Reproductive Rights News Roundup

Disability abortion bill clears House committee
By Jason Delgado
Florida Politics
The Health and Human Services Committee OK’d the bill (HB 1221) with an 12-8 vote. Rep. Erin Grall, a Vero Beach Republican, is the bill sponsor. Grall’s proposal would prohibit a physician from performing an abortion if they know or should know that a woman’s decision to abort is based on a test result that suggests a disability.

Bill barring transgender women from playing high school, college sports with other women comes before Florida House
By Ryan Dailey
Orlando Weekly
Dubbed the “Fairness In Women’s Sports Act,” the proposal would make participation in athletics contingent on determining a student’s “biological sex,” a disputed term that refers to the sex assigned at birth.

ACLU of Florida: House legislation on transgender athletes is ‘unconstitutional’
By Danielle J. Brown
Florida Phoenix
As a part of a nationwide effort to legislate the lives of transgender people, the Florida House continued its push Tuesday to bar transgender athletes from participating in the sports that align with their gender. The House Education & Employment Committee passed HB 1475, another step toward limiting the choices for transgender athletes.

“Gail’s Law” hopes to create a statewide database to track DNA evidence in sexual assault cases
By Danielle J. Brown
Florida Phoenix
Gail’s Law, a measure that would provide the status of “rape kits” for evidence to survivors of sexual assaults and rape, is on its way to the House floor in the Florida Legislature. The legislation would require the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to create a statewide database to track the processing status and location of  rape kits, so victims would be able to access the information to keep track of their case.

Sponsors might find a few surprises in their ‘anti-riot’ bill
By Joe Henderson
Florida Politics
I asked Amy Weintraub, the Reproductive Rights Program Director for Progress Florida, if she had witnessed intimidation attempts that would seem to fall under this bill’s definition of a crime. Her answer: “Definitely. I’ve witnessed it myself, and it’s disgusting.”

Before controversial policy push, Gov. Ron DeSantis first reshaped Florida’s highest court
By John Kennedy
Sarasota Herald-Tribune
“Laura Goodhue, executive director of the Florida Alliance of Planned Parenthood Affiliates, said they feared a trap. ‘Abortion opponents wanted the law to be challenged so our new, far-right state Supreme Court would have a chance to reinterpret the right to privacy to no longer include access to abortion,’ she said. ‘That would open Florida up to a wide range of abortion restrictions that have previously been found unconstitutional.’”

Ocoee Democrat, GOP House Speaker join together to extend Medicaid coverage for new moms
By Gray Rohrer
Orlando Sentinel
Women who get Medicaid coverage during their pregnancy in Florida lose it two months after delivery if they don’t otherwise qualify for Medicaid. Ocoee Democratic Rep. Kamia Brown has sought to change that since taking office in 2016, and this year she’s gained a powerful ally: House Speaker Chris Sprowls.

The Allegations Against Matt Gaetz Aren’t a “Scandal.” They’re Crimes
By Danielle Campoamor
Words matter. Just ask the survivors listening to you call 17-year-old children “women.”

How to Support Loved Ones During Sexual Assault Awareness Month and Beyond
By Sunny Fitzgerald
The Lily
April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month: an event intended to create space for survivors’ voices, shed light on the insidious nature of sexual violence and amplify calls to action. But this month-long focus on sexual assault can be painful for survivors.

When Your Partner Tries to Control Your Reproductive Choices
By Kylie Cheung
Rewire News Group
Reproductive coercion isn’t widely recognized as domestic violence. In California, lawmakers are debating changing that.

Biden pledged to end an abortion funding ban. Will he start with his budget?
By Jennifer Haberkorn
The Los Angeles Times
President Biden was the last Democrat in the party’s 2020 presidential field to embrace the idea of ending the decades-long ban on federal funding of abortion. Now as his administration writes its first budget, Biden has an opportunity to put that campaign pledge into action by issuing the first presidential budget since the Clinton administration that doesn’t prohibit abortion funding for people enrolled in government programs such as Medicaid.

It’s Time for the Biden Administration to Let Pharmacists Dispense the Abortion Pill
By Daniel Grossman and Sally Rafie
Making the abortion pill available through pharmacies on prescription can improve abortion access—especially for those without an abortion clinic nearby.

Why Is the Supreme Court Hesitating on Abortion?
By Ed Kilgore
There was no action on Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which concerns whether a Mississippi ban on abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy is unconstitutional. Mississippi petitioned for SCOTUS review last June, of course; the whole point of the state’s provocative law was to invite the Court to reverse or significantly modify Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey, the landmark decisions establishing and affirming a constitutional right to abortion.

I Had An Abortion At 23 Weeks. Here’s What I Want You To Know.
By Kelly Perry
Huffington Post
On a cold October morning, before the sun is up, my husband and I stand by a cartoon play set in the lobby of the children’s hospital, waiting to be called on. I’m 23 weeks pregnant, and my world has just been shattered.

Dear Politicians, Put ‘Safe, Legal, and Rare’ in the Dustbin
By Renee Bracey Sherman
Rewire News Group
I’m asking pro-choice politicians to evolve from this outdated mantra—it’s no longer serving you. It never served those of us who have abortions.

Promising News for Pregnant People Who Want a COVID-19 Vaccine
By Chelsea Cirruzzo
U.S. News & World Report
The gap in data on pregnant people and the COVID-19 vaccine is shrinking slowly but surely, with new findings offering encouraging additions to a growing body of research. “Things look very good for the association between vaccination and protecting pregnant women from adverse outcomes from themselves and their fetus,” White House adviser and infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci said at a press briefing this week.

Why We Still Think Caregiving Isn’t A Job
By Erin Sagen
Our struggle to value caregiving has capitalist roots, but changing economic policy starts with dismantling the idea of caregiving as the altruistic woman’s responsibility.

Parental Leave As A Gateway To Workplace Equity
By Missy Narula
Forbes Business Council
As a parent who has also navigated balancing a career, I feel I’m one of the lucky ones. I’ve had three healthy babies, and after each, I was able to take ample time away from the demands of my corporate job to care for myself and my growing family. 

Biden administration says federal law protects LGBTQ kids from discrimination
By Casey Quinlan
The American Independent
State lawmakers who’ve introduced discriminatory bills targeting LGBTQ minors are on ‘notice,’ legal experts say. The Biden administration recently sent a signal to state lawmakers that legislation aimed against LGBTQ youth will not be tolerated, legal experts and civil rights advocates people say.

LGBTQ women face major hurdles running for public office. They’re not giving up.
By Anne Branigin
The Lily
Jasmin Lewis says she knows she is just the type of person her school board needs. The 33-year-old Palm Beach County teacher wants to provide more support to her transgender and gender nonconforming students, who she says often come up to her and ask which bathroom they can use.