Michigan’s 1931 Anti-Abortion Legislation Blocked By Injunction

The old law, which bans most abortions unless the pregnancy itself could be fatal, would be the primary law in Michigan if Roe v. Wade is overturned. But a court said a lawsuit by Planned Parenthood alleging it violates the state constitution has legal merit. Other abortion news, including what a Founding Father said about it.

Detroit Free Press: Michigan Judge Issues Injunction Against 1931 Abortion Law

A Michigan Court of Claims judge on Tuesday issued a preliminary injunction against Michigan’s 1931 abortion law, finding Planned Parenthood is likely to prevail in a lawsuit saying the law violates the state constitution. Judge Elizabeth Gleicher granted the injunction sought by Planned Parenthood of Michigan in a lawsuit brought against the state attorney general. “As of the date this opinion is issued, it is unknown whether the US Supreme Court will overturn Roe v. Wade,” leaving the 1931 state law, which bans abortions except to save the life of the mother, the law in Michigan, Gleicher wrote. (Egan and Boucher, 5/17)

AP: Abortion Rights Group Files Longshot Arizona Initiative Bid

A newly organized group of abortion rights supporters on Tuesday filed an initiative that seeks to amend the Arizona Constitution to protect the right to abortion. The effort by a called Arizonans for Reproductive Freedom is a longshot to make the ballot, since the group needs to collect more than 356,000 signatures from registered group voters by July 7. Initiative proponents often aim to collect at least an extra 30% over the minimum as a buffer, meaning the group needs about 460,000. (Christie, 5/17)

NBC News: Senate Democrats Press Tech Firms On Abortion-Related Location Data

More than a dozen Senate Democrats are asking location data companies to provide information about any collection or sales of cell phone data tied to visits to abortion clinics. The letters, led by Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., and first reported by NBC News, requested responses from the tech companies SafeGraph Inc. and Placer.ai by May 31. (Vitali, 5/18)

Axios: DHS Warns Companies On Security Risks Around Abortion Ruling

A memo from the Department of Homeland Security, obtained by Axios, warns about violent threats from extremism — on both sides of the issue — who might target protestors, government officials, companies that make or sell medication to end pregnancies and “organizations that fund and facilitate travel for those seeking abortions.” (Peck, 5/18)

And more news about abortion —

The Washington Post: Citing Religious Freedom, Hundreds Of Jews Rally At The US Capitol Against Roe’s Overthrow

More than 1,000 Jews from progressive to orthodox — including dozens of rabbis — rallied outside the US Capitol on Tuesday for abortion rights, holding signs that read “Thou shalt not steal my rights,” “democracy not theocracy,” and “we will live by the mitzvot, not die by them.” Jewish views on abortion are complex across the ideological spectrum, but law and tradition do not ban it and don’t recognize an unborn fetus as a full legal person. And 83 percent of US Jews say abortion should be legal in all or most cases, according to Pew Research. (Boorstein and Silverman, 5/17)

The 19th: Medication Abortion Awareness, Interest Grows After Supreme Court Draft Leak

With the Supreme Court likely to soon strike down Roe v. Wade, abortion rights, researchers and providers are pointing to “self-managed abortion” — ending a pregnancy on one’s own, without a doctor — as the likely future of abortion access in states that ban or heavily restrict the procedure. And in particular, they are emphasizing the power of medication abortion, a two-pill regimen that can be used to safely end a pregnancy without a doctor’s supervision, as a way for people to access care, even in states where abortion is outlawed. (Luthra, 5/17)

NPR: Benjamin Franklin Gave Instructions On At-Home Abortions In A Book In The 1700s

Benjamin Franklin is revered in history for his fixation on inventing practical ways to make everyday life easier. He was a prolific inventor and author, and spent his life tinkering and writing to share his knowledge with the masses. One of the more surprising areas Franklin wanted to demystify for the average American? At-home abortions. Molly Farrell is an associate professor of English at the Ohio State University and studies early American literature. She authored a recent Slate article that suggests Franklin’s role in facilitating at-home abortions all started with a popular British math textbook. (Feng and López Restrepo, 5/18)

The Boston Globe: Dr. Barbara Herbert, Public Health ‘Change-Maker’ For The At-Risk And Marginalized, Dies At 73

In a life of activism that began in the late 1960s when she drove Vietnam War draft resisters into Canada and helped women get safe abortions before Roe v. Wade, Dr. Barbara Herbert summed up her decision to become a physician with one word. “Rage,” she exclaimed in a 2014 oral history interview for Smith College. “I could not believe what was happening in the health care system,” she added. “I could not believe how women were treated, how people of color were treated.” (Marquard, 5/17)

In global abortion news —

NPR: UN And Advocates Raise Concerns Of Abortion Access For Ukrainian Refugees In Poland

Ukrainian women who were raped by Russian soldiers are among the millions of refugees who have fled to Poland. And they now find themselves in a country that severely restricts access to reproductive health care, including both contraception and abortion. Poland has long been an outlier in Europe in terms of abortion law. It is one of only two member states of the European Union that has not legalized abortion on request. (The other is Malta). (Adams, 5/17)

This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.

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