JULY 8, 2016
ACTIVISM UPDATE! It’s been a pretty amazing month for upholding and protecting reproductive rights in America.
The Supreme Court’s decision in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt is being called the most important decision since Roe v. Wade. It not only knocks down Texas’ absurdly transparent TRAP laws, but caused similar laws in Mississippi, Alabama and Wisconsin to fall like dominos in an earthquake in the days after the ruling. Restrictive laws in at least five other states are expected to fall soon.
The sprinkles on this repro-rights-victories sundae were the under the radar stories that New Hampshire restored Planned Parenthood funding, and that the Raleigh, North Carolina City Council unanimously denied the request of an anti-abortion group to move in next-door to a women’s clinic that provides abortion services. The cherry on top? For the first time, the Democratic Party platform vows to repeal the Hyde Amendment, which limits how federal dollars can be used for abortions.
It’s important to point out that none of these achievements would have been possible without the tireless efforts of reproductive health advocacy organizations, activists, health services providers, lawyers, volunteers, donors and engaged citizens. So let’s take a moment to take a big breath in and out, and reflect on this tremendous victory and remember to thank those who made it possible.
Feeling empowered and victorious? Excellent. Now let’s capitalize on this incredible momentum in the next battle - because although we’ve gained ground, sadly, the war is far from over.
Even before the SCOTUS decision came down, the anti-abortion movement began to shift tactics. No more of this pretending to protect women’s health stuff. Reproductive rights activists now expect anti-abortion groups to put all of their focus on the fetus. And we’re already getting a taste of what’s to come.
Here are just some of the new state anti-abortion laws that went into effect as states’ began their new fiscal year on July 1st:
- Florida, Mississippi and Missouri will stop funding Planned Parenthood with state tax dollars.
- Alabama, Florida, Idaho, Indiana and South Dakota now have laws limiting what can be done with the remains of aborted fetuses
- Indiana is being challenged on their attempts to require ultrasounds 18 hours ahead of an abortion
- South Dakota will ban most abortions at 20 weeks of pregnancy, allowing misdemeanor charges against providers
- Mississippi is banning the second-trimester abortion procedure, called dilation and evacuation
- The Pennsylvania state house passed a law that includes both the ban on abortions at 20 weeks and the ban of Dilation and evacuation, making it the first “double abortion ban” legislation of it’s kind.
- Idaho now requires abortion providers to give women information about where they can receive free ultrasounds.
- A Georgia grant program is now in place for "pregnancy resource centers" that typically discourage abortions.
As long as these types of attacks on abortion services and access exist, the fight to improve abortion care access will continue. So today, we want to remind you to continue to push for the Women’s Health Protection Act - which would prohibit states from passing laws, like some of the ones listed above, in the first place.
Call your legislators and ask them to support the act, or tweet at them using the hashtag #ActforWomen. You can also learn more about the proposed legislation and download an action toolkit by visiting ActforWomen.org.
So, if getting legally ahead of those trampling on the right to reproductive healthcare is important to you, be sure to hit the share buttons to spread the word about how to pass the Women’s Health Protection Act via social media so that others in your network can spread the word too.
Learn more about the Act for Women Campaign and the Women's Health Protection Act at http://www.actforwomen.org
Download the Act for Women Campaign Tools & Resources
Add your name to the Center for Reproductive Rights' message to Congress to pass the Women's Health Protection Act to prohibit states from imposing abortion restrictions
Use the hashtag #ActforWomen on social media and tweet at your congressperson to urge them to support the Women's Health Protection Act.
Follow the Center for Reproductive Rights on Twitter @ReproRights
Find out where and how to watch "TRAPPED," the documentary at http://www.trappeddocumentary.com
Sources, Resources & Further Reading
DNC Platform Includes Historic Call to Repeal Anti-Choice Hyde Amendment (DemocracyNow.org)
ACLU Sues Indiana Over Ultrasound 18 Hours Before Abortion Rule (Chicago Tribune)
Written by Best of the Left Communications Director Amanda Hoffman
Hear the segment in context:
Edition #1027: Whole Woman's Health and other stories