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: IA bans abortion and advocates immediately challenge, the already devastating consequences of IN’s abortion ban, and expanding birth control access thru pharmacists.
**IOWA LITIGATION PRESS CALL: TODAY @ 2:30 PM ET. RSVP HERE.**
IOWA LAWMAKERS BAN ABORTION — ADVOCATES IMMEDIATELY CHALLENGE BAN IN COURT: In the dark of night, Iowa lawmakers once again passed a ban on abortion after approximately six weeks of pregnancy. Gov. Kim Reynolds, who convened a special session of the legislature specifically to pass this ban, plans to sign it into law on Friday. This law will immediately ban abortion for the vast majority of Iowans. While it contains some so-called exceptions, they are so narrow and riddled with barriers that even the most vulnerable Iowans will be unable to access abortion.
This ban is virtually identical to a 2018 law that, just weeks ago, the Iowa Supreme Court kept permanently blocked. Today, Iowa abortion providers filed a challenge to the newest ban, seeking a temporary injunction in district court. The plaintiffs, Planned Parenthood of the Heartland, the Emma Goldman Clinic, and Dr. Sarah Traxler, are represented by PPFA and the ACLU of Iowa.
Join Planned Parenthood and the ACLU for a press call regarding the ban and our litigation:
WHEN: TODAY, 1:30 PM CT/2:30 PM ET.
WHERE: RSVP here.
By banning nearly all abortions, this bill violates Iowans’ constitutional rights to abortion and substantive due process. The ban also violates the Iowa Constitution’s Inalienable Rights Clause, which explicitly guarantees those rights to women and guarantees equal protection under state law.
“These out of touch politicians have inserted themselves into the exam rooms of Iowans, who no longer have control over their bodies and futures because of an unpopular, narrow political agenda,” said Ruth Richardson, President and CEO of Planned Parenthood North Central States. “Every day this abortion ban remains in effect, it places an unacceptable burden on patients’ ability to access essential abortion care, especially those who already face systemic inequities.”
INDIANA ABORTION BAN ALREADY BLOCKING CARE WEEKS BEFORE IMPLEMENTATION: This week, Planned Parenthood Great Northwest, Hawaii, Alaska, Indiana, Kentucky (PPGNHAIK), Indiana’s largest abortion provider, announced it was overbooked for abortion appointments weeks ahead of August 1, the earliest expected implementation date for the state’s total abortion ban.
“Our health centers are overbooked for abortion appointments and our patients are overwhelmed trying to get care. We should not be here,” said Rebecca Gibron, CEO of PPGNHAIK. “From Tennessee to Kentucky, Texas and Louisiana, our health centers are serving patients where bans have blocked access to abortion — basic, time-sensitive care that has been so severely politicized and stigmatized that people must flee their homes or be forced to remain pregnant… Maternal mortality rates have more than doubled for Hoosiers and will only get worse. Banning abortion does not stop people from needing abortions, it just means fundamental health care is only accessible to people with the means to travel for access. Our services may be changing, but our commitment to care will not. We are here to help, now and always.”
While PPGNHAIK’s doors will remain open for other sexual and reproductive health care, and the affiliate will help patients seek care out of state, their health centers will no longer be able to book appointments for abortion. The ban’s so-called exceptions are so limited that most patients will be unable to access care in Indiana. Only hospitals and their outpatient centers will be able to provide abortion — putting access to abortion even further out of reach for the most vulnerable patients.
Read more at Indianapolis Star.
EXPANDING ACCESS THROUGH PHARMACISTS: ALMOST THREE OUT OF FIVE STATES ALLOW BIRTH CONTROL ACCESS WITHOUT A DOCTOR’S PRESCRIPTION: Last week, Arizona became the 29th state to allow pharmacists to dispense hormonal birth control without a prescription. In 29 states and Washington D.C., people can get birth control without a prescription with some varying restrictions. In 10 states, patients must be 18 or older and in four states, pharmacists can only dispense the pill and patch forms of birth control without a prescription.
Allowing access to birth control without a doctor’s prescription is especially critical for people who live far away from a primary care physician or do not have one.
Nicole Huberfeld, co-director of the Boston University Program for Reproductive Justice, said to NBC: "State laws were out of step with what care pharmacists can actually provide, and the pandemic kind of highlighted the need for reconsidering and maybe modernizing how pharmacists can make use of their licensure."
Read more at NBC.