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: MI legislature sends repeal of 1931 abortion ban to Gov’s desk, FL judges can force young people to give birth, the devastating consequences of GA’s abortion ban, and PPFA’s Danika Severino Wynn discusses “weaponized motherhood.”
MICHIGAN LEGISLATURE SENDS REPEAL OF 1931 ABORTION BAN TO GOV. WHITMER’S DESK: Following its passage in the Michigan House last week, a bill to officially repeal the state’s 1931 criminal abortion ban passed the Michigan Senate yesterday and now goes to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer for signature. While the pre-Roe ban has been unenforceable since the Michigan Court of Claims permanently blocked it last year — and further nullified in November when Michigan voters overwhelmingly approved Proposition 3, which enshrines reproductive rights in the state constitution — striking the nearly century-old law from the books is an important continuation of advocates’ work in the state.
“The November election showed us unequivocally that Michiganders want the freedom to control their own bodies, lives, and futures,” said Nicole Wells Stallworth, executive director of Planned Parenthood Advocates of Michigan. “We are grateful to Sen. Erika Geiss, Rep. Laurie Pohutsky, Rep. Stephanie Young, and other reproductive rights champions in the Michigan legislature for moving swiftly to repeal Michigan's 1931 criminal abortion ban. Abortion is health care, and this dangerous, antiquated ban has no place in Michigan's law books. We look forward to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s signature and a new era for reproductive rights in Michigan."
In more good news yesterday, the Michigan House also passed the Elliot-Larsen Civil Rights Act expansion to prohibit discrimination based on gender identity and expression, sending that legislation to Gov. Whitmer’s desk, too.
“FLORIDA JUDGES HAVE THE POWER TO FORCE YOUNG PEOPLE TO GIVE BIRTH”: This week, Florida House of Representatives member Anna Eskamani penned an op-ed in the Nation about Florida’s cruel restrictions on minors seeking abortions. In Florida, anyone under 18 years old must get consent from a parent or guardian to get abortion care. In circumstances where a parent or guardian is not available or where a minor fears severe consequences from their guardian, they can request a waiver from a judge in a process called “judicial bypass”-- an often scary and traumatizing experience for these young people.
“Everyone, including any young person, deserves the opportunity to make their own personal medical decisions without politicians or judges getting in the way,” Eskamani wrote. “We each deserve the freedoms to be healthy, prosperous, and safe. We won’t stop fighting until that world is a reality for all.”
Over 10% of minors seeking abortions in Florida go through this process. However, denials by judges are relatively common: Florida judges denied more than 12% of waiver requests in 2020 and 2021. As State Rep. Eskamani writes, “When a judge denies a young person a petition for an abortion, they are deeming them too immature enough to have an abortion—but mature enough to become a parent.”
Reproductive rights are under attack in Florida. Abortions there are already banned after 15 weeks of pregnancy, but lawmakers have already introduced a six-week abortion ban, several anti-trans bills, and additional bills limiting Floridians reproductive freedoms this session.
Read the full op-ed at the Nation.
THE DEVASTATING CONSEQUENCES OF GEORGIA’S ABORTION BAN: A new study published this week in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that just 9% of abortions over the past 11 years would be legal under Georgia’s 6-week abortion ban, which has been in effect since July 2022. Using abortion and pregnancy data over 10 years (2007-2017), the study’s authors estimate that over the study’s timeline, almost 30,000 pregnant people per year would have been denied basic and often lifesaving health care.
As lead author Sara Redd, Assistant Professor at Emory University’s Rollins School of Public Health, explains: the populations most likely to be denied an abortion are also most likely to be unable to access other essential kinds of health care, such as pregnancy and maternal care. Black and teenage patients were most likely to be affected by Georgia’s abortion ban, a finding consistent not only with years of data, but with the lived experiences of people seeking abortion.
Read more at the Atlanta Journal Constitution.
HOW WEAPONIZED MOTHERHOOD HAS BOLSTERED THE ANTI-ABORTION AGENDA: Danika Severino Wynn, VP of Abortion Access for Planned Parenthood Federation of America, joined the White Picket Fence podcast this week to discuss how motherhood has been weaponized by conservative groups and how this has significantly contributed to anti-abortion legislation that primarily harms and disenfranchises marginalized people:
“When I think about the idea of women weaponizing their motherhood, the first thing that comes to mind is the Supreme Court’s oral argument in the Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health case … One of the themes of that oral argument that kept coming up was, ‘But why couldn't somebody just choose adoption?’
“The idea that choice is the same for everyone and the upholding of motherhood as a virtuous option has come up time and time again, and really illustrates how white women historically, in the reproductive health space, have weaponized their privilege, class, and race to take up a lot more space than needed in these conversations instead of centering people who are also most impacted by the policies that are put in place as a result of this advocacy."
This interview is part of an ongoing partnership between White Picket Fence and PPFA. Listen to the full episode here.