Welcome to “The Quickie” — Planned Parenthood Action Fund’s daily tipsheet on the top health care & reproductive rights stories of the day.
HISTORIC VICTORY FOR ABORTION ACCESS IN MICHIGAN AS COURT PERMANENTLY BLOCKS PRE-ROE BAN: Yesterday, Michigan Court of Claims Judge Elizabeth Gleicher declared Michigan’s 1931 criminal abortion ban unconstitutional and issued a permanent injunction barring enforcement of the ban by the Attorney General and county prosecutors.
“A law denying safe, routine medical care not only denies women of their ability to control their bodies and their lives — it denies them of their dignity,” Judge Gleicher wrote in a 39-page decision striking down the law. “Michigan’s Constitution forbids this violation of due process.”
Planned Parenthood of Michigan and Michigan abortion provider Dr. Sarah Wallett first challenged the 90-year-old felony abortion ban in state court on April 7, 2022, arguing that the law was unconstitutionally vague and violated Michiganders’ rights under the state constitution and civil rights laws. The Court of Claims granted a preliminary injunction on May 17, temporarily blocking the ban, which protected abortion care in the state even after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade on June 24. Yesterday’s historic court ruling — which took effect immediately — means that the law is permanently blocked and abortion care remains legally protected throughout Michigan.
“We are proud to have won this victory on behalf of Michigan abortion providers and the patients who depend on us for care,” said Dr. Sarah Wallett, Chief Medical Operating Officer at PPMI. “The Court of Claims ruling will ensure that Michiganders can continue to make deeply personal decisions about their health, lives, and futures without interference from state officials. I am grateful to every Michigander who has joined in this fight and to every provider who has continued to serve patients during this period of chaos and uncertainty.”
FIGHT CONTINUES IN SOUTH CAROLINA WHERE SENATE COULD PASS NEAR-TOTAL ABORTION BAN TODAY: After a full day of debate yesterday, the South Carolina Senate returns today to consider a bill that would ban nearly all abortion in the state. The bill — which passed the House last week after political maneuvering — has so far been amended to remove exceptions for victims of rape and incest and to add an exception for fatal fetal anomalies, though more changes could happen today. South Carolinians have packed the State House to voice their overwhelming support for safe and legal abortion throughout the entire legislative process. If the Senate passes this extreme and dangerous bill in its third and final vote today, it will then return to the House next week for concurrence.
“[This abortion ban] is absolutely contrary to what most South Carolinians want — not just women, but voters across the state are expressing outrage about this massive overstep,” Planned Parenthood Votes! South Atlantic President Jenny Black told Zerlina Maxwell yesterday. “Right now, this bill is a near-total ban on abortion and this is absolutely firing up people across the state who are either directly impacted or know and love someone who is directly impacted. So I caution [lawmakers] to proceed at their own risk.”
HUNDREDS RALLY IN RICHMOND TO TELL VIRGINIA LAWMAKERS: BANS OFF OUR BODIES: Despite not being on the legislative agenda, abortion was front and center at the Virginia Capitol yesterday when lawmakers returned for a special session. Scores of abortion rights supporters gathered at the Capitol with a clear message for delegates: Bans off our bodies. “We are here to remind them who put them here and what we expect from them,” said Planned Parenthood Advocates of Virginia’s Rae Pickett.
While no new abortion-related legislation was introduced yesterday, Gov. Glenn Youngkin has made clear his intent to ban abortion in the Commonwealth — in direct opposition to what Virginians want. The day the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, Youngkin vowed to ban abortion after 15 weeks in Virginia and announced a legislative taskforce to accomplish that goal. The fight to protect access will continue when state lawmakers return for their regular session in January, and any attempt to ban abortion against the will of the people will be met with swift backlash from the majority of Virginians who support reproductive freedom for all.