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: Reproductive rights leaders appear on Morning Joe to talk midterm stakes, PP providers discuss devastating consequences of abortion bans, Psaki canvasses with PP Votes in PA, abortion remains a top issue for voters a week before midterms, abortion on the ballot in VT!
PRESIDENTS OF PLANNED PARENTHOOD ACTION FUND, EMILY’S LIST, AND NARAL APPEAR ON MORNING JOE FOR THE FIRST TIME TOGETHER, DISCUSS WHAT’S AT STAKE FOR ABORTION RIGHTS IN THE MIDTERMS: Yesterday, Alexis McGill Johnson, President of Planned Parenthood Action Fund, along with Laphonza Butler, president of EMILY’s List and Mini Timmaraju, president of NARAL, joined Morning Joe to discuss the consequential midterm elections and what’s on the line when it comes to protecting abortion rights.
(Mika with Alexis, Laphonza, and Mini on Morning Joe)
Read more and watch the full interview here.
PLANNED PARENTHOOD PROVIDERS DISCUSS DEVASTATING CONSEQUENCES OF ABORTION BANS: This week, ABC spoke with Dr. Shannon Connolly, Associate Medical Director of Planned Parenthood of Orange & San Bernardino Counties, and Dr. Bhavik Kumar, Medical Director for Primary and Trans Care at Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast, about the devastating consequences of state abortion bans for patients and providers. Dr. Connolly shared that providers in California — a critical abortion access state — have seen a 200% increase in out-of-state patients since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade.
“A lot of people have irregular menstrual cycles, so they just don’t know when they got pregnant,” Dr. Connolly explained. “And, of course, every week that goes by it becomes more expensive, more challenging. Across the country we’re seeing that abortion providers in states where abortion remains legal are being overwhelmed by the influx of patients from out of state.”
Dr. Kumar and his colleagues in Texas, where virtually all abortion is now banned, now help patients navigate the tremendous barriers to traveling out of state for abortion care.
“We’re providing all the other care we’ve always provided: access to contraception, STI testing and treatment, breast and cervical cancer screenings,” Dr. Kumar told ABC. “There's actually more of a demand for those services given the landscape that people are navigating.”
Watch the full ABC feature.
CANVASSERS IN PA MEET VOTERS WHERE THEY ARE: Earlier this month, former White House Press Secretary and new MSNBC correspondent Jen Psaki walked door to door with Planned Parenthood Votes canvassers in Braddock, PA. Psaki detailed her experience in an op-ed for MSNBC, sharing that the canvassers’ strategies offer important lessons about connecting issues like reproductive freedom and economic challenges.
“It’s not surprising that abortion rights were only one of many priorities for the people who answered the door in Braddock last week, and not necessarily the most important one. But worries about child care and health care and economic opportunity can all be tied to abortion rights and how a woman’s right to choose can affect her life, as well as the lives of her children and her partner…
“Getting the message right doesn’t require … [picking] … between abortion rights and the economy. It requires listening to the challenges people in communities like Braddock are going through, sharing personal stories and speaking about politicians and policies in a way that relates to their lives.”
Read the full op-ed at MSNBC.
ABORTION REMAINS A TOP ISSUE FOR VOTERS JUST ONE WEEK BEFORE ELECTION DAY: New data from both Gallup and Navigator solidifies that abortion remains a top concern among voters just one week out from Election Day. Gallup’s polling found that 42% of voters consider the topic of abortion extremely important–right behind the economy on the list of voters’ top concerns.
With just one week remaining until Election Day, Americans remain largely in favor of abortion rights: the Navigator survey found that three out of four say abortion should be legal or that the government should not be able to prevent a woman from making this personal health care decision for herself. Americans overwhelmingly identify as pro-choice, with majorities of Democrats (82%) and Independents (56%), as well as more than one in three Republicans (36%). Bipartisan majorities continue to oppose a nationwide abortion ban, including Senate Republicans’ proposed ban. Nearly seven in ten Americans oppose a nationwide ban on abortion and the news of one makes Democrats significantly more motivated to vote. 62 percent of Americans report being more motivated to vote by the news of a national abortion ban, including three in four Democrats (77 percent) and pro-choice Americans (73 percent); this compares to fewer than half of Republicans (48 percent) and pro-life Americans (49 percent) being more motivated to vote by a potential abortion ban.
THE GREEN WAVE IN THE GREEN MOUNTAIN STATE: MAKING ABORTION A RIGHT IN VERMONT: Abortion rights are literally on the ballot in Vermont, where voters could make the state one of the first to explicitly protect reproductive liberty in its constitution. Last week, the Nation highlighted the campaign for the Reproductive Liberty Amendment — which would protect the rights to choose abortion, contraception, and sterilization, and to become pregnant and carry a pregnancy to term — in Vermont’s constitution. The campaign is led by a coalition of progressive and social justice organizations, including Planned Parenthood Vermont Action Fund, and is the culmination of a years-long effort to insulate reproductive freedom from changing legislative and judicial tides. The Nation correspondent Amy Littlefield followed canvassers, many of whom are getting involved in politics for the first time. One canvasser told Littlefield how the fight for the Reproductive Liberty Amendment connects to the broader struggle for justice in Vermont:
… Organizer Thelma Gómez, who once lived in a barn without a bathroom while working long days for less than minimum wage, told me she’s facilitating powerful conversations within the farmworker community about the need to speak up for abortion rights. She supports the reproductive liberty amendment as part of a wider struggle to advance the rights of working-class women.
“Imagine, the women who are working on these farms, in bad conditions, in bad housing,” Gómez told me, speaking in Spanish. “How do we connect these issues of bad housing, low salaries, the fact that many people are undocumented…and then on top of that we add in the fact that when someone is pregnant, they can’t access that right?”
“Women’s rights don’t advance without a more general struggle,” she said.
Clearly hard work pays off: according to recent polling, about three-fourths of Vermont voters support Prop 5. If they show up to vote in this election, Vermont will make history. And as Littlefield learned in her Vermont travels, the organizing being done in Vermont will be the basis for future change.
Read more at the Nation.