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: IL signs into law sweeping protections for abortion care, must read column on Texas desperately trying to shut down PP and eliminate health care options; and NJ passes law to allow people to access birth control pills without a prescription!
GOV. PRITZKER SIGNS INTO LAW SWEEPING PROTECTIONS FOR REPRODUCTIVE FREEDOM IN ILLINOIS: Gov. J.B. Pritzker last week signed into law a reproductive freedom law with sweeping protections for patients, especially those coming from out-of-state, as well as providers. Among other positive provisions, this bill mitigates the threat of aggressive out-of-state litigation against providers of abortion and gender-affirming care, expands the range of abortion services provided by advanced practice clinicians, and creates a pathway for out-of-state medical staff to be quickly licensed for reproductive health care in Illinois. These protections are critical as Illinois has emerged as a critical access state in the Midwest since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade: Planned Parenthood of Illinois has seen out-of-state patients rise from 6% pre-Dobbs to 30% now.
“In the ever-shifting post-Roe national landscape, Illinois is an oasis for reproductive care,” President and CEO Planned Parenthood Illinois Action Jennifer Welch said. “With this bill now in effect, Illinois is a leader in the fight for bodily autonomy and a haven to those seeking and providing essential health care.”
ICYMI: TEXAS’S DESPERATE ATTEMPT TO SHUT DOWN PLANNED PARENTHOOD AND ELIMINATE HEALTH CARE OPTIONS: Last week, Austin American-Statesman columnist Bridget Grumet exposed Texas extremists’ latest desperate attempt to decimate essential health care access in the state — this time by weaponizing the courts to try to shut down Planned Parenthood, a trusted provider of affordable, preventive health services for more than 100,000 Texans each year.
The state of Texas – led by Attorney General Ken Paxton – and an anonymous plaintiff are suing Planned Parenthood for nearly $2 billion, falsely alleging that the Texas affiliates defrauded the state's Medicaid system by getting reimbursed for birth control, cancer screenings, and other basic health care services that courts explicitly said they could provide. Last week, the Texas affiliates and Planned Parenthood Federation of America filed motions for summary judgment, asking a U.S. district court judge to rule in their favor in the ongoing baseless lawsuit. As Grumet writes in her column,
“This case is a bare-knuckled attempt by Paxton to use the courts to financially crush a health care provider — even as our state ranks among the worst in the country for women trying to access quality, affordable care.
… To be clear, this case is not about abortion. Medicaid never covered that, and Planned Parenthood didn’t seek Medicaid payments for it. Plus, Texas laws now ban the procedure.
This case is about the other care that women need — and Paxton’s indifference to those patients as he continues his scorched-earth campaign against some of the clinics that serve them.”
Read Grumet’s full column here, read more about the case here, and see this memo for a full list of ongoing court cases related to sexual and reproductive health, including still more attacks in Texas that also seek to limit young people’s access to birth control through Title X and to end FDA approval of mifepristone.
NEW JERSEY TO ALLOW PEOPLE TO ACCESS BIRTH CONTROL WITHOUT A PRESCRIPTION: Last week, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed into law S-275, which allows pharmacists to dispense “self-administered hormonal contraceptives,”, or birth control pills, to people without a prescription. New Jersey pharmacists are permitted to dispense pills to people regardless of where they live, allowing people from out-of-state to easily access birth control in New Jersey as well. New Jersey joins 20 other states and Washington D.C. in allowing people to get birth control pills without a prescription.
“While 99 percent of sexually active women will have used birth control at some point in their lives, many struggle to routinely access it because of cost or other barriers,” Planned Parenthood Action Fund of New Jersey said in a statement. “A recent study from the Guttmacher Institute found that when patients were unable to overcome barriers to access their preferred contraceptive method, they switched to other methods that were not ideal for them or used no method at all. As many states enact restrictions and barriers to the full range of reproductive health care, New Jersey continues to work to increase access to contraception through this legislation.”