Key stakeholders in women's health praise a legal challenge against abortion restrictions in three states, blast a congressional panel targeting abortion providers and more.
"We are going to fight back state by state and law by law until every person has the right to pursue the life they want, including the right to decide to end a pregnancy." -- Raegan McDonald-Mosley, chief medical officer at Planned Parenthood, discussing three lawsuits filed by the organization and other advocacy groups against abortion restrictions in Missouri, North Carolina and Alaska. In the lawsuit, the advocacy groups cited the Supreme Court's continued affirmation of women's right to abortion care, as well as the high court's recent ruling in Whole Woman's Health vs. Hellerstedt, which struck down medically unnecessary abortion restrictions in Texas (Women's Health Policy Report, 12/1).
"This purely partisan witch-hunt against researchers and doctors has caused affirmative harm." -- Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.), the top liberal lawmaker on a panel targeting abortion providers, discussing a report released by the panel's liberal members. The report refutes claims made by conservative members and criticizes how conservative lawmakers have conducted their investigation. For instance, the report debunked claims that abortion providers profited from fetal tissue donations and found that conservative lawmakers issued 42 subpoenas in violation of House rules, among other allegations (Women's Health Policy Report, 12/6).
"The majority of Americans, including [President-elect Donald] Trump's own voters, support access to health care at Planned Parenthood and want abortion to stay legal and safe." -- Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, pledging to keep the organization open amid conservative lawmakers' plans to defund Planned Parenthood next year. Propelled in part by Trump's election, conservative lawmakers in 2017 plan to target Planned Parenthood funding, ban abortion care at 20 weeks, make the Hyde Amendment permanent and ensure conservative appointments to the Supreme Court (Women's Health Policy Report, 11/30).
"The state health agency should not be in the business of providing propaganda and interfering in the doctor-patient relationship." -- Heather Busby, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Texas, blasting a revised edition of a packet that Texas requires providers to give to a woman seeking abortion care. Among other medical inaccuracies, the booklet overemphasizes the risks of abortion care, makes medically inaccurate implications about a link between abortion care and cancer and suggests that fetuses can feel pain at 20 weeks of pregnancy, contrary to medical research (Women's Health Policy Report, 12/7).
"Our concern is going back to a world where insurance companies are writing their own rules again, and returning women to those bad old days in health care and losing all the progress we've made." -- Gretchen Borchelt, vice president for reproductive rights and health at the National Women's Law Center, expressing concerns that under the new administration, women could lose health insurance protections under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) (PL 11-148) and face higher costs for care. For example, women could potentially lose guaranteed maternity care coverage on the ACA's marketplaces, as well as multiple preventive services, such as contraceptive coverage and breast cancer screenings (Women's Health Policy Report, 11/30).
"We have gone and created a unique, gender-based crime, where the action actually requires a pregnancy to be a crime." -- Lynn Paltrow, head of National Advocates for Pregnant Women, discussing how prosecuting women for self-induced abortion care has facilitated the prosecution of pregnant women for any behavior that might harm a fetus. According to Molly Redden, a columnist writing for The Guardian who interviewed Paltrow and other advocates, "[W]omen have been charged with endangerment of a fetus hundreds of times in the past few decades," including instances of attempted suicide and car accidents (Women's Health Policy Report, 11/28).