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.
TODAY AT 12 PM EASTERN: FLORIDA PROVIDERS DISCUSS ABORTION CRISIS: On Wednesday, Planned Parenthood of South, East, and North Florida (PPSENFL) providers will join a virtual press conference to discuss the impact of abortion bans following the overturn of Roe v. Wade. In the past three months, Florida providers have treated more than double their usual number of patients, many of whom are dealing with dire circumstances. Providers will share their firsthand experiences working with patients in medical distress, survivors of sexual assault and incest, and destitute children, as well as the difficulties of working under Florida’s 15-week abortion ban.
“These are the real life stories of families just like yours and mine that clearly show the tragic consequences of banning abortion,” said Alexandra Mandado, President and CEO of Planned Parenthood of South, East and North Florida. “The sad fact is, it is not safe to be pregnant in this country.”
Press can RSVP for the press call HERE. The press conference will include remarks from PPSENFL abortion provider Dr. Shelly Tien and health center manager Ina McDonald. A recording will be distributed to press after the call.
OVER A THIRD OF U.S. COUNTIES ARE MATERNITY CARE DESERTS: A report in March of Dimes found that 36% of U.S. counties are “maternity care deserts” with the number of desert counties only growing. Between 2020 and 2022, 5% of counties reduced maternity care access while only 3% saw improvement. That translates to just under seven million women of all ages living in areas with little to no access to maternity care, according to CNN. The report defines a maternity care desert as “any county without a hospital or birth center offering obstetric care and without any obstetric providers, such as obstetricians, gynecologists and certified midwives or nurse midwives.”
Notably, almost two thirds of maternity care deserts are in rural areas. Trends show that southern states followed by the midwest have increasingly large deserts. These maternity care deserts can be associated with poor prenatal care and treatment for pregnancy complications as well as an increased risk of maternal death. While the report does not analyze abortion access, the researchers noted that there was an overlap between maternity care deserts and states with the most restrictive abortion bans.