Welcome to “The Quickie” — Planned Parenthood Action Fund’s daily tipsheet on the top health care & reproductive rights stories of the day. You can read “The Quickie'' online here.
In today’s Quickie: featuring abortion stories in all 50 states, Latinas severely impacted by abortion bans, PP St. Louis region goes mobile, AZ governor hopeful Kari Lake wants to repeal the ACA, and making abortion a right in MI!
“50 STATES, 50 ABORTIONS”: Yesterday, POPSUGAR featured 50 abortion stories from all 50 states, highlighting the diversity of reasons and circumstances under which people seek abortion care. POPSUGAR Editor-in-chief Sade Strehlke wrote, “They aim to illustrate both why people choose to get abortions and the internal dialogue that ensues when they make this choice. The decision to carry a pregnancy to term, have a child, and raise a child shouldn't be a political one, subject to a series of Supreme Court rulings: it's a deeply personal choice and one that can impact one's life forever.”
Planned Parenthood storyteller Shay Ellis shared the difficulty of seeking an abortion in Pennsylvania even before Roe v. Wade was overturned: “The accessibility of my abortion was probably one of the hardest things. In addition to having to get money from other people to pay for it, I had to drive an hour each way to my closest Planned Parenthood for each appointment. (Editors' note: Pennsylvania enacted a 24-hour waiting period in 1982.) I had to find somebody to watch my kids for the appointment. I was the breadwinner of my family because my partner had been in a car accident and was out on disability, and I had to take time off of work that was not paid, so I had to lose a week or so of income.”
Candida Duran Taveras, a Planned Parenthood storyteller from Utah, recounted her experience seeking an abortion and reflected on Roe’s overturn: “I knew it was the best choice. I knew I wasn't ready to be a parent. If I'd done it, I would've been a struggling single parent, most likely living in poverty because I was broke as f*ck. I grew up poor, and I knew I didn't want to go through that if it wasn't necessary Within my own communities as a queer Black woman, I know how disproportionately affected people of color, people with low incomes, and people with marginalized identities are when it comes to access to birth and abortion care. Black women are already not listened to when giving birth or even just accessing healthcare. This was already a problem; now it's a problem for everyone.”
Shannon, another Planned Parenthood storyteller, described her experience seeking an abortion in Kansas while in an abusive relationship: “My partner dictated every part of my life: what I wore, who I could see, who I spoke to on the phone, how I spent my money, and how I spent my time. This was no different when it came to our sex life and contraception. Whenever I brought up birth control or condoms, he would berate me and accuse me of cheating on him. Our arguments often led to physical violence… Without my right to choose, I might not have lived through that relationship. Even if I did, it's possible my life wouldn't be what I've built it to be in the 17 years since my abortion.”
Read the full POPSUGAR feature.
LATINAS SEVERELY IMPACTED BY ABORTION BANS: Yesterday, the National Partnership for Women & Families and the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Justice released a new analysis on the impact of state-level abortion bans on Latina communities. According to the report, in addition to restrictive abortion bans, Latinas face many compounding barriers to health care, such as low rates of insurance coverage, mistrust of medical providers, anti-immigrant sentiment and health care discrimination, and lack of linguistically appropriate services. Some notable results include:
- Nearly 6.5 million Latinas, or 42% of Latinas of reproductive age, live in the 26 states that have banned or are likely to ban abortion. That makes Latinas the most affected women of color by abortion bans.
- Nearly three million Latinas living in these states are economically insecure.
- Nearly 43% of Latinas with disabilities live in these 26 states.
- Latinas of all racial groups are impacted by the overturn of Roe v. Wade: including 107,100 Black Latinas, 56,500 Native Latinas, 18,500 Asian American Pacific Islander Latinas, and 820,500 multiracial Latinas.
PLANNED PARENTHOOD ST. LOUIS REGION GOES MOBILE: Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region and Southwest Missouri (PPSLRSWMO) will soon begin operating its first mobile clinic. Set along the Illinois border, the mobile unit will provide abortion care for patients, most of whom come from states where abortion is banned or severely restricted and have to travel long distances in order to access abortion care.
After Roe was overturned, abortion appointment wait times went from four days to two and a half weeks, patients from outside the bi-state area (Missouri and Illinois) increased by more than 340 percent, and patients coming for abortion after 14 weeks gestation increased by over 115 percent.
Dr. Colleen McNicholas, PPSLRSWMO Chief Medical Officer, states that the health center is “an act of defiance. … We're here, and we're going to be here, and we're going to continue to show up for people who need us."
KARI LAKE WANTS TO REPEAL THE ACA: One week out from Election Day and instead of telling voters about a plan to protect their access to health care, Arizona GOP gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake is doubling down on her dangerous health care agenda: this time advocating to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Thanks to the ACA, 20 million previously uninsured people gained health insurance and people with pre-existing conditions like asthma, diabetes, COVID-19, and ovarian cancer can no longer be denied health care coverage. Repealing the ACA is consistent with Kari Lake’s extreme views. She also supports an archaic 1864 abortion ban in Arizona and Texas’ S.B. 8 law that bans abortion before most people even know they’re pregnant, criminalizes doctors, and has a $10,000 bounty provision.
“THE TESTING GROUND FOR THE FUTURE OF ABORTION”: MAKING ABORTION A RIGHT IN MICHIGAN: Today, El País featured the Reproductive Freedom for All coalition, including Planned Parenthood Advocates of Michigan (PPAMI), who is leading the campaign to pass Proposal 3, a reproductive freedom amendment to the state’s constitution. Proposal 3 guarantees a “fundamental right to reproductive freedom,” which safeguards abortion, postpartum care, contraception, infertility treatments, and more. Michigan has a 1931 total ban that criminalizes abortion, which is currently blocked by the state’s Supreme Court due to a lawsuit brought by Planned Parenthood Michigan (PPMI) and Dr. Sarah Wallett, but the legal status of abortion is still tenuous.
“The 1931 law provides for sentences of up to 14 years for those who perform an abortion,” PPAM Executive Director Nicole Wells Stallworth told El País. “And that includes those who treat miscarriage. It involves depriving the people of Michigan of a fundamental health right, but also of privacy regarding their medical decisions. And it will leave doctors in a legal limbo, not knowing how to act in the face of complications that can occur in any pregnancy.”
El País followed Reproductive Freedom for All canvassers near Detroit, going door-to-door to convince undecided voters to vote in favor of Prop 3. The most recent polls have shown 64% support for Prop 3. Abortion access in Michigan is critical both for Michiganders and the whole region: Michigan has emerged as a critical access state in the Midwest since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade.
“Health centers have witnessed the number of patients arriving from other places grow,” Gabriela Sullen, PPMI Associate Director of Constituency Programs, said. “Fortunately, the waiting lists have been reduced to two weeks, but they were as long as four.”