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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.


Today, Alexis McGill Johnson and Congresswoman Jahana Hayes will moderate a discussion on the state of reproductive rights, including abortion access, with Vice President Kamala Harris at Central Connecticut State University in front of a live audience where participants will be able to ask questions. The Vice President is expected to discuss the administration’s work to protect abortion access since the overturning of Roe. 

Watch the live stream here at 1:15pm EST. 

MICHIGAN PLANNED PARENTHOOD VOTES LAUNCHES $3.8 MILLION 2022 ELECTORAL PROGRAM: Yesterday, Michigan Planned Parenthood Votes announced a $3.8 million electoral program to mobilize voters to support sexual and reproductive rights champions up and down the ballot and to vote yes on Proposal 3, which would include reproductive freedom in the Michigan state constitution. The program is projected to reach 650,000 Michiganders through a robust digital, direct mail, and direct voter contact campaign. The electoral program is part of “Take Control,” a national $50 million Planned Parenthood advocacy and political campaign to protect reproductive rights across the country. The investment marks the largest-ever electoral program in the groups’ history. Ashlea Phenicie, Communications Director at Michigan Planned Parenthood Votes, spoke about the significant investment: 

“The November 8 election will determine the future of abortion access in Michigan. We know that a clear majority of Michiganders support abortion rights. From now until Election Day, we will be working around the clock to ensure that voters know who they can trust to protect their health and rights. The choice is clear: reelect reproductive health champions like Governor Gretchen Whitmer, Attorney General Dana Nessel and Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson or allow some of the most extreme anti-abortion politicians in the country to take over Michigan’s top executive offices."

ARIZONA TEEN DENIED VITAL AUTOIMMUNE MEDICATION DUE TO ABORTION BAN: A 14-year-old girl in Arizona was denied a vital autoimmune disease medication due to the state’s new abortion ban, as reported by AZ Family. The teenager has rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune diseases and takes methotrexate, a common medication prescribed for such conditions. She, however, was denied the medication because it can also be used to treat ectopic pregnancies. 

Megan N. Freeland, PharmD and Planned Parenthood Federation of America Health Communications Director released a statement on the incident Wednesday morning: 

“For months, abortion advocates, providers, and supporters have emphasized how far-reaching the consequences of overturning Roe v. Wade would be — not just on abortion care, but on the entire health care system. We are watching this terrifying reality unfold in real time… When anyone — in this case, a 14-year-old girl — is unable to get the medication they need to maintain their quality of life because of abortion bans, we should be deeply concerned about the state of our country… Our ethical responsibility is to help patients get the care and information they need, not to be a roadblock that keeps patients from getting that care. Pharmacists, and all health care providers, must be able to do their jobs, without fear of criminalization.”

Abortion rights advocates and health care organizations have long warned of the devastating outcomes of abortion bans on medication and health care access. Abortion bans and restrictions on medication abortion leave pharmacists and medical providers in fear of criminal and licensure penalities, potentially delaying or fully withholding access to vital, lifesaving medications to patients who need them.

Read the full statement here, and more at AZ Family and the Washington Post

WISCONSIN LEGISLATORS REFUSE TO ALLOW ABORTION VOTE: Yesterday, Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers called a special session of the legislature to find a path for voters to vote directly on repealing the state’s 1849 abortion ban. Both chambers gaveled in and out in less than a minute, demonstrating anti-abortion rights legislators’ opposition to the democratic process as they refuse to let their constituents have a say in the matter.

“Today Republican members of the Legislature demonstrated just how determined they are to control people’s personal decisions and block access to essential health care when they denied voters the power to overturn Wisconsin’s 173-year-old criminal abortion ban,” said Tanya Atkinson, President of Planned Parenthood Advocates of Wisconsin. “Republicans have refused to overturn the 1849 abortion ban and today went one step further by blocking people from voting on important issues that directly impact their health and lives… Fortunately, on November 8, people will have the power to vote for candidates like Governor Evers who believes you should have the authority to make your own health care decisions, control your future, and safely access the health care services you need in Wisconsin.”

“KEEP SOUTH CAROLINA POLITICIANS OUT OF MY ABORTION”: Yesterday, South Carolina patient advocate Claire told the story of their life-saving abortion in an op-ed for Ms. Magazine. After their birth control failed, Claire had an abortion five years ago because they knew, “especially after my own experience growing up in poverty, I was in no position to become a parent.” 

“At the end of the day, abortion bans are not about health, families or babies,” Claire writes. “They are about control and maintaining power for a few.”

As Claire notes, the majority of South Carolinians want the decision to have an abortion to be left to the patient and their doctor, not state lawmakers. Yet South Carolina legislators have continued their attempts to pass even more restrictive abortion bans, even as the state’s existing six-week ban — which was allowed to take effect shortly after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade this summer — is currently blocked by the South Carolina Supreme Court while litigation proceeds. Claire, who dreams of having a family with their partner, says that dream is on hold as long as the threat of more abortion bans in South Carolina jeopardize their health, safety, and freedom.

Read the full op-ed in Ms..