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Overturning Abortion in the US Clouds International Aid for Family Planning

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A group of senators are concerned about US-funded family planning programs abroad and the potential negative impact of the changing landscape of America’s abortion laws. Other abortion news is reported outside the states.

The Guardian: Biden is asked to clarify that overseas abortion aid is not affected by the Roe V Wade decision

A group of senators on Thursday sent a letter to Samantha Power, the head of the US Agency for International Development, asking her to address the confusion and make clear to beneficiaries that the changing landscape of abortion rights in the United States does not affect in USAID’s support for the full range of family planning and reproductive health care services permitted under the law. Reproductive rights advocates say the 1973 Helms Amendment, which limits out-of-state assistance for abortion, has led to thousands of preventable maternal deaths since its passage, disproportionately affecting brown and black women in states the poor and undermining health care systems that rely on US support. . (Yachot, 8/12)

In the latest developments from Iowa, Florida and Utah

In other abortion news from Nebraska, Illinois, Tennessee, Virginia and tribal lands

Washington Post: Facebook had little choice but to hand over data in Nebraska abortion case

Facebook faced political scrutiny this week after it was revealed that the company had turned over private messages between a young woman and her mother to Nebraska authorities investigating the death and disposal of a fetus. The hashtag #DeleteFacebook took off on Twitter as campaigners condemned the social media giant’s role in helping to prosecute what to many appeared to be a young woman’s attempts to end her pregnancy. Faced with the objection, Facebook said the search warrant they obtained did not mention abortion, but declined to say how the company would have responded if it had been clear the case involved an abortion. (Nix and Dwoskin, 8/12)

NPR: Clinics in neighboring states join forces to provide abortion care

The Waukegan clinic is Planned Parenthood of Illinois’ busiest for out-of-state abortion patients. After the fall of Roe, 60% of patients came to this clinic from out of state, mostly from Wisconsin. In fact, the organization opened in Waukegan two years ago with Wisconsin in mind, knowing that if Roe v. Wade were to fall, abortion access in that state would be greatly reduced. (Schorsch, 8/11)

KHN: Abortion is just the latest dividing line between Bristol and Bristol’s twin cities

The community of Bristol is proud to straddle the border between the two states. Tennessee flags fly on the south side of State Street, Virginia flags on the north. A series of plaques in the middle of the main street downtown mark the separation of the twin cities. A large sign at the end of town reminds everyone that they are right on the state line. (Whitehead, 8/12)

Mother Jones: Abortion was already unavailable on reservation land. Dobbs made matters worse

Native American tribes are sovereign nations that have a government-to-government relationship with the United States. Tribes have the right to make many laws on their land and for their citizens, and in theory, that right applies to making decisions about health care, including abortion. But in practice, decades of state and federal laws have limited tribal nations’ ability to provide reproductive health services, leaving Native people with disproportionate barriers to abortion access. In a post- Roe world, the barriers to abortion access on tribal land have become greater. (Hofstaedter, 8/12)

In the 2022 elections

Stateline: Abortion ballot measures seen as critical but complicated strategy

Two more initiatives opposing abortion rights and three supporting them are slated for votes in November, the most in a single year. And state lawmakers and attorneys are already preparing ballot initiatives in a handful of states for the 2023 and 2024 elections. But legal and political experts on both sides of the issue remain wary of what Kansas’ vote could mean for upcoming elections in the rest of the country. (Vestal, 8/11)

New York Times: Progressives push Democrats to fight for freedom too

Democrats at every level of the party and across ideological lines, including President Biden, abortion rights activists in Kansas and, now, a host of left-wing groups are increasingly seeking to reclaim the language of freedom and personal liberty from the republicans. It’s a dynamic that was heightened by the overturning of Roe v. Wade in June, and one that’s intensifying as more states turn to abortion bans while Republicans appoint pro-choice deniers to high office. (Glueck, 8/12)

How abortion is portrayed in pop culture and different religions

Vox: Abortion on Screen: Why Hollywood Keeps Getting It Wrong

It was a screen-soaked culture, and this means that what we see on TV and in movies often serves as a framework for viewing the world around us. This is certainly true of abortion. It is still rare to see an abortion described, and even rarer to see it in a situation that matches the circumstances of most abortions in America; Research has found that the most common abortion patient is a low-income, unmarried, young mother without a college degree seeking her first abortion. Most abortion patients in America are non-white. However, this is not the average description. And it affects not only what people think about abortion, but how viewers treat people who seek abortions, as well as how they think about public policy. (Wilkinson, 8/9)

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

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