The Week in Abortion
Feb 5 - 11
It’s always a treat to be able to bring you some good news! For months, I’ve been reporting on Florida’s requirement that female student athletes hand over detailed information about their periods—including their age at first menstruation, how many days are typically between their periods, and the date of their last period.
I’m proud to say that Abortion, Every Day is a big reason that this story went national. And as a result, the state’s High School Athletic Association board of directors held an emergency meeting this week about the public outcry and concerns over the rule—and rescinded the decision! Girls will no longer have to give schools any information about their periods, which is fantastic. So big thanks to everyone who supports the newsletter and who spread the word about this insanity. It’s your win, too.
In the states…
We’re seeing more stories of vital care being denied because of abortion bans; this week, two women in Kentucky and one woman in Ohio shared their (horrific) experiences.
In Idaho, Republicans are proposing legislation that would label anyone who helps a teen travel out-of-state for an abortion as a ‘human trafficker’. This is incredibly important, because it marks the first of what we know will be many moves to increasingly chip away and women and girls’ ability to leave the state for abortion care.
We also saw anti-abortion legislation move forward in South Carolina and Wyoming, while reproductive rights groups in Ohio confirmed that they’re moving ahead with a pro-choice ballot measure.
Lastly, I want to flag a policy trend cropping across multiple states: Republicans pushing bills they say will benefit pregnant women and families, but in reality are just a sneaky way to enshrine fetal personhood. We saw that this week in Arizona, where Rep. Matt Gress proposed bills to allow women to collect child support and child tax credits starting at the point they get a positive pregnancy test, and drive in the HOV lane. And last week in in Utah, Republican Gov. Spencer Cox proposed “a first-of-its-kind tax credit for all children—the born and the unborn” in his state of the state address. Louisiana Republicans made a similar move last month; they’re proposing bills to allow women to sue men for child support while pregnant.
In the nation…
The biggest story this week is the lawsuit seeking to end access of abortion medication—we expected a decision to come down from Trump-appointed nutjob judge Matthew Kacsmaryk, but instead he extended the deadline until later this month. If you need reacquaint yourself with the case, Vox profiled Kacsmaryk and his rise to power; The 19th published an explainer about the case; and Dahlia Lithwick and Mark Joseph Stern at Slate tell us just how worried we should be.
Reproductive rights experts are understandably worried about the impact of a bad decision, which would end access of mifepristone—the first of two drugs you take to end a pregnancy—even in pro-choice states. NARAL Pro-Choice America found that over 64 million women would lose access to the medication; and the Guttmacher Institute highlighted the ten states that would be hardest hit.
Pro-choice activists are also not loving that the Biden administration doesn’t seem to be taking the possibility of a bad decision seriously, and that some Democrats don’t quite grasp the fact that mifepristone could be banned everywhere, even in states where abortion is protected.
If mifepristone is banned, doctors are prepared to start offering abortion medication using a misoprostol-only protocol—which works, but isn’t as effective and is more uncomfortable.
Statistics & Studies…
Gallup’s new poll showedhat dissatisfaction with abortion policy is the highest it’s been in over 20 years: Nearly 70% of those polled were dissatisfied with abortion laws, with 46% wanting less strict laws.
A new study reports that people who are having miscarriages are less likely to get optimal care if they are in a state with abortion restrictions. (The research was conducted before Roe was overturned, so it’s safe to assume that it’s only going to get worse.)
Keep an eye on…
The increased support for crisis pregnancy centers. Multiple states have been pushing increased funding for the anti-abortion organizations, most recently in West Virginia and Tennessee—where the governor wants to give them $100 million.
Meanwhile, research from the Tech Transparency Project shows that Google targets low-income women with crisis pregnancy center ads, and conservatives are trying to pass off a new study as proof that crisis pregnancy centers are good (that’s not what the study says.)
Abortion, Every Day is covering the stories that mainstream media misses & relentlessly shining a light on Republican bullshit. Help me keep going with a paid subscription:
What the mainstream media missed…
You know I’ve been furious about this: Media outlets completely fucked up their coverage of Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s lawsuit against the Biden administration—claiming it’s about abortion medication when it’s absolutely not. Paxton is actually suing for pharmacists’ right to deny women access to any medication (including prescriptions for arthritis or ulcers) that they think could be dangerous to a pregnancy. Yet we had pieces like this, from ABC News, spreading absolute bunk and misinformation:
If you missed my column on abortion and snitch culture—and the hypocrisy of calling yourself the party of ‘family values’ while codifying families and communities turning on each other—you can read it here.
I also wrote about Biden’s State of the Union, and how the president gave abortion rights a measly 30 seconds of his time. You can read my really pissed off column here.
And just a reminder that you can follow me on TikTok for videos about the stories I cover here, and more. :)
just an additional piece of history. There WAS a provider in Livingston, MT (25 miles east of Bozeman)> Susan Wicklund .. she retired about 10 years ago and the clinic closed. There is now the Susan Wicklund FUND, that funds abortions ..https://www.susanwicklundfund.org/our-history/
Thanks for considering this change, Jessica!