Members of Congress protested in support of abortion rights ahead of an arrest at the U.S. Capitol on July 19, 2022. Members left to right are Cori Bush of Missouri (in black shirt), Nydia Velazquez of New York, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Jackie Speier of California, Carolyn Maloney of New York, Alma Adams of North Carolina and Barbara Lee of California. Photo by Jennifer Shutt, States Newsroom.

Democrats predict abortion access, reproductive rights will be key issues in 2024 

BY: - June 26, 2023

WASHINGTON — Democrats on Wednesday released new campaign ads and detailed how they plan to talk about abortion access and reproductive rights leading up to the 2024 elections. Top Democratic campaign leaders said during a press call they expect the issues will be key to regaining control of the U.S. House and keeping control of […]

"It kind of wears you down after a while, having to constantly see patients not be able to access care they desire and care that they need," says Dr. Grace Mead, who is serving her residency as an OB-GYN physician in post-Roe v. Wade Tennessee. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Part One: Residency programs and medical practices drew them to Tennessee. Then came Dobbs.

BY: - June 24, 2023

(This is the first in a two-part series on how Tennessee’s abortion ban has affected the training, recruitment and retention of OB-GYN doctors in Tennessee. It was originally published on April 25.) When Dr. Grace Meade matched with a Tennessee medical program for her OB-GYN residency in 2021, Roe v. Wade was still intact. She and her […]

"I don't want to abandon women who are in need," says Dr. Jessie Rizzuto. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Part Two: Residency programs and medical practices drew them to Tennessee. Then came Dobbs.

BY: - June 24, 2023

(This is the second in a two part series on how Tennessee’s abortion ban has affected the training, recruitment and retention of OB-GYN doctors in Tennessee. This story was originally published on April 26.) Recruiting residents to Tennessee is critical to the state’s health care workforce. In Tennessee, 46% of residents training in the state stayed […]

The Society of Family Planning found in the nine months after the Dobbs decision, the rate of medication abortion jumped, but overall, providers reported more than 25,000 fewer abortions nationwide. (Getty Images)

After Dobbs, abortion access is harder, comes later and with a higher risk

BY: - June 22, 2023

In April, a Reddit user in Alabama posted a breathless message to the abortion subreddit the morning after learning she was pregnant. She guessed she was early, two or three weeks maybe. “there’s a clinic in GA about 3 hours away. They said they will do it as long as no heartbeat is found on […]

Vanderbilt University Medical Center. (Photo: John Partipilo)

AG made sweeping demands for Vanderbilt transgender clinic records as part of fraud inquiry

BY: and - June 22, 2023

Editors note: This story was updated Thursday to include an additional response from Vanderbilt University Medical Center.   New details about the state attorney general’s inquiry into gender-affirming care at Vanderbilt University Medical Center reveal a sweeping demand for documents at all levels of care, from patient records to volunteers’ resumes, communications with outside therapists […]

Vanderbilt University Medical Center. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Parents of trans children ‘feel betrayed’ by Vanderbilt hospital

BY: and - June 21, 2023

Vanderbilt University Medical Center notified patients over the weekend, including parents of transgender children, that it provided medical records to the state attorney general as part of a civil investigation into the hospital’s billing practices involving transgender care. The hospital told patients it turned over records with the attorney general’s assurance that they would remain […]

WASHINGTON, D.C. — People protest in response to the Dobbs v Jackson Women’s Health Organization ruling in front of the U.S. Supreme Court on June 24, 2022, in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Brandon Bell/Getty Images)

A year after Dobbs: Congress takes a back seat on federal abortion policy

BY: - June 20, 2023

Editors’ Note: This report is part of a special States Newsroom series on abortion access one year after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the constitutional right to abortion. WASHINGTON — One year after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the constitutional right to an abortion, the courts rather than a divided Congress are leading the […]

Vanderbilt University Medical Center. (Photo: John Partipilo)

State halts Vanderbilt’s plans for new Rutherford County hospital

BY: - June 20, 2023

An administrative law judge has rejected plans by Vanderbilt University Medical Center to establish a new Rutherford County hospital, siding with a trio of competing inpatient facilities already operating in and around the fast-growing suburban county. The high-stakes battle to build a new 42-bed hospital has been ongoing since 2020. Last December, the Tennessee Health […]

Alive Hospice in Nashville, Tenn. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Alive Hospice CEO steps down after pushback over rumored sale to for-profit health provider

BY: - June 16, 2023

Kimberly Goessele, chief executive officer of Alive Hospice, has stepped down from her role in leading the nonprofit, the organization said in a news release issued Thursday evening. Alive Chief Operating Officer Joe Hampe has been named interim CEO, the release said. “Goessele will continue to support the organization for several weeks to ensure a […]

Massachusetts Democratic Sen. Ed Markey, left, Washington Democratic Sen. Patty Murray, center, and North Carolina Democratic Rep. Kathy Manning at a press conference on contraception access outside the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, June 14, 2023. (Jennifer Shutt/States Newsroom)

Democrats in Congress renew push to protect access to birth control

BY: - June 14, 2023

WASHINGTON — Democrats in Congress reintroduced a bill Wednesday that would guarantee access to birth control regardless of any future Supreme Court rulings. The measure would ensure people have the right to use contraception and that health care providers have a right to share information about contraception as well as provide it. The legislation would […]

(Photo: John Partipilo)

Annual “Kids Count” report finds few improvements to the well-being of Tennessee children

BY: - June 14, 2023

An annual report on the state of Tennessee kids has found slight improvements in child poverty rates but limited — and even downward —shifts in longstanding poor outcomes to their health, education and well-being. The report, the 2023 Kids Count Data Book by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, measured the state’s performance in 16 different […]

Tennessee taxpayers could, under a new court ruling, be liable for years of back payments to emergency room doctors. Photo at Vanderbilt University Medical Center by John Partipilo.

Tennessee Supreme Court strikes TennCare cap on emergency room payments

BY: - June 6, 2023

For more than a decade, Tennessee’s Medicaid program set a $50 cap on its payments to emergency room doctors treating low-income patients who show up at hospitals without experiencing a genuine medical emergency. The Tennessee Supreme Court has now ruled that TennCare failed to follow the rules in setting the cap, a decision that potentially […]