News From The States

Reproductive Rights Today

Your comprehensive daily wrap-up of changes to reproductive rights in the states, the front lines in the fight over abortion access in a post-Roe America.

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Ruling against Obamacare could end no-cost prenatal, preventive care

Health insurance providers may no longer need to cover prenatal care or other preventive measures required by the Affordable Care Act under a federal judge’s ruling Thursday, according to reporters from the States Newsroom Washington, D.C. bureau.  Millions of Americans covered by Obamacare could be affected by the decision, which could make patients pay out-of-pocket for cancer screenings, HIV prevention medication, pregnancy-related services and more. These preventive health care measures are free under the ACA. 

Idaho ‘abortion trafficking’ bill unconstitutional, advocates say

Leaders in Idaho, the lone state in the American Northwest with a near-total abortion ban, have defended anti-abortion legislation while tabling measures, such as postpartum Medicaid expansion, that could make parenthood easier. One bill aims to ban minors from traveling out of the state for abortion care, States Newsroom National Reproductive Rights Reporter Kelcie Moseley-Morris reported Wednesday. The proposal passed in the lower chamber earlier this month, and the Idaho Senate will cast a final vote on the bill Friday. 

How to help new mothers post-Roe

The latest toll from the United States maternal mortality crisis is staggering: In 2021, 1,205 women died from pregnancy-related causes, according to data released this month by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics. That means there were 32.9 maternal deaths for every 100,000 live births during the second year of the coronavirus pandemic, the CDC found. Reproductive health experts I spoke to for States Newsroom said the numbers, which have steadily increased in recent years, were disappointing but not surprising. 

Kansas GOP steers anti-abortion agenda against voters’ wishes

In August, Kansas voters soundly rejected an anti-abortion constitutional amendment by a 59% to 41% margin, according to the Secretary of State election results. The amendment proposed by the Republican-controlled Legislature was a victory for reproductive rights as Kansans endorsed keeping abortion protections in the state constitution. 

Rare bipartisanship for reproductive rights

Several New Hampshire Republicans joined Democratic House lawmakers last week to vote for abortion access and reject restrictions, according to our colleagues at the New Hampshire Bulletin. While the lower chamber successfully passed a fatal fetal anomaly exception for abortions after 24 weeks and a bill that would bar further abortion restrictions, the bipartisanship on one proposal ultimately resulted in a stalemate. A bill that would have repealed the 24-week ban ended in a 192-192 tie, with five Republicans supporting the measure. 

Small and big steps for abortion access

Thirteen states now ban abortion after a judge temporarily blocked a Wyoming abortion ban this week. While the ruling represents a minor victory for reproductive rights advocates in the state, Wyoming has a lone abortion clinic in Jackson that only provides medication abortions, and terminating most pregnancies using pills will be illegal in July when a law prohibiting the two-drug regimen goes into effect, according to our partners at WyoFile

Wisconsin high court election revolves around abortion rights

An election for an open seat on the Wisconsin Supreme Court will likely determine the future of abortion access, voting rights and state legislative maps in the state, according to our colleagues at Wisconsin Examiner. 

A major question at the center of the abortion pill case

Do courts have authority to suspend abortion medication? Legal scholars doubt the Texas federal judge who will rule on an abortion pill lawsuit has the authority to supersede the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s approval process, States Newsroom National Reproductive Rights Reporter Sofia Resnick reported. If U.S. District Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk does issue a wide ruling, the decision would be unprecedented.

The global nonprofit helping Americans get abortions

Fourteen U.S. states now ban most abortions after the Wyoming governor let an anti-abortion bill become law without his signature on Friday. Abortion seekers in restrictive states have turned to an international online service for help, States Newsroom National Reproductive Rights Reporter Kelcie Moseley-Morris reported Monday. 

Wyoming bans medication abortions

Wyoming has banned the use of abortion medication, while the nation waits for a federal judge’s ruling over whether to revoke the decades-old FDA approval of one of the pills, mifepristone. Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon signed into law the medication abortion ban Friday night, while allowing a second near-complete ban become law without his signature, according to our news partners at WyoFile.

Florida moves to curtail abortion access

After hearing nearly 150 testimonies, where in opposing the measure one woman cried and health care providers described the fear and risk to patients and families, a Florida House subcommittee passed a six-week abortion ban bill Thursday, according to Florida Phoenix. Abortion rights advocates and health care professionals consoled each other after the hearing, the Phoenix reported. All amendments proposed by House Democrats failed. The bill moves from the House Healthcare Regulation Subcommittee to Health & Human Services Committee. The Senate version of the bill will be heard by the Health Policy committee on Monday.

Texas judge questions FDA approval of abortion medication

A federal judge said Wednesday he will rule “as soon as possible” on the case challenging the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's approval and regulation of mifepristone, the first drug used in a medication abortion, according to our partner newsroom The Texas Tribune.  The ruling could have widespread implications on the availability of abortion medication across the country.