In the states…
Ohio state Rep. Gary Click has introduced a “personhood act” that would define personhood as starting at conception. In an interview yesterday, Click talked about how he knew it wouldn’t pass, but that he’s trying to “recalibrate the conversation.” But here’s an interesting bit—when asked about how a law like his would impact IVF, Click claimed that IVF wouldn’t be banned, “but it might say, okay, you know, these things like selective reduction where we implant multiple and then we kill the ones we don't like, that might have to change.”
This is really important to pay attention to, especially after that leaked phone call I told you about yesterday between Tennessee lawmakers and the huge anti-abortion organization Susan B. Anthony Pro Life America, where the group signaled wanting to legislation IVF and contraception. Republicans will not try to ban IVF outright; they will do what they did with abortion and slowly chip away at it.
In North Carolina, anti-abortion extremists are harassing students at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill with graphic images that they say are a 10-week fetus that’s been aborted. Apparently when students also tried to block the graphic images, they were threatened with legal action by the school. Here’s an idea if anyone from North Carolina is reading—or knows a student at the school: Stand in front of them with actual images of a 10-week pregnancy. Let them see the truth for once.
And clinics in Atlanta are being flooded with calls from patients desperate for care after a judge overturned Georgia’s abortion ban. One clinic worker says they’re “expecting a large influx of patients, not just people across the state but across the region as well.”
“This is a pro-choice state. Period. Full stop. With a historic pro-choice trifecta in the Legislature, we aren't just on defense, we can proactively invest in policies and programs that improve people's care and improve people's lives.”
Meanwhile, in Missouri, a new rule proposed by the state’s Department of Health and Senior Services would require doctors to “certify” that a medical emergency necessitated an abortion. (Abortion is illegal in the state with no exceptions.) The new rule was flagged by Missouri Rep. Sarah Unsicker on Twitter:
Because surely what matters in the moment a woman is about to die without an abortion is making sure that the correct paperwork is filled out. These fucking people.
Speaking of total assholes: Wisconsin Republicans are working to push more money towards crisis pregnancy centers, saying that pregnant women will need their support now that abortion is illegal in the state. The centers, which do not offer medical care, are religiously-affiliated, and are known for giving women false information in order to scare them out of seeking an abortion, already receive taxpayer money.
A Colorado exit poll shows that abortion rights were the top issue for Democratic voters, and for unaffiliated voters was tied with inflation and the economy; new research out of Iowa shows that sexually transmitted infections rose in four counties after state law forced abortion clinics to close; and in Texas, Republicans have introduced bills to make the state’s extreme abortion ban even stricter: Lawmakers want to prohibit companies and municipalities from helping people cover the cost of travel for an out-of-state abortion.
In the nation…
New research published in the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology shows that laws restricting abortion are associated with an increase in both maternal and infant mortality. In fact, the study found that maternal and infant deaths went up with each additional abortion regulation. The kinds of laws that were associated with these increases were trigger laws, gestational restrictions, TRAP laws, laws limiting access to medication abortion, and laws that limited insurance and Medicaid coverage of abortion.
The folks at Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America are doing some frenzied damage control in the wake of a strategy call with Tennessee lawmakers being leaked. On the call, leaders at the organization advised Republicans to wait a year or two before going after IVF and contraception, and urged them to “hide behind the skirts” of women who gave birth after rape or incest when criticized over the state’s lack of exceptions.
In fact, they went after yours truly in an attempt to paint their literal words as something I just made up!
Oh, and the “real journalism” they ask people to go read? It’s just a list of their quotes in response to the leaked audio. But sure, go off I guess.
It’s also worth noting that SBA Pro-Life America president Marjorie Dannenfelser responded to Donald Trump’s campaign announcement by showering the disgraced former president with praise, saying he “raised the bar for what it means to be a pro-life presidential candidate and president.” In 2016, however, Dannenfelser signed onto a letter urging voters to “support anyone but Donald Trump.” She wrote that Republicans couldn’t trust Trump and that she was “disgusted” by Trump’s treatment of women. Speaking of the group’s hypocrisy: They’re about to give Georgia’s Herschel Walker another $1 million towards his run-off campaign, despite two women coming forward about him helping them get abortions. Quite a moral compass there, Marjorie!
At Health Affairs, the former Vice President of Public Policy for Planned Parenthood, Emily Stewart, writes about hospitals denying people reproductive health care—even in states where abortion is legal. Because so many hospitals around the country are religiously-affiliated, doctors are prohibited from offering any kind of abortion care, even in pro-choice states:
Several of the states where abortion is legal and where people are traveling for abortion care also have a significant presence of Catholic facilities. These include Washington state (where 41% of total acute care hospital beds are in Catholic facilities), Colorado (38%), Oregon (30%) and Illinois (28%), according to a 2020 Community Catalyst report. Moreover, in 52 geographic regions around the country, a Catholic hospital is the sole provider of hospital care, leaving patients with little other choice, that same report found.
An American company, Frida, has launched a recovery kit for miscarriage and abortion: It contains products to help with the bleeding associated with a pregnancy that’s ending. I’m not sure how necessary a ‘kit’ really is, but I really appreciate the way that the company is talking about the physical symptoms miscarriage and abortion as indistinguishable—and how the way we care for both is the same. It’s an important rhetorical and political message.
Tech investors are giving more money to telehealth services in the wake of Roe being overturned—taking more risks than they have in the past because of just how bad things have gotten. Venture capitalist Mike Edelhart, whose company invested in Hey Jane, says, “when we first met the company, we hesitated a little bit.” But after the Supreme Court’s decision, “we decided it just didn’t matter—it was too important.”
In a panel conversation yesterday, Chelsea Clinton talked about the midterms and how democracy was on voters’ minds:
“I’d like to establish that, of course, there’s a connection between supporting our democracy and ensuring that women are able to fully participate in the civic and social life of our country.”
The New York Times reports on U.S. Catholic bishops trying to elect leaders specifically with the fight against abortion in mind; Sen. Lindsey Graham tells HuffPo he doesn’t regret proposing his national abortion ban so close to the midterms; and hear from the woman whose Twitter account was suspended after she posted the protocol for self-managed abortion.
And here’s a fucked up stat to leave you with: The 19th reports that only 10 percent of Americans nationwide and 13 percent of those living in states that have passed total abortion bans support making abortion illegal.
You all know I’m a hardcore Moira Donegan fan, so I was super excited to listen to her talk with Jeet Heer about the midterms, abortion and reproductive freedom. Definitely check it out.
You love to see it…
Because I think we should take as many midterm victory laps as we possibly can, just wanted to highlight this quote from Parenthood President and CEO Alexis McGill Johnson, who said at a forum this week that “Abortion may have saved democracy.” Agreed.