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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: Trial begins in challenge to Georgia’s six-week abortion ban, Congress members ask Biden administration to review if abortion bans violate human rights, critical abortion rights on the ballot in MI, and federal appeals court decision reaffirms anti-abortion group’s misconduct   

TODAY: GEORGIA COURT HOLDS TWO-DAY TRIAL FOR CHALLENGE TO SIX-WEEK ABORTION BAN: The Superior Court of Fulton County will hear oral arguments in a two-day trial beginning today, featuring live testimony from experts and fact witnesses on the harms of HB 481, Georgia’s ban on abortion after approximately six weeks of pregnancy. The proceedings were scheduled in response to a lawsuit filed by Georgia abortion providers and advocates challenging the six-week ban, which was allowed to take effect for the first time in July shortly after Roe v. Wade was overturnedt.

“For months, countless Georgians have been denied access to the abortion care they need and subjected to the severe, life-altering effects of forced pregnancy and childbirth,” the plaintiffs, including Planned Parenthood Federation of America and Planned Parenthood Southeast, said in a statement. “Gov. Brian Kemp’s ban also prevents physicians from giving appropriate treatment when a patient encounters serious, life-threatening pregnancy complications. The impacts have been devastating, especially for Black women in Georgia, who are over two times more likely than white women to die of pregnancy-related causes and face structural racism in our health care system. Georgia’s state constitution clearly prohibits this extreme political interference with people’s bodies, health, and lives.”

The oral arguments begin at 9 a.m. EST on Monday, October 24 and Tuesday, October 25, live streamed here. Read more at AP.

 

CONGRESS MEMBERS ASK BIDEN ADMIN TO REVIEW IF ABORTION BANS VIOLATE HUMAN RIGHTS COMMITMENTS: Last week, Rep. Joaquin Castro (TX), Rep. Sara Jacobs (CA), and 67 fellow members of Congess sent a letter to the State Department asking them to review whether state laws restricting abortion access may violate international human rights and treaty obligations. The United States is bound by several treaties and covenants that protect access to abortion. Abortion bans and restrictions hurt the United States’ global standing as a human rights leader and underscore the urgent need for the State Department to reaffirm their commitment to sexual and reproductive health and rights, including abortion.

“The world is watching as the right to abortion hangs by a thread in the United States,” Alexis McGill Johnson, President and CEO of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, said. “Thousands of people are now forced to travel hundreds of miles to get the basic health care they need. As a global community, we have agreed to universal rights and freedoms that the U.S. must uphold… At a time when human rights are under attack, the United States must remain committed to protecting sexual and reproductive rights at home and abroad.”

Read the full letter here and read more at CNN.

 

“ONE OF THE MOST SIGNIFICANT ABORTION BATTLES IN THE COUNTRY”: ABORTION RIGHTS ON THE BALLOT IN MI: Today, TIME featured abortion rights advocates’ ongoing efforts to protect reproductive freedom in the Michigan Constitution via Proposal 3 on the ballot this election. If passed, Prop 3 would enshrine the right to abortion, contraception, miscarriage management, and other decisions about pregnancy for Michiganders in the state constitution.

“As we begin to think about a new world where the right to an abortion at a national level has been struck down by the United States Supreme Court, we have to use every single tool within our democracy to be able to protect our right to abortion,” said Nicole Wells Stallworth, executive director of Planned Parenthood Advocates of Michigan. “Affirming this right into the [state] constitution means that those decisions would be free from criminal penalty regardless of who’s in office, regardless of who’s a sitting judge, regardless of who the governor is.”

The legal status of abortion in Michigan is tenuous right now: The state’s 1931 criminal ban is currently blocked thanks to a lawsuit brought by Planned Parenthood of Michigan (PPMI) and Dr. Sarah Wallett, but Prop 3 seeks to permanently solidify that protection to ensure patients can always get the care they need. Following the U.S. Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade, Michigan has emerged as a critical access point in the midwest where nearby states have banned or severely restricted abortion. Since then, PPMI has seen a 30% increase in patients and two to three times as many out-of-state patients.

Read more at TIME.

 

YET ANOTHER RULING REAFFIRMS ILLEGAL ACTIONS OF ANTI-ABORTION GROUP: Friday, a three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals reaffirmed unanimously that the Center for Medical Progress violated the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) and engaged in fraud, trespass, breach of contract, and illegal secret recording. In 2015, the Center for Medical Progress used multiple manipulated videos about Planned Parenthood health centers to discredit them. You can read more about the 2015 smear campaign here.

“We are thrilled with today’s ruling,” said Helene Krasnoff, Vice President of Public Policy Litigation & Law at Planned Parenthood Federation of America, in a statement Friday. “Today, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed those holdings, once again making clear that the only people who engaged in wrongdoing were those behind this malicious fraud. This was never about monetary gain; this was about exposing the fraudulent and illegal actions of Daleiden and those who conspired with him, and ensuring that Planned Parenthood providers are able to continue serving the 2.1 million patients who rely on them for high-quality health care every year.”

Read the full press release here.