Wisconsin Lawmakers Want Abortion Laws; Illinois Tries To Boost Access
In Wisconsin, the Republican-controlled Assembly will send a package of anti-abortion bills to Democratic Gov. Tony Evers, who is expected to veto them. In Illinois, the Senate voted to repeal a 1995 law that had required parents be notified when minors were seeking an abortion.
Wisconsin Lawmakers To Send Anti-Abortion Bills To Governor
The Republican-controlled Wisconsin Assembly was poised to give final approval Wednesday to a package of anti-abortion bills that Democratic Gov. Tony Evers is all-but certain to veto. Final approval of the bills designed the reduce the number of abortions in the state comes after the state Senate, also controlled by Republicans, passed the measures over Democratic objections last week. Republicans do not have enough votes in the Legislature to override an Evers veto. Democrats have accused Republicans of only taking up the bills to energize conservatives ahead of the 2022 midterm election. (Bauer, 10/27)
Illinois Senate OKs Repealing Abortion Parental Notification
The Illinois Senate voted Tuesday to repeal a law requiring that parents or guardians be notified when girls younger than 18 are seeking an abortion. Building on momentum among abortion-rights activists after September’s Texas “heartbeat” law banned most abortions, Democrats who control the General Assembly want to dump the 1995 law requiring notification, which both sides of the debate call the last restriction on abortions in Illinois. (O'Connor, 10/27)
Backers Of A Texas Law That Restricts Abortion After Rape Say Just Arrest More Rapists. Will That Work?
Gov. Greg Abbott and other defenders of a new Texas law that bans abortion after about six weeks — even in cases of rape and incest — have vowed to crack down on sexual assault to reduce the need for abortions. Abbott said last month, soon after the law known as SB 8 went into effect, that he would "eliminate all rapists." An NBC News review of state and FBI data, however, indicates that the clearance rate for rapes in Texas has been dropping year to year and that Texas' clearance rate now lags behind the national average by almost a third. (Strickler and Kaplan, 10/27)
In other news from across the U.S. —
Health News Florida:
A Judge Allows Florida Medical Marijuana Operators To Use Third-Party Sites
Leafly and similar sites will be able to resume contracting with Florida medical marijuana operators to allow patients to order products online, under a ruling issued Monday by an administrative law judge. Florida health officials this year stopped medical marijuana operators from using Leafly and other third-party sites to process patient orders, saying the arrangements violated a state law banning operators from contracting for services “directly related to the cultivation, processing and dispensing” of cannabis. (Kam, 10/26)
As Activists Rally In Harrisburg To Legalize Needle Exchanges, A Fight To Keep Them Open Continues In N.J.
This week, advocates from across Pennsylvania are set to rally in Harrisburg in support of legalizing syringe service programs in the commonwealth, where the public health measure is still against the law — though some communities allow them to serve people in addiction. At the same time, in New Jersey, where syringe services have been legal since 2006, harm reductionists are fighting to keep the state’s oldest needle exchange program open in Atlantic City. (Whelan, 10/26)
Harford County Health Officer Dr. David Bishai Says He’s Been Removed From Position
Dr. David Bishai, health officer at the Harford County Health Department who assumed the position in January at the height of the coronavirus pandemic, was terminated from the position last week, he said late Tuesday evening. Bishai, a Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health professor with degrees in medicine and business, said he was not given a reason for his firing. He said he was called into an in-person meeting with officials from the Maryland Department of Health who informed him that the Harford County Council had voted to remove him, and that Maryland Department of Health Secretary Dennis R. Schrader had approved the vote. (Miller, 10/26)