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: Senate repro rights champions reaffirm commitment to fighting for abortion rights, UT lawmakers seek to gut child protection provisions to undermine court-ordered hold on state’s abortion ban, KS anti-abortion politicians seek to undermine democratic vote in support of abortion rights, and PP California affiliates celebrate launch of “My Body, My Voice”!
SENATE REPRODUCTIVE RIGHTS CHAMPIONS FOCUS ON FIGHT AHEAD FOR ABORTION RIGHTS: Yesterday, reproductive rights champions in the U.S. Senate spoke alongside reproductive rights activists, a Planned Parenthood provider, and a Planned Parenthood patient storyteller to mark what would have been Roe v. Wade’s 50th anniversary. The senators — including Leader Chuck Schumer, Sen. Patty Murray, Sen. Debbie Stabenow, Sen. Dick Durbin, Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, Sen. Maria Cantwell, Sen. Tina Smith, Sen. Richard Blumenthal, Sen. Mazie Hirono, and Sen. Ron Wyden — reiterated their commitment to supporting sexual and reproductive health care and to blocking any anti-reproductive rights legislation at the federal level.
Chief Medical Officer for Planned Parenthood of Metropolitan Washington, D.C., Dr. Serina Floyd reflected on the Supreme Court overturning Roe: "I’m sad, I’m frustrated, and I’m angry. But I’m also determined.”
Patient advocate Kelley encouraged the ongoing fight, noting, “Today, I stand here with these senators with a clear call to action - nobody gets to give up on abortion. This health care can still be a reality, and one that we will reach with creativity, tenacity, and the support of everybody. It won’t be reached overnight, but we are all in this fight together."
[From L to R: Dr. Floyd, Sen. Cortez-Masto, patient advocate Kelley]
UTAH LAWMAKERS SEEK TO GUT CHILD PROTECTION PROVISIONS TO UNDERMINE COURT-ORDERED HOLD ON STATE’S ABORTION BAN: Anti-abortion politicians will do practically anything to control people’s reproductive health care decisions — even endanger children. This week, Utah legislators proposed new rules that are meant to curtail the legal reasoning judges use to issue preliminary injunctions in contentious cases, known as “serious issues” reasoning. This reasoning has been used by the judge who blocked Utah’s trigger abortion ban while litigation continues and also is often used by judges to protect children who are involved in complicated family law situations.
Rather than amending the challenged abortion ban law to make it more amenable to courts, anti-abortion politicians are trying to change the rules of the game to favor their agenda without regard to the wide-reaching harms. The proposed rules change would eliminate using “serious issues” reasoning to protect children in potentially dangerous situations, demonstrating the lengths to which these politicians will go to deprive people of their basic rights. Planned Parenthood of Utah described the tactic as “running and hiding with the ball."
Read more at KSL.
KANSANS OVERWHELMINGLY VOTED TO PROTECT ABORTION RIGHTS, BUT ANTI-ABORTION POLITICIANS DON’T CARE: In August, Kansas voters overwhelmingly voted to protect abortion rights in their state constitution, sending a clear message to Kansas lawmakers that abortion rights are popular and must be defended in the state. Despite this clear mandate, anti-abortion politicians have proposed various restrictions on reproductive health care, subverting the democratic will of the people.
“Anti-abortion politicians either forgot how elections work or don’t care about the will of those they were elected to serve,” said Emily Wales, the president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Great Plains Votes. “It seems to be the latter, because in the first week of session they have already doubled down on their plans to attack reproductive freedom.”
Since Kansas’s legislative session began, these politicians have proposed multiple restrictions on abortion care, more funding for dangerous anti-abortion crisis pregnancy centers, attacking the court case that established state constitutional protection for abortion, and giving local municipalities the authority to restrict abortion and other reproductive health care services like condoms and IUDs. While reproductive rights champion Gov. Laura Kelly has pledged to block anti-abortion legislation, the threats to access are very real, especially given Kansas’s role as a critical access state in a region where abortion is widely restricted.
“We may assume the long arc of history bends towards justice, but we have a duty to grab hold of it and pull it in that direction,” said Wales in a statement.
PP CALIFORNIA AFFILIATES LAUNCH “MY BODY, MY VOICE,” ART AND STORYTELLING PROJECT: This week, Planned Parenthood affiliates in California celebrated the launch of “My Body, My Voice,” a traveling art and interactive storytelling installation that captures stories from people across California in the fight for reproductive freedom. Planned Parenthood affiliates were joined at the capitol by California First Partner Jennifer Siebel Newsom, actress Connie Nielsen, and members of California’s Legislative Women’s Caucus to celebrate the launch on the heels of what would have been the 50th anniversary of Roe v. Wade.
“Whether it was a story of abortion, birth control, family, friends, Californians across the state came together to share personal moments that unite us as we continue to fight for reproductive freedom,” said Jodi Hicks, CEO of California Planned Parenthood Education Fund. “While we had hoped to be celebrating the 50th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, this is how California shows we will not back down and how we will fight to envision an even better world post-Roe. While this Roe Anniversary marks a reminder of what we’ve lost, this is also a reminder that Roe was always the floor — not the ceiling — and now we must reimagine what is possible for our communities. A vision for the future that centers those historically left behind will create a more equitable health care landscape for all.”
Watch the “My Body, My Voice” launch video here.