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: fights continue over abortion restrictions in spending bills, GOP candidates ignore voters again, and TX maternal mortality rates spike.
HOUSE IN SHAMBLES OVER ABORTION RESTRICTIONS IN FEDERAL SPENDING BILLS: This week, the U.S. House of Representatives was scheduled to vote on the Fiscal Year 2024 Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies bill before returning to their districts for August recess. However, the floor vote is now delayed because Republican members are scared to vote for a bill with a medication abortion restriction.
“Anti-abortion politicians are scared — as they very well should be,” President of Planned Parenthood Action Fund Alexis McGill Johnson said. “They know their constituents don’t want more restrictions on medication abortion and that this vote will hurt their re-election chances. Will they stand with the American people, or continue to push an unpopular anti-abortion agenda?”
Meanwhile, these same House members narrowly pushed through the 2024 Military Construction, Veterans Affairs (VA), and Related Agencies bill, which includes attacks on abortion access for veterans and their families. The bill would, among other attacks on health care, overturn a critical rule that allows the VA to provide veterans and their dependents abortion care in certain circumstances and allows the VA to provide comprehensive information about options regarding their pregnancies.
“Using a bill meant to support our veterans as a tool to restrict their access to health care is disgraceful,” Alexis said. “Our veterans and their families deserve better.”
GOP CANDIDATES ARE STILL OUT OF TOUCH WITH VOTERS: Today, the GOP presidential candidates will be going to a state party dinner in Des Moines to tout their wildly unpopular abortion policies. Iowa’s six week abortion ban is currently temporarily blocked, but access to abortion in the state hangs in the balance. These anti-abortion candidates just can’t find their footing on abortion policy: one day they support near total bans on abortion at the federal level and the next they refuse to discuss abortion at all. Why? They know they’re totally out of step with voters’ feelings on abortion.
While these candidates applaud Gov. Reynolds’ abortion ban at dinner tonight, they won’t mention that more than 60% of Iowans support abortion rights. Meanwhile, Vice President Kamala Harris will be in Iowa today to meet with reproductive rights advocates and health care professionals to discuss barriers to reproductive health care access.
As Eminem (and apparently Vivek Ramaswamy) said, you only get one shot — GOP candidates are blowing it.
TEXAS MATERNAL MORTALITY RATES SPIKE OVER 40% IN LAST 20 YEARS: According to new data published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, the maternal mortality rate in Texas increased at least 40% in the last two decades. Black pregnant people in the state were most likely to die in the year after childbirth — twice as likely as white women.
Texas has emerged as one of the most hostile states to sexual and reproductive health care access since the legislature passed a bounty hunter abortion ban in the fall of 2021. The state government is also pursuing a baseless, politically motivated lawsuit against Texas Planned Parenthood affiliates to shut their doors, preventing thousands of Texans from receiving affordable sexual and reproductive health care. We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: abortion bans exacerbate negative maternal health outcomes. Despite having a maternal health crisis, Texas politicians keep making pregnancy more dangerous, especially for Black, Latino, and Indigenous communities, people with low incomes, rural people, and more.
Read more at Dallas Morning News.