Iowa Passes ‘Heartbeat’ Abortion Ban

Morning Briefing | Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

KFF Health News

Iowa Passes ‘Heartbeat’ Abortion Ban

Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds said she will sign the bill Friday. The new law will go into effect immediately after that and will prohibit almost all abortions once cardiac activity can be detected, usually around six weeks of pregnancy. Legal challenges are already underway.

AP: Iowa GOP Passes A Bill Banning Most Abortions After About 6 Weeks

Iowa’s Republican-led Legislature passed a bill banning most abortions after roughly six weeks of pregnancy during a marathon special session Tuesday that continued late into the night. Gov. Kim Reynolds immediately said in a statement she would sign the bill on Friday. … Just after 11 p.m., lingering protesters in the gallery booed and yelled “shame” to state senators in the minutes after the bill was approved. (Fingerhut, 7/11)

Abortion news from Idaho, Indiana, and Oregon —

KFF Health News: Groups Sue To Overturn Idaho ‘Abortion Trafficking’ Law Targeting Teens

Advocates who counsel and aid Idaho teenagers seeking abortion care filed suit Tuesday against Republican Attorney General Raúl Labrador in a bid to overturn the state’s abortion travel ban. The travel ban, which took effect May 5, created the crime of “abortion trafficking,” punishable by a minimum of two years in prison. It forbids helping a person under 18 years old obtain abortion pills or leave the state for abortion care without parental permission. (Varney, 7/11)

Indianapolis Star: As Indiana Abortion Ban Nears, Planned Parenthood Out Of Appointments

All Planned Parenthood clinics in Indiana are out of appointments for abortion services for the next three weeks, right until the state’s near total abortion ban takes effect. This news comes just after the Indiana Supreme Court announced on June 30 that it would vacate an injunction on the state’s near total abortion ban, allowing it to take effect as soon the decision is certified. That’s likely on or near Aug. 1. (Basile, 7/11)

Axios: Abortions Rise In Oregon After Fall Of Roe V. Wade 

Abortion rates in Oregon have increased since the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that overturned Roe v. Wade’s federal abortion protections last year led patients in states where the procedure is restricted to seek care here. Oregon created a $15 million fund last year to expand abortion services across the state, while also funneling money into nonprofit abortion funds like the Northwest Abortion Access Fund, which helps people pay for the procedure and travel. (Gebel and Gonzalez, 7/11)

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UN Report Highlights Crisis In Black Maternal Health Across The Americas

The Washington Post covers a report showing how bad the situation is for maternal health of women and girls of African descent across the Americas, including startling U.S. inequality data: Black women and girls are 3 times more likely to die giving birth or shortly after than their peers.

The Washington Post: U.N.: Black Maternal Health In Crisis Across Hemisphere, Not Just In U.S.

Black women in the Americas bear a heavier burden of maternal mortality than their peers, but according to a report released Wednesday by the United Nations, the gap between who lives and who dies is especially wide in the world’s richest nation — the United States.

Of the region’s 35 countries, only four publish comparable maternal mortality data by race, according to the report, which analyzed the maternal health of women and girls of African descent in the Americas: Brazil, Colombia, Suriname and the United States.

And while the United States had the lowest overall maternal mortality rate among those four nations, the report said Black women and girls were three times more likely than their U.S. peers to die while giving birth or in the six weeks afterward. (Johnson, 7/12)

In other reproductive health news —

KFF Health News: With More People Giving Birth At Home, Montana Passed A Pair Of Laws To Make It Easier

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Ashley Jones’ three children were born in three different places — a hospital, a birth center, and at home. Jones, who is 31 and lives in Belgrade, Montana, said she had “zero control over what was going on” during her hospital birth. Jones wanted a midwife to help deliver her third child, and after finding one she clicked with, she decided to go with a home birth. “I felt like I was in control of everything and she was there to listen to what I needed from her,” Jones said. (Larson, 7/12)

Axios: Health Tech Startup Mahmee Tackles Gaps In Pregnancy Care

Mahmee, a maternal health startup first formed in 2014, recently rolled out a new pregnancy care membership program in an effort to lower the U.S.’ maternal mortality rate outside the traditional medical setting. Mahmee offers wraparound services for people navigating pregnancy and childbirth and has served over 20,000 people, according to Amanda Williams, Mahmee’s medical director who is also an adviser to the Stanford-based California Maternal Quality Care Collaborative. (Chen, 7/11)

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