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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: PPFA president named to 2023 STATUS List, amicus briefs filed in FL 15-week ban case, anti-abortion and -LGBTQ+ bills progress in MT, and CA champions introduce bill package to strengthen reproductive health care. 

PPFA PRESIDENT ON MIFEPRISTONE CASE: “THIS IS A WAKEUP CALL TO EVERYONE”: Today, STAT News published an interview with Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) President and CEO Alexis McGill Johnson, who was selected as a member of the 2023 STATUS List. McGill Johnson discussed the upcoming decision in the mifepristone case, continued attacks on sexual and reproductive health care, and how the reproductive rights movement can grow: 

“The case in Amarillo is a wake-up call to everyone who thought that they didn’t have a stake in this or that they lived in a state where they weren’t going to lose access to abortion. We’re not aware of any medication where a court has revoked an evidence-based FDA approval. So we’re clearly very concerned, as the entire medical community should be. It’s a very dangerous precedent… we have concerns about how our judiciary is being used.”

“Planned Parenthood is proud to provide sexual and reproductive health care to transgender communities across the country. We have gender-affirming hormone therapy at 41 affiliates [of 49]. We are proud about supporting people’s ability to be their free, full, authentic selves… We’re also fighting back, because we are seeing politicians using the same playbook that they used to dismantle abortion to attack gender-affirming care.”

Read the full interview at STAT

SEVEN AMICUS BRIEFS FILED IN CASE AGAINST FLORIDA’S 15-WEEK ABORTION BAN: Last Thursday, seven amicus briefs were filed with the Florida Supreme Court in the ongoing challenge against Florida’s ban on abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy. These amicus briefs were filed just days after Florida legislators introduced a new, even more extreme six-week abortion ban (H.B. 7). 

The briefs highlight the profound harm the abortion ban has had on Floridians since it went into effect last July. The ban has forced countless people to travel long distances to seek basic health care and even forced some people to carry their pregnancies to term against their will. Making reproductive health care inaccessible in the middle of a maternal mortality crisis disproportionately harms Black women, who are nearly three times more likely than white women to die during childbirth or shortly after.

“Floridians don’t want politicians interfering with their personal medical decisions,” Jennifer Sandman, Senior Director of Public Policy Litigation & Law at Planned Parenthood Federation of America, said. “Seeing such a diverse range of groups filing briefs against Florida’s current abortion ban is yet another indication of the depth of opposition to this kind of government overreach into our private lives.” 

Read the full statement at PPFA, and view the amicus briefs and more about the case at ACLU.

HARMFUL ANTI-REPRODUCTIVE AND ANTI-LGBTQ+ RIGHTS  BILLS MAKE HEADWAY IN MONTANA: Throughout the 2023 state legislative session, Montana lawmakers have chosen to prioritize infringing on Montanans’ freedoms and targeting the most vulnerable instead of working to improve the lives and livelihoods of their constituents. Yesterday, the Senate Finance and Claims committee passed SB 458, a dangerous bill that seeks to erase the identity of transgender, non-binary, and two spirit Montanans by incorrectly defining sex based on an unscientific and archaic understanding of basic biology

Other dangerous anti-abortion and anti-LGBTQ+ bills currently moving through the Montana State Legislature include:

  • SB 99: Bans gender-affirming care for trans youth
  • SB 154:  Asserts that the right to privacy does not include the right to abortion
  • HB 721: Bans a common method of  abortion known as D&E, limiting the ability of physicians to provide patients with the medically appropriate care they need
  • HB 544: Adds restrictions to the use of Medicaid and CHIP for abortion coverage 

“From attacking life-saving abortion care for pregnant people to restricting and stigmatizing medically-necessary gender affirming care for transgender Montanans, our lawmakers are peddling cruel and dangerous rhetoric and extremism that will cost lives,” said Martha Fuller, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Advocates of Montana. “It is beyond disheartening to see them passing this harmful legislation going against the will of the majority of Montanans.”

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATORS INTRODUCE BILL PACKAGE TO STRENGTHEN REPRODUCTIVE RIGHTS: In partnership with Planned Parenthood Advocates of California, state legislative champions have introduced a bill package to further strengthen reproductive health rights in the state, building upon last year’s historic suite of legislation signed by Gov. Newsom to protect and expand care. 

“PPAC is proud to put forth this package of legislation in partnership with legislative authors who understand that despite the incredible progress California has made, there is still more work to be done,” Planned Parenthood Advocates of California President Jodi Hicks said. “These bills coupled with what the Future of Abortion Council and other key allies will support this year will continue to provide a roadmap for what states can do. We must reimagine what is possible for our communities—and a vision for the future that centers those historically left behind will create a more equitable health care landscape for all.”

The PPAC-sponsored package includes:

  • AB 352: Enhances privacy protections for patients who access sensitive health care services in California
  • AB 1646: Allows medical residents from other states, including those whose provider training is limited by state abortion bans, to participate in guest rotations in California
  • SB 487 and AB 1707: Both bills seek to strengthen protections for reproductive health care providers, including from adverse actions from other states hostile to abortion 
  • AB 576: Ensures patients with Medi-Cal coverage can access medication abortion in line with up-to-date medical guidelines and peer-reviewed scientific evidence
  • AB 583: Seeks to improve maternal and infant health outcomes by expanding doula care. 
  • AB 492: Establishes a pilot program to improve patients’ access to behavioral health services

Read more at ABC 10.