U.S. Repro Watch provides periodic updates on news of interest on U.S. reproductive rights. Here are a few recent items you won’t want to miss:
1. Idaho seeks to dismiss lawsuit by women denied abortion care.
- The State of Idaho asked a court on October 31 to dismiss a lawsuit filed by four women who were denied abortion care despite severe pregnancy complications that endangered their health and lives. An OB-GYN, a family medicine physician, and the Idaho Academy of Family Physicians (IAFP) are also plaintiffs in the case, Adkins v. State of Idaho, which was brought by the Center for Reproductive Rights.
- “The state of Idaho doesn’t care about pregnant people,” said lead plaintiff Jennifer Adkins about Idaho’s request.
2. Mike Johnson, the new Speaker of the House, wants to ban abortion nationwide.
- Johnson, of Louisiana, once served as senior counsel for Alliance Defending Freedom—the anti-abortion group behind the lawsuit against the FDA that seeks to remove medication abortion from the U.S. market.
- He has supported efforts to ban abortion nationwide and is currently the cosponsor of at least three bills to do so.
3. Officials in Lubbock County, Texas are attempting to restrict travel along their roads to prevent people from accessing abortion care.
- Lubbock County is the largest of four Texas counties that have adopted such measures, which would be enforced through lawsuits filed by private citizens against those who help people obtain abortions.
- Commissioners in the county, which has highways running to New Mexico—where abortion is legal—adopted the measure at a meeting on October 23.
4. Four laws expanding and protecting abortion access in Maine took effect last week.
- The measures shield Maine abortion providers from other state laws that restrict abortions, provide privacy protections for abortion data, and decriminalize abortion care.
Did you know?
U.S. Infant Deaths Increased for the First Time in 20 Years
U.S. infant deaths increased by 3% from 2021 to 2022, marking the first significant increase in infant mortality in more than two decades, according to new data released by the National Center for Health Statistics. The country’s overall infant mortality rate is 5.6 infant deaths per 1,000 births. Black infants have the highest mortality rate, at 10.86, and Native Americans and Alaska Natives have a rate of 9.06.
“The spike is a somber manifestation of the state of maternal and child health in the United States,” notes The New York Times.
November 7: Abortion on the Ballot in Ohio
- Voters in Ohio will weigh in on a ballot measure that would establish a state constitutional right to “make and carry out one’s own reproductive decisions,” including decisions about abortion, contraception, fertility treatment, miscarriage care and continuing pregnancy.
- Last month, the Ohio Supreme Court ruled to leave misleading language on the ballot initiative.
November 8: Hearing on U.S. Human Rights at the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR)
- The IACHR will hold a hearing titled “Healthcare denied: The status of SRHR in the United States in the wake of the Dobbs decision” (2 p.m. ET) to examine the country’s human rights in light of its post-Roe abortion bans and restrictions. The hearing is one of 33 public hearings to be held at the IACHR’s 188th Period of Sessions scheduled for November 6–10 in Washington, DC.
- The Center will participate in the hearing on U.S. abortion access, as well as another hearing on the same day titled “Region: Impacts of Agrochemicals on Reproductive Rights” (4 p.m. ET).
- All public hearings at the IACHR Period of Sessions will be held both in person and streamed online in multiple languages. The IACHR, a principal body of the Organization of American States (OAS), promotes and protects human rights in the Americas.
November 28: Texas Supreme Court Oral Arguments in Zurawski v. State of Texas
- The state appealed an August 4 ruling by a Texas district court judge blocking the state’s abortion bans as they apply to dangerous pregnancy complications. The case was brought by the Center on behalf of Texas women denied abortion care and Texas physicians.