NEWS: Millions of Latinas stand to be impacted by abortion bans in Florida and Arizona

by | May 9, 2024 | Repro Health Watch

Millions of Latinas Stand to be Impacted by Abortion Bans in Florida and Arizona

The 19th, May 3, 2024

Millions of Latinx Floridians and Arizonans started off the month of May with new and looming restrictions on their reproductive health decisions. Florida, home to the third-largest Latinx population in the country, on Wednesday became the latest state to ban abortions after six weeks of pregnancy, before many people know they are pregnant. In Arizona, a key battleground state and home to the sixth-largest Latinx population in the country, a Civil War-era total abortion ban will go into effect for at least several months until a repeal approved by state lawmakers takes effect. The changing landscape of abortion restrictions in Florida and Arizona underscores the outsize impact of abortion bans on Latinas, the largest group of women of color impacted by current and likely bans on the procedure, according to multiple analyses. In both states, the sizable Latinx population could play a decisive role in the passage of proposed amendments to enshrine the right to abortion in their state constitutions. In many of these places, including Florida and Arizona, inequities for Latinas in terms of health care access were already really great,” said Lupe Rodríguez, the executive director of the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Justice. “Latinos have some of the highest rates of not being insured, and therefore, of not getting preventative health care of many kinds, including preventative reproductive health care. We know that these laws are very, very potentially harmful to the community.” An analysis by Rodriguez’s group and the National Partnership for Women & Families, published in October, found that close to 6.7 million Latinas — or 43 percent of all Latinas of reproductive age — live in one of the 26 states with restrictions on abortions before fetal viability. Latinas in Florida, Arizona and Texas, where abortion is completely banned, account for one-third of all Latinas of reproductive age in the country.

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Have Doctor, Will Travel: Abortion, Biden and HIPAA

Politico, May 3, 2024

Since Roe v. Wade was overturned almost two years ago, 21 states have banned or restricted abortion. On Wednesday, a six-week abortion ban took effect in Florida, replacing the state’s previous 15-week ban. In Arizona, the state legislature voted this week to repeal its Civil War-era abortion ban. And later this year, the U.S. Supreme Court will rule on a case that could roll back access to abortion pills across the country. Last week, the Biden administration finalized rules declaring that health care providers aren’t allowed to inform law enforcement about a patient’s abortion if they received the procedure in a state where it is legal or protected by state or federal law. The new rule updates the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, commonly known as HIPAA, which prevents health care providers and medical insurance agencies from giving out medical information about patients. The final rule shields patients’ medical records if they live in a state with an abortion ban and travel to an area where the procedure is legal. Since states started restricting abortion rights, the number of women traveling out-of-state to have the procedure legally has grown exponentially. The Guttmacher Institute, an abortion rights research group, released data in December that indicated more than 92,000 women crossed state lines to receive an abortion within the first half of 2023 — compared to 40,600 within the first six months of 2020. “Protected information ought to be protected,” says Jocelyn Frye, president of the National Partnership for Women and Families, an organization that advocates for a variety of women’s issues. The relationship between doctors and patients, she says, “is something really important that we think needs to be respected.” Frye says the Biden administration’s rule is a “really important first step” because it “sends the message that it is important to maximize the ability of patients to have a conversation with their providers — and not to be fearful that those conversations will be used against them.”

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Abortion Bans Drive Away Up to Half of Young Talent, New CNBC/Generation Lab Youth Survey Finds

CNBC, May 7, 2024

The youngest generation of American workers is prepared to move away from states that pass abortion bans and to turn down job offers in states where bans are already in place, a new survey from CNBC/Generation Lab finds. The “Youth & Money in the USA” survey of 1,033 people between the ages of 18 and 34 found that almost two-thirds of respondents, 62%, would “probably not” or “definitely not” live in a state that banned abortion. And 45% of those surveyed said that if they were to be offered a job in a state where abortion is illegal, they would either “definitely reject” or “probably reject” the offer. Another 35% said they would “probably accept” the job. And only 20% of respondents said they would definitely take the job. “These numbers on abortion have gigantic implications for just about every large company in America,” said Cyrus Beschloss, the CEO of The Generation Lab. “Companies must know they’ll be freezing out or at least scaring a large part of the young talent they’re trying to hire when they’re based in one of these states.” The Supreme Court’s 2022 ruling that overturned Roe v. Wade set off a cascade of legal challenges and legislative efforts at the state level. In the past two years, more than 20 states have either banned or restricted access to the procedure. Yet findings like these suggest that state abortion bans could have a profound effect on how and where the next generation of American workers will live. And by extension, on the companies that will hire them. The CNBC/Generation Lab survey was conducted between April 26 and May 2, and has a margin of error +/- 3.1%.

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After Roe, The Network of People Who Help Others Get Abortions See Themselves as ‘The Underground’

The Washington Post, May 4, 2024

Waiting in a long post office line with the latest shipment of “abortion aftercare kits,” Kimra Luna got a text. A woman who’d taken abortion pills three weeks earlier was worried about bleeding — and disclosing the cause to a doctor. “Bleeding doesn’t mean you need to go in,” Luna responded on the encrypted messaging app Signal. “Some people bleed on and off for a month.” It was a typically busy afternoon for Luna, a doula and reproductive care activist in a state with some of the strictest abortion laws in the nation. Those laws make the work a constant battle, the 38-year-old said, but they draw strength from others in a makeshift national network of helpers — clinic navigators, abortion fund leaders and individual volunteers who have become a supporting cast for people in restrictive states who are seeking abortions. “This is the underground,” said Jerad Martindale, an activist in Boise. Abortion rights advocates worry Idaho is a harbinger of where more states may be headed. Here, abortion is banned with very limited exceptions at all stages of pregnancy, and a law signed by the governor but temporarily blocked forbids adults from helping minors leave the state for abortions without parental consent. Recently, the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments about Idaho’s enforcement of its abortion ban in hospital emergencies. Luna is a full-spectrum doula, aiding in births as well as abortions, and trains others how to be abortion doulas. They mostly provide remote support, advice, answers to questions throughout the abortion process and referrals to resources like, the Northwest Abortion Fund, out-of-state clinics and domestic violence shelters. “We’ve always found a way to make sure people get help no matter what that help is,” Luna said.

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Many Florida Women Can’t Get Abortions Past 6 Weeks. Where Else Can They Go?

ABC News, May 4, 2024

When Florida enacted its six-week abortion ban last week, clinics in several other Southern and mid-Atlantic states sprang into action, knowing women would look to them for services no longer available where they live. Health care providers in North Carolina, three states to the north, are rushing to expand availability and decrease wait times. “We are already seeing appointments,” said Katherine Farris, chief medical officer of Planned Parenthood South Atlantic. “We have appointments on the books with patients who were unable to get in, in the last days of April in Florida.” Since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, spurring more than 20 states to adopt laws banning or severely limiting abortions, states with looser restrictions have taken steps to welcome women who want or need to end their pregnancies. Florida recorded more than 84,000 abortions in 2023, a slight increase from 2022. As of April 1, the state reported approximately 14,700 abortions this year, potentially leaving a substantial number of women to consider going out of state. At one point, Florida was a go-to state for women from other Southeastern states with restrictions, including neighboring Georgia and South Carolina, which both ban abortions around six weeks of gestation, before many women even know they are pregnant. Last year, about 7,700 abortions in Florida were for out-of-state patients, according to state data. But the state has steadily narrowed access. For women who are more than six weeks pregnant, South Florida is now the farthest from a legal provider of any highly populated area in the U.S. Subsequently, the average cost per abortion is expected to jump from $600 or $700 to as much as $1,800 or more, said Daniela Martins, a board member and caseworker team leader at the Women’s Emergency Network, a nonprofit organization that helps people in the region pay for abortion and other reproductive health care.

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