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Welcome to “The Quickie”

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: Florida Supreme Court scrutinizes argument against abortion rights ballot measure, PPSEA president introduces VP Harris on her Reproductive Freedoms tour, and a JAMA study finds that abortion bans drastically worsen mental health outcomes.

FLORIDA BALLOT MEASURE OPPOSITION MEETS SKEPTICISM FROM SUPREME COURT: In a pivotal hearing yesterday, the Florida Supreme Court expressed skepticism about arguments to disqualify proposed abortion rights ballot measure Amendment 4. Just look at some of these headlines:

Headlines from Bloomberg Law, The Hill, and POLITICO

As reported by Politico, Chief Justice Carlos Muñiz said, “The people of Florida aren’t stupid — they can figure things out.” While Muñiz also raised the question of fetal personhood, a legal issue not raised in the amendment or in arguments made at hearing, he and other justices were deeply critical of the arguments made against the initiative. 

Outside the court, more than 200 people rallied in support of Amendment 4 and the campaign behind it, Floridians Protecting Freedom. Their enthusiasm on a cold Tallahassee morning demonstrated what campaign director Lauren Brenzel later told reporters: “Quite frankly, we have people that no matter their stance on abortion, they don’t want politicians interfering in their lives.”

Read more from Politico, WUFT, and the Tampa Bay Times

VP CONTINUES REPRODUCTIVE FREEDOMS TOUR IN GEORGIA: On Tuesday, as part of her Reproductive Freedoms Tour, Vice President Harris was in Georgia to sound the alarm on the prescient need to protect access to reproductive health care, including abortion. The Vice President was introduced by Planned Parenthood Southeast Advocates President and CEO Carol McDonald. “Today we come together in community to share our joint outrage at the attacks on reproductive freedom, and lift up the work that’s been done at the highest levels to get those freedoms back,” McDonald said.


Once she took to the stage, the Vice President didn’t mince words: “In America, freedom is not to be given. It is not to be bestowed. It is ours by right…And that includes the freedom to make decisions about one’s own body and not have the government telling people what to do.” 

Read more about the event here. 


JAMA STUDY FINDS THAT ABORTION BANS WORSEN MENTAL HEALTH: If it seems obvious that stripping people of the right to control their own bodies and futures could result in adverse effects on mental health, that’s because it is. Since the Dobbs decision, many people are rightfully concerned about their access to reproductive health care, particularly in states that quickly moved to ban or severely restrict abortion. It’s no surprise that heightened anxiety and depression symptoms may be associated with such loss of autonomy, and a recently-published study in JAMA found exactly that. 

The research, which analyzed nationally-representative survey data of over 700,000 participants from December 2021 to January 2023, showed an overall increase in adverse mental health symptoms following two benchmarks: the leaked draft of the Dobbs opinion on May 2, 2022 and the overturn of Roe v. Wade on June 24, 2022. While symptoms increased for the general population, findings showed a slight but significantly greater increase in anxiety and depression symptoms for those living in states with “trigger” abortion bans as compared to those living in states without such trigger laws in place. It also found that women aged 18 to 45 experienced more symptoms than their male counterparts.

Learn more by signing up for The Health Capsule, PPFA’s weekly roundup of recently-published articles that address timely, important sexual and reproductive health topics.

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