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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: South Carolina Supreme Court denies rehearing on six-week abortion ban, PPNCS researchers find that tear gas is detrimental to reproductive health, and anti-abortion legislators attempt to deflect backlash through a meaningless birth control bill.

SOUTH CAROLINA SUPREME COURT DECLINES TO RECONSIDER SIX-WEEK BAN: Yesterday, the South Carolina State Supreme Court rejected a petition to clarify an ambiguity in the opinion with regards to the definition of “fetal heartbeat” in a 4-1 decision. The petition for rehearing urged the court to define it as when the four chambers of the heart are formed, which is usually around 17-20 weeks, as opposed to the six weeks set forth in the ban.

Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Planned Parenthood South Atlantic, the Center for Reproductive Rights, and the Greenville Women’s Clinic said in a statement that they will "continue to fight to restore abortion access for all South Carolinians." 

“We are still evaluating all of our options at this point,” Jenny Black, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood South Atlantic, told The Post and Courier.

Read more in Reuters and The Post and Courier.

MINNESOTA STUDY FINDS TEAR GAS CAN BE DISRUPTIVE TO REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH: A Minnesota study found that exposure to tear gas or other chemical irritants can be detrimental to reproductive health, such as causing cramps or early periods. The study came to be in part due to anecdotal reports about disruptions to people’s cycles following tear gas exposure at protests in Minneapolis following the killing of George Floyd in 2020. The researchers of the study hope that their findings can be the first step in law enforcement reconsidering their crowd control measures.

"The study is only the beginning of raising questions of the health outcomes related to tear gas exposure," Asha Hassan, a researcher with Planned Parenthood North Central States and the University of Minnesota's Center for Antiracism Research for Health Equity, told The Star Tribune. 

The survey results found that more than two-thirds of respondents nationwide reported cramps after tear gas exposure in 2020 or 2021 and more than half reported early menstrual bleeding. Respondents also reported disruptions such as breast tenderness and delayed menstrual bleeding.

"When a period comes early or late it has significant impact on a person's life. Many times it feels like a lack of control," said Dr. Sarah Traxler, chief medical officer for Planned Parenthood North Central States.

Read more in The Star Tribune.


ALL TALK, NO BARK: Today, the New York Times covered the desperate attempt by some House members to cover up their anti-sexual and reproductive health care records. Several vulnerable House Republicans introduced the Orally Taken Contraception Act of 2023, a meaningless bill that does not substantially increase access to birth control. Annie Karni notes that many of them voted against reproductive health care issues, including voting for a National Defense Authorization Act that includes restrictions on sexual and reproductive health. Karen Stone, the vice president of public policy at Planned Parenthood Action Fund, called out the sham legislation: 

“The legislation is not a genuine attempt to expand birth control,” she said. “They’re posturing to save face with voters, all while failing to support existing legislation that would actually help people access over-the-counter birth control.”

In contrast to the House Republican bill, the Affordability is Access Act, introduced by Representative Ayanna Pressley (D-MA-07) and Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), would meaningfully increase access to over-the-counter birth control and is endorsed by Planned Parenthood Federation of America.


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