women's health

CEOs have become increasingly outspoken on a variety of political issues — from race relations to LGBTQ rights to higher age restrictions on gun and tobacco sales.

The latest example of this corporate activism came this week, when the leaders of more than 180 businesses — including MAC Cosmetics, electronic payments company Square and clothing-maker Eileen Fisher — signed a letter opposing restrictive abortion laws enacted recently in several states.

Missouri is within days of losing its last remaining health center that provides abortions. Unless a court intervenes, it will become the first state in the nation without such a clinic.

Planned Parenthood officials say they are filing a lawsuit in state court Tuesday, asking for a restraining order to prevent its St. Louis clinic from being forced to stop offering the procedure after a state license expires Friday.

Updated at 2:10 p.m. ET

The Supreme Court is leaving in place part of an Indiana law that mandates that aborted fetuses be buried or cremated.

The court did not take up a second part of the law that banned abortions because of fetal abnormality, the fetus's race, sex or ancestry. A lower court struck down that part of the law in addition to the burial provision. The Supreme Court, though, said it will wait for other lower court rulings before weighing in on the fetal characteristics provision.

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson signed a bill on Friday that criminalizes abortions in the state after eight weeks of pregnancy, the latest in a series of sweeping restrictions passed by Republican-controlled legislatures that now threaten nearly 50 years of federal protections for abortion.

As Republican-led states pass laws restricting abortion in hopes the Supreme Court will overturn its Roe v. Wade decision, supporters of abortion rights are pushing back.

Thousands of women who have had abortions have taken to social media to share their experience. Many argue they would have been worse off economically, had they been forced to deliver a baby.

"I didn't know what I would do with a baby," said Jeanne Myers, who was unmarried and unemployed when she got pregnant 36 years ago.

The recent passage of the so-called "Heartbeat Bill" has caused some confusion about the legality of abortion in Ohio. Gov. MIke DeWine signed the legislation into law last month, but it does not take effect until July. The ACLU and other organizations have sued, hoping to prevent the law from going into effect. Morning Edition host Amy Eddings spoke with Be Well Health reporter Marlene Harris-Taylor about the current realities of abortion access in Ohio.

Let's start with the facts about this new law. How does it does it work?

Updated at 2:50 p.m. ET

Opponents of abortion rights have a long history of supporting abortion bans with three major exceptions: when the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest, or when a woman's life is at risk.

But fueled by momentum from the passage of a restrictive abortion law in Alabama, a coalition of anti-abortion-rights groups released a letter Wednesday asking Republican officials to "reconsider decades-old talking points" on exceptions to such laws.

Abortion-rights advocates are holding rallies across the country Tuesday, protesting a wave of laws passed by states in recent weeks to severely restrict access to abortions.

Organizers include the ACLU, Planned Parenthood Action Fund, and NARAL Pro-Choice America. More than 400 events were planned for a national day of action outside statehouses and courts, united under the #StopTheBans moniker.

Updated at 1:08 p.m. ET

Missouri's Senate has passed a bill that would ban abortions at eight weeks of pregnancy or later, except in cases of medical emergency. There are no exceptions for rape or incest.

It's the latest in a series of sweeping abortion restrictions passed by Republican-controlled state legislatures aimed at pushing abortion challenges to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Jim Salter / Associated Press

ACLU of Ohio filed a federal lawsuit Wednesday challenging Ohio’s recent “heartbeat” abortion ban, which was signed into law last month.

In the second-floor girls' restroom at Bronx Prep Middle School in New York, there's a sign taped to the back of the toilet stall doors. It's a guide on how to "properly dispose feminine products." On the list? "Make sure that no one views or handles product."

"It's not even saying the word pad. It just says product!" explains Kathaleen Restitullo, 13. "Just, like, don't let anyone see that you are on your period."

Updated at 6:23 p.m. ET Wednesday

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey signed a controversial bill that bans nearly all abortions into law Wednesday evening.

It's considered the most restrictive abortion law in the United States. The law makes it a crime for doctors to perform abortions at any stage of a pregnancy, unless a woman's life is threatened or there is a lethal fetal anomaly.

Under the new law, doctors in the state face felony jail time up to 99 years if convicted. But a woman would not be held criminally liable for having an abortion.

Medicine continues to advance on many fronts, yet basic health care fails hundreds of women a year who die during or after pregnancy, especially women of color. Black mothers die at a rate that's 3.3 times greater than whites, and Native American or Alaskan Native women die at a rate 2.5 times greater than whites, according to a report out this week from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The Dayton City Commission is urging Dayton’s two major health-care systems to sign a transfer agreement with the Miami Valley’s last-remaining abortion provider.

The agreement is required by state law. And without it, the clinic is in danger of closing.

Among the city commission members, four out of five voted in favor of the resolution asking Kettering Health Network and Premier Health to sign the transfer agreement with Women’s Med Center in Kettering.

Legal efforts to challenge the state requirement have so far been unsuccessful.

Abortion protesters at the Ohio Statehouse.
Jo Ingles / Statehouse News Bureau

A new Ohio bill would ban most private insurance coverage for abortions. Opponents say it would also ban effective methods of birth control.

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