News and information useful to Cleveland-Marshall College of Law students, faculty and staff.


New HHS Title X Rule Challenged

DHHS logoThe U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Population Affairs recently issued a final rule governing the Title X Family Planning program.  The new rule will become effective 60 days after it is published in the Federal Register (which has not yet happened).  The Title X program was established in 1970 (see Pub. L. No. 91-572, § 6(c), 84 Stat. 1506), and authorized the HHS Secretary “to make grants to and enter into contracts with public or nonprofit entities to assist in the establishment and operation of voluntary family planning projects.”  From its beginning, “none of the funds appropriated under this title shall be used in programs where abortion is a method of family planning.”  The new rule “provides for clear financial and physical separation between Title X and non-Title X activities…,” “removes the requirement for abortion referral…,” and “no longer requires nondirective pregnancy counseling” including such counseling on abortion.  [See 2/22/19 Fact Sheet: Final Title X Rule Detailing Family Planning Grant Program.]  Critics of the new rule say it amounts to a “gag rule,” preventing physicians from informing patients that a prenatal care facility also provides abortion services.  Yesterday, the Washington state Attorney General announced a lawsuit challenging the new rule, stating it “permits Title X providers to withhold information from patients about their healthcare options, bars them from referring patients for abortion care, and requires Title X clinics to physically separate abortion care and referrals from their services funded by Title X.”  The Washington branch of the ACLU also plans to file a lawsuit, and the two cases will likely be consolidated in the Eastern District of Washington.

GAO Recommends CMS Action to Ensure Medicaid Abortion Coverage

GAO LogoThe U.S. General Accounting Office (GAO) recently released the CMS Action Needed to Ensure Compliance with Abortion Coverage Requirements report.  Federal law prohibits federal funding for abortions in most circumstances, but state Medicaid programs are required to cover abortions if the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest, or the life of the pregnant woman is physically endangered by the pregnancy.  [See Pub. L. No. 115-245, §§ 506-7, 132 Stat. 2981, 9/28/18.]  The GAO report documents “state variation in Medicaid abortion coverage and payment requirements,” including South Dakota’s Medicaid state plan not covering abortions in cases of rape or incest, and 14 states not covering Mifeprex, a drug used in non-surgical abortions.  The GAO report also identifies “seven key factors that could pose challenges to women accessing abortions…:  gestational limits, mandatory counseling, out-of-pocket costs, parental involvement requirements, provider availability, stigma and harassment, and waiting period requirements.”  As the federal agency that oversees Medicaid, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) monitors state compliance with federal requirements.  The GAO report recommends CMS action to ensure South Dakota’s compliance with federal law, as well as to determine state Medicaid program coverage of Mifeprex and accurate reporting of fee-for-service abortions.

Revised OPTN Liver Transplantation Policy

anatomical images of human digestive systemOn December 3, 2018, the U.S. D.H.H.S. Organ Procurement & Transplantation Network (OPTN) Board of Directors approved a revision to the liver allocation policy.  [Allocation of organs is addressed in 42 C.F.R. 121.8.]  The revised policy is raising concerns in rural areas, and its implementation has been postponed.  Livers have been allocated using a medical urgency formula through a local/regional/national sequence.  The revised policy “eliminates the use of DSA [donation service area] or [OPTN] region in liver allocation or in scoring liver candidate exceptions,” and “would allocate livers to candidates within 150, 250, or 500 nautical miles (nm) of donor hospitals before offering them nationally.”  Under the revised policy’s expansion of geographic availability, rural transplant centers will likely have access to fewer livers.

Law Library Legal Research Seminars – Earn Your Digital Badge!

Image of C|M|Law Library Digital BadgeLaw Library Legal Research Seminars are for C|M|LAW students, including our MLS and LLM students.  The Seminars are continuously available online via the Westlaw TWEN platform.  You earn points for completing an online Seminar by correctly answering 3/4 of the questions on that Seminar’s quiz.  Your Seminar points are good for the entire time you are here at C|M|LAW.  When you earn 100 points, you are awarded a Law Library Legal Research Letter of Recognition and a Digital Badge, which you can post to your LinkedIn page.  You can earn multiple Letters and Digital Badges.  Here are the currently available online Law Library Legal Research Seminars:

  • Starting Research with Secondary Sources – Why recreate the wheel? See how secondary sources explain and analyze “the law” for you, as well as cite primary authority. [17:02 mins; 12.5 points]
  • Bluebooking – For faster legal drafting, review how to effectively apply citation and style rules, as well as abbreviation and jurisdiction tables. [38:47 mins; 25 points]
  • Terms & Connectors Searching – Move beyond natural language searching and see the effectiveness of combining terms & phrases in search statements. [10:48 mins; 12.5 points]
  • Lexis Advance Overview – Review key features of this legal research platform, including pre-filtering & post-filtering searches, using the Advanced Search template, document delivery, and using your search history. [21:11 mins; 12.5 points]
  • Shepard’s – Review key “signals” of this citator service, and see how it can be used for case validation and research. [11:54 mins; 12.5 points]
  • Westlaw Overview – Take a tour of key content on this legal research platform, including Ohio materials, Statutes & Court Rules, Dockets, Briefs, and News, as well as review pre-filtering and post-filtering searches. [20:03 mins; 12.5 points]
  • KeyCite – See how to update and expand your research by using this citator service with cases, code sections, law review articles, and federal regulations. [10:16 mins; 12.5 points]
  • Practical Law by Westlaw Review the specialized practice areas, jurisdictional resources, and features of this unique Westlaw product. [13:44 mins; 12.5 points]
  • Bloomberg Law Overview Take a tour of key content on this legal research platform, including cases, state resources, transactional materials, litigation analytical materials, and secondary soruces. [ 25:39 mins; 12.5 points]
  • Administrative Law – Break through the mysteries of agency rulemaking and case adjudication. Learn the key resources for finding Federal and Ohio agency regulations and decisions. [29:59 mins; 25 points]
  • Cost Effective Federal Legislative History: Congress.gov & GPO.gov – Understand the importance of, and materials generated in, the federal legislative process. See how to find key materials in the freely-available Congress.gov and GPO.gov platforms. [17:33 mins; 12.5 points]
  • Bioethics Resources & Scholarly Writing – Examine a wide array of bioethics resources, as well as learn how these resources can be used to select a paper topic and conduct effective research on that topic. [28:33 mins; 25 points]
  • HeinOnline – Review the wide array of content (eg, law journals, session laws), date coverage, and unique features of this full-text “database of databases.” [16:49 mins.; 12.5 points]
  • Ohio Legal Research “Crash Course” – Coming soon!

For more information on the Law Library Legal Research Seminars, contact Laura Ray, Outreach & Instructional Services Librarian.

Ohio “Heartbeat Bill” Sent to Governor Kasich

photo of Ohio StatehouseThe Ohio General Assembly recently passed HB258, a bill “to generally prohibit an abortion of an unborn human individual with a detectable heartbeat and to create the Joint Legislative Committee on Adoption Promotion and Support.”  The bill provides exceptions to prevent the death or “serious risk of the substantial and irreversible impairment of a major bodily function” of a pregnant woman, but no exceptions for pregnant women who are victims of rape or incest.  The bill also states the Director of the Ohio Department of Health may adopt rules “specifying the appropriate methods of performing an examination for the purpose of determining the presence of a fetal heartbeat of an unborn individual based on standard medical practice,” and specifies “the rules shall require only that an examination shall be performed externally.”  HB258 was sent to Governor John Kasich on 12/14/18.  Per the Ohio legislative process, if the Governor does not sign or veto the act after 10 days (excluding Sundays), it becomes law without the Governor’s signature.  Kasich vetoed a similar act in December 2016, and says he will veto this new act after waiting 10 days. [See 12/14/18 Columbus Dispatch post.]  The Ohio Senate and House have scheduled sessions on 12/27/18, but it is unlikely there are sufficient votes for a 3/5 veto override.