May 21, 2021

Around the nation: Texas governor signs law banning most abortions after fetal heartbeat is detected

Daily Briefing

    Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) on Wednesday signed into law a bill that will ban most abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected, which can occur as early as six weeks into pregnancy, in today's bite-sized hospital and health industry news from Alabama, New York, and Texas.

    • Alabama: Gov. Kay Ivey (R) on Monday announced she has signed into law a bill legalizing medical marijuana in the state. The law will allow people with qualifying health conditions to receive a medical cannabis card to purchase marijuana after consulting with a doctor. Qualifying health conditions include autism spectrum disorder, certain conditions related to cancer, Crohn's disease, depression, and conditions related to HIV/AIDS (Pitofsky, The Hill, 5/17).
    • New York: Jones Memorial Hospital has named James Helms as its next president and CEO, effective July 16. Helms currently serves as the hospital's VP and CFO, and has also served as CFO of St. James Hospital in Hornell, NY, for the past two years. Helms will succeed Eva Benedict, who is retiring (Gooch, Becker's Hospital Review, 5/18).
    • Texas: Gov. Greg Abbott (R) on Wednesday signed into law a bill that will ban most abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected, which can occur as early as six weeks into pregnancy. According to the Associated Press, several other states have passed laws banning abortion at a similar point in gestation—most of which have been overturned by courts—but Texas's version is unique in that it bars state officials from enforcing the ban. Instead, anyone else inside or outside the state is permitted under the law to sue an abortion provider or other people who have helped someone obtain an abortion after a fetal heartbeat is detected (Weber, Associated Press, 5/19; Sandoval/Montgomery, New York Times, 5/19; Bella, Washington Post, 5/19).

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