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: IA special session to ban abortion called, Ohio repro activists collect double the signatures required for ballot initiative, and NC abortion ban takes effect with key provision blocked.
IOWA GOV. CALLS LEGISLATIVE SPECIAL SESSION TO BAN ABORTION — AGAIN: On Wednesday night, Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds announced that the Iowa legislature will convene next Tuesday (7/11) for a special session to ban abortion.
Gov. Reynolds and her administration are continuing their relentless attack on Iowans’ reproductive freedom just weeks after the Iowa Supreme Court blocked the state’s six-week abortion ban for a second time.
“Calling a special session in the middle of summer for the sole purpose of stripping Iowans of the liberties they prize is not only unprecedented but shows the drastic lengths power-hungry politicians will take to pass deeply unpopular policies,” Mazie Stilwell, Director of Public Affairs of Planned Parenthood Advocates of Iowa, said. “A growing majority of Iowans support abortion access. Make no mistake—we are prepared to mobilize supporters across the state to demand state legislators reject any proposed abortion ban or further restrictions on abortion care.”
Iowa’s anti-abortion politicians are doubling down despite repeatedly losing in court, and directly going against their constituents’ wishes: 61% of Iowans support safe and legal abortion.
Read more at CNN.
OHIO CAMPAIGN FOR ABORTION RIGHTS HITS MILESTONE DEADLINE, SUBMITTING 700K+ PETITIONS FOR VERIFICATION: Yesterday, Ohioans United for Reproductive Rights submitted nearly double the amount of signatures required to place The Right to Reproductive Freedom with Protections for Health and Safety Amendment on the 2023 general election ballot. In just 12 weeks, the campaign collected more than 700,000 signatures from each of Ohio’s 88 counties. The Ohio Secretary of State has until July 25 to verify signatures and confirm that the campaign reached the required 413,466 petitions to qualify for the Nov. 7 vote. If passed, the amendment would create a fundamental right to reproductive freedom in Ohio, protecting Ohioans’ ability to access abortion in the state.
“This is a historic day for Ohio and for reproductive freedom. We cannot thank our volunteers enough for this herculean grassroots effort to ensure patients and doctors, not government extremists, are in control of making private medical decisions. Fortunately, the Ohio Constitution gives us the ability to take this popular issue directly to the people,” said Lauren Blauvelt and Kellie Copeland of Ohioans for Reproductive Freedom. “Today, we take a huge step forward in the fight for abortion access and reproductive freedom for all, to ensure that Ohioans and their families can make their own health care decisions without government interference.”
Before the initiative can appear on the ballot in November, Ohioans will vote in August on whether to raise the threshold for ballot initiatives passing from a simple majority to a 60% threshold. This August special election was pushed by anti-abortion activists as a way to limit democratic participation and make passing the November abortion rights amendment more difficult.
Read more at AP.
FEDERAL COURT BLOCKS PARTS OF NORTH CAROLINA ABORTION BAN, REST OF LAW GOES INTO EFFECT: On Friday, a federal judge temporarily blocked parts of North Carolina’s 12-week abortion ban, ensuring that people can get medication abortion in the state at the earliest stages of pregnancy and protecting people who help North Carolinians seek abortion out-of-state. The court’s order also blocks a provision requiring that sexual assault survivors getting an abortion under the law’s limited exceptions receive care in a hospital.
In response to the legal challenge to the 12-week ban, lawmakers amended the law to eliminate an arbitrary 10-week limit on medication abortion and clarify that providers of lawful abortions cannot be prosecuted under the state’s fetal homicide law. However, the rest of the abortion ban is in effect, further decimating abortion access in the region.
“Our legal challenge forced General Assembly leadership to clean up their mess of a bill, but we never should have had to sue to get clarity on how to comply with this law,” Jenny Black, President and CEO of Planned Parenthood South Atlantic, said. “Planned Parenthood South Atlantic remains committed to providing abortion care to as many people as possible within the unjust and inhumane confines of this abortion ban, and we encourage anyone in need of abortion care to contact us as soon as possible for help navigating this new reality.”