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: Abortion patients in ID, TN, and OK challenge total bans, MO advocates file to change misleading abortion ballot language, and experts recommend starting sex education learning at an early age.
ABORTION PATIENTS CHALLENGE TOTAL ABORTION BANS IN IDAHO, TENNESSEE, AND OKLAHOMA: Today, the Center for Reproductive Rights (CRR) announced three new challenges to abortion bans in Idaho, Oklahoma, and Tennessee. The lawsuits, which mirror a recently won CRR lawsuit in Texas, were filed on behalf of women who were denied abortion in medical emergencies.
Lead attorney Marc Hearron told the Washington Post, “What’s happening in Texas is the tip of the iceberg.” Across the country, patients like Tennessee plaintiff Nicole Blackmon have been endangered by laws that tie their health care teams’ hands. As she underwent testing to confirm a devastating fetal diagnosis, Blackmon’s chronic health condition worsened — damaging her sight and leading her to develop preeclampsia. Despite her rapid deterioration, her physicians said that the only way she could get an abortion was to leave the state. Without the means to travel, Blackmon was forced to wait until finally going into an early labor to deliver her stillborn child.
“Going through all of that, I don’t want no one to have to suffer or just have to bear the things that I went through. I was lucky enough to survive all of that, but the next person might not be lucky,” Blackmon said. “It made me frightened to go through another pregnancy.”
Read more at The Washington Post.
ANOTHER STATE, ANOTHER MISLEADING BALLOT INITIATIVE SUMMARY: Late last month, Ohio election officials issued a deceptive summary of the reproductive freedom ballot initiative slated for November’s general election. Now, anti-abortion officials in another state are using amendment summaries to mislead voters. Missouri advocates filed a lawsuit yesterday asking a judge to rewrite the summaries. Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft — an avowed abortion opponent who is running for governor in 2024 — summarized the amendments to use inflammatory and inaccurate language about abortion and make false claims about the amendments’ scope.
“It is the secretary’s duty to set aside his personal bias against the proposals and craft a neutral statement,” Missouri ACLU attorney Tony Rothert told the judge during Monday’s hearing. ”Instead, the secretary acted as if he were playing the political-spin and manipulation-edition of mad libs.”
This is the second major challenge created by Ashcroft for a pro-abortion rights ballot initiative in Missouri. For months, legal disputes over the Missouri Auditor’s fiscal impact estimates have tied up the ballot initiative effort. Reminder: every pro-abortion rights ballot initiative has passed with overwhelming support from voters.
Read more from the Associated Press.
COMPREHENSIVE SEX EDUCATION STARTS IN KINDERGARTEN: A recent interview in The Cut features sex educator and author, Rachel Lotus discussing her experience teaching young people about sex and their bodies.
Lotus notes the idea of sex education beginning at kindergarten-age can raise alarm for some people, but, it’s important to remember that comprehensive sex education goes beyond just talking about sex. There is something to be learned at every age, using age-appropriate topics and language.
For children of preschool and kindergarten age, sex education curriculum should include topics like consent, boundaries and fostering healthy friendships, all which aim to keep kids safe and lay the foundation for in-depth sex ed later on. At the elementary school level, Lotus fields many questions about puberty, bodily changes and looking for definitions to terms like “sperm” or “blowjob.”
Education around sex and relationships should be ongoing throughout a person’s lifetime. Just like math starts with counting and builds over many years to calculus, sex education starts with building blocks.