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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.

CALIFORNIA GOV. NEWSOM SIGNS HISTORIC SLATE OF NEW BILLS TO PROTECT ABORTION ACCESS: Yesterday, California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed into law 13 bills that collectively strengthen abortion protections in California to among the strongest in the country. The new laws improve patient and provider privacy; create a statewide hub for information and resources about accessing abortion in California  (abortion.ca.gov, which launched earlier this month); increase funding for abortion services, outreach, and support for out-of-state patients seeking abortion in California; expand the types of health care professionals qualified to provide abortion; and seek to protect patients and providers from anti-abortion efforts and investigations by other states. 

“As extreme politicians across the country pursue personal political agendas seeking to restrict and criminalize people seeking and providing abortion services – essential health care that should be available to people where they live and when they want or need it – California is showing what is possible when leaders listen to experts, facts, science, and from the people who are directly impacted,” said Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California President and CEO Jodi Hicks. “Today’s bold and comprehensive actions provide reassurance to all that California is a Reproductive Freedom state and all are welcome to seek the care they want or need here in California.” 

Read more from the LA Times, Cal Matters, and AP

SOUTH CAROLINA LEGISLATURE FAILS TO PASS NEW ABORTION BAN: The South Carolina House failed yesterday to pass House Bill 5399, a ban on abortion after about six weeks of pregnancy with narrow exceptions for rape, incest, and health of the pregnant person. The bill, which began in the House as a total ban, was modified by the Senate and returned to the House yesterday for approval. Lawmakers failed to reach a consensus on abortion restrictions, making it unlikely although not impossible that a new ban will pass before the new year. Because the state’s existing six-week ban is currently blocked by the South Carolina Supreme Court while litigation continues, abortion remains legal in the state up to 20 weeks of pregnancy. 

“Today abortion remains legal in South Carolina, and our fight now turns to the ballot box to keep it that way,” said Vicki Ringer, director of public affairs for Planned Parenthood Votes! South Atlantic. “Reproductive freedom is on the ballot this November, and the results of this election will determine the future of abortion access for the people of this state for generations. If you believe that South Carolinians should have the right to make private decisions about their health, their family, and their future without government interference, make sure you get out and vote for candidates who will defend this fundamental freedom.”

Read more from AP, CBS, and Greenville News

SPEECH POLICE: UNIVERSITY OF IDAHO RESTRICTS DISCUSSION OF REPRODUCTIVE CARE: In a memo last week, the University of Idaho instructed employees not to discuss or promote abortion or contraception to students or face misdemeanor or felony charges, as well as termination. Abortion is currently banned in Idaho and university officials claim the advisory was sent to ensure compliance  with the state’s unclear abortion restrictions  including the “No Public Funds for Abortion Act” which prohibits public funds in the state to be used “in any way” to promote or provide an abortion or support for the procedure. In response to this extreme policy, Rebecca Gibron, CEO of Planned Parenthood Great Northwest, Hawaii, Alaska, Indiana, Kentucky said:

“We always knew extremists wouldn’t stop at banning abortion; they’d target birth control next. The University of Idaho’s announcement is the canary in the coal mine, an early sign of the larger, coordinated effort to attack birth control access.”

Read more at Idaho Statesman

NEW AUDIO SHOWS MASTRIANO WILL CRIMINALIZE PENNSYLVANIA ABORTION SEEKERS: Yesterday, NBC News revealed a 2019 radio interview in which Pennsylvania gubernatorial candidate Doug Mastriano tells the interviewer that people who have abortons should be charged with murder. Mastriano has made no secret of his desire to ban abortion in Pennsylvania, calling it his number one issue. But the comments — and Mastriano’s refusal to respond to them — demonstrate how far he would be willing to go as governor to eliminate reproductive freedom. The audio comes just weeks after the Daily Beast unearthed a recording in which U.S. Senate candidate Mehmet Oz tells a town hall audience that abortion at any stage is murder. 

Planned Parenthood Votes in Pennsylvania state director Cortney Bouse responded in a statement: 

“Though he has tried to downplay it in recent weeks, Doug Mastriano cannot hide who he truly is: an anti-abortion extremist who wants to criminalize patients simply for seeking essential health care. It is clear that Mastriano will stop at nothing to further his radical agenda and eliminate Pennsylvanians’ fundamental right to bodily autonomy. This November, voters are going to take control and let Doug Mastriano, US Senate candidate Mehmet Oz, and all anti-abortion politicians know they cannot control Pennsylvanians’ bodies, lives, and futures.”

While Mastriano has continued to dodge mainstream press, his opponent, Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro, swiftly decried Mastriano’s stance, tweeting, “I will not stand by and allow our daughters to grow up in a world with fewer rights than the world they were born into.” 

Read more at the Penn Capital-Star.

ON THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL — A FOCUS ON GEORGIA AND EXPANDING ACCESS TO REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH CARE: This past weekend, Planned Parenthood Action Fund president Alexis McGill Johnson was in Georgia to support Senator Raphael Warnock and Stacey Abrams, and talk about why voting for leaders who will protect reproductive health care, including abortion, is critical this November. Ahead of the events, Alexis sat down with Yahoo! News to talk about the challenges Georgians face in accessing care — including the facts that more than 600,000 women live in areas without access to the full range of birth control options and nearly half of the counties do not have OB/GYNs. These hurdles are only compounded by the state’s 6 week abortion ban, which was signed by Governor Kemp in 2019 and went into effect following the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade. Alexis noted:

“Just the health care infrastructure itself is limited around reproductive rights. Then you layer on the abortion ban… and then [patinets] have to make a decision and then travel in that time. …Essentially, what you’re doing is continuing to limit access to care, and Georgia will look a lot [like] what we’ve seen elsewhere.”

Read more about the state of reproductive health care – and why this election is crucial to protecting abortion rights – in Georgia here.

PPFA’s weekly roundup of recently-published articles that address timely and critical reproductive health topics.

PLANNED PARENTHOOD TO HONOR CHAMPIONS OF REPRODUCTIVE RIGHTS: Congressional leaders, influencers, partners and advocates dedicated to fighting for our health care and rights will receive special awards during PPFA’s ninth annual Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s Legislative Brunch in Washington DC. 

During the event this Saturday, October 1st, Planned Parenthood leaders will discuss the urgency of fighting for reproductive rights and the threats posed to the health of Black communities in the aftermath of the fall of Roe v. Wade. Planned Parenthood will also have a booth at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in DC during the Conference to highlight the many essential services offered at Planned Parenthood health centers. 

Read more here.

PLANNED PARENTHOOD CREATES 5-STEP ABORTION CHECKLIST: Recently Planned Parenthood launched a step-by-step guide to getting abortion care as part of its larger initiative to make abortion more accessible, despite the ever-evolving climate. 

The checklist helps users clearly follow the 5 key steps they should take when seeking in-clinic or medication abortion. People can find personalized information about the abortion laws in their state and how to fund their abortion. Additionally, the guide provides general education on how to book and prepare for an appointment and what to expect after an abortion. 

Use the abortion checklist in English or Spanish

THE SONG OF THE HYSTERICAL WOMAN: Thirtyish published a phenomenal personal essay this month on one woman’s experience seeking care while experiencing painful and rare postpartum complications six days after delivery.

After giving birth to her daughter, Abra Belke experienced heavy bleeding and intense pain. Following several hours in the ER and a painful postpartum exam, she was told that not all of the “products of conception” had passed from her uterus after labor. This rare postpartum complication is treated with a D&C – a procedure also used during some abortions.

Abra mentioned that, unfortunately, societal pressure and conditioning led to downplaying her symptoms and potentially making her situation worse:

“Like most millennial women, I was taught that “hysterical” females were the easiest to ignore. So I had been reasonable, polite, and patient with my emergency room captors, even as my husband begged me to stop being so calm. He was sure that my cool demeanor was the reason my pain, my bleeding, my dying, wasn’t being taken seriously.

“Looking back, he was right. It’s the ultimate Catch-22. Act hysterical and you’ll be diminished and ignored. Don’t act hysterical and the monitor attached to your finger will be more concerned about your resting pulse of 46 than the doctor [who’s] supposed to save your life.”

Fortunately, Abra was able to get the care she needed after hours in the ER, but that isn’t the case for many women and pregnant people in a post-Roe world. The overturning of Roe v. Wade – and the resulting abortion bans in states across the nation – have created incredible barriers to life-saving care, resulting in devastating health outcomes. 

Read the full article here.