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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: Planned Parenthood Votes x HBCU homecoming, DOD to pay for abortion travel costs, 84% of maternal deaths found to be preventable, and the state legislative races that could determine abortion rights! 

THIS WEEKEND: PLANNED PARENTHOOD VOTES AT SPELHOUSE HOMECOMING: As thousands of students and alumni of Spelman College and Morehouse College descend on Atlanta this weekend to celebrate these historic institutions at their annual homecoming, Planned Parenthood Votes will join in on the festivities to ensure Georgia voters know what’s at stake for their reproductive freedom in this year’s historic midterm election, now less than three weeks away. 

WHAT: Planned Parenthood Votes to sponsor the Spelhouse Student Tailgate Experience with sweet treats from the “Take Control”-branded food truck and Ben & Jerry’s, free swag, and voter education and mobilization

WHEN: Saturday, October 22, 12 - 6 p.m. EST

WHERE: Morehouse College campus

For more information or to arrange to capture B-roll on site, please contact the Planned Parenthood Votes Media Office at [email protected] and/or Suniti Bal at [email protected]

DOD TO PAY ABORTION TRAVEL COSTS FOR SERVICE MEMBERS AND DEPENDENTS: Yesterday, the Department of Defense announced that it will cover the travel costs for service members and their dependents who may have to travel across state lines to receive abortion care and other reproductive health care. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin noted that the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade created “hardship” and “emergency” circumstances for service members. The Pentagon will continue to review its health care policies to reduce burden to service members seeking essential health care, like abortion services. 

“Everyone deserves access to abortion, including our service members,” Karen Stone, Vice President of Public Policy and Government Relations at Planned Parenthood Federation of America, said. “It’s critical that the federal government ensure that they can access the care that they need without difficulties or delays. We’re encouraged to see the Department of Defense continue to step up and protect patient privacy and commit to pay for travel and transportation for service members and their dependents to access safe and legal abortions. Planned Parenthood will continue to call for everyone who gets health care or coverage through the federal government to have access to abortion. Abortion is basic health care and should be treated as such.”

Read more at NBC

NEW STUDY FINDS 84% OF MATERNAL DEATHS ARE PREVENTABLE: According to data compiled by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention from almost 40 states, a devastating 84% of pregnancy-related deaths were deemed preventable, as reported by NPR. Additionally, 53% of the deaths occurred after leaving the hospital between seven days and a year after delivery. Mental health conditions were the leading cause of maternal deaths with white and Hispanic women more likely to die from suicide or drug overdose while cardiac problems were the leading cause of death for Black women. 

The data emphasizes many weaknesses in our care systems for new mothers, such as obstetricians without proper training or pay to look for mental health troubles and a lack of health care coverage post-birth. Post-natal checkup appointments are also often too late to address problems or skipped. Researchers in the field noted that abortion bans since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade are likely to exacerbate maternal health and mortality issues. With restrictions on emergency care for miscarriages and younger people, who face a much higher risk of complications and death from pregnancy, being forced to carry to term, abortion bans across the country only serve to further endanger the lives of pregnant people. Experts also note that the psychological effects of abortion bans can exacerbate post-birth mental health struggles, contributing to worse maternal health outcomes. 

Read more at NPR

STATE LEGISLATIVE RACES COULD DETERMINE ABORTION RIGHTS: This morning, Rachel Roubein from the The Washington Post reported on key state legislatures that could impact abortion rights and access. The piece focussed on Arizona, Michigan, and Nevada. As Roubein notes, “The Supreme Court’s ruling overturning the constitutional right to an abortion has raised the stakes for state legislative races across the country.” Planned Parenthood Votes in Nevada’s executive director Lindsey Harmon spoke to Roubein about the slim majority in the silver state’s legislator and the real possibility of anti-abortion state legislators introducing more barriers to abortion care such as mandatory waiting periods.  

Read more at The Washington Post.