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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.

In today’s Quickie: Connecticut enacts a new package of abortion protections, Maryland becomes a beacon for abortion access, and PPFA health director Megan Freeland is recognized in Black Health Connect’s 40 Under 40

CONNECTICUT ENACTS ADDITIONAL PROTECTIONS FOR ABORTION: Yesterday, Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont and reproductive freedom activists celebrated a new package of protections for abortion and other reproductive health care. The package, signed by Gov. Lamont in June, includes an expansion of the state’s shield law; protections against the collection, sharing, and selling of patient data; a measure allowing pharmacists to prescribe birth control; and expanding access to abortion, contraception, and gender-affirming care on state college and university campuses. Check out all of Connecticut's reproductive freedom achievements this session in this thread from Planned Parenthood Votes! Connecticut

Since last June, Connecticut has become an access point for people seeking abortion. Planned Parenthood Southern New England alone has seen a 56% increase in patients traveling from states with abortion bans. At the Dobbs one-year mark, PPSNE chief medical officer Dr. Nancy Stanwood told the Connecticut Mirror that now, the state must continue to address barriers to abortion access: 

“If you can’t get to your appointment, then it doesn’t matter if you have the right to an abortion. If you don’t have insurance to pay for it, it doesn’t matter if you have the right to an abortion in Connecticut,” Stanwood said. “And it gets to that point of access and that you just need to think about who is the person who has the least resources. And if we can build a system that makes it possible for them to easily access care in a timely manner, then we’ve made it better for everybody.”

Read more: CT Insider, Connecticut Mirror 

GREETINGS FROM MARYLAND, HOME FOR ABORTION: For years, Maryland has been a beacon for abortion access. Not only is it within driving distance of states with more restrictive laws, like West Virginia, but it is also home to some of the nation's only providers of abortion later in pregnancy. Now, the state is leaning further into its role as a critical access point, with Gov. Wes Moore signing more protections for patients and providers of reproductive health care and the state on deck to vote on a pro-abortion rights constitutional amendment next year. 

Slate’s Christina Cauterucci spoke with the heroes opening more clinics in the state about why Maryland is now the “patron state of abortions.” One clinic director, Katie Quiñonez-Alonzo of the Women’s Health Center of Maryland, told Cauterucci how she and her staff felt a duty to move their clinic from West Virginia just over the border. 

When it opens in Mountain, Maryland, later this summer, the Women’s Health Center of Maryland will offer abortion up to 16 weeks of pregnancy in an area where the nearest abortion provider is an hour or more away. It will be the second clinic to open in the state in less than a year. In October, Partners in Abortion Care began to welcome patients to its clinic just outside of Washington, DC — and quickly found themselves outgrowing their space. 

Read more here

BLACK HEALTH CONNECT HONORS PPFA’S DIRECTOR OF HEALTH COMMUNICATIONS: Black Health Connect, an organization focused on networking, education and representation for Black health care professionals, named Megan Freeland, Director of Health Communications at PPFA, one of their Class of 2023’s 40 under 40. The award spotlights 40 Black individuals under the age of 40 who are leading and driving change in the health care industry. 

On receiving the award, Freeland notes, “My greatest professional accomplishment was leading PPFA’s Health Communications team through the overturn of Roe v. Wade.” 
Read more here.