Oct 4 • 16M

Abortion, Every Day (10.4.22)

New data: Over 500 Ohio children needed abortions last year

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Jessica Valenti
Daily audio updates & commentary on abortion in the United States.
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Abortion rights protest in Dayton, Ohio

In the states…

Hundreds of children in Ohio needed abortions last year—538 children under 17 years-old ended pregnancies in the state. The state’s Department of Health reports that 57 of those children were 14 years-old and under. After the story of a raped and impregnated 10 year-old in the state went viral, Republicans insisted that it was anomaly—a lie that becomes harder and harder to tell the more statistics (across all states) are released. These children’s experiences aren’t uncommon, but they are about to become more tragic. Under Ohio’s currently blocked abortion ban, these children would be forced to carry pregnancies to term.

Republican U.S. Senate candidate in Georgia, Herschel Walker, has been campaigning against abortion rights, but a new article from The Daily Beast shows that he paid for a girlfriend’s abortion in 2009. Paying for a partner’s abortion is fine, being a total fucking hypocrite is not. (He denies the report.) Walker has also been accused of domestic violence against his ex-wife, and has had several children come out of the woodwork over the course of his campaign.

The Idaho Supreme Court convenes this week to hear arguments over three abortion laws in the state—the trigger ban, a 6-week ban, and a law allowing the family members of a fetus to sue abortion providers (a la Texas). Also in Idaho, the Satanic Temple has sued the state over its abortion ban, arguing it violates religious freedom.

Arizona abortion providers are coming up with workarounds to the state ban to ensure their patients get care: One clinic gives their patients ultrasounds, then connects them with a California doctor who can prescribe abortion medication via telehealth. That medication can then be picked up at a post office in a California town that borders Arizona. It’s complicated, but it’s something. And I can’t imagine they’re the only clinic in an anti-choice state doing something like this. Also in Arizona: Today the Arizona Medical Association and a doctor in the state filed a lawsuit to try to restore abortion access in the state.

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In Wisconsin, Gov. Tony Evers called a special session to push for a constitutional amendment that would allow voters to decide on the state’s abortion ban. The state Senate convened for 15 seconds in order to reject his effort.

Minnesota Republican attorney general nominee Jim Schultz is threatening to sue Democrats for what he says is defamation over his abortion stance. DFL Party chairman Ken Martin responded at a press conference: “Bring it on.” (Despite his claims to the contrary, Schultz is very anti-abortion.) Also in Minnesota, the judge who struck down abortion restrictions in the state just rejected a county prosecutor’s attempt to appeal the ruling.

FiveThirtyEight gets into Georgia’s abortion laws and how the governor’s race will shape the future of reproductive rights in the state:

Indiana’s currently-paused abortion ban continues to be battled out in the courts; as of this week, lawyers for abortion rights groups argued that there’s no reason to suspend the block.

California churches are urging congregants to vote against Proposition 1, which would enshrine abortion rights in the state constitution; a new poll shows abortion is a top issue for voters in New Hampshire; and unbelievably, South Carolina Republicans are still fighting it out over just how extreme to be on abortion.

In the nation…

New polling on abortion shows that nearly 7 in 10 Americans are against a national ban, including a majority of Republicans. The research also shows that a national abortion ban would be just as unpopular with or without a 15-week restriction. (So the GOP’s latest strategy of claiming that 15-weeks is just a reasonable, mainstream limitation doesn’t really hold water.)

President Joe Biden plans to speak today at a meeting of the reproductive rights task force; he’ll issue new guidance from the Department of Education directing schools protect access to abortion, and announce $6 million in new grants to protect and expand abortion rights.

You may remember that a few months ago, the Biden administration encouraged states to use Medicaid to cover the costs for those who need to cross the border for abortion care. POLITICO contacted Medicaid agencies in states where abortion is legal to ask if they were planning on doing so—

Another one for the no-shit files: A new analysis from the U.S. Congress Joint Economic Committee (JEC) shows that the states with the strictest abortion laws also have the worst economic conditions for families.

The New York Times has a huge article about abortion providers and activists in pro-choice states who are risking prison time to help women in anti-abortion states get abortions. The whole article is very much worth a read, and gets to a key conflict among pro-choice activists: Just how risk-averse you should be. The bigger national organizations are taking more conservative action, while groups like Aid Access are going all-in. I bet you can guess which side I come down on. I’m with Dr. Linda Prine who told the NYT, “I just want to scream, ‘This is a public health emergency!”

Sheryl Sandberg donated $3 million to the ACLU to fight for abortion rights; Planned Parenthood called Blonde anti-abortion propaganda; NPR has a piece on a $80k ectopic pregnancy bill; and here’s updated info on the fight to get a birth control pill available over-the-counter.

CNN has a piece on the Republicans who aren’t shying away from abortion in their campaigns (just lying about it). And CBS News interviewed the founder of telehealth start-up Hey Jane about the company and abortion rights:

“We've noticed a marked increase in anxiety among our patients…And there is much more emphasis on privacy and discretion. That has always been really important, but fears around that have become much more magnified. So we are doing more to highlight how we protect patient data and keep it private.”

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You love to see it…

An abortion-rights group has been driving around a truck with a billboard at the University of Idaho telling students where they can access abortion and encouraging them to obtain birth control—a reaction to the school’s guidance banning birth control and speech around abortion. Good for them.

Today’s hate read…

Love these political strategy pieces criticizing Democrats for running on abortion because they take themselves so seriously while managing not to mention the word ‘women’ once.

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