Kellie Moss and Jennifer Kates
Sep 21, 2023
Despite a long history of broad and bipartisan support, reauthorization of the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) is currently being held up by congressional debate around abortion. PEPFAR, first created in 2003 by President George W. Bush and reauthorized three times thus far, is the U.S. government’s signature global health effort in the fight against HIV. Widely regarded as one of the most successful programs in global health history, PEPFAR reports having saved 25 million lives due to its efforts, and KFF analyses have found a significant impact of the program beyond HIV, including large reductions in both maternal and child mortality and significant increases in some childhood immunization rates. Still, its fourth reauthorization has been drawn into broader U.S. political debate about abortion, in the wake of the Supreme Court’s Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization decision (which overturned the nationwide right to obtain an abortion), even though U.S. law prohibits the use of U.S. foreign assistance, including PEPFAR funding, for abortion. This policy watch provides an overview of the current debate and issues.
June 20, 2023
As a growing number of states restrict abortion, other states and some local municipalities are substantially increasing funding for abortion and other reproductive health services.
At least 15 municipal and six state governments allocated nearly $208 million to pay for contraception, abortion and support services for people seeking abortions in the year since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, according to data provided to NPR by the National Institute for Reproductive Health.
16 Feb 2023
Military.com | By Patricia Kime
Service women will soon be able to have their travel expenses paid and receive up to three weeks of leave to obtain an abortion out of state or receive fertility treatments; they also will have up to 20 weeks to notify their commands that they are pregnant, according to three new Defense Department policies.
The department released policies Thursday designed to improve troops' access to reproductive health care and abortion services, clarifying a memo published in October by Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin directing the service branches to ensure that their members could access abortions and reproductive health care that isn't covered by military health.
The billionaire philanthropist has given a record amount to Planned Parenthood, a US healthcare group that provides services including termination of pregnancies
MAR 29, 2022
Mackenzie Scott continues on her mission to donate most of her money in her lifetime. And as one of the richest women in the world, it’s a hefty amount. The philanthropist and ex-wife of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos has a net worth of over $50 billion (around €45 billion), according to Forbes magazine, and in June she announced that she had donated $2.74 billion (around €2.5 billion) to 300 different nonprofit organizations. Now, she has donated $275 million to Planned Parenthood, according to the news agency Reuters. The donation is the largest that the American institution for family planning and women’s health has ever received from a single person.
March 28, 2022
As the country awaits the U.S. Supreme Court's decision on a case that could overturn Roe v. Wade, Democrat-led states are proposing laws to shore up abortion rights at the local level.
The effort is in direct response to the organized campaign to make abortion illegal. Dozens of states have enacted laws, or are considering them, to restrict access to abortion as the country awaits the Supreme Court's decision.
March 24, 2022
By Samuel Dickman and Kari White
In September, when the Texas law that outlaws abortions after cardiac activity is detected went into effect, experts predicted that nearly 85 percent of people seeking abortions would be too far along in their pregnancies to qualify for care. As predicted, many thousands of Texans have been denied care under Senate Bill 8, as the state’s anti-abortion measure is known. It continues to cause emotional and financial devastation for Texans who have been forced to seek care in other states. In the first four months it was in effect, nearly 5,600 Texans traveled out of state to get abortion care.
But recent data shows that the decline in the number of abortions in Texas was less than expected, dropping by about half compared to the same months in 2020.
Attorneys who helped design Texas’ novel abortion ban have asked a judge to allow them to depose the leaders of two abortion funds, seeking information about anyone who may have “aided or abetted” in a prohibited procedure.
BY ELEANOR KLIBANOFF
FEB. 23, 2022
For nearly six months, as Texas’ novel abortion law has wended its way through the courts, abortion providers and opponents have been locked in a stalemate.
The law, known as Senate Bill 8, empowers private citizens to sue anyone who “aids or abets” an abortion after about six weeks of pregnancy. With one exception as soon as the law went into effect, abortion providers in Texas have stopped performing these prohibited procedures — so opponents haven’t tried to bring one of these enforcement suits.
MAI FLEMING , FAMILY PHYSICIAN
Mrs. K was a refugee who recently arrived in the U.S. to reunite with her husband and children. They arrived safely a few weeks ahead of her. On her initial refugee health exam, Mrs. K discovered she was six weeks pregnant. She had just arrived after escaping persecution in southeast Asia and faced the tremendous task of settling herself and her family in a new home. It was impossible for her to contemplate bringing another child into her family at the time. When Mrs. K came into the primary care clinic where I work seeking a medication abortion, I was happy to help her through the process.
In California, where my primary practice is located, any pregnancy-related care, including abortion care, is covered by Medicaid. Any person who is eligible for Medicaid and seeking an abortion for any reason can obtain the health care services they need without delay. That means access to an abortion as soon as someone decides, rather than having to delay for weeks to scrape together funds to pay out of pocket.
BY LAURA KELLY
House Democrats on Wednesday passed for the first time in more than half a century a State Department and foreign assistance spending bill that does not include the Helms Amendment, a provision that blocks U.S. funding for women’s health services related to abortions.
The state, foreign operations and related programs bill, an annual appropriations package that lays out U.S. foreign funding priorities, excludes text from the Helms Amendment for the first time since it was introduced in 1973.
BY BRETT SAMUELS, The Hill
A conservative anti-abortion group is launching a six-figure ad campaign targeting Democratic senators and House members in battleground states tying them to President Biden's decision to leave a longstanding ban on federal funding for most abortions out of his 2022 budget proposal.
Susan B. Anthony List, a conservative group focused on abortion issues, will spend six figures on digital ads targeting Sens. Mark Kelly (D-Ariz.) and Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.), who both face reelection in 2022.