After Roe, More Than Twice As Many Crossed State Lines For Abortion Care
The number of people traveling out of state for abortion care in the first half of 2023 was over twice that for a similar period in 2020, new data show, showing patients are having to travel much further distances to seek abortions. Also in the news: worries over electronic health data for this sort of care.
Out-Of-State Travel For Abortion Surged After Roe Was Overturned
More than twice as many people crossed state lines for abortion care in the first half of 2023 compared with a similar period in 2020 when abortion was legal nationwide, according to a new analysis. The Guttmacher Institute data demonstrates how state bans that took effect since Roe v. Wade was overturned have forced patients to travel longer distances to obtain an abortion. (Goldman, 12/7)
Electronic Health Record Privacy At Issue For Out-Of-State Abortions
At a time when abortion access can vary widely across the U.S., many reproductive health advocates are concerned about the impact of data sharing systems that automatically transmit patients’ electronic health records across institutions and state lines. The Biden administration is looking to introduce new regulations to bolster patients’ privacy — but the proposed rules are getting pushback from companies like UnitedHealth Group and Epic, which argue that they would make data sharing harder overall, contrary to the overarching goals of the health care system. (Webster, 12/7)
Abortion Pill Activist Network Links Women In Mexico, U.S.
Just over a decade ago, when Crystal Pérez Lira needed an abortion, she had to leave Mexico. The procedure was illegal in her home state of Baja California and so deeply stigmatized that even Pérez Lira supported the procedure only for those who were raped. Until she unexpectedly got pregnant. (Goldhill, 12/7)
Abortion updates from Texas and Missouri —
Texas Judge To Consider Pregnant Woman's Request For Order Allowing Her To Have An Abortion
Texas’ strict abortion ban will face an unprecedented test Thursday, when a judge considers a request for an emergency court order that would allow a pregnant woman whose fetus has a fatal diagnosis to have an abortion in the state. The lawsuit filed by Kate Cox, a 31-year-old mother of two from the Dallas area, is believed to be the first of its kind in the nation since the U.S. Supreme Court last year overturned Roe v. Wade, according to the Center for Reproductive Rights, which is representing Cox. (Weber, 12/7)
Missouri Abortion-Rights Measures Face ‘Torturous’ Road To 2024
Pulling off a successful ballot initiative campaign in Missouri is an undertaking so difficult that one Democratic political consultant compares it to skiing the slalom at the Olympics. There is a laundry list of deadlines to meet, an army of signature gatherers to hire, a host of legal battles to fight — all with a price tag that can quickly cost millions. (Spoerre, 12/7)
In other reproductive health news —
For First Time Ever, FDA Approves At-Home Artificial Insemination Kit
Anyone who's struggled with infertility knows that getting treatments can be expensive. Insurance doesn't cover artificial insemination, a procedure that places sperm into the cervix or uterus during ovulation. ... That means that many people who need such treatments to reproduce often can't afford them. But that could be changing with the introduction of a new at-home artificial insemination kit. This week in a historic first, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the kit for use by consumers. (Walrath-Holdridge, 12/6)
Pregnancy After 35 Is More Common. Is U.S. Health Care Keeping Up?
Federal data shows steady growth in older people becoming first-time parents over at least the past two decades. By 2021, the mean age for first birth hit 27.3, a record high. The share of people in their 30s and 40s giving birth has continually increased since 2000. Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that in 2021, close to 1 in 5 pregnancies in America were among people 35 and older, along with almost 12 percent of first pregnancies. In 2000, by contrast, people 35 and older made up about 7.4 percent of first births. (Luthra, 12/7)