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Thursday, July 7, 2022 | Kaiser Health News

Louisiana Supreme Court Maintains Hold On Abortion Ban For Now

The high court said the case should first go through district and appellate courts. In Kentucky, two abortion clinics head to court to try to block that state’s near-total ban.


AP:
Louisiana High Court Leaves Abortion Bans On Hold 


The Louisiana Supreme Court rejected the state attorney general’s request to allow immediate enforcement of state laws against most abortions in a 4-to-2 ruling late Wednesday. The majority said only that the court declined to get involved “at this preliminary stage.” (McConnaughey, 7/7)


AP:
Kentucky Abortion Clinics In Court To Block New State Law


Attorneys for Kentucky’s two abortion clinics sought an injunction in court Wednesday to block the state’s near-total ban on the procedure, one of numerous such efforts across the country following the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling overturning Roe v. Wade. Jefferson Circuit Judge Mitch Perry issued a temporary restraining order blocking the state’s abortion ban last week, and the two clinics, both in Louisville, resumed performing abortions. If granted, the injunction would suspend the state law while the case is litigated. (Lovan, 7/6)


Stateline:
Abortion Rights Hacktivists Strike States With Bans


An abortion rights hacktivist group says it launched cyberattacks against Arkansas and Kentucky state governments and leaked files from their servers to protest their bans on abortion after the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent decision to overturn Roe v. Wade. The group, which calls itself SiegedSec, said it hacked the two states because it was angry about their bans. (Bergal, 7/6)

From Indiana and Ohio —


Indianapolis Star:
Indiana Abortion-Rights Activists Gather Outside Statehouse In Protest


A protest rally planned for the special session was moved to July 25, but dozens of abortions rights activists gathered Wednesday anyway to share their thoughts in an effort to let lawmakers know how they feel. Chants of “Pro life is a lie, you don’t care if women die,” “Hey, hey, mister, mister, get your laws off my sister” and “Silence is violence” could be heard in unison throughout the crowd. (Kane, 7/6)


Columbus Dispatch:
How Many Ohio Minors Seek An Abortion? Fewer And Fewer


A young Ohio girl who was sexually assaulted and had to travel out of state for an abortion wasn’t the only one, but she’s one of a shrinking number of minors getting the procedure. The 10-year-old girl sought care in Indianapolis following the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision on June 24 to overturn Roe v. Wade and Ohio’s move later that day to ban abortion after six weeks of pregnancy. (Filby, 7/6)

From Montana, Florida, and Virginia —

KHN:
Montana Clinics That Provide Abortions Preemptively Restrict Pill Access For Out-Of-State Patients

The four states bordering Montana have “trigger laws” in effect or pending now that the U.S. Supreme Court has ended federal protections for abortion, making conservative Big Sky Country an unlikely haven for women seeking to end their pregnancies. But Montana’s potential to become an abortion refuge has been diminished — not by the lawmakers and governor whose attempts to restrict abortions have been stymied by the state constitution’s right to privacy, but by the operators of at least four of the state’s five clinics, which are preemptively limiting who can receive abortion pills. (Houghton and Zionts, 7/7)


Los Angeles Times:
More Than Half Of Floridians Oppose Abortion Bans. Will They Push Back At The Polls?


For Wendy Vargas, the recent elimination of a constitutional right to abortion — and the banning of the procedure in many Republican-controlled states — is an affront to her values as both a woman and an American. “This is supposed to be a first-world country,” said the 32-year-old Colombian immigrant and independent voter who leans Republican. “We’re supposed to have more freedoms here.” (Jarvie, 7/6)


Fox5 DC:
Supreme Court Abortion Decision Leads To Drug Access Issue For Virginia Woman


A Virginia woman says her doctor has stopped prescribing a medication she uses for symptoms of lupus in the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision on abortion access. Becky Schwarz was diagnosed with Lupus in 2020 and got COVID last year leading to a diagnosis of long COVID. She relies on a drug called Methotrexate to treat her symptoms, and now her doctor is saying they can’t prescribe it at the moment. (7/6)

On travel bans and Airbnb —


USA Today:
Abortion Travel Costs Paid By Employers? Some State Want To Stop That


After the U.S. Supreme Court revoked the federal right to an abortion that’s been in place for half a century, companies like Amazon, Disney, Apple and JP Morgan pledged to cover travel costs for employees who live in states where the procedure is now illegal so they can terminate pregnancies. But the companies gave scant or no details on how they will do this and it’s not clear if they will be able to — legally — while protecting employees’ privacy and keeping them safe from prosecution. (Ortutay and Durbin, 7/6)


Bloomberg:
Airbnb Hosts Navigate Legal Maze Amid State Abortion Bans


When the US Supreme Court ruled to end federal protection for abortions last month, many people wanted to find a way to help. Some hosts on Airbnb Inc. offered to open their homes to guests who needed to travel to states that will still allow the procedure, similar to how the vacation-rental company has been generous with a policy to shelter refugees in the past.  (Tobin and Ceron, 7/6)

North Carolina, Colorado Governors Issue Orders To Protect Abortion Access

The executive orders signed by North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper and Colorado Gov. Jared Polis, take steps to stop state officials from helping in other states’ prosecutions of abortion providers or patients seeking legal reproductive health care services.


Raleigh News & Observer:
Cooper Moves To Protect Abortion Access In NC, Including For Travelers From Out Of State


North Carolina may become a destination for women who are seeking abortion care and coming from states with more restrictive laws since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade last month. Gov. Roy Cooper on Wednesday said he’ll continue to fight for abortion rights and signed an executive order aimed to protect access to services in the state. He said states are “taking our country backward to the ‘50s and ‘60s where women died in back alleys.” (Baumgartner Vaughan, 7/6)

From Michigan and Georgia —


Axios:
Abortion Rights Petition Blows Past Michigan’s Signature Threshold


The effort to enshrine abortion access in Michigan’s Constitution has likely gathered enough signatures to make the Nov. 2 ballot. Driving the news: The Reproductive Freedom for All ballot initiative is nearing 800,000 signatures, Ann Arbor Council Member Linh Song, who co-chairs the ballot committee, said at a council meeting Tuesday. (Robinson, 7/7)


Atlanta Journal-Constitution:
Georgia’s Abortion Rights Battle Is About To Shift To Local Governments


The battle over access to abortion in Georgia is poised to shift to local officials who see themselves as a last line of defense after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the landmark Roe v. Wade ruling. Prosecutors covering some of Georgia’s most densely populated areas have vowed they won’t seek charges against violators of the state’s anti-abortion law. Police agencies are under pressure to focus on violent crimes rather than abortion cases. (Bluestein and Papp, 7/6)

On abortion access in Australia, Canada, and Ireland —


The Washington Post:
Access To Abortion In Australia Becomes Easier Amid Roe V. Wade


Access to abortion became easier in Australia on Thursday as decriminalization took effect in South Australia state, part of a wave of liberalization that contrasts with recent moves in the United States. For the most part, abortion is not the subject of polarizing national debate Down Under, as it often is in American politics. But the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade shocked many Australians, leading thousands to attend rallies in support of abortion rights. (Vinall, 7/7)


NPR:
Canadian Abortion Providers Prepare For Possible Influx From The U.S. 


Kemlin Nembhard, head of the Women’s Health Clinic in Winnipeg, Manitoba, says there has been no way to plan for a post-Roe world. No signal of how many Americans might look for abortion services in Winnipeg, a little over an hour’s drive from the U.S. border, now that the Supreme Court ruled Friday to overturn Roe v. Wade. “Are people going to be coming north? Or Are they going to go to another state? We don’t know,” she said. (Jacobs, 7/5)


NBC News:
Death Of A Dentist In Ireland Denied An Abortion Has Worried Doctors Who Say History May Repeat In U.S.


Dr. Savita Halappanavar, 31, an Indian-born dentist, died in 2012 in Galway, on Ireland’s west coast, after she was denied an abortion by doctors who cited the country’s strict laws, even though there was no chance her baby would survive, according to Ireland’s official report on the case. Her death shook the foundations of the traditionally conservative and predominantly Roman Catholic country and catalyzed its pro-abortion rights movement. In a 2018 referendum, Irish people voted by a two-thirds majority to legalize the procedure. (Smith, 7/4)

Republicans Mull Federal Abortion Restrictions Ahead Of Midterms

In anticipation of retaking the majority in November, House Republicans are internally discussing whether to pursue a national-level abortion ban or to leave restrictions to the states.


The Hill:
House Republicans Weigh National Abortion Restrictions 


House Republicans are weighing what kind of national-level abortion ban legislation to pursue if they win the House majority next year, with a 15-week ban or further on the table. But even as they cheer the Supreme Court overturning the landmark Roe v. Wade abortion rights bill, GOP congressional leaders have made few promises on specific measures they would pursue. Some Republicans advocate leaving abortion restrictions to the states. (Brooks, 7/7)


Mother Jones:
This Is The Republican Roadmap For Eradicating Reproductive Rights 


Emboldened by the Supreme Court’s decision demolishing the constitutional right to an abortion, Republicans have signaled that they plan to take further action to limit, if not eradicate, abortion rights by imposing federal restrictions. You don’t need a crystal ball to glimpse their game plan if they gain control of Congress and the White House. You simply have to look at the legislation GOP lawmakers have introduced over the past few years. Together, these bills would amount to a near-total abortion ban. Here is a non-exhaustive list. (Vesoulis, 7/1)


NBC News:
Abortion Politics Complicate Republican Midterm Message To Voters


Republicans are torn between their policy goals and political ones in the wake of the Supreme Court’s ruling overturning Roe v. Wade, with activists’ rush to capitalize on the ruling running into the political reality that abortion rights remain popular in many of this year’s midterm battlegrounds. “I don’t think this alters the midterm advantage for Republicans because of Biden’s economic woes,” said former Virginia Republican Rep. Tom Davis. “But in a cycle that is all about turnout, it is a net benefit for Democrats. Angry voters vote.” (Seitz-Wald and Allen, 7/6)

More backlash against the Supreme Court ruling —


Politico:
Biden’s Court Commission Appointees: We Told You So On Expanding The Court


Long before the Supreme Court rescinded abortion rights, gun control and environmental regulations, President Joe Biden commissioned a body of academics and judicial experts to study the structure and composition of the nation’s high court. The recommendations issued by that bipartisan commission were moderate in scope, focusing on matters of transparency and ethics. Ultimately, they were brushed aside, ignored by a president largely resistant to large-scale reforms. Half a year later, some of the members who called for that bold action are saying, I told you so. (Daniels, 7/7)


The Hill:
Petition Calling For Clarence Thomas Removal From Supreme Court Gets 1M Signatures


An online petition that calls for the removal of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas has attracted more than 1 million signatures. … The petition description cited Thomas’s vote to overturn Roe v. Wade as reasoning for his removal. “Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas—who sided with the majority on overturning Roe—made it clear what’s next: to overturn high court rulings that establish gay rights and contraception rights,” the petition read. (Oshin, 7/6)


San Francisco Chronicle:
Dianne Feinstein Supports Abortion Rights — But Still Won’t Say If She’d End The Filibuster To Make Them Law


President Biden conceded Wednesday that Democrats “don’t have the votes to change the filibuster” to codify abortion rights into law in the wake of the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade. The list of Senate Democrats who don’t support lifting the rule that allows a minority of members to block legislation not only includes perennial opponents Sens. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona. It appears to include California Sen. Dianne Feinstein. (Garofoli, 7/6)