1. On October 14, 2022, Rep. Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR-1) introduced H.R. 9175, entitled, “Capital, Repairs, and Employment for Art Talent to Improve Visibility Everywhere (CREATIVE) Act of 2022.” The bill would direct grant recipients to use funds awarded under the Act to expand arts programs for diverse populations, including “religious . . . minorities” whose art is underrepresented in popular culture. The bill was referred to the Committee on Education and Labor.
2. On October 21, 2022, Rep. Lori Trahan (D-MA-3), with 14 cosponsors, introduced H.R. 9220, entitled, “Informing New Factors and Options (INFO) for Reproductive Care Act of 2022.” This bill would amend the Public Health Service Act to provide $20,000,000 each year for a national public awareness campaign that will educate health care professionals on how and where patients can obtain abortions after the Supreme Court’s recent decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health.
3. On October 28, 2022, Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY-12), with 8 cosponsors, introduced H.R. 9247, entitled, “Abortion Care Awareness Act of 2022.” The bill would require HHS to carry out a campaign to educate the public about how to access abortion and related services. The bill was referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce.
The Executive Branch
OPPORTUNITIES FOR PUBLIC COMMENTS
Click the links below to go to the rule’s webpage, where either organizations or individuals can submit a public comment by clicking the green button labeled, “Submit A Formal Comment.”
1. Public comments on the Notice for the HHS subagency, National Institutes of Health (NIH), entitled, “Request for Information on Research Opportunities Related to the National Institutes of Health Scientific Workshop on Gender-Affirming Care for Transgender and Gender-Diverse Populations,” are due on or before Friday, November 18, 2022.
Through this Request for Information, the Sexual & Gender Minority Research Office in the NIH invites feedback from stakeholders on research opportunities related to the upcoming NIH Scientific Workshop on Gender-Affirming Care for Transgender and Gender-Diverse Populations.
2. Public comments for Dept. of Veterans Affairs Proposed Rule entitled, “CHAMPVA Coverage of Audio-Only Telehealth, Mental Health Services, and Cost Sharing for Certain Contraceptive Services and Contraceptive Products Approved, Cleared, or Granted by FDA,” are due on or before November 23, 2022.
The proposed rule plans to remove exclusions to allow telephonic medical visits, and to remove cost-sharing requirements for contraceptive services and contraception products approved by the FDA, including emergency contraception.
OPPORTUNITIES TO REQUEST EO 12866 MEETINGS
3. ED will soon propose “Religious Liberty and Free Inquiry Rule” (RIN 1840-AD72). Current regulations reinforce First Amendment free speech and free exercise protections for students and student groups. They also clarify how educational institutions can show they qualify for a religious exemption under Title IX.
4. Eight federal agencies will soon propose “Partnerships with Faith-Based and Neighborhood Organizations” (RIN 1840-AD67). Current regulations for those eight agencies clarify the rights and obligations of faith-based orgs providing federally funded social services, including removing notice-and-referral requirements of religious orgs that are not required of other orgs.
5. ED will soon propose “Discrimination Based on Shared Ancestry or Ethnicity in Response to EO 13899 on Combating Anti-Semitism and EO 13985 on Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities” (RIN 1870-AA15). In its abstract for the proposed rule, ED states that ED OCR has received complaints of harassment and assault directed at Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, and other students based on shared ancestry or ethnicity.
6. On October 20, 2022, DOD Secretary Lloyd J. Austin circulated a memo entitled, “Ensuring Access to Reproductive Health Care.” Some highlights from the memo:
- DOD health care providers should not be held personally liable for performing “official duties” related to providing “reproductive health care.”
- DOD will develop a program to reimburse DOD health care providers who wish to become licensed in another state to support the performance of “official duties” related to providing “reproductive health care.”
- DOD will reimburse out of pocket expenses for female Servicemembers who had to travel to obtain an abortion.
- DOD will create a uniform administrative absence policy for Servicemembers for non-covered reproductive health care that is unavailable within the local area of a Servicemember’s permanent duty station.
7. On October 31, 2022, an anonymous U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) official told Politico that health providers who prescribe abortion medication to women before they are pregnant are acting without the FDA’s authorization and are likely endangering such women. The official explained that a health care provider must first assess if a pregnancy is intrauterine or ectopic, and must date the pregnancy properly, before prescribing the abortion drug mifepristone. Mifepristone is only approved by the FDA through 70 days gestation for abortions. In December 2021, the FDA allowed doctors to prescribe mifepristone via virtual appointments and to ship the drugs via the mail.
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