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: ID introduces first abortion-related travel ban in the country, TX AG launches yet another attack on repro rights through the courts, new report shows judges deny abortion care to 1 in 10 young Floridians, and new study shows people with lower incomes are more likely to be targeted by Google ads for anti-abortion centers.
IDAHO INTRODUCES FIRST ABORTION-RELATED TRAVEL BAN IN THE COUNTRY: On Tuesday, the Idaho Legislature introduced HB 98, the first abortion-related travel ban this session. The proposed bill would make it illegal to help a minor access abortion care out of the state without the permission of their parent or legal guardian. Abortion is already almost completely banned in the state, Jezebel reports, “...but that apparently isn’t enough for state lawmakers”:
“Laws mandating parental involvement in abortion are nothing new, but this bill is an escalation. Rebecca Gibron, CEO of Planned Parenthood Great Northwest, Hawai‘i, Indiana, Kentucky, said in a statement that ‘preventing people—including minors—from accessing abortion is dangerous and irresponsible. I can’t think of anything more cruel than a state forcing a child to remain pregnant and punishing people who try to help them. Shame on these lawmakers. All Idahoans should be paying attention to this extreme attempt at government overreach to control our movements in and out of the state of Idaho.’”
“[The sponsor]’s comparison to human trafficking ignores the very obvious fact that while some young people can involve their parents in conversations about abortion, many cannot—because their parents are religious, controlling, violent, or all of the above. Gibron underscored this point in an interview with news station KTVB, saying that ‘most young people do involve their parents in a decision like this. We are talking about young people who are in extreme circumstance who cannot involve their parents.’”
TEXAS AG KEN PAXTON LAUNCHES ANOTHER ATTACK ON HEALTH CARE THROUGH THE COURTS: On Tuesday, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton continued his relentless assault on people’s health and rights through a new politically motivated lawsuit against the Biden Administration, filed in a federal district court in Midland, Texas. The lawsuit seeks to overturn guidance U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) provided to retail pharmacies that take Medicaid or Medicare, reminding them of their responsibility under federal law to provide prescribed medication without discrimination. This guidance was made necessary by increasing reports of people in states with abortion bans struggling to access essential medications like methotrexate, which is used to treat medical conditions completely unrelated to abortion.
“This is far from the first time Paxton has weaponized the legal system to achieve his unpopular political agenda: In another case, he is trying to shut down Planned Parenthood health centers in Texas through a meritless lawsuit that seeks nearly $2 billion in punitive damages,” said Drucilla Tigner, Deputy Director of Strategic Campaigns and Partnerships at Planned Parenthood Texas Votes. “Paxton isn’t satisfied with Texas’s three abortion bans — and, according to him, HHS’s reminder that pharmacies must comply with federal anti-discrimination law constitutes a 'radical abortion agenda.' What's really radical is a state with the nation's worst uninsured rates and abysmal maternal and infant health outcomes ruthlessly attacking people's access to essential health care."
NEW REPORT SHOWS JUDGES DENY ABORTION TO 1 IN 10 FLORIDA YOUNG PEOPLE SEEKING CARE: Abortion advocates, providers, and patients have long agreed that parental involvement laws and the judicial process required to bypass them harm vulnerable young people seeking abortion. Now, a new analysis from Human Rights Watch (HRW) quantifies that harm and shows that in Florida, the judicial system actively stops young people from accessing abortion.
Under Florida law, people under 18 must obtain parental consent before having an abortion. Young people who cannot talk to their parent about their abortion, whether for fear of their own safety, because they do not live with their parent, or because their parents are unsupportive, may seek a judicial bypass. But according to HRW’s analysis, Florida judges deny 1 in 10 bypass requests — and the data suggests that whether a judicial bypass is granted depends on where in the state a young person goes to court. From The 19th:
The variation across Florida counties shows just how much the assessment or someone’s “maturity” is colored by a judge’s individual leanings, the HRW report argued.
In Hillsborough County, home to Tampa, close to half of all bypass petitions were denied in 2021. In Miami-Dade and Orange Counties — home to Miami and Orlando, respectively — none were…
“How is it that a Hillsborough County young person — that as a whole, they are immature but then you look at Miami-Dade or Orange County, and they’re more mature? It doesn’t make sense,” said Annie Jae Filkowski, policy director at Florida Alliance of Planned Parenthood Affiliates (FAPPA). “Your ability to access reproductive health care shouldn’t depend on the circuit court in which you reside.”
The bypass process adds an additional challenge for young people seeking abortion, and may even delay their care. For Florida young people, time is of the essence. If they are unable to obtain an abortion before 15 weeks of pregnancy, they will have to leave the state for care.
PEOPLE WITH LOWER INCOMES SEEKING ABORTION MORE LIKELY TO BE TARGETED BY ANTI-ABORTION CENTER GOOGLE ADS: According to a new study by the Tech Transparency Project, people with lower incomes seeking an abortion are more likely than their wealthier counterparts to be targeted by Google ads promoting anti-abortion centers, also known as crisis pregnancy centers. The Tech Transparency Project conducted a study of three cities — Atlanta, Miami, and Phoenix — finding that in Phoenix and Atlanta people with lower incomes were much more likely to be targeted by anti-abortion center ads. In Phoenix, 56% of search ads for low to moderate income people were for anti-abortion centers and only 7% of ads were for these centers for people with higher incomes. In Atlanta, 42% of ads shown to people with lower income were for anti-abortion centers and just 29% for people with higher incomes.
“By pointing low-income women to [crisis pregnancy centers] more frequently than higher-income women in states with restrictive laws, Google may delay these women from finding an actual abortion clinic to get a legal and safe abortion,” Katie Paul, Director of the Tech Transparency Project, told the Guardian. “The time window is critical in some of these states.”
Anti-abortion centers are not health care centers and often deceive pregnant people by pretending to be medical professionals. In reality, anti-abortion centers are mostly unregulated and trick people into visiting their centers with the intention of dissuading people from understanding all of their pregnancy options and accessing the full scope of sexual and reproductive health care.