives lost by abortion.”

March for Life is among a number of anti-abortion organizations that supports this bill. It says

“For years government data on abortion and women’s health has been missing statistics from entire states. Sadly Guttmacher Institute, founded as the research arm of our nation's largest abortion provider, has more complete data than the CDC. To say that there is a need for unbiased abortion reporting data is a gross understatement. We wholeheartedly applaud, support and thank Rep. Norman and Rep. Palmer for this commonsense bill which will bring abortion reporting out of the shadows and ultimately advance women’s health.”

In a paper produced at the Vanderbilt University Law School, J. Jackson Hill IV found issues with abortion data collection at both the CDC and the Guttmacher Institute — the two primary collectors of abortion statistics. Hill noted, “[f]rom 2001-2008, the CDC calculates that its numbers only account for 65-69% of abortions that were reported by Guttmacher.” He concluded that the “bribe” option of using conditional spending to incentivize abortion data reporting is the best approach to solving this problem.

In July 2018, Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands sued the state of Idaho in federal court over new abortion reporting requirements that it argued were unconstitutional and intended to stigmatize women seeking medical care. Idaho’s law — which went into effect on July 1, 2018 — created a list of “complications of abortion” which health professionals would be required to report when they occurred. The list included things that can typically occur in the immediate aftermath of an abortion, such as bleeding, as well as rare reactions that doctors typically consider unrelated to abortion procedures (such as an allergic reaction to anesthesia).

In its suit, Planned Parenthood contended that Idaho’s law arbitrary singled out just one medical procedure for the reporting requirement and that the law didn’t do enough to ensure women’s medical information would be kept private. It also argued that the law was convoluted, putting healthcare providers at risk of civil and criminal penalties for guessing wrong when attempted to follow the vague reporting requirements. Hannah Brass Greer, chief legal counsel for Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands, said

“This is another attempt by Idaho politicians to shame and stigmatize people seeking abortion care and to spread the myth that abortion is dangerous. These reporting requirements burden patients and their medical providers and represent another example of government overreach by Idaho politicians.”

Ultimately, Idaho lawmakers modified the law to remove some of the language that Planned Parenthood alleged was “unconstitutionally vague.” Subsequently, U.S. District Judge David Nye dismissed the case after the Idaho Attorney General’s office and attorneys for Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands asked to have the case closed. Deborah Ferguson, one of the attorneys representing Planned Parenthood, called the lawsuit “successful in that it obviously spurred the [Idaho] Legislature to modify the statute.” Grier added

“The Idaho Legislature has amended the harmful reporting law because our lawsuit showed them this unconstitutional measure unnecessarily placed politicians between a woman and her doctor. This is a win against the types of laws meant to out abortion providers for no medical reason.”

This bill has the support of March for Life, the National Right to Life Committee, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Susan B. Anthony List and the Family Research Council.


Of NoteSince 1969, the CDC has partnered with states to collect aggregate statistics on abortion, which it compiles to produce national estimates and its annual Abortion Surveillance Report. As data becomes available, the CDC’s Division of Reproductive Health also prepares surveillance reports. While states aren’t required to submit abortion data to the CDC, the Guttmacher Institute reports that “the overwhelming majority do.” 

The CDC’s Abortion Surveillance report is used for a number of purposes in the field of public health, including to: 

  • Identify characteristics of women who are at high risk of unintended pregnancy;
  • Evaluate teen pregnancy and unwanted pregnancy prevention programs’ effectiveness;
  • Calculate pregnancy rates, on the basis of the number of pregnancies ending in abortion, in conjunction with birth data and pregnancy loss estimates; and
  • Monitor changes in clinical practice patterns related to abortion (i.e., changes in the types of procedures used, and weeks of gestation at the time of abortion) and calculate the mortality rate of specific abortion procedures.

Data collection varies between states

  • 46 states require hospitals, facilities and physicians providing abortions to submit regular and confidential reports to the state; 
  • 8 states require providers to indicate the method of payment, such as insurance or self-pay, for the procedure; 
  • 27 states require providers to report postabortion complications; 
  • 16 states require providers to give some information about the woman’s reason for seeking the procedure; 
  • 6 states require providers to report whether the fetus was viable; and
  • 14 states require providers to indicate if the state mandates for abortion counseling and parental involvement were satisfied.

In previous reports, the CDC has analyzed the shortcomings in its data. Two major weaknesses it found (which this bill would help address) were 1) the fact that not all states, including California, Maryland and New Hampshire, send data to the agency and 2) that “the level of detail received on the characteristics of women obtaining abortions varies considerably from year to year and by reporting area.”


Media:

Summary by Lorelei Yang

(Photo Credit: iStockphoto.com / September15)

AKA

Ensuring Accurate and Complete Abortion Data Reporting Act of 2019

Official Title

To amend title XIX of the Social Security Act and Public Health Service Act to improve the reporting of abortion data to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and for other purposes.

    We have to report all other deaths. Why not these?
    Like (44)
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    How about legislators focus less on making medical decisions for unborn children and more on legislative measures to protect living children. Like those being killed by assault rifles. What about their right to life?
    Like (166)
    Follow
    Share
    How come these white/Caucasian males have so much problem leaving women’s healthcare decisions to women? Power and control is the core belief and the core set of behaviors that drives these kinds of actions. You have to really wonder about the lack of emotional security and the image of masculinity that haunts men who think they need this kind of control.
    Like (99)
    Follow
    Share
    Why? What ‘policy making decisions’ require this legislation? Irrespective of the fact that this legislation could only be used to attack lawful medical procedures, the stated rationale for the legislation makes no sense. Why not legislate reporting vasectomies, or bunion removals? Ok, republicans chant “state’s rights”, “keep feds out of our life’s”- and yet propose this legislation only as a justification to attack lawful abortions. Republicans, stop using double-speak titles to mislead people with regard to what you are trying to do. It is dishonest, dishonorable and despicable. Cut the crap.
    Like (72)
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    Information regarding one’s personal and medical data is definitely not the business of the United States government
    Like (58)
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    Interesting. Far-right Republicans want to hold Medicaid family planning funding hostage because they’re so anti-choice when doing so would only increase the likelihood of women needing abortions! They’re causing exactly what they’re trying to prevent! Leave this funding alone and leave women alone! The 1950s are over!
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    You have no business in a woman’s uterus none! Keep your religion out of our democracy. It’s that simple. Fund family planning to include abortions. Your war on women and the poor is disgusting. Like prostitution, abortions are not going away. They need to be done safely and legally like Roe versus Wade guaranteed. Follow the law and cut the BS.
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    Why doesn’t the CDC investigate a real crisis, gun violence! Leave abortion decisions between a woman and her medical professional. Gun violence is an actual crisis that is injuring and killing innocent people who are actually alive and outside the womb. Stop trying to sound humane by preventing women from making decisions about their health.
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    1. That violates HIPPA law. 2. I alone own my body. 3. The constitution gives us the right to privacy. So: IT IS NONE OF YOUR EFFING BUSINESS!
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    This is a ridiculous suggestion. No. Everyday we seem closer to Atwood’s Gilead.
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    I don't think the Federal government needs this data, and I worry about privacy for the women who obtain abortions if data is being reported. How about we start with collecting accurate data on gun deaths from every state first, and measure that impact on public health, and then decide which is a bigger issue?
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    Nope. No one’s business. Stay out my my practitioner’s office.
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    What are the Republicans trying to do here turn this into a Nazi America.
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    Yeah, no. I don’t think that going down this road is for the benefit of women. It’s not even very thinly veiled. Statistics and reporting are valuable, but the way this is set up isn’t about using data in positive or essential ways. It’s about control and appears to be a precursor to more abortion bans, which is bad for women and bad for the nation as a whole.
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    Are they reporting on appendectomies? Or tonsil removal? Or biopsies? No. So leave abortion alone. Abortion is healthcare.
    Like (16)
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    Family Planning and CDC are two completely separate entities. This is more religious BS just like Idaho’s mandatory implementation. All government fed and state need to keep your religious views out of our laws. Do you own thing in church but keep out of politics.
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    Please vote against this bill. Family planning access is essential to women’s health care and benefits their families. Women and families with low enough income to qualify for Medicaid need this the most, because they already have issues supporting themselves and their existing families. If better statistics on abortion are required by the CDC, there should be a separate legislation requiring that information. Holding Medicaid family planning funds hostage to this separate issue is just another attempt to limit women’s healthcare.
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    Do States Report Vasectomies? Do States Report Peyronie’s Disease? Do States Report Vaginal Discharge. Do States Report Erectile Dysfunction? Do States Report Prostate Enlargement? Around age 30, Men lose the Purplish Color in the head of their Penis, as they lose Blood Flow. And as they lose Testosterone, they lose hair around their Penis. This is due to lose of TESTOSTERONE. All around the Age Of 30. In some cases, Abdominal Fat ALL BUT BURIES the Penis. Doctors try to motivate men to lose weight to “gain an inch.” IS ALL OF THIS REPORTED TO THE CDC????? I want to know! Because if they mandate anything about WOMEN. WE MUST RE-ACT IN KIND! WHAT SAY YOU LADIES! NO FEMALE DATA UNTIL MEN ARE TREATED EQUALLY AS DEGRADING
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    Anything that helps end the selfish and senseless horrific violence that is terminating pregnancies. You already made your choice; now you have a baby. Do we need to explain to you again where babies come from? Keep your godless heathen cult out of our republic.
    Like (13)
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    I thought Republicans were against "big government" and wanted less "interference"? The purpose of this bill is simply to intimidate and create barriers to getting vitally needed medical care. If course, if anyone with a heartbeat really is so precious, they wouldn't refuse to provide those same babies families affordable medical care, child care, equal pay, a living wage, or safe schools.
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