The Quickie: North Carolina Legislature Passes Abortion Ban Via Override Vote
For Immediate Release: May 17, 2023
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.
Another busy hump day at Planned Parenthood: we have a packed Quickie today for you folks!
In today’s Quickie: NC bans abortion after 12 weeks of pregnancy, PPFA endorses Judiciary Act, Fifth Circuit to hear arguments in AHM v. FDA today, NE advances gender-affirming care and abortion ban, Gov. DeSantis signs a trio of anti-LGBTQ+ legislation, and PP files to block new MT abortion ban.
ANTI-ABORTION SUPERMAJORITIES IN NORTH CAROLINA OVERRIDE GOV’S VETO TO PASS ABORTION BAN: Last night, the anti-abortion supermajorities in North Carolina’s House and Senate voted to override Gov. Cooper’s veto of the proposed 12-week abortion ban, which includes additional restrictions on access to care. Most of the law’s restrictions will take effect on July 1, 2023 with some clinic regulations going into effect after October 1. Abortion was previously accessible in North Carolina until 20 weeks of pregnancy, making this ban a massive rollback of access to health care in the state and in the region.
“Not only do the actions of our lawmakers make me angry, but they also scare me,” said Dr. Katherine Farris, Chief Medical Officer, Planned Parenthood South Atlantic. “This monster abortion ban is bad medicine — it’s full of medically unnecessary and dangerous restrictions on abortion care that go against medical best practices. Treating my patients should not be seen as an act of civil disobedience. A person’s health, not politicians, should guide important medical decisions at all stages of pregnancy.”
Since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade nearly a year ago, we have seen the devastating health impacts for patients in states with abortion bans. According to new research published yesterday by Advancing New Standards in Reproductive Health (ANSIRH), abortion bans have led to increased morbidity, more pregnancy complications, inability to receive time-sensitive care, and more delays in care. These negative health outcomes are only exacerbated along racial lines. These marked reductions in care could begin to result in severe injury and death for pregnant people.
Read more at AP and Common Dreams.
IN FRONT OF THE SUPREME COURT, PLANNED PARENTHOOD JOINS CHAMPIONS AND PARTNERS TO ENDORSE JUDICIARY ACT: Yesterday, Planned Parenthood Federation of America endorsed the Judiciary Act, which would expand the Supreme Court. This announcement comes days after PPFA announced its support of expanded court reform, including Supreme Court expansion and term limits.
At a press conference in front of the Supreme Court yesterday, Planned Parenthood Action Fund Senior Vice President of Policy, Campaigns, and Advocacy Jacqueline Ayers joined Sen. Markey, Rep. Johnson (GA-04), Sen. Smith (MN), Rep. Schiff (CA-30), and Rep. Bush (MO-01), along with partner organizations to call for reform to the Supreme Court. Watch the full press conference here.
Read more at The Hill.
TODAY AT 2 PM ET: FIFTH CIRCUIT PANEL TO HEAR ORAL ARGUMENTS IN MIFEPRISTONE CASE: Today, a Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals panel will hear oral arguments in Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine v. FDA at 2 PM ET, which will be streaming here. Regardless of the Fifth Circuit’s decision, mifepristone will remain FDA approved while the case progresses through the federal judiciary.
On Monday, Planned Parenthood Federation of America and partners held a press call discussing the consequences of altering FDA approval for any medicine. Watch the full press call here.
NEBRASKA GENDER-AFFIRMING CARE & ABORTION BANS ADVANCE: Yesterday evening, anti-abortion and anti-trans legislators in Nebraska got the 33 votes necessary for cloture, advancing a dangerous gender-affirming care ban for trans youth with an amendment banning abortion after 12 weeks of pregnancy. The bill now faces one more round of voting before heading to the desk of the governor, who is expected to sign it. Just weeks after a six-week abortion ban was defeated by one vote, anti-abortion legislators tacked this new ban onto a separate bill already restricting essential health care for trans youth — a tour de force in cruelty.
“This fight is far from over,” Andi Curry Grubb, Executive Director of Planned Parenthood Advocates of Nebraska, said. “We have proven time and time again in the past year that we have the power to defeat these harmful bans. We know this goes against the will of Nebraskans, who want to retain their bodily autonomy. That’s why it’s imperative Nebraskans keep stepping up and have their voices heard. We need to let the people elected to represent us know that this isn’t acceptable, and we aren’t backing down. Not now. Not ever.”
Read more at Omaha World-Herald, AP, and the Washington Post.
BACK AT IT AGAIN: GOV. DESANTIS SIGNS PACKAGE OF BILLS ATTACKING LGBTQ+ RIGHTS IN FLORIDA: Today ,surrounded by anti-trans activists, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a package of bills attacking LGBTQ people. The “Slate of Hate" includes:
- SB 254, which bans gender-affirming care for minors and imposes severe restrictions on care for adults, including banning Medicaid coverage for gender-affirming care;
- HB 1069, which expands the state’s “Don’t Say Gay” law to limit discussion of gender identity and expression in schools, bans educators from recognizing students’ stated pronouns and identity, preempts local school district decisions about sex education curricula, and broadens school book banning criteria and processes;
- HB 1521, which bans people from using bathrooms that align with their gender identity and prohibits gender-inclusive restrooms and changing facilities; and
- SB 1438, which threatens public drag shows and Pride festivals.
SB 254 and SB 1438 took effect with the governor’s signature. HB 1069 and HB 1521 take effect July 1.
These newly-signed laws are the latest in a stream of attacks on Floridians’ freedom. Just last week, DeSantis also signed a measure, SB 1580, which gives healthcare providers and insurers a broad license to discriminate, and another measure, SB 266, that bans public colleges and universities from supporting diversity, equity, and inclusion programming.
PP FILES TO BLOCK NEW ABORTION BAN IN MONTANA: Yesterday, Planned Parenthood of Montana (PPMT) and its Chief Medical Officer Dr. Samuel Dickman once again sought emergency relief in Montana state court against HB 721, a law banning D&E procedures, the safest and most common method of abortion after approximately 15 weeks of pregnancy. The ban took effect immediately upon Gov. Gianforte's signature yesterday.
Given the law’s immediate effective date, PPMT initially filed its challenge to HB 721 in April after it had been passed by the Legislature to ensure that no patients lost access to care. That case remains pending, and PPMT and Dr. Dickman now seek a temporary restraining order preventing the State from enforcing the law.
“HB 721 is a grave threat to Montanans’ health and safety and must be blocked,” PPMT President and CEO Martha Fuller said. “Given the law’s immediate effective date, patients across the state can already be denied access to care that was legally available moments before the Governor’s signature today. We hope the Court will block this dangerous abortion ban. Despite these ongoing attacks, Planned Parenthood of Montana’s doors remain open and we will continue doing everything possible to provide essential abortion care to our patients.”
Read more at Montana Free Press, The Hill, and AP.