The Quickie: Anti-Abortion, Anti-Democracy State Lawmakers Are Trying to Rig the Game
For Immediate Release: Feb. 2, 2023
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, where we are refusing to accept that there may be 6 more weeks of winter: anti-abortion state lawmakers will stop at nothing to ban abortion–even subverting democracy, new study finds increased risk of cervical cancer in people 65 and older, and tossing abortion ban bills in the trash.
ANTI-ABORTION, ANTI-DEMOCRACY STATE LAWMAKERS ARE TRYING TO RIG THE GAME: This week, Vanity Fair highlighted state lawmakers’ attempts across the country to advance their unpopular anti-abortion agendas by any means necessary, including by undermining democracy.
“We knew all along that they [anti-abortion lawmakers] weren’t going to be satisfied with overturning Roe v. Wade,” Planned Parenthood Action Fund’s Abby Ledoux told Vanity Fair. “They’re not done and they’re coming for more rights.”
Facing demonstrably strong support for abortion rights, these politicians know they can’t win without rigging the game. They’re proving their willingness to sidestep the will of their own constituents, subvert the democratic process, and undermine institutions from the courts to the ballot box, all to ram through limitations on our reproductive freedoms. These attempts — which also threaten a wide range of other rights under attack in many of the same states — include:
- Proposed rules changes in North Carolina’s House of Representatives to make it easier to override a governor’s veto — notably the last line of defense against new abortion bans in a state where anti-reproductive rights politicians hold majorities in both legislative chambers. Jillian Riley of Planned Parenthood South Atlantic described the proposed change as “a shameful power grab meant to thwart the will of the people.”
- A rapidly advancing Utah bill that would rewrite judiciary rules to retroactively change the threshold for obtaining a court-ordered injunction, which has blocked Utah’s trigger ban from taking effect after the overturning of Roe v. Wade. Attorney Staci Visser called the move a “legislative overreach” and a “blatant power grab to give the ruling political party unchecked power” in an op-ed in the Salt Lake Tribune.
- Attempts to raise the threshold for future ballot measures by requiring a supermajority of 60% as opposed to a simple majority of voters. After abortion-related ballot measures from California to Kentucky went five for five in favor of reproductive freedom in the 2022 midterm elections, lawmakers have proposed this attack on direct democracy so far in Ohio, Arizona, Missouri, and Oklahoma.
- Abandoning the rules entirely in West Virginia to ram through bills without any semblance of democratic process — no debate, no committee hearings, and sometimes even no actual bill text.
Read more at Vanity Fair. Read PPAF’s full ICYMI here.
NEW STUDY FINDS INCREASED CERVICAL CANCER RISK IN OLDER PEOPLE: A recent Yahoo story highlighted a study that found that nearly 1 in 5 new cervical cancers are diagnosed in women aged 65 and older. The study, conducted by UC Davis, also found that a higher percentage of older women have late-stage cancer than younger women. Sarah Diemert, Director of Medical Standards Integration and Evaluation for Planned Parenthood Federation of America, spoke to Yahoo to stress the importance of regular cervical cancer screenings.
“Many older women do not realize that the risk of developing cervical cancer is still present as they age,” she said. She recommended getting regular cervical cancer screenings before age 65, since most cases are diagnosed in people between the ages of 35 and 44.
Though most people stop getting regular cervical cancer screenings after turning 65, Sarah explained that there are certain risk factors that could require screening later in life. She suggested that people work with their health care providers to determine how often they should be screened, and until what age. “These study results reinforce the need for anyone with a cervix to get regular cervical cancer screenings and other types of cancer screenings,” she said.
ABORTION BAN BILLS ARE JUST AS WE THOUGHT… TRASH: President Pro Tempore of the Virginia Senate L. Louise Lucas always knows exactly what to do with proposed abortion ban bills: toss them in the trash.
We applaud reproductive rights champions like State Senator Lucas for taking out the trash this session and protecting our fundamental rights.