U.S. Repro Watch provides periodic updates on news of interest on U.S. reproductive rights. Here are five recent items you won’t want to miss:
1. A Texas state court started hearing testimony and arguments today in Zurawski v. State of Texas—the Center’s lawsuit on behalf of Texas women denied abortion care despite severe pregnancy complications that risked their health, fertility and lives.
- At the hearing, which is scheduled to continue through Thursday, July 20, the court will consider the plaintiffs’ request to temporarily block Texas’s abortion bans as they apply to pregnancy complications, as well as the state’s request to dismiss the case.
- The Center’s press briefings, which will be held immediately after the hearing, will be streamed live on Facebook.
2. The first over-the-counter birth control pill in the U.S. was approved by the FDA.
- On July 13, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the Perrigio Company’s daily oral contraceptive, called Opill, to be sold without a prescription or age restrictions. According to the company, 45% of U.S. pregnancies are unintended.
- Birth control is already available over the counter in more than 100 other countries.
- The pill is expected to be available in stores by early 2024.
3. In Idaho, advocacy groups filed a lawsuit over a state law that makes it harder for young people to access abortion care.
- The law, which took effect in April, prohibits helping young people travel out of state for an abortion without parental consent. Under the law, anyone who helps a pregnant minor obtain an abortion in another state could face up to five years in prison.
- In the federal lawsuit, filed July 11, plaintiffs argue that the law violates the First Amendment and Fourteenth Amendment by infringing on the right to talk about abortion with young people and the right to travel freely within and between states.
4. An Iowa judge temporarily blocked the state’s new six-week abortion ban from remaining in effect.
- The ban was signed by Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds on July 14, days after lawmakers passed it during a special session called specifically to pass new abortion restrictions.
- The lawsuit argues that the ban violates the state constitution.
- Abortion care remains available in the state while the case proceeds.
5. A Wisconsin judge found that a state law from 1849 does not ban abortion, allowing a challenge to the law to continue.
- In her ruling, Dane County Circuit Judge Diane Schlipper found that doctors cannot be prosecuted for providing abortions before the point of fetal viability.
- Judge Schlipper wrote that “this pre-Roe statute says nothing about abortion—there is no such thing as an ‘1849 Abortion Ban’ in Wisconsin.”
Did you know?
There is widespread support in many countries for abortion, according to a survey by the Pew Research Center. The survey found that a median 71% of adults surveyed across 24 countries believe abortion should be legal in all or most cases. In almost every country in Europe, at least 75% support abortion. The survey also examined how religious affiliation and country GDP relate to abortion attitudes.