Friday, June 24, 2022 | Kaiser Health News

New California Bill Shields Providers, Patients From Out-Of-State Civil Suits

Assembly Bill 1666 is ready for signing by Gov. Gavin Newsom, a Democrat, and is designed to protect those seeking abortion access in California. Also: Measures to boost abortion care in St. Louis, delays in pregnancy complication treatment in Texas after new anti-abortion laws, plus more.

CNN: California Legislature Passes Bill To Protect Abortion Providers And Patients From Civil Suits

California lawmakers on Thursday passed a bill that aims to protect providers and patients seeking abortion care in the state from civil action started in another state. Assembly Bill 1666 next heads to the desk of Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom, who is supportive of abortion rights. It would take effect immediately with his signature. The measure would make it so that “another state’s law authorizing a civil action against a person or entity that receives or seeks, performs or induces, or aids or abets the performance of an abortion, or who attempts or intends to engage in those actions” It is contrary to California public policy, and is unenforceable by California courts. (Stracqualursi, 6/23)

In other state news about abortion —

st. Louis Public Radio: Bill Would Spend St. Louis ARPA Funds On Abortion Access

A group of officials in St. Petersburg Louis wants to use some of the city’s remaining money from the American Rescue Plan to boost access to reproductive health care, including abortions. The measure set to be introduced Friday by 8th Ward Alderwoman Annie Rice and others sets up a Reproductive Equity Fund and uses $1.75 million in federal coronavirus relief funds as seed money. Because ARPA is a one-time infusion that must be assigned by 2024, supporters hope the fund will become part of the city’s regular budget in the future. ARPA permits local governments to use the funds to support the health of communities, and that’s exactly what the reproductive equity fund would do, said Mallory Schwarz, the executive director of Pro Choice Missouri. (Lippmann, 6/23)

The Texas Tribune: Texas Abortion Law Drives Doctors To Delay Pregnancy Care

Doctors worried about getting sued under Texas’ restrictive abortion law have delayed treating pregnancy complications until patients’ lives were in danger, according to a paper from the Texas Policy Evaluation Project. The law, which empowers private citizens to file suit against anyone who “aids or abets” in an abortion after about six weeks of pregnancy, has caused confusion among providers and complicated treatment for patients facing complications, the study found. (Klibanoff, 6/23)

The Texas Tribune: Domestic Violence Victims’ Limited Options Will Dwindle Post-Roe

When G. found out she was pregnant for the fourth time, she decided it was time for her to die. She refused to bring another child into the home she shared with her husband, who frequently raped her and beat her and her two sons. She’d already lost one pregnancy after he kicked her in the stomach during a brutal beating. “I just thought, I can’t have one more baby with this man,” she told The Texas Tribune. “I’m going to kill myself and I can’t wait any longer.” It was 2003, and G., identified in this story by the first initial of her nickname because she fears retaliation from her ex-husband, had been trying unsuccessfully to leave her marriage for more than six years. (Klibanoff, 6/24)

AP: US Rep Blames Abortion Supporters For Michigan Office Damage

A US representative says he believes abortion rights may be behind vandalism at the building his campaign office shares with an anti-abortion group in southern Michigan. Attackers smashed windows and a front door of the building in Jackson, Michigan, early Wednesday, US Rep. Tim Walberg’s campaign said. Jackson is about 80 miles (130 kilometers) west of Detroit. (6/23)

On abortion pills —

The Washington Post: Ohio Health Department Fires Employee For Mention Of Abortion Pill In Newsletter

When she came across a training opportunity for mifepristone, a drug used in early pregnancy loss and abortions, Jessica Warner put a mention of it in the May edition of the newsletter she compiled as a coordinator at the Ohio Department of Health. An hour after she hit send, her supervisor called. It was the start of an ordeal that culminated in Warner, a sexually transmitted infections and viral hepatitis training coordinator, being fired and two other employees disciplined. An investigative report prepared by human resources describing abortion topics as “off limits,” adding that “the mifepristone item in the newsletter is in direct conflict with the agency’s mission and is an embarrassment to ODH.” It also said the topic was “contrary” to the state’s mission. (Shammas, 6/23)

Axios: Red States Crack Down On Abortion Pills

As the Supreme Court considers potentially overturning Roe v. Wade, abortion rights are heralding abortion pills as a potential option in places where clinics may have to close — but several red states are already cracking down on the pills. Almost half of US states have banned or tightly restricted abortion pills — two medicines named mifepristone and misoprostol — and more could soon follow suit. Prior to the pandemic, the FDA said patients seeking abortion pills had to get the drug from hospitals or medical facilities in person. (Gonzalez, Gold and Schrag, 6/23)

Also —

AP: American Woman Who Had Miscarriage On Malta Trip Can’t Get Abortion

A pregnant American woman who suffered an incomplete miscarriage while vacationing in Malta will be airlifted to a Spanish island on Thursday for a procedure to prevent infection because Maltese law prohibits abortion under any circumstances, the woman’s partner said. Jay Weeldreyer told The Associated Press by phone from a hospital in the island nation that his partner, Andrea Prudente, is at risk of a life-threatening infection if the fetal tissue isn’t promptly removed. … He indicated she was 16 weeks pregnant when the bleeding began. (D’Emilio, 6/23)

Kansas City Star: Will Abortion Rules Limit Miscarriage Training For Doctors?

A Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade would have a ripple effect on health care for women who aren’t trying to seek an abortion, experts say. Doctors providing abortion care use of skills and drugs similar to those used to treat miscarriages and stillbirths. Medical residents who sign up for abortion training learn the skills they use in non-abortion care, such as how to work with patients experiencing emergencies and how to clear the uterine lining to prevent dangerous complications after a miscarriage — also a method used in surgical abortions. (Gutierrez, 6/24)

Reuters: The Experiences That Led These US Abortion Opponents To Activism

For a Mississippi doctor, it was a glimpse of a fetal arm. For a police officer, it was the treatment of anti-abortion protesters outside a clinic. A Catholic leader was galvanized by the civil rights movement. These and other experiences shaped prominent abortion opponents in their decades-long effort to see the US Supreme Court reverse the 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling that established the constitutional right to abortion. (Bernstein, Porter and Brooks, 6/23)