Ledes from the Land of Enchantment

Montana Supreme Court Prevents Abortion Ban From Taking Effect

The justices upheld a lower court ruling that blocked three separate laws, including a ban on abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy. Meanwhile in Idaho, the Justice Department is trying to block the state’s near-total abortion ban. And in Wyoming, a judge will rule today on the state’s temporary ban.

The Hill: Montana Supreme Court Upholds Ruling Blocking Abortion Restrictions

Montana’s Supreme Court has upheld a lower court’s ruling that temporarily blocks further restrictions on abortion. Planned Parenthood announced in a statement Tuesday that the Montana Supreme Court blocked three separate laws that were enacted during the state’s legislative session last year from taking effect. (Oshin, 8/9)

In updates on abortion laws in Idaho, Wyoming, and North Carolina —

AP: Justice Department Asks Judge To Pause Idaho Abortion Ban

The US Department of Justice asked a federal judge this week to bar Idaho from enforcing its near-total abortion ban while a lawsuit pitting federal health care law against state anti-abortion legislation is underway. Meanwhile, the Republican-led Idaho Legislature is asking for permission to intervene in the federal case, just as it has done in three other abortion-related lawsuits filed in state courts. (Boone, 8/9)

Wyoming Public Radio: Judge To Decide Whether To Extend Block On Wyoming Abortion Ban

A Teton County judge said she’ll rule Wednesday whether or not to extend a temporary halt on Wyoming’s abortion ban. The decision is likely to come before noon, when the two-week restraining order she set in July is scheduled to expire. (Walkey, 8/9)

AP: NC AG’s Staff Asks Judge Not To Restore 20-Week Abortion Ban

The North Carolina attorney general’s office, representing defendants in a 2019 case that blocked a state law banning most abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy, has joined plaintiffs in asking a federal court not to restore the ban after the judge suggested his injunction “may now be contrary to law. “Reinstating restrictions in the aftermath of the June US Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade would create “significant risk of public confusion” about the availability and legality of abortion services in North Carolina, the attorney general’s office argued in a brief filed late Monday in US District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina. (Schoenbaum, 8/9)

In updates from Illinois —

Indianapolis Star: Illinois Now Epicenter For Abortion In For Middle US After Roe’s Fall

Julie Burkhart, co-owner of Hope Clinic and a longtime abortion-access advocate, said the facility is and will be a “point of refuge” going forward for Southern and Midwestern states with the US Supreme Court decision eradicating the constitutional right to an abortion . The patient census has doubled since the June 24 court decision. The clinic is now serving 40 to 50 people a day, Amy Redd-Greiner, the front-desk supervisor at Hope, said in between handing patients their intake forms and answering the ringing desk phone. (Ladd and Duvall, 8/10)

Politico: Pritzker Uses ‘Terrible’ DeSantis As Foil In National Campaign On Abortion Rights

The fall of Roe v. Wade is giving Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker new resolve to wield his immense bank account against his fellow governors and make his mark on abortion rights outside his state. A wealthy heir to the Hyatt hotel empire, Pritzker has already cut $250,000 checks this election cycle to boost Democratic gubernatorial campaigns and parties across the Midwest, including Gov. Gretchen Whitmer in Michigan. He also gave $2 million to the Democratic Governors Association last month, according to a person familiar with his campaign. Now, Pritzker intends to pour in more money and target more states where a Democratic governor might be the lone firewall against new abortion restrictions. (Capos, 8/9)

In updates from Washington state, New Mexico, and elsewhere —

AP: Seattle City Council OK’s Outlawing Abortion Discrimination

It will soon be illegal in Seattle to discriminate against people for seeking or receiving an abortion, part of the city’s efforts to preserve reproductive rights locally. The Seattle City Council on Tuesday passed a measure making it illegal to discriminate against someone based on their actual or perceived pregnancy outcome, The Seattle Times reported. The council also added a statewide misdemeanor charge for interfering with health care to the city’s code, hoping to minimize interference and harassment against those seeking care in the wake of the US Supreme Court undoing decades of constitutional abortion protections in June. (8/10)

The Texas Tribune: Texas’ Abortion Fights Move To New Mexico, Where Procedure Is Still Legal

For New Mexico state Rep. Micaela Lara Cadena, the arrival of a new abortion clinic in Las Cruces, the city she represents, is surreal. Over the years, there hasn’t been consistent access to the procedure as providers came and went. (Mehado, 8/10)

Axios: Health Providers Are Fighting To Protect Abortion Records As Bans Expand

Doctors are weighing the legal risks of turning over ultrasounds and other personal health records if prosecutors or law enforcement demand the information to enforce state abortion bans. (Gonzalez, 8/10)

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

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