Films such as Saint Frances and Obvious Child are showing that the subject need not be depicted with guilt and shame

Steve Rose
Mon 6 Jul 2020

There is nothing funny about the pro-choice v anti-abortion culture war that has been intensifying over the past few years, but comedy is proving to be a powerful weapon in it. To the extent that the phrase “abortion comedy” is no longer an oxymoron. You could well apply it to Alex Thompson’s new indie film Saint Frances, whose subject is a 34-year-old underachiever (Kelly O’Sullivan, who also wrote the movie) who hasn’t got her life together.

Becoming a nanny is a step forward; getting pregnant with a man she barely knows is a step back. She has no trouble getting a termination, but the film deals honestly with the aftermath, both physical (never has a film been less ashamed about menstruation) and emotional (even if her boyfriend has more issues about it than she does, which he writes down in his “feelings journal”). It does not treat the matter lightly, nor does it present a termination as something shocking or shaming or freighted with guilt.

Continued: https://www.theguardian.com/film/2020/jul/06/saint-frances-how-a-new-wave-of-taboo-busting-comedies-are-tackling-abortion


USA – When a commitment to precedent rings hollow

The June Medical ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court illustrates how relying on stare decisis can only go so far in ensuring abortion access.

by Jennifer Taylor
3 Jul 2020

We often hear that we’re living in “unprecedented times.” What is not unprecedented is the precarious status of abortion access in the United States (and parts of Canada, too). While abortion rights seem slightly safer after the decision of the United States Supreme Court in June Medical Services LLC v Russo, this is a shaky victory.

If anything, June Medical proves that precedent is slippery — and political.

Continued: https://www.nationalmagazine.ca/en-ca/articles/law/opinion/2020/when-a-commitment-to-precedent-rings-hollow


USA – The strictest abortion ban in the nation targets communities of color

Tina Vasquez 
Jul 03, 2020

As pro-choice advocates in Louisiana breathe a sigh of relief after the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in the June Medical Services case last week, Tennessee is gearing up for a fight against one of the most restrictive anti-abortion bills in the country—one that advocates say targets people of color.

Used as a bargaining chip while negotiating the state budget, the bill was passed in the early morning hours of June 19 when the Tennessee Senate made a last-minute deal with the House to pass a six-week abortion ban, which is unconstitutional because it makes it medically and logistically impossible for most people to determine that they are pregnant and arrange for abortion care.

Continued: https://www.ourprism.org/1957853


Democrats dodge abortion fight with plan to keep Hyde Amendment

It's a disappointment for the left, which has long sought to scrap the anti-abortion provision.

By SARAH FERRIS and HEATHER CAYGLE
07/02/2020

House Democrats will keep a decades-old ban on government funding for abortion in spending bills this year, dodging an election-year clash with Republicans and disappointing liberal lawmakers and activists.

Senior Democrats had been considering scrapping the so-called Hyde amendment, which has restricted federal funding for most abortion services since 1976, amid a hard push from the party’s left flank.

Continued: https://www.politico.com/news/2020/07/02/hyde-amendment-abortion-democrats-348272


U.S. Supreme Court rebuffs abortion clinic protest zone challenges

Lawrence Hurley
July 2, 2020

WASHINGTON, July 2 (Reuters) - The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday left in place policies in Chicago and Pennsylvania’s capital Harrisburg that place limits on anti-abortion activists gathered outside abortion clinics.

The justices declined to hear two appeals by anti-abortion groups and individual activists of lower court rulings upholding the cities’ ordinances.

Continued: https://uk.reuters.com/article/usa-court-abortion-zones/us-supreme-court-rebuffs-abortion-clinic-protest-zone-challenges-idUKL2N25U1ND


How the Supreme Court could overturn Roe — while claiming to respect precedent

Conservatives could build on abortion restrictions that point to “scientific uncertainty.”

By Mary Ziegler
July 1, 2020

The Supreme Court’s recent abortion ruling shows that Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. means it when he says that “the legal doctrine of stare decisis requires us, absent special circumstances, to treat like cases alike.” Casting the deciding vote Monday in June Medical Services v. Russo, he ruled against an abortion restriction that Louisiana claimed protected women against unscrupulous doctors. The state even asked the court to prevent abortion providers from suing on behalf of their patients, claiming a conflict of interest. If these arguments were new, the chief justice almost certainly would have accepted them both. The problem was that the Supreme Court had heard them before: In 2016, the justices invalidated an identical Texas law. Roberts couldn’t distinguish the two statutes enough to make a different ruling — not while respecting precedent.

Continued: https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/how-supreme-court-could-overturn-roe/2020/07/01/51fe4a2c-bb1e-11ea-80b9-40ece9a701dc_story.html


Abortion Media Coverage Is “Deeply, and Problematically, Politicized” Says Study

7/1/2020
by Zoe Larkin

Throughout the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, anti-abortion advocates have capitalized on the chaos to attack reproductive rights.

Although abortion is time-sensitive, officials throughout the U.S. declared it a nonessential service, denying women the right to reproductive justice under the guise of pandemic control. The move was swiftly condemned by many major medical organizations—but opportunistic attacks on reproductive freedom remain abundant.

Continued: https://msmagazine.com/2020/07/01/abortion-media-coverage-is-deeply-and-problematically-politicized-says-study/


USA – Think Abortion Rights Are Safe Now? Maybe Not

July 01, 2020
Sarah Boonin

Abortion rights advocates have reason to be relieved with the Supreme Court’s opinion Monday.

In a move that surprised many -- including me -- Chief Justice John Roberts joined the four liberal justices and struck down a Louisiana law that would have greatly limited the number of abortions in the state, forcing many of the state's most vulnerable women to travel long distances, face delays or forgo care altogether. The court’s ruling in June Medical Services v. Russo will allow the state's remaining clinics to continue serving the 10,000 women who seek abortions annually.

Continued: https://www.wbur.org/cognoscenti/2020/07/01/abortion-supreme-court-june-medical-services-sarah-boonin


‘I Can’t Focus on Abortion Access if My People Are Dying’

Some Gen Z and millennial women said they viewed abortion rights as important but less urgent than other social justice causes. Others said racial disparities in reproductive health must be a focus.

By Emma Goldberg
June 30, 2020

Like many young Americans, Brea Baker experienced her first moment of political outrage after the killing of a Black man. She was 18 when Trayvon Martin was shot. When she saw his photo on the news, she thought of her younger brother, and the boundary between her politics and her sense of survival collapsed.

In college she volunteered for the N.A.A.C.P. and as a national organizer for the Women’s March. But when conversations among campus activists turned to abortion access, she didn’t feel the same sense of personal rage.

Continued: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/30/us/politics/abortion-supreme-court-gen-z.html


I run a Louisiana abortion clinic. Despite Supreme Court win, I’m nervous for our future.

States have passed hundreds of anti-abortion laws in the last few years. At the Supreme Court, we were successful in striking down just one.

Kathaleen Pittman, Opinion contributor
June 30, 2020

For six years, my lawyers have been fighting a law that would have shut down the abortion clinic I run in Shreveport, Louisiana — Hope Medical Group for Women. On Monday, we won in the U.S. Supreme Court, which struck down the law, meaning we can stay open for our patients. I am relieved that the court saw through Louisiana’s deceitful attempts to shut us down, but I'm still deeply worried.

I wish the relentless attempts by politicians to shut down our clinic would finally stop. I know they won’t.

Continued:  https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/voices/2020/06/30/supreme-court-june-medical-services-abortion-rights-access-column/3283212001/