Welcome to “The Quickie” — Planned Parenthood Action Fund’s daily tipsheet on the top health care & reproductive rights stories of the day.
ABORTION IS A WINNING ISSUE (PART 953). Last night, Planned Parenthood Action Fund-endorsed candidate Pat Ryan won the congressional special election in NY-19. As reported by The New York Times, Ryan made protecting abortion a key issue in his race, which made this election a bellwether for how abortion access may play out in highly contested races across the country this fall. Alexis McGill Johnson, president of the Planned Parenthood Action Fund noted:
“Let’s make one thing clear: abortion is on the ballot in the midterms and voters are engerized to protect their bodily autonomy. Following the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, we saw Kansans across the political aisle come out in droves to maintain the state’s constitutional protection for abortion rights. What we can glean from that victory in Kansas and Pat Ryan’s triumph in NY-19 is that voters are watching…Voters are sending a message by supporting abortion rights at the ballot box.”
Alexis also joined MSNBC’s The ReidOut to talk about the choices that voters will have going into the midterm elections, noting:
“Look, what we have seen in the immediate aftermath of Roe v. Wade is that we saw these anti-abortion candidates continue to double down and pursue a deeply radical, extreme unpopular agenda around continuing to constrain access. I think what we have done is basically show people what the choices are. You can vote for the people who are really extreme on these issues, or you can actually vote to govern your own body with people who actually support your access to choice."
Watch the clip here.
TWO MONTHS AFTER ROE’S FALL, NEARLY ONE-THIRD OF STATES HAVE ABORTION BANS: Today marks two months since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, eliminating the federal constitutional right to abortion. Now, 16 states, nearly one-third of U.S. states, have abortion bans in effect. Nine states have eliminated access completely: Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, Mississippi, Oklahoma, South Dakota, and Texas. Tomorrow, on August 25, two more states — Idaho and Tennessee, which already have six-week bans in effect — will join that list when laws triggered by the Supreme Court’s decision take effect. Texas’s trigger ban will also take effect tomorrow, though abortion is already outlawed there under the state’s pre-Roe ban. According to a Washington Post analysis, 1 in 3 women, plus more transgender, nonbinary, and gender-nonconforming people who can become pregnant, have lost access to most or all abortion care.
Statement from Alexis McGill Johnson, president and CEO, Planned Parenthood Federation of America:
“There is no way to sugarcoat how dark this time is, and the devastation that is unfolding. But know this: People are fighting back for their rights. Abortion providers, funds, and support networks have doubled down on their mission to help people access care. Advocates have shown up at capitol buildings, court houses, and in the streets to demand that politicians keep their bans off our bodies. And people have continued to voice their support for abortion rights, to tell their abortion stories, and to be unafraid to show up for their communities. Planned Parenthood stands with the thousands of people who will seek abortion this year, the providers who will serve them, and the communities that will support them. We will never stop fighting to protect everyone’s ability to access this essential health care.”
Read Planned Parenthood’s full statement here.
CRIST WINS FL PRIMARY, PREPARES TO TAKE ON EXTREME DESANTIS: Last night, Rep. Charlie Crist won Florida’s Democratic primary for governor, as he now prepares to face Gov. Ron DeSantis this November. Crist is endorsed by Florida Planned Parenthood Action and has promised that on his first day in office, he will sign an Executive Order defending reproductive freedom in Florida. He will also veto any anti-choice legislation passed by the legislature and make Florida a safe harbor for doctors, patients, and those who provide abortion assistance.
DeSantis has made criminalizing abortion and banning gender-affirming care priorities during his tenure, instating Florida’s most restrictive anti-abortion law in history – a 15-week abortion ban without exceptions for victims of rape, incest, or human trafficking. Florida Planned Parenthood PAC released a statement today congratulating Crist and other endorsed candidates who won their primaries:
“These candidates have made clear they will do whatever it takes to end the assault on reproductive freedom in our state,” said Laura Goodhue, Director of the Florida Planned Parenthood PAC. “Polls consistently show Floridians support access to abortion, and voters made that clear yet again by choosing these health care champions
in yesterday’s primary.”
Young people are heading back to school, and it’s no surprise that, given the current landscape of sexual and reproductive health care, they’ve got lots of questions. Here’s a roundup of recently-published educational and informative articles that address critical reproductive health topics for young people.
IS NATURAL BIRTH CONTROL RIGHT FOR YOU? It’s been two months since the overturning of Roe v. Wade and many people are rightfully concerned about their rights and access to sexual and reproductive health care — including, but not limited to, abortion. During this time, people are spending a lot of time exploring their options, especially when it comes to birth control.
Recently, Mashable published an article on the uptick in TikTok videos highlighting natural birth control as an option. The article did a breakdown of fertility awareness methods (FAMs) while addressing the frustration and fear that most people have around their options. As June Gupta, NP, Senior Director of Medical Services at Planned Parenthood Federation of America, notes:
“It makes sense that birth control is top of mind right now, considering the Roe reversal. Birth control appointments scheduled at Planned Parenthood spiked more than 150 percent on June 24, the day the decision came down. Roo, Planned Parenthood's sexual health advice chatbot, saw twice the number of questions about birth control as usual on that day.”
Gupta also emphasized that for many people, there are many reasons why someone may want to try FAM as their birth control method, citing reasons such as reduced cost; lack of side effects; and an opportunity to learn more about one’s body and fertility.
Read the rest of the article on Mashable here.
VENDING MACHINES PROVIDE COLLEGE STUDENTS FAST ACCESS TO EMERGENCY CONTRACEPTION: With the Supreme Court and some politicians infringing on reproductive rights, some college students are finding creative and convenient ways to make sure they have access to birth control.
According to SELF magazine, student activists on college campuses across the country have worked to get emergency contraception vending machines on campus. Obtaining Plan B through vending machines costs students around $7.00, much less than the drugstore rate of $40 to $50. The key, say student activists who battled logistical mazes to make the vending machines happen, is to get support from administration (i.e. deans, health center managers, facilities directors) so they can buy the products in bulk.
At Boston University, students with Planned Parenthood Generation Action obtained funding through their local Planned Parenthood affiliate, the student organization office, and alumni donations.
The Boston University group created a step-by-step guide for other college organizations who want to replicate their project. Additionally, the program Emergency Contraception for Every Campus (EC4EC) serves as a resource to help get the vending machines.
Read the full SELF article here.
MOST HBCUS LOCATED IN STATES WHERE ABORTION IS BANNED: Thousands of college students are heading back to campus for a new school year, and many young adults — disproportionately, those at HBCUs — will face pressures beyond academics.
The Washington Post published a story explaining that most of the states that have banned or severely restricted abortion are located in the South, where 72 HBCUs — nearly three-quarters of all HBCUs — are located. By this estimate, more than 166,000 HBCU students may not have access to abortion services.
Health care resources are already limited for college students, and students quoted in the article agree that traveling out of state for an abortion isn’t typically an option. Lack of abortion access for thousands of Black college students adds to the longstanding barriers to health care that Black people have faced for decades. The long term economic consequences will contribute to the widening economic inequality experienced by Black women.
Research shows being denied an abortion increases the chances a woman’s household income will be below the poverty line. Plus, college students who are denied abortions are less likely to graduate with advanced degrees.
Paige Hawkins, a rising senior at Clark Atlanta University and president of its Planned Parenthood Generation Action chapter, worries that people will turn to dangerous procedures to end unplanned pregnancies and plans to host educational events throughout the school year.
Read more here.
CONSIDER PREPARING AN ABORTION EMERGENCY PLAN: Following Roe’s overturn, many people can no longer access the abortion care they need, and even more are living in confusion about what options are available to them. Abortion restrictions vary from state to state — ranging from severe restrictions to total bans (none of which are okay, by the way) — which force many to travel hundreds of miles to get care. As a result, accessing abortion care is increasingly time-sensitive, so it can be a good idea to have an emergency plan in place.
Speaking with SELF Magazine, Danika Severino Wynn, CNM, vice president of abortion access at Planned Parenthood suggests:
“It’s increasingly important to consider ahead of time what you would do should you face an unplanned pregnancy. When you need abortion care, every day counts.”
As part of your abortion emergency plan Severino Wynn suggests knowing your state’s abortion laws, having a few pregnancy tests handy, and locating your nearest abortion clinic, among other practical planning tips.
Read more about how to make an abortion emergency plan here.