Welcome to “The Quickie” — Planned Parenthood Action Fund’s daily tipsheet on the top health care & reproductive rights stories of the day.
ANTI-ABORTION POLITICIANS RAMP UP EFFORTS TO PUNISH AND CONTROL PREGNANT PEOPLE: Anti-abortion politicians across the country have doubled down on their dangerous agenda, introducing increasingly harmful total abortion bans and bills attacking the full range of sexual and reproductive health care, as reported by CNN today. Even though abortion bans and restrictions remain wildly out-of-step with public opinion, these lawmakers are proposing draconian measures that ban and threaten prison time for accessing a wide range of reproductive care, including abortions even if the patient’s life is at risk, using Plan B, using in-vitro fertilization, as well as prosecution for doctors who perform life-saving abortions.
These anti-abortion extremists refer to themselves as “abolitionists,” appropriating the language and imagery of the Civil Rights Movement. A spokesperson for Planned Parenthood Federation of America told CNN:
“Let’s be clear: appropriating the word ‘abolition’ is particularly contemptuous. That word is a symbol of freedom and this group wants to put people behind bars for exercising their right to bodily autonomy.”
Read more at CNN.
ABORTION ACCESS IN OHIO EXTENDED BUT DIFFICULTIES REMAIN: Yesterday, an Ohio court extended the temporary restraining order (TRO) on Ohio’s six-week ban until October 12, allowing people to continue to access abortions past six weeks in the state. The extension comes five days after the court first put the six week ban on hold while it considers the merits of the case.
Even with the TRO, Ohioans already must often travel out-of-state to seek abortions, according to an article by the Ohio Capital Journal today. To help, Planned Parenthood of Greater Ohio began a program last week to help fund often expensive out-of-state abortions. As a result of these patient influxes, clinics in neighboring states are experiencing massive wait times; Planned Parenthood Michigan, for example, has wait times of up to four weeks. Leah Mallinos, a patient navigator for Planned Parenthood of Greater Ohio, spoke to these challenges during a press conference Thursday:
“As far as the wait times in our safe-haven states, that is in my opinion directly proportional to the amount of states that have implemented bans. Our patients that we’re navigating are flooding to predominantly Michigan and Pennsylvania, New York, Illinois. We’ve even had some folks looking at D.C. and New Jersey… Just like our staff, the clinics in the receiving states I know for a fact are working around the clock. Some clinics I believe are open seven days a week now to adjust to this influx.”
Read more at the Ohio Capital Journal.
MOBILIZING BLACK COMMUNITIES IN THE WAKE OF ROE’S OVERTURN: Yesterday, Jamesa Bailey, director of Black campaigns at Planned Parenthood Action Fund, joined the podcast “A Moment with Erik Fleming” to discuss the impact Roe’s overturn has on Black communities, and the efforts to mobilize them to fight for abortion access. In their conversation, Jamesa stressed that Black communities have always faced barriers to abortion care — and the fall of Roe is a direct result of ongoing racism and coercive reproductive policies. Now, abortion access is in jeopardy for 10 million Black women who can become pregnant, Jamesa told host Erik Fleming:
“Many of those Black women live in the South, where they have already enacted near or total abortion bans, and where Black women are already experiencing higher rates of poverty, less health care coverage, and more pregnancy related deaths and complications compared to their white counterparts.”
Planned Parenthood’s Black Organizing Program has been addressing this abortion access crisis by empowering people in local communities and on historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs), as explained by Jamesa. Importantly, the program’s organizers are activating Black cisgender men and trans men to join the fight for abortion rights:
“When it comes to Black men, unfortunately, they don’t always see themselves as a part of or represented as it relates to mainstream abortion access. That’s why it’s important for us as an organization to partner with organizations who do really, really great targeting, messaging, and outreach to Black men. [...] There is room in the abortion access movement for everyone, and this is not just a quote-unquote ‘women’s issue.’ There is room for all of us, and it’s going to take all of us coming together in order to really make some changes.”
Listen to the full conversation here.
NEW HAMPSHIRE VOTERS AREN’T GETTING OVER ABORTION RIGHTS: New Hampshire voters and abortion advocates are fired up after Republican candidate for U.S. Senate Don Bolduc told WMUR that Sen. Maggie Hassan needs to “get over” the overturning of Roe v Wade and the potential for a national abortion ban. The Boston Globe’s Stephanie Ebbert spoke with a number of advocates about Bolduc’s comments, and the consensus, and data, are clear — Don Bolduc is out of touch with Granite Staters:
“It was just such a dismissive thing to say,” said Olivia Cappello, a spokeswoman for Planned Parenthood Votes. “And completely disconnected with reality when he says that Maggie Hassan is an outlier. That’s just patently false, both nationally and in New Hampshire where 6 out of 10 voters disapproved of the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe.”
Ebbert notes that Bolduc’s comments are part of an emerging trend in the midterm elections, writing that “Republicans trying to tiptoe around voters’ anger over abortion bans inadvertently inflame it.” Even within the party, there’s disagreement about strategy. At the same time that Bolduc’d interview aired, national abortion ban sponsor Sen. Lindsey Graham told Fox News, “When you ask about abortion, the answer can’t be, ‘I’d like to lower inflation.’ Give a logical answer.”
Read more at the Boston Globe.