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The explosive Supreme Court leak again exposed the deep partisan divide over the issue of abortion. Some Republicans are already looking ahead to passing a nationwide ban, if they regain a congressional majority this fall. Democrats vow to challenge those efforts at the state and national level and hope the court decision could spur passion from their base.

The Washington Post: The Next Frontier For The Antiabortion Movement: A Nationwide Ban

Leading antiabortion groups and their allies in Congress have been meeting behind the scenes to plan a national strategy that would kick in if the Supreme Court rolls back abortion rights this summer, including a push for a strict nationwide ban on the procedure if Republicans retake power in Washington. The effort, activists say, is designed to bring a fight that has been playing out largely in the courts and state legislatures to the national political stage – rallying conservatives around the issue in the midterms and pressing potential 2024 GOP presidential candidates to take a stand. (Kitchener, 5/2)

The Washington Post: Antiabortion Activists, Republicans Push For ‘Heartbeat Bill’ As Supreme Court Weighs Roe V. Wade

Leading antiabortion groups and their allies in Congress have been meeting behind the scenes to plan a national strategy that would kick in if the Supreme Court rolls back abortion rights this summer, including a push for a strict nationwide ban on the procedure if Republicans retake power in Washington. The effort, activists say, is designed to bring a fight that has been playing out largely in the courts and state legislatures to the national political stage – rallying conservatives around the issue in the midterms and pressing potential 2024 GOP presidential candidates to take a stand. (Kitchener, 5/2)

Democrats react –

The New York Times: Democrats Promise A Fight If A Draft Of The Decision Becomes Law

Democrats denounced the Supreme Court’s private vote to strike down Roe v. Wade, with some promising to fight to preserve abortion rights. Senator Chuck Schumer of New York and Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California, the top Democrats in Congress, called the draft obtained and published by Politico “one of the worst and most damaging decisions in modern history.” In New York, Gov. Kathy Hochul said on Twitter that the state would always guarantee the right to abortion. Eric Adams, the mayor of New York City, said on Twitter that the potential move by “right-wing extremists” against “a woman’s right to make her own health care decisions” could not stand. (Mendell, 5/3)

The Guardian: ‘An Abomination’: Pelosi Leads Outcry On Supreme Court Draft Abortion Ruling

Nancy Pelosi, the Democratic speaker of the House, said: “If the report is accurate, the Supreme Court is poised to inflict the greatest restriction of rights in the past 50 years – not just on women but on all Americans.” … Elizabeth Warren, a Massachusetts senator and former candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination, said an “extremist supreme court” was poised to “impose its far-right, unpopular views on the entire country.” (Pengelly, 5/2)

Politico: Democrats Hope Draft Abortion Opinion Will Jolt Midterm Elections

Hours after POLITICO’s reporting on the high court’s draft opinion, Democrats privately predicted that the potential decision by its five-conservative majority to repeal the landmark abortion-rights ruling would energize their base and drive up turnout in November. The party’s governors, senators and House members took to social media and the airwaves with reactions that ranged from pleas to codify Roe to emotional personal stories. “This kind of outcome is exactly what I’ve been ringing alarm bells about – and this is a five alarm fire,” said Washington Sen. Patty Murray, the chamber’s No. 3 Democrat and leader of its health committee. (Ferris and Levin, 5/2)

The Boston Globe: Criticism Of Senator Susan Collins Pours In After Release Of Draft Supreme Court Opinion On Roe V. Wade

After Politico’s publication of a draft Supreme Court opinion that indicated justices are poised to overturn Roe v. Wade, criticism of Maine Senator Susan Collins began to pour in online. Collins, a moderate Republican who supports abortion rights, was a key vote in the nominations of justices Brett Kavanaugh and Neil Gorsuch, both appointed by former President Donald Trump. Those two, along with Amy Coney Barrett, cemented the current conservative majority on the court. Shortly after Politico published the draft opinion, a video compilation began circulating on Twitter of Collins repeatedly saying in media interviews that she was confident Kavanaugh would not vote to overturn the 1973 ruling that legalized abortion in the United States. (Kaufman, 5/3)

Abortion rights groups were already planning a big midterm spending campaign –

Reuters: Planned Parenthood, Other US Abortion Rights Groups To Spend $ 150 Mln On Midterms

Three US abortion rights advocacy groups will spend $ 150 million on the 2022 midterm elections, focusing on battleground states as they step up efforts to safeguard abortion access across the country, they said on Monday. Planned Parenthood Action Fund, NARAL Pro-Choice America and Emily’s List said their joint investment was meant “to aggressively respond to unprecedented attacks on sexual and reproductive rights and abortion rights across the country and raise voters’ awareness of the lawmakers who are to blame. . ” (Borter, 5/2)

Meanwhile, in news about Amazon’s abortion policies –

Reuters: Amazon To Reimburse US Employees Who Travel For Abortions, Other Treatments

Amazon.com Inc, the second-largest US private employer, told its staff on Monday it will pay up to $ 4,000 in travel expenses annually for non-life threatening medical treatments including abortions, according to a message seen by Reuters. The decision makes the online retailer the latest company after Citigroup Inc, Yelp Inc and others to respond to Republican-backed state laws curbing abortion access, helping employees bypass them. It shows how companies are eager to retain and attract talent in locations that remain important to their operations despite legal changes impacting employees’ health. (Dastin, 5/2)

Axios: Amazon’s Abortion Travel Policy Only The Latest Employer Health Travel Benefit

Employers that reimburse workers who travel for reproductive care may be a response to the current political climate, but it’s just the latest way in which they’re adding medical travel to their list of benefits. Rising health care costs drove employers to design policies that make cheaper or higher-quality services accessible long before the wave of red-state abortion restrictions. The rise of remote work brought on by the pandemic, the shuttering of rural health services and the advent of complicated new health technologies may drive more employers to pay for workers to receive care that’s far from home. (Owens, 5/3)

Also –

KHN: Abortion Politics Lead To Power Struggles Over Family Planning Grants

In a busy downtown coffee shop, a drawing of a ski lift with intrauterine devices for chairs draws the eyes of sleepy customers getting their morning underway with a caffeine jolt. The flyer touts the services of Bridgercare, a nonprofit reproductive health clinic a few miles up the road. The clinic offers wellness exams, birth control, and LGBTQ + services – and, starting in April, it oversees the state’s multimillion-dollar share of federal family planning program funding. (Houghton, 5/3)

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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