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. Iowa’s state legislature passed a bill that would ban most abortions in the state as early as six weeks into pregnancy.
- The bill now heads to Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds, who is expected to sign it Friday. Gov. Reynolds had called for a special legislative session, held July 11, specifically to pass new abortion restrictions.
- The bill’s passage comes just a few weeks after the Iowa Supreme Court upheld a lower court ruling blocking another six-week abortion ban.
2. In positive state news:
- Abortion rights advocates in Ohio submitted nearly double the number of signatures required to place a measure protecting abortion rights on the ballot this fall. State officials are expected to confirm later this month whether the measure will go to voters in November.
- Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs issued an executive order allowing Arizonans over 18 to obtain contraception over the counter at a pharmacy without a doctor’s prescription.
- The Maine Senate gave final approval to a bill that would allow abortion access later in pregnancy if it’s deemed necessary by a physician. The bill was sent to Gov. Janet Mills, who is expected to sign it.
Did you know?
A new study found that the number of people dying from pregnancy related causes in the U.S. doubled in the last 20 years. The maternal mortality rates between 1999 and 2019 were especially high among Black women as well as Native American and Native Alaskan communities. Some of the states that saw these increases have since restricted abortion access, including Georgia, Louisiana, and Tennessee. The study, “Trends in State-Level Maternal Mortality by Racial and Ethnic Group in the United States,” by investigators from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington and Mass General Brigham, was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).
Next week (date TBD): Hearing in Zurawski v. State of Texas
- A Texas state court is expected to hear arguments next week in Zurawski v. State of Texas, a lawsuit filed by the Center for Reproductive Rights on behalf of Texas women who were denied abortion care despite facing severe pregnancy complications and risks to their health, fertility and lives. Dates and times for the hearing, being held at the Travis County Courthouse in Austin, are to be determined. Watch reprorights.org for updates.