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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: SC ban temporarily blocked; standing with Dr. Bernard; the importance of medication abortion. 

SOUTH CAROLINA COURT TEMPORARILY BLOCKS ABORTION BAN: On Friday, a South Carolina state trial court granted abortion providers’ request to temporarily block a newly-enacted ban on abortion after about six weeks of pregnancy. The ban had taken immediate effect on Thursday after being signed into law by Gov. Henry McMaster. The newly-blocked ban is nearly identical to a six-week ban permanently struck down by the South Carolina Supreme Court in January. This year’s ban contains limited exceptions — life and physical health of the pregnant person; fetal diagnosis “incompatible” with life; and rape and incest up to 12 weeks of pregnancy conditioned on reporting to law enforcement regardless of a survivor’s wishes. The ban will remain blocked while litigation continues. 

Statement from Jenny Black, President and CEO, Planned Parenthood South Atlantic:

“Today the court has granted our patients a welcome reprieve from this dangerous abortion ban. Our doors remain open and we are here to provide compassionate and judgment-free health care to all South Carolinians. While we have a long fight ahead, we will not stop until our patients are again free to make their own decisions about their bodies and futures.” 

The plaintiffs in the case are Planned Parenthood South Atlantic and Greenville Women’s Clinic — which operate the only clinics offering abortion in South Carolina — and two physicians who provide abortion in South Carolina. They are represented by Planned Parenthood Federation of America, the Center for Reproductive Rights, and the law firm Burnette Shutt & McDaniel.

Read more at CNN and the AP. See Planned Parenthood’s full statement here.

STANDING WITH DR. BERNARD: Last week, the Indiana Medical Licensing Board voted to sanction Dr. Caitlin Bernard, an OB-GYN who publicly shared her experience of providing medication abortion to a 10-year-old rape survivor in the weeks following the Dobbs decision. Health care providers and medical associations, including the American Medical Association, have denounced the targeting of Dr. Bernard as unfair and unwarranted. An AMA ethics official testifying on Dr. Bernard’s behalf noted that as a reproductive health provider, Dr. Bernard had “an affirmative obligation to speak out” and at no point violated her patient’s confidentiality. Despite this, the Indiana Medical licensing Board voted to fine and sanction her. 

While the patient did not receive care at a Planned Parenthood health center, Dr. Bernard is a Planned Parenthood physician and abortion provider in Indiana.  Rebecca Gibson, CEO of Planned Parenthood Great Northwest, Hawai‘i, Alaska, Indiana, Kentucky, expressed her immense gratitude for Dr. Bernard: 

“The fight to do what’s right isn’t easy. Dr. Bernard has repeatedly placed her profession, her reputation, and her livelihood on the line in her efforts to advance public health and serve her community. It is an honor to work with and support providers like Dr. Bernard—who are committed to care no matter what.

“Dr. Bernard’s unwavering dedication to her patients and profession is laudable, but the lengths she was forced to go to continue to deliver safe and legal care while experiencing abusive and hostile conditions is unacceptable. This could have all been avoided had Indiana AG Todd Rokita not made a mockery of his office–no provider should ever have to face politically motivated attacks simply for doing their job.”

Read more at NPR

MEDICATION ABORTION SEEN AS “LIFE SAVING”: In the wake of the battle over mifepristone access, USA Today spoke to several patients who opted for medication abortions for the flexibility and ‘sense of control.’ Despite claims from anti-abortion coalition groups that mifepristone is unsafe, studies show that side effects are rare and only account for 0.3% of cases. 

“It felt like coming up for air,” said Layidua Salazar, who had a medication abortion in 2013.  “When I found out I was pregnant, I felt like I was drowning. When I confirmed my appointments and got my medication, I felt like I could breathe again.”

“When I needed an abortion, it was a very difficult period in my life,” she said. “The least complicated of everything that was happening was getting my abortion. It was routine. It was uneventful. It was boring. That's how every abortion should be.”

Medication abortion is considerably cheaper than an in-clinic abortion and in the time of the COVID-19 pandemic, offers an option for people where they don’t need to invest in additional costs such as travel and childcare or needing to take time off.

Read more at USA Today


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