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. The White House announced a new initiative to expand research on women’s health.
- Announced November 13, the White House Initiative on Women’s Health Research aims to boost investment into and research on health issues impacting women, an area that has long been understudied and underfunded. Currently, the National Institutes of Health spends only 10.8% of its overall funding on women’s health research.
- The initiative will be led by the White House Gender Policy Council and First Lady Jill Biden and will bring together federal agencies and the private and philanthropic sectors.
- The November 28 argument was on the state’s appeal of an injunction issued in August by a Texas district judge that blocked the state’s abortion bans as they apply to dangerous pregnancy complications.
- The lawsuit seeks to “make sure that doctors can actually provide medical care, which is what an abortion is,” explained Molly Duane, the Center’s Senior Staff Attorney, in a PBS interview.
3. Encouraged by the passage of Ohio’s abortion rights ballot initiative, advocates in Nebraska have launched efforts to enshrine abortion rights into their own state’s constitution.
- “Ohio was definitely a proof point for us,” said coalition member Ashlei Spivey, who said polling shows that a majority of Nebraskans support abortion access. “Ohio shows that voters are going to protect their rights.”
- Approximately 122,000 signatures will be needed to get the measure on the ballot in November 2024.
4. Meanwhile, some Ohio lawmakers are scheming to weaken the recently approved abortion rights amendment.
- Although 57% of Ohio voters approved the amendment, 27 anti-abortion lawmakers are vowing to “do everything in [their] power” to prevent the restrictive abortion laws on the books in Ohio from being challenged.
5. The Oklahoma Supreme Court reaffirmed that the state constitution protects the right to abortion in life-threatening situations.
- Although the court ruled to keep in place a temporary ban on three laws while the case proceeds, abortion remains illegal in Oklahoma in almost all other cases.
Did you know?
A chilling effect on pregnancy: Approximately 34% of women aged 18–39 said that since Roe was overturned, they or someone they know decided not to get pregnant over fears about managing pregnancy-related medical emergencies, reports Politico in “The End of Roe Is Having a Chilling Effect on Pregnancy.”
Stories continue to spread about pregnant people being denied abortion care after facing dangerous pregnancy complications, such as the Texas women highlighted in this MSNBC segment.
December 10: International Human Rights Day
- This year marks the 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). The UDHR was proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly in 1948 and set out, for the first time, fundamental human rights to be universally protected.
December 12: Hearing on Arizona’s 150-year-old abortion ban.
- The Arizona Supreme Court will hear arguments to determine whether an abortion ban dating back to 1864 can be blocked.